13 Reasons Why Linux Won't Make It To A Desktop Near You


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Kreuger
13 reasons why Linux won't make it to a desktop near you

by Kim Brebach

You're a marketer who finds an exciting new product developed by some really smart people. A great product few people have heard of is the Holy Grail of marketing -- all you have to do is tell everyone about it, and the world will beat a path to your door.

Isn't that the theory?

When you look more closely, you find it's not that simple. In fact, you find a set of insurmountable obstacles. Here's a short list:

1. The people who make the product have no money for marketing.

2. The reason they have no money is that they give the product away.

3. Since they give the product away, people never see it in shops.

4. Because people never see the product in shops or adverstised, they don't know it exists.

5. The makers of the product rely on word of mouth to attract more customers, but their customers only talk to each other.

6. On closer inspection, you find that there are 500 versions of the product. When you try to understand the subtle differences between them, you become confused. Your enthusiasm starts to flag.

7. When you install the product and try to use it, you strike unexpected problems. You also find some nice surprises, which boosts your flagging enthusiasm a little.

8. When you ask the product's maker for help, he suggests you talk to other users. They welcome you with open arms but answer your questions in a strange language.

9. When you admit that you have trouble understanding their language, you're told you'd better learn it, or you won't appreciate the product.

10. When you tell the designers that their product isn't marketable in its present form, they say that's okay, since they only wrote it to share with their friends.

11. As you wonder what to make of it all, you watch the designers and their supporters squabble among themselves over all kinds of trivia. As you realize that their collective focus isn't on fighting their real competitors, what's left of your enthusiasm ebbs further away.

12. When you ask the people in charge why they don't show more leadership, they say they have no power to unite the squabbling communities. They add that disagreement and vigorous debate were the very fires that forged the great product in the first place.

13. When you discover that some of the designers have made deals with their biggest competitor, the last drop of your enthusiasm drains away.

source and full article

I think that the first two points are slightly invalid. Look at Redhat and Novell. Too rather large players in the Linux world with commercially available and free products. They obviously have money backing. But it would seem accurate to say there is very little marketing involved. Anyone else have any ideas?

Further into the article, the author talks about the countless distros, WMs and everything else to choose from. I think we should start an ultimate newbie guide with info about the most common distros WMs, etc and provide tips to help users choose which is right for them. Then maybe part of the problem would disappear.

He also mentions vendors like IBM will soon follow Dell's footsteps in providing Linux on their machines and this just might also give a great boost in the market side of things.

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azz0r_wugg

First 5 points could have been one point.

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Miuku.

Oh look, FUD #13 sneaked its way into the article after all.

Incidentally this is why I almost never read any Linux/FSF/OSS related websites because they're mostly filled with crap.

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h3xis
You're a marketer who finds an exciting new product developed by some really smart people. A great product few people have heard of is the Holy Grail of marketing -- all you have to do is tell everyone about it, and the world will beat a path to your door.

Isn't that the theory?

No. It isn't. The writer fails already. I think Linux is marketed perfectly fine. It seems that the writer is just jumping on the bandwagon with everyone else. We get it. Linux is not ready for the desktop - for the average Joe Schmoe and I really don't think Mr. Schmoe cares.

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spacer

1 Reason why this list is 12 reasons too long:

Direct X.

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Barney T.

Let us not turn this into yet another Linux vs. Windows bashing thread. Choose the OS you like and be happy. Then let others do the same.

Thank you for your attention.

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Kushan

This is the kind of article that is completely invalid from the get-go, but will probably end up on the front page anyway >_<

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PL_

Can't all of those points be answered with Red Hat and SuSE?

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Abhishek kapoor
Thank you for your attention.

i like ur SITE "Welcome to My LinuxSpot"

good WORK

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spenser.d
Can't all of those points be answered with Red Hat and SuSE?

