* (Linux is a term I chose to use. Please don't start with me philosophy debates regarding naming conventions. Besides, I'm sure everyone who reads this will understand).
I'd like to challange a little the Linux community. In all recent press, me, my friends and many other people I know are reading about Linux all sorts of information. There's one article talking about winning some deal, where Linux shines and outperfomes Windows. There's another, where we finally "Get the facts" where Windows gets the win hands down. And then there are more, where Mac is better than Windows and Linux is better than Mac, etc...
This, of course, is an endless list of PR (public relations) and other commercial stuff. (Yes, I said Linux and commerce in one sentence, and I meant it so). Each vendor shows all the cases he wins over his competitors and we know that.
But here's the thing. I'm sure it happens all over the net, but I mainly read Unix/Linux news and not Windows ones. I'd say, that in an average day I see the same number of those messages from public press on all three major operating systems. Even more than that, news about less known ones like *BSD, Solaris, etc are also pretty much at the same level.
Here what I'm trying to say: with regard to my own field of expertise, I'm saying that all 3 operating systems (and even few more) are valuable and existing choices, all offer the same features and all can do the job. Customer chooses the solutions to his/her likings and he's happy.
Let me elaborate on this.
All ... operating systems... are valuable choices. What I mean by this, is that when I as customer am coming to a vendor, and explain to him my problem, I at least expect that I will get all the possible solutions. In almost all cases (except in OS-specific problems) I want him to provide me with Windows choice. Not that I think it is the best choice (it may not be), but because I like choice. It makes me feel better and more comfortable. And also, I'm saying that all operating systems today offer similar features, so I can solve almost anything in any of them.
With all this, I come to main point. We often talk about how Linux is ready (or not), it's on Desktop (I even wrote a piece about that as well), or on server, and how its better than Windows because ....... (fill in your favorite), and how its more open than MacOS, etc. What I'm saying, its this:
Linux is ( and already for some time) ready.It's ready for Desktops. Ready for servers. Ready for embedded. Ready for everything.
Ready for competition.
I'm saying its ready, because the community is ready. Customers are ready.
Linux stake in OS business is ~3%, and this serves (surprisingly or not) as the reason for many people to ignore it. Well, too bad. Apple has the same share, but it is hardly ignored. Solaris has probably even less, but no one ignores Sun.
So, I'm calling to a Linux developers out there (and application developers): stop worrying. Keep going. You're doing a great job. Your product is better than other ones. Keep doing what you do, because the fruits of your labor are being used by millions and this number will only keep growing. I'm handing off my hat to all of you.
There's no point in bashing other operating systems. Linux holds its place. It will get even better. But competition is good for us. It keeps us all in shape and prepared. It makes us go over the edge. It makes us think.
And want to know what is the best thing of all? The community. It will overgrow companies. That's why Linux (and other open OSes, and applications) will thrive.
Linux is ready. Welcome to Linux state.