Hits the nail on the head

Story: The ‘Too Many Distros’ TheoryTotal Replies: 4
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Jul 10, 2013
7:44 PM EDT
Christine Hall says something I've been saying for years. What wins on the desktop is what's preinstalled and available in big box stores. End of story. Too many distros? Most consumers still don't know what Linux is, let alone that there are a lot of distros.

Jul 10, 2013
7:52 PM EDT
Absolutely correct.

Jul 11, 2013
3:20 AM EDT
This is a conversation that will run and run for many more years.

There are basically two ways to spin "the too many distros" argument.

The first way to spin the argument is to say yes there are too many distros. If everyone focused on two, three or four distros then each of these individual distros would become stronger.

The other way is to say well as long as people are using the distros that are made there is a benefit in their existence. Those distros that are not viable will die out in the end anyway.

I prefer the second argument. Most distros are based on another distro and so by developing for one distro as long as the code is made available up the way then everyone benefits. What is good for one person is tragic for another. You couldn't expect my mum to use Arch or Gentoo but she might manage Ubuntu, conversely people who like full control over thei operating system probably hate Ubuntu. (It is almost the difference between being happy to be a passenger in a plane and being the pilot of the plane).

Jul 11, 2013
6:10 AM EDT
I've never thought "too many distros" is a convincing argument for not adopting Linux. In fact, I've rarely heard it put forth by anyone other than clueless blog scribes trying to garner attention. And who would listen to their strident bleating other than competing blog scribes.

I agree that "never" is the last time computer users migrated from one OS to another. When was the last time they had an opportunity? Again, never. The closest being when OS/2 had a chance to compete with the newly emerging Windows as a successor to DOS. Unfortunately, by then M$ already had it's wildly successful OEM scheme in place and few vendors were stupid enough to complain. It had nothing to do with vendors carefully training anyone. The vendors were as clueless and stupid as the buyers. A perfect example, Commodore abandoned the one real possible Wintel killer, Amiga, to hitch itself to the emerging M$ cash cow spawned by the corporate sector. Naturally, it failed miserably, the market place already dominated by lowest price on the planet Taiwanese upstarts who didn't mind in the least being extorted into making a lotta $$ quickly.

Regardless, it's the masses that are the key. They are going to take the path of least resistance and M$ has been brilliant in mapping that path. They're the one's doing the training, of both vendors and consumers. Apples are too expensive and Linux is too hard and pushing our OS will guarantee a profit. Oh yes, alts were offered. Dell, Asus, even Walmart, failed to push Linux desktops. Why? Cuz buyers are lazy and stupid and no one has realized this better than M$.

But, the tide has turned. If anyone nailed it, it was Wired magazine, years ago when it ran an article naming all the reasons why M$ was doomed. The most simple and obvious was, cuz when you've reached the peak, the only direction left is down.

Will Linux EVER win the desktop!? Is there even enough desktop real estate left to win? Who cares? Apparently, desperate for a story techno columnists who are now resorting to camouflage and slight-of-hand to keep throwing this chewed to death debate in our face.

Jul 11, 2013
1:40 PM EDT
Quoting: Cuz buyers are lazy and stupid and no one has realized this better than M$.

Bingo!!! This is also the reason why 3rd rate "Mom & Pop" computer repair stores still survive in this day and age. If the average computer user had the knowledge and know-how of the average Linux user (keep in mind that we are typically a self-selecting sample of computer users), those types of businesses would go belly-up. Its the reason why there is a proliferation of business school drop-outs doing computer tech work... If you have any aptitude whatsoever, somebody will think you're an "expert."

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