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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 22nd June, 2007, 04:38 AM
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The key to getting more Windows users to switch to Linux

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes at ZDNet comments:

Over the weekend I came to the conclusion that the reason why more Windows users aren’t switching to Linux is the shortage of good information out there on the web for Linux newbies. If there are sites hosting good information out there, they sure aren’t appearing on the first couple of Google results pages.

Read more on the Front Page:
http://www.aoaforums.com/frontpage/content/view/2685/2/
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Old 22nd June, 2007, 05:05 AM
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The biggest reason I have found why people don't move to Linux is there really is no need or any serious benefits to it.

I use Linux (Windows for Gaming though) and a few of my friends use it as well but most of the people I know just tell me there is no real reason for them to switch from Windows. They own legit copies of Windows and other software and they do the job just fine. If they ever need tech support they can email or call rather than wade through 100's of posts in a forum looking for an answer. They also feel that Linux is slow to catch up to changing technology and most companies do not properly support Linux running on their hardware.

For the most part they are right, what really holds Linux back from being widely adopted is it doesn't offer anything more and is not supported very well.
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Old 22nd June, 2007, 05:09 AM
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Its very true.

I was trying to switch, and running into a brick wall of a learning curve as far back as Red Hat 5.2. It was shocklingly bad, and it still isn't good.

It is getting better though. I've said this many times, but I really believe that Ubuntu is doing a simply terrific job of making the complexity managable. This doesn't mean taking the complexity out of it, but rather it means that users can get up and running, with a usable system, and then begin the learning process at their own pace.

Something I am curious about though, is how people that do grow up with Linux are going to consider Windows. Schools, highschools and university, both in the developed world, and to a greater extent in the developing world are teaching kids computers on Linux machines.

My theory is this:

If you grow up speaking English as your first language, then try to learn Japanese, you will find it a steep learning curve. However, Japanese in particular is an extremely logical, simple, and sensical language. In contrast, people learning English, when their first language is Japanese often have great trouble. Contrary to what we may think, our language is one of the oddest, most complicated, and most nonsensical in the world.

Will kids that have grown up with Linux come to find Windows confusing and difficult to learn? I can say that I know /many/ mac users that are in this situation.

Unlearning what you know IMO is one of the trickier parts to it. You can't just make the mistake of trying to relate aspects of Linux to Windows, as you would switching browsers or email clients, its a whole different ideology and methodology. With no previous experience with Windows, I seriously think it would be far easier to learn Linux.
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Old 22nd June, 2007, 05:43 PM
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What Linux needs is a killer app. If there's a must have app out there, people will jump through all the hoops to run Linux. Alas, there's no such thing and I don't foresee one showing up anytime soon. People tend to forget, the computer industry is software driven. People buy new computers and new OSes so they can run software they like. Remember back to the late 80's and early 90's when Apple had a spike in sales? Desktop publishing was the big killer app for them back then. The original killer apps were Lotus 123, dBase, and WordPerfect. Without them, PC's would never have taken off in the 80's like it did. Back then, the only reason to get a HD was so you can have spreadsheets and databases larger than 320K. There was a time when Lotus Development and Ashton Tate both had a larger market caps than MS.

The current state of affairs is that almost all new software is available in Windows versions. Sure there was short span of time when iTunes was a Mac exclusive, but Apple decided they wanted to sell more iPods. Not that it would have mattered anyway, there were already 3rd party alternatives available before and after iTunes became available for Windows. Hell, I personally use MediaMonkey myself. I find iTunes annoying as hell.

Basically, that's the problem for any potential killer app for Linux, as soon as something like that shows up, somebody will create a Windows version. That kills off any incentive for large masses of people to bother switching over to Linux. Most people are of the, "if it's not broken, why fix it..." type. They don't want to switch over just for the sake of switching over, and to be honest, why should they? For the vast majority of users, it offers no tangible benefits and only more headaches.
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Old 22nd June, 2007, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsio
Its very true.
Contrary to what we may think, our language is one of the oddest, most complicated, and most nonsensical in the world.
*cough*!!



I agree with you Mooky. Apple knew that to sell the iPod like they wanted to and did, they had to open up. Other software needs to do the same for Linux if Linux is to kick off as a true alternative.

I doubt it will ever take over Windows let alone compete. It can erode at Windows dominance but nothing more, simply because your average PC user just wants to type, IM and browse the web. Linux MAY do this better than Windows (though such simple tasks, can hardly be done "better") but Windows is what the vast majority of people are used to and have grown up with. It is what is installed on Dells.

