As an average geek, I know my way around Linux. I’ve used it I like the concept. It’s free, open source, and flexible – an alternative to Windows and macOS that gives people of all backgrounds access to modern computers.
I could do without the Linux fanatics though. You know who I’m talking about: those who speak out unsolicited as soon as the word “Windows” is mentioned. Linux is their operating system of choice – or their only option. And their mission is to educate you about why you should think the same way. Unfortunately, the Linux geeks usually come around the corner with the same lame “arguments” – for example the following.
I have to admit – when I first tried Linux, I was very disappointed when unicorns and rainbows didn’t jump right off the screen. I was promised the end of all my Windows problems. And Windows is inherent in many annoyances and problems. However, that doesn’t mean that Linux’s problems shouldn’t be openly addressed. Compared to Windows, Linux still doesn’t offer the same level of software support, drivers, and accessories (although there’s no doubt a step forward here).
That said, when someone is struggling with a Windows problem, the last thing they want to hear is the all-encompassing advice from Windows haters. The chances that such circumstances will bring in new Linux fans is infinitesimal.
The prospect of floundering through different distributions to find the perfect product can be tempting to Linux enthusiasts — for most people, it’s the exact opposite.
Yes, other distributions are an option. But have you ever helped someone who is not a tech savvy person to install Windows? For such people (and frankly for me too) it’s stressful enough to complete an installation with ready-to-use media. And you want them to create their own Linux media and install it multiple times? As an advanced PC user, I could handle that. However, I’m not even on the list of people I love enough to put up with.
Newsflash: As a rule, companies want to make money. Building a community is not the highest priority. The latter is undoubtedly one of Linux’s strengths. However, you cannot pay employees with warm words or community affection. That said, if you still make the S in Microsoft the dollar sign, how old are you anyway?
Financial case, part two: you have to face the reality that the vast majority of people buy laptops or prepackaged desktops that are 99 percent under Windows license. There are few Linux options – and they don’t always save you money. Those who build their own PC usually like to play. However, PC gaming on Linux still doesn’t compare to the Windows experience.
In other words, free usually attracts. If people still don’t move towards it, something is missing.
The telemetry data that Microsoft collects can be disturbing if you value your privacy. It’s worth thinking about. Windows users who are technical enough to consider switching to Linux rely on a Pi-gatredirect your traffic and keep Windows.
Most people don’t care about it though. The vast majority have public profiles on Facebook and Instagram and provide access to location data to almost any app on the smartphone.
Don’t get me wrong, Linux is a better option in some situations. A friendly piece of advice for Linux fanatics: if someone takes the time to carefully explain what problems it solves and what problems to expect (and how to fix them), persuasion might be easier. (FM)
This post is based on an article from our US sister publication PC World.