If Linux just did it would be ready for Prime Time

While surfing around looking for stories I came across this article on The ERACC Web Log.  The story is talking about how to many authors are writing articles about how Linux needs to just solve <insert thing that doesn't work to their expectation> and it will be ready for prime time.  He makes a lot of good points in the article about how very often these "issues" preventing Linux from taking over has little to do with the topics in most articles.

One of the next links I clicked on happen to be a great example of the problem he points out in a recent article found here on the Tom's Hardware Website.  The article is written by an ex-Microsfot Employee and converted closed source programmer by the name of Keith Curtis.  He thinks the reason Linux isn't ready for Prime Time becuase Linux is missing hardware drivers.  His real gripe is with the hardware makers not the linux community for most of the article.  What's obvious from the article is that he rarely, if ever, builds a system from scratch and then try to install Windows of any version on that machine.  If he did he would realize that the reality is that just because a driver is available doesn't mean it works as advertised.   

I recently purchased a new Dell computer for my wife.  When I went to add her new computer to our LAN the older Linksys Wireless G network card that I had in her previous computer was not recognized by Windows 7.  I had to login to a different computer and grab the Windows Vista driver, because there were no Windows 7 drivers.  This got the machine connected to the internet.  I solved the problem but had it been most of my non-technical friends and family they would have been unable to use the wireless network.  So since Cisco doesn't offer drivers for Windows 7 then why are we amazed when they don't offer them for Linux?  

No OS is perfect and the Linux is no exception.  People seem to be forgetting that companies like IBM, Sun and HP have spent more of their lives as companies running on proprietary hardware with almost no support for third party hardware.  They built successful and profitable Unix based products without good driver support from vendors.

Brian Wagner

Brian started working with *nix in while a student at Kent State University in the early 90's. In 1995, as an E-Mail Administrator for Caliber Technology (now part of Fedex) he was tasked with administering Sendmail on both Slackware Linux and Solaris Systems. His first home install of Linux was MkLinux DR1 in 1996 on his 60 Mhz PowerMac. Since then Brian has been working and consulting on Linux and it's uses in the Enterprise to support everything from E-Mail, Firewalls, Web and File serving to custom cluster solutions and grid solutions. Brian has had the opportunity to work in both Fortune 500 companies and small 2 person organizations. This has given him the unique insight into the differences every size business faces.