Windows breeds fear and ignorance.

Microsoft Clippy parody alert.There’s no easy way to put this… Linux community, I have failed you.

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

46 Responses to “Windows breeds fear and ignorance.”


  • As a home windows 7 user who shelled out the bucks to upgrade from xp, I have to respectfully disagree! To be fair, I have never used Linux so I don’t know but I’m a pretty advanced computer consumer (not programmer or anything) and windows 7 is awesome. It’s fast, way more reliable than xp, all those notification things you can turn on or off and the aero design stuff is really intuitive and makes the computing easier. Also, it’s compatible with pretty much everything on the planet which is why I won’t switch to Linux.
    Also, as a guy who relies on Microsoft office as it is seamless with Outlook (for documents, mail, calendar, contacts and syncing) there is no open source option on the market that does that in one program or as easy. And I think that’s the reason windows is ubiquitous in the Corporate environment. Companies need those programs to work and seamlessly integrate with eachother and there is no open source easy solution to that.
    Final note: I know the windows OS isn’t open source but anyone can (and does) design any kind of program they want for it, there’s no restrictions.

  • As a home windows 7 user who shelled out the bucks to upgrade from xp, I have to respectfully disagree! To be fair, I have never used Linux so I don’t know but I’m a pretty advanced computer consumer (not programmer or anything) and windows 7 is awesome. It’s fast, way more reliable than xp, all those notification things you can turn on or off and the aero design stuff is really intuitive and makes the computing easier. Also, it’s compatible with pretty much everything on the planet which is why I won’t switch to Linux.
    Also, as a guy who relies on Microsoft office as it is seamless with Outlook (for documents, mail, calendar, contacts and syncing) there is no open source option on the market that does that in one program or as easy. And I think that’s the reason windows is ubiquitous in the Corporate environment. Companies need those programs to work and seamlessly integrate with eachother and there is no open source easy solution to that.
    Final note: I know the windows OS isn’t open source but anyone can (and does) design any kind of program they want for it, there’s no restrictions.

  • “Also, as a guy who relies on Microsoft office as it is seamless with Outlook (for documents, mail, calendar, contacts and syncing) there is no open source option on the market that does that in one program or as easy.”

    Sure there is:

    1. OpenOffice
    2. Evolution
    3. SyncML

  • Haha, I love this first comment. Essentially, it’s just:

    “I have no idea what you’re talking about, but you’re wrong.”

    So, sure you start with Outlook because it works well with the OS. Then, to get all the bells and whistles, you need an Exchange server. What’s that? You want webmail? Well, for that to work properly, you need to use Internet Explorer. And internet explorer is only available on Windows, so you need another copy for your remote machine. Every time you opt to use a Microsoft product, you commit further commit yourself into the bondage of being locked in to their ecosystem.

    Everything that Exchange/Outlook can do, Lotus can do as well, and often better. Granted, it’s not FOSS, but they at least give you the option of using a linux client and just about any OS on the server side, (AIX, Solaris, multiple flavors of linux, and Windows) and any damn web browser you want.

    Essentially, Microsoft says “service X will only work with product Y” while the linux way of thinking is “why not make service X work with product X,Y,Z, @, 34, and how?” It’s called creating and adhering to open standards. Not this MS crap of just making it up as you go along and then don’t tell anyone else what you’re doing.

  • Haha, I love this first comment. Essentially, it’s just:

    “I have no idea what you’re talking about, but you’re wrong.”

    So, sure you start with Outlook because it works well with the OS. Then, to get all the bells and whistles, you need an Exchange server. What’s that? You want webmail? Well, for that to work properly, you need to use Internet Explorer. And internet explorer is only available on Windows, so you need another copy for your remote machine. Every time you opt to use a Microsoft product, you commit further commit yourself into the bondage of being locked in to their ecosystem.

    Everything that Exchange/Outlook can do, Lotus can do as well, and often better. Granted, it’s not FOSS, but they at least give you the option of using a linux client and just about any OS on the server side, (AIX, Solaris, multiple flavors of linux, and Windows) and any damn web browser you want.

