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  • Believe it would be even better and more companies would benefit more from it. Not only in saving costs from software but also hardware. It would be a lot sharper and nicer to look/work with and have more options if it had the budget and community making it better (some would say like Apple lol).

    I just wish i could get my work to move over to it and train everyone on it. *insert thought: we can all dream!" haha.

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  • We have something of that nature in the mobile OS sphere with Android. The issues and benefits of a Linux majority share in PC market would not match 1 to 1 with the existing mobile OS Android but can give us a good idea of what would be like.

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  • If Linux was the number 1 OS, just as Windows is today, these things would happen to it.

    1) Commercial distros would swallow all of the community-driven ones.

    2) The software would be a premium, losing it's FOSS roots.

    3) It would be targeted by attackers and subsequently, be less secure. 

    4) Computers would be preloaded with Ubuntu or Red Hat, and nobody would use a different distro.

    5) The world would literally burn.  Making your grandma use a terminal is a recipe for a bad time.

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  • You do understand that users don't care if it is Windows or Linux right? They just want their applications to work. It is only admins that think this way.

    I think we can understand the answer to this question by simply looking at Android and all the security holes in it. Android has over 75% market share. People use smart phones versus computers nowadays.

    Pepper graySpice (6) flagReport
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  • Linux has quite a big share as Android is based upon plus Mac OS lives on top of a Unix kernel.

    Pepper graySpice (2) flagReport
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  • That market share figure is wrong given how many devices are running on a Linux Kernal. Unless we're only taking about Desktops.

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  • I was really focusing on desktops. Hadn't even considered mobile or embedded IOT. 

    I was looking at it from a business perspective. If everyone ran their operations on Linux.  I hear all the time it's more secure and reliable. I question why that is. 

    I think a lot of it has to do with market share. If Linux were the marquee desktop, then I think it would have the same issues as windows. 

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  • scottbrindley wrote:

    Linux has quite a big share as Android is based upon plus Mac OS lives on top of a Unix kernel.

    Isn't MacOS a FreeBSD derivative? In which case it's not Unix.  It's *nix-ish ;)

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  • Huw3481 wrote:

    scottbrindley wrote:

    Linux has quite a big share as Android is based upon plus Mac OS lives on top of a Unix kernel.

    Isn't MacOS a FreeBSD derivative? In which case it's not Unix.  It's *nix-ish ;)

    It's based off of BSD, not the free version.

    Linux holds the lead in pretty much every area except desktops!  In the supercomputing arena Windows does not exist.

    Here some fun info: https://hostingtribunal.com/blog/linux-statistics/Opens a new window

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  • Our users would still find ways to mess things up regardless of what OS they were using (especially when most ransomware doesn't need privileged access to run, only operator error). Furthermore, IT would get to deploy systems with privileged separation built into the design of the OS by default but C-levels would complain when they couldn't install some software that required root-level access to their system whenever they felt like it, would demand root-level access, and would later proceed to hose their system up just as badly as the could with local Administrator access in Windows (maybe even worse).

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  • Aaron DeLeskie wrote:

    I was looking at it from a business perspective. If everyone ran their operations on Linux.  I hear all the time it's more secure and reliable. I question why that is. 

    Less user interaction.

    Desktops have more issues than servers because users are actively using them. Windows Server can sit there happily serving up files for years without problems. Linux desktops end up rebooting as often as Windows desktops because people are always ʻtweakingʻ something or loading something or running something that crashed.

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  • I want to believe that it would keep it's secure nature because of the open source nature of the *nix world.
    But IknowBirdLaw's response seems more like what would happen.
    People would stick to the distro that came on the machine when they bought it, and likely never update it frequently enough to even pick up the patches to the exploits.
    As annoying as the ham-fisted updates to Windows are, it at least keeps those devices that would never be manually updated somewhat up-to-date.
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  • MCEStaff wrote:

    Aaron DeLeskie wrote:

    I was looking at it from a business perspective. If everyone ran their operations on Linux.  I hear all the time it's more secure and reliable. I question why that is. 

    Less user interaction.

    Desktops have more issues than servers because users are actively using them. Windows Server can sit there happily serving up files for years without problems. Linux desktops end up rebooting as often as Windows desktops because people are always ʻtweakingʻ something or loading something or running something that crashed.

    This too. My Manjaro boot drive is constantly messed up because I like to mess around with stuff.

