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Ashtray2
May 11th, 2012, 10:32 PM
When Torvalds was asked why Linux has failed on the desktop, he underlined the lack of driver support as the main issue. From my standpoint as a user, I vehemently disagree.

We all believe Linux is the best operating system. So then who is to blame for it's failure on the desktop? I'll cut to the chase...It's that every distribution sucks. Its non intuitive. You should be able to do the basic things just as easily in Linux as in Windows.

Now that Redhat has more money, I hope they come back to the desktop and do it the right way.

Shibblet
May 11th, 2012, 10:38 PM
Games and Windows Proprietary Software.

codingman
May 11th, 2012, 10:41 PM
In what way does the desktop edition suck? It's totally fine. Why is it easier to do things on windows than on Linux? ...That every distribution sucks? I know this is an opinion, but this simply does not make any sense.

lykwydchykyn
May 11th, 2012, 10:44 PM
Thank you for your well-crafted, thought-out, detailed analysis. I'm sure it will be of great value for future development.

Obviously, the reason Linux has utterly failed on the desktop is that we haven't had enough people sharing well-reasoned, straight-to-the-point opinions like this one.

Keep it up, we'll get there yet! :D

Ashtray2
May 11th, 2012, 10:48 PM
Games and Windows Proprietary Software.

It's become a part of the Linux philosophy to outsource blame for the failure of a superior OS.

Those two things you mentioned aren't something that can be fixed without widespread adoption in the first place.

Ashtray2
May 11th, 2012, 10:49 PM
In what way does the desktop edition suck? It's totally fine. Why is it easier to do things on windows than on Linux? ...That every distribution sucks? I know this is an opinion, but this simply does not make any sense.

Why can't I right click and create a shortcut on my desktop? Does MS own a patent for this or something? Seriously.

Also, I need a taskbar of some sort for christ sake so I can easily manage the windows I have open. Unity and Gnome are awful at this. Its not about everything looking like windows, but I need my GUI functional. Thank god for cario dock.

Aegis
May 11th, 2012, 10:53 PM
I don't have a problem with most of the desktops, and with a little coaching, I think most people can readily adapt to different desktops, and they are more accustomed to using different interfaces on smart phones, game consoles, television menus, and the like.

It's drivers. Linux has come such a long way in most every respect, but drivers. I currently have a thread here because kubuntu 12.04 won't automatically use the on-board graphics processor in AMD CPU. I'm expecting a fairly easy fix, but in the meantime, a lot of it is not quite the 'plug & play' so many users, for whom this is not vocation or avocation, require.

I could give my 73 year old mom the Linux box once it's up and running...I know she'd get used to the interface -- but it's the getting the box up and running for her, as an example.

cariboo
May 11th, 2012, 10:57 PM
Why can't I right click and create a shortcut on my desktop? Does MS own a patent for this or something? Seriously.

Also, I need a taskbar of some sort for christ sake so I can easily manage the windows I have open. Unity and Gnome are awful at this. Its not about everything looking like windows, but I need my GUI functional. Thank god for cario dock.

Can't you drag icons from the dash and drop them on the desktop? It works fine on my system.

NadirPoint
May 11th, 2012, 11:04 PM
Linux excels on my desktop. :confused:

I'd suggest a better thread title:


Why has Linux failed to penetrate brain-dead corporate IT frameworks and their lemming-esque fiscal policies?

codingman
May 11th, 2012, 11:19 PM
linux excels on my desktop. :confused:

I'd suggest a better thread title:


why has linux failed to penetrate brain-dead corporate it frameworks and their lemming-esque fiscal policies?

^+1

CharlesA
May 11th, 2012, 11:26 PM
Linux excels on my desktop. :confused:

I'd suggest a better thread title:


Why has Linux failed to penetrate brain-dead corporate IT frameworks and their lemming-esque fiscal policies?
What makes them brain-dead? Most of the people I've worked with and talked to in the IT world work in a mixed environment of *nix and Windows boxes.

