Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 13th Aug 2008 12:10 UTC, submitted by judgen
Linux As we all know by now, netbooks are the latest craze in the computing world. Small notebooks, perfect for on the go, and relatively cheap. The interesting thing is that these netbooks are often offered with Linux pre-installed instead of Windows, and this prompts many to believe that it is the netbook niche where Linux will gain its first solid foothold among the general populace. "It does a lot to level the playing field. In fact, Linux looks to be quick out of the gate," said Jay Lyman, analyst with the 451 Group. However - is that really happening?
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Human nature - resistant to change
by waynej on Wed 13th Aug 2008 13:06 UTC
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There is no question that the existence of these devices will increase the market share of Linux - ridiculous to suggest otherwise - but many people will either purchase the models with XP or try to install it afterwards.


Simple. Linux is different. It is not Windows and people are resistant to change. It really is as simple as that. There will be people who will give Linux a chance and find they like it but at the same time there will be people who will not like it purely because it is different. Fine.

There will be people who give it a chance, discover that Linux is easy to administer and find that even if their favorite software is not available, there are free alternatives that do the same job (sometimes better). There will be people who will refuse to use any alternative to their favorite package and therefore need windows. Fine.

People are resistant to change. My father-in-law is having to completely re-install his XP box. Again. He only needs the pc for browsing, e-mails and to do office tasks for his business. A distro such as PClinuxOS would be perfect for him. Will he give it a try? No. It's different, too much effort to learn (?), can't get "Microsoft" on it, etc.

He's the kind of person that given the choice of what he knows and something different will always choose the familiar. He's not alone in his attitude and in someways it's hard to argue with. It's human nature.

Also, some people will always try to install this piece of software on that piece of hardware for the hell of it or to prove some kind of point.

Linux is making headway, of that there is no question. These devices are exposing more and more people to the platform and it will gain market share - there can be no doubt about this. But many people will want to stick to what they know and are familiar with.

Where things will get interesting is when XP's life comes to an end early next year. Will Vista be installable on these machines? That is the interesting factor. People like and are familiar with Windows and as Vista gains more and more exposure and people want it on all their platforms (familiarity again) what will they do when it can't be installed on these inherently less powerful machines.

The long game may favour Linux more than we think.

My tuppence.

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