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


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PL_
The average (mom and pop) user doesn't want choice, they want something that works. 3 different versions of Vista is confusing enough for some people, you want them to choose between 500 different distros of Linux? :blink:

The average computer user could care less what OS is on their system, most of them couldn't even tell you what OS means. They want:

  • Their computer to just "work"
  • It to be easy to use
  • It to run the software they want

3 things Linux fails to accomplish.

Didn't you just contradict yourself? They want something that works. They don't want to go through setting up their computer to be the way they want it to be, they want it to be that way from the word "Go". So they choose a distro that is suitable for their needs. And, let's be honest, how many distros are really targeted at first-time Linux users? Not many IMO. So there isn't that much choice :/

And where did this notion come from that Linux is hard to use? When my HDD died I actually went with Linux over Vista because I found Vista much harder to set up than Linux. It uses a similar window layout to Windows, too. The only thing that's hard about Linux is the slightly different layout.

As for installing programs, I think Synaptic Package Manager is actually much superior to the Windows way of going to the website :yes:

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SnowRanger13

But PureLegend, why not

Just kidding :p

Good points PureLegend.

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James7
Yeah sure Windows doesn't do plenty of stuff out of the box, but 90% of the time that can be fixed by downloading one file and double clicking it. In Linux it usually requires downloading multiple packages, un tar them, compile them, install them, oh wait... you need qt4 v4.2.5 not qt4 v4.2.3?! I shouldn't be spending more time installing and configuring software than actually using it.

I never had to do this for any program and I have installed a lot on my Ubuntu laptop, though I know what you are talking about can be the case. Here is a link that explains the state of the art today with Linux as far as installing programs goes. Are you trying to frighten people who may be considering Linux? Are you using a ten year old version of Linux? No offence, I just can't tell where you get your information. ;-)

Also, you seem also to be blaming Linux for what is really the fault of a hardware company who hasn't supplied a driver. Luckily a great deal of hardware is supported by Linux anyway. Unluckily, your mouse was not.

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Zoue
And where did this notion come from that Linux is hard to use?

I think I've already established that with the entire mouse button debacle. ;)

Also, you seem also to be blaming Linux for what is really the fault of a hardware company who hasn't supplied a driver.

No, I'm blaming Linux for not supplying decent default drivers like Windows does.

For the record, I've been using Ubuntu 7.04 supposedly the most comprehensive and user friendly version of Linux, it falls far short. Half the time I'm guessing if what I'm installing or typing in Terminal will actually work and do what I want, this doesn't happen in Xp, Vista maybe a little. :p

Edited by Zoue
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phantasmorph

#14. You have to deal with the type of people that have posted in this thread.

Honestly not meaning to be insulting, but it's plainly obvious that most of the people posting here are just so completely far gone into their own little computing world that they have no idea what the mindset is of the typical Joe Schmoe computer user. Basically, you Linux guys are your own worst enemies.

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James7
No, I'm blaming Linux for not supplying decent default drivers like Windows does.

You know as well as anyone else that it is always hit and miss with these things. Example: Vista did not have a driver for my wifi. Linux did.

The world is full of such examples so as to make what you're claiming a bit misleading (FUD really). I'm starting to agree that you may be trolling here. :-(

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PL_
#14. You have to deal with the type of people that have posted in this thread.

Honestly not meaning to be insulting, but it's plainly obvious that most of the people posting here are just so completely far gone into their own little computing world that they have no idea what the mindset is of the typical Joe Schmoe computer user. Basically, you Linux guys are your own worst enemies.

If the mindset of Joe Schmoe is as narrow as you make out it is, Macs would never sell ;)

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psybapunk

I've installed linux on my laptop quite a few times, but no matter what distro I'm using, I can't get my wireless connection up and running. One day, hopefully, the whole linux community will be more organized and can get a product out that is easier to use than Windows. I'm sure that day isn't THAT far off. I would gladly become a full-time switcher if a Linux distro could fully satisfy all of my computing needs, with minimal work. I don't want to spend the first 5 hours of a new OS installation just trying to get the wireless connection up and running.

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Zoue
You know as well as anyone else that it is always hit and miss with these things. Example: Vista did not have a driver for my wifi. Linux did.

All I was originally saying is that I would expect an OS released in 2007 to have something as simple as support for more than 3 mice buttons out of the box. XP does, Vista does, somehow Linux doesn't. And if I want to add that support it shouldn't be a 30 minute process. If that makes me a troll then so be it.

