I just finished reading an interesting article on Linux Insider that asked the question, "Does Windows 8 Pose a Threat to Linux?" The TLTR version is Windows 8 does not pose a threat to Linux because Linux on the desktop would have to matter first.
Before you start going bat shit insane on me, let me first state that I love Linux, and use Linux 99.9% of the time in my daily life. That other .1% of the time that I have to use something like Windows is only to sync up a Garmin device I use on my bicycle, and even then it is a bad excuse to use Windows (I know I can’t sync but I can manually upload my .FIT files via Linux). As a developer of sorts, I prefer to use Linux and its amazing tools to get my job done and to keep my life going. Sure, it started out as a hobby for me back in the early 90’s, but has since turned into a way of life for me.
I have done development on a Windows machine, and 75% of the time I complained about the workflow and how the tools available for Windows did nothing more than get in the way. The other 25% of the time I went out to dinner while something was compiling or I was updating the machine. Sure, that last part had a bit of sarcasm, but damn it is fairly dead on. I am one of those who prefer to use Vim (back in the day it was Emacs) to do most of my development work. Sure, I could use those in Windows, but they aren’t great at doing Windows development. My workflow with Linux is so much simpler than it is in Windows, and especially Windows 8.
Why doesn’t it pose a threat you ask? Simple, Windows already has billions of people using it and Linux only has millions. There is no threat to Linux, I repeat, there is no threat to Linux. Have you used Windows 8? If so, you know there is probably no threat to Windows XP. Sure, it is cool on the surface, and it is only a developer’s preview, but still, there is enough going on that you can figure out the direction. I installed Windows 8 on my desktop to play around with it. Note the phrase, “play around with it“, as it is nothing more than a toy at this moment. My dad, a devout
christian Windows user, even a power user I guess you would say, played around with Windows 8 as well. His verdict was that there was no way in hell he would use it. Sure there is a lot of buzz out there about Windows 8, but my guess it is from people who haven’t used a Wii, saw a Windows Phone, played with Google TV, or used anything like Unity, Gnome Shell, or the KDE Plasma Netbook.
The one thing Windows 8 does brilliantly that has actually posed, not a threat, but more of a challenge to Linux, is the amount of time it takes to start. I put it on an older machine (3+ years old), and in 10 seconds it was up and running. Haven’t seen Linux do that yet. I know Canonical has been busy working on boot speed with Ubuntu, but it can’t even compare with Windows 8 at this time. Even if I put my Linux machine to sleep or hibernate, it can’t even boot up as fast as Windows 8.
So, not threat for Linux, and I doubt at threat for Windows XP, Windows 7, or Mac OS X users. One thing people need to remember is that Mac OS X users and Linux users are proud people, and use either of those for a reason, and a majority of that time the reason is because Windows sucks. OK, sucks is a harsh word, but you chose to use Linux or Mac OS X for some reason.
I am interested in hearing if you think it poses a threat to Linux, so go ahead, leave a comment below.