Shocking News Just In: Linux Is NOT Sexy!

In a shocking announcement, Tech Radar declares Linux non-sexy with appeal only to nerds, geeks and basement dwellers. In an article addressing the challenges faces by Linux in it’s ongoing quest to unseat either Windows or Mac OS as a mainstream operating system, Tech Radar concludes that lack of sex appeal is it’s biggest obstacle.

Citing the iPad as an example of what the open source community is lacking, Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of the Linux Foundation says that for Linux to jump ahead in popularity, a little magic and sex appeal will go a long way.

Other factors cited include the massive cost for businesses to switch operating systems and the fact that no one company or organization can be held 100% accountable and responsible for the quality and capability of Linux systems.

Source: Tech Radar

Written by Toby Leftly

Toby is a Mac nerd, a hardware nerd and a web nerd, rolled into one. You can find him at accentmedia.ca or on Twitter.
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#1
Cloud Computing
April 12th, 2010 at 8:10 am

It’s true, the biggest problem with Linux is that it doesn’t look very pretty, which means that despite it being reliable, fast and pretty much industry standard server software, it’s struggling to crack the mass consumer market.

 
 
#2
Yas V
April 16th, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I don’t think this is 100% true the new linux are much better looking than previous but they’re not up to the win7 or apple os style yet. However when they released the funky cube rotation and jelly style window movements it was far superior than what all the other OS’s were doing at the time which the other OS’s quickly copied as well as video card manufacturers who made these features into their drivers.

I think the biggest problem is sometimes you just want everything to work without tweaking it the way you want. Which is what the big os’s offer but I could and have happily used linux it works with more hardware, far lighter on resources and its pretty darn stable.

Its when you venture out looking for applications to do things simpler is where it struggles. The linux os itself isn’t 100% at fault.

As for companies not using linux, I think its more fear and breaking away from trends and using a well known manufacturer. Because everything we do at work could easily be replaced with a linux desktop. But no one would want to put their neck on the line to push away.

 
 
#3
Toby
April 16th, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I personally believe it’s that when the shit hits the fan, there’s no one organization responsible for Linux. Companies need accountability from the organizations that supply the backbone of their information systems.

 
 
#4
Matt Moldvan
July 26th, 2010 at 6:59 am

Re: Motivation
First, I take issue with your assertion that Linux is attempting to “unseat” Microsoft or Apple in the OS market. Certain for-profit companies may have this goal (Google, etc.), but open source in general is not by definition about unseating anything. It is about open standards, community driven software development, and in general providing quality code to the world at large. This, while allowing profit to be a by-product of that effort.

I mentioned Google. If you’re looking for a “sexy” Linux, have a look at any recent phone with Android at it’s core. Google’s recent acquisition of Bumptop is a good indication that they plan to make a “sexy” iPad-like device in the near future.

Re: Sexiness
I do agree that most people just want their OS to “work” and don’t care about tinkering with it. Maybe your argument is that Linux isn’t “sexy” out of the box. While Windows 7 does look good immediately after first install, good luck adding anything to it without paying more and more as you go along.

Gnome, in my opinion, has never been all that pleasing to the eye (although Ubuntu 10.04 looks good). Pick up any recent distribution of KDE (4.0+) and you will see a world of difference and customizability.

http://kuartetdesktop.sourceforge.net/images/screenshots/current/default1.jpg
http://boogiestu.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/kubuntu_kde4_01.png
http://blog.trollgod.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/kde42_-_desktop4.png
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_R4XrRuDZwiE/SlldC1d5XdI/AAAAAAAAANs/DaHaQ15cwxs/s400/kde4.3_desktop1
http://thomascomputerrepair.com/images/desktop_kde4_2.jpg

But you know what the even more beautiful part of any Linux distribution is? If you don’t like KDE, or it takes up too much resources, simply install a different desktop environment, and boom, you’ve got a totally different desktop experience.

Re: Accountability
In organizations that need accountability (such as the defense contractor my employer contracts to), they can have easily by choosing one of the major players in Linux distributions. We install Red Hat Linux on both servers and 150+ workstations, and have no problem passing all Federal inspections and receiving support from Red Hat. So, while your argument that no _one_ organization is responsible for Linux is factually correct, it’s soft because once an organization does choose a major Linux distribution for their environment the can have all the support they want (see Oracle, IBM, Novell, Red Hat, etc).

In my opinion (and that of many expert software engineers), is that the bazaar* model in which many people throughout the world contribute and develop an open source system, is much more beneficial to the community and the world at large than having one monolithic organization fix issues as it is profitable to them. In case the link doesn’t come through, see RSAnimate on Youtube, specifically the video called “Drive”. Skip to 7:11 for the information relevant to my point.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc

* – Also see The Cathedral and the Bazaar, 1-56592-724-9.

 
 
#5
tjl
July 26th, 2010 at 9:37 am

That’s B.S. Everybody who has seen compiz fusion knows linux is sexy. And what about android. Linux’s problem is that know one knows what the hell it is

 
 
#6
Matt Moldvan
July 26th, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Also, have a look at the page below, many more great customizations of even Gnome. :)

http://www.techdrivein.com/2010/04/15-stunning-linux-desktop.html

 
 
#7
Rex Alfie Lee
July 27th, 2010 at 9:16 am

Well, and Tech Radar are the bees knees indeed! Who, indeed are Tech Radar so that I can let them know how misinformed they really are. Just another bunch of Microsoft-ies I guess or are they Mac-hooligans? Not that it matters. I’ve never seen their work nor have I heard of them.

They must be really BIGGGGG!

 
 
#8
Luster
July 28th, 2010 at 6:59 pm

I like Ubuntu. It doesn’t care whether you think it’s sexy or not. It’s FREE. You can actually get things done on it too. Photo editing, microsoft docs in OpenOffice, e-mail, web surfing.
Did you know you can actually customize it without having Apple or Microsoft’s help?

Go ahead, break the bank on the other stuff.

 
 
#9
anon
February 14th, 2011 at 2:48 pm

typical mac fanboy ignorant mentality. won’t use it because it doesn’t have branding and isn’t shiny. Never ceases to amaze me.

Oh well, go pay $599 for your ipad so you can pay, again, for the same apps you have on your iphone.

 
 
#10
Tal Morrison
October 5th, 2011 at 7:30 am

I wasn’t aware that an Operating System needs sex appeal?

 

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