I have been using Linux since the days of mandrake 9. And i attempted a complete switch with the first Fedora Core, and achieved it with Fedora Core 5. But i still ran Windows, because of my work place. So once i bought a laptop, the first thing i did was to remove windows once and for all from the desktop pc in my house. I went with Mandriva 2008 for the home desktop, Initially people in my house, especially my dad was not comfortable with the switch, He has never used a computer other than the one at his workplace. He was accustomed to Internet Explorer and MS Outlook there.
The first switch was from Internet Explorer to Firefox. It seemed to him like a huge shock, that IE is not available. But gradually he started to use Fx. Now he is comfortable using it. Though he is finding it difficult to adjust to the tabbed interface, instead of switching from the taskbar.
Next it was Excel and Word. Two other things which he was using in his workplace. He was comfortable with Calc of OpenOffice, since he had used it in the home system back in 2007. But he did not know what to do with word. Then i introduced him to OpenOffice Writer. Now he is using it for his documents, he has never asked for any help in that.
Now he is pretty much using the desktop on his own. Even when i went on to update Mandriva2009 to Mandriva 2009.1 and it broke lightly he did not panic at having to look at a different screen, He had to Use IceWM instead of the default KDE4. He was at home. (Though i fixed it for him later).
The only complaint from him is that the computer is slow. The poor thing has only 256 MB of ram and it has been there for the past 5 years.
Yesterday, i happened to read one of the articles which i was pointed to in twitter. It was titled The Market has rejected Linux desktops…
I was left thinking, i have heard the line this is the year of linux desktop or something every year. But it is still not there.. What Jason Hiner points out seems to be right… But,..
Lets leave out Google Chrome OS out of this. I am not here to talk about it’s linux base or anything related to Chrome. It’s target is entirely different.
There are four points, four simple points which he is pointing out, (as he says, there are many more, but lets tackle those four points here first.).
It’s still too much of a pain:
i would like Mr Hiner to try to install the modem that i have in Windows XP, Vista or even in Windows 7. Let him give it a try. Windows is not the ultimate, and even mac will have to face it in some cases. It doesn’t seem to recognize the wireless and webcam in my laptop. And i have given hope to make it work. Every OS has its own problems. The reason for this one is that, the vendors do not take up to provide drivers for the different os’s or provide the specification so that someone can build a driver for it. So do not blame Linux for making pluggin devices a pain
The divide and fail strategy:
It is not as you think. Linux is basically about choices, Each distro has its own audience. You just can’t pull out Ubuntu Studio and use it as a desktop. It is made for audio / video professional. Well we do have Windows Home, Professional, Business, Ultimate, yada, yada, yada. nobody talks about, Whenever someone mentions Windows XP, 90% it is thought about as professional edition and not home or anyother flavour. But does a home user need Windows XP Professional. I don’t think so. does my dad need a Windows XP professional. No Windows Home would do. but why do they try to push professional when trying to buy one, is anybody’s guess. So it is again at the hands of vendors who have to be educated to allow them to help the customer to make a good decision. Or the users have to be educated. Try saying them that Home costs 3000 bucks and professional costs 7000 bucks, then they will try to know about different flavours of windows and get confused leading to divide and fail in windows too.
Not enough innovation:
I don’t think i can talk about this as i don’t much understand the things that are being talked here.
Businesses want someone to blame
Seems like he himself points out the answer. The leaders are afraid that the switch might cause a black mark or something of that sort on them if it backfires at some level. But i don’t think anyone would make the shift on a large scale. They would make a phased shift. maybe some 5% of a department would switch to it and start using it. if all goes well, then everyone can shift.
Incompatible software?!! this is puzzling, Coz anyone planning for a switch would have considered this before making a switch. If this was the case, then i will have to say that it really is a mistake on the part of the IT leader for not researching and planning the shift properly
As for pointing fingers to esacape, If you get support for your linux flavour from its corresponding vendor, unless you went for the free version, in which case you have to ask for support from your consultant, who helped you migrate, or the community.
All said, There are some more too. Like one of the users had said in the comments section, There are not enough softwares to make it move mainstream. His example was AutoCAD. Well, this is also a point to consider. Software makers say they are ready to put the resources to go ahead and get it working in Linux, if they can show the market (A manager in my workplace had said this to me). And People who want to make the switch say they will when the software is available. Well as he says it is same as chicken or egg problem. Go thru the comments, there are many more like these…