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Linux Not Ready For the Masses...BULL

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I am tired of hearing and reading that Gnu/Linux is not ready for the "regular" or "normal" user. Self proclaimed experts and pundits insist that these users can not, or will not, use Gnu/Linux. They give all kinds of reasons for this. I say that most of these reasons exist only in the minds of these experts and pundits.

Am I saying that Gnu/Linux can be used in every situation? No, I realize that there are some applications that can not be replaced by FOSS software today. But, I think that these are the exception not the rule. Most desktop users could run Gnu/Linux without issues today. In fact, I suspect that most users would not think it was anything more than an upgrade if their system were running Gnu/Linux and OpenOffice tomorrow. I have helped switch many users to Gnu/Linux and, so far, I have had only one who insisted on switching back to Windows. In cases where a need exists for a Windows application that will not run under Wine, I setup a machine running Windows with VNC server and create links that opened the VNC viewer to that machine.

So, why are companies still not willing to lower the cost of software for their users? I believe the major reason is that we have far too many "EXPERTS" telling them that Gnu/Linux is not ready for their users.

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Follow Up to "Linux Not Ready For the Masses...BULL"

I will address some of the issues that have been brought up. These are all things that I feel must be considered by anyone thinking about a conversion or upgrade to an existing installation. I did not write the original article with the thought that it would be viewed by people who were considering a change. However, from the emails I received, it seems that many of the readers are in that position. I hope this follow up will give them some additional help with evaluating such a change.

If anyone is looking to change to a system that includes FOSS including Gnu/Linux please consider these points in your evaluation.

One item that continues to be brought up, proprietary file formats, I addressed in the original article briefly. However I will be glad to cover it again. For as long as computers have existed, data has been stored in a huge variety of formats. And, data has been converted from one format to another. Even upgrading to a new version of the same software you have been using often requires conversion of data files. While this conversion must be considered it is hardly a reason not to change things.

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