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Old 13. Mar 2009, 10:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The world was ready for Linux years ago but just like VHS versus Betamax folly we all missed the opportunity and ended up with Bill Gates instead! The gap between Windows and Linux is still narrowing but I fear that Ubuntu and Mandriva are trying to head down the same road by constantly bringing out new distros instead of improving the service from what they've already got. From a security point of view Linux wins hands down and no matter how much future popularity might divert malware writers attention to it, it can never become as vulnerable as Windows. The other issue with Linux is the desktop. Gnome is tired despite the makeovers and although KDE3.5 was going in the right direction V4 seems to have scored an own goal. You almost need the graphics ability of a mainframe to run it (OK slight exaggeration) but what the hell to I need a Plasma Dashboard for??!! The only plasma I'm likely to need I can get at the hospital. I used Ubuntu for a while and managed to get my head around all this sudo/apt/get business but still it's no where near as user friendly as Windows. More Windows apps than you think will run on Linux using Wine but this in itself can be a bit of a pain.
The best distros in my opinion are PCLinuxOS, OPENSuse, and Fedora.Trouble is no one could figure out how to get my Sony Ericsson mobile broadband modem to work with any of them so I ended up with Ubuntu. If only Windows was as stable as Linux - you could probably boot Ubuntu from the back of a house brick.
I think if you forced 100 Windows users to switch to Linux for 3 months, at least 50 of them wouldn't switch back. The message isn't carried well either when you see pictures of that guy who authors Ubuntu (sorry can't remember his name) - looks like a Yeti. This is the image most people have of Linux and unless some of these guys start climbing into suits and getting their hair cut it ain't gonna change. I'm not arguing the relevance of shaggy sweaters and long hair at all because it isn't, but the image doesn't endear ordinary folk to change.
Just my opinion - probably garbage.
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Old 13. Mar 2009, 11:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Hey Glyn - Interesting you should mention PCLinuxOS as among your favourites...I haven't tried it yet but have it earmarked for when the new version is released.
I know I am well in the minority but I do not like Ubuntu (many reasons)...so far, my favourite has been Kubuntu. Quick and easy install to external HDD, very good hardware recognition and above all (for me) the KDE desktop with Kubuntu runs a lot more functions from GUI.....gotta luv that command line bulls***....not!!
Another I have earmarked for tryout is Mint...hear good things about it too.

I agree with what you said about Linux's image but that is only one of many steps the Linux people need to take if they are serious about gaining any substantial market share.
First up, there are far too many distros to pick from, this only serves to confuse prospective new users and, ultimately, dissuade many. Plus, each distro has its own good points but each one has some bad points too. The Linux people need to all get together and produce one super distro, incorporating the best from the best while omitting all the lousy bits. There could be a number of add-on packs for specialist needs.
Next, they need to seriously 'sell' that product to the hardware manufacturers and convince them to include software/driver CD's (with their products) which support the new distro.
Yes, other issues need attention too, such as user friendliness, etc. but, in my opinion, these are minor compared to the points above and would tend to take care of themselves once a measurable market share was achieved.

I hasten to add, I am not being critical nor stating what I would necessarily like to happen...rather my opinion on what Linux needs to do in order to convert the 'average PC user' away from Windows.

Oh, and I enjoy your posts too...keep 'em coming!

cheers.....JIM

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Old 14. Mar 2009, 03:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I think if you forced 100 Windows users to switch to Linux for 3 months, at least 50 of them wouldn't switch back.
Nope, I do not agree. 50 % would return, the other half would stop using the computer
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Old 14. Mar 2009, 07:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Nope, I do not agree. 50 % would return, the other half would stop using the computer
I know a lot of people who moved to Linux and did not return to Windows. They were all in their early 20s though. Probably switching early in the computer life is easier or these people were ready for the extra effort to learn Linux.

