Jumat, 08 April 2011

Internet Explorer 6 is Holding Back the Linux Desktop

The Linux kernel just turned twenty and according to Jim Zemlin (Linux Foundation Executive Director) bashing on Microsoft at this point is like "Kicking a puppy". His logic behind this statement is that Linux has dominated Microsoft in most all areas - including server side and mobile. I agree with this statement (and as should you because there are lots of cold hard numbers to back this information up). One thing I do not agree with Zemlin on however is that

"traditional PC desktop is becoming less important"

If Microsoft is a puppy, then it is one that has eaten all the desert in the house. Sure Linux is getting what it needs at dinner time, but having desert afterwards would really sweeten the deal.

Traditional desktop PCs are no longer our only source of access to the world wide web and other applications, but these other devices are still not coming close to fully replacing the experience of having a decent size screen, with a keyboard and a mouse for navigation.

Now, with Linux having been so successful everywhere else, why is it still failing to over take on the desktop? Well I have a theory and as you may have guessed from the title of the post, I placing the blame here squarely on the shoulders of Internet Explorer 6.
Or well, more directly on those that still use Internet Explorder 6. Did you know according to W3Counter as of last month (March 2011) 3.2% of users online are still using Internet Explorer 6 as their webrowser? Beyond this over 9% of users are still using Internet Explorer 7 and right about 40% of users are estimated to be using Windows XP. Now while you can argue over the exact statistics for days - that is not my goal in sharing them. Regardless of how much (or little) any of the above technologies are being used, the fact that they register a percent at all means they are being used by millions of people still.

Now one could argue that Windows XP and older versions of Internet Explorer might still be used because they are good software. I believe this is not the case though. Over the years there have been countless bugs encountered in theses pieces of software and yet still they persist. Why you ask? Simple:

Resistance to change.

There is no reason, other than fear of change, to be using a browser or operating system in 2011 that was created over a decade ago (unless of course it is on a server that has over a decade's worth of uptime). It amazes me how many times I've setup Firefox or Google Chrome on a friend's computer only to return later to find out they have foobared something because they fell back into using Internet Explorer after I left (most often times simply because they liked the blue E). Once most people are set in their ways it is hard to get them to change - no matter how subtle that change may be.

What do you think - am I on target here or way missing the mark? Why does Linux do so well everywhere else, but continue to fall on it's face when it comes to desktop computers?

~Jeff Hoogland

Tidak ada komentar:

Posting Komentar