Gnomie Robert Tishkevich writes:

Hi, Chris!

I never heard of you until I watched an April 17th video where you discussed Linux on the Desktop and I agreed with all of your points as to why Linux cannot compete. As much as I would love to see Linux overtake Windows on the desktop, it ain’t gonna happen.

I have several other points I would like to discuss with you.

  1. Why would a Windows user switch to Linux when he/she has everything they want or need in Windows?

    Up until recently I would have said never. However, the recession has amplified the lower cost of installing and running Linux vs. Windows, so this opened up a window of opportunity [no pun intended]. Unfortunately the world of Linux doesn’t understand what it needs to do in order to take advantage of this golden opportunity.

  2. What is Linux to the average person?In my opinion, 99% or more of Americans have no idea what Linux is. If they don’t even know what it is, how can you create a desire or motivation to switch operating systems? Other than computer geeks, I never met one person who heard of Linux, let alone is considering switching from Windows to an operating system that is a complete mystery to them.
  3. Even if Americans eventually find out what Linux is and might consider switching because it’s free, as soon as they see a thoroughly confusing array of different Linux versions, it would be over before it starts. Are you kidding? Linux needs one unified desktop version in order to even have a chance.
  4. I’m a former OS/2 user, and among many other reasons, I think the primary reason that OS/2 never made it was IBM’s failure to provide native OS/2 applications. At the time, WordPerfect Office was the most important application in the country, but there was no native version for OS/2. In light of that, why would anyone switch if they couldn’t run WP Office? And guess what — they didn’t switch.Today, people run Quicken, Alpha Five, Access, Turbo Tax, and a wide array of other Windows applications. If they switch to Linux and find out there are no native versions of their favorite software, the game’s over before it starts.

    And don’t say anything about running Windows in a Virtual Machine; that’s so far above the average person’s understanding that it cannot be considered — at least at this point in time.

  5. As we all know, installing new applications is a breeze in Windows. It’s something anyone can do. I’m a computer geek who’s used Windows for years, but never touched Linux until about 3-4 weeks ago. I recently installed Linux on my home machine to give it a try.When I ran into the complexity of installing an application in Linux, I was mystified. I had to ask myself who created this dizzying array of installation options? It’s insane and is yet another major reason why Linux on the desktop will not happen. As you mentioned, Linux needs one unified installation option so that anyone can simply click on a file and install an application.

    On the other hand, I love the “Update Manager” — it’s fantastic! There must be a way to apply this ingenious, easy to use approach to other aspects of Linux on the Desktop.

Thanks for listening!