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  • Aaron DeLeskie wrote:

    I was looking at it from a business perspective. If everyone ran their operations on Linux.  I hear all the time it's more secure and reliable. I question why that is. 

    I think a lot of it has to do with market share. If Linux were the marquee desktop, then I think it would have the same issues as windows. 

    Part of the equation is the root design of the systems.  When you install Windows the first user to log in is essentially the "root" user, when installing Linux the root user is setup but the first one to log in is at a "user" level.  UNIX was originally designed with multiple users that worked in individual profiles in mind and a more secure root user able to manage the core of the system, Windows was originally designed with the single user in mind who controlled all aspects of the OS.

    All systems can be compromised, depends on the regular maintenance and the code, the degree of damage and the speed of recovery and Linux kind of has an edge there.

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  • If Linux had more share then more people would use it and more people would be learning it in colleges and other things.

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  • While Linux might be more secure it is only because Windows is found in more homes.  Even the majority of businesses use Windows.  Why would an attacker learn Linux when the targets use Windows?  Think of all those phone scammers that are tricked to remote into a Linux VM.  They have no clue what they are doing because it isn't Windows.

    But, if you flip that around and make Linux in every house and business the attackers would learn Linux because that's what the targets use.  Attackers will find the vulnerabilities within Linux if that's what's used on a majority level.  Not to mention that Linux puts out security updates all the time, if it was so super secure there wouldn't be those updates.  Maybe Linux is better than Windows when it comes to security.  Maybe it's just that the attackers mostly don't focus on Linux because it's not everywhere.

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  • The more popular something is, the more likely it is to get attacked.

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  • Tom0517 wrote:

    The more popular something is, the more likely it is to get attacked.

    This!

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  • PHolmes wrote:

    While Linux might be more secure it is only because Windows is found in more homes.  Even the majority of businesses use Windows.  Why would an attacker learn Linux when the targets use Windows?  Think of all those phone scammers that are tricked to remote into a Linux VM.  They have no clue what they are doing because it isn't Windows.

    But, if you flip that around and make Linux in every house and business the attackers would learn Linux because that's what the targets use.  Attackers will find the vulnerabilities within Linux if that's what's used on a majority level.  Not to mention that Linux puts out security updates all the time, if it was so super secure there wouldn't be those updates.  Maybe Linux is better than Windows when it comes to security.  Maybe it's just that the attackers mostly don't focus on Linux because it's not everywhere.

    To be fair, Linux IS everywhere. It's in your IoT devices and Game consoles. The problem is, there are limited angles for attackers to get into these devices.  Whereas, a laptop running Windows 7 (pre-service pack 1) will have the gates wide open.

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  • Aaron DeLeskie wrote:

    I was really focusing on desktops. Hadn't even considered mobile or embedded IOT. 

    I was looking at it from a business perspective. If everyone ran their operations on Linux.  I hear all the time it's more secure and reliable. I question why that is. 

    I think a lot of it has to do with market share. If Linux were the marquee desktop, then I think it would have the same issues as windows. 

    I think mobile and IoT shows us there would be little of any difference.

    While it might be possible to make embedded and mobile machines more secure we see time and time again the time is not taken and the money is not spent to do so.

    Older devices work longer, leaving them vulnerable for longer.

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  • Many people don't run the most secure version of Windows with the most secure configuration options they could. So even if Linux is fundamentally more secure than Windows I would not expect to see a significant improvement in overall computing security.

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  • Iknowbirdlaw wrote:

    PHolmes wrote:

    While Linux might be more secure it is only because Windows is found in more homes.  Even the majority of businesses use Windows.  Why would an attacker learn Linux when the targets use Windows?  Think of all those phone scammers that are tricked to remote into a Linux VM.  They have no clue what they are doing because it isn't Windows.

    But, if you flip that around and make Linux in every house and business the attackers would learn Linux because that's what the targets use.  Attackers will find the vulnerabilities within Linux if that's what's used on a majority level.  Not to mention that Linux puts out security updates all the time, if it was so super secure there wouldn't be those updates.  Maybe Linux is better than Windows when it comes to security.  Maybe it's just that the attackers mostly don't focus on Linux because it's not everywhere.

    To be fair, Linux IS everywhere. It's in your IoT devices and Game consoles. The problem is, there are limited angles for attackers to get into these devices.  Whereas, a laptop running Windows 7 (pre-service pack 1) will have the gates wide open.

