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Old 07-16-2005, 11:45 PM   #1
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How to spread Linux adoption

The purpose of this message is to exchange some thoughts about the approach that we could use for the adoption of new Linux users especially in the Desktop area.
First of all a little introduction, I used to be a Windows XP Pro user, eigth months ago I had the chance to connect myself via broadband to the Internet (ADSL 256 Kbps ) my door to the world was opened!. I had about two months of hell trying to keep mi PC functioning and protecting it from viruses, ad-wares, ... etc. Although I manage to keep it safe (installing firewalls, antipopups, ... you name it, I try everything) it was clear that Windows has severe limitations and the Redmond policies about software were the hearth of the problem, in few words I realize that XP as OS really sucks!. I give it a try to Linux, since then I've worked with 6 distributions, 15 different versions and keep doing this because Linux is funny, I enjoy it, it's an experience that makes you feel part of something, I've seen the light!...
What really makes the difference, speaking for me, is the philosophy behind Linux, and I commit myself to this way of thinking. The power of sharing knowledge without money being involved (tell Bill about it!), the possibility of building something in which everybody can be part of, thanks to the Internet, a worldwide effort for creating something useful for everybody, no strings attached.
If we play by their rules of saying what a OS shoul be, we'll loose, this is clear if we review the quantity of publications that have appeared telling that Linux is not ready for the Desktop, lots of arguments about how "easy" is using Windows, how a OS should behave, that the "average user" will not be able to use Linux, etc., I believe that the real strength of Linux is the freedom that it brings to the user.
I have to say a word of thanks to all the people that gives us the possibility of living this experience and not being trapped in a monopoly, to commit myself to help in this cause and bring this fascinating experience to new people, not imposing but sharing it. Also to support all the people who is having problems in making its pc functioning with Linux, if there's somethimg worth to spend some time and learn is Linux...
This is my way of telling other people what is Linux. If this message can be conveyed most of the alleged shortcomings of Linux are gone, if a person is willing to change and open his mind, then Linux has won already, on the contrary if he has no desires of changing anything, let it be, after all it's a matter of freedom to choose.
On my count I help two persons to embrace Linux and i'll continue this challenge, the joy of burning many CD and to share with them Linux is one of the most rewarding experiences, I don't believe the success of Linux will be measured by the quantity of users or the revenues but to the freedom that Tux has brought to us, Linux has already won the most important battle: to exist and for people like us to enjoy it every day.
Long live Linux!
Old 07-17-2005, 12:09 AM   #2
Registered: May 2005
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You know what works great? Putting an ad in the paper and installing linux free for people. Of course, you need to tell them what linux is in the ad. Make sure they can still dual boot with windoze. I've installed alternate browsers for window's users and most gave up on them after a few days and went back to IE. Sad but true.
Old 07-17-2005, 02:48 AM   #3
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You are a Linux convert and see the real world. The world of science has always worked this way - people developing and proving theories and then someone else coming and improving, applying and evolving the process some more etc. This is why man is where he is today. Unfortunately obscene personal greed has crept into the picture.
Unfortunately most people are influenced by the environment. They use the systems that they have been trained to use. They are trained to use MS products in school, work or where ever and they become comfortable with that. Another MS ploy -allow schools and students very special rates to use their software. A bit like the drug pedlar who gives freebie or low cost samples to new customers so that they become hooked and then knows he has a customer for life. People are very seldom willing to accept change. Change requires learning new things and since most humans are basically lazy they won't change unless there are significant benefits for them.
Only when Linux becomes an integral part of school and the work place and people are trained in its use will Linux become a main stream os.
As a final observation this thread is a General interest item and not a General Technical issue and will be moved to General by one of the mods.
Old 07-17-2005, 03:49 AM   #4
Registered: Oct 2004
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Needless to say that this idea has been developped over and over again.

Tiger OC's views are totally right, it's at school first that people should learn

what choice is, but the sad reality is that Windows is the standard and compatibility

issues arise if Linux comes into the picture. There is a junor high school here in

my region which is Linux-only, for students and admins alike. I can tell you the

secretaries have a hell of a job to sync with the local education board servers
-yes, even with samba installed-

to send teachers' marks and various documents. Otherwise they're happy because

nothing ever crashes (Debian servers) But this is a real small exception...
Old 07-17-2005, 08:37 AM   #5
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These types of threads belong in the General forum.

