---

Linux.com: Power to the People?

“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.”

Complete
Story