Don't know, it all depends on the next version of Windows and Mac OS
Many people buy a new computer with Windows pre-installed on it, this is the way that Microsoft wants it to be, Windows on every machine (Apple Macs not included)
Most "normal" computer users haven't even heard about Linux let alone use the OS, GNU/Linux is considered more of a "geek" thing and a "hard to use" system, which is incompatible with most of their hardware and software.
The Open Source and Linux community have come leaps and bounds with their software (Ubuntu mainly) and compatibility but it still isn't mainstream.
Do you think it will ever become a mainstream OS like MS Windows or (possibly Apple's Mac OS (X)?
I think it will, depending upon how you define "mainstream." Linux already has around 1% of the desktop market, depending upon whom you ask and how they count.
Here's what StatCounter sees for October 2009:
- WinXP: 67.78
- WinVista: 23.6
- MacOSX: 4.68
- Win7: 2.02
- Linux: 0.68
- Win2000: 0.51
- Win2003: 0.34
- Playstation: 0.13
- Win98: 0.1
- unknown: 0.09
- WinME: 0.05
- Nintendo: 0.02
Is MacOS "mainstream"? If so, do we have to multiply our numbers 6.88235294 to become "mainstream"? Or can we be "mainstream" at half those numbers?
W3Counter Global Stats is far more kind to Linux:
- Windows XP: 60.06%
- Windows Vista: 22.39%
- Mac OS X: 7.30%
- Windows 7: 2.05%
- Linux: 1.84%
- Windows 2000: 0.73%
- Windows 2003: 0.63%
- iPhone OSX: 0.40%
- Windows 98: 0.12%
- SymbianOS: 0.07%
According to these numbers, we only need to grow 3.9673913 times to match MacOS.
I believe this will happen, because (economically speaking) Linux is a more efficient solution than Windows. Linux lets us all use our computers more economically than Windows.
The fear factor is what is holding most people back right now. Linux has a reputation for being difficult to use. Slowly, people will realize that this just isn't true.
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I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
Keep in mind almost every server out there runs a linux flavor. Like CentOS.
So its kinda even. Personally I would not use Linux for my desktop computer. I like to play video games, and use certain programs that wont run on linux. But on the other spectrum I would touch Windows with a 10 foot pole for a server OS. But anyways becuase of that, I am probably certainly not the only one who thinks that, so I dont think we'll see Linux being used en' mass by the average computer user.
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Actually, all of those things have already been done in some distros The next problem is that Linux doesn't have the advertising and marketing power beihnd it that Microsoft does.
Ubuntu has a graphical user interface. Its looks like windows.
But you know what windows is? Windows is created for idiot-proof programs. Beucase lets face it, most computer users aren't geeks and are ignorant of what goes on behind the GUI. To them linux is not user friendly, they don't understand it.
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Only if Linux will be as user friendly as Windows and most Windows programs will have a Linux version or will run by default on Linux, without complications. If nothing changes in few years we will talk only about Windows, Ubuntu and Mac OS and probably Chrome OS.