It has been moved.
Old 07-17-2005, 10:29 AM   #6
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Personally, I think much of the solution will come from outside the US, esp. the EU. I am always heartened when I see M$ being taken to task elsewhere for its monopolistic practices.

As to schools, this must be an ongoing thing -- look @ what Apple did in the early '80's & how they are doing now. Perhaps an anti-M$ campaign based on a poster showing Billy G as a drug dealer. "You don't allow drug dealers near schools, why let a monopolist inside." Unfortunately, here in the US we are already fighting against junk food & commercial advertising inside our schools.

Free installs definitely are good -- we do them every Wed. at the local computer club.

Publicity, the free kind, I think is most important. Newspaper ads, at least in Houston, cost lots of money. The trick is to find ways to get our message on the media for free (as in beer ). This can be a lot of work. I would love to hear creative ways to do this easily.
Old 07-17-2005, 10:54 AM   #7
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only one way: expose kids to linux, the younger the better. then as they grow up, MS will seem like the "weird"and "hard" thing.

most adults who are just "regular" average home users will never switch to linux imo because they already invested their time in learning windows. most of them have never even heard of linux. when i wear my linux cap with tux on it, people always say, "oh look, a little bird on your cap," or "what cute little penguin." of course i then take time to "educate" them a little on what linux is and all its benefits (without scaring them off, hopefully -- usually i focus on how it's free, i.e., no cost ). they are generally intrigued: "oh really, you can run all those computers and get all the software you want for free??" "sure." then i tell them about knoppix, and leave the rest up to them.
Old 07-17-2005, 11:17 AM   #8
Registered: May 2004
Location: Student of University of Mumbai, Maharastra State, India
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A small thought after reading all this....!!!!

I have read a lot of these kind of threads....and find most would say Linux is good and Microsoft should learn and give its products free..and many stuff...

MY main point of

"Dont tell what Microsoft should do and shouldn't do....

Tell what you can do for GNU/Linux...
How can you improve its usability ...
How can you make GNU/linux the common stream in the market
How can you improve applications in GNU/Linux so that every Windows user need not think twice!
Well, Nor am I supporting Microsoft nor am I anti-GNU/Linux....

The fact is that people should consider about GNU/Linux and use it...
develop it...share it....debug (if any)...and above all contribute some money to the developers....of it...

Dont consider what Microsoft is doing or not or for that fact...any other company...

Do good for GNU/Linux

and the "you" applies to all ....EVEN ME!!!!
Old 07-17-2005, 11:45 AM   #9
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Originally posted by archtoad6
Personally, I think much of the solution will come from outside the US, esp. the EU. I am always heartened when I see M$ being taken to task elsewhere for its monopolistic practices.

A Perhaps an anti-M$ campaign based on a poster showing Billy G as a drug dealer. "You don't allow drug dealers near schools, why let a monopolist inside." Unfortunately, here in the US we are already fighting against junk food & commercial advertising inside our schools.


sorry but thats a retarded idea! Comparing Bill Gates to a drug dealer is just stupid.

Last edited by jaz; 07-17-2005 at 11:47 AM.
Old 07-17-2005, 11:59 AM   #10
Registered: Jun 2005
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Arrow ?

My question is, how can MS be any easier than linux when you have to hire some guy you don't know or trust for $400 to install antivirus and spam blocker all that jazz? I agree though, the biggest reason for people not switching is because of what they are used to. I'm only 14, but if I ever have a family I'll be proud of my linux only kids. I may have to start them on suse or something like that, but as they age I will introduce them to slack. I just tell people how great linux is. repetition is the key for me. The windows people don't understand. Many of them I've met did not get that Linux has a graphical environment like windows, can do e-mail internet and the like. They thought linux was incapable! No wonder nobody wanted to switch. I've told a lot of people about it, word of mouth is best, and always have a live cd handy. Even if somebody is not ready to switch to linux, set 'em up with a firefox and all that good stuff, to make their windows nicer, once their windows dies over time, then say you wanna switch now? That's kinda how it's going with my brother. (He's gonna switch once we finish our movie (dont wanna risk data loss)

Word o' mouth I think is thew best, as in any situation, get to know the person,

happy converting,

Old 07-17-2005, 12:27 PM   #11
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FOr most people they like to stay with what they are comfortable with. I dont care if you can show them that Linux can wash their laundry and walk to dog for them if it takes them a while to be comfortable with it then they'd prefer Windows. Alot of people already have enough trouble using Windows. I work in technical support and I get to the point where I want to pull the hair out of my bald head just explaining the simplest of things. I couldnt imagine these people trying to run any distro of Linux. You think they'd want to run updates or whatever from the command line ie (apt-get) or work with RPM's? People dont have that patience.

