1 of 7Image
For years, we've talked about the Linux desktop becoming important. Now, it finally is. But thanks to Chromebooks and Android PCs, it's not the Linux desktop we expected. Instead of desktop distributions from smaller groups such as Arch or Mint, or companies such as Canonical, we're seeing Chrome OS and Android, thanks to Google and top vendors such as Asus, Dell, HP, and Lenovo -- who are robbing market share from the moribund Windows PC industry.
In 2014, I see us moving to a new world of Linux desktops: Cloud-based Linux distributions, such as Chrome OS and Peppermint ; mobile-Linux distros, such as Android and Ubuntu Touch; and "traditional" fat-client Linux desktops such as Fedora and openSUSE with their newest relative: The SteamOS based gaming Linux.
So, while the Chromebook Pixel, the Rolls-Royce of Chromebooks, pictured above may not be selling in huge numbers, inexpensive Chromebooks are selling well.
Google argues that all you really need for a 21st century desktop is a Web browser, software-as-a-service (SaaS) for programs, infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) for storage, and just enough Linux to make it go. Put it all together and what you get is Chrome OS. Considering the flood of Chromebooks from every major PC vendor, Google seems to be on to something.
Under the hood, Chrome OS is built on Gentoo Linux. Only the most sharp-eyed users would ever know it. For Chrome OS users -- and there are millions of them now -- it's all about the Chrome Web browser and cloud services.