How does one persuade a guy to use Linux? When he is using w32 since he’s using a PC. The only thing he has used or is interested in are w32 apps, frequently MS products. By nature of the OS being proprietary, quite a few apps are proprietary. I leave the rest to your interpretation. This guy treats his PC as appliance – like a toaster, or maybe a glorified DVD player + calculator + TV + game console. His immediate concern is getting the toast – or his job on the PC done. And the only way he can/wants to do it is the way he was taught or like he learnt it. He recently migrated to Win XP. And now, is coming to terms with multi-tiered user levels, advanced config options which were never seen in Win 98/Me and much more.
I feel sad. I was like him once. Not having a choice. Not being aware of a choice being present. Not knowing that things could be different, and better, than they were now.
He is sorting out issues with his newly installed w32 build 5.x. He scoffs when I tell him that wizards are/should be the last option. He believes that having less wizards indicates a high-minded attitude among the developers of a system – that it is intended to drive away newbies. And then he says that LUGs are symptomatic of some shortcomings in Linux – that “linuxers are handicapped”. He refuses to believe that something which survived through so much (so much that I can’t fit it all here – visit Eric’s and Joe’s sites for more info and links) won’t last into the future. Though he is gracious enough to admit that the same fate may fall on w32. I believe that Linux will survive. Perhaps by another name. Maybe BSD will become dominant. Solaris. Maybe even Mac OS or the proper, authentic Unix itself will become open and dominant. Am I being over-confident? Will the principles of OSI and FSF fall away?
I don’t think so. I’ll do my best to keep them up – my bit.
You might want to read more of this GNU/Linux v/s Windows slugfest at Sandesh’s blog.