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Why Linux Can't 'Sell' On the Desktop 1091

New submitter VoyagerRadio writes "Recently I found myself struggling with a question I should easily have been able to answer: Why would anyone want to use Linux as their everyday desktop (or laptop) operating system? It's a fair question, and asked often of Linux, but I'm finding it to be a question I can no longer answer with the conviction necessary to 'sell' the platform. In fact, I kind of feel like a car salesman who realizes he no longer believes in the product he's been pitching. It's not that I don't find Linux worthy; I simply don't understand how it's ever going to succeed on the desktop with voluntary marketing efforts. What do Linux users need to do to replicate the marketing efforts of Apple and Microsoft and other corporate operating system vendors? To me, it seems you don't sell Linux at all because there isn't supposed to be one dominant distribution that stands out from the rest. Without a specific product to put on the shelf to sell, what in the world do you focus your efforts on selling? An idea?"
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Why Linux Can't 'Sell' On the Desktop

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  • by Idimmu Xul ( 204345 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @06:41AM (#39424905) Homepage Journal

    It's a Livejournal period drama featuring Teamspeak, Gnomies and Google+ hangouts; a total mashup of the entire Internet.

    It name drops, it backlinks, it links images with contribution, it bolds, "quotes", paraphrases and italics. There's even a google advert.

    It just doesn't say anything at all. Which is quite impressive considering how long it is.

    If only it was compressed down to 140 characters, might have been less painful to read.

  • Re:heh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @06:41AM (#39424907)

    I think we have done it completely wrong for a long time. Asking people to please use a platform is counter productive. Telling them they can't have it could be a better solution.

  • Re:heh (Score:5, Funny)

    by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) * <bittercode@gmail> on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @06:53AM (#39425001) Homepage Journal

    That's funny. I need to start quickly shutting off the monitors on my desk whenever someone walks into my office.

    Them: What'cha doin?
    Me: Nothing. Nothing at all.
    Them: Why'd you turn off your computer?
    Me: Well, actually I just turned off.. Never mind. Well I use this special operating system, I'm not even supposed to talk about it.
    Them: Operating System?
    Me: The software it runs, like Windows or Mac
    Them: Really? Who made it secret?
    Me: It's just an unspoken rule. It's rather expensive and very limited in who is allowed to use it.
    Them: Wow. What would it take for me to get it?

  • Re:heh (Score:5, Funny)

    by IceNinjaNine ( 2026774 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @07:12AM (#39425133)
    The first rule of Linux is that you do not talk about Linux.

    The second rule of Linux is that YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT LINUX.

    ... two geeks walking past each other in the hallway with a knowing nod and a calluses on their fingers from their Happy Hacking keyboards...
  • Re:heh (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @09:01AM (#39426031)

    I think you need to include the clueless. They're not the haters, but they're clueless and constantly advocate Windows because that's what they know. I find that many Windows advocates in business do not realize how pervasive Linux is on the internet or in other business. It's a big surprise to many of these people when I tell them that IIS is third after Apache or nginx. They also tend to believe that because ASP.NET doesn't run on Linux or OSX, neither do PHP or Java. It's a circle of ignorance.

  • Re:heh (Score:5, Funny)

    by MacGyver2210 ( 1053110 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @09:04AM (#39426067)

    If this is your first time on have to compile your own Kernel.

  • Re:heh (Score:4, Funny)

    by imakemusic ( 1164993 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @09:07AM (#39426111)

    I have had a real bear trying to do some rather straightforward things on MS and Apple.

    I've had a real centipede giving me technical support. They weren't great at troubleshooting but their words-per-minute was amazing.

  • Re:heh (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheSpoom ( 715771 ) <> on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @09:15AM (#39426227) Homepage Journal

    Force em to use Gentoo like I did. That'll sort the men from the boys (or the women from the girls, if you're optimistic).

  • Re:heh (Score:3, Funny)

    by Stewie241 ( 1035724 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @09:22AM (#39426301)

    Don't forget Netflix.

  • Re:heh (Score:5, Funny)

    by UncleRage ( 515550 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @10:10AM (#39426891)

    No, no, no. Don't mention that OS X has a shell.

    OS X is complete and utter crap, you hear me? There's no bash or csh or ksh or anything like that! You can't ssh into a remote box and work from your Mac in an OTB situation, nor can you remote into your Mac and screen a session.

    There's no vim, emacs or even nano (for someone wetting their feet); there's only TextEdit and you can only save to .iexclusivetextdocumentformat! Why without tab autocompletion, (semi)sane directory structure think of how impossible it is for someone worth their technical salt to find their way around! Just imagine a photograph of Mardi Gras, that's the exact kind of chaos that comes to my mind whenever I consider needing to edit /etc/hosts or tail /var/log/system.log on a Mac!

    You cannot, absolutely cannot compile anything; you hear me? If it isn't able to be installed from Apple's walled garden, then it doesn't exist. No ability to build gcc, no ports installer, no way to install and invoke frotz, mp3blaster and htop in a three way, multi-panelled terminal session so that people think I'm doing something important when I'm really just trying to get that god damned fish into my ear while listening to 8 bit centric podcasts!

    The Mac is clearly nothing but a n00b machine that costs too much!

    good lord I'm off topic. I really need to cut down my caffeine.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell