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Netbook Return Rates Much Higher For Linux Than Windows 663

ivoras writes "An interview with MSI's director of US Sales, Andy Tung, contains this interesting snippet: "We have done a lot of studies on the return rates and haven't really talked about it much until now. Our internal research has shown that the return of netbooks is higher than regular notebooks, but the main cause of that is Linux. People would love to pay $299 or $399 but they don't know what they get until they open the box. They start playing around with Linux and start realizing that it's not what they are used to. They don't want to spend time to learn it so they bring it back to the store. The return rate is at least four times higher for Linux netbooks than Windows XP netbooks.'"
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Netbook Return Rates Much Higher For Linux Than Windows

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 05, 2008 @09:21AM (#25263185)

    And are they selling the returned notebooks at a big discount?

  • by Gewalt ( 1200451 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @09:22AM (#25263191)

    Seriously, put some videos on there that explain how to do common tasks. Tasks that are better on linux than on windows. (Like finding/installing cool toys/software/games). Make the videos right there on the desktop. Once consumers find out they can do the things they want, and easily, they will like it.

    • by ozphx ( 1061292 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @09:37AM (#25263259) Homepage

      Games! Good one, sir.

      • by jonaskoelker ( 922170 ) <> on Sunday October 05, 2008 @11:18AM (#25264071)

        Just to straighten things out a bit, I recommend you try a few of these games:


        • Nexuiz
        • OpenArena
        • Tremulous
        • Warsow
        • Sauerbraten
        • Alien Arena

        Strategy (mixing real-time and turn-based):

        • Battle for Wesnoth
        • FreeCiv
        • bos
        • boson


        • xmoto
        • Frets on Fire
        • Supertux
        • Cowsay
        • mu-cade, noiz2sa and `apt-cache search kenta cho`

        Those are all packages I found with a quick `aptitude search "~i~sGames"; that is, these are games that are packaged and trivially easy to install straight out of the box.

        You can of course also install wine and create bottles for Starcraft, Warcraft and Diablo II if you have those games [or you can buy them at []], among many others (so I hear).

        Or you can install DosBox and play your old dos games (One Must Fall is the win). Or you can install uae (Amiga), vice (Commodore: Pets, VIC-20, 64, 128, CBM-II, PLUS/4), pscx (PlayStation), xmess (Atari 400/800/2600, Lynx, NES, SNES, GameBoy, Sega Master System, Sega Megadrive) or mame. Apologies to all emulators that I left out.

        I'm not saying that Linux is just as great a gaming OS as windows. But claiming that there are next to no good games that are runnable on linux is simply being uninformed. And the cowsay bit, that was just making fun ;)

        • by Miseph ( 979059 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @11:46AM (#25264315) Journal


                  * Nexuiz
                  * OpenArena
                  * Tremulous
                  * Warsow
                  * Sauerbraten
                  * Alien Arena"

          Dude... have you actually played any of those? I applaud the efforst of those teams, and I admit that many of them have potential, but they aren't even on par with a lot of the 3rd party hl (let alone hl2) mods in terms of graphics and playability... and that bar is pretty damned low.

          That said, I agree that the Linux gaming scene isn't all doom and gloom, Battle for Wesnoth in particular is a great game and one of my favorites on any platform, but the FPS offerings are definitely on the weak side.

          Of course, one can always just run Steam via Wine. Source is unstable, but DoD runs like a champ.

      • by Debian Cabbit ( 412271 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @11:52AM (#25264377)

        Hey! Games like Spore and The Orange Box don't hold a candle to Tux Racer!

    • by Simon (S2) ( 600188 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @09:40AM (#25263277) Homepage

      I remember my first Mac had a 1,44" Floppy with a very cool tutorial app that illustraded the most important steps you had to do in order to get started: click to open an app, how drag&drop works, where the apps are located, how to save a document and how to open one. I was 15 years old, and I remember I very much enjoyed the little tutorial app, it was funny and helped me getting started quickly. I agree with you here: put a quick (max 15min) comic style tutorial app on the desktop, and people will have a different view on the whole thing, and like it more.

