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Re: Killer apps/"selling" points of FC and GNU/Linux

On Tue, 2004-11-16 at 20:20 +0100, Kyrre Ness Sjobak wrote:
> man, 15.11.2004 kl. 21.23 skrev Alan Cox:
> > On Mon, Nov 15, 2004 at 09:08:08PM +0100, Kyrre Ness Sjobak wrote:
> > > Mainly curious, but - why should people drop Windows (which they know,
> > > most of their programs often only runns there etc) and swich to Linux?
> > 
> > IMHO If you don't know why it would help someone don't try and make them change
> > 
> Mainly i have had them switch on technical/ideological reasons. But the
> "ordinary guy" - why should he/she switch?

He shouldn't.  There's no compelling reason that the average guy cares
about.  Even if Linux was 100% perfectly easy to use and had tons of
great apps, there *still* wouldn't be a compelling reason to switch for
the average guy.  And they shouldn't have to.  Your Operating System is
just a means to an end.

Linux has several advantages over Windows:
- Better development platform (average guy doesn't care)
- More secure (average guy don't understand or care about viruses,
security is often a hindrance in their opinion)
- Little to no cost (average guy gets his OS with his computer, doesn't
- Freedom (meaningless even to most developers, where the computer is a
tool and not a political statement, average guy doesn't care)
- Many technological improvements (average guy doesn't care)

Linux has several disadvantages over Windows:
- Different (many average guys don't want change)
- Can't run the latest games the day they come out (every average guy I
know cares about this one)
- Can't run the silly browser-ActiveX controls on this week's popular
joke/game web site (average guys may care about these)
- Can't run the silly low-quality near-pointless Windows app that his
Aunt gave him (even if the Linux/OSS equivalent is far superior, the
average guy does not want to have to find and install said app, he just
wants to stick in the CD his aunt gave him and have it work)
- Usability still sucks eggs (absolutely biggest gripe of all time -
third-party application and driver installation, which over here in
reality-land, happens very often, especially in the case of mainstream
commercial games)

End verdict?  Average guy has absolutely no reason to switch to Linux,
and has good reason to switch *off* of Linux.  Which is *exactly* what
I've seen happen with every single home Linux installation I've known
about except for mine.  In the end, they switch to Windows.  They even
go and pay $200 for a copy out of their pocket, thus disproving the myth
that Linux' low-cost is all that important to home users.

Here's a cool idea.  Don't do something unless you have a reason.  You
are doing one of the dumbest mistakes in the book - you have a solution
(switch to Linux) and you're looking for a problem (reason to switch).

Find a problem *first*, and then look for a solution.  Even most of the
problems you'll find on Windows can be best fixed with a solution other
than replacing the entire operating system and all applications with
Linux and OSS alternatives.
Sean Middleditch <elanthis awesomeplay com>
AwesomePlay Productions, Inc.

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