*shrugs*

traditionalist
May 11th, 2012, 11:28 PM
When Torvalds was asked why Linux has failed on the desktop, he underlined the lack of driver support as the main issue. From my standpoint as a user, I vehemently disagree.

We all believe Linux is the best operating system. So then who is to blame for it's failure on the desktop? I'll cut to the chase...It's that every distribution sucks. Its non intuitive. You should be able to do the basic things just as easily in Linux as in Windows.

Now that Redhat has more money, I hope they come back to the desktop and do it the right way.

Have to agree. I have been using 12.04 for two weeks, ( before that an exclusive windows user for many years), and reading and experimenting up to 14 hours per day in order to get it set up. I think it is great, but it is a lot of work. "Normal" users who are used to windows wont do that.

There is a learning curve with any system, but if the system is going to be a reasonable alternative to windows then it has to work and be accessible "out of the box". The unity desktop is just confusing. I installed Gnome shell on the second day, ( after a lot of research), and disabled unity. You can't search for things when you have no idea what you are looking for.

Much information is wrong, obsolete, or confusing in the extreme.

I have installed the system completely new at least thirty times now, ( One of the reasons it is great, you can't do that as a normal user on windows 7, you will go nuts trying to get the licence keys alone! :) ).

Some of the packages I downloaded from the Ubuntu software centre broke my system, and I was left looking at a blinking cursor with absolutely no idea of what to do except reinstall.

There is no sensible backup system. I finally found an absolutely first class system, ( Remastersys) and after a lot of messing about I now have a stable system and good backups. I still don't know how to recover form a blinking cursor, ( except for reinstalling). It took me the best part of two days to find the correct way to set up my discs, and I still have not got my SSD set up correctly because I have no idea what to edit or why. It is no use at all when somebody tells me " edit the stab, or staff, with my UUID" or whatever. I am well aware that people mean well but I don't know what they are talking about or how to do it.

It is also useless to tell a newbie like me "just use rsync" or "gsync" or even the "kitchen sink", I don't know how, and the result will inevitably be another broken system.

I now have a stable system, and good backups. But to be honest, I don't think many people are going to go to such lengths, they simply give up and go back to windows.

The only reason I have been able to do it at all is that I have a lot of experience with computers generally ( NOT linux), I know what I want, and I am retired so I have the time to spend on it. I doubt many people have. The second time they sit looking at a more or less blank screen with a malevolently blinking cursor, they throw the disc they burned in the bin, cursing the waste, and go back to windows.

Regards....Trad

wilee-nilee
May 11th, 2012, 11:30 PM
Thank you for your well-crafted, thought-out, detailed analysis. I'm sure it will be of great value for future development.

Obviously, the reason Linux has utterly failed on the desktop is that we haven't had enough people sharing well-reasoned, straight-to-the-point opinions like this one.

Keep it up, we'll get there yet! :D

What a intuitive response, kudos to you, wink, wink, nudge, nudge. ;)

Aegis
May 11th, 2012, 11:32 PM
Part of it is software / app availability and ease of use.
A good example is playing a music CD -- old school -- Amorak opens, but won't play the format. User error? Probably -- but I haven't figured how to use the software, and if it's a codec problem, people don't wanna mess with that.

traditionalist
May 11th, 2012, 11:47 PM
Part of it is software / app availability and ease of use.
A good example is playing a music CD -- old school -- Amorak opens, but won't play the format. User error? Probably -- but I haven't figured how to use the software, and if it's a codec problem, people don't wanna mess with that.

Those are indeed problems, but the basic problem is that if anything goes wrong, then you have a dead system and no idea what to do. There is lots of documentation available, and some of it is excellent, but a windows to linux newbie isn't going to read any of it. There is also a lot of misleading stuff. The basic setup needs to be a working system with a sensible menu.

I am sure that there are advantages to unity, and to a lot of other things, ( windows "libraries" comes to mind), even if I can't see any, but they confuse potential new users to the extent that they give up, and this includes users who are half-way "computer-literate", those who aren't have no chance at all.

