Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1677 mails)

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Re: Clinging to Microsoft (was Re: [opensuse] Why openSUSE is less popular than Ubuntu?)

From my experience with colleagues and family who all use / have used Linux to various degrees,
there are a few very simple reasons why most (at least partly) cling to Microsoft:

1) Windows is free of charge to them because it is preinstalled on every consumer-grade PC,
so there is no value to them in Linux being free. I have even had people discounting building
their own PC and rather take 2nd-best and buy from the store because they would have to buy
(and install) Windows separately on the DIY box.

2) Windows is preinstalled while Linux requires a separate installation (with a risk of destroying whatever
they have on Windows). This is a close to unsurmountable hurdle to average computer users who not only
do not know the Linux terminology which is often different to what they know from Windows, but more often
than not they don't even know what a partition is so can't even make choices from the very simplest installer.

3) Everybody has Windows, and they don't want to miss out on the coolest or hottest download out there that
their buddies tell them about. They do not (want to) understand the concept of SW repositories, and don't mind
downloading and installing crap from even the most untrusted websites (which is quite different from the way
SW is installed in Linux). If that ruins their Windows installation, there is always a friend who is a "Windows expert"
and fixes their problem / reinstalls Windows for them.

4) They use software for which they believe there is no equivalent in Linux. Most of the time, it is sufficient for
them to maintain that believe that they do not see a Linux version of their SW (but unfortunately in some cases
they may be right).

5) There is a perception of Linux being complicated, and the only "big" distribution that I know that helps them
getting started with Linux based on their computer skills and Windows background is Ubuntu. Most other distros
are made by Linuxers for Linuxers, and will only leave our Windows folks frustrated, with their Linux preconceptions
being confirmed.

6) Given that everyone uses Windows and noone uses Linux, it must be true that Windows is better and Linux is -
at best - something for geeks.

There may be more but that's my main experience. One thing is for sure,however: many people would be prepared
to try Linux if they had to purchase Windows at extra cost, but as has been said in other posts, that is prevented
by M$'s illegal practice of enforcing bundling of new computers with Windows.

/K.-H.



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