Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Slowly moving people to Linux via OpenSource Apps

Filed under

Its the start of a new year, and there are a fair few websites, yet again, predicting this to be the Year of Desktop Linux, and others declaring last year was the year of Desktop Linux, and even more saying, it will NEVER be the year of Desktop Linux.

Personally i believe, it already is, well, it is for me, i use Linux at home, and am lucky enough to use it as part of my work. However i do understand how skeptics will want to "keep a lid" on this whole thing, because the IT Industry is full o professionals whos monthly income depends on companies using Windows Based solutions. and they don't wish to have their income disrupted by this Open Source upstart. So in board rooms across the land, there will be Technical people explaining in presentations, how Microsoft is the way to go. The main arguments for this will probably be:

* Stick with what you know.Microsoft is a brand you can trust
* You already have Windows everywhere,
* Why do you need to complicate matters by adding another system.?

These are not the right reasons for installing an IT system, unless of course, you don't have any knowledge or skillset in the alternative OS market.

An operating system, a computer, a solution, is only a tool, and there are many occasons where Windows isn't the right tool for the job, however it is the right sale for the job.

This means in order to coax over that mass band of the Microsoft trained Tech market, Linux will essentially have to bend over, and take one for the lads. and become more like the Microsoft Operating system. Please at this point, do not belive i am condoning this stratagy, the point i'm aiming at, is its not Linux which is the Issue, the linu Desktop is better than Windows in some area, and worse in othere, it is making great strides, and the improvements, release, upon release are amazing, this however is not enough, when the people who are specing out the corperate systems, are effectivly scared due to a lack of knowledge and understanding.

So how does Linu over come this? It doesn't need to, as it already is, because its not Linux, which will pae the wayt o a brighter future, its the whole opensource movement. as while microsoft has been having some prett bad press over the last few years, the average joe, has been migrating slowly, bit by bit over to Open Source, of course he doesn't necesserily know this, as far as he is concerned, he has just found a better alternative. a tool which does the job better.

This migraion usually starts with the move to Firefox, something which has become a lot easier, since the IE only webpage, has been a bad PR move in the corperate world, the last thing you need is custoer bleeting that your pretty web interface, designed to save money on staff, doesn't work in anything other than IE6..

So once the move to Firefox is made, there is maybe a dabble with OpenOffice on the new computer, once the free 30 day Office runs out, or the user figure out MS Works isn' what they use at work...

Then its a gradual shift, usually of watercooler chat, "Have you tried Gimp to get the red eye out of those office party snaps, its free" or "I use Pidgen to speak to Marky on the 4th flor who is on Yahoo and bill on the 2nd who is on MSN, it let me speak to both of them, my son told me about it"

So wha do we end up with? a Windows Desktop, with lots of Open source apps.. familiar apps.

During the course of the year, the computer at home might be starting to run slowly, the credit crunch has hit, the choice is food, or a new computer, despite the £299, £399 deals, you can't really justify it, however a quick chat with the company IT bloke, said, give Ubuntu a try, you slap in the Live CD, the user sees what? Firefox, Open Office, Gimp, Pidgen.. all things they already know how to use. and the computer is indeed a bit quicker.. so a data backup and install later, and you have saved £300, £400 quid, the computer isn't as slow.. and you can still check your email, and surf the net..

Ah, i hear you say, what about hardware incompatibilities? Well, to be honest, these users, are going to usually have the same issues as they do on Windows, it jus means for a little while, the work IT bod is going to be answering a lot of Linux questions, do you think he minds? not a bit.. because in this scenario he feels empowered, yet another convert, and, think of all that feedback on usability, you can put back to the distro provider, an invaluable resource, of actual case studies, where users are liking, or confused by the desktop interface, inally a chance to put something back into the community..

And for the first few users you convert, they now have the water cooler knowledge of how to speed up thier PC, so feel like the brave new world finder, because they saved money.

The migration to Linux, is though Open Source applications, on Windows, creating a comfort zone, a feeling of familiar desktop apps, something which isn't alien, when you make the transition to the Linux Desktop.

The person who aids this movement, away from Windows, has to be patient, its a slow transition, a learning process, don't sing the praises of linux, its a voyage of discovery, and everyone finds things hard to start with.. they will not read the forums, because they won't know they are there, they will ask you.. be patient, smile, bcause it will pay off.. and 6moths, a year later, you'll have your own little tribe of converts, who are not complaining because linux isn't like Windows, however, are telling everyone else, about thier new discovery...

So will this be the year of the Linux Desktop, for the whole plaent, maybe, maybe not, but for you, it could be the year of your Linux Tribe..

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

We are already past those years! ;-)

SJVN, or Steven J Vaughn-Nichols, very vocal and open proponent of Linux desktop software, says that the year of the Linux desktop has already happened and that it has been happening for several years now.

