Linux desktop is now on 1.5% of all desktops. That sounds small but that is consider this, the sell millions of computers every month. Those computers don’t just go away but some stick around for many years while others only a couple of years. There are roughly 10 billion computers out there in use today.
1% is 100 million. That is not pocket change. And the number of Linux systems is poorly constrained. In the server market they are the one to beat, with over half of the servers in use today running Linux.
But people aren’t so likely to use linux on the desktop as they are in servers because the people who own/maintain those servers are more likely to know about Linux and what it can do. The problem with people not having Linux is more that they don’t know they have the choice.
Linux can do everything that Windows can do and do it better. A new version of Linux doesn’t mean buying a new computer and upgrades/updates are so much less painful. OK some games don’t run on Linux, but many do and there is always wine if you need it.
And Linux allows you to be more flexible, with different choices for almost everything. While at the same time as other platforms are getting more closed than ever, both source wise but also in the way you can add new software Linux is much better for people who want to be creative or protect their rights and speech. And then there is the security thing.
But Linux does expect you to learn something. Learn that you have a choice and that the choice. So if you have never heard of Linux please ask, someone, and learn about choice and your right to make it. If you know about Linux but never tried it download a Linux bootable CD and reboot into Linux. There are a bunch of them out there, Ubuntu is a good one or Puppy if you have older hardware. These bootable cds don’t install it on your computer but run in memory and do nothing to your hard drive unless you tell them to. They are a safe way to introduce yourself to choice.
And choice is what open source is all about. You have the right to learn and chose. You may chose to change to Linux or say with Windows or Mac or you may run both either multiboot, where you start your computer and it asks you which to run or at the same time on the same system using what is known as virtual machines. Your system runs a base OS, any OS, Windows Linux or Mac or many of the other OSs and then run another OS in a window. SO you can run programs for both OSs at the same time.
Anyway try it. And if you already use Linux show your friends, show them what you can do and what they are missing and get the word out that there is choice. Isn’t choice what freedom is all about?