    Essentially, Microsoft says “service X will only work with product Y” while the linux way of thinking is “why not make service X work with product X,Y,Z, @, 34, and how?” It’s called creating and adhering to open standards. Not this MS crap of just making it up as you go along and then don’t tell anyone else what you’re doing.

  • As a home windows 7 user who shelled out the bucks to upgrade from xp, I have to respectfully disagree! To be fair, I have never used Linux so I don’t know but I’m a pretty advanced computer consumer (not programmer or anything) and windows 7 is awesome. It’s fast, way more reliable than xp, all those notification things you can turn on or off and the aero design stuff is really intuitive and makes the computing easier. Also, it’s compatible with pretty much everything on the planet which is why I won’t switch to Linux.
    Also, as a guy who relies on Microsoft office as it is seamless with Outlook (for documents, mail, calendar, contacts and syncing) there is no open source option on the market that does that in one program or as easy. And I think that’s the reason windows is ubiquitous in the Corporate environment. Companies need those programs to work and seamlessly integrate with eachother and there is no open source easy solution to that.
    Final note: I know the windows OS isn’t open source but anyone can (and does) design any kind of program they want for it, there’s no restrictions.

  • “I have never used Linux so I don’t know”

    The rest of your post seems to be a pretty big assumption considering you’ve never even tried to do the things that you claim Linux can’t do.

  • “I have never used Linux so I don’t know”

    The rest of your post seems to be a pretty big assumption considering you’ve never even tried to do the things that you claim Linux can’t do.

  • Okay, to be fair I let that particular comment slide — mostly because I know “The Forbes” AFK, IRL or whatever it’s called these days.

    And by the way, he happens to be a very talented actor here in Toronto who also made a submission to our government’s public consultation on copyright reform last year.

    Alastair, there’s a Live CD with the Linux distro of your choosing on it waiting for you whenever, wherever…

  • “Also, as a guy who relies on Microsoft office as it is seamless with Outlook (for documents, mail, calendar, contacts and syncing) there is no open source option on the market that does that in one program or as easy.”

    Sure there is:

    1. OpenOffice
    2. Evolution
    3. SyncML

  • “Also, as a guy who relies on Microsoft office as it is seamless with Outlook (for documents, mail, calendar, contacts and syncing) there is no open source option on the market that does that in one program or as easy.”

    Sure there is:

    1. OpenOffice
    2. Evolution
    3. SyncML

  • “Also, as a guy who relies on Microsoft office as it is seamless with Outlook (for documents, mail, calendar, contacts and syncing) there is no open source option on the market that does that in one program or as easy.”

    Sure there is:

    1. OpenOffice
    2. Evolution
    3. SyncML

  • Haha, I love this first comment. Essentially, it’s just:

    “I have no idea what you’re talking about, but you’re wrong.”

    So, sure you start with Outlook because it works well with the OS. Then, to get all the bells and whistles, you need an Exchange server. What’s that? You want webmail? Well, for that to work properly, you need to use Internet Explorer. And internet explorer is only available on Windows, so you need another copy for your remote machine. Every time you opt to use a Microsoft product, you commit further commit yourself into the bondage of being locked in to their ecosystem.

    Everything that Exchange/Outlook can do, Lotus can do as well, and often better. Granted, it’s not FOSS, but they at least give you the option of using a linux client and just about any OS on the server side, (AIX, Solaris, multiple flavors of linux, and Windows) and any damn web browser you want.

    Essentially, Microsoft says “service X will only work with product Y” while the linux way of thinking is “why not make service X work with product X,Y,Z, @, 34, and how?” It’s called creating and adhering to open standards. Not this MS crap of just making it up as you go along and then don’t tell anyone else what you’re doing.

  • “I have never used Linux so I don’t know”

    The rest of your post seems to be a pretty big assumption considering you’ve never even tried to do the things that you claim Linux can’t do.

  • Okay, to be fair I let that particular comment slide — mostly because I know “The Forbes” AFK, IRL or whatever it’s called these days.

    And by the way, he happens to be a very talented actor here in Toronto who also made a submission to our government’s public consultation on copyright reform last year.

