Selling Linux to Windows Users

Michael Haney thezorch at
Wed Dec 10 15:35:22 UTC 2008

On Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 10:13 AM, H.S. <hs.samix at> wrote:
> Dotan Cohen wrote:
>> KDE crashes on me regularly.
> I am using KDE primarily on one of my machines. It doesn't crash. This
> Debian Testing so your setup on Ubuntu may be the problem.

I've been running Kubuntu for a several months now.  Once I let my
system run for a week without a reboot and not one crash or any other
anomalous problem.  Tried that with a Windows XP machine and by the
end of the week it was so slow and bogged down it took forever to do
simple tasks.

I tried KDE originally in an early version of Redhat many many many
years ago.  The KDE of today is very different, and better than the
KDE of that era.  This was in the late 90's.

>>> 4 No matter what people say about Linux having viruses, I have yet to
>>> see one in the wild. Has anyone here EVER seen one? I sure did with
>>> Windows!!
>> This is a valid point.
> This is one big reason that I always suggest Ubuntu to senior users are
> just starting to use a computer for email and internet stuff. No need to
> worry about keeping virus definitions up to date. No need to install
> resource hogging anti-virus software. The peace of mind this gives for
> the maintainer of the machine is unparalleled!

I've yet to see one myself.  I used to get lots of viruses in XP when
I used AVG Antivirus, I've since switched to Avast Home Edition and
I've been virus free ever since.  Best free AV software for Windows
ever made.  Norton and McAfee suck, and that's the clean PG rated
version of what I really wanted to say about them.  Most AV software
for Linux is meant to for scanning emails to protect Windows clients
that connect to the server.

>>> 8 Install new software by typing one line.
>> Some people prefer to click their way to software installation. But I
>> give you this one!
> Plus, no need to for a fast internet connection to maintain the remote
> machine. A shell is all one needs. Again, huge benefit.

True, most basic maintenance of a Linux box can be done via a terminal
connection which works fine on a 56k modem connection.

>>> 9 Remove software without messing up the OS.
>> Agreed in a general sense.
> It is difficult to exaggerate the usefulness of this point. How many
> times Windows users have been very afraid to remove older programs know
> knowing what will break afterwards! Again, a huge advantage.
> I think the good thing to take from this thread is that a user prefers
> whatever he is familiar and comfortable with. Comfort comes with
> familiarity. So if a virgin user is started off on Ubuntu, he will feel
> comfortable with time (the same way he would have felt with Windows).
> And judging from debate on this thread, there is hardly any big reason
> to not introduce new users to Ubuntu for typical basic computer usage.

Windows has actually improve in this area, surprisingly.  It used to
be under the very earliest versions of Windows (3.0, 3.1) which ran on
top of MS/PC-DOS removing a program might get rid of a .DLL which was
shared by other applications.  It didn't happen often but it was known
to happen and those early versions of Windows didn't have good
safeguards to protect system files back then.  I think it was Windows
98SE which started to really take a proactive approach to protecting
system files.  Win95 warned if you were going to delete a .DLL that
was still used by another program and let you know a .DLL was no
longer linked to anything.  XP and Vista both protect the system files
more actively now.  In Linux I know the libraries work different but
still serve a similar purpose to Windows' .DLL libraries.  What
remains a big problem in Windows but isn't so much a problem in Linux
is the fact that software installers don't often clean up after
themselves when uninstall applications.  Often they'll leave the
program directory intact with a few files in it and lots of Registry
entries that are no longer needed.  To my knowledge Linux doesn't have
anything like the Windows Registry but uses text based config files.
These can be a double edged sword, on one hand they are easier to
modify and take up less room than the Windows Registry which can grow
to become several hundred MBs, but on the other hand there are a lot
of them and keeping track of them all and where they are can be a

Michael "TheZorch" Haney
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Free Your Computer from the Tyranny of Microsoft

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