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What is the actual reason Linux is not widely accepted by more people?

Posted 06-15-2010 at 07:00 PM by daltroll

Is it the power of Microsoft's billions ? Is it due to end user laziness when it comes to upkeep of your distro of choice ? Fear of the Terminal and commands ? Weigh in and let me know your thoughts on this.
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  1. Old Comment

    Why not Linux

    Fear of not being able to do what you are used to : Can't play the same games, can't use the same applications, The desktop works differently and I don't know where stuff is. Linux needs to be windows compatible ie a mode to run any applications - like Mac does. I would love to toss Windows out of the Window. But the alternative is like living on the edge - how am I goingg to use my wireless mobile Dodo with Linux ? etc etc etc
    Posted 06-15-2010 at 07:17 PM by Desdd57 Desdd57 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Let's be honest, most people don't even know it exists. Many of my friends don't, anyway... I'm sorry to have to say this, but this is my personal experience.
    Posted 06-15-2010 at 07:37 PM by qwertz333 qwertz333 is offline
  3. Old Comment
    There's no "actual reason". There are many, many different factors, all contributing to this. All the reasons you've mentioned contribute: "Microsoft's billions" (and Microsoft's very aggressive and sometimes dirty marketing tactics) keep Windows in schools, so that most people become familiar with Windows before encountering another OS. Then "user laziness" comes into it, because most people can't be bothered learning new things, even if they lead to better outcomes, when the things they already know seem to be doing the job.

    However, there's more than "laziness" keeping people with the status quo. It's not just laziness that keeps many people speaking one language, despite knowing that there are hundreds more out there. If everyone else is doing something, it's not always easy to be different: even today, after nearly ten years of using GNU/Linux on my own computers, I still run into compatibility issues when I'm working collaboratively with others (e.g. having to use fonts like Times New Roman because OpenOffice Writer won't embed the fonts I prefer to use, which are common on GNU/Linux desktops but not on Windows).

    "Fear of the terminal" is a factor too, although I suspect not an important one any more: no doubt some people browse through Linux forums, see lots of references to shell commands, and decide not to give it a go because it looks too "technical" for them; but at least as many (and possibly more) are likely to recognise the shell's power and think, "yes, that's the kind of stuff I want to be able to do" (since they're probably not scared of computers if they're browsing Linux forums in the first place). The days of new users struggling with shell commands for days just trying to get to a GUI desktop are long over: distributions like Ubuntu "just work" on most people's hardware, at least to the point where they're able to surf the Net and ask for help getting the remaining bells and whistles working.

    Then there's hardware compatibility (hardware manufacturers tend not to ship Linux drivers with their products, so there's a delay while free drivers catch up, and in the meantime Joe Public doesn't want his expensive hardware sitting there doing nothing, or only some of what it can do). Then there's games compatibility (it's amazing how many people underestimate the importance of games: that's what got computers into homes in the 1980's, and while the Internet has made them less important, they're still important in terms of the market). If GNU/Linux had dozens of superb games that only ran on Windows via a compatibility layer, lots more Windows geeks and power users would be trying out Linux. Instead, it's the other way around: gamers note that they'll be spending a lot of their time running games in WINE, and think, "what's the point, when I can just run Windows and often have fewer hassles and better performance?".

    And so on and so on. Last but not least, there's time: the Linux user base has been growing steadily, but it's still many, many millions behind. Even at the rate of thousands of people converting from Windows to GNU/Linux every single day, it could take years and years for this to make a really noticeable difference (as far as manufacturers are concerned, for instance). It's nice to see a few hardware manufacturers (e.g. Nvidia, ATI, HP, etc.) starting to acknowledge their Linux user base, but we're still a long way from the numbers necessary for them to really take us seriously. At some point (every year, rather pathetically, Linux enthusiasts ask "is this the year of the Linux desktop?!", but it never has been, and won't be this year either) there will be a tipping point...maybe someone in a huge state school system (like that of New York or something) will crunch the numbers and insist on swapping over, and then a whole generation of Linux-familiar kids will wash into the tertiary sector demanding Linux in their colleges and so on, and then they'll switch and a generation of workers will be asking employers why they're paying millions for closed source crap when they could be spending a fraction of that on local expertise to customise free software...all these things are inter-related and can take many years, but I'm pretty sure the enthusiasts are right that the tide will turn, one day.

    Until then, there's no single "actual reason" to address, but dealing with any of the many contributing factors is chipping away at the problem (and it is a problem, because Stallman is basically right: as information becomes more and more important, our political freedoms are more and more dependent upon things like software freedom).
    Posted 06-15-2010 at 07:42 PM by sci sci is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Most folks I hear from simply find learning a new OS to be too daunting. Some have tried a linux variant and liked it, but didn't want to give up win-doze. Again, fear of having to learn a new OS with unfamiliar program names. I know of nobody else I've shown linux to or discussed it with that installed it to their own system.
    Posted 06-15-2010 at 07:59 PM by ax25nut ax25nut is offline
  5. Old Comment
    +1 to sci above in relation to games. I've been dabbling in Linux for many years but never really switched for that one reason, and everyone who I have met working in IT or on the net etc has the exact same reason.