    Alastair, there’s a Live CD with the Linux distro of your choosing on it waiting for you whenever, wherever… 8-)

  • Okay, to be fair I let that particular comment slide — mostly because I know “The Forbes” AFK, IRL or whatever it’s called these days.

    And by the way, he happens to be a very talented actor here in Toronto who also made a submission to our government’s public consultation on copyright reform last year.

    Alastair, there’s a Live CD with the Linux distro of your choosing on it waiting for you whenever, wherever…

  • AC:
    I’m one of those office drones stuck using Windoze (currently using Vista and Office 2007), but I’m lucky that I work for a company that has IT people who tweak and test everything for months before we get it on our laptops. I have never had a major OS or app problem. We’re not getting Windows 7 until 2011,when we get new machines, so everything will work.

    My mom’s PC, on the other hand, has been a regular source of frustration. It actually came from Best Buy, and runs XP. I’ve spent many a weekend on the train to fix problems. And this for a machine used strictly for e-mail and Skyping with famiy!

    When I put Ubuntu on my old Dell laptop there was a learning curve (I’m already used to moving between PCs at work and Mac at home), so if you stick with it, you’ll find it makes sense, even for someone like me who isn’t necessarily comfortable iwth popping the hood on an OS. No problems at all with Ubuntu, until the laptop itself died.

    cheers,
    Ed

  • AC:
    I’m one of those office drones stuck using Windoze (currently using Vista and Office 2007), but I’m lucky that I work for a company that has IT people who tweak and test everything for months before we get it on our laptops. I have never had a major OS or app problem. We’re not getting Windows 7 until 2011,when we get new machines, so everything will work.

    My mom’s PC, on the other hand, has been a regular source of frustration. It actually came from Best Buy, and runs XP. I’ve spent many a weekend on the train to fix problems. And this for a machine used strictly for e-mail and Skyping with famiy!

    When I put Ubuntu on my old Dell laptop there was a learning curve (I’m already used to moving between PCs at work and Mac at home), so if you stick with it, you’ll find it makes sense, even for someone like me who isn’t necessarily comfortable iwth popping the hood on an OS. No problems at all with Ubuntu, until the laptop itself died.

    cheers,
    Ed

  • This reminds me of a story I heard once about people buying GM cars because they had coffee cup holders.

    I use to run Windows at home, I also use to pirate a ton of software. Deep down I knew that my computer habits were not right. Then one day I switched to Linux and threw out all my pirated software.

    I’m now completely legit and I don’t have to use Anti-spyware, Anti-virus or defragment on a regular basis.

    Upgrading my hardware is super easy too. I just take the old hard-drive out and throw it into the new box, No re-installs. :)

    Linux FTW

  • This reminds me of a story I heard once about people buying GM cars because they had coffee cup holders.

    I use to run Windows at home, I also use to pirate a ton of software. Deep down I knew that my computer habits were not right. Then one day I switched to Linux and threw out all my pirated software.

    I’m now completely legit and I don’t have to use Anti-spyware, Anti-virus or defragment on a regular basis.

    Upgrading my hardware is super easy too. I just take the old hard-drive out and throw it into the new box, No re-installs. :)

    Linux FTW

  • For those who have only used Windows, or only Linux, you really don’t have a suitable background for discussing operating systems. Not until you have worked on several, preferably a minimum of 10-15 different OSs on a variety of hardware and system sizes.

    To just have run Windows, and say how terrific it is — that is like marrying the first girl/guy you kissed, and bragging about what a great kisser he/she is. I’ll give you a sad smile.

  • For those who have only used Windows, or only Linux, you really don’t have a suitable background for discussing operating systems. Not until you have worked on several, preferably a minimum of 10-15 different OSs on a variety of hardware and system sizes.

    To just have run Windows, and say how terrific it is — that is like marrying the first girl/guy you kissed, and bragging about what a great kisser he/she is. I’ll give you a sad smile.

