Linux Technology

Why I Rather Want to See Linux Desktop Succeed

Linux Desktop looking better and better…maybe more so when Windows 8 is out.

Because Windows 8 is One Step Away from the Operating System…

Face it, Windows 8 is a mess. It mostly trying to push their agenda. (which Mac OS X in certainly guilty on some count of this) Those both platforms are trying to make PC into a jail, with scaled down interface on Windows, and now they are starting to lock down their system using Secure Boot feature and launch restriction.

Better Out of the Box Experience

If you grab a copy of Ubuntu (free, indeed!), you immediately have access to just about everything to get started. No need to buy another hundred (or two) bucks to get Office Suite; it’s already there, waiting for you to use it.

Better Accessibility

One thing Microsoft hasn’t address for over its lifetime is a biggest accessibility topics in the world. That’s language support.
Windows still don’t have language pack available as a standard feature. Yes, if you buy top of the line Ultimate edition, or the localized version; which is not readily available unless you live in the country that the language of your choice in use, you can have that feature. But that means, if you pay more than $200 when it should be basic accessibility feature. Ubuntu can be used in at least 40 languages without purchasing additional language pack, and Mac OS X ships with 28 languages. It’s 2012 and Windows still speaks only one language! (Granted unlike when it was era of Windows 95, at least you can display/input those languages, but full language integrations are not there unless you buy Ultimate edition, or localized version which is not usually available outside of a target region, let alone for consumers.)

Ubuntu Control Panel in Japanese
Ubuntu Control Panel in Japanese


Traditionally, Linux has been left out of the loop for many games. Not any more. Humblebundle, for example, periodically push out very nice games that works on Linux, and now Steam is developing for Linux, prospect is pretty good for games.

Unfortunately, despite effort of those parties, this probably remains weakest aspect of the Linux as viable operating system. After all, myself being in the industry, it would be actually quite difficult for me to push for development for Linux, let alone with smaller company. Nonetheless, it is nice to see there’s some additional efforts being put into this area. Hopefully people at Valve will constructing the way to Linux gaming. (Linux don’t have to dominate the market, it just need few 10%s. Just like a browser, having small, but substantial chunk of the share is enough to make sure it won’t be ignored.)

How about Mac OS X?

I actually use Mac OS X at my work, and it is quite pleasing system to use. It is probably most friendliest system that is well-supported yet allows access to Unix core. It insulate a lot complex part of Unix core and put really nice interface to it — users don’t have to worry about any Unix aspect of the system at all for general use. One thing I have been noticing while using Mac OS X is that it works very good if you are willing to stay within its eco-system. If you try to deviate out from it, then it start treating you bit harsher; it’s won’t be flexible as Linux.

After all…

If you know me, and especially if you know my past, I’m bit biased. Around 1996 my only computer was Linux box. Around that time, Microsoft vs. Linux was much more of heated debate, and in fact, I have yet to shed distrust I have developed against Microsoft during those susceptible years at the time. (only difference is that now I do use some Windows system — but still have 3 other systems that running Linux.)

It is ironic perhaps I’m a victim of my own success that I’m known around me for being troubleshoot most of general computer issues (including Microsoft product, ahem), and, I actually made some money doing that, but that’s not because I know the software, but rather I know general computing… and unfortunately, that’s not what a lot of people get it. Sometimes frustrating, but what can I say.

By Hideki Saito

In the video game industry for for more than 15 years. Currently working for Nintendo of America Inc. as a Localization Engineer, developing the translation solutions.