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Video GNU/Linux Desktops with No User Knowledge Needed (Video) 85

Joey Amanchukwu is co-founder and CEO of Transforia, a company that leases computers pre-loaded with Red Hat Enterprise Linux -- a distro choice that may have been made at least partly because Joey used to sell for Red Hat.

There have been other companies that tried to sell Linux desktops and laptops on a "don't worry about a thing; we'll administer them for you, no problem" basis. Not a lot (maybe none) of those companies have survived, as far as we know. Will Transforia manage to make it big? Or at least become profitable? We'll see.

Robin Miller: Today we have a Linux based entrepreneur with us, Joey. Joey, how do we say your name?

Joey Amanchukwu: It’s Amanchukwu.

Robin Miller: Amanchukwu. I understand you're from a foreign country called Raleigh, North Carolina.

Joey Amanchukwu: I wouldn't call it a foreign country, we’re known for great basketball teams, the home of NC state, but yes, I am from Raleigh, North Carolina.

Robin Miller: Okay. And you live now in California, speaking of foreign places. And your company, it says here, because I have it on another monitor... your website is Transforia.

Joey Amanchukwu: Transforia.

Robin Miller: And what you do is you lease or sell , or lease by the month, Linux-based computers with cloud storage and you just have total control. You just send it over and plug it in and that's it, right?And you told me you used to work for Red Hat so this is sort of a natural evolution.

Joey Amanchukwu: Yeah. I did four years of Red Hat. I was on the sales team and Red Hat really was a good experience for me because I had a chance to see how operating systems, how they work.

Robin Miller: Right.

Joey Amanchukwu: And call it kind of the building block of building corporate infrastructure if you will. And of course during 2007, I was there, there was this massive number of companies moving to Web 2.0, all social companies and Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP was kind of the big, big thing and I got a chance to experience all of that growth. And of course that experience of course has kind of led me to start Transforia, because I think that some of the same technologies that built this crowd infrastructure can be bought to the traditional desktop where traditionally Microsoft has maintained a 90% market share. They are still using traditional technologies. There really has been no innovation there. I think technology is available that could really help customers break away from that and free themselves from proprietary software and some of those traditional challenges.

Robin Miller: And Microsoft has of course taken Office and put it online and your Red Hat based computers can run that, can't they, online through the browser?

Joey Amanchukwu: Yes, they can. So we support Office 365, Google apps, there is also other Software-as-a-Service technology that you can use from the Web browser. I mean, if you look at what's happened in the marketplace, a majority of the business applications have started to move to the Web browser. You know, Workday, Zenefits, Zendesk, [Coopa], you name it. And so my take is that as we continue to see this technology getting embraced in the enterprise, more and more apps being accessed via web browser...

Robin Miller: Alright. And how about training, do you have to do much?

Joey Amanchukwu: Well, the idea was to simplify the operating system enough so that the user can just click a button, you are clicking the upper left hand corner, you tap activities or applications, you find your web browser and there you are. Yeah, there could be some challenge for people who are fairly novice computer users, right. But for those who have used a computer, I think it's fairly easy to get up and going from day one.

Robin Miller: Are you making a living? Do you have a decent customer base yet?

Joey Amanchukwu: Yeah, so we got started two years ago and we currently have pilot customers. We are still pre-revenue. The idea is to continue to make sure that the product is enterprise-ready, build out our support group. And then from there we’re going to start raising capital, which we just kicked that off here recently. But we're still fairly young, just into this business and the future looks bright.

Robin Miller: But did you get any seed capital to help you get going?

Joey Amanchukwu: Well, ironically I used my own money. During my career as a sales guy I did well for myself and I decided to save all my commission checks. And when the idea kind of presented itself to step away from Dell and start Transforia, I had enough capital to kind of get the company going. And right now, I think we're kind of at a point where it's time to scale, and raise money. And so the idea now is to search for a way to raise capital to grow the company.

Robin Miller: Okay, so you're getting out, so you’re talking to people, what kind of response are you getting?

Joey Amanchukwu: Some investors are kind of like, well you're competing against the traditional Windows, Microsoft Ecosystem, we don't see this as being a viable business. Some are saying wow, the industry has been waiting for this for quite some time, but come back to us when you’ve kind of had a way to get more metrics around the sales cycle. Some people completely don't understand it. They've been kind of stuck in this traditional Microsoft or Apple world where you start talking about Linux and web browsers, cloud technologies, it’s kind of alien.

