I hope that nobody is surprised by Wal-Mart's decision to stop selling Linux boxes (in the form of the gPC). Despite what some folks may think, Linux on the desktop is perpetually one year off.
I know this because I've hoped and hoped myself over the years, running Linux on various desktops and notebook, suffering through driver problems, document incompatibilities, and so on.
But that doesn't meant that things aren't getting better. When I made the move from RedHat to Debian, a whole class of problems went away. I stopped building stuff from source most of the time (with a few exceptions). I didn't have packaging and installation/upgrade hassles anymore.
And nowadays, with Ubuntu on half of my computers, I don't even have driver problems anymore. Plus, with Firefox and Open Office, I can deal with just about any documents I'd need to. The only real problem is the software that simply doesn't run on Linux. And for that I could install VMWare, VirtualBox, or similar technology to run a version of Windows on top of Linux.
The fact that mainstream America still wants Windows says far more about Windows than it does about Linux. This is not at all surprising to someone like me--someone who's been waiting "one more year now" for the last 5-8 years.
And you know what? That's okay.
Different people want different things.
Posted by jzawodn at March 11, 2008 07:08 AM