Why is Linux not very Popular? And Can it compete Windows

There are huge numbers of Linux distros and we can count some of them as the best operating systems available right now. But still, Linux is not very popular, and only accounts for about 1.85% of desktop users. That’s why you might have the question why Linux is not very popular?

So let’s see why Linux is not very popular even after so many years and why it is not able to compete with Windows in terms of the desktop user base.

The Beginning

The beginning is very important in everything and in terms of operating systems, it has really been true more than just true. In the 1980s Apple and Microsoft were competing to get user-friendly operating systems and computers in the market.

And they were successful in reaching a large user base. That’s why almost everyone started using either Windows or macOS. Now there are various other operating systems older than these. But they were nor created and nor marketed towards regular users. Instead, in the beginning, every OS was marketed towards tech enthusiasts.

Linux came sometime later in 1991 and missed the beginning. And even then it was not marketed toward regular users, due to which it missed the boom. Linux distros have always been said to be the operating system for tech-savvy people.

Although this has changed recently as almost every Linux distro is very user friendly right now. From installing it to using it, Linux has become very user friendly. Some Linux distros are even easier to use than Windows.

But still, people are familiar with Windows and macOS because Linux missed the beginning as well as it has never been marketed towards regular users. And it has always been considered for Tech-savvy people until recently.


Familiarity is one of the most important reasons why people are still not adopting Linux. And this is because Microsoft and Apple have been very successful from the beginning in advertising their operating system.

This advertising includes partnering with hardware manufacturers to install Windows by default on the system(in case of Microsoft). Or selling their products installed with their own operating system. This has resulted in users getting familiar with Windows from the beginning.

Familiarity has made users not wanting to switch to something new. Its a human nature and generally people don’t want any change unless they are getting something new or something extra.

Now even though recently Linux has become a very user-friendly operating system, people are not switching as they are already familiar with either Windows or macOS. Now even though if some users shifted to Linux there are certain missing things. Due to these which you might again switch back to Windows or macOS.

Missing Apps, Games

Linux, when compared to Windows and macOS, has a very small percentage of the user base. Which stands around 1.85% of the total desktop user base at the time of writing this article. In this 1.85% also people use various different Linux distros.

Due to this such low user base and that too divided into various distros, a lot of software and games are not developed for Linux. For example, popular software like Adobe Cloud software and Games are not developed for Linux. Due to which even if some users started using Linux they might need to shift back to Windows or macOS.

Although there are various open-source alternatives to this popular software, they lack in terms of user-friendliness and features. This causes users to again switch back to Windows or macOS.

In terms of Games Linux has really picked up a good pace. Now more than 6500 Windows games are supported on Linux. But in terms of Gaming performance Linux still lacks behind Windows in various games.

Hardware Support

Now just like apps and games, even hardware support faces problems in Linux. This is due to the lesser user base of Linux, because of which various manufacturers don’t even provide the drivers for Linux. Due to which you might need to use open source drivers. And open-source drivers don’t always provide similar performance.

Sometimes your new hardware might not be supported. As the open-source community is yet to release the drivers for it. These are some reasons due to which Linux is used very less as compared to Windows and macOS.

Can Linux compete Windows?

Surely Linux can compete Windows, as Linux has various advantages and features. But not in the short term. Because Linux is not being widely marketed due to a lack of proper funding.

But if Linux started coming preinstalled in Computers. And if it is marketed properly then Linux might surely compete with Windows. And as the userbase of Linux will increase all the support and driver issues will also be fixed.


There are various reasons for Linux not being popular. And most of them are currently due to missing marketing. Once some big corporations like Canonical (developers behind Ubuntu) start marketing Linux, then it can really increase in popularity.

If the popularity of Linux is increased it will increase the current user base of Linux. Then this can even fix problems of missing software and drivers as the user base increases. And then it can even compete with Windows in terms of the userbase.

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