May 12, 2009

Wishful thinking on display

Another article which states categorically that Linux will supplant Windows as the OS of choice. Certainly the author makes some valid points, many of which I agree with, but the reality is that if Vista didn't provide incentive to switch, nothing short of Armageddon will. There are, however, some things that could make the switch more likely:

1) Get some PC distributors to sell them with Linux installed. Pick 3-4 total distros and give the buyer a choice of, say, Ubuntu, MEPIS, Mint or Xandros. Have versions of them on display so that prospective buyers can see what they'd be getting. Oh, and make certain that these distros get installed on the top-end machines. Sure you can run Linux on a lesser machine than what Vista requires, but you're the comparison is between a Ferrari and a Model T. Install Linux on a quad core machine with 4-8 Gb of RAM and let people see just how fast the system is.

2) Install Wine or Virtual Box to try and make it painless for users to install their beloved Windows only applications, such as Quicken. Better yet, install the software via Virtual Box or Wine for the user so that they hit the ground running. People like me love to fiddle with settings and such. Most people? Not so much. They want it to work out of the box.

3) Install lots of robust open source applications, such as Open Office, Evolution, Thunderbird, GIMP/GIMPshop, etc.

4) Hammer the cost savings. Windows Vista, Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop? They all cost big bucks if you pay full price. Compare that with the zero dollars you'll spend on the Linux machine.

There are ways to make inroads into Microsoft's market dominance, but none of them should include wishful thinking. Unfortunately, the author of the article falls prey to that. Pity.

Posted by: Physics Geek at 09:29 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 But the all important question; can I play my games on a Linux box?

Posted by: Thomas at May 12, 2009 11:31 AM (jTT87)

2 I've been using SCO UNIX and LINUX for the last ten years or so. A properly configured Linux box will run underwater...of course you know that. I had a Linux database server box that did not require an involuntary reboot for 8 years...the damn thing was just plain stable. My woman once asked me to wipe her Windows laptop and install Linux. She got use to one of my Linux boxs, and loved it. OSX is pretty cool too. Native vi. When I was first learning vi, I said it was an acronym for "virtually impossible". How wrong can you is your best friend...of course you know that. Have a good day.

Posted by: Sam at May 13, 2009 06:27 AM (kN++T)

3 The problem isn't with any fundamental flaw of Linux (there really isn't any) but the fact that it's difficult to teach new tricks to all the sheep out there used to their beloved Windows. Linux is a geek's dream with all the free open-source software out there and the ability to tinker with it limitlessly via the command-line interface. The problem is, most people (like you stated) want to hit the ground running and just be able to point and click. Despite some snappy looking GUI interfaces with Linux, it isn't always that easy, particularly when it comes to installing new software (I'm still learning how). There's a learning curve for everything, and many Windows (and Mac) users just don't have the time, patience, or the motivation to learn another OS. Not to mention software availability on the market heavily favoring Windows, and your average user not knowing where to find open-source equivalents (Open Office).

Posted by: diamond dave at May 14, 2009 07:27 AM (UKUNx)

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