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Old 23rd May, 2007, 01:22 PM
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Why you can't give desktop Linux away

Five crucial things the Linux community doesn’t understand about the average computer user.

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Old 23rd May, 2007, 01:31 PM
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Actually, I think it might be rather more simply because most people are already familiar with Windows...

I was amused by the comment "Problem is, there are some areas of the OS that are still overwhelmingly geeky". I'm not sure if that's aimed at Windows or Linux - they're both as bad in many respects.
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Old 23rd May, 2007, 01:41 PM
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..and because you can play games made specially for Windows
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I've heard that linux community came up with better implemented security in it's latest Linux Mint Gold version, it's actually preventing the user to log in, thus posing 0 risk in contamining the computer with malware! Well done to the open source community!

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Old 23rd May, 2007, 02:02 PM
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I think dsio has a little app that works for games. I did find much of this interesting. I still think it comes down to most users finally figuring out windows. At least to some degree. Trying to learn a new OS just to do the average uses stuff would be silly. If Linux could install as easy as windows and take care of some of the b sic tasks, updates and all install, then it may not be that hard to get people to switch.
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Old 23rd May, 2007, 03:05 PM
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People want what they know. On average, people know Windows.

Most people couldn't give a flying fig what OS is installed on their machine. They have specific tasks that they want to accomplish, and then they are going to go play baseball, or watch TV, or whatever. The machine that gives them the ability to do that as easily as possible is the machine they will prefer.
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Old 23rd May, 2007, 03:53 PM
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I do wonder, with Dell installing Linux and setting up the software, will this give Linus a boost in approval?

If you take all the front end work out, is it easier than windows? Is it cheaper in the long run? Will it do everything users want?
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Old 23rd May, 2007, 04:15 PM
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I think that for the basic stuff (Web, e-mail, basic office productivity) it's at a level where it could be darned useful.
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Old 23rd May, 2007, 07:37 PM
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People want what they know. On average, people know Windows
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Damn straight! I spent YEARS learning to be comfortable with windows. Change, like the way a driver is installed in 2000 pro as compared to Win 95 has been slow and could be taken one thing at a time.

I know how to swim! But suddenly in Linux the water won't support me, I keep running into areas that require entire courses of study, like to update a app.

All this is OK when I'm in the mood to play. But once I mentally put the OS aside and get to work... things seems to fall part. Linux doesn't want me to work, Linux wants me to learn more Linux so I can work. I do, but I fall behind...

Then just as I'm really ready, I manage to really screw thing up.

I wish it was "My native tongue" but so far it a very poorly grasped second language for me and I think most people who are not really interested in computers so much as being interested in what they can do with one.

So far, mostly, all I can do with Linux reliably, is learn some more Linux.

I intend to keep trying, but Linux need to help a bit more..
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Old 23rd May, 2007, 09:50 PM
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The reason I've never settled into linux is simlpy because the tweaker in me can't leave it well enough alone. It's too open and versatile for it's own good and I can never use it productively because I'm always attempting to improve things. It's like trying to make a practicle kit/project car, what people want is a mondeo.
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Old 23rd May, 2007, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisbard
..and because you can play games made specially for Windows
This is the reason I am still using XP - I don't like the hassle of a dual-boot system so much, and windows can do pretty much everything I ask of it. If my games where linux native, I would not hesitate to make the jump.
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Old 24th May, 2007, 05:52 AM
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1 - On the whole, users aren’t all that dissatisfied with Windows

Very true, ultimately people just want to do their work, play your games and get on with it, and Windows allows you to do this. Sure there is spyware and viruses, but for most people this is an annoyance. Those who are intelligent don't have these problems, and those that aren't intelligent manage to keep trucking while ignoring the infections.

2 - Too many distros

He makes a valid point, the variety is both one of the biggest strenghts and weaknesses of linux. The community could do a lot worse than deciding on one package manager or one desktop environment.

3 - People want certainty that hardware and software will work

Hardware isn't such a big deal anymore, most decent hardware has linux drivers, although from time to time its a pain to get some stuff working.

