Crossing the Desktop Chasm

Back in the data center, the Linux operating system runs on a majority of my servers, but as Miguel de Icaza puts it,

Linux just never managed to cross the desktop chasm.

Even with others like myself attempting to adopt Linux full-time on the desktop, there are so many pain points that a normal user would be hard pressed to last 15 minutes on the platform before giving up. Miguel’s is yet another switcher story (YASS?) is a recent spate of them, but it struck a chord with me as I wrote about my experience as a Linux systems administrator in the Apple world yesterday.

Miguel’s Mac experience may have been influenced in part by the fact that he adopted the Mac full-time while on a relaxing trip to Brazil, but he continued to use a Mac afterward.

Computing-wise that three week vacation turned out to be very relaxing. Machine would suspend and resume without problem, WiFi just worked, audio did not stop working, I spend three weeks without having to recompile the kernel to adjust this or that, nor fighting the video drivers, or deal with the bizarre and random speed degradation that my ThinkPad suffered.

While I missed the comprehensive Linux toolchain and userland, I did not miss having to chase the proper package for my current version of Linux, or beg someone to package something. Binaries just worked.

There’s that marketing phrase again. “It just works.” Apple has a magnificent marketing group to drive the adoption of some marvelous products. What makes them different is that their products usually live up the the hype.