No. I do a lot of surfing on tech sites (mostly here on Neowin) and I get out and the only thing I know about Red Hat or SuSE is that they exist and are purportedly good. They just aren't marketed in any way that would appeal to the majority of the market. I doubt the majority of people know they exist.

-Spenser

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Kushan
Let us not turn this into yet another Linux vs. Windows bashing thread. Choose the OS you like and be happy. Then let others do the same.

Thank you for your attention.

OT: Isn't in pronoucned "lin-nucks" (lin to rhyme with win) and not "lee-nucks"?

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Barney T.
OT: Isn't in pronoucned "lin-nucks" (lin to rhyme with win) and not "lee-nucks"?

Well, Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux pronounces it "Leenooks" (or "lean-ooks" where the first part rhymes with "dean").

http://suseroot.com/about-suse-linux/how-d...ounce-linux.php

post-34335-1189624578.jpg

Linus Torvalds

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h3xis
No. I do a lot of surfing on tech sites (mostly here on Neowin) and I get out and the only thing I know about Red Hat or SuSE is that they exist and are purportedly good. They just aren't marketed in any way that would appeal to the majority of the market. I doubt the majority of people know they exist.

-Spenser

Red Hat is marketed toward businesses, as is SuSE by Novell and both of them do an excellent job. They're not being marketed toward the desktop user.

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EduardValencia

Where's markjensen,i thought he was among the first to respond this thread

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PL_

Ok, what about Ubuntu? You can purchase CDs and tech support :) and it's going to really big places!

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markjensen

Ummm... Linux made it to my desktop about 4 years ago, and hasn't been removed. I dual-booted about 6 months, and have been 100% Linux ever since.

Linux has made it onto other people's computers, some to just look at and remove, and other to keep. I have no deeply vested interest in seeing Linux on any particular number of desktops, as long as it serves me well. :yes:

As for the points:

1. The people who make the product have no money for marketing.

2. The reason they have no money is that they give the product away.

3. Since they give the product away, people never see it in shops.

4. Because people never see the product in shops or adverstised, they don't know it exists.That may be a roadblock for some people, but those who are interested in an alternative to Microsoft enough to find out how to burn a CD pass the first "test" in Linux. With few pre-install options, and such a low marketshare, Linux isn't quite ready to be an alternative to those who buy a PC and want their Windows. Linux is just a kernel, it has no desire to take over the world. Linus Torvalds doesn't have the goal of Microsoft destruction. He just wants to keep working on the kernel to make it better. If the whole product (a distro like Red Hat, Ubuntu or something else) is acceptable to some computer users currently using Windows, then great! If not, no biggie.

5. The makers of the product rely on word of mouth to attract more customers, but their customers only talk to each other.Oh, there's plenty of obnoxious people who troll "use Linux" in enough Windows threads. :rolleyes: But these are not the ambassadors that Linux needs.

6. On closer inspection, you find that there are 500 versions of the product. When you try to understand the subtle differences between them, you become confused. Your enthusiasm starts to flag.Ahhh... The "Choice is bad" fallacy. The choices are already out there. If you do not make a choice, you get Windows (pre-installed on somewhere around 95% of all desktops sold). So, the choice is being made, even if all the options are known. Plus, there are only about 5 leading commonly-recommended distros, so anyone using the "500" number is being a bit disingenuous.

7. When you install the product and try to use it, you strike unexpected problems. You also find some nice surprises, which boosts your flagging enthusiasm a little.Yse. It is different. If you expect "Windows", you will run into things that don't make sense. But there are a lot of nice things that I believe that Linux does better at (package management is #1, in my book).

8. When you ask the product's maker for help, he suggests you talk to other users. They welcome you with open arms but answer your questions in a strange language.If you buy your Linux with support, you don't get questions rejected and pushed to forums or IRC as your support venue. And the "strange language" is only due to unfamiliarity. Many Windows users would ask why they are opening regedit and deleting or adding cryptic keys.

