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LinuxCon: Some advice from Uncle Dirk

Oct 01, 2009, 23:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Corbet)

"Dirk also spends a fair amount of time outside of Intel, advising the community on how it can work better with vendors, with customers, and with itself. His thoughtful talks on the topic are usually well worth hearing. In two separate talks on the first day of the first LinuxCon, Dirk had some fairly general thoughts on how the next steps toward world domination can be taken.

"When ASUS created the netbook market, its disruptive new machines all ran Linux. The development community welcomed this news, which seemed like a [Dirk Hohndel] validation of much of what we've been doing all these years. But it did not take very long before Microsoft was announcing that the vast majority of netbook systems were now shipping with Windows instead. How is it, Dirk asks, that Windows is able to displace Linux on systems like netbooks?

"Part of the problem, certainly, was the second-rate distribution which was shipped with the early netbooks. It suffered from what Dirk calls the "three click problem." When the system is first turned on, everything looks great. But, by the time the user gets three clicks into the system, it's clear that it is an unfinished product. Obvious problems - configuration dialog boxes for applications which do not fit on the small screen, for example - are everywhere. So it does not take long for users to feel that they have not gotten what they really wanted."

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