Regards....Trad

QIII
May 12th, 2012, 12:20 AM
If anything goes wrong with a Windows system, many people don't know what to do, either. Hence, all of the Windows forums. Hence, all of your friends who call you when something goes wrong. Hence, people who sit and stare at a monitor because they have a dead Windows machine. Hence, "The Geek Squad" and all of the mom and pop shops that make a heap of money "fixing" Windows machines.

People have grown up with Windows for close to thirty years now. Many of them know how to wipe their own rears. So many can work themselves out of a jam.

But they didn't just spring forth from the head of Zeus fully armored and ready for battle. They've been training to use Windows for three decades.

Windows is not intuitive for any other reason than familiarity.

(Please understand that this is not a dig on Windows. I use it and make an obscene amount of money doing so.)

Now, I don't want to sound grumpy or anything -- well, yes, actually, I do:

Drivers.

I can say this until I am blue in the face and people still don't get it.

Why doesn't Linux automagically use your ATI/NVIDIA/Joe' Hardware gadget?

Because it needs a driver.

Who makes the driver?

The OEM!

Microsoft does not make drivers for anything but what Microsoft sells.

OEMs do.

The fact that your gadget is PnP in Windows is because the OEM has made sure that it will work and has jumped through hoops to get it approved by Microsoft to get it into the Microsoft driverbase. Microsoft did exactly JACK to get your hardware to work. They don't care. They don't have to and they shouldn't have to. The OEM starves if they don't get the driver in the Microsoft driverbase. That, or they provide a CD with the driver. It is simply a prudent business decision for OEMs to make sure they get their drivers into the driverbase. That's where the money is. Businesses exist to make money. They are going to put their effort to best advantage. You can't blame them for that.

Lack of driver support is not on Linux. It's on the OEMs.

ATI and NVIDIA make good Linux drivers, but you have to install them, just like anything else on your Linux machine. Linux distributors don't make huge assumptions about what hardware you want to install. So you essentially get a driver CD in the form of a file you have to install.

There are open source default drivers that give you basic functionality and those are used when you first install.

If you want to utilize the full capabilities of your card, you have to install the driver. There is no automatic PnP driverbase.

There is certainly a lack of driver support. It's something that makes Linux unattractive to many. But it's not at Linux' doorstep.

Let's just get this one thing straight, please. And when people ask you why, simply tell them the facts. If that turns them away from Linux, then it does. It may be a problem for them. That is just the way it is. No OEM in their right mind is going to spend a lot of money making sure their Linux driver is installed automatically on any of a thousand Linux distros. I don't blame them one bit.

Sincerely:

A guy who has to make sure his products work with Windows, knowing full good and well that Microsoft isn't going to do it for me.

Ashtray2
May 12th, 2012, 12:34 AM
I apologize for having an OP that lacked substance, but I was so burdened by trying to explain all the problems, my post became too bulky and off topic. And I had to edit it down. Plus, my audience is not as smart as I am, so I needed to dumb it down.

That's a similar approach to excuse making that I see Linux users make on a daily basis. I should have just said, ok, I'm a horrible writer and didn't get my point across.

What I hear younger people say: "Its the stupid users. They're just too stupid for Linux. I hate stupid people."

What I hear people older say: "Its because of the drivers and lack of software made for linux."

Here is what I'm trying to say (and I can see at least a few will agree with me): "All of the excuses I ever hear mentioned happen to be completely outside the control of what a Linux distributor can do. Any distributor who adopts the current Linux philosophy of outsourcing blame will fail on the desktop. Eventually someone will get it right, and it won't be by trying to make hardware manufacturers feel guilty."

QIII
May 12th, 2012, 12:52 AM
Just how, pray tell, do you suggest that Linux distributors "get it right" with regard to hardware?

It's not a matter of "blame". It is a function of hard reality.

Many, many OEMs make very good drivers. But they aren't automagically installed. That puts many people off and I certainly understand that.

I also understand that the "Year of Linux on the Desktop" is, and has always been, a pipe dream. Linux will always be a community of people willing to make an extra effort. We just need to stop being so snobby and superior about it.

thatguruguy
May 12th, 2012, 01:20 AM
Can't you drag icons from the dash and drop them on the desktop? It works fine on my system.