Robin Miller: Okay, wait a minute. I have a white beard. I am far from young. How old does somebody have to be, to have that “ Linux isn’t here yet” attitude? How old do they have to be?

Joey Amanchukwu: Well, when you have an environment where a majority of devices are running either Android or running Mac OS X, or running Windows, to say the word Linux kind of brings this thing of complexity, or of things of foreign nature. And so my take is that a lot of times, I'm pushing the envelopes and hey the internet runs on Linux, your Android device runs on Linux.

Robin Miller: Mine does.

Joey Amanchukwu: Of course. So, it's I think still just more educating investors, educating the folks in the industry to kind of give Linux a chance on desktop. I think now that the cloud is prevalent, I think it's time.

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GNU/Linux Desktops with No User Knowledge Needed (Video)

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  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Friday January 15, 2016 @04:53PM (#51310607)

    2016 is Year of the Linux Desktop!!! You heard it here first.

    • 2016 is Year of the Linux Desktop!!! You heard it here first.

      Not going to happen. Significantly, these Dell laptops (that's what they offer) are used for Software-as-a-Service. In other words, web apps. So why buy this when you can get a Chromebook if all you're using is the web?

      Also, you're leasing the laptop for 1 to 3 years, payable in annual chunks. No price given, so good luck with that.

      This will not work - even if it gets SBA 8(a) minority-owned business grants. And of course, as soon as someone finds that they can't run any windows programs ....

      • Whoosh. Clearly, whoosh.

        • Whoosh. Clearly, whoosh.

          Really? How are these any different from buying a Chromebook if all they're intended to be used for is web apps (I'm assuming you actually went to the web site and understand these are only to be used "in the cloud" with "SaaS")?

          Oh, wait, they're (Dell Latitude E7450) several times more expensive than a Chromebook. ... THAT's the difference. Silly me - businesses will always want to pay a premium to buy from an unproven "business" than a known-good configuration from an established supplier. That's why Lin

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Friday January 15, 2016 @04:58PM (#51310643)

    The interviewer seems like a dick. Here's what I think I read:

    Question 1: You have a funny last name. Maybe you belong to a weird ethnic group too?.
    Question 2: You don't live in Silicon Valley, but I do, so fuck you.
    Question 3: I came to this interview completely unprepared. Good luck making your point now.

  • More Videos (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Friday January 15, 2016 @05:04PM (#51310677)

    What's with all the useless video garbage?

  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Friday January 15, 2016 @05:05PM (#51310687)

    The vast majority of PC users out there are non-technical and just expect everything to look and work identical to MS Windows, and when, for example some Windows hotkey combination doesn't also work on Linux, they seriously think the computer itself must be broken/faulty in some way.
    The problem Linux has to overcome is that the vast majority of non-technical users still don't even understand that the MS Windows interface isn't some inherent property of all computers.

    It boggles my mind that even migrating from one version of Windows to the next apparently results in what they consider to be a giant learning curve, so how can you realistically ever expect them to adapt from Windows to Linux more easily?

    I read a study somewhere that looked at people that had never used any computer before. They found for those people, Linux was much easier to learn from scratch than Windows from scratch. They also found that nearly all people that had learnt to use Windows first before they ever saw Linux that considered Linux much harder to learn/use than Windows. The trouble is, the second group pretty much represents the majority of all people on the planet.

    • by JazzLad ( 935151 )

      The vast majority of PC users out there

      some Windows hotkey combination

      The vast majority of PC users out there only use the keyboard to type, the mouse for everything else.

      • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

        True, but you get my point. If not you can easily replace the setence inquestion with:
        "when, for example they find some Windows-specific menu isn't identical on Linux, they seriously think the computer itself must be broken/faulty in some way.

        • by JazzLad ( 935151 )
          I honestly don't agree with this either. Look how much XP changed to 7 & how much 7 changed to 8/8.1 - people have changes shoved in their faces all the time. I mean, I get your point, I just don't share your opinion :)
          • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

            yes, but just because its got Microsoft written on it there's a very large blind spot in society so it gets an almost free pass from them.

            I consider that phenomenon as being almost but not quite analogous to the way that very many Apple customers are anally obsessive about annually throwing away a perfectly good phone and wasting another $650 to re-buy a pretty much functionally identical one, just because it has version n not version (n-1) written on it.

