7 reasons why Linux is a desktop flop

Free is a misnomer

Microsoft Windows licenses are typically bundled in with the purchase price of new computers -- switching to Linux doesn't usually offer that much of a savings. Plus, Windows operating systems are supported for ten years. Linux support costs extra. (Read the story version, why Linux is a desktop flop.)

Related: 10 great illustrations of Linux humor

The oddest places to find Linux

You don’t need Linux to run free software

Most of the big savings are in software licenses -- but open source software will run on Windows too, if it works for your company.

Linux business apps are limited

Most popular business software isn't available for Linux on the desktop. Where there are open source alternatives, they're not fully compatible, and don't offer all the functionality of the commercial versions.

Legacy code requires Windows

Many companies are now writing their applications to run in the browser. But many legacy systems require a Windows desktop. Upgrading them all can be quite costly and time consuming.

Centralized management is lacking

Windows desktops are designed with enterprises in mind -- there are plenty of centralized management tools, and IT departments can lock down and control user desktops to a high degree. That's not the case with Linux.


Have a new printer, monitor, or other device? It probably comes with an up-to-date Windows driver. The open source community will eventually create a Linux-compatible driver for the device, if the device is popular enough -- but it can take months.

Training and support

Employees are used to working with Windows, or Macs, at school, at home, and at their previous jobs. Teaching them to use Linux and the alternative open source applications takes time, and can be a hit to their productivity.

Related: 10 great illustrations of Linux humor

The oddest places to find Linux