Mine, too. Odd.

thatguruguy
May 12th, 2012, 01:22 AM
Plus, my audience is not as smart as I am, so I needed to dumb it down.

Interesting point of view.

Your thinker may be broken.

traditionalist
May 12th, 2012, 01:23 AM
You both make excellent points. There is one other major obstacle for many, and it was one of the major obstacles for me as well, I have two pieces of software which will only run on Windows.

My main reason for wanting to change was because Windows kept breaking, and I was spending more time trying to fend off viruses and trojans than doing what I wanted to do.

I did not want to dual boot with windows as a host because it doesn't solve any problems at all.

What I have now is Windows 7 running on an Ubuntu host. Solved all my problems. ( Once I got the machine set up and running! :) )

There are still problems with drivers, the proprietary ATI drivers, for instance, cause my system to be extremely unstable. The generic drivers work, but with fewer options. No problem for me really as I don't need those options.

The other major problem is that Microsoft earns quite a bit of money with their systems, and Ubuntu probably doesn't make much at all for anybody, so there is no commercial incentive for people to develop things they basically have to give away.

Anyway, I am happy I made the switch. Regardless of many perceived or actual problems it is a great system and I am very pleased with it. Of course I have a great deal more to learn about it, but it basically does what I want it to do now, for some tweaking and fine tuning I need to learn a lot more.

Regards....Trad

QIII
May 12th, 2012, 01:37 AM
Interesting point of view.

Your thinker may be broken.

I think he was being facetious....

Primefalcon
May 12th, 2012, 03:18 AM
is not being #1 a fail? Linux has a lot of users and is seeing increasing popularity as time goes on.... not sure how that's a fail tbh

wolfen69
May 12th, 2012, 04:01 AM
When Torvalds was asked why Linux has failed on the desktop, he underlined the lack of driver support as the main issue.
I also agree with him.

From my standpoint as a user, I vehemently disagree.
You have that right.


So then who is to blame for it's failure on the desktop? I'll cut to the chase...It's that every distribution sucks. Its non intuitive. You should be able to do the basic things just as easily in Linux as in Windows.

Non intuitive to who? I know a couple of elderly people who use it with no help from anyone. And if you ask me, things are easier in linux as compared to some very convoluted ways of doing things in windows. It's not that things are easier in windows, people are just more familiar with it.

I pull my hair out every time I have to use a windows or mac computer. Not because I don't know how to use those OS's, ( I used to have a pc repair business) but because I find them to be very user unfriendly.

It's all what the general public has shoved down their throats for years that makes it seem user friendly.

ammofreak
May 12th, 2012, 04:07 AM
Hi ):P
Until "proprietary" means open source, there will always be a downside in using Linux. I know there are many developers working freely on Linux, but with limited resources in mind, I am impressed with what we have at this very minute. Please remember: everyone is working freely on open source projects & proprietary companies DO NOT have this in mind when they sell their wares. Coding for drivers is the BIG downside that everyone has to realize. Again, I am amazed at what has so far been accomplished! I am humbled!!!:)

ikt
May 12th, 2012, 04:45 AM
We all believe Linux is the best operating system. So then who is to blame for it's failure on the desktop?

I would have to blame the people of the world, for not using it. That is probably the reason why it is not the most used desktop OS.

wolfen69
May 12th, 2012, 05:09 AM
I would have to blame the people of the world, for not using it. That is probably the reason why it is not the most used desktop OS.

WOW. That's actually a mind blowing answer. And true.

But I guess the normal assumption is that if the big companies of the world don't get people to use something, it's their fault. Seeing how gullible people are, it's true to a point.

But your response was unique. After all these years, it's hard to find unique answers.
:lolflag:

jroa
May 12th, 2012, 05:20 AM
I would say there are several reasons Linux has failed as a desktop.

No marketing.

MS and others pushing their product on the OEMs. Linux distros don't have a sales force to wine and dine them.

There are no standards. Doing something in one distro is often not the way it is done in another.

The geek myth. People still believe you have to know a lot about computers in order to use Linux.