9. When you admit that you have trouble understanding their language, you're told you'd better learn it, or you won't appreciate the product.If you don't know how to work a product (Linux, Windows, whatever), then when you run into problems, of course you will have problems. And, of course you will be better served if you took a little time to learn.

10. When you tell the designers that their product isn't marketable in its present form, they say that's okay, since they only wrote it to share with their friends.Or you find an alternative. If you don't like Fluxbox, use XFCE, or Gnome or KDE. If you don't like Windows, and you call Microsoft requesting a change, you get... what?

11. As you wonder what to make of it all, you watch the designers and their supporters squabble among themselves over all kinds of trivia. As you realize that their collective focus isn't on fighting their real competitors, what's left of your enthusiasm ebbs further away.Yes, if you look for it, you can subscribe to the mailing lists of different software developers.

12. When you ask the people in charge why they don't show more leadership, they say they have no power to unite the squabbling communities. They add that disagreement and vigorous debate were the very fires that forged the great product in the first place.KDE, Gnome, XFCE and Fluxbox should all unite? Kill off all alternatives except for one? No thank you.

13. When you discover that some of the designers have made deals with their biggest competitor, the last drop of your enthusiasm drains away.I think the original writer mean that "some corporations have made deals...". If that is what is driving you to linux... If a hatred of Microsoft is the driving force, then what are they going back to? Windows? I guess OSX would be prefect. Oh, Apple has business ties to Microsoft too, even so far as to have a supported MS Office product! Oh, noes!!!11eleven Where will the Microsoft haters go now? (truth is, there is no need to hate Microsoft, jest because you prefer a different OS. Plus hatred of product A is a terrible reason to use product B)

Where's markjensen,i thought he was among the first to respond this thread
I was at work. Thanks for worrying about me.
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XerXis

please not another one of this pointless threads! By the way, linux is being marketed and groups like red hat, novell and ibm have money enough to market open source

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d4v1d05
1 Reason why this list is 12 reasons too long:

Direct X.

Sorry to give the troll some *shinies* but...

OpenGL much?

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Miuku.
Ok, what about Ubuntu? You can purchase CDs and tech support :) and it's going to really big places!

Ubuntus corporate support is.. not on the map. If you want to see proper corporate support, you ring Novell or IBM.?

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PL_
Ubuntus corporate support is.. not on the map. If you want to see proper corporate support, you ring Novell or IBM.

But they'd probably tell you to go to hell with regards to your Ubuntu setup.

This isn't about corporate support anyway, this is about home computer support.

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spacer
Sorry to give the troll some *shinies* but...

OpenGL much?

I know what OpenGL is. I actually designed my college Senior Design project in it. But when was the last time you saw a majority of main-stream, quality videogames use OpenGL instead of Direct X? Sure one or two games every now and then will have the option to run in OpenGL, but Direct X is still the leading technology.

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pto

This semester when I came into Texas A&M, I was the most suprised by the fact that every math lab computer runs SuSE, and I can assume every computer within the engineering department does also.

I had used redhat once prior to coming here, and I've heard all about how domination linux is except for the one thing that has kept me away from it, technical support. Neowin has a forum for support that is minimal due to the fact that very few authoritive answers can be given due to the open source nature of the product, yet the part about it being open source is the most favored feature.

Linux will get its recognition where needed, and it will get its use where it is needed. The developers know this, and thus don't even need to push it.

Everyone makes things too complicated, just let it be, just let it grow.

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PL_
I know what OpenGL is. I actually designed my college Senior Design project in it. But when was the last time you saw a majority of main-stream, quality videogames use OpenGL instead of Direct X? Sure one or two games every now and then will have the option to run in OpenGL, but Direct X is still the leading technology.

Because Windows is the leading OS, not because it's superior

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Barney T.

Thread cleaned

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Miuku.
This isn't about corporate support anyway, this is about home computer support.

Perhaps but at the end of the day what wins the place at the office eventually tends to lead into homes as well if the price range is right.

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