How Windows 8 has opened up a Window for Linux World Domination

Earlier this year, Windows 8 was launched with great expectations. Microsoft banked on it to be a game-changer both for the tablet world as well as the desktop computer world. According to Redmond, the latest iteration of the most popular operating system in the world is a bridge between the tablet and the desktop. With a sleek, redesigned, and touch-friendly interface, Windows 8 was all set to become yet another milestone for Microsoft.

However, Steve Ballmer’s expectations were crushed when the early reviews didn’t turn out to be that good. Windows 8, along with its contentious Metro interface, was criticized for its lack of usability and confusing design. Many users posted videos of their friends and family having a hard time figuring out how to use the software. In fact, the dramatic departure from the familiar Start-button oriented user interface has irked many users.

So, what does this mean for Microsoft? Are their glory days over? But more than Microsoft, what does this mean for its desktop competitors like Linux, Mac OS X, and perhaps Google Chrome OS? Do they have a golden chance against the mighty giant? We don’t know about Mac OS X but Linux, well, it certainly does. In fact, it won’t be a mistake to say that Windows 8’s lukewarm reception is a great opportunity for Linux to make its presence felt. 

What’s wrong with Windows 8?

The most popular reason for sticking with Windows and not switching to any other operating system is that of familiarity. For years, the start button, the menus and the desktop have been synonymous with the computer itself. In fact, earlier versions of Linux were designed so that it would be easier for Windows users to switch to the penguin side. Moreover, many distributions still exist that showcase the Windows-like familiarity to the user. In short, the traditional Windows interface that lasted and evolved from Windows XP to Windows 7 is already implanted in many desktop users.

Windows 8 is a huge departure from that familiarity. The tiled UI, the touch-friendly design and the absence of Start menu makes Windows 8 an entirely different product. Of course, Microsoft does allow users to switch back to the Start button-oriented menu, but the main focus of the product remains the Metro interface. This has definitely annoyed a lot of users. And these are the same users who stuck with Microsoft for its familiarity. 

So, what’s in it for Linux?

While Windows 8 continues to be criticized by different reviews and users alike, Linux can bank on this opportunity to gain the upper hand in the game. There will definitely be many Windows users who will be looking for alternatives. Some of them, in fact, many of them, wouldn’t want to spend so much money on an Apple computer. They’ll start looking for alternatives that fit into their budget and are reliable.

But the brave new world of Linux is daunting for many

Yes, I agree. But with the Windows 8 Metro disaster, Linux lovers can rest assured that Redmond has leveled the playing field. If you compare Windows 8 to Linux Mint or Ubuntu, you’ll definitely find the latter to be way better. Ubuntu is already gaining a lot of recognition and is getting better and better each day. Their UI is much refined, mature and can be readily used by any new user.

Hmm...but Microsoft already rules the desktop world!

Yes it does. It has a huge empire that cannot be easily shaken by Linux or even Mac OS X. However, if you start slow, you’ll discover that it is quite easier to dominate the market than it was before. Windows 8 is a cross between tablets and desktops. Well, so is Ubuntu. Ubuntu can be used on desktop, tablets, and wait, now there is Ubuntu for Android as well. So, it isn’t that easy to rule out the possibility of Ubuntu or Linux in general giving Microsoft a tough time.


What Windows 8 has done is that it has made it easier for Linux to prove to the desktop users that there is a beautiful world out there without windows. If you aren’t convinced already, it’s time you try out Windows 8 yourself, and then compare it to beginner-friendly Linux distributions like Ubuntu and Linux Mint.

Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.


  1. yeah i agree with you..i have tried window8 at netbook for 3 months and the experience is somewhat not enjoyable but truly linux will get the domination if get easy like window dont have to install kernel or update or compile some file just to get the internet working...but in the end that learning curve made people learning also ^_^

  2. I'm a long-time Linux user.... made the switch after buying Windows Vista...... thought I'd give Windows 8 a try and did for a couple of weeks.... was thrilled to return to Linux and rational user interfaces.

  3. You freetards tried making the same argument when Windows XP came out ... and Windows Vista ... and Windows 7 ... and now Windows 8.

    Linux will *NEVER* dominate on the desktop. Way to fractured.