Ive had people with virus, spyware etc on their computer and I told them about Linux and they gave it a shot. 4-5 days later they call me back and say "hey man, take this off of my computer...I dont like it!" They'd rather fight the viruses, spyware etc than learn a new OS. I think small businesses on a budget would welcome Linux more than the home casual user.
Old 07-17-2005, 12:27 PM   #12
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I think the best way to spread Linux is to let people come to you. I've found this to be true for evangelizing Firefox, too. If I approach people and say, "You should use Firefox," they are generally suspicious for a couple of reasons:

1. They don't understand that there is an alternative to Internet Explorer. Perhaps they've forgotten the "browser wars" of the mid-1990s and think that there is no such thing as browser. They just equate "internet" with the big blue E. I've had people ask me "What's a browser?" Also--and maybe I shouldn't have done this--but when I've snuck Firefox onto certain computers and changed the icon to IE's icon, people usually can't tell the difference. They don't launch it and say, "Hey, what happened here?" They just surf the internet as they usually do.

2. For ignorant computer users (i.e., most computer users) there's a general sense of "if it's working now, I don't want to mess with it." They think that any new program you install on your computer can mess up the entire computer. It's like an athlete's winning streak. Has anyone seen Bull Durham? If you think not having sex helps you win, keep not having sex. Well, if you think not installing new software will keep your computer functioning, keep off new software. That's a how a lot of people approach computing.

So, I've given up actively trying to spread Firefox. What I do now is I wait until someone has a problem. Then, she comes to me, "I'm having trouble with my computer," or "I can't get rid of these pop-ups." That's when I say, "Are you using Internet Explorer?" And in no time, that person's loving Firefox.

Unfortunately, getting someone to switch OSes isn't as easy. If someone says, "Well, I'm having trouble with spyware," I can't just say, "Are you using Windows?" and in no time have Linux up and functioning on her computer.

Granted, Linux will be a better experience for a lot of people, but there can be a lot of obstacles. For example, for most people I know, I'm the only Linux user they know, and I'm not that knowledgeable. If something goes wrong, and I can't figure it out, uh... tough luck. However, there are Windows users everywhere. People feel safe with other Windows users, even if it's only to commiserate (not to actually fix the problem). If something goes wrong in Windows, it's "Oh, don't you hate it when that happens." If something goes wrong in Linux, it's "That's what you get for using some geeky fringe OS." Also, if the person uses Hotmail or certain computer games or random software that's Windows-only, it will be very difficult to migrate that person without Crossover Office.

I think Linux fits a particular nitch and isn't for everyone. If I find someone open-minded enough to try it, I'll be all over that. I'm willing to troubleshoot people's Firefox problems but not their Linux problems... not yet.
Old 07-17-2005, 12:46 PM   #13
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Originally posted by jaz
I dont care if you can show them that Linux can wash their laundry and walk to dog for them if it takes them a while to be comfortable with it then they'd prefer Windows.
lol so true.
Old 07-17-2005, 01:07 PM   #14
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We all would love for linux to compete or even conquer MS as the iron fist of the OS world but honestly I dont see it happening. I think every company that has a tight squeeze on the industry needs major competition. I was so glad when Direct TV and Dish Network was direct competition to cable (even though I work for the cable cough cough company) but the thing that worries me is that I think by the time Linux becomes easy enough for the casual desktop user and most devices are supported Microsoft will have gotten their heads out of their rears and continue to improve on their OS thus continuing their domination in the desktop market. I mean alot of would love to see these market share figures:

Linux: 44 percent
MS: 41 percent
Apple: 15 percent

but only in a dreamworld. If anything I think by 2007 you could be looking at these figures:

Linux 12 percent
MS: 78 percent
Apple 10 percent

possible due to the fact that many low end computers (which will be around 1.5-2ghz by then) could come shipped with Linux alternatives and Linux by then will have wide-universal support for everything from MP3 players to webcams and digital cameras.

I dont know though..just speculating.
Old 07-17-2005, 01:38 PM   #15
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i've posted a link to download 13 episodes of a South African tv-series "go-open "
on this forum.
i think that's a good example of how to get attention for Linux from young people.
( " all the cool kids use it " )



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