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Operating Systems Software Linux

The Linux Desktop and ISVs/OEMs 195

Posted by Soulskill
from the mixing-freedom-and-business dept.
olau writes "Michael Meeks, who's worked on GNOME and LibreOffice integration for many years, now for SuSE, has some really interesting thoughts on the recent Linux desktop debate and suggestions for possible strategies. He points out that regarding independent software vendors (ISVs), the real issue isn't actually the quality of the tools but the size and attractiveness of the market, and perhaps that a solution could be lower barriers for paying or donating. Regarding OEMs selling hardware with software preinstalled, he points out that while a free OS + software sounds good for consumers, it's actually a problem for OEMs on razor-thin margins, since they lose the cut they get from the preinstallations. A possible countermove could be nailing robustness and hardware diagnostics for good, lowering OEM support costs."
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The Linux Desktop and ISVs/OEMs

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  • by raymorris (2726007) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @04:49PM (#41305275)
    In fifteen years, I've purchased ONE application. It wasn't very good and since it wasn't open source I couldn't fix it. So I guess I'm one who expects all my software to be "free". (I contribute code, bug reports, etc., not cash) Funny thing is, I make a living mainly by SELLING software for Linux, but I never BUY software.
  • Re:Fall in line (Score:5, Interesting)

    by houghi (78078) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @04:58PM (#41305383)

    I have been doing this for years. People come to me with Windows problems and I just say they must go to the person who sold them their software.

    Blank stares as they do not understand. They are confused because they did not pay for their version of Windows. Even blanker stares if they DID pay for their version and can't get support for it.

    And then they tell me that they found somebody who did it for them who explained that it is normal that PCs go slower over time and that they must buy a new one. When I ask them if their TV is slower, they look at me if _I_ am stoopid.

    Obviously they have no interest in free (beer AND speech) alternatives.

  • Re:Fall in line (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DickBreath (207180) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @04:59PM (#41305395) Homepage
    That is also my experience. Set grandma up with Linux (Ubuntu 6.10) on a very old PC back in 2006. Gradually she not only got used to it but got to make good enough use of it to warrant a brand new machine. Now several years after that, we upgraded the hard drive, and the Ubuntu on it. Now we're thinking about another new PC with yet another new Ubuntu. I don't know how Unity will go over, but the browser seems to be the major application other than some collecting and printing of digital camera photos.

    Oh, and she lives several hours away. So I set up a way I can SSH in through the firewall on non standard port, and then VNC. I've only had to do that about three or four times over the years, and mostly only in the early days. Things like accidentially pressing F11 to maximize Firefox -- OMG what happened! Etc.
  • by Zimluura (2543412) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @05:12PM (#41305547)

    I got my mom to use linux, and she's a Grandma. I got sick of having to re-install windows so I left for linux*, then told her that I wasn't really doing windows anymore because I no longer learned anything when i fixed problems on it. So she switched, loves it, when it has issues...at least I learn something.

    *not having internet explorer is a feature!

  • Re:Fall in line (Score:5, Interesting)

    by greenbird (859670) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @08:44PM (#41307525)

    Her Windows desktop, on the other hand, seems to need some kind of repair every time I visit.....

    Amen to that, brother. I use to have to book special trips to fix my mothers Windows systems, printers not working, email broke, browser won't work on web site, system real slow, weird crashes, viruses like you wouldn't beleive, and on and on... Finally her laptop broke and she took it Geek Squad (mind you against my repeated admonitions not to). They charged her $70 to tell her their Windows diagnostic CD wouldn't even start and she had serious hardware problems and it would cost at LEAST $200 more just to diagnose the problems. I told her to send it to me. I installed Ubuntu. Went up there and showed her where the menus were, how to find all the nice free software for doing whatever she needed to do and set up her email in Thunderbird. Haven't had to touch it since and that was more than 3 years ago. Mind you she is about as computer illiterate as they come. I could tell several more stories of conversion. Linux is better on the desktop than Windows for everyone, not just "computer geeks". The ONLY reason it's not more wide spread is it doesn't come pre-installed. Mind you it's a lot easier to install than Windows also.

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun

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