  • Hey! I’m a person!!! I never said I have no idea what you’re talking about but you’re wrong! I said I never have used Linux so I don’t know… I was trying to imply that I don’t know how much I can disagree with what AC has said about Linux but I’m glad you made the choice to mistake me for being a MORON so thank you for that. I DO use windows though and I DO disagree that it’s bad. Windows 7 is a really awesome OS.
    What I DO know about Linux is when I considered switching to it and based on my research (and, yes some advice from AC regarding Linux’s so so ness with games) it wasn’t compatible enough with what I wanted to do. So my next idea was to switch to OO but again, no seamless integration with Outlook that is anywhere as easy. So I’ll stand by what I said:

    “Also, as a guy who relies on Microsoft office as it is seamless with Outlook (for documents, mail, calendar, contacts and syncing) there is no open source option on the market that does that in one program or as easy.”

    The OO, Evolution, SyncML (three programs, not one) solution is exactly what you were referring to in the article… it’s another bunch of steps that I’d have to learn when I already have it ready to go at the click of a button.

    Finally @ Marsh, I don’t use an exchange server, it’s just my home computer (I run my business out of my home) and I never EVER use Internet Explorer (firefox for me, maybe chrome once it gets better) and use yahoo with Outlook and have never had a problem so I don’t at all agree with what you said about IE and web based mail and Microsoft’s product integration. I think you’re mistaking Windows for an Apple OS! As I said, the OS isn’t open source but programming for it is (i.e. anyone can program anything they want for it). So I can, and do, use open source programs instead of Microsoft ones without any loss of functionality.

    Show me the integration I want and make it easy and I’ll switch. Otherwise I stand by what I said!

  • Hey! I’m a person!!! I never said I have no idea what you’re talking about but you’re wrong! I said I never have used Linux so I don’t know… I was trying to imply that I don’t know how much I can disagree with what AC has said about Linux but I’m glad you made the choice to mistake me for being a MORON so thank you for that. I DO use windows though and I DO disagree that it’s bad. Windows 7 is a really awesome OS.
    What I DO know about Linux is when I considered switching to it and based on my research (and, yes some advice from AC regarding Linux’s so so ness with games) it wasn’t compatible enough with what I wanted to do. So my next idea was to switch to OO but again, no seamless integration with Outlook that is anywhere as easy. So I’ll stand by what I said:

    “Also, as a guy who relies on Microsoft office as it is seamless with Outlook (for documents, mail, calendar, contacts and syncing) there is no open source option on the market that does that in one program or as easy.”

    The OO, Evolution, SyncML (three programs, not one) solution is exactly what you were referring to in the article… it’s another bunch of steps that I’d have to learn when I already have it ready to go at the click of a button.

    Finally @ Marsh, I don’t use an exchange server, it’s just my home computer (I run my business out of my home) and I never EVER use Internet Explorer (firefox for me, maybe chrome once it gets better) and use yahoo with Outlook and have never had a problem so I don’t at all agree with what you said about IE and web based mail and Microsoft’s product integration. I think you’re mistaking Windows for an Apple OS! As I said, the OS isn’t open source but programming for it is (i.e. anyone can program anything they want for it). So I can, and do, use open source programs instead of Microsoft ones without any loss of functionality.

    Show me the integration I want and make it easy and I’ll switch. Otherwise I stand by what I said!

  • Or, conversely, you show us that you’re worthy of Linux…

    Sorry, sorry… That’s elitism, and won’t help matters much.

    I don’t doubt for a second your Windows prowess, and would never lump you in with the type of user I wrote about in this post, but you specifically mentioned Office & Outlook (and failed to mention ActiveSync, which is also a required component). I countered with three free — as in both freedom and beer! — alternatives, so there really are no extra steps.

    As for games, doesn’t Microsoft make another product for that? One that uses standardized hardware and won’t be obsolete in three months?

  • Hey! I’m a person!!! I never said I have no idea what you’re talking about but you’re wrong! I said I never have used Linux so I don’t know… I was trying to imply that I don’t know how much I can disagree with what AC has said about Linux but I’m glad you made the choice to mistake me for being a MORON so thank you for that. I DO use windows though and I DO disagree that it’s bad. Windows 7 is a really awesome OS.
    What I DO know about Linux is when I considered switching to it and based on my research (and, yes some advice from AC regarding Linux’s so so ness with games) it wasn’t compatible enough with what I wanted to do. So my next idea was to switch to OO but again, no seamless integration with Outlook that is anywhere as easy. So I’ll stand by what I said:

    “Also, as a guy who relies on Microsoft office as it is seamless with Outlook (for documents, mail, calendar, contacts and syncing) there is no open source option on the market that does that in one program or as easy.”