    • by xzvf ( 924443 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @09:47AM (#25263331)
      People don't want to be trained. They want to be sold. The problem with Linux on the consumer desktop is nobody is selling it to them. Apple marketing makes a different machine cool and worth investing the time to learn. Maybe treating the netbook like a web/mail appliance instead of a small computer would help manufacturers do a better job of satisfying the customer. What are some stats from other netbook makers?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        The problem is, you then get into the "one device for every app". Such things become later abused by hardware and software makers to the point that you can only have "one device for every app". Think of it this way, if they marketed a netbook as only useful for checking e-mail, they might as well leave out all the games, heck, why not take out the entire package manager! Then we get to the point where the OS is not usable as a computer but it becomes a one or two application device. Now, us geeks are of cou
  • by speedtux ( 1307149 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @09:23AM (#25263195)

    I've had two netbooks so far, and on both, the Linux installations sucked. One came with Xandros, the other with SuSE. Both were poorly installed, neither of them updated correctly over the network, and neither of them was properly adapted to the device (screen, keyboard, etc.). If I hadn't been able to install Ubuntu Netbook Remix, I would have returned the machines myself.

    • by jbellis ( 142590 ) <`moc.rednelbeganrac' `ta' `nahtanoj'> on Sunday October 05, 2008 @09:34AM (#25263253) Homepage

      That's too bad. My only experience is with the Acer Aspire One, which comes with a Fedora 8 variant installed and has none of those problems.

    • by Fred_A ( 10934 ) <fred@freds[ ] ['hom' in gap]> on Sunday October 05, 2008 @10:03AM (#25263437) Homepage

      I've heard this story a lot from seasoned users (being one myself, although I never got around to buying a preinstalled machine). Apparently the first Dell laptops with Ubuntu had the same kind of problems. Likewise a number of laptop sellers advertise as being Linux friendly but I often see small print along the lines of "this and that peripheral (most often the webcam) won't work if you pick Linux as the OS".

      What is it with those people ? They pick their hardware, can't they at least pick some that's supported ? It's not as if it was difficult to find Linux supported components. It's even more irritating when you find out that users familiar with the system report that it was an easy fix.

      I sometimes wonder if there isn't a clause in one of their OEM contracts stipulating that "if you supply another OS, it has to be crappy".

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by kcbnac ( 854015 )

        Actually, the first Ubuntu-loaded laptops worked (and still work) great - I bought and am typing this on an Inspiron E1505N - all the hardware worked out of the box, except for 3D video. (Intel still had a binary blob for the wireless, but was working on releasing an Open Source driver)

        There was one glitch with updating the kernel, though...but that was the only hiccup in the whole process.

    • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @10:30AM (#25263617) Homepage

      If I hadn't been able to install Ubuntu Netbook Remix, I would have returned the machines myself.

      It would be interesting to dig deeper into the return numbers and find out if it was problems with Linux in general or the specific OS installed on the returned devices. I believe the Linux in general issues can be addressed, but the device specific OS issues will be more difficult.

      As long as every netbook manufacturer is determined to roll their own flavor, then Linux will continue to be plagued with dilution by fragmentation in the marketplace. Instead of the Windows way and the Linux way, there's the Windows way and 20 different Linux ways.

  • by Naughty Bob ( 1004174 ) * on Sunday October 05, 2008 @09:24AM (#25263201)
    RTFA, and unlike the submitter, you'll see that the interviewers point out that MSI offer a poorly configured version of Linux.

    I wonder what it would cost someone like Microsoft to have MSI spike the competition.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Nerdfest ( 867930 )
      I would think the people who actively buy a Linux version would also be more discerning customers, more likely to return it if it wasn't exactly what they wanted.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        If you know anything about computers it's easy enough to just install a different distro. The returns are the clueless people who don't know about Linux and won't learn.

