[Bug 1] Re: Microsoft has a majority market share

^rooker translator at duckburg.cjb.net
Sat Jul 12 13:46:52 UTC 2008

Sorry for sounding rude.

My critization of the teacher's reaction was related to lack of support
*for* them. They have a hard time dealing with the children, and since
most of them are from a non-computer generation, they're really having a
hard time: no time, no budget, no support... I'd get grumpy too!

Of course their complaints *are* valid. It's great to see that a lot of
FOSS apps are getting more and more user friendly, but without the users
being willing to work with these "new" (different) applications, it's
hard to get a foot in the door. If someone *wants* to use Free Software,
she/he is also willing to tolerate some effort getting into it (or
working around present bugs) - and it's the exact opposite if someone
feels being forced to use something (e.g. Admins just installing
GNU/Linux in schools - without full consent of their colleagues)

You said:
"I don't think education is particularly the issue. Windows is no more ubiquitous in schools and universities than it is in every other area."

(It might not be *the* thing to focus on, but I think it's a valid bottom-up strategy with a positive, long term impact)
Sure, but an argument against any non-mainstream application (or OS) I hear very, very often is: lack of know how.
A lot of companies couldn't run their servers on anything else than Windows, because they simply have noone who knows enough about alternatives (or their existence).
That's where education kicks in: If you've seen/worked/learned how to handle e.g. GNU/Linux, you can continue to do so in a company you'll work for later on. Do trainings, etc...

Parents argument against free software, because they *want* their kids
to be skilled with mainstream apps: "Why are you teaching my kid this
OpenOffice thing? It's not used in "the real world" - please teach them
the "real" office, so they have a valuable skill in their CV"


Same situation on the home-desktop:
No matter what problem you have with e.g. Windows, just go round the corner to find someone who can help you. 
I wasn't able to setup my friends' computers on GNU/Linux before I hadn't gained the knowledge to also support them - because there's noone around their or my neighbourhood to help out. Sad, but true.

So that's also a reason why "shipping computers with GNU/Linux" alone
won't make amends - Without someone supporting, teaching and helping
them to use their new, better OS, they could end up turning against
FOSS, because their first experience was: "WTF? Where is...? Why...?
setup.exe won't run! Where's Photoshop? -  help! anyone? anyone...?

You know what their local IT salesman/specialist will tell them: "Why aren't you using Windows? I could help you with Windows!"
If the neighbour kid (which is very often the local IT specialist ;-)  ), learned about GNU/Linux at school, that situation would look different. If not now, then at least in a few years. 

Maybe it's better in England, but here that's the unfortunate status

At university I've also "seen" *nix like OS, but they were never explained to us. Most of my co-students had a hard time dealing with the shell - and they were complaining, why we have to use "this complicated OS". Additionally, when a professor held a class, you saw PowerPoint presentation on Windows. In 5 years at university I saw only *one* lecturer not using PowerPoint. Some professors even *demanded* (!!) that you hand you work in as .doc file - What happens? Students of computer science (!) hand in their diploma thesis as .doc file - because they've never seen Latex.

Microsoft has a majority market share
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