I agree that Linux is not ready for the common user, but some distros like Ubuntu are taking quick steps to bridge the gap. We should be there in about 3 years. Who knows, Windoze 8 would have competition from Linux.
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Old 14. Mar 2009, 07:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I agree that Linux is not ready for the common user, but some distros like Ubuntu are taking quick steps to bridge the gap. We should be there in about 3 years. Who knows, Windoze 8 would have competition from Linux.
I sure hope that's true, and I agree: if you're ready to give it time, and invest the same amount of time you had to when you learned W1nd0ze, then - depending on your ways of using your pc - it is an alternative already. But you have to make allowances, and you must not be scared of the command line. For me, it is the filemanager. I use Linux Mint, got OO3 installed, have a crippled version of my mind mapping tool, and now, I'm waiting for a decent editor (there may soon be a commercial one) and filemanager.

If you can switch to online apps alltogether, then using Linux should not be the big difference...
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Old 14. Mar 2009, 08:37 PM   #16 (permalink)
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But you have to make allowances, and you must not be scared of the command line.
I agree that you need to use the command line as the GUI is not as extensive. But if we are talking of softwares, then I differ in some aspects. If you can find all the drivers for your system, then Linux is like heaven. You will get tonnes (yeah tonnes, and that can be a problem in itself) of apps for doing the task. Just look in sf.net or some other Linux related site. The best part is that most of it would be free to use. No trial/reduced versions to cope with, no WGA goofups...

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If you can switch to online apps alltogether, then using Linux should not be the big difference...
Why move everything online? What will you do the day your net connection decides to have an off day?!! Worst, what if the apps provider decides to change his policy one fine day or suffers a disk crash? Recent incidents have shown that even Google is not 100% reliable, though I've not heard of data loss at Google. What about data confidentiality? No I would do my work on my system locally and not have someone else looking at my documents without my permission.
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Old 14. Mar 2009, 10:31 PM   #17 (permalink)
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  • applications: yes, almost all are free to use, but I'm sure you agree that most of them (not all), just most of them are no match for their W1nd0ze versions, e.g. Songbird. If anyone should think, StreamRipper is "state of the art" software...
  • "Why move everything online?" I didn't say, move everything online, I said, if you're already using online apps and say FireFox to access those, then the difference between the operating systems will be minimal.
  • Also I feel, it doesn't do Linux any good to pretend it is ready for the home pc, average user, or a match in user friendliness. It is not. And from a consumer point of view, it is not the job of the user to learn, but the job of the developer to make that as simple, easy, and as little time consuming as possible. If you expect the user to invest more, the "Evil Empire" will prevail.
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Old 14. Mar 2009, 10:56 PM   #18 (permalink)
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  • And from a consumer point of view, it is not the job of the user to learn, but the job of the developer to make that as simple, easy, and as little time consuming as possible.
Here, here!!!
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Old 16. Mar 2009, 11:17 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I think the key point in all of these threads was the one about Linux "getting together", and unfortunately it's never gonna happen. Half of the people concerned are loners by nature - shut away developing their next string, and the rest now have commercial sponsors to satisfy. Still the biggest handicap is that with Windows you can double click whatever it is on the desktop and just watch the files disappear into the right holes. Doesn't matter that the whole thing might go BSOD next week, users are looking at the 'now' and not so much at the 'if' and 'maybe'. The one thing I felt using Ubuntu, although I never really liked it, was that I'd never felt safer using a PC. I hardly looked at Firestarter, and then only to see that there were actually some entries in it. Sort of disbelief really. It would actually be an interesting project to try and measure just how much time an "averagely responsible user" spends attending to their various Windows security apps. I think we'd all be surprised.
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Old 17. Mar 2009, 12:14 AM   #20 (permalink)
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It's bever going to happen. Most users simply aren't intested in fiddling about with their computers, they just want to use them to do things and most come withan O/S installed. Most use Windows at work, and want an environment that is familiar.
If Linux could ever significantly penetrate the commercial Desktop, and some European Govmts. are moving in this direction, things might change but I don't expect it to happen in my lifetime.
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