    • by lunarpaladin ( 869647 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @09:49AM (#25263345)

      RTFA, and unlike the submitter, you'll see that the interviewers point out that MSI offer a poorly configured version of Linux. I wonder what it would cost someone like Microsoft to have MSI spike the competition.

      I could have shared this observation months ago. It may have to do with the distro itself in this particular instance, but as a senior sales associate for a larger computer + electronics retailer, I can state for a fact that we get a substantially higher return rate of Linux-based Aspire One and EEE PC's compared to that of the Windows-based ones. The most common complaint when asked the reason for the return? "I can't install any of my programs on here. Office, Adobe, MSN, nothing works!" I try to take the time to assist them, showing them where they can find comparable programs and install them, such as GAIM/Pidgin and OpenOffice. Some are more than happy with that, others still want to return them. Lucky for them we have a pretty lax return policy.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        So basically, it's not a Microsoft conspiracy to distort the market as the GP suggested, more that applications that people want to run don't work on Linux? This is hardly news; for the average user, they want Office, Photoshop and Windows Live Messenger, not OpenOffice, GIMP and Pidgin (the last one of which can easily be viewed as some kind of cruel joke by someone spoilt by the niceties and features of the official MSN client...)

      • by NeilTheStupidHead ( 963719 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @10:22AM (#25263555) Journal
        I find the same thing. Several of my friends recently acquired eeePCs through a promotion offered by Royal Bank. One or two of them were interested in learning how to use the built-in OS and the others came to me to 'just put XP on there so MSN will work'; a slight challenge on the 2G models the bank was giving away. To be fair, XP does perform pretty snappily for the hardware but still not quite as snappy as even the default Xandros, which I cart around for presentations instead of lugging my 'full-sized' notebook which is 2-3 times the weight and half the battery life.
    • by moreati ( 119629 ) <> on Sunday October 05, 2008 @09:50AM (#25263353) Homepage

      I wonder what it would cost someone like Microsoft to have MSI spike the competition.

      It would cost much less than allowing MSI do it in the normal course of their business. I know conspiracies are more entertaining than blaming human laziness, but trying to blame poor Linux/MSI integration on Microsoft takes the biscuit. Consider:

      • MSI are traditionally a hardware OEM, having close to zero customer-experience experience.
      • MSI were chasing ASUS, time to market would have been a big priority
      • Netbooks are sold cheap, so they're designed on a tight budget.
  • by Zerth ( 26112 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @09:28AM (#25263223)

    Just put them on the top shelf, since the kind of people who obviously don't read the box and think installing Windows hard will be too lazy to reach them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I've been hearing about "The Year of Linux on the Desktop" for years. I think at this point many Linux distributions are ready for the desktop, at least for many common tasks. Perhaps one of the things we didn't take into account is that many home computer users are too lazy to learn something new.

      For myself, I don't care whether most people use MS Windows or OS X or whatever. I just want Linux and/or *BSD to be there for me, which is why I contribute what I can monetarily to various projects, includin

  • Eee (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EaglemanBSA ( 950534 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @09:34AM (#25263249)
    My eeepc was a whole lot more useful once I got a different distro on it. Average Joe isn't going to feel comfortable installing linux on his own, editing boot records and reconfiguring this and that for three hours before the computer becomes useful. They want to hit a button and have a useful operating system in front of them.

    That said, I've bought three eee's, one for me, my brother, and my wife. I've installed ubuntu and configured everything before giving them to the others, and they haven't had a problem since. My wife, who won't use windows because she's not used to it (she grew up with macs), says she likes ubuntu - I suspect her story would be different if she had to spend hours looking up instructions how to install it.
    • Three hours of doing that may be fun to you, but as you point out - not for most. I wouldn't find it fun at all.. I do like tinkering with my computer, but I prefer tinkering with it from a known-good state, instead of a known-iffy state; that way if I get the thing in an unknown-fubar state, I can go back to known-good instead of back to known-iffy.