MS and Apple fought to get their products into schools. Kids learned on them and then bought the same brand when they grew up.

Lack of hardware support. I know it is better now, but people come to these forums because their sound, wireless adapter, or printers don't work.

And the biggest one -- most people have not tried it yet.

wolfen69
May 12th, 2012, 06:27 AM
I would say there are several reasons Linux has failed as a desktop.

No marketing.

MS and others pushing their product on the OEMs. Linux distros don't have a sales force to wine and dine them.

There are no standards. Doing something in one distro is often not the way it is done in another.

The geek myth. People still believe you have to know a lot about computers in order to use Linux.

MS and Apple fought to get their products into schools. Kids learned on them and then bought the same brand when they grew up.
But it's too bad that most people don't the rational approach like you do. Most people are just drones, and accept what's available.

Oh, I forgot, they're too busy having real lives and real divorces. Alimony, child support..... then, I can understand. But I myself never did that. I was never #*&%($ enough.

Lack of hardware support. I know it is better now, but people come to these forums because their sound, wireless adapter, or printers don't work.

And the biggest one -- most people have not tried it yet.
People use linux everyday without realizing it. To me, that's a win. To hell with the naysayers. My grocery store (been around since forever) uses debian as its base) It's there if you look for it.

woxuxow
May 12th, 2012, 07:01 AM
GNU/Linus is harder to learn than win
there is no good program as much as windows

wolfen69
May 12th, 2012, 07:30 AM
GNU/Linus is harder to learn than win
there is no good program as much as windows

Profound. I bow down to your revelation.

zombifier25
May 12th, 2012, 07:30 AM
When Torvalds was asked why Linux has failed on the desktop, he underlined the lack of driver support as the main issue. From my standpoint as a user, I vehemently disagree.

We all believe Linux is the best operating system. So then who is to blame for it's failure on the desktop? I'll cut to the chase...It's that every distribution sucks. Its non intuitive. You should be able to do the basic things just as easily in Linux as in Windows.

Now that Redhat has more money, I hope they come back to the desktop and do it the right way.

I smell a troll Sorry, that was the cruel side of me posting. I have used Linux for only a year and a half and I know how it works better than how Windows works, which I used for the last 10 years.
The reason Linux is not popular is not because it's hard to use, but because it doesn't act like Windows. Humans don't like change; it's our nature. But if you are willing to accept changes, then your life will be much more interesting.

wolfen69
May 12th, 2012, 07:34 AM
I smell a troll.

These things can literally go on forever. Opinions are like you know what. We all have one. Why can't we just all get along? It's all linux in the end.

Peripheral Visionary
May 12th, 2012, 11:06 AM
Maybe it depends on what people use their desktops for. A couple of us donated some old computers to a nursing home and a private elementary school. Both computers have Xubuntu 12.04 LTS on them, standard installation with no modifications other than some "Xfce goodies" added to a panel and application icons named by function ("web browser" instead of Firefox, "word processor" instead of Abiword, etc).

The computers are set up in common areas just for whatever people want to use them for. There are no tutorial-type signs posted there other than "help yourself." The only precautions are taken by the institutions (web filtering and such).

Neither the nursing home residents nor the little school kids have any trouble doing web browsing, e-mail, editing and sharing pictures, doing classwork, writing letters, etc. They don't know or care whether it's Windows or Mac or Linux or BSD or DOS or LCARS, Vulcan, Klingon, Terran, Romulan, or Borg. They just use it. Simply, effortlessly, and effectively without any special coaching or instruction that wouldn't be required ordinarily for any community kiosk or library computer.

That's certainly no failure.

Face-Ache
May 12th, 2012, 12:12 PM
I find this debate fascinating, particularly as a relative newcomer to Linux.

I saw Linux in the late 90's, and it was intimidating, and quite terrifying - so i think the whole 'geek' myth is likely still quite prevalent.

And i know Windows has a lot of forums and other places to get help and advice from, but i find that Linux people, like those that frequent this forum for example, are exceptionally knowledgeable, and always most generous with their help/advice (is that because there are more Linux 'experts' due to it being open-source?)

