Uphill battle

Story: Used PC’s is the path to Linux desktop adoption.Total Replies: 3
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Sep 03, 2010
4:09 AM EDT
While I understand the reasoning in the article, it's not only about economics. If cheap, used PC's with an alternative OS's were the hot thing, Linux would already have made humongous inroads in the average home. Despite millions of users, Linux is still a faint blip on the radar.

The biggest problem we face is the installed base of Windows users, the perception people have and the huge amount of third party software houses and hardware manufacturers supporting Windows. For better or worse, Windows has become synonymous with the PC. Windows is the safe bet. All the people you know use it. Every electronics store in the world sells it. All hardware and "commercial" software is "made for it". Windows looks like a must have, if you want to do something on a computer.

Perception wise, Windows is king of the hill. What perceptions does Linux invoke? Not ready for the desktop. Difficult to use. It doesn't support gaming, autocad, photoshop, etc. You have to compile your own stuff. It doesn't have drivers for your hardware. You have to type in commands all the time. It's only free if your time costs nothing. It doesn't have support. It's written by pimply teenagers in the basement. It is only used by criminals and terrorists. (Ad infinitum, ad nauseam. You know the drill.)

To make Linux acceptable, its image of this fringe thing with negative attributes needs to be changed first. When all the old FUD has lost its shine of veracity, then Linux can make inroads. Before that, it will be shunned like the immigrant moving in to an ethnic homogenous and xenophobic neighborhood.

Sep 03, 2010
9:52 AM EDT
That's why the article has got it just plain wrong,... The path to more Linux "marketshare," or more appropriately, "mindshare," is through mobile devices and alternative format computing... Netbooks were the first, now phones & tablets (Android & Meego), and the always-beneath-the-radar set-top boxes and home media server devices (plug & play multimedia/storage device hybrids),... Oh,... and home control centers (multimedia, lightling, environmental & security).

In those applications, the "stigma" of Linux being a geek OS is reduced, and gives people a chance to actually see it working. Once they do, their barriers are down and they have a greater likelihood of adopting it as a desktop OS.

The reality of the situation is that Linux is every bit at easy to work with as the commercial OSes,... and sometimes more so. Plus there are other advantages;... cost, security, control (ownership of your data), scalability, speed, power, availability/community (most solutions & help are a download or chat/blog away). The only reasons Linux hasn't overtaken the other OSes is that they have marketing juggernauts & marketplace inertia to contend with. If we flash forward 10 years, we'll see Linux marketshare being significant. But there won't be a "year of the Linux desktop." The adoption of Linux will continue as it always has; as a slow groundswell.

Sep 03, 2010
12:29 PM EDT
As to the article and i wont even bother qualifying this errrm No.

@JaseP You have it pretty much right only place we differ is that don't believe Linux will ever make it on the desktop.

Why cause most users out there are dumber than a bag of spanners and will actively resist change even if it costs them money to do so this is a fact ive had to deal with in many years of computer support at various levels, the effort to overcome this barrier just isn't worth it and I don't even bother anymore, won't even provide support to family & friends when it comes to Windows and they don't even ask anymore if people wish to perpetuate stupidity fine but don't expect me to help them in fact i just find the whole situation depressing - now where did i leave my prozac.

Sep 03, 2010
12:34 PM EDT
Agree with the other commenters. The reality of this we are seeing in mobile devices.

Applications written for Android in "Java"; apps for Windows 7 written in Silverlight, many apps for Linux actually written in Python: the particular minutiae of the OS is becoming less and less relevant. Especially with a lot of apps predicted to move to the web and off the local platform. Windows, OS/X, Linux: nobody will really care.

In the far future when you can talk to a computer in natural language, will the concept of "application" mean anything then?

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