Known as “The Laughing Penguin” .. “Linux” struggles to survive in the face of “Windows” and “Android”


date of publication:
August 30, 2021 16:09 GMT

Update date: August 30, 2021 17:30 GMT

30 years have passed since the founding of the electronic operating system “Linux”, which had the lead in operating various digital servers in its first generations, even before the emergence of “Microsoft Windows” and “MAOS” and others, where “Linux” combined what Between exclusivity and technical progress at the time, and between the lack of cost, and then making it available free and free to various programmers and operators.

Millions around the world remember the shape of the famous “Linux” key icon, known as the “laughing penguin”, not to mention the desktop on personal computers years ago, when it was dominated by scarlet or blue colors and simple-designed icons.

As a global operating system, “Linux” has for many years been the founding father of operating systems, and the basis of many vital tools, from car navigation systems, television playback devices, and mobile devices to smartphones, but the only exception remains on desktop computers, where the system cannot Free to prove himself.


And the story of the global operating system “Linux”, which is used by almost everyone, and three decades ago was a major technical revolution, began with extremely low risks. Finnish student Linus Torvalds (later one of the most important developers and programmers around the world) wrote on August 25, 1991: “I I’m working on a (free) operating system, which is just a hobby, it’s not going to be big or professional.”

But what happened in the next thirty years was closer to a miracle, as it would not depend on “Linux” only about 80 percent of all smartphones, but the system would become a major and vital system that is present in almost every modern car and many other devices, even the spacecraft, which Exploring Mars, running “Linux”.

In contrast to commercial software platforms such as Microsoft Windows, Linux remained free to trade freely, and the fact that no licensing payments were due greatly boosted proliferation. Additionally, there were early technical key decisions by Truevalds and his team, which It later proved that it was a major decisive factor in the free spread of the “Linux” operating system, while the most prominent of these technical decisions were, for example, the installation of the Internet Protocol TCP / IP.

“Linux” was not immediately welcomed in its infancy, and it was inevitable that Torvalds and his colleagues dealt with fierce opposition from prominent scientists and experts, the most famous of which was the influential computer scientist “Andrew Tannenbaum”.

But the operating system survived, and with its skyrocketing proliferation, the big software companies freaked out. “Linux is a cancer that affects everything it touches in terms of intellectual property,” Steve Ballmer, the former head of Microsoft, said in an interview in 2001.


Ballmer was annoyed by the basic idea of ​​Linux-style free software, which was keen that the program’s source code should not be a trade secret, but should be available to all interested parties, and then others could improve and add to the code, making it available again. other to the community.

And it seems that Microsoft eventually succumbed, and under Ballmer’s successor, Satya Nadella, the company made an agreement with “Linux” to use it as an operating system for some cloud applications.

Software development “as open source” as with “Linux” is now a prerequisite for many complex software projects, this is how the Robert Koch Institute’s Corona Warning app was created for Germany to combat infectious and unknown diseases RKI, and the application was open source And under a free license.

However, Linux hasn’t made a breakthrough across the board and is now struggling hard for its survival. With the release of Android, the innovative operating system has dominated the mass market for smartphones.

Although most of the web servers in the network are also on “Linux”, but of all things with the platform for which “Linux” was invented 30 years ago, and specifically with normal desktop computers, the system plays a secondary role.

Analytics company Statcounter recently recorded a market share of about 2.4% for Linux, while Windows is installed on 73% of computers, and 1.2% can be added for Chromebooks with Chrome OS software from Google, which is also a version of Linux. He could be included in the latter’s camp.

And in the past few years, Apple was likely to threaten Microsoft’s dominance with mac OS. And now Apple’s software share in the market is currently 15.4%.

There are several reasons why “Linux” does not actually get a foothold in a personal computer (laptop): On the one hand, manufacturers such as Lenovo, Dell and HP do not offer their machines “blank”, that is, without an operating system, but rather install windows, servers, and icons. It is already operational, and here it is not clear to buyers how high the share of Windows in the purchase price of the hardware, because it is not shown separately.

For a long time, it was too complicated for ordinary technical people to install a “Linux” operating system, meanwhile, system distros like Ubuntu could be created and run with a few mouse clicks, but the system still had a reputation for being complex. There are no known applications for Windows or Mac users. Some of them do not even exist to this day but were superior to “Linux”, such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office programs, and many games.

But proponents of the “Linux” system point out that a number of programs for processing images, daily office tasks or games have been available for a long time, yet its owner Trovalds admitted in 2014 that it remains “too complicated” for programmers to make applications available for the “Linux” system, Because there is no single operating system, but rather many different system distributions.


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