Software on the other hand is another issue, as long as MS controls Office, they control the desktop. I have used Abiword, Openoffice, and others, and quite frankly, they are inferior products.

Games can work, but many don't and most all don't work without some sort of extra tweaking of config files.

4 - As far as most people are concerned, the command line has gone the way of the dinosaur

This is a good point, but I'm not sure if the command line scares potential users away, I think a lot of Windows users think that you need to know the command line to use linux. I know a lot of people are surprised when i boot Ubuntu with a pretty interface (much better looking than a non themed XP imho) and tell them its like, because they envisioned blinking cursors everywhere.

I could set up a machine for the average web browser who chats, blogs, uses myspace/facebook, checks email, watches videos on youtube, porn, etc. and linux would be just fine without ever having to touch the command line. In fact the only reason they would need me is to get the video codecs/plugins which are hard becuase some aren't exactly legal to use in linux (i.e. wmv, dvd, quicktime). The rest of it is quite easy, if you can't install Ubuntu I'd be shocked if you could install XP. After booting off a cd, clicking install and typing in your name/password, selecting time zone, partitioning drive (hardest part, but trivial if not dual booting, or there is already free unpartitioned space) you get an OS that works fine and already comes with almost all the stuff you need installed (browser, email, messenger, office suite).

5 - Linux is still too geeky

Perhaps it is too geeky in many places, but his updates example is just silly. The updates are too confusing because they list the names of the actual packages being updated (read the article he links to)? Perhaps they should do what MS does and label every update Security Update for Ubuntu Linux- 30002342302342342341234124. This was the only point he made that I thought was completely wrong.
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Old 24th May, 2007, 04:55 PM
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Weather we agree with him or not, we have to concede his central point, people would still rather pay for MS than have to learn to use free Linux.

For me, this just tells us that Linux needs to get better to get on our desktops and stay there. I think it's inevitable that they gain that improvement.

Will it come before the anyone else devises a replacement OS I have no idea... But I think the world is more than ready for a kick ass OS replacement.
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Old 15th June, 2007, 06:48 AM
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There are some guys who say that Linux isn't as popular as it could be is because of Apple. A good number of Unix developers quit working on Linux and went to work on developing Apple software.
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Old 15th June, 2007, 07:43 AM
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As for updates, I use my package manager, and never have to touch or worry about anything unless I want to. It updates me every day, on average, probably about 30-50 packages are updated each week, all automatically, all live updates, no reboots required. The package management is just so easy and convenient, but Windows encourages people to install software the hard way, and they get stuck in that habit.

The command line isn't dead at all, and is something that is being revived in Windows Vista by popular demand.

Transgaming's Cedega lets me play all of my Windows games under Linux, with 90-95% performance, and often greater stability (WoW for example crashes under XP, doesn't under Linux for some reason), and in some cases better smoothness (lag spikes in WoW among others is reduced).

This is given an Nvidia card. ATI are morons, if you have one of their cards, tough luck.

The Ubuntu and Fedora installers are better than the current Windows installers IMO, just that some of the terminology sounds confusing at first.

Honestly, if you took a computer illiterate child, and introduced him two Ubuntu and WinXP, he would learn Ubuntu faster than XP. Change is the tricky part.

For me, everything works, everythings up to date, I play all my games, get much greater productivity in my line of work and have a full 3D desktop vastly superior in features and performance to anything else on the market.

All quite good fun
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Old 15th June, 2007, 03:03 PM
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Tried Ubuntu and liked it but had trouble installing Beryl, i would have to spend more time with it to learn it properly.
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Old 15th June, 2007, 04:28 PM
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What I see here is that "most" users are not too computer savvy. Windows unfortunately caters to that. Click to install and that is it. Install new hardware, install the CD and your done. They make it too easy. This is what the population wants. They do not want to find a program to be able to run or install the other program.

When Linux get to that point, it will probably be better accepted by the masses.

If Linux cam out with a boxed OS that you could pick up at their favorite e-tailer or their local electronics store for a low price, and it work for the technically inept, it would be on then.
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