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February 8, 2008

3 Questions That Prevent People From Switching To Linux

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 12:34 pm

Umreth Don’t get me wrong, I love Linux and use it daily (and for all my web hosting) but when it comes to Linux on the desktop, there’s 3 main concerns holding it back.

  1. What can this do that Windows can’t?
  2. How does it make my daily computer usage easier?
  3. Will it work with all the popular computer games?

Until all of these can be answered convincingly to a newbie, Linux just won’t succeed as a viable windows alternative. (again, we’re not talking geeks here.. we’re talking sold along side machines at Best Buy)


  1. How about sold along side machines at Wal-Mart?

    Don’t get me wrong, every post I’ve read that starts out that way is about to trash Linux. And you sure as hell did. What can this do that Windows can’t? Well it can’t get a virus essentially. Is that what you meant? How does it make my daily computer usage easier? How about update ALL the software on your computer with 3 clicks. How about not pestering you about a dozen different things. How about not telling how it is in charge of “your” computer. Will it work with all the popular computer games? Thank you for asking that question. Does any Microsoft operating system run all the computer games? Careful how you answer that because it’s a trick question. You see, no operating system runs all the computer games. You said all. If you didn’t mean all then you shouldn’t have misled people by writing it. I don’t mind so much when bloggers trash Linux. But when they say they’re a friend of Linux like you implied and then go on to say it’s not ready when in fact millions of people are using it to good effect, you label yourself as a troll. And you know what? You just got hammered by a troll hunter. Better luck next time.

    Comment by Richard Chapman — February 8, 2008 @ 9:17 pm

  2. Thanks for your comment Richard, let me address your points.

    It’s NOT ready yet. I can’t give my dad a copy of linux and expect him to be able to type up and print out a text document. With windows, he can do that very easily without any instruction.

    A windows machine can not get a virus too, as long as you keep everything up to date. Not a benefit.

    On my Mac, I can update all the software with 3 clicks as well. I could have very well compared it to OSX as well but in my opinion OSX is way better than windows, so I chose windows.

    When has windows told you it’s in charge of your computer? Mine has never told me that.

    I didn’t say ALL the computer games, I said all the POPULAR computer games. You know, Doom, Quake, Madden, Battefield, Counter-Strike, WOW, Sim City, etc. Windows runs all of those with no problem.

    Again, until I can give my mom or dad or any random person a CD and they can get it installed and perform the same tasks they do in windows, it will fail.

    It’s not enough for it to be just as good as windows, or almost as good. To actually compete with a monopoly it has to be better. It’s got a lot of better things (file system, security, console, etc) but it’s not better than windows yet, and it can’t do more than windows can.

    It’s the same reason MSN search is failing. It’s not better than Google, and it’s not even “almost as good.”

    Comment by Ryan — February 8, 2008 @ 9:38 pm

  3. “Again, until I can give my mom or dad or any random person a CD and they can get it installed and perform the same tasks they do in windows, it will fail.”

    So your Mom and Dad installed XP/Vista on their machines? Amazing.

    It’s true, there are some Windows machines that don’t get virus’. But not any I’ve seen. You do realize that like most Linux users, I had once used Windows. Many of us for longer than we have used Linux. So trying to infer that Windows is just as secure as Linux because some Windows installations are virus free brings howls of laughter to our ranks. Look, you love Linux, right? So here’s a tip, buy your parents a pre-installed Linux machine from Zareason or Wal-Mart or Everex or Asus or Dell. It’s a small list of sellers, but it used to be zero. And about the games. If Linux didn’t support one single game, that would leave 80% percent of the desktop market to its charms.

    It seems as though that you like proprietary solutions. It’s understandable. That’s all you’ve ever known. I’m sure the first computer you ever used regularly was proprietary. Me too. But I began to realize the computer that I called mine, was mine in name only. It was owned by Microsoft. And in turn I was owned, just like you are now. The difference is in the last name of the true owner, mine was Ballmer, yours is Jobs.

    Comment by Richard Chapman — February 9, 2008 @ 12:38 am

  4. I still don’t understand your “owned by microsoft” feelings.

    Everytime I tell my windows PC to do something, it does it. When i want to change out hardward, no problem.

    And Bill Gates has never shown up at my door asking for the computer – nor has MS ever forced me to install anything I don’t want to install.

    As we speak I have a windows, osX and ubuntu box sitting on my desk. Each has it’s own use. My point was that linux isn’t ready to compete with windows as a viable alternative. Give both to an average consumer and i’d venture that 90% of them would say “i want the windows” That’s all.

    Comment by Ryan — February 9, 2008 @ 3:02 pm

  5. “I still don’t understand your “owned by microsoft” feelings.”

    You will some day.

    Comment by Richard Chapman — February 9, 2008 @ 5:08 pm

  6. “Well it can’t get a virus essentially.”

    well, if it had 90% of the marketshare, you wouldn’t be able to say this. Yes windows is insecure, but most of the recent viruses have been spread by clueless users. Most people running linux these days are techs and not as clueless, so you generally won’t see these kinds of viruses.

    spyware is similar. There is no incentive to create spyware that will only effect

    Comment by james anton — February 10, 2008 @ 5:00 pm

  7. I’m with Ryan on this – the only benefits that Linux truly has are things that only geeks and fanbois care about. This is a fact. Also, like it or not, MS is the standard in most workplaces (including mine) and the only ones of us who need to know about Linux are the server admins, because it’s fit for that purpose, no doubt.

    Linux isn’t ready for home or desktop use, and won’t be until it stops being a total pain in the arse to even install a printer. It won’t be ready for the office until real alternatives to MS Office exist.

    Linux geeks love to get into a lather when someone points out the simple facts: Linux may well be terrific for your usage (geeking about, updating your kernal and figuring out dependencies, searching google for drivers for your new USB card reader that a Norwegian hasn’t written in their bedroom yet) but for actually getting something done, Windows simply does the trick.

    And all this virus scaremongering is getting very old. I’ve run Windows for about 10 years and never got a single virus, because I use er.. anti virus software. Not exactly brain surgery.

    If anyone’s the troll here, it’s Richard. He fails it.

    Comment by Alexander — February 12, 2008 @ 3:39 am

  8. Thanks Al,

    These questions I listed aren’t just about linux / microsoft. They can apply to any business model.

    It’s simply not a good business model to say “me too”. In any company or product, you have to be better or offer features that your competitors don’t.

    any trolls out there, please don’t think i said linux is a business model. I didn’t.

    Comment by Ryan — February 12, 2008 @ 11:48 am

  9. On a broader note, and off-topic, I find any kind of tech/geek zealotry intensely boring. It seems you can’t mention buying a Zune/Creative Zen without some fucking Mac dullard piping up about how great his iPod is, even though it has less space, less features and cost three times as much. IT IS BORING. You don’t get Windows zealots trying to convert Linux users – not because Windows is inferior and they know it, simply because they’re too busy getting on with life. Arguing about operating systems is just about the best pussy repellant going. GO OUTSIDE. NOBODY FUCKING CARES.

    This also applies to PS3 vs XBOX. Buy one, play it, if you’re happy then good for you. Then STFU.

    Comment by Alexander — February 12, 2008 @ 4:02 pm

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