          • Well, It's not easy to measure but I can assure you many many people was upset by Windows 8 UI changes respect to 7.
            Compared to what Win 8 did, Windows 95 to 7 are practically identical.
            But yes, it doesn't seem to make people migrate away from Windows which goes to say what a firm grip they have in the desktop market (duh). In my case they have me by the balls cause I'm a gamer. I'm thinking to switching to Win 10 as a game console and Linux for everything else when using 7 is no longer feasible
    • The reality is that there is a HUGE amount of resistance to technology. One example: What Computer? Why Small Business Shuns Technology []
      • by swb ( 14022 )

        I think there's a lot of reasons for this, most surrounding money.

        My perception with a lot of owner-run businesses is that they see every dollar spent on expenses as a dollar out of their pockets. I mostly see this as short-sighted, but it's probably an impossible bias not to have as a small business owner. But it's mostly short-sighted because they're all too willing to scrimp on useful updates that will save them labor hours and save them from data loss. They'd get a lot of benefit from a small enough

        • I think the biggest factor is that it is almost impossible for a small business owner to find fully competent technically knowledgeable people to do the work.

          My experiences today:

          A representative of Ally Bank showed complete, utter incompetence, while pretending to understand.

          I told someone that Wells Fargo Bank management is not technically competent. She said, "My husband works there. He strongly agrees."

          I got a message from United Parcel Service. UPS no longer supports Windows XP. Crazy.
          • by jc42 ( 318812 )

            Many people would say that most CEOs of big companies are incompetent. This is true, of course, partly because being competent isn't part of the job description. ;-)

            One of my fun corporate competence stories is about how I got a (US) 617 area code for my cell phone, which is the area including Boston and a few of its suburbs. I got it while living in Waltham, 10 miles west and in the 781 area. When I got my first cell phone, and used my then land-line phone to get help setting it up, the CS fellow I t

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      It boggles my mind that even migrating from one version of Windows to the next apparently results in what they consider to be a giant learning curve, so how can you realistically ever expect them to adapt from Windows to Linux more easily?

      Gnome2 and a pile of others act a lot more like MS Win7 than MS Win8 does, and it's generally all about the applications, so that's how it's a less difficult transition.

      I had to use google just to work out how to turn MS Win8 off - what is it with hidden controls offscree

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Wow, someone better let Apple know they should give up now, since OSX is nothing like Windows ...

    • This isn't a new concept - try asking someone to use another smartphone after they've used nothing but an iPhone for the last 4-5 years.

    • If Windows 10 UI changes irk me to no end I can't imagine how they must upset the kind of users you're speaking about.
      Sadly, not even user complaints can get Ms to make a new Windows with a "familiar" UI.
      I've been using mostly cross platform open source software lately and that may prove invaluable when I can no longer realistically keep using Win 7 and switch to Linux.
  • Many people are inclined to use Linux. However, people often need specialized software that is simply not available for Linux. there are music and art programs for Linux that are just fine but they tend to have a steep learning curve. But many companies have numerous employees that need effective tools that simply have no real learning curve at all. I will not run any Microsoft software. However, some of the programs that one can purchase for their OSs are really nice. To make a living any product ne
    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      But many companies have numerous employees that need effective tools that simply have no real learning curve at all

      It's what they desire but reality steps in making complex tasks require more than just guesswork. Show me an effective 3D design tool that can be used to provide enough to fabricate non-trivial components that has no learning curve at all and I will concede the point, but currently I see the point as little other than an unfulfilled wish.

      Glass typewriter? It's never been hard even before MS

    • I like the premise. Use linux without ANY worries at all. As all businesses use computers lately, this makes perfect sense. Linux that is, not necessarily rehat with systemd.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      many companies have numerous employees that need effective tools...

      I work for a small (30-sh people) company that provides data warehousing for non-techies via a web interface. The company is built entirely on deprecated Microsoft technologies: FoxPro, ActiveX, SourceSafe, Visual Basic, as well as IIS and MSSQL. Note how all of the above are either discontinued or should be. Save our IT admins, nobody benefits from these tools, yet the owner does not let me add a single Linux box on the network. He went into panic mode when I mentioned it. As a creator of a successful tech

  • Please please please get someone else to conduct them. Anyone, I don't care, just get someone else. This is an embarrassment. The people being interviewed must not have watched previous interviews or they would have never agreed to it.

It's a poor workman who blames his tools.