    The OO, Evolution, SyncML (three programs, not one) solution is exactly what you were referring to in the article… it’s another bunch of steps that I’d have to learn when I already have it ready to go at the click of a button.

    Finally @ Marsh, I don’t use an exchange server, it’s just my home computer (I run my business out of my home) and I never EVER use Internet Explorer (firefox for me, maybe chrome once it gets better) and use yahoo with Outlook and have never had a problem so I don’t at all agree with what you said about IE and web based mail and Microsoft’s product integration. I think you’re mistaking Windows for an Apple OS! As I said, the OS isn’t open source but programming for it is (i.e. anyone can program anything they want for it). So I can, and do, use open source programs instead of Microsoft ones without any loss of functionality.

    Show me the integration I want and make it easy and I’ll switch. Otherwise I stand by what I said!

  • Or, conversely, you show us that you’re worthy of Linux… :-P

    Sorry, sorry… That’s elitism, and won’t help matters much.

    I don’t doubt for a second your Windows prowess, and would never lump you in with the type of user I wrote about in this post, but you specifically mentioned Office & Outlook (and failed to mention ActiveSync, which is also a required component). I countered with three free — as in both freedom and beer! — alternatives, so there really are no extra steps.

    As for games, doesn’t Microsoft make another product for that? One that uses standardized hardware and won’t be obsolete in three months?

  • Or, conversely, you show us that you’re worthy of Linux…

    Sorry, sorry… That’s elitism, and won’t help matters much.

    I don’t doubt for a second your Windows prowess, and would never lump you in with the type of user I wrote about in this post, but you specifically mentioned Office & Outlook (and failed to mention ActiveSync, which is also a required component). I countered with three free — as in both freedom and beer! — alternatives, so there really are no extra steps.

    As for games, doesn’t Microsoft make another product for that? One that uses standardized hardware and won’t be obsolete in three months?

  • I use Linux and work in Windows support. There are a lot of people out there who are scared of their machines. I very often see machines that have had updates pending for years. Java, Adobe Reader, Windows and icons rolling out six inches across the bottom panel. The fact that the icons are hidden from view (out of sight, out of mind) confirms OP’s point. People just think it will be OK and Windows will take care of it. They will tolerate terrible and increasingly worse performance for months. Only until it simply won’t do what they want will they call for help. I always hear people tell me that they didn’t want to click on it because they were afraid of what might happen. They are so jaded by warnings and pop ups that they just click them away and forget about it. I have several customers who were actually duped by fraud anti-virus programs. They said it looked real to them. And why not? They never bothered to look at the legitimate anti-virus.

    @ The Forbes
    I don’t think this is really about users like yourself. We can argue the merits of Windows vs. Linux but I don’t think OP was trying to do that here.

  • I use Linux and work in Windows support. There are a lot of people out there who are scared of their machines. I very often see machines that have had updates pending for years. Java, Adobe Reader, Windows and icons rolling out six inches across the bottom panel. The fact that the icons are hidden from view (out of sight, out of mind) confirms OP’s point. People just think it will be OK and Windows will take care of it. They will tolerate terrible and increasingly worse performance for months. Only until it simply won’t do what they want will they call for help. I always hear people tell me that they didn’t want to click on it because they were afraid of what might happen. They are so jaded by warnings and pop ups that they just click them away and forget about it. I have several customers who were actually duped by fraud anti-virus programs. They said it looked real to them. And why not? They never bothered to look at the legitimate anti-virus.

    @ The Forbes
    I don’t think this is really about users like yourself. We can argue the merits of Windows vs. Linux but I don’t think OP was trying to do that here.

