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 Why Linux won't replace Windows

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Laz
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PostSubject: Why Linux won't replace Windows   Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:01 am

I have often seen musings regarding Linux's market share, by proponents of both systems.
Much to my regret I believe Linux has hit a wall. It has become increasingly difficult to introduce the system to new users, mainly due to the inability to successfully run the live CD's because of
hardware incompatibility.

Windows has a definite advantage here, as most hardware is now "Windows Certified", while Linux is constantly battling driver issues. Granted, that these problems can be overcome by poking and tweaking the system, but let's face it, very few people are willing to do that. Over the past two years, I tried to build some enthusiasm for LInux amongst my friends, but if the live CD's fail to run on their system the first time out, they won't look at it twice. Perhaps one out of ten has the curiosity, and stubbornness to work out the problems, and therein lies the tale.

We are not all software engineers, hackers, or even informed enthusiasts. We have been trained to click on icons, fill forms, and do a bit of typing now and then. Until that changes, and in this dumbed-down world that's most unlikely, Linux developers will have to go to greater lengths to impress the first time user. Otherwise Linux will remain just a professionals, or enthusiasts operating system. Not mainstream.
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bdquick
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PostSubject: Re: Why Linux won't replace Windows   Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:42 pm

I think you are correct. To most people a computer is just a tool to get work done or have fun, and all they care about is it allowing them to that with no fuss. They don't want to learn how to do more advanced things. Which if you are in the business of fixing computers, that is good for you. I would love to see Linux get more adoption. Part of the problem there though is all the differences between distros. That's where Windows and Mac rule. Its just easier to develop for those platforms.

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PostSubject: Re: Why Linux won't replace Windows   Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:02 pm

What you've said is true for now. As more and more people are learning that point and click isn't everything.
For now linux is a bystander in the crowd, but soon that will change...

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Laz
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PostSubject: Re: Why Linux won't replace Windows   Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:32 am

[quote="bdquick"Part of the problem there though is all the differences between distros. That's where Windows and Mac rule. Its just easier to develop for those platforms.[/quote]

When I first started looking at Linux, I tried just about all the major distros. By and large, I found a great deal of similarity from the user's point of view. Even the standard packages are pretty much the same, with a few notable exceptions. What goes on under the hood is another matter.

What you said about Windows and Mac are pretty well on the mark, Windows due to the MS guidelinew, and Mac because of a very restricted hardware layer.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Linux won't replace Windows   Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:45 am

welan wrote:
What you've said is true for now. As more and more people are learning that point and click isn't everything.
For now linux is a bystander in the crowd, but soon that will change...

I would not argue against the command line, after all I cut my computing teeth on DOS. By the way I always preferred Novell Dos to the PC/MS variety, and you can't talk to digital switches without Unix, but it is just too cryptic for Joe and Jane Sixpack. Even mouse clicks are going out of style in favour of sliding fingers, a la Iphone / notepad. Just part of the dumbind down process I guess.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but it seems to me that Gnome 3 is making inroads in that direction as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Linux won't replace Windows   Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:13 pm

Laz wrote:
I believe Linux has hit a wall. It has become increasingly difficult to introduce the system to new users, mainly due to the inability to successfully run the live CD's because of
hardware incompatibility.

Be careful to compare apples to apples. Where is M$'s live CD? Oh! Not allowed by the EULA, eh? That any live CD ever runs is a huge victory for GNU/Linux.

Also, in my experience, lately 14 years in a number of schools loaded with random PCs and hardware acquired with XP and other releases from M$ I have rarely encountered any device GNU/Linux could not run out of the box. Naturally, if a LiveCD was produced before some new hardware existed there might not be a driver but that is a rare occurrence. I once converted a lab that was routinely brought to its knees by naughty students swapping mice. There were four kinds of PC in the lab all running XP but each had a different set of drivers. I put in GNU/Linux and a single image could run the whole lab without having to hunt for a single driver.

As far as I know all major OEMs and many minor OEMs do routinely ship GNU/Linux PCs with hardware working with GNU/Linux, so, if you compare OEM-installed OS, GNU/Linux has no disadvantage whatsoever.

BTW, OEMs ship many millions of GNU/Linux PCs annually, just not to USA/Canada for whatever reasons. In Brazil, Walmart sells more GNU/Linux PCs than that other OS. Check out best sellers at www walmart com br . Positivo, a Brazilian company, ships millions of GNU/Linux PCs annually all over South America.

Lenovo recently got a deal to sell many thousands of GNU/Linux PCs in India and Dell is setting up more than a thousand stores selling Ubuntu PCs in India and China.

So, the premise is wrong. GNU/Linux is making it on the desktops as mainstream today. If your local retailers don't sell GNU/Linux PCs, ask them why. If people tell you GNU/Linux will never make it on the desktop, tell them it already has and they are missing out.

I have introduced thousands of students and teachers to GNU/Linux and hardware was rarely an issue. Neither were the GUI or the set of applications. In addition, users were amazed at the performance improvement on their same old hardware just by switching OS. Whenever I was the computer teacher in a school I would make sure to teach all Grade 10 students how to strip and rebuild an ATX PC and to install GNU/Linux. I never met a student who could not do that and some could barely read. So, GNU/Linux is not just for geeks. One of my last lessons for students was the unboxing of a brand new Lenovo PC with XP. The students were amazed that their 8 year old PCs running GNU/Linux gave superior performance. The reason? We used a decent server with RAID 1 SCSI and plenty of RAM and ran all the processes on that. We used the old machines as thin clients. That beats a single hard drive on a PC any day. All that magical technology was unleashed for $0 thanks to GNU/Linux.
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bdquick
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PostSubject: Re: Why Linux won't replace Windows   Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:43 pm

I would love see linux gain more popularity here. The biggest problem I see trying to get people to use Linux, is that its different and they don't wan to change.

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Laz
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PostSubject: Re: Why Linux won't replace Windows   Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:50 am

pogson wrote:
So, the premise is wrong. GNU/Linux is making it on the desktops as mainstream today. If your local retailers don't sell GNU/Linux PCs, ask them why. If people tell you GNU/Linux will never make it on the desktop, tell them it already has and they are missing out.

I admire your passion, and loyalty to Linux, but let me direct your attention to w3schools.com's
OS platform statistics. True, Linux enjoyed a 0.2% increase last month, but on the whole it has been stagnating between 4.5-5.2% over the last five years.

I also followed your suggestion, and had a chat with the local computer store's manager. He informed me that current desktop sales were plummeting, while tablet sales were on the rise. Not a good thing for Linux, unless Gnome 3 helps it get there.

The "free software" is definitely a plus, but as you are no doubt aware, there is no free lunch. Only the colour of the currency changes. It is no coincidence that some of the largest purveyors of
free software are also the wealthiest on the planet.
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