I want to like Linux I really do, I want to be able to use free software and a free OS, I want to support Open source, but at the end of the day when I can't run the software I want (not entirely fault of Linux I'm aware), and when I'm practically tearing out my hair trying to get things to work right, I just can't. Linux still has a long way to go before it's even close to being usable for the average user.

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psybapunk
All I was originally saying is that I would expect an OS released in 2007 to have something as simple as support for more than 3 mice buttons out of the box. XP does, Vista does, somehow Linux doesn't. And if I want to add that support it shouldn't be a 30 minute process. If that makes me a troll then so be it.

I want to like Linux I really do, I want to be able to use free software and a free OS, I want to support Open source, but at the end of the day when I can't run the software I want (not entirely fault of Linux I'm aware), and when I'm practically tearing out my hair trying to get things to work right, I just can't. Linux still has a long way to go before it's even close to being usable for the average user.

I feel EXACTLY the same way.

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James7
All I was originally saying is that I would expect an OS released in 2007 to have something as simple as support for more than 3 mice buttons out of the box. XP does, Vista does, somehow Linux doesn't. And if I want to add that support it shouldn't be a 30 minute process. If that makes me a troll then so be it.

I want to like Linux I really do, I want to be able to use free software and a free OS, I want to support Open source, but at the end of the day when I can't run the software I want (not entirely fault of Linux I'm aware), and when I'm practically tearing out my hair trying to get things to work right, I just can't. Linux still has a long way to go before it's even close to being usable for the average user.

As is often pointed out, normal everyday users of computers never actually install operating systems. They come installed already with all their drivers on purchased computers. Most normal people would be too terrified by the idea of installing an operating system. Any operating system that is already installed with all the right drivers onto a computer "just works", whether it is Windows, Mac or Linux.

If you want a painless way to move to Linux, why not buy a Dell Linux system next time you're in the market?

You'll see then that Linux properly installed with all the drivers, like you get when you'd buy such a system, is just as "ready for the desktop" as Windows or Mac. :D

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rson451
Doing menial tasks like installing mouse drivers should be a double click operation
you know, if you use kde (possibly gnome too) you can get this exact behavior but in ONE click, not two. assuming of course at least one button on your mouse already works... :p.

on a serious note, may of the 'issues' that linux has are driven by lack of support by the hardware companies. windows can ship default drivers because companies will work with them. companies dont want to work with the linux community and that makes it damn near impossible to come up with drivers that will cover any hardware. this is the same problem with wireless. luckily broadcom has recently started supporting linux better than it has in the past so wireless issues are becoming less and less everyday.

as this will most likely be my last post on neowin, at least for a very long time, id like to end this on a simple note. if you are happy with your windows setup - stay with your windows set up. it will always be as good as it is right now so congratulations. on the other hand, if you are reading this thread and are the slightest bit curious about what else is out there, give linux a shot and make your own judgement - be it 'linux blows' or 'cool, i can do whatever i want, and it is free!'.

to all you linux heads, you can catch me in the arch forums or irc if you wanna chat.

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Zoue
You'll see then that Linux properly installed with all the drivers, like you get when you'd buy such a system, is just as "ready for the desktop" as Windows or Mac. :D

So what happens when the average user gets a new piece of hardware or software for thier new Linux OS that doesn't work? You expect them to go digging through the Terminal, searching forums for help, manually editing config files, downloading, compiling, and installing packages? On Windows it's simple, you download your drivers, you run the install .exe, it works.

I spent over 3 hours trying to install one piece of open source software on Ubunutu the other night, eventually I gave up. If I was on Windows I would have downloaded one .exe maybe a .zip and installed it. 5 minutes tops. Debian packages are catching on, but I still have run into issues with those as well.

Oh and don't even get me started on Gnome not remembering window size and placement. :p

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James7

Personally I wouldn't buy any hardware that didn't come with compatible drivers or that didn't just work (I would check the internet to see what others' experience have been). I have a digital camera and it just works on Linux when I plug it in. There is a wizard that pops up when I connect it, and then it asks me what I want to do, just like in Windows. It works on my scanner as well, no problem and no need to install any drivers (as I had to do with Windows).

I understand how frustrating it is not to have things work, but really no operating system gives you everything. I like Linux because it is so utterly cool, and maybe I did luck out not to have any drivers issues at all. :)

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PL_
I spent over 3 hours trying to install one piece of open source software on Ubunutu the other night, eventually I gave up. If I was on Windows I would have downloaded one .exe maybe a .zip and installed it. 5 minutes tops. Debian packages are catching on, but I still have run into issues with those as well.