    That is up until the last few years where my gaming has decreased significantly and I found that Linux was just simply 'better' for what I wanted.

    If a major distro like Ubuntu or Suse put some major development time into a project like wine (and I dont think it would really be that much of a task, its already 2/3 of the way there) we could have gaming on Linux and that really would draw a LOT of people over.

    I would downplay the internet massively as a consideration when people choose an OS, you can get the internet on anything these days I dont think it even factors in but gaming? Definitely.

    The time factor is a major factor as well. It cuts into people's TV time! I dont watch much TV so I have plenty of time to kill with Linux getting things to work etc but 99% of people either dont want to or can't.

    I dont think Linux will ever be a mainstream OS for desktop use, there is just no market for it. If we continue the way we are going, the majority of people wont like it or need it. If it ends up enough like Windows or Mac OS then whats the point of it at all?

    EDIT :: The only thing I use Windows for at the moment is iTunes and that is only running on an old laptop with no screen that only gets turned on when I need something. It seems pretty woefull that Apple hasn't released a version for Linux yet...
    Posted 06-15-2010 at 08:59 PM by mhouston100 mhouston100 is offline
    Updated 06-15-2010 at 09:03 PM by mhouston100 (Spelling)
  6. Old Comment
    I have to agree with fear of change/ignorance of its existence. I know 1 person who just gave up on a new macbook pro and another who is teetering because it's different than Windows XP. Nothing different can be better for some people, because change makes you ignorant (you knew how to do something, now you don't). I know people at work who still double-click links because you double-click icons, and who don't know what a url is (not what it stands for, which piece of the page it is on the screen) but click on links all the time. Unbelievable, but true.
    Posted 06-15-2010 at 09:57 PM by joe f. joe f. is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Originally Posted by joe f. View Comment
    I know people at work who still double-click links because you double-click icons
    Too true!! I see IT staff do this STILL and it amazes me ha ha ha
    Posted 06-15-2010 at 10:26 PM by mhouston100 mhouston100 is offline
  8. Old Comment
    Wow, I never expected this kind of response to a question. Thank all of you for your comments. I especially liked sci's response, as it brought to light a lot of the existing problems inherent with changing from the most widely accepted OS to one that is still having a lot of " growing pains ". I believe I will still hang in there and at least attempt to learn what has become to me a whole new world of computer knowledge.
    Anyway it keeps my brain from going to rot, that's for sure!
    Posted 06-16-2010 at 11:32 AM by daltroll daltroll is offline
    Updated 06-16-2010 at 11:38 AM by daltroll (Left some things out.)
  9. Old Comment
    1. With all due respect, the reason is, Linux is not what it should be. What makes Linux special is, being open-source. One cannot take advantage of this issue, before being completely knowledgeable about Linux, and still not simply.

    A program which customizes other programs, by changing their source-code is what Linux needs. It could know what every part of the code stands for, (for example) from standard comments in the source code. Then it should do programming to glue every part of the code, and compile it.

    2. Drivers are a problem we can't stand before fixing. The best solution is to get driver code from Windows drivers. A program which translates drivers is an everlasting solution, if it does that correctly.

    Just changing Windows API references in executable code with equal API references in Linux should do it (saying 'just' is fantastic, that can be complex), something like what wine is trying to do, but with complete translating of the driver file, instead of preparing a layer for it. Most probably, the program could serve in wine's purpose either.

    3. It's good of Linux having much flavors, but that's not exactly a sword into Windows(R)'s heart.

    I'm thinking, If the programmers of some major/minor distros put their power into one powerful distro, it'll be closer to their success. Later, if they wanted, they could probably create flavors and perhaps even very different flavors, in themes, for that flexible powerful distro.

    1-> Making the main advantage(being open-source) easier to reach.
    2-> Getting our own drivers from Windows-loving hardware manufacturers.
    3-> Getting united.

    If god wants it's possible to have a powerful open-source OS, and only god knows if people will accept it or not.

    After all, the tide to turn, is not specific to software-freedom. You're talking about changing open-source software on desire, what about changing open-source life on desire?

    As you know, materials and devices we've become dependent on, are produced using so-called "modern" industries. Much of industries and products destroy earth's nature, cause diseases and cancers, and some result in deaths. Will the companies pay attention?

    As long as we're in the middle of "the money-making path" of the ones who do everything to make money, it'll be the same way. If god wants, we'll be one day freed of the imperialism. Maybe software freedom is the start.
    Posted 06-17-2010 at 06:50 PM by truth believer truth believer is offline


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