      That's why I love the projects sprouting up that offer CD/DVD images of distributions that you just pop into the drive, give it a run, and if you like it - ins

  • Goes a long way. People ( for better or worse ) have been trained for over a decade to deal with windows. ( the mac crowd is smaller and doesn't count in this case )

    Being able to go down to the local super store and buy the stuff you see on TV and have it work is also important.. First time you buy that new shiny game and find it wont work due to that funny OS, back it goes.

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      If Microsoft had a consistent UI over the decade I'd agree with you. but With Vista the only offering right now I strongly disagree.

      Vista makes it hard for even a seasoned 20 year experience IT vetrans with Microsoft products to even find where the hell to configure a wireless adapter. Vista is more foreign in every way than the most obtuse distro of linux could ever be.
      There is not familiarity, Vista is as foreign as Cyrillic is to an american.

      • by nurb432 ( 527695 )

        I dont include vista in the mix. I know too many people that stuck with XP for the same reason. "its too different".

  • People don't give a rip about the operating system. They just want WoW to work, they want to view their documents and they want their online pr0n.

    In addition, the hardware community is so blockheaded in that they'll support OSX (Unix) but not Linux.

    Case in point - I setup my father-in-law's wife with a new Dell Linux (openSUSE 10.3/KDE) system a few months back. Her only needs are eBay, email (AOL) and documents. Due to the various lack of support - both from their internet provider and hardware - I"m goi
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @09:47AM (#25263337) Homepage

    MSI's install of linux is a piece of garbage. They barely made it run and it's junk. now they are bitching that their half assed work causes returns?

    How come the ASUS eee flys off shelves where it's available and people that own them that are not techies love them in their linux install?

    Oh wait, ASUS did not half ass the linux install. Ahhhh.

    It must be linux's fault then.

    The story headline needs to be changed... "MSI does crappy work again and bitches about it shifting blame to XXX."

    • by deniable ( 76198 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @10:32AM (#25263639)

      Have you ever run an apt-get dist-upgrade against the out-of-the-box ASUS repositories? They had some real blunders in those updates including tools stop working, icons disappearing, etc. I haven't bothered to patch for a while so hopefully they've got their not half-assed Linux install sorted out.

      I'll probably install Ubuntu on mine when I stop using it for a kitchen computer / photo viewer.

    • by McDutchie ( 151611 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @11:30AM (#25264173) Homepage

      MSI's install of linux is a piece of garbage. They barely made it run and it's junk. now they are bitching that their half assed work causes returns?
      How come the ASUS eee flys off shelves where it's available and people that own them that are not techies love them in their linux install?
      Oh wait, ASUS did not half ass the linux install. Ahhhh.

      I thought ASUS users just replaced their Linux with Windows in most cases. I have not seen MSI's Linux installation, but the ASUS version of Xandros on my daughter's Eee PC 4G is an unusable piece of crap. The most basic things don't work properly. A few of the snags I've run into:

      • it forgets about the wireless network after every restart so it has to be reconfigured every time;
      • many dialog windows in programs such as Firefox don't fit on the screen so that you can't even click on OK or Cancel to get rid of them because the buttons are hidden (you have to alt-drag and then resize the window but that's too much to ask for the average user, never mind a newbie);
      • Flash is crashy as hell (so much for my daughter's Flash games);
      • the "anti-virus" included plainly doesn't work, it can't even update itself (not that it would be any use anyway);
      • Skype crashes at least once in every conversation;
      • the Software Update control panel doesn't seem to do anything;
      • the "Messenger" doesn't open any window when you click on it but just keeps adding more useless icons to the system tray instead;
      • etc.

