Bonum Certa Men Certa

Year of the GNU/Linux Desktop (or Laptop)



Summary: More adoptions of Chromebooks and new state-wide migrations to GNU/Linux show a trend which many have predicted for 2014

ACCORDING to new numbers from ABI Research [1,2], Chromebooks (running GNU/Linux) are really taking off as companies like Samsung [3] (Korea), Asus [4] (Taiwan) and Acer [5] (Taiwan) really ride the wave and abandon a history of Windows exclusivity on laptops. Robert Pogson calls Chromebooks the "New Thin Client" [6] because they rely on remotely-hosted services (and to a lesser degree remotely-hosted storage as well). Muktware says that Chromebooks prove "you don’t need Windows any more" [7] and now that Windows XP is being abandoned by Microsoft it is probably time to move on and leap towards freedom. Another state in India has reportedly just decided to dump Windows for GNU/Linux [8,9,10].



Citing sales of Chromebook, one editor at IDG chose the silly headline "Will 2019 be the year of the Linux desktop?"

That's nonsense. GNU/Linux on the desktops (or laptops) has already hit key milestones and it may soon become a dominant force, even within a year or less. Chromebooks themselves run GNU/Linux, but it's not just them that count. China is reportedly moving to GNU/Linux as well.

A lot of people have been recommending Mint as a substitute for Windows XP as of late [11-13] and they may be right, based on familiarity arguments [14].

Related/contextual items from the news:
  1. ABI Research states Chromebook shipments reach 2.1 million for 2013
    In AB Research's latest study of ultrabooks and netbooks, which is where the company places Chromebooks, it found that "An estimated 2.1 million Chromebooks shipped in 2013 with nearly 89 percent of total shipments reaching North America. As Chromebook shipments expand globally, ABI Research forecasts an increase of annual growth rate to 28 percent and reach 11 million shipments in 2019."
  2. Huge Chromebook sales growth. Will 2019 be the year of the Linux desktop?


  3. Samsung's Higher End Models Signal More Focus on Chromebooks
    There has been significant news from Samsung on the Chromebook front recently, and some observers are wondering if the company is going to concentrate on Chromebooks in an exclusive way. The company introduced the Chromebook 2 earlier this month. It has a faux leather back and comes in two sizes -- an 11.6-inch and a 13.3-inch model. The 13.3-inch model has a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080. Samsung's existing Chromebooks have been very popular and the Chromebook 2 is also going to make its debut in the U.K. shortly.


  4. Review: Asus crafts a tiny $179 Chromebox out of cheap, low-power parts
    We like mini desktops around these parts, but one thing that makes them less than ideal for every use case is that their price tag usually isn't very mini. By the time you buy something like Intel's NUC and stuff it full of all the parts it needs, you'll end up spending somewhere in between $400 and $700, depending on the kit, parts, and operating system you decide to use.


  5. This Acer Chromebook had me at hello
    I have to admit that I didn't expect much from a $300 touch-screen Chromebook, but from the second I pulled the Acer C720P out of the box I was comfortable with it.
  6. Chromebooks: The New Thin CLient?
    I have long been an advocate of GNU/Linux thin clients for efficient IT.“Her complaints have come down to zero ever since she switched to Chromebooks. So something is working right for her. So what does she do? Most of her computing is online. She checks her Facebook, all the time. She video chats with friends, she works on her office documents and spreadsheets. She watches Netflix and plays some games. She listens to music and does almost everything else that most of us do these days.

    If these are also the things that you do, then you are a Chromebook user.” The difficulty of setting up the terminal server(s) has held that technology up a bit and there is a bit of difficulty getting multimedia to work. Then along came the Chromebook. The Chromebook does it all for the ordinary user and just setting up an account with Google does the rest.
  7. What are Chromebooks? And why you don’t need Windows any more
    The central part of Chromebook is the operating system that powers it. Hardware wise, it’s the same hardware that runs Microsoft’s Windows or Apple’s Mac. It’s the OS which separates it from the rest. Chrome OS uses the Linux kernel, the same kernel which is being used by Android, Amazon Kindle, B&N’s Nook. Linux powers stock exchanges, NASA’s missions and a lot of other things that you may not have imagined. More or less Linux is like the plastic of the modern world – it’s everywhere. Before we go into details, let’s quickly explain what is a kernel as people get scared the moment they hear the world Linux.


  8. India moving to GNU/Linux as XP support runs out
  9. Indian state drops Windows, switches to Linux
    Their reasoning is said to be that the hardware updates required to run Windows 8 would be too expensive to take place on a large scale. Of course, Microsoft had been expecting this recently, and have been working on an upgrade that would reduce the system requirements. Still, this doesn’t make up for all of the trouble caused by the change of the interface.


  10. Tamil Nadu State of India Pushes GNU/Linux To Replace XP


  11. How to Move On After Windows XP Without Giving Up Your PC
    If you're fed up with Windows entirely, or you don't feel like spending money on a new Windows license, now might be a great time to consider switching to Linux. There are a number of distributions that are new-user friendly, and if you're worried that living in the Linux world means you're doomed to memorizing terminal commands and dealing with unhelpful communities when troubleshooting, don't be. Finding Linux help is easy these days, and many of the communities around some of the more newbie-friendly distributions are rather welcoming. Best of all, Linux is free, and you can't beat that.


  12. Is Linux Mint the best distro to replace Windows XP?
    Windows XP users are in a tough situation as that operating system draws close to its end of life. But there are many alternatives to Windows XP, and ZDNet thinks that Linux Mint might a very good one indeed.


  13. Why Linux Mint is a worthwhile Windows XP replacement
    First, Mint's Cinnamon interface can be set to look and act a lot like XP. Yes, you'll have a learning curve, but it's nothing like the one you'll face if you move to Windows 8 or Mac OS.
  14. Windows XP and Linux Mint: Brothers at the interface (Gallery)


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