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Linux.com: Power to the People?

Sep 03, 2000, 20:38 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matthew Yeo)


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"I feel that the strengths of Linux are amazing to behold. No one can fault its stability, its speed, or its configurability. Nevertheless, its weaknesses are also formidable, and Luke Groeninger barely scratches the surface of them in his article. What do you do when most of the population can't even install your OS?"

"I work in a nationally prominent bookstore and manage their computer and business book sections. While I do deal with a large number of computer mavens (who could conceivably install and run Linux with little or no problem), the vast majority of the people I see are looking for books like "Windows 98 for Dummies." There is such a huge discrepancy between what the average Joe is looking to get out of a computer and what he or she is willing to learn to operate such a complex machine and what an operating system like Linux demands. If the system installed itself and configured itself, then I would say that, perhaps, the average user would be able to run the day to day grind--the Internet, letters to friends, etc. The KDE desktop is as simple to run as Windows ... once it is set up that is."

"Perhaps the answer is not to be found within the existing distributions but with a new entrepeneurial spirit. Existing Linux distros have catered to developers and IT professionals and have done very well by knowing what these customers want from an OS. Simplifying their distributions so that the common user could easily install and configure them might take something away from the flavor of a distribution as a whole -- and possibly alienate existing clientele who like the distribution just the way it is, thank you very much. Moving to include the home market may simply be too much of a shift in perspective for a company like Red Hat, for example, to handle."

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