[ubuntu-uk] Example of difficulty to Convert MS users

Gordon Burgess-Parker gbplinux at gmail.com
Wed Jun 8 16:12:19 UTC 2011

On 08/06/2011 16:24, Grant Sewell wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 8, 2011 at 1:10 PM, J Fernyhough<j.fernyhough at gmail.com>  wrote:
>> On 8 June 2011 11:00, Jon Reynolds<maillist at jcrdevelopments.com>  wrote:
>>> My dad uses Windows and recently it completely crashed and the local
>>> computer shop said it needed reinstalling. So he lost all his programs.
>> <snip?
>>> Just maddened me a bit because he was willing to try free software... just
>>> didn't have enough willingness to learn a little bit more.
>>> Ho hum.
>> I reformatted my parents' laptops, made Ubuntu the single OS on one,
>> and made it the default boot in a dual-boot with Windows on the other
>> (they needed software that wouldn't run under WINE). They had no
>> option but to learn how to use it.
>> I feel I should throw in a "muahaha!"
>> Jonathon
> My advice to (some) who are willing to try Linux systems is to keep
> Windows installed, but don't make it an option in the boot menu -
> making it unnecessarily hard to boot into Windows has meant that some
> of them have been more inclined to figure out how to do XYZ in Linux
> rather than "just boot into Windows coz I now how to do it there".
I think that's a bit simplistic.
The major problem (IMHO) in using Linux instead of Windows for ordinary 
users, is the difficulty with Office 2007 and 2010 documents, which are 
becoming more and more
Email and web browsing is dead easy - it's the incompatibilities of 
OOXML format documents with the Office suites available on Linux (Open 
Office, Libre Office and all the others) that would seem to be the 
problem, particularly as a) prior versions of Office are now being 
replaced by 2007 and 2010 in which OOXML is the default and b) it would 
seem to be the norm that Windows hides extensions of known file types by 
default now such that the average user doesn't even KNOW they are saving 
and opening OOXML files...
For example I've just opened a docx document designed as a tri-fold 
brochure, in Libre Office. Because of the way Word is used, this 
document makes use of tables with invisible borders. On opening this 
even in Libre Office 3.4, the latest version, the formatting is all OVER 
the place. It was actually easier to re-create the document from scratch 
rather than to try to sort the formatting out...
That to me is the main obstacle in the take up of Linux - most of the 
popular distros just "work out of the box" for most things now a days. 
There's not a lot of figuring out to do. The other functions that the 
average user uses in Windows, burning music CDs, sorting pictures etc 
etc are very similar and very easy to use. It's this that is the problem...

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