I think that generosity probably stems from Linux, in the face of the Windows behemoth, largely being the 'underdog', and a general human nature of wanting the underdog to succeed - the better advice people provide, and how generous they are with that advice, makes Linux an easier choice, and easier for people to sort their problems out.

I've recently installed both Linux and XP Pro in a dual boot environment. By far, XP was the hardest to install; it kept defaulting to an 800x600 resolution at boot, and just wouldn't retain the resolution i'd set it to. Days, literally days, of Googling and consulting all manner of different advice yielded no solutions. Turned out to be some old videocard driver files that were not getting cleaned out properly when the latest driver was installed. Had to install a program to find and properly clean these files out and then install the latest driver to get it solved. It was very frustrating!!!

The Ubuntu 11.10 install went without a hitch.

Epic post, so i'll wind it up now. I just think that people shouldn't look a gift-horse in the mouth. Aside from Apple, i can't think of any other mainstream OS's outside of Windows, besides Linux. And here's the thing i think people lose sight of when rubbishing Linux; it's free.

It's free, and it's awesome. I'm thankful that there is a viable alternative to Windows - imagine if all we had to choose from was Windows, Windows, Windows, or Apple. :p

Prescilla
May 12th, 2012, 12:24 PM
Linux excels on my desktop. :confused:

I'd suggest a better thread title:


Why has Linux failed to penetrate brain-dead corporate IT frameworks and their lemming-esque fiscal policies?

\\:D/ +1
Been using Linux for 3 years and before that Windows, and I never looked back.

lykwydchykyn
May 12th, 2012, 04:50 PM
I find this debate fascinating, particularly as a relative newcomer to Linux.


That's good, because if you stick around you'll see this debate again... and again... and again.... :D

MisterGaribaldi
May 12th, 2012, 05:09 PM
Um, perhaps because of everything discussed in this thread (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1977407)?

To the OP, just a thought, but in the future you should look around before starting up yet another pointless "Windows vs. Linux" thread. The discussion is so old and pointless it's really unworthy at this point of further dead horse beating, you know what I mean?

Oh, and another thing: Why do people keep on insisting contributing content here destined for movement into Recurring Discussions? Seems a bit like this to me:

http://dickard.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/schoolforthegifted.jpg

NadirPoint
May 12th, 2012, 05:38 PM
Most of the people I've worked with and talked to in the IT world work in a mixed environment of *nix and Windows boxes.
Of there are exceptions, but as a rule, these people's definition of "mixed" often means one or a few Linux boxes on the server side in a predominantly MS-flavored environment.

codingman
May 13th, 2012, 01:17 AM
These things can literally go on forever. Opinions are like you know what. We all have one. Why can't we just all get along? It's all linux in the end.

I'll put this in my sig

codingman
May 13th, 2012, 01:20 AM
i guess i have to shorten it:(

codingman
May 13th, 2012, 01:22 AM
I would if i could though.

manmath
September 20th, 2012, 03:42 PM
there are several other reasons in addition to the geeky attitude, lack of driver and so on...

Here's some from my experience:

#1 I built a pc with intel h61 board, i7 processor, ocz 256 ssd, 8gb ram. the system installed quite well, but audio did not work until i changed something in alsa-base.conf file in /etc/modprobe.d/ that means the exact driver was there in the kernel, but the system was not smart enough to configure it properly. you'll find thousands such instances involving sound, video or network card. just browse this forum. there's driver, still it's unable to configure itself.

#2 Linux has so many desktop environments but none of them are consistent. I don't need to site any example. just compare any OSS DE such kde, gnome, lxde, xfce with Explorer or Aqua, you'll know for yourself. I'm aware Linux rocks when it goes headless and works as a server sans any DE. but any layer on top of it is not refined/polished to match the other OSes.

#3 As for applications, Linux distributions come bundled with many, but most of them though very capable lack the sane defaults. For example, GIMP is very intuitive and serves the purpose of moderate image editing envying Photoshop. But consider the sane defaults of the two...

