Linux Looses Internet in Microsoft to Rival Apple

Microsoft still dominates the desktop but Linux is succeeding on the formats that matter, according to Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin.

While he admitted Linux's failure to take much share of the desktop market was "disappointing to many", Zemlin said the tech world had evolved so much that Microsoft was no longer Linux's biggest challenger.

"I think we just don't care that much [about Microsoft] anymore," Zemlin told Network World. "They used to be our big rival, but now it's kind of like kicking a puppy."

While Microsoft remnains the market leader on desktops and laptops, Zemlin believes smartphones and tablets are more important formats.

"Today people use smartphones more, in many ways, than they may use their traditional PC," Zemlin said. "In that case, Linux really does have dominant market share through things like Android or other versions of Linux that are out there in the mobile space."

Indeed, Zemlin sees Apple as more of a rival to Linux, as Google's Android attempts to compete with the iPad and iPhone.

"Apple is your worst enemy and your best friend if you're an open-source guy," Zemlin said. "Apple in many ways has done a lot of good things for open source and for Linux. It changed the definition of what client computing is. That has been good for Linux.

"Apple also has a lot of open-source components within its products and tends to work very well, in some cases, with the open-source community. But I'm not going to argue that it doesn't have a very closed system as well."

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