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


Recommended Posts

Kreuger

Zoue

It's different, it's meant to be and that's a good thing. If you can't grasp that, then please by all means stay away from Linux. It's here as an option, not mandatory. If you can't figure something out and use your IT background as some base of knowledge then it's your fault, not the system.

Quote -

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.

Not quite. I'm not saying it's completely wrong. How else can you expect to be able to use it without understanding how it works? You have a decent understand at least of how your Windows setup works, don't you? Try to be a bit more open minded. It only makes sense that you must have an understanding of how something works to be able to use it effeciently. And that's also not to say we won't try to help you understand as long as you're not going to be stubborn about it (and I mean expect it to work like Windows). It's not like you're trying to learn rocket science here. It's not that complicated. I doubt it ever has been either.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Zoue
How else can you expect to be able to use it without understanding how it works?

I don't need to know how a car works to drive one. Most people don't care how a car works, they just want it to drive. Just like most people don't care how a computer operates, they just want it to work. What you're saying is only supporting the fact that average people cannot just pick up Linux and use it. Even those with above average computer skills have difficulty with it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
James7
I don't need to know how a car works to drive one. Most people don't care how a car works, they just want it to drive. Just like most people don't care how a computer operates, they just want it to work. What you're saying is only supporting the fact that average people cannot just pick up Linux and use it. Even those with above average computer skills have difficulty with it.

Truth is, I think I said and it should be obvious if we are seeking something approaching clarity, the average user can't just pick up any computer and use it. This is true with Windows as for anything else. No one is born knowing how to do such things. People can learn though. Most people only learn how to use things a bit and not really how to install/configure things, whatever their OS.

I know as I have long helped lots of people keep their Windows machines going, helped them install printers, scanners, webcams, etc. I have also reinstalled three people's systems that were totally buggered by spywares/viruses.

People who know just how to use Windows can easily use Linux (if someone else sets it up for them--just like when someone else set up Windows for them, whether in a factory or a friendly neighbour).

Again, is it so hard to understand that there is a difference between being able to use an operating system and being able to install/configure one? Most people only ever do the former. I happen to do both, as you clearly do as well. Even though I am new to Linux, I picked up how to use it almost immediately -- anyone with any knowledge of using Macs or Windows can do so too quite easily. Installing/configuring it is another matter. It really is a different matter. It is another thing. There is a distinction here and it is important. I am the only one I know in real life who installs ANY operating systems!

Why do you seem to be deliberately ignoring this obvious distinction between 'normal users' and 'installers/configurers'? It's almost like you're trying to spread FUD to people who may be considering Linux. :no:

Link to post
Share on other sites
Kreuger

Most people I know can't even install Windows, let alone Linux. EVERYTHING takes a bit of time to learn and get used to, Linux may have a steeper learning curve than other things such as Windows especially if you're used to the way things work in Windows. Don't be so narrow minded as to say it's our fault you can't figure it out. And like I said, most people have a general idea everything works. They know that a car will start by putting a key in the ignition, that gas will allow you to drive, etc. It's a basic knowledge and understanding. So if you don't know that much about a car, you shouldn't be driving. It's the same with an operating system. They know for starters that it's what inputs the users instructions and tells the computer what to do. Right? Right. So they have a basic knowledge. All they need to do is forget how Windows works (or at least temporarily ignore it) and LEARN how Linux works!

By the way, I'm an average user and I figured out Linux just fine.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Zoue
Why do you seem to be deliberately ignoring this obvious distinction between 'normal users' and 'installers/configurers'? It's almost like you're trying to spread FUD to people who may be considering Linux. :no:

What you're ignoring though is that Linux still is less usable to the average person despite installation. Things like software library, software installation, hardware support, driver installation, compatability accross computers, peripheral support, networking support, the list goes on and on, all things that many PC users deal with and do on their own. All things that Windows does better and far easier than Linux. Again, Linux is getting better in all these areas, but it's still got a long way to go to have the accessiblity that Windows or Mac does and hence will be quite some time before it's a mainstream OS.

