Unlike Windows and Mac, Linux doesn’t have billions of dollars worth of research and resources behind it. Being an open source platform, it receives contribution from all who are willing to make them. It is an enigma in today’s multi-billion dollars tech industry. Its role in the industry is often undermined. In fact, most of the so-called ‘market gurus’ don’t even realize the extent to which Linux has helped shaped the tech market as it stands now.
Linux has been out and about for around two decades now. It was a fateful accident that Linus Trovalds created it but the world is better for it. Yet, every now and then the same old question is raised: can you imagine a world without Linux? Providing a straightforward answer to this question is next to impossible. What can be done is assessing the impact Linux has had since its inception.
In the mid 90s, Microsoft was out for Linux’s head. The industry giant wasn’t going to take a liking to the ‘new kid on the block’. Linux back then was considered no more than a student project. At that time, Microsoft wanted to dominate Linux and push it into submission. Well, that didn’t happen and now Microsoft is enjoying royalties from Linux’s patents. Also, the company has picked up a habit of suing anyone who dares mess with Linux!
On a more serious note, Linux provided the competition Microsoft didn’t have in the 90s. Microsoft was ruling the industry and no company could match Windows like for like. Even though Linux wasn’t widely used, it still was competition. It can be said that Microsoft worked hard on improving Windows because of the ‘threat’ Linux posed. What this means is that Microsoft would have been weaker without Linux.
Coming to the new millennium and one name stands out: Apple. Already notorious for its overpricing, Apple is forced to place a ceiling on the prices of its products because of the growing competition from Android. Not many people realize the contribution of Linux towards curbing Apple’s attitude. Like limiting Microsoft in the 90s, Linux has played a huge role in controlling Apple in the naughties. If not for Linux, people could be paying thousands for the iPhone and iPad.
These are just two of the ways in which Linux has helped shape up the tech industry as it stands today. If it hadn’t been for Linus Trovalds’ efforts in writing Linux, the industry and market both would have been very different than they are now. So, imagine a world without Linux. You wouldn’t want to live there, would you?