Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: <yyyy> will be the year of the Linux desktop. Even in Linux circles this is greeted with eye-rolling. Here’s the funny thing, though: Linux long ago won the hearts and minds of end users, even while the Linux desktop continues to spin its wheels.

How can that be?

The paradox is easily explained. But as for Linux’s failure to capture desktop hearts and minds, that’s a complicated story. I’ll lay it out for you.

First, the paradox: According to the latest Annenberg Surveying the Digital Future report, the average American now spends 24 hours a week online. Meanwhile, Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker’s 2018 Internet Trends Report shows the average adult in 2017 spending 5.9 hours a day watching or listening to digital media.

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