It is a pretty logical question that if someone has to pay a huge sum in buying Windows licenses then why don’t people use Linux which is waay cheaper and is open source.
So let us dive a bit deeper and have a look at the major reasons.
Linux lacks some of the most common programs
One thing that is behind in making an operating system successful is the support for apps. This is the reason why Windows as a mobile operating system failed. I don’t mean that there is a severe lack of apps but the problem is you get an alternate for every other app which is just not enough. For example, you get LibreOffice in Linux which certainly cannot replace Microsoft Office, you get Gimp instead of Photoshop which is simply incomparable. To add to that there are tons of Linux distros and it may happen that an app works only for a particular set of distros. Moreover, if you want to do hardcore gaming thinking they will run smoothly because Linux is light on hardware then you must know the reality. Most of the major titles are not supported in Linux.
I know there are tools like Wine which can run Windows apps in Linux but it adds another layer and is not reliable enough. There are also virtual environments where you can run Windows but then why not use Windows, to begin with?
A lot of work has been done in the Linux world in recent years to make it better but if you are a professional or a gamer then this is simply not for you.
Lack of Hardware support
As you know all the components of your PC are not made by a single company. Many hardware manufacturers keep the specifications of their hardware secret, and only shares them for a contract and as you might have guessed these contracts costs a fortune. This enables only the tech giants like Microsoft, Apple to get those contracts. While companies like Red Hat and Canonical can’t afford and implies guesswork while updating Linux. This guessing work is time-consuming and as expected they always don’t get successful.
While an end user doesn’t care about all these and notices that a certain program doesn’t run as smoothly as in Windows or may not even run. Selecting the perfect hardware for Linux is time-consuming and you must have the knowledge to do it. This is why people simply opt for Windows.
Too many distros
Now, imagine you know nothing about Linux and you want to use it. You toss up a question in Quora or Reddit asking which Linux distro is the best for a new user?
You will get a thousand answers like Elementary, Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, and Solus. But as you might have guessed you will get pretty confused as all have given some kind of argument as of why their choice is the best. You will get even more confused when you read questions like why every distro apart from Mint is crap?
Too many options confuse the users. Apart from that, there is nothing called a perfect distro. All are good in some way or the other like smartphones. The best can be defined only by you and you cannot do it since you are a beginner.
UIs of distros
The UIs of a lot of distros look like crap out of the box. Yes, you have a lot of flexibility and can literally change everything to make it appeal to your taste. But it is hard for a newcomer to know about this. Some distros look so outdated that you cannot do anything to make it look to your standards. To add to that you have a mixture of GUI and CLI which even makes it more painful to look at.
Lack of support
On the corporation side of things, many companies want commercial support. Microsoft is great in providing support for corporations and they will fix everything hassle free. While in the Linux world few companies like Red Hat provides this kind of support and it is simply not comparable to Microsoft’s support.
On the user side of things we only have the online community support. There are a very few Linux admins which will get your job done with only a call. While it can be frustrating to see Linux not working the way you want. But if you don’t keep your temper in check and talk rudely in the forums then you might end up messing it more. To avoid it you can research the forums for your problems before posting it. Because chances are high that someone might have faced the same problem earlier.
Now imagine you have just installed Linux successfully and you are delighted. You want to listen to some music and relax but there is a problem. Linux doesn’t have software for Mp3 and DVD playback by default. The reason behind this is high licensing fees. Apple and Microsoft have enough to pay for the licensing but Red Hat doesn’t. Hence you will have to install this software yourself, though they try to make it easier but still playing music right off the bat is more convenient.
Fear of typing commands
I don’t know where this fear comes from but this one is truly strange. Since even if you are not a geek then typing few commands won’t kill you. Moreover, it is not like you are typing commands to do every damn thing or typing it every time to make something work. It is just a few times at the initial stage and later one in a thousand time. People fear so much of typing commands that they label Linux not ready for an average user. I know Linux is not for everyone as I have stated it in the reasons above but still, this reason is pretty silly in my opinion.
The ‘Open Source’ problem
The biggest advantage of Linux is that it is open source but it is also one of its major disadvantages. The first disadvantage is that many distros don’t even have any company to back them up. To add to that there are egos of developers clashing which makes the final product suffer. Due to this, there is also a delay in software updates. We shouldn’t forget the old saying ‘Too many cooks spoil the broth” All this greatly confuses the user as to what might expect and then adapt.
With all these, I can conclude that Linux serves a very specific kind of users and that specific kind is not the majority. Hence most of the users back off not realizing its huge potential.
If Linux can change some of its internal faults without disrupting the community then I expect Linux to be in many more personal computers.