    Credentials: RHCNE

  4. You forget one thing. With Microsoft's insistence of enabling UEFI, it is essentially locking Linux out of most new W8 compatible rigs. until that changes or a reliable (and easy) workaround is devised, all those wonderful Linxu Distros will be essentially shut out of most off-the-shelf rigs.

  5. Agreed,gave windows 8 a try and I went right back to ubuntu.

  6. Poor arguments, as if Windows 7 has been deprecated or something. Linux has many issues with many hardware drivers, and lacks of professional software in many scenarios, and many people assume that the Start Screen is the OS, come on (too far from truth), this article is ridiculous and thanks to you pathetic fanboys I don't like to use Linux, because it makes me feel that I support your poor arguments (well not really, I can't get my PC run properly and always find daunting too much cli for common tasks and without internet it sucks).

  7. Windows 7 is not dead, not even Windows XP, and you expect people will change to Linux just because there is Windows 8? What reasoning is that?

  8. I appreciate the optimism....but linux to dominate? Not yet... not just yet....

  9. Check the Wikipedia link
    Linux and Android (Android consists of a kernel based on Linux kernel).Linux Dominates Tablet, Mobile, Server, Mainframe and Super Computer.

  10. I've been using Windows 8 since its release launch, the consumer preview before that, back in Feb 2012! And i have to say...all the Windows haters, be quiet! I don't miss the Start button! Windows 8 is AWESOME! Its few flaws can easily be overcome. It takes less than half the space of Windows 7. It boots 3 times faster than 7 does on pretty much ANY computer! I've had it working on single core machines with graphics adapters only having old vista drivers available - works perfectly! Not had to format since October so far, on all PCs i installed it to! Everything runs better (and it really is Everything At Once(tm?) on this OS - still more responsive when multitasking than Windows 7, most versions of Linsux and MacOS! People complain about having to "do things" with Windows just to "make it work" but, if you're complaining about that, maybe you should finally admit you're an idiot and get a Mac? True, stupid people also use PCs, but if Linux or MacOS ever became widespread (will it f**k!) you would then get 100x the viruses for linux and MacOS...then Windows would be the most secure! Android hasn't escaped virii either! This site is so Apple biased it makes me feel sick! Anyone notice though, as Steve Jobs got thinner, so did the MacBook? And by the time he'd invented the MacBook Air...he was a ghost! A fitting end...create a cancer on this world, you get it too! Anyone that loves Apple are all style over substance - i love the fact that i sit here smug with my self built windows PC that outperforms any mac you can buy, was likely cheaper than the equivalent mac/is MILES better than a mac of the same price PLUS you seem to need twice the RAM in Macs these days than you do Windows! I've had Win8 running on just 2GB RAM, 1.6GHz mobile Athlon64...damn it was fast! In fact, the laptop does POST and boot so fast (eMachines D620) it currently beats EVERY SINGLE COMPUTER I HAVE on boot time! Besides, if you're a gamer, you can't NOT have Windows. Sure, Steam has come to Linux...but i can't see Battlefield 3, Call of Duty, ArmA 3 or any other title that uses DirectX or even other titles that use OpenGL coming to linux...there just aren't enough users for high-tier games to be profitable! Indie games however, they might do alright!

  11. Ubuntu is awful. You also have to decide which user interface you want! I WANT A CHOICE DAMNIT! Most of the hardware in my main machine also doesn't work right/at all with it! In fact, in Ubuntu i could use sound and graphics, but couldn't access my RAID array, in Fedora i could get choppy sound, no graphics drivers would compile at the time, but i could use my games RAID array...none of which have a chance of working under Linux! Use Wine? WHY?! I HAVE WINDOWS! :D If i get regular Ubuntu (with Unity) then install Gnome and KDE...well, it just starts breaking things, causes many bugs! I don't remember Mandrake (this is how long ago i was bothered about Linsux) or even Fedora being that much of a r*tard! That's the thing with these OSes...Linux has Downsyndrome, MacOS has the same and definitely OCD, Windows has Autism if anything... i'm going back to my Amiga tower! :) Way, way too fragmented to ever dominate the desktop... look at the number of distros! Debian (Ubuntu is based on that), Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, Linux MINT, Fedora, Red Hat, Suse, Gentoo, Slax...the list goes on and on. And NOT ONE OF THEM do anything a truly mature OS can do - yes, i'm even defending MacOS there - but it's still shit!