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Re: Users ready for Debian on the Desktop

Seems to me that almost all of the objections to Debian in particular are
based on installation difficulties. Since most computers sold come with the
o/s pre-installed that issue no longer exists as soon as the vendors wake up.

Point of interest one our local Wintel vendors provides OO for Win with what
he sells. The thin of the wedge is in.


I agree that the difficulty of installing Debian should NOT be the primary criterion for judging its fitness for desktop use. You are also correct that most MS users do nt install their own OS. Getting OSMs to offer non-MS OSs as an alternative is a step in the right direction, but unless the install is so simple that the average person can do it themselves withno real difficulty the huge installed base of MS customers will remain out of reach for the time being.

I think that it is great that you have a local vendor offering OOo as an option. It does show that open source is beginning drive a wedge, as you put it. But, given the difficulty of the install and the reluctance of most people to reinstall an OS, I think that our main focus needs to be promoting cross-platform apps first. Eventually people will grow accustomed to their new open source apps (as they have with MS Office, Adobe Photoshop, and others) and will feel little pain when their new computer comes preinstalled with Debian, RedHat, Mandrake, or whatever (because it has all the same apps).

I myslef have been trying to get as many people as a I know to switch to Linux, but is slow going. I am having much more success switching people to OOo, GIMP, and Mozilla on windows. I usually keepo a CD with me that has all three so that I can copy it on the spot or simply give it away.

As an aside, I have found that the most effective way to get people to switch, is to show them that the open source apps will do MORE than their current apps. Two examples:

-The new OOo 1.1 Beta will export directly to PDF.  MS Office can't do this.
-Mozilla lets you block all popups and use custom style sheets to filter most ads (not sure if Netscape can also do this)

Based on those two thing I have been able to convert several people over. We need more of the same from other open source apps (i.e., better security and better features). Wth that, we can conquer the world, or at least bring down MS.

(Sorry for the length.  I dnidn't mean for this to turn into such a rant.)


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