      Never seen such a mess before. If I were not an experienced Linux user myself, I'd have returned it. If MSI's is even worse than that, then wow... just wow.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)


      I found an online review of MSI's U90 unit, and the review found that neither the Webcam nor the wireless worked out of the box. They opined that you'd need to go buy and install a copy of XP Home to turn the unit into something usable.

      Seriously, is MSI a Microsoft front organization?

      * * * * *

      "Empty-handed I went to the widget library, empty-handed I renturned."
      —Binkei, 9th-century Japanese programmer-monk

  • by Anonymous Coward

    All in all, it's amazing how few returns there are for linux - note how the representative says that the return rate is four times higher. Unless the machines are failing all over, and they aren't or we'd be hearing about it, the return rates are at worst a few per cent of all machines sold. More likely the actual rates are less than a per cent.

    If even one per cent of Windows customers return the machine, that means that the Linux return rate is four per cent. In other words, 3 per cent of customers deci

    • Numbers? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Frankie70 ( 803801 )

      Are you making up the 1% & 4% numbers?

      The average rate of returns for consumer electronics in the USA is 15-20%.

      Then assuming 20% return rates for Windows netbooks, it will translate
      to 80% return rate for Linux netbooks.

  • by gzipped_tar ( 1151931 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @09:52AM (#25263369) Journal

    rather than blaming the users who "don't want to spend time to learn it". Customers buy your product because they need it, but few would learn it the hard way without well-organized, easy-to-follow documentation. Invest in supporting and documenting your own product and users will be happier, not angrier.

  • If we compare overall return rate we could notice that Windows computers are more often returned than Linux computers.
    Reason might be that people do not know what they get with Windows laptop. They get under-power hardware with software which actually requires more power.

  • by Zombie Ryushu ( 803103 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @10:03AM (#25263435)

    Alright, couple things. Yes. It is true that the vast majority of the general public don't want to learn how a computer works.

    But I see some fault by manufacturers too. Couple things.

    Stop shipping laptops with relatively unknown "Lets evade the MS Tax" Linux distros with little support or documentation. This whole "Get a Linux computer so we can pirate Windows" thing has gotta stop.

    From now on, contract with the BIG BOYS in Linux, Red Hat, Mandriva, Ubuntu, Suse. No more gOS. no more *insert Bizzare distro no one has ever heard of here* distro.

    Make sure all your drivers for your cards work and can survive things like Kernel patches.

    Stop shipping broken configurations. If my Screen can support 1200x800, it better not be set to 1024x768.

    Stop Advertising Linux as "Almost Windows" or "Sort of Windows" - Advertise Linux as - Linux. Put a big Penguin sign up next to the row of Linux Laptops, and say "These are Linux Laptops." and if they are

    Install Wine on Linux Laptops. Show customers that they can take their Windows applications with them where Applicable.

    • by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @11:39AM (#25264247) Journal

      I bought my Eee PC with Xandros. It had a few extremely good applications, like the Asus 3G modem app, which is better than the one Huawei bundles with their 3G modems for Windows. Xandros works fine in general, too, but my big, huge gripe with it is that the default installation consumes more than 3/5ths of the SDD, and you cannot remedy this by removing apps (or games) which you don't need, because someone at Asus decided that Xandros has to be installed in UnionFS! Having less free space on the SSD, apart from the obvious disadvantage, also diminishes the places where dynamic wear levelling can spread out the writes.

      Anyhow, my point is that Xandros COULD have been a very decent OS for the Eee PC, if only Asus had a fricken clue. Have a minimum installation with OpenOffice and Firefox, and let the user remove and install what they want. This goes to the heart of the OP, rather than the topic of the original submission.

  • The average guy takes Linux like a 2 series OS, that is hard and doesn't have their programs of choice... They don't want to learn it. Just the name scares them.

