The Future of Linux Pt 1 [Guest Post]

First in a series of guest posts sparked by a discussion over at the Hampshire Linux User Group. This turned out to be the best argued thread that we've had in some time, and worth wider reading. So here is the question which started it from Ally Biggs.

Do you guys ever think there will be a day that Linux will be as popular as Windows in the desktop market?

Personally I can't see this happening anytime soon. This isn't a personal attack on Linux just want to get some thoughts and inspiration.

I use both Windows and Linux have a strong interest in both but currently am having a tug of war with my thought patterns career wise. The majority of my thoughts are saying focus on learning Linux starting with Linux+ with the eventual aim of going for the RHCSE. The other half is saying go down the Microsoft route taking a client exam and going for the server 2012 admin certs.

Has anyone been in a similar situation?

I would say that I enjoy Linux more the whole Open source ethos, I actually feel like I am learning when using the Command Line Interface as opposed to clicking my way through the GUI in Windows.

Making the transition from Windows to Linux was challenging initially I probably will continue to learn Linux (Redhat, Debian) for server related tasks and use Win 7 for client tasks.

The thing which bothers me though about Linux ok it's free and if you have the skills you can do great things but why isn't it being adopted more for everyday use. Also why don't the developers standardise a distribution for the home user i.e. same package manager and packages.

The problem with desktop Linux I think is when the **** hits the fan and something needs to be configured or a driver needs to be added your average user isn't going to want to sit typing commands in a terminal or spending hours finding the solution into a community.

The other problem I found is the community a lot of people expect you to be some kind of command line genius who is capable of reciting the whole encyclopaedia of man pages. So when you ask for help or guidance you often get a dismissive response.

Documentation is horrendous as well especially if you are making the transition from Windows. Pick up a starting to learn Linux book and a couple of pages in you end up with the worlds worst headache.

So how did you guys learn Linux?

Has anyone else made the transition from Windows? Or what are the key areas to focus on to develop a good foundation. Need some inspiration if I go down the Linux route would I be missing out on much?

Please help me resolve the tug of war it is driving me mad :) AB