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After a long journey, the open source community’s preferred Linux OS has achieved a 3% desktop market share. In the three decade long journey it has struggled to keep up with the popularity of other regularly used operating systems such as Apple’s macOS, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows.
One of the reasons behind its rising user base is its strong presence in high performance computing has made it the go-to choice for AI/ML experts. Linux’s appeal lies in its robust compatibility with a plethora of high performance libraries, strategically designed to cater to the demands of the ML software stack. In contrast, Windows support for these libraries tends to be inconsistent, and in some cases, non-existent. Notably, even NVIDIA, a key player in the field, falls short of providing comprehensive Windows support for certain libraries.
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According to StatCounter’s data, by June 2023, the operating system has achieved a 3% desktop market share. While the program is lauded in the server market it has majorly struggled to make a mark in the desktop market. The program not backed by a big tech company is one of the major reasons for its stagnant user base. Microsoft, Apple, and Google backed systems bring in a whole specialist marketing team to the equation that helps them gain large chunks of the market share which is not the case for Linux.
Secondly, industry standard software such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Sheets and so on are likely to be unavailable on the system. Besides, more Linux users advocate the use of open-source software and are less likely to purchase apps.
Lastly, the biggest obstacle is the presence of a toxic community within the ecosystem. The presence of a toxic community within the ecosystem. The Linux power user base has developed a reputation for responding to newcomers with the dismissive phrase ‘RTFM,’ which bluntly suggests they should “Read the F***ing Manual.” This derogatory retort is often hurled at individuals seeking assistance with fundamental inquiries about the operating system. Regrettably, this discouraging behaviour has created an unwelcoming atmosphere for those attempting to familiarise themselves with Linux.