Saturday, July 12, 2008

Stop complaining:Linux is OK for average consumer

I always wonder why people keep complain about the usability of Linux on the desktop PC.I am sure they must be the people who never tried Linux or must be living under some rock.The usability of Linux has improved leaps and bounds over the last two years thanks to the likes of Ubuntu.People who have been using Ubuntu vouch for it.In fact, I set up Ubuntu on my home PC for my parents and they never complained about it.If they could use without any pain then anybody can try it.It never catches viruses and it's free too.Personally my evangelism influenced more than ten people to try Linux.Hmm,that's a good number to me at least.Most people I talked to have the perception that Linux is all about command line UI.This is the problem.Without even trying Linux they are forming opinions.

Linux may not be ready to replace Windows but it is certainly a good choice to consider. Personally I encourage people who use piracy versions of Windows to try out Linux.If you can't afford Windows then Linux is a really good choice and it can do every thing average consumer wants it to.It can do multimedia, web browsing, productivity etc. without giving you much pain.Linux is perfect for people who run internet cafes in countries like India.

Having said that, I am not against Windows and it has its own strengths like vast eco system and huge ISV support.I attribute Windows success mainly to MS Office.Yes,that's right.Most people use Windows because it can run MS Office.Macs too can run Office software but there are other issues like cost,lack of hardware flexibility and Apple's lack of enterprise ambitions limited its uptake.I am sure if Microsoft releases Office software for Unix/Linux platform one day then it can also be on par with Windows.There are alternatives to MS Office like Open Office, Star Office,IBM's Symphony and web based offerings like Google Docs,Zoho but MS Office still beats them. There are likes of Wine to run Windows softwares on Linux but it's still a long shot.

Linux has achieved significant success in the server and embedded markets but its desktop position is nowhere near it wants to be.This is partly because of lack of strong support from commercial Linux vendors, ISVs, PC manufacturers and you can list few more.So what happens to Linux then?The recent happenings suggests that it still has a lot of life left in it.The emergence of sub-notebook, mobile internet device and smart phone markets should help its uptake.

5 comments:

Amit said...

Hi Sravan,

Its good to see ppl are coming up advocating Linux. I am working for open source from past 8 years and converted many organizations from Microsoft or proprietary software to Linux and trained more than 15000 engg all over India for IBM open source software and I can tell u, Linux suits well to all not just for average consumer. Desktop now a days is so well designed now and we are deploying at present in many org.
Lot many to share....
Neeraj

Amit said...

Hi Sravan,

Its good to see ppl are coming up advocating Linux. I am working for open source from past 8 years and converted many organizations from Microsoft or proprietary software to Linux and trained more than 15000 engg all over India for IBM open source software and I can tell u, Linux suits well to all not just for average consumer. Desktop now a days is so well designed now and we are deploying at present in many org.
Lot many to share....
Neeraj

Sravan Kundojjala said...

That's great to know Amit.I truly appreciate your effort.Linux has great potential but wrong perceptions are the main barrier for its uptake on the desktop PC.Server and Devices market it's doing quite well.

R,G, said...

About the Office part... I find OpenOffice to be pretty fantastic as far as features go. However, it is a sloggish. There are many alternatives also... AbiWord for example.

And of course... Linux based OS-es are growing by leaps and bounds... :)

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