Windows users as victims?

Story: Confessions of an Ubuntu FanboyTotal Replies: 10
Author Content

Feb 22, 2010
11:11 AM EDT
Why is it that I see more and more people proclaiming we need to make Linux luke warm for Windows users? Why does everything need to be explained in baby language. Why does FOSS need to be bent out of shape so Windows users who might not even be that interested in running a FOSS OS won't dump it and go back to what they already were happy with? What good will a large userbase do, when it will drop Linux like a hot potato when a button is not "in the right place"?

There are lots of excellent books, lots of tutorials, lots of magazines and even vendors selling Linux machines. If someone wants to switch, let them do so on their own and let them learn Linux like everybody else did. You want Linux? You read, learn and persevere on your own. Can't make the cut? Maybe you don't want it hard enough. No problem, you don't take anything away from Linux if you just go back to Windows or OS X or whatever.

I don't think we should see Windows users as victims. Once we tell them about Linux and they aren't curious, don't push further. They aren't interested. You can't make people love FOSS, they need to find it on their own. Even when they show interest, don't push further if it becomes clear they don't want to learn anything new. That can get very ugly real soon.

I have a horrible personal experience with that. Lets just say they liked the idea of gratis and the prospect of stability and virus resistence. For the rest they thought just because I introduced them to Linux, I was also responsible of doing every computing task for them, because they were absolutely not interested to research this new system for themselves. Every pointer to good information and general descriptions of certain tasks fell on deaf ears. It soon became "here is the computer, sit down and do it". Not sustainable.

I switched to Linux on my own, because I wanted it. I had a few false starts, but I saw the merits of Linux and I wanted to be able to use that to my advantage. I've never run around the internet asking everybody and his dog why Linux wasn't like Windows. I bought books and magazines and read tutorials. I wanted Linux.

If someone really wants it, they will get it. An artificial womb approach to Linux won't get it more dedicated users, just more headaches. Without a real determination to switch, no amount of handholding will get new users on board. As soon as a bump in the road appears it will be critisizing and running back to wherever they came from.

Feb 22, 2010
11:18 AM EDT
Something just struck me. Apple has the upper hand here. OS X is also very different from Windows, but one has to spend a lot money to get an Apple machine with OS X. Once you take the plunge with Apple, you will have to persevere when hitting a road bump. The alternative is explaining to your better half why you discarded the working Windows family PC and bought a twice as expensive machine, just to run the same old Windows on it...

In this case it is a drawback that Linux is mostly gratis.

Feb 22, 2010
12:23 PM EDT
@trip, makes perfect sense. Sadly you discounted one variable, when humans get involved logic seldom has anything to do with anything.

Feb 22, 2010
12:30 PM EDT
I've said for a long time that most Microsoft users suffer from "Stockholm Syndrome"...

Feb 22, 2010
12:56 PM EDT
> In this case it is a drawback that Linux is mostly gratis.

True. With Apple products there's a degree of pride involved, since you spent so much money for them and their ads pitch the fact that they're so simple to use.

Feb 22, 2010
1:56 PM EDT
Quoting:their ads pitch the fact that they're so simple to use.
That's right. They had to put Unix under the hood, or else they'd run afoul of the Truth in Advertising Act.

Feb 22, 2010
2:25 PM EDT
> In this case it is a drawback that Linux is mostly gratis.

Basic human nature to not respect anything that's cheap.

"I paid $200 for this bottle of wine, you only paid $15 for that box of wine. Mine is obviously better."

Feb 22, 2010
2:26 PM EDT
Ok, sorry, that was a bad example. Even I would fully expect the bottle to be "better" than the box, but would anyone argue it was _that_much_ better?

Feb 22, 2010
2:40 PM EDT
Hey Bob,

How about a box of ten? That way you get way more at the lower price.

A cashiers check plus shipping and handling will still keep it under $200, for you.


P.S. Have the broaden my business efforts, since the bouncing checks for shilling and tilling the astroturf range has left my bank balance in the negative territory.

Feb 22, 2010
4:32 PM EDT
Quoting:Why is it that I see more and more people proclaiming we need to make Linux luke warm for Windows users?

Because the majority of people are technophobes, they don't understand technology and fear it. Almost all of them use Windows, and Windows has taught them technology should be feared, that they are right. Currently Linux, which could save them from most of the issues they have with a specific type of technology (Computers), teaches them the same lesson , but in a different way. Linux teaches them technology is hard, because the majority of Geeks that use Linux like it that way.

Feb 22, 2010
6:21 PM EDT
TA, I'll take exception only to one aspect of what you wrote.

I, too, like it easy. My Windows installs aren't "easy" either, by normal criteria.

The problem in my experience is that Linux must be _installed_. That is what scares people away.

Those who aren't scared away by that run into the same problems I have: My kid's _Dora the Explorer_ doesn't work on Linux. Or WINE. Or VirtualBox (directx).

Posting in this forum is limited to members of the group: [ForumMods, SITEADMINS, MEMBERS.]

Becoming a member of LXer is easy and free. Join Us!