Were you compiling from source or something? Synaptic is very point-click-go.

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Zoue
Were you compiling from source or something? Synaptic is very point-click-go.

The program I was installing wasn't available through Synaptic and all the dependencies that it required had 10 or so different options (some of which were outdated) in Synaptic and I had no idea which ones did what. So yes, I was compiling, installing and altering my bash.bashrc through the terminal as that's what little help I could manage to scrounge up on the internet told me to do.

I understand how frustrating it is not to have things work, but really no operating system gives you everything.

And some give you a lot more than others. ;)

Edited by Zoue
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dud

Linux will hit desktops in a few years when the vast majority of people will incorporate computers as a familiar tool in their lives.

When 80% of people don't know what CTRL+C and CTRL+V mean (a fact I just now made up :)), you can't really explain the intricate concepts of a new operating system to them.

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James7
And some give you a lot more than others. ;)

I couldn't agree with you more. :D

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Kreuger

Wow I never expected some of the reactions that have been posted here.

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PaulCabby
Linux will hit desktops in a few years when the vast majority of people will incorporate computers as a familiar tool in their lives.

When 80% of people don't know what CTRL+C and CTRL+V mean (a fact I just now made up :)), you can't really explain the intricate concepts of a new operating system to them.

did you know that 76% of all statistics are made up on the spot? :D

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h3xis
Wow I never expected some of the reactions that have been posted here.

Seriously. It's like nobody's ever heard of open source. Linux is not hard. It's different. I guess some people don't see that. I guess some other people don't see the fact that you can take a project and create your own to make it better or suit your needs, which is the point of multiple distros existing. Some bitch about the multitude yet they don't take into consideration that there are multiple versions of firefox, limewire, etc. An example would be that I hate ubuntu. I cannot stand it. So, I use debian. It suits my needs. The fact that there are multiple distributions is one of the reasons why Linux has succeeded in the way that it has.

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Kreuger

Regarding the multiple distros, frankly I can't see what's so hard about going over to DistroWatch.com and choosing one of the top 5 from there and seeing what it's all about. That's the best thing for a newbie. They're top distros for a reason and usually it will relate to how well it works for newbies. But anyways..

Why the Linux Desktop Will Succeed Despite Itself

As I'm reading this article and he goes over the points of marketing I am profoundly confused. Linux companies expect to grow by word of mouth but the problem is, they're not out for global domination. For those who know their products, they just want to ensure a better user experience. If they expand to new users, great but I really doubt it's the main goal.

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Zoue
As I'm reading this article and he goes over the points of marketing I am profoundly confused. Linux companies expect to grow by word of mouth but the problem is, they're not out for global domination. For those who know their products, they just want to ensure a better user experience. If they expand to new users, great but I really doubt it's the main goal.

That depends on which Linux user you talk to. ;) I think his point in that article was not global domination, but mass maket acceptance. Linux is still very much a niche market, only known to the computer saavy. Heck even 10 years ago, you could have asked the average person what a Mac was and they probably couldn't tell you. That has certainly changed today, and he hit the nail on the head when he said people that want something different will be going to Mac not Linux. Without the marketing your average home PC user won't know what Linux is, let alone how it is different and what it's advantages are, and without that it will never break into the mass conscious.

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PL_
That depends on which Linux user you talk to. ;) I think his point in that article was not global domination, but mass maket acceptance. Linux is still very much a niche market, only known to the computer saavy. Heck even 10 years ago, you could have asked the average person what a Mac was and they probably couldn't tell you. That has certainly changed today, and he hit the nail on the head when he said people that want something different will be going to Mac not Linux. Without the marketing your average home PC user won't know what Linux is, let alone how it is different and what it's advantages are, and without that it will never break into the mass conscious.

One of Linux's main advantages is being free. In order to begin advertising they may have to start charging for Linux, killing off one of it's key features. It's a lose-lose situation.

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Zoue
Some Linux companies do get some of it right. One of the reasons why Ubuntu is popular is that while Canonical, the company behind it, doesn't spend a lot of marketing money, they and founder Mark Shuttleworth, do spend some time marketing.

Ubuntu has a message, "Linux for People." That theme is highly visible Ubuntu's Web pages. Have a look. When you look at an official Ubuntu site, you immediately know this is not just another Linux site. The colors, the photograph of people from around the world -- it all adds up to Ubuntu having a distinct brand.

That right there shows that marketing doesn't neccesarily require a lot of money. You only to need to look at the huge popularity of Ubuntu to show that it pays off.

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