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Re: barriers to adopting Linux by newbies
On Tuesday, March 9, 2004, at 05:57 AM, Bryan J. Smith wrote:
> Microsoft controls distribution at Best Buy, so you won't find it
Bummer. Then again maybe not. That makes them a great target for
"buy-and-return-with-linux." This is similar to the Windows refund in
that you buy a computer, install linux, and ask for the refund as
mentioned in the EULA. But when they say "there is no refund" (which
has happened every time I've asked), instead of taking them to court or
writing letters or whatever, you return the entire box with linux
installed and get your money back for the entire box. Then buy another
box from the same or a different store. Wash, rinse, repeat. A good
length of time is to hold on to the box for one day less than the limit
on their return policy. Just be sure the machine and the container box
is in resellable condition.
> However, my local Staples and OfficeMax (less than 2 miles away) have
> it. My two local CompUSAs (within 25 miles) have it as well.
That's good news.
>> I agree that MS plays dirty. But having Windows pre-installed is
>> a barrier to adoption.
> Of course. But tier-1 OEMs aren't about to upset Microsoft or
> they will lose those R&D dollars.
Right. What can be done about that?
>> Sorry. My bad. What I meant is an Internet connection directly to MS
>> via phone (modem). I haven't used Windows in a while. But I remember
>> it was super-simple to connect to MSN (or whatever the MS ISP is
>> called) via the modem. In fact, it took some hunting to figure out
>> to connect to an ISP other than MS.
> Of course. That's just vendor preference/lock-in.
Yes. But still a barrier to adoption.
> Many OEMs offer the same.
>> I don't follow. What is being scaled?
> A vendor can provide more for less money if it sells the most volume.
That's a good definition. But what does that have to do with
decreasing the barriers to linux adoption?
>> The point of me asking the question of what are the barriers is to
>> identify what they are and then figure out how to address them.
> I was just pointing out that Linux vendors _do_ offer a _lot_ in both
> standard and available support options.
> If you don't believe me, check out Gartner.
A google for Gartner produces a lot of hits, including the main site:
Is there one or a few particular pages that you had in mind?
Let's just take one example, you have a friend that is a computer
novice and wants to get on the internet. The Microsoft solution is
1) go to local retail computer store
2) buy computer with Windows pre-installed
3) set it up at home (plug in keyboard, mouse, monitor, phone, power)
4) turn on and follow big "Quick-Start" pamphlet or poster
5) agree to EULA
6) connect using MSN or OEM ISP
Apple's Mac with OS X is just as simple (substitute .Mac or Earthlink
for MSN.) In short, Windows and Apple have made it super simple to get
a Windows or Mac OS X machine connected to the Internet. Contrast that
with getting onto the internet using Linux or *BSD. (I haven't seen
the WalMart boxes pre-installed with Linux, so that might be
dirt-simple, too. Anyone know?) Notice the target audience: home
users. We can address business users, gamers, enterprise users, and
Which brings us back to the original question: what are the barriers to
adopting Linux by newbies?
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