'"2021 Is the Year of Linux on the Desktop," writes PC Magazine. "No,
Walk into any school now, and you'll see millions of Linux machines.
They're called Chromebooks. For a free project launched 30 years ago
today by one man in his spare time, it's an amazing feat.... Linux
found its real niche — not as a political statement about "free
software," but as a practical way to enable capable, low-cost machines
Chrome OS and Android are both based on the Linux kernel. They don't
have the extra GNU software that distributions like Ubuntu have, but
they're descended from Linus Torvalds' original work. Chromebooks are
the fastest growing segment of the traditional PC market, according to
Canalys. IDC points out that Canalys' estimates of 12 million
Chromebooks shipped in Q1 2021 are only a fraction of the 63 million
notebooks sold that quarter, but once again, they're where the growth
is. Much of that is driven by schools, where Chromebooks dominate now.
Schoolkids don't generally need a million apps' worth of generic
computing power. They need inexpensive, rugged ways to log into Google
Classroom. Linux came to the rescue, enabling cheap, light,
easy-to-manage PCs that don't have the Swiss Army Knife cruft of
Windows or the premium price of Macs...
One great thing about open-source hacker projects is that they can be
taken in unexpected directions. Linux isn't controlled, so it can
adapt, Darwinian-style. It was a little scurrying mammal in the time
of the dinosaurs, and then the mobile-computing asteroid hit. Linux
could evolve. Windows couldn't. When you're building something that
fits in your hand and has to sip battery, you can't just keep throwing
processors and storage at it. Microsoft had a tough time adapting its
monstrous megakernel OS to the new, tiny world. But *nix platforms
thrive there: Android (based on Linux) and iOS.
"Android and Chrome water down the Linux philosophy," the article
argues, "but they are Linux..."
Does this make any long-time geeks feel vindicated? In the original
submission wiredog (Slashdot reader #43,288) looks back to 1995,
remembering that "my first Linux was RedHat 2.0 in the beige box,
running the 0.95(?) kernel and the F Virtual Window Manager...
"It came with 2 books, a CD, and a boot floppy disk."'
-- source: https://linux.slashdot.org/story/21/09/18/0050255
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