The Next Leap for Linux

It’s great to see an article like this in a publication like the New York Times. It’s a fairly accurate assessment of the current mainstream status of Linux. The conclusion:

After using the operating system for writing, Web surfing, graphic editing, movie watching and a few other tasks, it is easy to conclude that Linux can be an alternative to the major operating systems. But since common tasks like watching a movie or syncing an iPod require hunting for and installing extra software, Linux is best for technically savvy users or for people whose needs are so basic that they will never need anything other than the bundled software.

However, trying Linux — especially if you boot it from a CD — is a great way to find out what a lot of open-source adherents are so excited about.

It’s no longer a question of when Linux will become mainstream. It is mainstream. It’s been for a little while now. That the Times is publishing it in this way just reiterates what those of us in the community already knew. How long will it take for the remaining holdout application vendors to port their apps? That’s the real question, but I’d guess it’s coming fairly soon. It’s one of those critical mass things – once it starts it’s going to happen quickly.


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