And people hate change, especially when it is not required or desired.
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Old 3rd July, 2007, 01:56 AM
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Why did I take Linux on back in '99 or '00? I wanted to be 'different.' With friends far more knowledgeable in Windows and PC's in general, I needed something to feel less "stupid." Not a great reason. It was a beeatch, but slowly became fun. I forgot by far most of what I knew about Linux, it's mostly gone. I still run it quite a bit, but only browse and mail with it, truth be told.

It gives me the tiniest justification to rag on MS!
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Old 7th July, 2007, 06:20 PM
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What Linux needs is not to need a site to explain it's use.
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Old 9th July, 2007, 06:12 AM
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Linux = pointless to the laymen sorry ...... worthless to the gaming community = worthless in general... linux = more security bleh stop looking at pro nsites :P


Not that i hate the L but hey its useless in general and time consuming.

Same as browsers inmho we all jumped on the firefox bandwagon and it gets hit switch back to IE it gets hit with bugs/security bleh and well it doesnt matter and wow bill makes money but hey my pc does what i need it to and guess what i dont care what os runs on it as long as it does what it needs to do without emulating
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Old 9th July, 2007, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Necorum
Linux = pointless to the laymen sorry ...... worthless to the gaming community = worthless in general... linux = more security bleh stop looking at pro nsites :P


Not that i hate the L but hey its useless in general and time consuming.
A: If Linux runs the majority of the world's game servers, so I hardly doubt the gaming community finds it useless.

B: I'll be happy to post screenshots, and some full motion video of me playing World Of Warcraft, Need For Speed: Carbon, Counter-Strike Source, UT2004, FEAR, BF2142, and STALKER on my Linux machine, at very high frame rates, on a 1920x1200 LCD.

The whole 'cant play this, cant play that' argument is guff. As is the whole 'Oh but its emulation' one.

Bottom line: I double click on an icon on my desktop, and my game runs just fine, as fast as it does under windows. While WoW crashes under WinXP, it doesn't under Fedora, and latencey is also improved. Performance is just as good under either, thanks to Nvidia's brilliant work with their display drivers.

It is so much easier in so many aspects than windows ever was, with a more intuitive and customizable user interface, package management, and high performance multi tasking, not to mention the desktop effects which are vastly superior to Vista and OSX.

"Its too hard" roughly translates to "Its different, and that makes me scared", and to be honest I'm getting bored with it.
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Old 9th July, 2007, 08:33 AM
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I have just installed Ubuntu on an old Dell optiplex GX110 733MHz processor and 256MB RAM.

Like windows it didn't play divx, or xvid, and it also didn't play DVD's. As I had already ticked the boxes allowing universe and multiverse packages it just asked if I wanted to install the codecs, I didn't even have to search for them. Thats been pretty much the same for any media I have played.

I have actually found it easier with repositories than having to search for stuff with windows.

The Ubuntu forum is also great, often better and easier than finding stuff for windows. I have barely used the terminal, and only when they had scripts to make it drag and press enter. Not hard at all.
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Old 9th July, 2007, 04:48 PM
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Then what the world needs now is a guide to getting theses games up and runing in Linux. Everytime I ask everyone disappears!
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Old 9th July, 2007, 05:56 PM
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The problem for me with Linux is that it doesn't offer me anything that I can't already do in Vista.

So why should I switch?

Other than being free, give me 50 good, properly good, quality reasons why I should be using it instead of Windows.
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Old 9th July, 2007, 06:36 PM
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If you don't know by now, how could I ever tell you? But you do know, you just pretend not to. It's easy, many are right there pretending right along side you. Evil, I don't see any evil do you? Naw it's just an OS! How can that be evil?

Besides, I'm having fun, what could take priority over that!

No doubt you are right where you should be, doing what you should be doing...then why are you asking this question? For the cheap and easy agreement of Vista users? You got that!

No one using vista is going to tell you not to! Sorry does this call for an individual Scarface? Guess I'm taking to the wrong guy.

Money is money Right? What the matter where it comes from or who it serves, it spends just fine.

In the future you might remember I live here and not ask questions you don't want answers to... just a cautionary thought, in case something I said actually penetrated and hurt your feelings...

Do you really think that pervasive evil is less evil than individual evil or that numbers change the quality of the act?

When you support MS more than you need to to live, you then choose MS as a way of life, how hard is that to understand?

One day, I may need to use Vista to do my work. This will be forced upon me by the mindless sheep that adopt Vista because they have no moral compass...and it's NEW!

I will use it as I use 2000 pro, because I lack the wit to learn to use something else well enough to do my work. I give Bill not one dime I don't have to.

Why you and others do, is a matter of personal responsibility and the refusal to accept any.... IMHO.

Given that these are my true feelings, I think I do rather well on the whole allowing Vista to pass without comment, but every now and then, some asks a question like yours and I feel an obligation to speak my mind.
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Old 9th July, 2007, 06:43 PM
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50 seems like a rather large number. I doubt I could give you 50 good reasons to do ANYTHING.

