Linux is poised to win big market share on the desktop with Google Android Linux. The proof is the spectacular success of Android smartphones in the market place where it has passed Apple in the latest quarterly sales numbers. There is a tidal wave of Android and Chrome Os[ also based on Linux] devices coming to market over the next year. Certainly a few of these machines will be designed with robust docking stations to create the DOCking personal computer which is guaranteed to be a big hit in school and business settings. Now the only question is how big a chunk of the PC market Google Android Linux will take. Here is our plus and minus assessment:
+++if two or more vendors deliver an Android tablet with strong docking station and connections to mouse, keyboard, external SSD drive etc;
++if the above happens the excellent Ubuntu and Xandros Linux distributions will gain credence for ease of use, price, security, reliability and very good UI delivery;
++if one or more vendors delivers an Android tablet with 8-10 inch display with high resolution screen = 250DPI or better and keyboard plus USB3 docking connections;
++if Apple continues to delay Mac multi-touch screen machines and supplies only barebones iPad docking station;
++if Android continues rapid delivery of new features to the Android OS;
—if no Android or Chrome OS vendor delivers a good docking station and Display Only Computer that is detachable, portable, multi-touch, and has full working day [8 hours between battery charges];
–the Oracle suit against Google for misuse of Java patents in Android becomes nasty;
-if the WebOs/Palm tablets from HP are a resounding success in early 2011;
-if Microsoft ever gets its smartphone and desktop OS plans coordinated.
Linux on the desktop has made sense for a longtime on a number of performance factors. Now it has both the legitimacy and development power of Google on its side plus a host of harware suppliers keen on expanding their market share. And what Linux has to offer are key in the rapidly evolving personal gadget/computing market:
1)much more efficiency requiring a fraction of the memory and diskspace required by either Windows or MacOS;
2)uses less CPU and memory making long battery life easier to attain;
3)much more reliable with less crashes nor the slow degradation of performance so debilitating in Windows;
4)fewer security problems with often faster patch times;
5)solid GUI capabilities both on desktop and in available Web Browsers;
6)solid set of drivers to peripherals relieved by the new WiFi driven connectors, etc.
As well, Linux distributors are starting to recognize they can make money by delivering great server side bulk administration services for their organizational customers. Android Linux will not replace PCs [too much good native software and inherent recalcitrance ] but likely will gain Apple Mac sized marketshare [about 7%] first and then watch out.