  • Point taken on the ActiveSync but Outlook and is IN Microsoft Office so ha ha! 3-2 for The Forbes, and I definitely win and there can’t be any more discussion about it. Seriously though, Linux is built upon everything I believe computing technology should go towards but everything I read about it hasn’t convinced me it’s there yet for me, although it sounds like that day is getting closer and closer.

    Sadly, I also may have that particular standardized hardware. Even more strange is that I also have a girlfriend. Interesting point about the xbox though, I use an alternative program to stream media files to the xbox and it works better than the windows live app IMO.

  • Point taken on the ActiveSync but Outlook and is IN Microsoft Office so ha ha! 3-2 for The Forbes, and I definitely win and there can’t be any more discussion about it. Seriously though, Linux is built upon everything I believe computing technology should go towards but everything I read about it hasn’t convinced me it’s there yet for me, although it sounds like that day is getting closer and closer.

    Sadly, I also may have that particular standardized hardware. Even more strange is that I also have a girlfriend. Interesting point about the xbox though, I use an alternative program to stream media files to the xbox and it works better than the windows live app IMO.

  • The Forbes:

    MS office is a suite so it combines all of those programs that you have paid for, so technically they are all different programs, designed to perform a set of tasks. The outlook client is a groupware program that is designed for groupware services that mainly run MS exchange as exchange is a groupware server package. You are not using these services as you are just using the personal (single user) experience, so you dont have that integration you think you have.

    You are connecting to your emails with pop or imap, which has been around for a very long time. You can do this with outlook express or just outlook. I understand what you mean by integration but what you are talking about is not the integration a corporation might see.

    Linux is designed and many of its programs are designed with this in mind. Create a program that does a single task really well. Windows programs tend to try and do everything possible in the single application. This is very important as it creates bloat just to start with.

    If you want a single program that runs your business then you wont find it, but if you want to get your work done then you can pay for it or not and you will reach your goal. Linux isn’t for everyone just as Mac isn’t for everyone, but linux is getting better each day (literally) and the savings can be very big. Of course you will have to learn how to use it, just like you had to learn how to walk and talk.

    If you are happy to pay for Windows, office and whatever else you have then what is wrong with that? I am happy to know windows, linux and its various applications and guess what? I personally don’t need to pay or worry about licensing issues again.

    So OO is the same as MS office suite of programs except outlook, evolution is the outlook replacement and ignore syncml as you are not using this. What someone can do is create an installer you would be happy as its all integrated right and call it OO suite? This is what Office is doing for you when you get down to it.

  • The Forbes:

    MS office is a suite so it combines all of those programs that you have paid for, so technically they are all different programs, designed to perform a set of tasks. The outlook client is a groupware program that is designed for groupware services that mainly run MS exchange as exchange is a groupware server package. You are not using these services as you are just using the personal (single user) experience, so you dont have that integration you think you have.

    You are connecting to your emails with pop or imap, which has been around for a very long time. You can do this with outlook express or just outlook. I understand what you mean by integration but what you are talking about is not the integration a corporation might see.

    Linux is designed and many of its programs are designed with this in mind. Create a program that does a single task really well. Windows programs tend to try and do everything possible in the single application. This is very important as it creates bloat just to start with.

    If you want a single program that runs your business then you wont find it, but if you want to get your work done then you can pay for it or not and you will reach your goal. Linux isn’t for everyone just as Mac isn’t for everyone, but linux is getting better each day (literally) and the savings can be very big. Of course you will have to learn how to use it, just like you had to learn how to walk and talk.

    If you are happy to pay for Windows, office and whatever else you have then what is wrong with that? I am happy to know windows, linux and its various applications and guess what? I personally don’t need to pay or worry about licensing issues again.

    So OO is the same as MS office suite of programs except outlook, evolution is the outlook replacement and ignore syncml as you are not using this. What someone can do is create an installer you would be happy as its all integrated right and call it OO suite? This is what Office is doing for you when you get down to it.

  • I use Linux and am in IT Tech support like julieb. I agree with her (?) entirely. A car or white goods manufacturer would never get away with selling a product that was so badly designed with so many faults built-in.
    Linux is no harder to USE than Windows, it is just a matter of familiarity.
    Some will say that Linux is harder to MAINTAIN than Windows.