Regardless I'm not sure I've said one thing about OS installation in this thread. Ubuntu installation was fairly simple, quicker and possibly even easier than Windows (aside from their convoluted partitioning). Ubuntu even had default drivers for my sound card, something Vista can't claim. What I have said though is how very simple tasks that anyone can do in Windows are so incredibly complicated in Linux. Things like mouse button support, software installation, and driver installation. If you want to continue to believe that downloading, untaring, compiling, and installing software and drivers in the terminal is easier than double clicking an icon in Windows, then I'd like some of what you're smoking.

Edited by Zoue
Link to post
Share on other sites
James7
What you're ignoring though is that Linux still is less usable to the average person despite installation. Things like software library, software installation, hardware support, driver installation, compatability accross computers, peripheral support, networking support, the list goes on and on, all things that many PC users deal with and do on their own. All things that Windows does better and far easier than Linux. Again, Linux is getting better in all these areas, but it's still got a long way to go to have the accessiblity that Windows or Mac does and hence will be quite some time before it's a mainstream OS.

No, mate, it's what Kreuger said: you got to stop thinking the Windows way. Learn things the Linux way and you're set. Linux really is a no-brainer for any Windows user with a bit of sense and a bit of flexibility.

If Linux were installed by default on ten percent of new computers by OEMs and got a tenth of the support from hardware manufacturers Windows does, Linux would be a lock for world domination -- it is that good.

(Don't tell me you're another one of those Microsoft 'sleepers' here at Neowin come awake! I swear you are starting to sound just like that other bloke before he 'disappeared', spouting all that marketspeak technobabble and trying to look all innocent. :innocent: )

Link to post
Share on other sites
Zoue
No, mate, it's what Kreuger said: you got to stop thinking the Windows way. Learn things the Linux way and you're set. Linux really is a no-brainer for any Windows user with a bit of sense and a bit of flexibility.

We've already established that that's false. I have plenty of sense and plenty of flexibility, I even want to use Linux, yet Linux is still a PITA to use. It doesn't have the software I want to use. It isn't compatible with some of my hardware. What software it does have, not all of it works, and some of it is difficult if not impossible to install.

If you want the average use to be able to change their thinking and use a different product they are already accustomed to and comfortable with, there needs to be a distinct advantage to your new product, otherwise consumers will not see the point in putting in time and effort to learn something new. Linux needs to better than the previous products, and it's not. There's still quite a few key areas that are holding it back.

And before you start labeling me a MS fanboi. Let's get this straight, I use Windows because I have to, not because I want to. The software I like to use is only available for Windows. If I wasn't a gamer I'd be using a Mac, because the other software I use (music production) will work there. Mac's at least work, unlike Linux. I'd love to be using an open source OS, and open source software but in my experience it falls far short of my other options. I at least have the ability to look at this project objectively unlike the Linux cult here.

Would I tell any of my friends and family to use Linux? Certainly not, that's the key factor for me on whether this is a mainstream OS.

Edited by Zoue
Link to post
Share on other sites
James7

Look, mate, I can't keep this up. The IT Crowd is on in a minute.

But I agree that there are problems with Linux. And there are problems with Windows.

Here is a nice and not too overly biased site that talks about Linux and Windows in language that wasn't devised by Microsoft's marketing department and filtered by Microsoft linguists into some sort of generic forumspeak: http://www.whylinuxisbetter.net/

For the record, Linux on my laptop is gold. Everything works and I have all the software I need and want. And everything is heaps faster and tons more secure. I am satisfied. Sorry you're not.

Good night and God bless! :D

Link to post
Share on other sites
Chicane-UK

"Won't make it to a desktop near me?" huh..?

Strange.. my flatmate runs Linux on his PC (which is pretty near me) and i'm running a Mac. Ahh... non Windows bliss :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
JustGeorge

