Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 22:07 UTC
Linux With Linux on the desktop going from a slow crawl to verging on an explosion, many have toiled with the question: How do we make this happen faster? A well-known Austin-based Linux Advocate thinks he has the answer.
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I'm serious. Tell me one compelling reason to switch. Is it much faster? Is it much easier to use? Does it help everyone work much better? Does it have visual appeal? No. It's just cheaper than Windows and OSX.

Linux has the following advantages over Windows:
(1) Many eyes make bugs shallow
(2) You cannot hide malware in open source
(3) No DRM or WGA
(4) No single vendor lock-in, and so no monopoly prices
(5) No forced upgrades (after all, you do have the source for whatever version you are using)
(6) 1.5 million developers worldwide (equivalent full-time)
(7) guaranteed no call-home spyware
(8) you can remove anything you don't like, such as DRM
(9) developed in a meritocracy ... so it does what the people want, not what big business wants
(10) You have control over your own hardware

Some of those advantages you get with OSX, others not.

But it also has a cost: you must learn how to use it and you risk wasting time on it in case you don't like it (let's just ignore missing software and hardware support). Before you can even decide whether Linux is worth the discount when buying a computer you have to use it, which costs time that not everyone is willing to invest.

Myths. Linux is no harder to use and learn than Windows.

Seriously, from a user-experience point of view, Linux doesn't add any value to my life and work (maybe you like exploring geeky stuff, but many people don't).

So don't explore it, just use it. Enjoy.

What's the goal of Linux? Bringing *computer* open-source and *computer* freedom and *computer* choice to the masses? Who cares about that apart from a few geeks? You don't become a free person with political and personal freedom of choice. Stop fooling us with those bold statements. Many people get frightened when they have to choose something they don't know anything about (and actually don't want to learn anything about). You want to make Linux successful? Then create a paralyzing and real alternative. Really improve the way we use computers. Get rid of the applications concept and unlock our data from functionality [1]. Get rid of the folders and files concept and use semantic technologies [2] or whatever works better. Make software significantly faster and more responsive. Do something that really makes a difference! Stop copying others. Firefox innovates on its own and it makes a difference. People love it. Do the same for Linux.

What brought all that on?

Do yourself a favour ... pretend you had never seen Windows before. You are an utter newbie. Sit yourself down with two ASUS EEEPCs ... one with the default Linux install, and the other with Windows XP.

I guarantee you that you would get miles and miles further in a shorter time with the Linux variant than you would with the Windows XP one. You aren't going to be able to do all that much with Notepad, Calc and Paint, are you? And you are left a bit vulnerable without your extra security programs for Windows, aren't you?

To get anywhere near what you can do with the Linux EEEPC, you would have to spend on software two or three times the cost of the bare hardware for the Windows XP version of the EEEPC ... or you could run Firefox, GIMP and OpenOffice etc for a more reasonable outlay ... oh, wait. Those are in the Linux variant anyway.

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