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Old 04-19-2005, 10:26 AM   #1
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Future of Linux on the Desktop

I read this article about the future of Linux on the desktop, and I found it interesting to discuss it here. Specially the concept of "cost of learning" exceeding the "cost of buying". What do you think?
Old 04-23-2005, 09:43 AM   #2
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hmm... learning is costly only if you think time = money.

which is a sad thing, I think.

besides, linux is free and fun, what more could you want?

Old 04-23-2005, 10:13 AM   #3
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The only thing they failed to mention is the cost of every other application eg.OFFICE and the cost to support those junk microsoft distro's and app's as they have a very HIGH failure rate and further more you'll need to buy and relicense every 2 or so years to keep current......

Linux is for real computer users and can be tailor made to suit your exact needs, microsoft has to many stupid frills which you pay for and dont need which make no sense....
Old 04-23-2005, 03:49 PM   #4
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The mistake would be to consider the "cost of learning" to be a sunk cost, ie, one that would not generate any future benefits. Obviously that would be a foolish position to take, and I would also point ouf that even if a Windows user decides to stick with Windows, there will similarly be a "cost of learning" whatever differences there are between say, how things worked under Win98 and XP. Overall an interesting article though. -- J.W.
Old 04-23-2005, 06:05 PM   #5
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Originally posted by J.W.
The mistake would be to consider the "cost of learning" to be a sunk cost
In capital budgeting, a "sunk cost" is one that you should ignore not because there's no future benefit but because the money is spent, and nothing you can do will ever bring that money back.

So, cost of learning to be incurred is not a sunk cost, but the cost incurred in learning in the past IS a sunk cost, and is ignored.

That is used by a lot of those "paided" studies, who assume away that many of the costs of Windows are already spent and therefore shouldn't come into the equation.
Old 04-26-2005, 04:39 PM   #6
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I moved to linux due to lack of time to check viruses, trojans etc.

The time spent to learn to handel linux is saved several times now due to a "always working machine".
Old 04-28-2005, 11:46 AM   #7
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i have to fill up my posts. sorry.
Old 04-28-2005, 04:10 PM   #8
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The article presents Linux as the underdog, which is wrong way to start an argument IMO and what Windows should and shouldn't do isn't very interesting. Interesting would be when Linux is interesting enough for the big software companies to release Linux versions of their products. If that would happen, Windows would be in real trouble. It simply eliminates the problem of learning new applications.

Personally I had a hard time learning The Gimp, after years of editing with Photoshop, but it was pretty much the only application which worked really differently. Average desktop users aren't administrators, they don't know how to install Linux, they probably don't know what do when Windows behaves funny either.
Old 04-28-2005, 04:12 PM   #9
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Originally posted by ShaChris23
i have to fill up my posts. sorry.
shachris23 -- this is at least the third time you have posted a meaningless comment, presumably in order to boost your post count. Per the LQ Rules, do not post if you do not have anything constructive to say. -- J.W.
Old 04-29-2005, 05:37 PM   #10
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I think it was a good point in the article that Linux should target new users who haven't used computers before and therefore have no prejudice. In the 'western' world that is difficult because nearly everyone has used PC's and mostly they are windows machines so people learn them very early on and therefore they learn it quickly.

And again we come to the problem that people still think Linux is not user friendly and you need to be an engineer to run it. On most things, I've found it a lot easier than windows. There really is not much of a cost of learning because if you switch to windows and start using something like KDE, there is nothing you have to learn. And Office users can easily switch to Oo since it works pretty much the same way. So to my opinion, the problem is nonexistent.
Old 05-01-2005, 03:20 AM   #11
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future of linux

If you value the inner workings of the OS for its own sake then you will waive the cost of learning because the learning is enjoyable and you are willing to overlook the time spent.

If you're primary focus is to surf the net, burn a cd, create a family picture DVD, or get an invoice out to a client, but have to wait several days or weeks to learn how to do it, you are more likely to include the cost of learning in your OS decision, because it is an impediment to the "final" usefulness of a product.

If you can incorporate the first philosophy into the second .....great!

One thing that MS has done well is to make the end user "feel" like part of the action.....that they are able to use PCs.....that they are able to brag about their ability to use and understand the language of computers. It may all be bull***t, but perception is half the battle in a market drive economy.

Best way to spread linux is to help a noob and stay away from bashing the "end user" who is not that interested in the learning curve for its own sake.

C'mon linux, don't shoot yourself in the foot.

Last edited by Trio3b; 05-01-2005 at 01:26 PM.
Old 05-06-2005, 01:54 AM   #12
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The learning curve may be sharp for some distro's but there are others out there (Linspire and Xandros) to name two that are very easy for non-computer minded people to install. Heck with some help with the install process, I think any intellent person (computer savvy or not) would be able to use Mandriva and Suse.

Whilst the argument "Linux is too hard to learn" may have been true a few years back. I don't think that it is a valid one these days.


Old 05-06-2005, 08:42 AM   #13
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I don't think the problem is non-existent. I have read the posts in the thread and I agree in part. Most of you are focusing on the cost of learning for private individuals, like most of us, but the article is handling the concept of "cost of learning" and "cost of buying", mostly from the corporate point of view, and for corporate desktops in particular. We should all agree that is in that area that linux has spread less and needs to spread more.

One thing I am convinced is that linux is not harder to use/learn per-se. It's the lack of hardware support, and even the lack of support from big software producers, like Adobe, Corel, Nero, the main reasons why linux can be difficult for non-savvy windows users.

For example, I recently acquired a webcam, which was a snap to configure in windows (I didn't even had the CD at hand when I installed, and windows automatically downloaded the driver from the internet behind the scenes). In debian, I haven't been able to configure it yet. Something simmilar happens to me with an external USB modem, which worked for me in mandrake 10.1 (with a couple of commands most average users won't manage to find out) and it doesn't work with debian sarge. If everyone would be like nvidia and not like ATI, this would be a better world.

An average user (and I don't consider my self average) would have quit linux already, because in the end they are too much concerned with functionality, and if windows is giving them the functionality linux doesn't offer out of the box, they go the windows way. They are not into this monopoly issues, or into freedom to use the software, and are not even aware of security or stability issues. As sad as it may sound, this is how it works, unfortunately.
Old 05-09-2005, 03:12 PM   #14
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Worse, people who are dependent on a plain vanilla Windows setup for web-browsing and email are not candidates for Linux either.
Of course not, because anyone who is used to using an address bar and front/back/stop buttons in IE will be completely lost in Firefox with its mysterious interface.

Also, Gnumeric and OpenOffice Spreadsheet are so different from Excel that the first time I opened it I thought it was a marvelously large Minesweeper clone.
Old 05-11-2005, 01:56 PM   #15
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PC users are finding Linux easier to use than Windows.
I think this is very interesting, because it shows that Linux isn't that hard as a lot of people think and use as an arguement to not use linux.
Although I agree, that it isn't usefull for big companies to swich to linux because the lessons for the employees will cost too much. But for smaller, starting companies it'll save a lot of money by using linux instead of windows and cost hardly a thing.

Last edited by Ruben2; 05-13-2005 at 02:58 AM.


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