Remember that out-of-office post I wrote a while back, the one where I was getting some free home repair from a buddy in exchange for installing Linux on his laptop? Sweet deal, I know — unfortunately it’s gone sour.
It’s become increasingly apparent that this otherwise upstanding member of society is simply not a candidate for Linux. And he’s not alone. He would argue that he’s not naturally curious about technology and just needs to get things done, but I’d go a step further and condemn him to what I suspect is a vast majority of computer users who are technology-averse.
And I put the blame squarely on Windows.
I haven’t used it a lot, but I’ve enough of an experience with it to know I don’t like it. I did run Windows on a cheap laptop a few years back and more recently had to endure Windows 7 on Nokia’s Booklet 3G until I could get the thing to dual-boot. What best sums up my feelings about Microsoft’s OS is this quote regarding a pre-OTA Nokia firmware update:
Through all of this Windows did a fantastic job of constantly reminding me that it was running the show, and that I should be grateful that anything worked at all…
I fully understand and even grudgingly respect that there are high-level Windows users out there, tweaking their Registries or programming in Visual Basic. And I salute the vast armies of white collar workers who must endure Windows at the office because they’ve no other choice. But those same people who choose Windows for their home computers simply for the sake of familiarity, or the poor unknowing souls who walk into Best Buy looking for the cheapest machine that can get on the Internet, they are the truly damned — damned to an eternal hell of warnings and pop-ups that dismiss any foolish notion that they ever had any idea what they were doing.
With this in mind, I can see how such users would rather stick with the devil they know. In the case of my friend, the final straw for him and Linux was that he didn’t recognize some of the fonts in OpenOffice.
I know, I feel the same way…