Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 2nd Nov 2009 23:59 UTC
Windows Windows 7 has been out and about for little over a week now, and as it turns out, Microsoft's new baby is doing relatively well. That is, according to the figures by NetApplications: Windows 7 already reached the 3% mark this weekend, and is already closing in on the 4% mark.
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RE: Typical
by saucerful on Tue 3rd Nov 2009 08:01 UTC in reply to "Typical"
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Excuse me, but what the f--k is your point? If you're calling people out on their claims that the Linux desktop is as user friendly as the Microsoft one, uh-- DUH. Windows is designed for everyone and their grandmother. Linux is not.

Yes, companies like Canonical are making claims to the contrary, AND in fact they ARE making progress in backing up those claims.

BUT that's not why WE (me, and I suspect most of the Linux users on this website) are using Linux.

See, we believe in this thing called Freedom. We want to be able to control our machines, since after all-- they're ours, right?

Indeed, because of a long story involving a few large companies, this freedom neither ubiquitous nor absolute. As your post illustrates, the first obstruction to freedom is hardware. In your case, it seems like its bad drivers. Another obstruction is interoperability with non-free software. Unfortunately this is the case today. Many people are working hard to change this and there has certainly been SUBSTANTIAL progress. Others are doing their part by simply not giving money to the people that are standing in our way.

But to someone thats really interested in being free, that won't be too much of an issue. See, if you actually care about your freedom, you'd spend FIVE minutes before you buy your next computer and make sure it's not going to be an obstruction to your freedom. Yes, sometimes being free requires a little bit of research. Cry about it. On the other hand, most people can get away without doing any research (especially if they don't need cutting edge hardware).

So far I haven't said what freedom actually gets you. Many people, including Linux users, including myself for the first couple years that I used the platform, will barely ever really take direct advantage of the freedom available to them. Instead, they will see the indirect benefits of freedom. For example, they will find that bugs in their software are fixed more quickly. They will find that older hardware is much more capable. They will find that pieces of software written by entirely different groups of people can talk to each other, something we call the UNIX philosophy.

Still haven't told you what you can do DIRECTLY with your newfound freedom, huh? Warning: using your freedom might actually require a little work, maybe even some *gasp* imagination. Here's a trivial example. A week or so ago I realized it would be nice if the status (paused/stopped/playing, song info) of my music player (quodlibet) to be displayed in the statusbar of my window manager (awesome). I added 3 lines to my window manager's configuration file to get a text widget on the status bar, and wrote a 10 line python plugin for the music player to update that with the relevant info on the relevant events.

People might react to this in different ways. Some will undoubtedly think "see this is why Linux isn't ready for the desktop. nobody should have to use a text editor to do anything." Others will scoff at the fact that this functionality wasn't built in. (Those people will probably prefer Ubuntu, Gnome, Rhythmbox, etc. instead of Debian, Awesome, Quodlibet) Suit yourself. I am very satisfied that my solution uses (wild guess) about 1K additional memory and that I can change it in a million different ways (text colors, formatting, album art, etc.) with just a couple lines of code.

And this is just an example of some trivial modification. There are no limits (okay, there are some. see above.) to what you can accomplish with free software, even for desktop-oriented stuff. And in the server arena... well let's not even talk about that.

In conclusion, in MY opinion, Linux isn't for everyone. The people who will benefit from it most TODAY are those who use their computers and feel like their operating system is getting in the way and preventing them from getting what they want done. However, this is changing. Linux IS becoming friendlier, and more and more people are starting to see much more subtle advantages or even much simpler ones (price). Unfortunately, there are some significant barriers that we need to overcome that will require momentum from the community (I think we have this) and also the assistance of various corporations (this is also getting there, albeit more slowly).

Edited 2009-11-03 08:07 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3