LinuxGazette: Battle for the Desktop: Why Linux Isn’t Winning

“As far as our bookstore is concerned, I do not
currently believe Linux to be a viable alternative for any small
business. Even if I did, I doubt I could ever convince my manager
that “Commercial Linux” is capable of supporting our office
network, since they have already demonstrated that they are not
capable of supporting an installation into an IBM Thinkpad!

Oddly enough, I still believe that Linux is a good Operating
System, and I am continuing my search for a functional
distribution. But so far, the only OS that will actually operate in
my Thinkpad is Windows. I would rather be running Linux (Indeed,
once Windows XP becomes dominant, I will have to either run Linux
in my laptop or else throw it away). I believe there are a lot of
other business people who would like to run Linux as well. But it’s
not going to happen until some of the Linux vendors get their act

Let me offer an analogy: Suppose you were looking for a car, and
you heard about this great new sports car that got 50MPG and only
cost $5000! But when you went to buy one, you were told it didn’t
have any tires, and there was no alternator (so you had to figure
out some other way to keep the battery charged) and, oh also, don’t
drive it too fast because the brakes don’t work. And if this car
ever breaks, then you’ll need to find your own spare parts and try
to fix it yourself, because the dealer that sells the cars refuses
to work on them. Would you buy that car? More importantly, would
you recommend that car to somebody that needs reliable
transportation to get to work tomorrow? Does this sound
far-fetched? Well, that’s exactly what many Linux vendors are
telling the people who buy their software. Getting back to my
automotive analogy, these same vendors will then loudly complain
that Chevrolet is being unfair because they put radios in their
cars as standard equipment. Well, maybe people aren’t buying Chevys
because they have built-in radios. Maybe people are buying Chevys
because they have tires and the dealers are willing to fix the cars
if they don’t work! Likewise, maybe people are also buying Windows
because it works out of the box (well, mostly works, anyway), and
Microsoft at least tries to offer support when it doesn’t


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