    Moreover, some of these consumers don't even realise that a PC can be shipped with something that is not windows.
  • by Haeleth ( 414428 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @10:41AM (#25263717) Journal

    Back in the '80s and early '90s, people coped perfectly well with competing computers and operating systems. Sure, an Amiga was a bit different from an Atari, which was a bit different from a PC, which was a bit different from a Mac, which was a bit different from an Archimedes... but so what? People coped, just like they cope with the way every washing machine or DVD player today has a different interface. When you started using computers, you became computer literate, just like everyone's more or less washing-machine-literate and DVD-player-literate. And once you're literate in a technology, you can learn to use any form of it relatively easily.

    What the Windows monoculture has done is to destroy computer literacy among most users. Now, instead of learning to use a computer, people are trained to use Microsoft Windows. Instead of learning about launching applications and using word processors, they're trained to click on the big button at the bottom left of the screen that says "start", then to click where it says "Microsoft Word". And so as soon as that button turns into a picture of a foot at the top left of the screen, and the icon they're looking for says "Word Processor", they're left bewildered and uncomfortable.

    Of course, this has now bitten Microsoft too: it's one reason why Vista and Office 2007 are so unpopular. (Semantics nazis: does that count as irony?)

    • by johndmartiniii ( 1213700 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @11:14AM (#25264049) Homepage
      It does count as irony, even dramatic irony, because deep down this audience always new what was going to happen, even while the players did not.

      I agree with you fully. This has served as well to make an even dumber new set of Mac users who switch because it's easy and "just works." I've noticed this amongst other grads in the humanities. They use MSOffice on their Macs, don't know what to do when they lose their internet connection, and can never, ever, ever get their printer configured.

      It's not a problem of Mac users being stupid. It is a problem of basic computer literacy. Computer literacy courses at University in the United States now consist of a several-months-long, very expensive howto for Microsoft Office and using Outlook to answer your e-mail.

      When you change the look or feel of anything these days, people freak, or become frustrated and give up. The inability to reason and sort things out has been lost because of that Start button. Without it, how will you know where to start?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bender_ ( 179208 )

      There is an obvious flaw in your assertion: The people who don't cope with linux today are the 95% of the population that did not own a computer at all in the 80ies and early 90ies.

      Computers are not targetted at professionals and enthusiasts anymore.

    • just like everyone's more or less DVD-player-literate.


  • by Cougem ( 734635 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @10:55AM (#25263867)
    I bought a linux version of the Acer Aspire One, and I loved it at first. It was an RPM based distribution using XFCE, and although I'm used to aptitude-based package management, I've got no qualms with using yum.

    However, I bloody well couldn't, could I? The manufacturers had installed some of their own RPM packages before sending out the laptops, many of which had dependencies on other packages. I couldn't bloody update my system because these packages weren't on the central RPM repositories for fedora etc., and there were countless conflicts. Their proprietry RPMs required firefox, so I couldn't update firefox because that would require interfacing with these RPMs, which weren't there. I couldn't update ANY fucking packages, my distribution was useless, unless I forced removals and forced installs of new RPMs, but then all the conflicts had to be sorted out manually.

    I've ended up putting Xubuntu on it with XFCE, but it's far less responsive because you loose the intelligent optimisation that Acer etc, put into it, and installing it requires making bootable keydrives etc., and loads of optimisations to the SSD, swap etc.

    Why the hell the manufacturers don't just use Ubuntu (I've heard Dell have the sense too, at least), I do not know.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wvmarle ( 1070040 )

      rant about update problems removed.

      Why the hell the manufacturers don't just use Ubuntu[...]

      It seems you give the answer yourself already:

      the intelligent optimisation that Acer etc, put into it

      Laptop manufacturer optimises software to work better with their hardware. Then of course it's not compatible anymore with whatever distro it was based on originally. And you will have to start waiting for said laptop manufacturer to update their complete distro before you can update your system.