Linux fans are going to hate to hear me say this, but the reasons to run Linux are ideological, more than technical:

1) Running Linux doesn't make Bill Gates more wealthy, and doesn't put money into Microsoft's pocket.
2) Running Linux means that you are running an operating system wherein you have access to the code, and thus have the right to do whatever you want with said code.

Reason 2 is actually the more important of the two, but for most people really boils down to "And I care about this because........?"

People are constantly complaining about this or that problem with a software company. They don't like the service, the product sucks, it crashes all the time, they can't get any help, it deletes their data, etc., etc., etc. And this is not just Windows; it is pretty much any product. Add the whole security picture into this mix, and things get even more messy.

The big thing that open source brings to the picture is that BECAUSE you have access to the source code, if there is something an application does that you absolutely cannot tolerate, and for whatever reason you can't switch to another application, you can go hire a programmer, point him at the code, and say "fix this" (or learn to program and fix it yourself). That option simply doesn't exist with closed source. You are left at the mercy of the vendor.
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Old 9th July, 2007, 10:05 PM
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My top reasons:

1: Package management. I love it. I don't have 50 pieces of software to update individually, I have everything unified in one updater, and when I update, I get the latest version of everything downloaded.

2: Evolution, rather than maintenance. Check out the original Ubuntu, and compare it to the current version. Compare RH9 to Fedora 7. There's barely any resemblance outside of the basic interface. While every Windows update fixes more and more security holes or defects, every update gives me a range of new features and functionality.

3: HVM. This is perhaps the coolest new technology I've seen in ages, the ability to hardware virtualize unmodified guest operating systems on Linux using Xen. Its supported by new Intel Vanderpool and AMD Pacifica processors, and allows you to run a full instance Windows XP or Vista within Linux. No more dual booting to test some obscure IE7 browser compatability, now just pop XP open and close it when you're done.

4: Beryl. Yes, Vista has some poorly thought out, unproductive desktop efects. No, they don't hold a candle to Beryl. Not even close. Beryl's effects arn't just eye candy, they are practical. Scale, individual transparancey, zoom, and all of the others become something you depend on.

5: Uninvasive security and reliability. The argument that always pops up is, "If Linux was mainstream, it would be virus infested too". No, that doesn't exactly wash to be honest. With the number of critical machines around the world running it, there is more to be gained by comprimising a handful of Linux servers than there is to comprimise a thousand Windows desktops. The major difference being that when there is a known vulnerability in Windows, there is only one company that can fix it. When there is a vulnerability in Linux, (and yea, it happens constantly) it is fixed as soon as its discovered. The difference is that when it happens, we know about it, rather than M$ sweeping it under the rug, and something gets done.

6: The software. I love Kaffeine, I love The GIMP, Konqueror, GNOME, OpenOffice, Pidgin, Xchat, Dia, the list goes on and on. Always simple, lightweight, effective, and free.

It just feels so natural, and so enjoyable as an environment. I don't know why I'd ever want to go back to Windows, and pay for software that is inferior to something I can get for free.

[Ashley@Torias ~]# uptime
07:02:56 up 208 days, 20:56, 1 user, load average: 0.01, 0.02, 0.00
[Ashley@Torias ~]#

That's how long its been since my main computer has been running Windows. And my laptop no longer even has it.
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Old 9th July, 2007, 11:49 PM
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Well I was only posing a question, I wasn't passing any opinion on either OS, and 50....well just the first number that came in to my head.
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Old 9th July, 2007, 11:59 PM
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Well good!

Now I can tell the penguin that he doesn't need to slice the webbing between your fingers and toes while you sleep. He can focus his attention on some mac users instead.
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Old 10th July, 2007, 02:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aghastpumpkin
Well I was only posing a question, I wasn't passing any opinion on either OS, and 50....well just the first number that came in to my head.
I'm just grumpy, you never really get use to losing, you just come to accept it. . hard to see gates triumphant... but that's what the world wants.
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Old 10th July, 2007, 02:13 AM
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The truth is, my Number 2 box just went down, thought it was PSU, but a swap out didn't help.. just died. I wasn't asking anything special of it, was my Linux, fedora box... was also my oldest setup... but the jest of this is that I no longer have a separate box to experiment with as I can no longer justify maintaining more than one box.

I have NEVER gotten 2000 pro and Linux of any flavor to get along, trash one and they both die, even on separate hard drives!, Even when I uplug one or the other, and run them seperatly, which I've found is way to much trouble for convenience...":O} I don't know how they manage it! LOL
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Old 10th July, 2007, 02:34 AM
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Do you have a spare hard disk that you could use in your number one machine? And what are the specs on the current main machine?
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