#4 No failsafe journey to the desktop in case of lack of drivers. I hope everyone knows what I mean.

#5 It's a moving target. The entire linux echosystem is ever progressing but never remains stable long enough to be properly deployed. Server land has a different story, but consumer desktops suffer from this a lot.

Mikeb85
September 20th, 2012, 03:51 PM
Linux has done exceedingly well. It comes town to the hardware makers. They distribute Windows hardware, no one wants to mess with the factory state of their devices, Windows runs all the software they need, so why switch? If you could go to the store, buy an Ubuntu laptop, test it out in the store, etc..., then Linux would be a lot more popular...

But MS established their eco-system first, and most people have no reason to switch. Especially since Windows software can be incredibly affordable through the right sources (pre-installed Windows is more or less free, others absorb a good deal of the cost, you can get Office through school or corporate accounts for dirt cheap, etc...).

The fact that Linux does have 1 percent of the market is more impressive than it looks. How many people out of 100 are computer-savvy? 10? 5? Of that number, quite a few use Linux...

I look at the University Bookstore here, every CS book is Linux, Linux, Linux. Not one required book is about anything MS.

aysiu
September 20th, 2012, 06:28 PM
As some of you old-timers on the forums know, I used to be a secondary school English teacher who knew pretty much nothing about computers. Through an extraordinary set of circumstances, my official paying gig now is doing tech support (and sys and network admin). Both places I've done official tech support are Microsoft shops (HP/Dell/Exchange/Active Directory), and I can assure you all of two things:

1. Windows is not in any way easier to use or manage than Linux. Nor are there fewer problems or always easier-to-solve problems in Windows than in Linux. If anything, I've found Windows more difficult to support than Linux--outdated or hard-to-find drivers, search results for error messages turning up no consistent and/or working advice, random inexplicable behavior, cumbersome menus or registry keys to sift through. Believe me, from a tech support standpoint, it's much better to be able to find some copy-and-paste command or text configuration file to edit than to have to deal with cryptic error messages that lead to non-solutions.

2. When it comes to purchasing and/or implementing tech solutions, the #1 priority is longevity and support. Is the company that's providing this service or product going to be around for years? If there's a problem that can't be fixed in-house, can we call to get support? Do other companies use this product or service?

That last one is a biter, I think, for Linux. If you talk to Dell or HP and want to set up a Linux server, they'll do it. Linux servers are big business, and everybody knows it. You'll be in the minority for Linux desktops/laptops. If there's a problem with Windows 7 and some driver, users will be frustrated but understand it's not your fault. If you choose to eschew Windows 7 in favor of Ubuntu 12.04, and then there's a problem with the driver, no one but a Linux geek will understand. Everyone, including higher-ups, will say "Why don't we use Windows like everyone else?"

And I have to say for 99% of what people do in terms of productivity, LibreOffice will cover it, but that 1% does matter to organizations, and in the grand scheme of things, Microsoft Office doesn't cost that much (especially if you have a large organization and can get a site license deal). 100% compatibility with the rest of the world also matters to people.

And then you have the problem of what people use at work they tend to use at home. In fact, there's even a whole bring-your-own-device phenomenon now. I saw lots of people bringing in iPads and Macbook Airs. Not a lot of Linux stuff (unless you count Android).

If Linux wants the desktop (not sure if that's even a desirable goal any more), it needs to have a prominent company market a fully integrated product with support. Ubuntu is not a fully integrated product. Ubuntu is an .iso download that may or may not work on your machine (yes, even if you purchased your machine with Linux preloaded!).

QIII
September 20th, 2012, 07:06 PM
Microsoft established early on that PC = Windows and Windows = PC.

That is the mindset.

In the PC world, Windows is the 800lb gorilla and Linux is the capuchin. Has the diminutive monkey failed if if has not driven the huge ape from its perch? Or would it be best for the capuchin to take a more realistic view of itself and be content to do what capuchins do best?