      You can't have it all, unless you require the laptop manufacturer to submit all their changes to the original distribution - not sure

  • by will381796 ( 1219674 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @11:09AM (#25264013)
    My wife just purchased an HP mini-note. I've dabbled a bit with Ubuntu but Suse was new to me. The system comes completely uncustomized for easy use by the general consumer. For instance, it still has the OS set to search the optical drive for installable software...but there is NO OPTICAL drive in the computer. NONE of the online repositories for software are already added to the OS. There is absolutely NO documentation included with the system to help a new Windows XP -> Linux individual navigate their self around or teach them how to do something as simple as installing a piece of software or adding a software repository. Yeah, Google is there but to the Average Joe, you shouldn't have to search Google for every simple answer and then risk messing up your computer if you input a typo into one of your Terminal commands.
  • by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @11:52AM (#25264365) Journal
    Personally I haven't used windows at home for at least 10 years. I wanted people to use linux but the realisation I think I am coming to is people don't deserve Linux unless they actually ask for it.

    I got pissed off when I upgraded Fedora 7 to F9 because it took me a whole three days to get things working the way I wanted because of the nvidia drivers, sure I restored my home directory and everything else worked. I was in the middle of an on-line course and I just had to get on with it. I thought 'no wonder people don;t want to use linux'

    But soon after I compared that to a laptop that I had to configure for a C# development project with VS2008 and SMS2005 and MSSQL. I am diligent with my XP installs because I don't want the thing to fuck up once I get it set-up. So I use Project Dakota to patch it, installed VS2008, SMS2005 thinking I would be ok. Of course when you have a shit fight on XP - it drags on. Certain versions of MSSQL doesn't install properly with SMS2005 and I can't use database diagrams. I'm hand deleting roughly 50 registry entries and suddenly remembering why I like Linux.

    I don't like using windows because it restricts me, but most users won't encounter those restrictions. What they don't realise is in Windows you go A-B-C-D and the task is done, in Linux you go A-B-C-D or A-D and the task is done. When you use windows there is no more efficient way to complete a task, you have to do the same brain dead RSI operation every time. I resent being told I have to use Windows in a work project because my effectiveness is instantly reduced. I feel lobotomised.

    Which is the same reason windows people don't want to learn a new OS. There neural patterns have be set to *windoze* and they don't understand how to make that leap. They don't want their effectiveness reduced because thinking is the hardest work.

    The F9 and Ubuntu I have is at least as pretty as Vista and mouse gestures come in handy too. I don't know how much better windows is than linux because I don't want to feel like a retard when I am using it, be limited to one pissy workspace, not be able to use all 8Gb ram, or all the CPU cores. I hate licence keys and registry shit. I get so frustrated using windows I think that anyone who really wants to use it, should.

    Because that is the user experience they deserve. I think people's experience with the hassles of windows is what they presume is going to happen when they move to Linux. They fear that they are going to go through a whole new set of those experiences.

    And they will, for a little while, lets be realistic, but then they will realise they don't get viruses any more, system performance is consistent, and they are able to fully utilise the machines power.

    Linux will never be like windows, and thank goodness for that. Usability in Linux is improving with every distributions and no longer needs to duplicate functionality in windows, it gets better and better and is starting to pull ahead. If this is what makes Linux continue to improve then I hope linux is never ready for the desktop. If MSI want to distribute a shit version of linux, then they deserve to pay M$ licencing fees. They should stop distributing it because people will think that Linux is as crap as windows is.

  • by TheModelEskimo ( 968202 ) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @12:52PM (#25264947)
    C'mon, vendors. This is Linux we're talking about. Customize it until there's NO WAY people can't understand how to use it. Include training videos, tutorials, goal- or task-based projects. Do WHAT IT TAKES because this is Linux, and you have *only* yourself to blame if your approach doesn't work. I mean, you (the vendor) can do whatever you want with it, for crying out loud. Make it stand out in ways that Windows or OSX lacks. But no, vendors are too cheap for this crap. They can't see past Linux's lack of a price tag long enough to understand the real opportunity here.

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken