I’ve been around the webweb, and I’ve seen a whole butt-tonne of reasons given as to why Linux has persistently failed to gain traction with every-day users. The language is always the same, whether it’s from Linux or Windows advocates. Joe Sixpack, my grandma, power-users, blah blah blah. First of all, this stuff is so god-damned clichéd that it’s now lost all meaning. You see it an awful lot on places like the Ubuntu forums. Ubuntu is a self-styled OS for noobs. Its slogan is, “Linux for human beings,” which is obviously a smooth way of saying, “Linux for ex-Windows users.” The forums are filled with people complaining about how much Linux isn’t like Windows, how it’s too difficult, how average morons will never be able to figure it out. And then the long-term Linux users retort with anecdotes of babies using it because it’s so god-damned easy. Flame wars ensue.
Joe Sixpack must die, and so should your fucking grandma. These two people are always called in whenever anyone has anything brain-meltingly ignorant to say. Joe Sixpack is a strawman of epic proportions. He’s so stupid, he probably needs reminding that he needs to breathe in order to live. “I don’t have a problem switching my computer on, but until manufacturers make them easier to switch on, computers will never appeal to Joe Sixpack.” Who is this brain-achingly pathetic individual, any way? It’s the fallacy of assuming that every single person in the world is pig-ignorant and to all intents and purposes a mindless drone. It’s elitist bullshit. In real life, nobody is so fucking retarded, not even retards are that fucking dumb.
Any way, the things people come up with which would make Linux more appealing is usually along the lines of
- Make installing really-new software easier!
- Make drivers more commonplace!
- Make it so the average noob never has to use the terminal!
- Make Windows applications run in Wine easier!
- A prompt offering to install media codecs when you play an mp3 for the first time is too difficult for people. They need it out of the box, like Windows!!
Never mind how retarded most of those ideas are, or how true or false they are. The point is all of these people are completely missing the fucking point. Do you know how many Windows licences are due to sales of those pretty boxes you see in computer shops? It’s about five per cent, apparently. The rest of the licences are due to OEM installations and bulk licence sales for businesses. That means the vast majority of people only use Windows because that’s what came with their computer when they bought it. On the other hand, 95% of Linux users actually had to make an effort to use it. I have two computers with Linux installed on both of them, yet both of the things have Windows activation keys taped on the side. Is it any wonder then that there are so few of us Lunix users? Microsoft owes its dominance entirely to pre-installs, and anyone who doubts that is a fucking moron.
So what is the solution to getting more people using Linux? It’s simple. Have it installed on the god-damned machines in the first place. Don’t have them available only as an online option. Don’t install a shitty distro that doesn’t even work properly, either. Actually have Linux machines up and running in the god-damned shop, right next to the Windows machines. Have a sign up telling people, “No. Your god-damned Windows applications won’t work on this. Linux has its own applications you idiot,” to stave off the morons who think it’s a cheap version of Windows.
People will see these machines and then they will buy them. You will get a lot of people returning them because “ZOMG I can’t play Crysis with this!!!eleven” You won’t sell quite so many, because people like to go with what they know. But the fact is, Linux usage will increase enormously overnight. So many of the bullshit problems people complain about with Linux can be solved with pre-installs. I mean, hey, have you ever installed Windows lately? The actual retail edition, and not the optimised disk image that came with the computer you bought, I mean. It ain’t fucking pretty. Shit won’t work without the drivers. MP3s and DVDs don’t work out of the box, either. If the average Joe fucking retard Sixpack can’t figure that shit out on Linux, how the fuck is he going to manage with Windows? Any way, guess what will happen when enough people have bought these machines. Hardware and peripheral manufacturers will be falling over themselves to provide support. Why? Because they’d make a butt-tonne of money, that’s why. And then all of a sudden, Linux computers all of a sudden become a viable option all of a sudden all of a sudden.
A solution, then, for getting more Linux users. Is this happening? No. So is this the year of Linux on the desktop? Hell no.