I’ve been updating Fedora from version 8 to 13, on my old laptop, without the need to reinstall from scratch. After 3 years of fix, workaround and solutions added to the original system, everything was working perfectly.
Recently I got a new laptop, and I decided to perform a new installation from scratch of Fedora 14. Keeping the same base system, probably wouldn’t have worked well at all, because the new machine was quite different from the previous. To avoid problems I kept the backup of the old laptop’s configuration.
I have to say that the first impression was normal: neither good, nor bad. I was not impressed. Although the operating system got some improvements during last years (hardware recognition, software stability), still is not enough to compete with other operating systems.
The time of Windows XP/Vista is crap is ended. Windows 7 has an acceptable quality and good stability. It hurts to say but the competitors for desktops solutions are now quite stable and good-looking. In the last releases of Fedora for example I didn’t see a feature list with important news.
Looking at the future I really don’t see very good prospectives, at least in Desktop area. Until companies are starting to invest money in development and stop talking bananas on developing communities nothing will change. The big opportunity of “Linux on Desktop” was during the last two years but was a fail not because of Linux, but because of the fail and not modern concept of net-books.
Now the market left is shared between iPhone and Android. Ignoring the first which is declared and clearly closed source, Android is open source just for marketing, not at all in the philosophy.
We will see. I think 2011, for the first year, Linux will start loosing market share, in favor of tablet, pad and smartphones.