Practical Technology

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Why Google and Ubuntu don’t say “Linux”


The most popular  mobile operating system is Android. One of the most popular non-Windows operating systems is Canonical‘s Ubuntu. And, Google’s is really pushing its Chrome OS-powered Chromebooks in the retail market. What does all this have in common? Each operating system is based on Linux and neither Google nor Canonical is mentioning that fact.

That has some Linux fans upset. I’ve been getting mail from users who are ticked off that Linux isn’t getting mentioned more. It bugs me a bit too, but you know what? I understand exactly why Google and Canonical are doing this.

Think about it. If you’re a Linux user, what do you think of when you hear “Linux.” You think about stability, security, open-source, flexibility, power, and control. You probably also think about Tux, the Linux penguin.

But, now what do the 95% plus of the population who don’t use Linux directly think about it when they hear “Linux.” They think, hard-to-use, command-line, something that only a techie geek—and I don’t mean that in a fun Big Bang Theory kind of way—could use, never mind enjoy using.

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