The year of the Linux desktop may never arrive

Also in today's open source roundup: Android apps might soon appear on Chromebooks, and what’s new in Xubuntu 16.04 LTS

linux desktop computer
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Will we ever see the year of the Linux desktop?

Some Linux pundits and users have long awaited the year of the Linux desktop. But somehow it still hasn't arrived. A writer at Digital Trends thinks that the year of the Linux desktop is a myth that will never happen.

Justin Pot reports for Digital Trends:

Every culture has its myths and prophecies. For Linux users, it was "The Year Of The Linux Desktop." The idea: someday in the future, likely soon, everyone is going to notice how great Linux is and just switch over, en masse.

After all, the thinking went, why would people keep using expensive operating systems like Windows, when Linux is free? Why would OEMs keep paying Microsoft, when the community can hook them up? Why would users put up with Windows, when Linux is clearly superior? The community just needed to spread the good news, and install Linux on the computers of our friends and family. They'd see the light, and the revolution would begin.

Like most myths, this idea was built on a combination of truths, half-truths, and confirmation bias. And like most prophecies, it hasn't come true. While Linux inspires the kind of loyalty other brands would kill for, companies that once released Linux versions are now concluding it's not worth maintaining them.

The year of the Linux desktop never came. Developers bailed. And some apps are starting to break for lack of maintenance.

More at Digital Trends

Android apps on Chromebooks?

Google has been quietly preparing Chrome OS for an infusion of Android apps, and now its preparations might be headed into the final stages. Soon Chromebooks could be running thousands of different Android apps via the Google Play Store.

Ron Amadeo reports for Ars Technica:

Google first brought the ability to run Android apps on Chrome OS with a project called the "App Runtime for Chrome (ARC)." Google built an Android runtime on Chrome OS and partnered with select developers to port a handful of Android apps. Now it sounds like Google is ready to unleash millions of Android apps onto the platform by bringing the entire Play Store to Chrome OS.

In the Chrome OS subreddit, users are reporting some interesting behavior in their Chromebooks. "TheWiseYoda" noticed that when the settings first load up, an option flashes on screen that reads, "Enable Android apps to run on your Chromebook." The option immediately disappears, so it's not possible to click on its confirmation box. We were able to replicate this on our second-gen Chromebook Pixel running the developer build.

If Google Play does arrive on Chrome OS, does this mean the Chrome Web Store's days are numbered? Feature development on the Chrome Store was pretty much abandoned a few years ago, allowing the Play Store to blaze past it. The Chrome Store doesn't accept Google Play credits, and it has no prepaid gift cards sold in stores.

Google Play supports A/B testing for listing, app analytics, developer replies, and lots of other features that make developers' lives easier. The Play Store's reach is much wider, too: Google Play supports payments in 136 countries, but the Chrome Web Store only takes payments in 36 countries.

More at Ars Technica

What's new in Xubuntu 16.04 LTS

Xubuntu 16.04 LTS was recently released, and Linux Scoop has a helpful video on YouTube that will walk you through what's new in it.

Xubuntu 16 04 LTS, the latest release of Ubuntu 16.04 Official flavors featrung Xfce 4.12 desktop environment has been released and announced by Xubuntu Team. This release powered by long-term support Linux kernel 4.4 and Support GNOME 3.18 packages. also include new community wallpapers, and the replacement of the Ubuntu Software Centre app with the GNOME Software graphical package manager.

Updated Xubuntu Light/Dark colors schemes in Mousepad and Terminal, Xfce4 Panel Switch included are 5 preset panel layouts. 7. LibreOffice Calc and Writer replace Gnumeric and Abiword, Also include A new theme for LibreOffice called libreoffice-style-elementary.

More at YouTube

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