Linux is Mainstream, Paul. April 4, 2007Posted by Carthik in commentary, ubuntu.
First off, it’s great to have Paul’s attention. Paul is an opinion leader in the Windows-centered world.
I would like to point out some small misconceptions he seems to have:
I never said that most people want to use Linux, or that most people use Windows since they have to. The word I used was more, and in this case, I meant it to mean that the numbers seem to be increasing – which is a good sign, as far as I am concerned.
That aside, the following is what worries me most, Paul says:
The truth is, for most people–like, 99.99 percent of the computing using public–a computer is a tool. What they “want” isn’t a particular OS. What they want is a solution to a problem, or an answer to a need. They want email. They want the Web. They want Office. Games. Digital photos and music.
Paul, we Ubuntu users belong in the 99.99% you mention, too. Have you used Ubuntu lately, and have you been able to compare how easy it is to use Ubuntu on a day to day basis? Heck, it installs much faster and easier than Windows, and if you support open-source friendly hardware providers, like Intel, then everything works great – much faster than you can say “install windows driver”.
Then again, he says:
Anyone who stays up at night worrying about OS platforms just isn’t part of the mainstream. That’s not good or bad, it’s just reality.
We Linux users are part of the mainstream now, Paul. Linux is not just for geeks. For one, governments the world over are adapting to change, and thus driving it faster. In a few years, entire cities/states/countries will see vastly increased number of Linux users. People who use them in offices/schools will tell the others. I trust them to. Good news can’t be stopped from spreading. Oh, and Bill Gates’ (or Microsoft’s) first clients were geek hobbyists(a minority that was not part of the mainstream), and computers used to be a hobby back then. Look at where we are now.
While no amount of personal examples from me, or from other Linux users can convince someone that this is the case, it cannot hurt to have a list of “normal” “mainstream” people who use Ubuntu — how they do, why etc. I just checked and there seems to be no such list. If you read this blog, and don’t do programming/computer related stuff for a living, please drop us a comment here, saying you use Ubuntu. Let’s see where this goes.
Our world view is inclusive, Paul – anyone who has the hardware for a computer should be able to use the computer for free. We will get there. Ubuntu is amazingy easy to setup and use. GNOME, even KDE, are much much more intuitive and easy to use (from the usability point of view) than Windows. Of course, this is a subjective statement. I wish there was a study report I could point to. Could Canonical sponsor an Ubuntu Usability Study, comparing it to OSX and Windows? Just so that we have something to point at?