[ubuntu-uk] Ubuntu/Linux is still not an OS for the masses - discuss

Alan Pope alan at popey.com
Wed Oct 13 13:49:10 BST 2010

On 13 October 2010 12:08, John Matthews <jakewc2 at sky.com> wrote:
> Those who know, always seem to be those that stand there and say Ubuntu is
> easy, easier than windows.

It's easy if you know what you're doing. Same as rocket science or
brain surgery. It's all about perspective. Many people who say 'ubuntu
is easy' are almost always people who have had the pain of
administering Windows systems for years and come to Ubuntu with that
baggage. They probably find that Ubuntu fits their brain better and
they feel at home with the way stuff works.

> If it was easy, and easier than windows, why did
> so many people, when the big drive a few years back to to have Ubuntu
> preinstalled, take their computers back.

They didn't.


"Dell attributes part of the Linux growth to competitive pricing on
the Ubuntu SKUs. “When you look at the sweet spot for this category it
is price sensitivity, and Linux enabled us to offer a lower price
entry point,” added Dell senior product manager John New.

According to Dell, the the return rate of Ubuntu running Mini 9s are
comparable to the XP rate, which we are told is “very low.” “Our focus
has been making sure that before the order is taken is that the
customer knows what he is getting,” New added."

> I know in places like Dixons and
> Curries' which is where I bought my Netbook, the guys behind the counter
> told me they got most of them back, because people couldnt even get their
> internet connection to work, showds that was a waste of time. So saying,
> preinstalled Ubuntu would make a difference, I think you'll find those that
> did sell preinstalled, would tell you different.

I wouldn't use Dixons / Currys as a shining example of IT Knowledge in
the retail space. The vast majority of them are (in my personal
opinion) clueless. They read the card next to the device they're
selling, just a few seconds before the customer does, and then read it
out. They're not trained in Linux/Ubuntu so they don't have a clue
about it, spreading misinformation along the way. It also doesn't help
that Microsoft actually provide materials to stores which dismisses


> I know my experiences tell me as somebody who isnt a programmer and who
> basically self taught, say it isnt easy, and, help, well, that is another
> matter. There is so much and so many different things to look for when you
> have Ubuntu, that its confusing to say the least.

So is Windows. It's just that most people are used to Windows because
it's been around a long time and people have it pre-installed on their
computer when it comes out of the gate.

> Windows as much as I hate it, is easier to set up than Ubuntu.

I disagree. I recently installed Windows XP on my desktop computer for
some light gaming. It took the best part of a day to get the OS and
all the necessary patches and drivers located and installed. Some of
the drivers are quite hard to find. The printer driver alone was
hundreds of megs download. Even if I used the most up to date Windows
7 DVD it would still require significant pain to setup.

With Ubuntu I put the CD in, ran the installer and all the updates and
software I needed was done in an hour and two reboots.

> So to say, its easier
> than windows, and its the users fault, I think that is not a good thing to
> put over. Sorry. I have said this myself before, it wont be program for
> masses.

I have had very few calls from my mum asking for help with her Ubuntu
system. She uses the same kinds of apps most people do.


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