When we talk about web servers and supercomputers, the leading operating system in terms of usage share is Linux. However, on the desktop and mobile device categories, Linux is not so lucky.

Several sources put the Linux desktop market share at a mere 1%, which is lower than that of Mac OS X (6%). After all these years, Windows is still leading the pack with a dominant usage share of around 90%.

On the highly competitive area of mobile devices, the growth of Linux is faster than ever. Thanks to Android, it has gained enough usage share to beat Apple iOS and RIM. Although Symbian is currently at the top of the hill, it is not sitting comfortably there as Android or iOS is expected to dethrone it any time soon.

To all my fellow Linux advocates and enthusiasts, we have to accept the fact that “the year of the Linux desktop” will not be coming in the very near future. But I’m not saying that it would never come.

Although the Linux desktop is far from dead, a lot of things have to be done to keep it from being stagnant. It seems like Ubuntu is the only one that's been keeping the Linux desktop afloat. But Linux can't rely on a lifejacket for long. I think at the moment it needs a rocket booster that could help accelerate its growth. That rocket booster could be the upcoming Google Chrome OS.

Why Chrome OS?

Google has the resources for creating a high-quality Linux distribution. They also have a proven track record of making and releasing products that became extremely successful. In addition, Google is well respected and trusted by the PC industry, so getting support from different component makers and device vendors will be easy.

Some people are saying that a cloud-centric desktop operating system like Google Chrome OS will never have mass appeal and may just vanish into thin air. They might be true in the sense that most PC users are not yet prepared or are pessimistic about completely taking their data on the cloud. But I still think Chrome OS will succeed in the long run as it will constantly improve and in effect will gain trust.

When Android was unleashed in 2008, I did not expect it to become quickly popular. Back then, detractors were saying that it is bound to fail because it is a geeky OS just like Linux and that people will not even touch it. But look at it now. The growth of Android in terms of usage share is going at an amazing pace.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin said that Android and Chrome OS would likely converge over time. So imagine the possibilities of having a Linux-based PC that works hand-in-hand with all of your Linux-based mobile devices.

The future is bright for Linux, and Google Chrome and Android will help lead the way to world domination.

What do you think?

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