Its an old argument, but the biggest drawback to Linux is dependencies. OpenOffice, FF, GIMP, Pidgin etc are all great programs that I can freely upgrade to a new version at any time on Windows but this isn't the case on Linux. You're either stuck with the same version till its backported, a new version of your distro is released (preferred method) or you get down and dirty with compiling. Synaptic is nice, but most of the offerings are crap and the package names/descriptions offered leave a lot too be desired from a usability standpoint. Drivers are a PITA for the same reasons outlined for software. You either deal with ass performance or go into the realm of the unknown and compile. Too be mainstream, you can't expect average joe to be dropping to terminal and compiling all the time. Dependencies will forever hold Linux back until someone finally gets a clue. I don't expect Linux to be like Windows, but it has a long ways to go before its a serious replacement for me. The day I can freely update the drivers and install apps without hassle is the day I get serious. Until then, its a toy on a spare box, nothing more.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Zoue
Its an old argument, but the biggest drawback to Linux is dependencies. OpenOffice, FF, GIMP, Pidgin etc are all great programs that I can freely upgrade to a new version at any time on Windows but this isn't the case on Linux. You're either stuck with the same version till its backported, a new version of your distro is released (preferred method) or you get down and dirty with compiling. Synaptic is nice, but most of the offerings are crap and the package names/descriptions offered leave a lot too be desired from a usability standpoint. Drivers are a PITA for the same reasons outlined for software. You either deal with ass performance or go into the realm of the unknown and compile. Too be mainstream, you can't expect average joe to be dropping to terminal and compiling all the time. Dependencies will forever hold Linux back until someone finally gets a clue. I don't expect Linux to be like Windows, but it has a long ways to go before its a serious replacement for me. The day I can freely update the drivers and install apps without hassle is the day I get serious. Until then, its a toy on a spare box, nothing more.

Thanks for nicely summing up what I've been trying to say for the last 3 pages! :yes:

Link to post
Share on other sites
Kreuger

I don't know man, almost everything I've ever installed through Synaptic came with it's dependencies because Synaptic was made to handle them. If you install anything outside of Synaptic, it's possible that you won't have dependencies and may need to acquire them elsewhere but a program won't install in Synaptic until you have the dependencies which it can usually provide for you. Anything it didn't have, I downloaded and compiled myself because I really don't mind doing the dirty work. I think it comes down to partial laziness on your behalf. There's nothing wrong with working the terminal from time to time but you're so used to everything point and click in Windows that it may even scare you to have anything that acts differently.

I don't see the big deal but maybe that's because it doesn't bother me. Why are you so ill-natured towards terminals and the CLI? Is it really that hard to download a source, extract it goto the directory, type ./configure, make and sudo make install to finish it off? Or are you just going to bring up the point that you shouldn't have to. If that's the way you feel, stick with Windows. I have no problems working in a terminal if I need to and sometimes it's better as it's faster than a GUI so I'll keep using Linux and have no trouble doing so. To each their own I guess.

Link to post
Share on other sites
JustGeorge

You're right. Synaptic does a good job of handling dependencies and installing/uninstalling apps. The problem is that you're stuck with whats in those repositories until one of the reasons I gave above comes to pass. I'm not a linux hater by any means, but I think its laughable that its easier to obtain/install/upgrade OSS software on Windows than it is on what is supposed to be the flagship of OSS and above all, choice.

As for working with CLI, if you're comfortable with it, then thats cool. What I'm trying to explain is that most aren't and CLI isn't mainstream. Whats so hard about "to download a source, extract it goto the directory, type ./configure, make and sudo make install to finish it off?"? Well, you just pointed out another flaw in the Linux community: Always assuming people know everything you do and expect them to fill in the blanks. It might really be that simple sometimes and sometimes it isn't. People come and ask for help, its just do this, that, sudo blah blah blah. Why the heck would any average person want to go through all that just to install a program? Short answer is they wouldn't. Its also my belief that the dependency issue is another good reason why software publishers have largely ignored the platform. I doubt many companies wants to deal with the potential support nightmares associated with linux architecture.

Again, I stress that I don't have any hatred for linux, just saying that in order to gain more popularity, some things are going to have to change.

Edited by VRam
Link to post
Share on other sites
Kreuger

I'm not assuming anyone knows anything and I'll help fill in any blanks I can. I'm assuming you can follow instructions from someone willing to help you when you run into trouble. Is that so much to ask? Even without asking anyone, most source packages come with readily available instructions telling you how to install it, if they bother to read the README or INSTALL files, they'd know this. Instead they just automatically assume that it must take a degree from NASA to work out and give up on it. It's really not all that much hassle to enter a few commands for installing a program or maybe that's just me.

Link to post
Share on other sites
ichi
If you want to continue to believe that downloading, untaring, compiling, and installing software and drivers in the terminal is easier than double clicking an icon in Windows, then I'd like some of what you're smoking.

