Windows 10 doesn't matter to the future of Linux

In today's open source roundup: Windows 10 is not relevant to Linux. Plus: Borderlands 2 available for Linux, and does OpenOffice really still matter?

The obsession with desktop market share continues in the media. Some journalists just can't seem to let go of this and continually recycle it for clicks and page views. The latest example of this comes from a column on Beta News that proclaims in its title that "Windows 10 will continue Microsoft's desktop domination."

According to BetaNews:

This is really sad, as I know some very passionate Linux users that thought Linux could grab a huge piece of the desktop pie from Windows. Unfortunately, Microsoft has killed that opportunity with the announcement of Windows 10. You see, the biggest criticisms about Windows 8, which could have driven users towards Linux, are being rectified in the future version of Windows. Microsoft is finally bringing back the Start Menu and allowing Modern apps to run in a windowed mode.

I still love Linux and I am anticipating Fedora 21; however, me and most of the world are probably more excited about the next version of Windows. The dream of Linux having a bigger piece of the desktop is less likely today than it was yesterday because of Windows 10.

More at BetaNews
Windows 10 versus Linux
Image credit: BetaNews

Ugh, here we go again with the Windows versus Linux desktop blather. I hate having to wade through this stuff, but it's necessary because articles like this continue to promote the idea that the desktop is of primary importance to Linux and that simply isn't true. Usage habits have shifted considerably from desktop computers to mobile devices.

Linux will always be around on the desktop, it may or may not have a sizable percentage of market share, but it will always be there as an alternative to Windows and OS X. And Windows 10 (or 11 or 12 or 13) isn't going to change that, no matter what Microsoft does to improve its desktop operating system.

The real action is in mobile devices and in that arena Linux has utterly smashed Windows and Microsoft into oblivion. You see Linux in Android phones and tablets, Chromebooks, Kindle ebook readers and in many other devices. The article grudgingly notes the success of Linux in mobile at the very end but otherwise seems totally focused on a pointless desktop horse race between Linux and Windows.

Windows Phone is a good example of Microsoft's almost complete failure in the mobile market. Android has around eighty percent (it may be more by now) market share in mobile devices, and Windows Phone is probably three percent or less despite all the money that Microsoft has spent developing and promoting it. Very few people want Windows Phone devices but many millions of people want Linux-based Android phones and tablets.

So who cares about Windows 10? Let it have whatever market share it will have on the desktop. Linux will still roll on for those who want it for desktop computers, and it will continue to blow Microsoft off the map in mobile devices.

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