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2009 will be the year of Linux

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2009 will be the year of Linux

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Honest. At least, that's what Jim Zemlin thinks. And he should know, because he is an executive director at... oh, the Linux Foundation. Mmmh.

The resilience of Linux advocates never ceases to surprise me. I think that nothing short of the sun going super nova will make them stop believing that Linux will ever become mainstream.

This article hits a new high, though, because the rationale behind this prediction is a new system that allows Linux systems to boot in just a few seconds. And just based on this wonderful technology, Jim predicts that Linux will ship more desktops than Windows in 2009.

I really wonder if I live on the same planet.

Regardless of the mathematical impossibility of such a prediction just based on market share alone (not helped by the fact that Wal Mart recently announced it would stop selling Linux computers), the claim that boot times are so important is just plain absurd. Most computers simply go to sleep or hibernate when users turn them off, and from my experience, Windows, Vista and Mac OS turn back on in less than ten seconds in these conditions. Ironically, Linux laptops are still struggling with the concept of hibernation, so it's quite possible that Linux users shut their machine off completely much more often than Windows and Mac users do, which would explain why boot times are so important to them.

Linux users turning off their machines all the time... Anybody else seeing the irony in that?

But the absurdity doesn't stop here.

A recent article in the New York Times makes a similar claim, saying that 30 seconds to boot are 29 too many. I couldn't help but chuckle at the following:

Better, but what I want is a machine that’s ready in about a second, just like my smartphone.
One second to boot a smart phone? Or even a regular phone? I don't think so. The fastest boots I have seen in any kind of phones usually take in the 10-15 seconds to boot (and much longer for more recent smart phones, ironically).

Maybe the author was talking about a phone that's already running, then? Of course, in this case, you can indeed flip your phone open or wake it up with a gesture, none of which will take more than one or two seconds. But we are now talking about waking up a device from hibernation or stand by, so let's apply this comparison fairly, shall we? Admittedly, phones still beat computers in time-to-wake-up, but we are really comparing 2 seconds and 5 here, which is no cause for stopping the presses, although it was apparently worthy of an article in the New York Times.

At least, the New York Times piece barely mentions Linux, so it's a little more credible than Jim Zemlin's self serving article, but if what I have read in the recent weeks is any indication, 2009 will be the year of Windows 7, not Linux.

From http://beust.com/weblog/

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