No, but managing your software through the package manager is easier than downloading a windows exe, running it and going through the options.

Also, downloading, untaring, compiling and installing software on linux is easier than downloading, unziping, compiling and installing software on windows.

Its also my belief that the dependency issue is another good reason why software publishers have largely ignored the platform.

If software publishers don't want to deal with dependencies they don't have to: compile statically.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Fish

I can't personally add any more to this arguement, but I did recently come across this page which I think nicely covers everything that's been said here. Bit of a lengthy read, but well worth the effort...

http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm

Link to post
Share on other sites
Kreuger

Yeah I had that site in my signature for the longest time. I doubt people bothered with it mostly because it is a long read.

Link to post
Share on other sites
James7

I just saw a digg link to this article on FOXNews.com ( of all places ) called 'Getting Started with Linux' that begins :

Linux is hot again. In fact, there's never been a better time for Microsoft Windows users to give Linux a whirl. The OS is more usable than ever, easier to install, and more compatible with PC hardware. It still helps to be somewhat tech-savvy to get the most out of Linux, but that's no longer a major requirement.

It's quite long and really seems to try to get ordinary people to have a go at installing Linux. Who knows ?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Janitor

Well isn't this just pointless :p

I use Linux & Windows myself, perfectly happy. And to a certain extent after you've been mucking around with the command line trying to get things like wireless working then it makes you feel like you've completed something.

Link to post
Share on other sites
+jamesyfx

Its just an Operating System >.> I dont know why people care so much about the whole deal. Its a little sad.

Most computers just come with Windows on it. Otherwise you may as well make a choice. But if you have Windows theres no reason to change.

Link to post
Share on other sites
markjensen
I just saw a digg link to this article on FOXNews.com ( of all places ) called 'Getting Started with Linux' that begins :

It's quite long and really seems to try to get ordinary people to have a go at installing Linux. Who knows ?

The listings of Pros and Cons at the end seem pretty reasonable and accurate. In some instances, though, drivers can be easier on Linux than XP/Vista. In some cases worse.
Its just an Operating System >.> I dont know why people care so much about the whole deal. Its a little sad.

Most computers just come with Windows on it. Otherwise you may as well make a choice. But if you have Windows theres no reason to change.

I care about what *I* use. Not necessarily about what you or others here use. I don't make a big deal out of it, and have helped people remove Linux many times.

As far as "if you have Windows theres no reason to change", in my case, I wasn't happy with Windows. I found that Linux just fit me a lot better. Seems like a reason to change for me. It's been a lot more problem-free and worry-free to use Linux (once I got past the initial learning) than Windows has been.

Not everyone will find Linux to fit them, but don't begrudge me my OS of choice, or look down on me as "sad" because I prefer it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
+jamesyfx

I know there are people that find benefits with Linux over Windows, but I can only see disadvantages. I suppose cost of software and the community-based aspect are pros, but also cons. Since theres no cost involved it can't really amount to much (Funding is just from donations and such).

I see nothing wrong with using Linux, I wasn't saying you're sad for using it. I just mean the big "MICROSOFT SUX. LINUX RULES" things you see (microsuck.com for instance), but I've used it.. and I can't see it going anywhere. It was just too complicated for my time.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Kreuger
Since theres no cost involved it can't really amount to much (Funding is just from donations and such).
Might want to check your facts next time before posting. Redhat and Novell are rather large corporations backing their Linux versions. And from what I've heard, Mozilla makes a pretty penny too. I'm pretty sure other open source supporters such as IBM and even now Dell are putting money into Linux as well
Link to post
Share on other sites
markjensen
...

I see nothing wrong with using Linux, I wasn't saying you're sad for using it. I just mean the big "MICROSOFT SUX. LINUX RULES" things you see (microsuck.com for instance)

...

I agree with you there. I have never seen the point of posting mindless hatred of any product. Yes, dislike some features, but if someone is going to post something negative , I expect them to be able to have factual supporting data for their argument.

Link to post
Share on other sites
+jamesyfx

Fair enough. Most of my opinions are just based on what i've seen. I've tried Ubuntu and Red Hat a couple of times but I've had problems every time.. So I just gave up eventually. I don't think much of Linux yet. :p

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.