    Well I make good money fixing people’s borked Windows installations due to software failures and malware. If Windows users could do what I can do with Linux and make a LiveCD of my system, including aplications so that I can do a complete restore in about 20 mins; I and 100,000 microsoft workers would be out of a job by now.

  • I use Linux and am in IT Tech support like julieb. I agree with her (?) entirely. A car or white goods manufacturer would never get away with selling a product that was so badly designed with so many faults built-in.
    Linux is no harder to USE than Windows, it is just a matter of familiarity.
    Some will say that Linux is harder to MAINTAIN than Windows.

    Well I make good money fixing people’s borked Windows installations due to software failures and malware. If Windows users could do what I can do with Linux and make a LiveCD of my system, including aplications so that I can do a complete restore in about 20 mins; I and 100,000 microsoft workers would be out of a job by now.

  • People who have not used Linux are not qualified to comment on it. Most Linux users have migrated from the Windows world and some from the Mac OS X world. I am comfortable using all three operating systems including the latest offering from Microsoft called Windows 7.

    I would agree that Windows 7 is an improvement over Windows XP and Vista. Since I can’t afford a new Apple Mac I expect that my next new computer will come with Windows installed. It’s too bad that I’ll be paying for a Windows license for an inferior OS that I will not be using. Like my last two new machines, Windows will be replaced by a Linux distro.

    GNU/Linux, whatever distro you choose, is not quite as good as Mac OS X but it’s superior to Windows and certainly cheaper. I think of my Linux machines as a poor man’s Macintosh!

    Like a previous commenter, I make a little pocket money cleaning up neighbor’s infected Windows machines. However, the first thing I do is to save their data with a Linux livecd.

  • People who have not used Linux are not qualified to comment on it. Most Linux users have migrated from the Windows world and some from the Mac OS X world. I am comfortable using all three operating systems including the latest offering from Microsoft called Windows 7.

    I would agree that Windows 7 is an improvement over Windows XP and Vista. Since I can’t afford a new Apple Mac I expect that my next new computer will come with Windows installed. It’s too bad that I’ll be paying for a Windows license for an inferior OS that I will not be using. Like my last two new machines, Windows will be replaced by a Linux distro.

    GNU/Linux, whatever distro you choose, is not quite as good as Mac OS X but it’s superior to Windows and certainly cheaper. I think of my Linux machines as a poor man’s Macintosh!

    Like a previous commenter, I make a little pocket money cleaning up neighbor’s infected Windows machines. However, the first thing I do is to save their data with a Linux livecd.

  • “GNU/Linux, whatever distro you choose, is not quite as good as Mac OS X..”

    Depends on how you define “good”, doesn’t it?

    Let’s be mindful not to devolve the discussion here into an all-out OS flame war. As julieb rightly pointed out, I wrote this post mainly to address the challenges that Linux faces with technologically-averse users — and specifically how Windows is a big part of the problem…

  • “GNU/Linux, whatever distro you choose, is not quite as good as Mac OS X..”

    Depends on how you define “good”, doesn’t it?

    Let’s be mindful not to devolve the discussion here into an all-out OS flame war. As julieb rightly pointed out, I wrote this post mainly to address the challenges that Linux faces with technologically-averse users — and specifically how Windows is a big part of the problem…

  • I began tinkering with Linux a few years back. First RHEL and then Ubuntu. It soon became a secondary desktop at work. At one point, my Linux Desktop went over a year between reboots. ONE YEAR. Try that with ANY windows box. I never had to install anti spyware or anti malware tools. I never had to defrag the hard drive. No registry to clean. No dll conflicts.

    Then about 6 months ago, I basically ditched my XP box and made it my backup desktop. I use it only for exchange email and some of the SQL Server tools I have to use at work. Now whenever I have to use XP, I absolutely cringe at how unbelievably SLOW everything is. I have gooten spoiled by almost instantaneous program response. A windows user who has never used Linux has no idea of what computing is like without “hourglass hell.” Those little 4 to 5 second delays don’t seem like much until you get spoiled by almost instant response.

