Thursday, July 18, 2002

Unix on the Desktop

For years (decades!), many companies with large development organizations have been trying to come up with a version of Unix that would unseat Microsoft Windows on the desktops of average computer users worldwide. In this battle, they've run across many obstacles:

  • Unix's overall complexity
  • Clumsy user interfaces
  • Lack of office productivity tools (spreadsheets, etc.)
  • Non-standard Unix variants from different vendors
  • User inertia

These companies tried many things to get past these problems, but with little success.

But one company may finally have succeeded in producing a Unix system for the desktop. That company? Apple.

Stay with me here... Apple's OS/X is, at it's core, a Unix machine. On the outside, it has a pretty good GUI. On top of it all, it runs the applications that users want.

Will it succeed? It's probably too early to tell. Certainly the mac fanatics will give it a try. Maybe there are enough Unix people who will climb aboard as well. And I know some Windows users who are very mad and looking for alternatives.

"Isn't it ironic, don't you think?"