Look at the MEPIS Lovers Forum, for example, at and you will see an enthusiastic bunch of Linux desktop users, many of whom have been at it for several years now.

If we cannot believe that we are already in our past "The Year of the Linux Desktop", when will it happen? I wrote, "Linux: The Time is Now!" back in 2001 at the Extreme Tech forums, hosted by Ziff Davis Media.

See,2845,6710,00.asp for that historical article, still available today to read.

Brian Masinick

Couldn't agree more An

Couldn't agree more

An engineer, is a person, who looks at a glass, and sees neither half empty, or half full, only an object twice as large as it needs to be.

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Software

  • DocKnot 1.00
    I'm a bit of a perfectionist about package documentation, and I'm also a huge fan of consistency. As I've slowly accumulated more open source software packages (alas, fewer new ones these days since I have less day-job time to work on them), I've developed a standard format for package documentation files, particularly the README in the package and the web pages I publish. I've iterated on these, tweaking them and messing with them, trying to incorporate all my accumulated wisdom about what information people need.
  • Shotwell moving along
    A new feature that was included is a contrast slider in the enhancement tool, moving on with integrating patches hanging around on Bugzilla for quite some time.
  • GObject and SVG
    GSVG is a project to provide a GObject API, using Vala. It has almost all, with some complementary, interfaces from W3C SVG 1.1 specification. GSVG is LGPL library. It will use GXml as XML engine. SVG 1.1 DOM interfaces relays on W3C DOM, then using GXml is a natural choice. SVG is XML and its DOM interfaces, requires to use Object’s properties and be able to add child DOM Elements; then, we need a new set of classes.
  • LibreOffice 5.1.6 Office Suite Released for Enterprise Deployments with 68 Fixes
    Today, October 27, 2016, we've been informed by The Document Foundation about the general availability of the sixth maintenance update to the LibreOffice 5.1 open-source and cross-platform office suite. You're reading that right, LibreOffice 5.1 got a new update not the current stable LibreOffice 5.2 branch, as The Document Foundation is known to maintain at least to versions of its popular office suite, one that is very well tested and can be used for enterprise deployments and another one that offers the latest technologies.

Security News

  • Thursday's security updates
  • Mirai will be dwarfed by future Android botnet DDoS attacks, Lookout warns
    THE MIRAI BOTNET will seem like nothing compared to the havoc that is caused when hackers turn their attention to hijacking Android smartphones, Lookout’s security research chief has warned. Speaking to the INQUIRER, Mike Murray said it would be easy for cyber crooks to take over millions of smartphones, noting how often the Android requires patching.
  • Deal Seeks to Limit Open-Source Bugs
    Seeking to spot potential security vulnerabilities in systems that increasingly rely on open source software, software license optimization vendor Flexera Software has acquired a specialist in identifying potentially vulnerable software components. Flexera, Itasca, Ill., said Thursday (Oct. 27) it is acquiring San Francisco-based Palamida Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
  • Senator Wants to Classify Insecure Internet of Things Devices As 'Harmful'
    A massive attack carried out with a zombie army of hacked internet-connected devices caused intermittent outages on Friday, preventing tens of thousands of people from accessing popular sites such as Twitter, Reddit, and Netflix. For many security experts, an attack like that one, which leveraged thousands of easy-to-hack Internet of Things such as DVRs and surveillance cameras—weaponized thanks to a mediocre but effective malware known as Mirai—is just a sign of things to come. That’s why Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) wants the US government to do something about it.
  • Senator Prods Federal Agencies on IoT Mess
    The co-founder of the newly launched Senate Cybersecurity Caucus is pushing federal agencies for possible solutions and responses to the security threat from insecure “Internet of Things” (IoT) devices, such as the network of hacked security cameras and digital video recorders that were reportedly used to help bring about last Friday’s major Internet outages. In letters to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Virginia Senator Mark Warner (D) called the proliferation of insecure IoT devices a threat to resiliency of the Internet.

today's howtos

Linux Kernel News

  • Applying the Linus Torvalds “Good Taste” Coding Requirement
    In a recent interview with Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, at approximately 14:20 in the interview, he made a quick point about coding with “good taste”. Good taste? The interviewer prodded him for details and Linus came prepared with illustrations. He presented a code snippet. But this wasn’t “good taste” code. This snippet was an example of poor taste in order to provide some initial contrast.
  • DTrace for Linux 2016
    With the final major capability for BPF tracing (timed sampling) merging in Linux 4.9-rc1, the Linux kernel now has raw capabilities similar to those provided by DTrace, the advanced tracer from Solaris. As a long time DTrace user and expert, this is an exciting milestone! On Linux, you can now analyze the performance of applications and the kernel using production-safe low-overhead custom tracing, with latency histograms, frequency counts, and more.
  • The initial bus1 patch posting