Re: Linux isn't ready for the Desktop ...

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On Fri, 21 Nov 2003 13:47:33 -0500, Daniel Veillard wrote:

> okay, it is still not ready for the consumer desktop, as a good
> consumer, go to Best Buy (or else), purchase some software, and get it
> to work on Linux.

Before I answer, this I'll concede that I'm probably preaching to the
converted, but given certain recent statements by certain famous Linux
figures, I sometimes wonder ...

Also my only real intention when starting this thread, was to show off my
snazy new Fedora desktop, but I guess I always knew it would open a can of

I don't know what the averages are stateside, but on this side of the
pond the "average" consumer uses legally free software where they can, and
pirate software where they can't. Of all the people I know personally, the
only one who ever actually *bought* software was ... me ... and that was
the $10 shareware fee for WinRAR.

So the argument that "you can't buy Linux compatible software in a shop"
is a moot point ... doubly so. On the one hand, Linux software is free, so
how could you be expected to "buy" it. The prospect of free software is
one of the things that drives people to Linux in the first place. Sure
"free" software providers sometimes package products with a manual, a
stuffed penguin and a tech. supp. phone number, then charge a few bucks
for it, but that's not the same, I think you'll agree. On the other hand
these "consumers" only ever used pirated software before anyway, they've
probably never even *seen* the inside of PC World etc. I mean let's be
honest about it ... right?

Given the following points, I'm surprised Linux hasn't already overtaken
Windows in terms of Desktop use:

1) ... Windows users are sick of overinflated software prices, OEM
lock-ins and boiler-room deals and corruption.

2) ... They are sick to death of Microsoft's attitiude towards
their privacy and civil liberties. Trusted Computing my ass.

3) ... They are really tired of "featuritus" software, that looks pretty,
but destroys their data, and causes them to spend more time re-installing
than working.

4) ... All those wonderful "bleeding edge" games that only lucky Windows
users can play, are no use to you unless you are prepared to spend vast
amounts of money upgrading both your hardware and your OS every time some
Windows-centric developer comes out with a new game, seemingly
deliberately designed to force you to upgrade (see point 1 above).

Even newbies are getting wise to Microsoft now, and not just because of
the DOJ either. People have to use their crap every day, and they're
getting sick of it.

Here's the way I look at it, Linux distro maintainers strive to offer the
most functionality, stability and ease-of-use. Their goal is to "empower"
the user and give them the tools they need, to do what they want.

The Microsoft philosophy is the reverse of that. Around 50% of the updates
coming out of Redmond are designed to "inhibit" their customers activity.
Look at WMP9 and DRM ("you cannot un-install this update" ... yeah right),
or their proposed Palladium (Trusted Computing). How about the security
update to Oulook, that permanently prevents you from reading Email
attachments??? No choice, no preferences, no question asked. Permanently
blocked. Thanks Billy, you *&%^&%^.

Thanks to a conspiracy between NVidia, Microsoft and the Motion Pictures
Association of America, I am no longer able to watch my legally purchased
DVD videos, on my legally purchased DVD-ROM, because ... well read for
yourself here:

So the incredible irony is, that although in the early days of DVD, I
*needed* Windows to be able to watch DVDs, *now* I need Linux to watch
them, and my Windows partition is sitting gathering dust.

Couldn't I just upgrade my graphics card or roll-back to an older buggy
driver? ... yes I could, but not to satisfy Microsoft's/NVidia's fascist
policies I'm not. My next card will be an ATI.

So is Linux ready for the Desktop? I think a more pertinent question is,
has Windows outlived *it's* usefulness on the Desktop?

Two questions; same answer.



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