BigSilly
September 20th, 2012, 07:14 PM
Not read the whole thread but in answer to the main question, my opinion is that simply put, you have to install it yourself. No one wants to do that.

jockyburns
September 20th, 2012, 07:54 PM
Possibly, having a new release every 6 months is Ubuntu's millstone around their neck. Look at MS, they don't release Win XX every 6 months (they'd be on Win 60+ by now). Drivers have always been a big issue with Linux though. When I moved over to 11.04 (over a year ago) my computer had a NVidia graphics card. Tried several times to install the correct driver from NVidia, to no avail. They system even told me I had the correct driver but that it wasn't installed. As a complete noob at the time, I trawled the internet for answers. All came back to the ubiquitous use of the terminal to install the drivers (which as a noob,I found fairly frightening and stressful)
Someone has the sig "Linux assumes you know exactly what you are doing." Never a truer statement have I read.
The way forward (as I see it) is for Linux to develop, in such a way, that total newcomers can install and run programs with the minimum of fuss. How many Win users have to resort to the MS Dos prompt to install programs and applications? Hardly any I should imagine.

kurt18947
September 20th, 2012, 08:48 PM
Not read the whole thread but in answer to the main question, my opinion is that simply put, you have to install it yourself. No one wants to do that.

From the home user:
"Can I use my create-a-card"?
"Can I run my cross stitch program"?
"This doesn't look like Microsoft Office"?

From the business user:
"How can I run my in-house I.E.-only apps?"

TenPlus1
September 20th, 2012, 09:47 PM
Linux has done amazingly well with all if it's communities and developers and has come a long way and evolved many forms and desktops for desktop and server use...

If you continue to compare it to windows then simply use windows, for those who prefer to customise the look, feel and operability of their desktop then linux is a great exploration ground...

afulldeck
September 20th, 2012, 10:05 PM
Linux has done amazingly well with all if it's communities and developers and has come a long way and evolved many forms and desktops for desktop and server use...

If you continue to compare it to windows then simply use windows, for those who prefer to customise the look, feel and operability of their desktop then linux is a great exploration ground...

From my vantage point, I would say yes it has done amazingly well. I've had a 20 year hiatus from Linux, due to a slight care change. In my early work years, I was using a linux variant on an xterm over shared compute equipment to develop new chip architectures and controllers. The interface at that time was rough, but workable. This was very different experience than the one I had a few weeks ago when I loaded ubuntu. My jaw dropped with how much improvement there has been. So I would agree with you that comparison between windows and linux is a non-starter.

oldsoundguy
September 20th, 2012, 10:25 PM
Knowledge .. it can be a dangerous thing (to Microsoft).
My local senior center (anyone over 50) is offering courses in OTHER operating systems .. stuck my head in this am to an OVERFLOWING room of Apple users, for instance. They are offering a seminar next month on Linux Basics (using Ubuntu). They have classes for Libre Office and FOSS alternative classes. The center also is one of several underwriters of the local L.U.G. that meets once a month and they are participants in wordpress.
The center also offers classes in internet usage, spreadsheets (Libre Office) Windows basics, multimedia, stock trading, and beginning and advanced courses in Photo Shop (software furnished).

The senior center is tax supported by the city. What is YOUR town doing?

exploder
September 20th, 2012, 10:29 PM
Linux is certainly not failing on the desktop these days. The new version of Unity coming to Ubuntu is amazing! I watched a video of the new features the Dash will have and it was very impressive. Cinnamon in Linux Mint 14 is also quite impressive by the looks of the video I watched yesterday.

Things are looking better than ever to me. Unity has completely changed the way the Linux desktop is viewed because it bears absolutely no resemblance to Windows at all and that seems to be exactly what new users are looking for. Unity and Cinnamon have brought a certain excitement to Linux that was missing before.

Unity and Cinnamon have such an elegant look and feel, you no longer have to spend a lot of money for an Apple product to have an elegant and very functional desktop. Linux distributions have so many advantages over Windows and the Mac OS and people are beginning to discover this now.

Things are rapidly changing, game developers are even porting high quality, sought after games to Linux. I think the Linux desktop is doing better than it ever has before. Time will tell but I think Linux is going to become very popular on the desktop very soon.