GNOME Co-Founder Disses Linux

by Ostatic Staff - Mar. 12, 2013

The web is now abuzz with "man overoard" posts in the wake of Miguel de Icaza's very public announcement that he has ditched desktop Linux in favor of Apple's Mac platform. "I purchased a Mac laptop and, while I fully intended to keep using Linux, the dogfooding driver was no longer there," writes de Icaza. "To me, the fragmentation of Linux as a platform, the multiple incompatible distros, and the incompatibilities across versions of the same distro were my Three Mile Island/Chernobyl."

Wow, Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. While de Icaza has lots of open source cred as co-founder of GNOME, his post goes a little overboard.

According to de Icaza:

"Without noticing, I stopped turning on the screen for my Linux machine during 2012. By the time I moved to a new apartment in October of 2012, I did not even bother plugging the machine back and to this date, I have yet to turn it on."

"Even during all of my dogfooding and Linux advocacy days, whenever I had to recommend recommended a computer to a single new user, I recommended a Mac. And whenever I gave away computer gifts to friends and family, it was always a Mac. Linux just never managed to cross the desktop chasm."

For many of us, the Linux distros that we rely on are quite dependable. At the recent Pwn2Own hacking festival, Chrome OS--based on Linux--was the only operating system that couldn't be cracked by expert hackers. I never face security threats when using my favorite Linux distros, but I constantly worry about them when using other platforms. 

Also, for lots of users, Linux opens up a whole world of useful applications that aren't available for the Mac or Windows. In some cases, that's the reason that many users use Linux alongside other operating systems.

Linux is not a fail on the desktop, and it also is a barnstorming success off the desktop. Look at its presence in servers, or the success of Android and the promise of upcoming Ubuntu phones.

Do you think Linux has failed on the desktop?