Linux Is Not Ready For The Masses

Wednesday, March 19, 2008 by Mistlee

Can't see any images? - !

Click to Play

SES New York 2008: Jill Whalen
Mike McDonald caught up with Jill Whalen the CEO and Founder of High Rankings at SES New York. Whalen gives a few basic tips regarding organic SEO.

Recent Articles

Sun Should Compete Against Linux?
When I read Dana's post about leaving Jonathan & Sun alone, I couldn't help but side with Dana. But then I read Amanda McPherson (Marketing director at...

Living In Ubuntu For A Day
The arrival of Mark G. Sobell's "A practical guide to Ubuntu Linux" a few days ago prompted me to try living in Ubuntu for a day. I'm a Mac guy (or have been...

Linux Developers Rejoice - NYSE Invests In Linux...
If there is any other sign that would indicate that Linux has reached a tipping point in terms of popularity and maturity, it is that the staid, stolid, and conservative...

Linux Flyback Needs More Than Ease Of Use
Recently, there have been a number of posts about Linux Flyback, which is an attempt to wrap a gui around rsnapshot/rsync to make a Linux version of Apple's...

OpenJDK And Ice Tea
Because I've been a hermit over the past few days, I'm only now reading about Sun's open source event earlier this week. Sadly, I wasn't invited (likely because...


Linux Is Not Ready For The Masses

By Dave Taylor

There's an interesting, albeit very (very) long article written by Rip Linton entitled "Linux Not Ready for the Masses? Bull" that, rather inadvertently, does a great job of demonstrating one of the main reasons that Linux is not, in fact, ready for the masses:

Rip makes an impassioned intellectual argument for the positive value of change but in this instance completely misses that perception is more important than reality.

His arguments are based primarily on his own experience in the computer industry, years of learning how to wrestle with and overcome the challenges of new and different technology. Interesting reading, particularly since I too have been involved with the Unix community for decades.

There are a few key points he makes that I want to address:

"Most users love to learn new things and really like it if they are one of the first in their group to learn something"

Try a Better Way Today. Try WebEx PCNow

In my experience that's not true. In fact, most people - particularly in a corporate environment - are interested in getting their job done and getting out of there, not learning new tools and techniques. That's why there's still such an installed base of Windows 95 and Windows 98, along with MacOS 9 (yes, I hear from users of all these systems).

This is a key point, because just about every Unix / Linux / GNU person I've bumped into during the 25 years (jeez!) I've been associated with that community has a high level of intellectual curiosity about the tools they use for their work. They like getting incremental updates, they like playing with new tools, they're curious. That's great, but it's not the way most people work and it's a mistake to assume that it is.

"Training and perception are the keys to successful change"

Agreed, but this assumes that people want to be trained and that the benefit to the business - and the individuals - after the training is sufficiently high that they'll accept being trained in the first place. Worse, most corporate trainers are terrible teachers, boring and fairly unforgiving of those who aren't immediately grasping the new concepts or tools.

Nonetheless, my main point is that, yes, perception is key to successful change. And since the perception of Linux is that it's far more geeky and difficult to work with than Windows, this needs to be addressed directly in the marketplace too.

And, to be honest, it is harder to work with Linux than Windows or Mac OS X because you can't go to Kinko's and buy an app for your Linux box, you can't just plug in a printer and get it to work, and you can't get your friend to pop over and help you fix things. No perception involved, this is just the reality of working with an unpopular system in the marketplace.

Contiue reading this article...

About the Author:
Dave Taylor has been involved with the Internet since 1980 and is internationally known as an expert on both business and technology issues. Holder of an MSEd and MBA, author of twenty books and founder of four startups, he also runs a strategic marketing company and consults with firms seeking the best approach to working with weblogs and social networks. Dave is an award-winning speaker and frequent guest on radio and podcast programs.

About LinuxDeveloperNews
Get the lastest information on current changes in the Linux Development World.

LinuxDeveloperNews is brought to you by:

-- LinuxDeveloperNews is an iEntry, Inc. publication --
iEntry, Inc. 2549 Richmond Rd. Lexington KY, 40509
© 2008 iEntry, Inc.  All Rights Reserved  Privacy Policy  Legal

archives | advertising info | news headlines | free newsletters | comments/feedback | submit article

Unsubscribe from LinuxDeveloperNews.
To unsubscribe from LinuxDeveloperNews or any other iEntry publication, simply send an email request to:
LinuxDeveloperNews News Archives About Us Feedback LinuxDeveloperNews Home Page About Article Archive News Downloads WebProWorld Forums Jayde iEntry Advertise Contact