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Re: possibility of debian "cannabilizing" other Linux distributions ...

On Sun, Jun 26, 2005 at 06:42:23PM +1200, Dominik Margraf wrote:
> Hi!
> Now Linux is effectively "cannabilizing" the Unix market due to its
> lower cost of acquision and open source status which offers
> transparency and security.  However will the ease of upgrade,
> versatility, security, free and non-commercial nature of Debian
> together with its dramatic improvements of both the functional
> maturity and user-friendliness (highlighted by Sarge) push Debian to
> "cannabilize" other Linux distributions, such as Redhat, Mandriva and
> especially other Debian-based distribution such as Xandros and Ubuntu
> (after Debian speeds up its release cycle and catches up the most
> modern Linux features and supports the most modern hardwares and
> assimilate these debian-based distributions back to Debian) within
> 5-10 years time?
> 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
> Linux?
> 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)?

This is a fun topic to knosh, but most discussions presume that market
dominance is important to the survival of a distribution. Debian seems
to have a stable and slowly growing population of supporters. To me,
the important feature of Debian is that it is the place where a person
can get started on learning how to control ones own computing environment.
For this reason alone, it will survive and flourish. Specialize, locked-
down distributions also have a future, but theirs depends on sys-admins
of varying degrees of technical competence choosing it for their
friends and relatives. Debian's future is with really sensible sys-admins
who chose it for their own computers. This will always be a niche market,
but a niche market that will never shrink to the point of being unsustainable.

If advocates of market dominance infiltrate and subvert Debian, the real
Debian target audience will move away and coalesce around some other name,
and it will be obvious that such has happened.

Concerning Debian displacing Windoze. I think there will always be a market for
software targeted at business people who feel that they must pay top dollar
because the price they pay for a thing is their only assurance that it
is a quality product. 

What might be a problem for Debian is software patents. Patent law is full
of bad decisions and is getting worse.

But on OP's main point. Dominance will come, or not, for reasons that have
nothing to do with quality, IMHO. 

Paul E Condon           

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