Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 22nd May 2007 00:12 UTC, submitted by Jon Dough
Linux Why is it that the average computer user still chooses to spend hundreds of dollars on Windows or Mac when there are countless Linux alternatives that they could download, install and make use of completely free of charge? Some answers here.
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Five crucial mistakes
by nedvis on Tue 22nd May 2007 04:29 UTC
nedvis
Member since:
2006-01-02

1 - Dissatisfaction with Windows
Cold be, but it's more about dissatisfaction with
the way Microsoft wants us to use their products.
Linux is more about choice and freedom.
2 - Too many distros.
That's totally irrelevant; average user will not install rPath or Astaro Linux ever. They usually go for three or four well established brands in Linux world.And BTW average user does not run new operating system in virtual machine nor does any testing on their own, same way they don't test Windows/Mac OSX, they buy recommended operating systems.
3 - Hardware compatibility.
It's getting better every day.
4 - Command line
I can't remember last time I had to use terminal/console and I'm using Linux exclusively everyday on my five home computers. And, actually ,
I found CLI is sometimes more efficient way of doing something than crawling through menus, submenus and tabs.
5 - Linux is still too geeky.
That's true if you're talking Arch or Slackware.
We are talking about Linux for average user and there are PCLinuxOS, Ubuntu and Mandriva for them.
======================================================
ZDnet author may have some experience in techical writing but certainly not in social psychology.
Fortunately, average computer user DOES NOT READ ZDNET BLOGS.

Edited 2007-05-22 04:46

Reply Score: 5

RE: Five crucial mistakes
by DigitalAxis on Tue 22nd May 2007 15:46 in reply to "Five crucial mistakes"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

That's totally irrelevant; average user will not install rPath or Astaro Linux ever.


Well, there is a slight problem I've seen with people responding to new users' requests for help with nonfunctional hardware, then. "Have you tried PCLinuxOS? Have you tried Kanotix? Have you tried Elive? Why not try Debian? How about Kubuntu?"
I've seen it happen when Ubuntu randomly doesn't seem to recognize what should be a well-supported piece of hardware.

3 - Hardware compatibility.
It's getting better every day.


On that note, I would normally agree with you except every single time a major linux distro is released I end up seeing reviews and comments here saying "Well, I wanted to like Fedora, but the LiveCD wouldn't even boot" or "It couldn't recognize my hard drive, end of story" or "Performed admirably but I could never get wireless internet working, so it gets a 2/10" or "I got a black screen every time it tried to start X" or "How did they think they could get away with the installer not installing a kernel?". It makes me wonder what the heck is going on.

This is STILL a major problem, because every time this happens you know this person is going to tell all the friends who wanted to know how that Linux thing went, that Linux is a total piece of garbage.

4 - Command line
I can't remember last time I had to use terminal/console and I'm using Linux exclusively everyday on my five home computers.


One of these days I'm going to have to try that, because at the moment I prefer the command line to mucking around in Thunar or Konqueror. I may have to turn off thumbnails so they load faster.
Needless to say, while I'm glad it's no longer necessary, it better not completely disappear.

Oh, and for everyone saying the terminal isn't bad... well, no it isn't, but it LOOKS scary, and gives the impression that you're tampering with vital parts of the system that are so old and fragile that you have to use DOS to get at them. Oh, and it's a nice black box where you can't see where you are and what you're doing, as compared to a file manager.
At least that's how I suspect the thinking goes.

5 - Linux is still too geeky.
That's true if you're talking Arch or Slackware.
We are talking about Linux for average user and there are PCLinuxOS, Ubuntu and Mandriva for them.

I've seen that complaint leveled at Ubuntu, too. Generally 'geeky' is anything that you have to ask a geek how to do because you've never seen it before, and this includes running Synaptic and adding repositories.

In closing, I doubt Linux will really get anywhere until it's the sort of thing a Windows poweruser can pop into the CD tray, install, and configure, in total isolation.

I was involved in a discussion with someone who was interested in switching to Ubuntu because they hate Windows, but prefaced their request with a note that they'd already tried Mac OS X and it was too different and he hated it.
Fortunately, we have LiveCDs for him to test.

Edited 2007-05-22 15:50

Reply Parent Score: 2