Why most people will never use Linux

Author argues that most home user treat home pc as a consumer item like a TV or DVD player.

From the article:
Because the cost of PCs remains pretty much constant ten years ago, you’d expect to pay around £1,500 for a high-end PC, the same as you would today .. normal people don’t see this as a problem at all. When their old 500MHz Celeron box running Windows 98 shuffles off this mortal coil, they pop down to PCs ‘R’ Us and buy a shiny new box, complete with a shiny new OS and applications and chuck the old machine in the dumpster.

The shiny new machine will not come with Linux and OpenOrifice. It will come with Vista and Office 2003 pre-installed.

Just look at popular vendor such as Dell. They only offers Windows (no Linux option for home PC). Talk to local vendor and they will send a new PC with Windows preloaded. In India (and most other parts of Asia) most home user buys pc w/o Windows OS and any other apps. They simply install pirated version.

Linux is not an option for many home users because they are not aware of other options at all.

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🐧 8 comments so far... add one

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8 comments… add one
  • stuntgp2000 Jan 2, 2007 @ 20:36

    I would agree with your opinion but there factors that may change this situation in the future, such as
    – License costs : Vista & Office 2007 price is higher than ever.
    – Anti-Piracy : Microsoft enforces everyone to get a genuine copy, WGA & Re-activations are getting serious.
    – Hardware Architecture Transition : Not everyone is happy with the state of 64bits. after 2 years of the introduction of Windows x64 there still drivers and softwares issues.
    – Vista & Office Hardware requirements: They need a top of the line PC to run adequately, and if some can afford the money to buy such a PC you should consider that the OLPC that costs only $100 has seen this 100$ as barrier.
    – DRM & Restrictions : There are already signs of consumers dissatisfactions.
    – Vista immaturity & the end of support of WinXP will push people to ask if there is way to minimize transition costs. This will happen after nearly 2 years from now, and if you consider how fast was Linux in getting ready for the Desktop these last 2 years you will at least expect a near mature Linux Desktop or at least a mixture of Windows and Free & Open Source Software.

  • edward alvarez Feb 2, 2007 @ 19:56

    I took my acer pc with linux os connected it started it and it hands up at password what password none given in the booklet.can you help I do not want to go back to XP please help…

  • 🐧 nixCraft Feb 2, 2007 @ 20:14


    Default username is root (system admin account called root) and the password you entered during installation is for root user.

    If you forgot password just follow these instruction to reset root password.

    BTW, what is name of your Linux distribution?

  • John Bailey Apr 1, 2008 @ 10:21

    The article has true and not so true parts.

    True that most home users don’t ever open up their computer, True that they never upgrade or install much in the way of software, and true that they don’t have a clue of what is available. NOt too encouraging.

    But where the article runs aground, is that the author just described the perfect near zero maintenance Linux user. Most ISPs now supply a router instead of the older USB modems, so connecting a Linux box to the web is a matter of plugging in a Lan cable or typing the WPA password into the Linux box.

    About the only thing that might cause problems is the printer and setting up an email account in Thunderbird or some other app. But as more people go online to get their email, even that becomes a non issue.

  • ezeze5000 Apr 2, 2008 @ 11:12

    I have been using Ubuntu Linux for the past several years, and it does everything that I want to do.
    I have a Windows PC but I haven’t used it in quite a while.

    Well that’s my 2 cents worth.

  • Chuck Apr 2, 2008 @ 15:34

    I agree with most of the author’s points but I don’t think the average user will ever complain about the cost of Windows. Since the additional cost of the license is never broken out in retail stores, users don’t even realize they are paying extra. Give them a choice and they might use it but your typical retailer (even the size of Dell or HP) doesn’t want to be bothered. What’s in it for them?

    Sorry for being so cynical. I hope the situation changes.

  • ashok Apr 19, 2008 @ 0:57

    We have to push Linux in the grass roots level for this OS to become an integral part of any household system.

    Have road shows, go to schools, and make it sound like any kid who does not know Linux is not as smart as the kid who knows it. Distribute CDs in career fair. Invite kids to participate in competitions such as Linux OS usage.

    Catch them young and watch them grow!

    So who will do this and why?

    LINUX users and local LINUX user communities should work to promote this great OS. a couple of hours in a month is all we require.

    once kids who are in the seventh and eigth grade start liking it we would have won a very big battle, and I think these kids are our only hope of LINUX OS making it to house hold desktops.

  • Vlad Apr 21, 2008 @ 5:46

    Well, that’s a bunch of bs, I am sorry. This article can only be eaten by illiterate person, I am sorry.
    Firstly, Dell does make desktops with Linux preinstalled.
    Second thing – yeah, it does look like if you buy a brand new computer it will come with preinstalled Windows and M$ Office. But how do you know that it is free? Computers ‘R’ Us would not mention this, I bet, but there’s nothing free in the world, oh, no! So, you can always decline initial Windows agreement and get your money back (about $100 for Windows) from manufacturer. Just read the window’s EULA.
    There are lots of commercial soft for Linux, lots of games also. I’ve been using linux desktop for 3 years and can tell that there’s nothing in a world exists that windows has and I needed that Linux desktop doesn’t have. Maybe except for some newest DirectX games.

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