Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Slowly moving people to Linux via OpenSource Apps

Filed under
Linux

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 http://mepislovers.org/forums/index.php? 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 http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,6710,00.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

Mozilla's Webmaker App Could Spur Firefox OS App Developers

Mozilla continues to push ahead with its Firefox OS mobile operating system, which is arriving on phones in many markets around the world. In fact, the company has aligned its whole strategy around the mobile platform. The OS is gaining enough traction that many observers see it as eventually being competitive with iOS and Android phones, but I've made the point that If Firefox OS is to be a resounding success, it's going to need a very healthy ecosystem of apps to attract users. Apps count for a lot in the mobile game. Read more

Tiny Android SBC taps quad-core A31s SoC

Boardcon launched a 92 x 65mm “Compact A31S” SBC that runs Android 4.2.2 on a quad-core Allwinner A31s SoC backed up with 2GB of soldered RAM and 4GB flash. Boardcon Embedded Design offers a wide variety of Android-based single board computers and COMs that incorporate Samsung system-on-chips, and now the Shenzhen-based OEM manufacturer is spreading out to the quad-core Allwinner A31s. The Compact 31S SBC is touted for its tiny dimensions, and indeed it’s pretty small considering all you’re getting here. It’s only 92 x 65mm, compared to 148 x 108mm for Boardcon’s Samsung Exynos4412 based EM4412 SBC. Read more

6-Way Ubuntu 14.10 Linux Desktop Benchmarks

In celebration of Ubuntu 14.10's Utopic Unicorn release today, here's some fresh benchmarks of one of the most requested topics: 2D/3D benchmarks of different desktop environments. In this article is a look at six of the popular desktop offerings found in Ubuntu 14.10. The desktops tested in their near-final state on Ubuntu 14.10 x86_64 included Unity 7.3.1, KDE 4.14.1, Xfce 4.10, LXDE 0.6.2, Openbox 3.5.2, and GNOME Shell 3.12.2. Tests are also being done of Kubuntu's PPA for Plasma 5 packages, but those results will be saved for its own article. Testing the MATE packages in Ubuntu 14.10 was also attempted but when logging into the MATE session it was endlessly spawning a bunch of new windows and just wasn't working right at least in the configuration attempted. Read more

Enlightenment's EFL 1.12 Alpha Has Evas GL-DRM Engine, OpenGL ES 1.1 Support

The first alpha release for the 1.12 version of the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL) was released this week. EFL 1.12 Alpha 1 has some notable changes including the addition of the gl-drm engine for allowing OpenGL directly over Enlightenment's DRM back-end, support from reading the screen geometry with the ecore-drm backend, support for client-side rotation in Evas GL, and support for OpenGL ES 1.1 within Evas GL. Read more