    I was mainly referring to computers as was the OP.  IoT's aren't going to go through the same level of scams like ransomware and the like.  Yeah, someone can hack them and cause a stir but not on the same level as my entire company cryptolocked and scammers wanting who knows how much in bitcoin.  

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  • And of course, only tech nerds would fall back on the OSsplaining tactic of "well, actually, MacOS is built on top of Linux" and think that matters.

    Not as far as the user base is concerned, who vastly outnumber us. It's the height of naivete to assume that Linux would remain open-source if it flipped with Windows.

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  • We hear way more attacks on the android platform. So in the case of desktops would be 70% definitely the hackers would be interested in exploiting the vulnerabilities.

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  • Let's face it guys. It's the humans that use the system that cause the insecurities. 

    A windows xp device that isn't networked or used is just a secure as a windows 10 device under the same conditions. 

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  • As many others have said or implied, if Linux had 75% market share, then Red Hat or Canonical would be your new mega rich buddies in Redmond. The need for profit for shareholders would do what it always does. Drive standards down. Linux would be a sub par product, polished for the lowest common denominator and rushed out the door with issues, just like Windows is now. 
    All your community distro's would die off or become super niche, much in the same way that rooting and flashing Android phones is a hobby for geeks these days. 
    Ironically, if Linux became the dominant market leader then I suspect we'd see macOS inherit a larger portion of the market share as a result. This would probably be driven by disgruntled consumers of Linux who get sick of the crappy stuff put out by the big boys and want a simpler experience but with an air of familiarity about it. A correlation you don't get  between Windows and macOS as it currently stands.
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  • WeirdFish wrote:

    And of course, only tech nerds would fall back on the OSsplaining tactic of "well, actually, MacOS is built on top of Linux" and think that matters.

    Not as far as the user base is concerned, who vastly outnumber us. It's the height of naivete to assume that Linux would remain open-source if it flipped with Windows.

    Need to clear up a few things on this:

    - MacOS is not Linux and is not based off of Linux, they are cousins in that they both are derived from UNIX.  MacOS is based off of FreeBSD, a separate but related branch of the *nix family but not directly tied to Linux.

    - The Linux kernel is open source, programs that run on it can be closed source and the developer can charge whatever they wish.  The current licensing on Linux cannot change, well it would be fairly impractical to try.  There would need to be an agreement to change the licensing from all of the contributors to the kernel to make that happen and there are thousands of contributors all over the world.  First one you would need on that list is Linus Torvalds, and from what I understand from the people that have met him, good luck with that!!!

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  • Technical details aside (which I will concede was not fully accurate from what I wrote), do you see my overall point, from a broad, general-user-vs-tech-nerd perspective, which you essentially just proved?

    The other point was not whether *nix COULD be a replacement for Windows and gaining 70+% marketshare, but presuming that it already did through whatever means necessary for the sake of the rest of this hypothetical discussion.

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  • WeirdFish wrote:

    Technical details aside (which I will concede was not fully accurate from what I wrote), do you see my overall point, from a broad, general-user-vs-tech-nerd perspective, which you essentially just proved?

    The other point was not whether *nix COULD be a replacement for Windows and gaining 70+% marketshare, but presuming that it already did through whatever means necessary for the sake of the rest of this hypothetical discussion.

    Linux could easily take the market share right now, if commercially produced products and OEM would support it!  With little support with OEM's it will always be stuck in the geek category.  Adobe is one good example, pre-online based Photoshop, has been asked to support Linux system for over a decade and they choose not to.  Even with the online version they choose not to support it.  If a product like GIMP could make inroads in schools it would do very well but we have a system that wants to teach students something a vast majority do not need but are made to think they need.

    I don't know if it is still true but MS licensing to OEM's used to be very restrictive on what the OEM were allowed to do as far as OS installations.  

    As far as the OP, yes Linux would definitely be a larger target if the desktop share was greater.  It is already proving out in the server market where there is ransomware targeting Linux web servers already in the wild.

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  • I also wonder if IOT is really a shining example of Linux's security.  I know it's generally more of a misconfiguration issue and default passwords on everything doesn't help, but we are seeing a lot of IOT based botnets now. Ransoming them isn't really worth it, but they are certainly capable ddos devices.  

    The bottom line is regardless of platform if it's not secured properly it can be hacked. 

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  • Linux does have 75% market share, in every computing market except desktop.

    75% of servers are linux.

    80% of phones are linux.

    80% of embedded systems are linux.

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