Will Windows 8 Cause a Linux Revolution?

I was recently discussing this subject on Google+ with a couple of fellow geeks. So I thought I would elaborate on my thoughts here on RefuGeeks. I must stress that this is just my opinion on what I think will happen when Windows 8 is released. So, will the failure of Windows 8 cause a linux revolution?

The general consensus amongst most people within the IT world is that Windows 8 is destined to fail. I wrote a full review of Windows 8 a while back and I have to say that I totally agree with them. I think it’s awful. It would be great to think that when Windows 8 is released users will go looking for the latest and greatest thing to move to and find Linux. They would be downloading Ubuntu, Fedora, Suse & Mint in their millions…

Unfortunately, I think this is just a pipe dream by us Linux geeks. What I think will actually happen is that the vast majority of users will just stick with Windows 7.

Why do I think this?

Well, to answer this you need to think about what the differences are between an average user and an average Linux user. Well, the difference is that us Linux users are geeks, we enjoy trying new things with our machines. Tinkering around, learning new things and maybe even playing around with some code. Your average Windows user isn’t a geeks. They like their machine to work and that’s it, Windows 7 is familiar to them, they know that they access the internet by opening “the blue E” and that they use Word to write letters. They have absolutely no desire to have the latest and greatest OS, to tinker around with the system and quite frankly, terminal would scare them.

Asking these people to download and install Ubuntu (or similar) would just be a waste of time in most cases. The response would be something like “why should I? Windows 7 is fine”.  I have no doubt that when most of these people actually try Ubuntu (or any other popular distro) they would soon get used to it and be very happy in using it – the problem is getting them to use it. An example of this would be when I recently forced my Mother to start using Ubuntu. Now she loves it.


I love Linux, it a fantastic, open, easy to use world of fun – but it’s not for everyone. Can the average Windows migrant handle Linux? Yes, definitely. Will Linux entice a flood of Windows migrants once Window 8 goes live? Unfortunately, I don’t think it will.

What do you guys think?

Will Windows 8 Cause a Linux Revolution?
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  • http://profiles.google.com/pmazz04 Pete Mazzaccaro

    I agree. I think following sticking with Windows 7 new computer buyers might drift to Apple.

    I do think there are some intriguing possibilities with Valve moving Steam to Linux. But Linux lacks something it would need to “take off” and that is dedicated hardware. If Dell puts Ubuntu-loaded XPS 13s and 14zs(for a mid price range) on shelves in Best Buy, I think you’d find a market for Ubuntu. I think it would be interesting if Valve got into partnering with a laptop maker for a gaming/pc platform running Ubuntu.

    But these are unlikely scenarios. Ubuntu will still do well, but there’s no explosion coming.

    • http://followthegeeks.com Mohamed Semlali

      Hardware isn’t the only thing to focus on, because OpenGL isn’t as mature as DirectX yet; so I think video games will require more resources for Linux than Windows.
      (I apologize if there’s any mistakes)

  • http://twitter.com/LeoTheMoggie LeoTheLion

    I will stick with Windows 7 for the flight sims but i have aleady install Linux on the laptop and the webbook i have.

  • http://www.linuxrants.com Linux Rants

    I don’t think that the average user will migrate on their own from Windows to Linux.

    Where I do think there’s interesting motion is with OEMs. Microsoft’s Surface tablet and their decisions regarding it has a potential to alienate their OEM partners. Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, they’re all really just a couple of OEM contracts and an advertising push away from the public eye. If Dell or HP or another big name brand were to get upset enough with Microsoft to start producing and ADVERTISING their Linux desktops, it could be the push that Linux needs.

    The advertising is really the key. Dell can produce Linux computers by the truck load, but no one will buy them if they’re not shown why they’re worth buying.

    • http://www.refugeeks.com/ Kev Quirk

      It would be great to see the OEM’s do this – they have a lot to gain as it will increase their current meagre profit margins. I still don’t think it will happen unfortunately though.

      The OS is great but some of the apps in the FOSS community still leave something to be desired. Bad code, bad design, bad naming all will cause confusion for ‘average Joe user’.

      I’ll keep my fingers crossed though!

  • http://twitter.com/ajaxlovr Josh

    I think this could become a possibility if Microsoft are particularly persistent with their new OS. People will stick with 7 but if Microsoft does nothing new, 7 will get old over the next 5 years and people will be looking for newer OSs and then stumble upon Linux and OS X. It’s just unfortunate that people will likely flock to OS X more than Linux because of Apple’s popularity.

    • Giggitygoebbels

      Not true,Microsoft sees this,they will make service packs,extend support for windows 7 and quickly try to get windows 9 to come out.they are out for money.when they see persisting users to use windows 8 fails,they will arrange for windows 7 to be ready for users.maybe users will get a windows 7 DVD with a new windows 8 computer for them to downgrade.the same thing happened with vista.