    And most windows users have probably never opened task manager and examined the process CPU and memory usage as they go through their workday. They have no idea how much of their potential CPU horsepower is wasted by the constant need to run all of the security tools that a windows user cannot do without. They aren’t aware that at some points of the day, spikes of 50-80% of processor capacity is chewed up just keeping them safe from the bad guys. Absolute waste and rot!!!!

    Give Linux a fair trial. Get help from someone in getting through the initial learning curve. You will never go back!

  • I began tinkering with Linux a few years back. First RHEL and then Ubuntu. It soon became a secondary desktop at work. At one point, my Linux Desktop went over a year between reboots. ONE YEAR. Try that with ANY windows box. I never had to install anti spyware or anti malware tools. I never had to defrag the hard drive. No registry to clean. No dll conflicts.

    Then about 6 months ago, I basically ditched my XP box and made it my backup desktop. I use it only for exchange email and some of the SQL Server tools I have to use at work. Now whenever I have to use XP, I absolutely cringe at how unbelievably SLOW everything is. I have gooten spoiled by almost instantaneous program response. A windows user who has never used Linux has no idea of what computing is like without “hourglass hell.” Those little 4 to 5 second delays don’t seem like much until you get spoiled by almost instant response.

    And most windows users have probably never opened task manager and examined the process CPU and memory usage as they go through their workday. They have no idea how much of their potential CPU horsepower is wasted by the constant need to run all of the security tools that a windows user cannot do without. They aren’t aware that at some points of the day, spikes of 50-80% of processor capacity is chewed up just keeping them safe from the bad guys. Absolute waste and rot!!!!

    Give Linux a fair trial. Get help from someone in getting through the initial learning curve. You will never go back!

  • I’ve been dabbling off and on with Linux for a couple of years now. I started with using the Knoppix live distro for an old laptop that I had and absolutely loved it. I have since installed Puppy Linux on that old gateway lappy and have DSL on a usb stick to mess around with at work on my Windows Laptop. Unfortunately, I haven’t had enough time to fully understand the inner workings of a linux install especially when it comes to installing new programs or updating and would really like to use linux more. BUT, I do 3D modeling with SketchUp and drafting with AutoCAD. I have been looking for a open source version of each to use. I think that Blender might come closest to SketchUp (though not as intuitive) but I have yet to find something that works like or can deal with AutoCAD files. I realize the it takes work to learn something new and the best thing is to jump in and start using it. With time being short for practice (12 -14 hour work days) does anyone have any suggestions? I am ignorant of Linux but very curious. I am not a fan of Windows and only use it out of a perceived necessity. Help me Obi-Wan(s) you’re my only hope!

  • I’ve been dabbling off and on with Linux for a couple of years now. I started with using the Knoppix live distro for an old laptop that I had and absolutely loved it. I have since installed Puppy Linux on that old gateway lappy and have DSL on a usb stick to mess around with at work on my Windows Laptop. Unfortunately, I haven’t had enough time to fully understand the inner workings of a linux install especially when it comes to installing new programs or updating and would really like to use linux more. BUT, I do 3D modeling with SketchUp and drafting with AutoCAD. I have been looking for a open source version of each to use. I think that Blender might come closest to SketchUp (though not as intuitive) but I have yet to find something that works like or can deal with AutoCAD files. I realize the it takes work to learn something new and the best thing is to jump in and start using it. With time being short for practice (12 -14 hour work days) does anyone have any suggestions? I am ignorant of Linux but very curious. I am not a fan of Windows and only use it out of a perceived necessity. Help me Obi-Wan(s) you’re my only hope!

  • The easiest way to get Linux on your Windows box (without messing with what’s already there) is to install Wubi — which I used to get Linux on Nokia’s netbook.

    The latest Ubuntu is a good distro to start off with, or there’s always Linux Mint!

  • The easiest way to get Linux on your Windows box (without messing with what’s already there) is to install Wubi — which I used to get Linux on Nokia’s netbook.

    The latest Ubuntu is a good distro to start off with, or there’s always Linux Mint!

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