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Re: possibility of debian "cannabilizing" other Linux distributions in 5-10 years time

On 6/26/05, kamaraju kusumanchi <raju.mailinglists@gmail.com> wrote:
Dominik Margraf wrote:

>Also, the possible release of Etch in Q4 of 2006 (Do you think this
>timeframe is likely?) will coincide with the release of the M*Shit
>Longhorn and how much share of the Windows market can be snatched by
My personal opinion is that, as long as vendors ship their computers
with preinsalled Microsoft products, there will be users using them. The
sooner the vendors distribute pre-installed desktops/laptops, sooner
will be the cannibalization you are talking about. Actually, some
laptops are shipped with Debian installed. But their fraction is tiny.

 I see debian getting a foothold at the bottom before the top.  freegeek.org (where I have done some volunteering, and plan to do more) has already given away thousands of refurbished computers with debian installed on them.  Admittedly many of the people do the volunteer work to get their free computer, and then go, and install a M$ OS on it, but as debian improves the number of people sticking with it increases, and the evidence is in the number of people calling the tech support line.  (only the pre installed debian is supported).  Free geek hasn't been around all that long, but already people in other cities have copied the model.  So if you want to really promote debian this is a good way.  There are other examples like the cheapo PC's that Fry's sells with Linspire, and HP selling machines over seas with Ubuntu pre installed, but those aren't quite debian. 

>In 10-15 years time, Do you think that Debian will dominate the
>desktop and the server market to the extent that most desktops/laptops
>sold in department stores will be preinstalled with Debian (just like
>today's M*Shit Windows)?
I think it is the other way around. If the big companies like Dell,
Sony, Toshiba etc., distribute preinstalled Linux systems, then the
change will occur soon.

I think many admins respect debian already, but their managers may still be under the impression that debian is a "hobby distro".  Cannonical is helping to change this impression with their commercial support of an almost debian distro.  HP has already adopted it as I mentioned earlier.  Xandros is another debian derivative that has gained a lot of popularity.  At Fry's it filled the top shelf the last time I was there.  Linspire had half a shelf, and SuSe the bottom half of the section with all the rest filled in with other random distros.  So I would say that debian derivatives may already have a substantial foothold in the commercial sector.  Once people get used to them it won't be such a huge leap to go to debian. 

I don't know if debian itself will dominate, but I think in 10 years linux on the desktop is likely to be common place, and I think that a combination of debian, and debian derivatives are likely to have a significant share of the pie.  It is hard to say though.  A year ago who would have thought that ubuntu would spring out of no where, and in the course of a year be the most common distro on the desktops of grandparents, and significant others of geeks.  And all they did was provide funding for debian developers so that they could work on it full time, sell professional support contracts, provide helpful, and easy to use communication tools for new users, clean up the interface a little, speed up the release cycle, and ship free CDs.  I don't think any of these tasks are beyond the abilities of this community.  I think it is up the community whether debian becomes dominant or not.  If the debian community builds what people want, and need then, the the people only need to be convinced to try it, and they will stay. 

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