[ubuntu-za] Karma vs Windows 7

Quintin Beukes quintin at last.za.net
Sun Oct 25 19:18:23 GMT 2009

> Ubuntu isn't better then windows in all situations.

100% true... At least, not yet ;> Though it is better in many ways
that matter, except for the biggest.

> Take some one grandfather that is 90odd years old that has learnt he
> can read his families emails by pressing the little green button that
> says start in the bottom left hand side of the screen and clicking the
> .......... You get the point.(Very over the top example but most of
> the computer world is in a similar situation where they just do things
> by heart and if any thing was to change their computing knowledge
> would well cease to be useful)
> How would one even try and get them to learn something new? Is there
> any thing to gain from this?

And this is the biggest. It's actually amazing that you mentioned
this. I've said the same things many times. People are "used to
Windows". That's the biggest uphill battle for any other OS. When you
buy a PC you get Windows. You always know someone's kid who is "good
with computers" and can help you with your "Windows". Hell, Windows is
so natural these days, some people even say "I have a problem with my
Windows, can you help me", instead of saying "I have a problem with my
computer, can you help me". Though coming back to psychology, there is
actually something to be gained in this - a topic for another time.

> The question isn't how to promote Ubuntu as a better choice of OS. It
> is rather how to promote users to try and exprience new things and in
> the proccess find something that they feel works for them.

Maybe a bit much too ask for the average human? People don't like
discovery. Some never do, the rest loose it when they reach a certain
age. You need to do the work for them, which I what I meant when I
said one should take their hand and lead them into it. The FOSS mind
set should be thrown out of the picture. Open Source will, even if it
becomes the norm, remain a geeky thing. For others it will just be
what they use. They don't care about this, they just want something
that works. It's hard for me to explain this... I hope you get the

> I tried Ubuntu due to my geeky nature but I can promises one thing
> without the vast amounts of support I got from both the forum [1] and
> irc [2] [3] there is absolutely no way I would have even tried as much
> as I did, to get my first Ubuntu installed and working 100% with my
> graphic card issues.

Which is exactly why such a campaign needs to be backed by integration
and after-sale support.

> Some basic things I feel floss/ubuntu has over other proprietary products.
> 1) Support:  (Personally I feel this is one of the biggest pulls to
> floss in general, Users support Users)

But again, only for the geekiness in some of us. For the rest, they
just want to pick up the phone or take their computer somewhere.

> 2) Repositories:  Apt/deb and Yum/rpm .... how amazing is it to have a
> up to date (and tested) repo for installing almost all applications
> and keeping them all updated with the latest security patches via a
> simple to use GUI/CLI application.

Super amazing. It's why I've left all my other distros in the dust.

> 3) Community:  floss is more then a product it is a community prime
> example I can think of is get_ubuntu [4] can any one else name a
> commuity that is willing to download/burn and distribute CD's to those
> that aren't able to download them.

Very true. But also the biggest weakness.

> 4) Choice: You chose what works for you. Ubuntu, RHEL, Suse, Mint.....
> KDE GNOME, Openbox, **box the choice is endless for those that need it
> and the freedom to mix and match with out the fear of breaking some
> sort of license agreement.

Though, the choices for the average person is small. They will only
allow them to choose what was made available to them. And they'll
choose once, the best option and try and stick with it. They'll only
change when a better choice is "proven" to them in such a way as to
make them feel secure.

> 5) Free: I say this very technically and with out legal backing. I
> mean in the terms of freedom to use/distribute/copy and not in the
> terms of costs! I am fully prepared (and have) to pay products that I
> personally feel I use and are worth it.

Freedom. A powerful concept.

> Those are my five reasons I could think of and was prepared to write
> down. I hope that every one reading this will at least take one thing
> from it.

Very good summary. I'm archiving your e-mail :> Thanks.

> It is one thing to try and get people to think Ubuntu is the best, It
> is another to be the best and have people *want* to try it. -- Cheesy
> I know.  :)

Not at all. It takes a strong person to know and admit that.

But again, people want Linux to become another option. So far it's
just been a toy, used professionally on occasion. For this they need
to understand that the FOSS concept is not the approach to take.
People don't care about this.

The benefits of support everyone talks about, are truly great
benefits. On more than one occasion I've raved about the community
being the best thing there is for FOSS. But where will you find a
mother of 4, searching the Ubuntu forum because she can't get the
e-mail button on her keyboard to open her Thunderbird? She won't even
know what to call these things. She wants to either phone someone or
go somewhere and say "My e-mail doesn't work".

People won't suddenly realize there is another "way" and adopt it.
They cling to the familiar. They only change over time, with the rest
of the world. So for the FOSS way to become thee way, it would have to
happen slowly, and gently. And most probably won't happen at all. So
for the time being we need to give it to them the way they expect it.
You sell it the way people will buy it, not the way you want people to
buy it.

And until people realize this, Ubuntu will just be another enthusiast's toy.

I'm going to calm down now - even though I love this topic - so one
last thing. About what you said:
> It is one thing to try and get people to think Ubuntu is the best, It
> is another to be the best and have people *want* to try it. -- Cheesy
> I know.  :)

It's a balanced thing. Ubuntu will, as long as they have funding,
improve at the rate it has. BUT, if the user base had to start
increasing, so it will start improving faster. It's like


More information about the ubuntu-za mailing list