Showing Linux to Widows users

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Showing Linux to Widows users

Postby BAD on Tue Mar 04, 2008 6:37 pm

When it comes to Windows users trying Linux I have noticed two types. 1. People who are entrenched with MS software 2. People who do not know much about computers.

I have shown Mint to a few people people who use Widows XP and have lots of software: music, pictures, word documents, power point presentations and an Email client.
These people ask me to show them Linux because they hear bad things about Vista.
Unfortunately I get as far as showing them the live CD then they say that is nice and act like they are to busy, don't have time and say they will have to look into the compatibility later. You guessed it later never comes
Since they have so much data they dismiss MS compatible open source software even Open Office. I point out the cost difference $150 for MS Office and Free for OO and they don't seem to care.
They also tell me they want to buy a new computer but they end up sitting on the fence not looking at Linux also worried about buying Vista.

On the other hand I have shown Linux Mint to people who do not know so much about Computers. These people are willing to install Linux, download updates and software, use the features and learn about Linux.
They also say they like Linux. You guessed it they continue to try it.
I have noticed these people learn more about computer software in 1 day of installing and using Mint than they learned from years of using Windows. True I helped them.

I guess from now on if anyone wants to see Linux I will tell them they must install, update, and try Linux. It only takes a few hours to do that.
If they are not willing to take the time then I know they are entrenched in MS.

What experiences have you had showing people Linux?

Do you have any suggestions to help get people interested in Linux or tips on demonstrating Linux?
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Re: Showing Linux to Widows users

Postby iironjade on Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:47 pm

In the process of buying a secondhand laptop, the shop owner asked me what I was going to do with it. I told him about Linux Mint and when he saw it, he asked me for an installation disc. Everyone who's seen it is intrigued.
Because Linux has no presence on the High Street, no one ever gets to see it in action except when they see it on someone else's computer. Asking about it in a computer store just gets a blank stare or a vague, muttered warning about it being complicated and difficult to use. Like religion, you have to find your own way to it. :)
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Re: Showing Linux to Widows users

Postby psycosmyth on Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:22 am

iironjade wrote:In the process of buying a secondhand laptop, the shop owner asked me what I was going to do with it. I told him about Linux Mint and when he saw it, he asked me for an installation disc. Everyone who's seen it is intrigued.
Because Linux has no presence on the High Street, no one ever gets to see it in action except when they see it on someone else's computer. Asking about it in a computer store just gets a blank stare or a vague, muttered warning about it being complicated and difficult to use. Like religion, you have to find your own way to it. :)


exactly
I am slowly pulling them in myself.
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Re: Showing Linux to Widows users

Postby foggytown on Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:17 am

Years ago, when Michael Robertson was just founding (then) Lindows, he made the observation that Linux could make serious headway on both ends of the computer user spectrum. He stated that new users could use Linux as easily as they do Windows or Macs and he said that power users could be happily satisfied with Linux.

Now we all know how Linspire turned out...but that basic observation still hangs true.

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Re: Showing Linux to Widows users

Postby MagnusB on Thu Mar 06, 2008 5:05 pm

Some times I wonder if I should install Arch or Gentoo on someone's computer, then just leave it after the base installation... Most people are afraid of switching, in fact the best excuse I have heard of using Vista is that "it came pre installed".
Also, many people ask me why I use linux, and I say it is because I like to be in control of my computer, I want to be able to uninstall default applications, I don't want MS policy forced on to my computer etc.
And I can't keep from laughing when people say "Windows just works", and when I point out all the time you use to install 3rd party software (anti spyware, AV, firewall etc), drivers and keeping everything up to date might suggest that it doesn't just work, it needs constant tinkering and a ton of time and effort to keep it stable and working... My last Mint install took me just over 1 hr, and that was because I did something else while it was installing, so there was a wait after completion till I rebooted...
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Re: Showing Linux to Widows users

Postby BAD on Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:15 pm

Reply to Mangus' post

You do not want to install and walk away.
There are differences in software IE7 - Firefox, Word - Open Office and other software. These need to be pointed out.
For example if someone has Open Office and they do what they are used to in Widows Type, Save and Send a document to a friend who has Word the document will be saved as a .odt instead of a .doc. That I know of Word wont open a .odt file.
If am wrong let me know.
The persons first experience will be "Linux" does not work. Also they will not know how to fix it. Most Windows users don't have knowledge about file extensions and compatibility issues.
They will think Linux is too difficult and it does not work. So back to Windows they go.

As you pointed out besides clicking "Next" a few times Windows is preinstalled and just works so Windows users do not learn how to do anything but click, double click and right click.
Remember Windows is mindless for example Windows will connect to your neighbors wireless network at first start up before it connects to your own. It just works. True after you set up the security it wont have that problem.

Think about all the issues: does their printer work what is cheaper a an OEM Windows OS or a fancy new combo printer. Does all their hardware work who wants to buy a new video card or sound card, how about laptops Lo Jack for laptops does not work with Linux.
Remember is Linux Free nothing more required or Free as in software but you need to buy a few things to get it to work.
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Re: Showing Linux to Widows users

Postby MagnusB on Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:36 pm

BAD wrote:Reply to Mangus' post

You do not want to install and walk away.
There are differences in software IE7 - Firefox, Word - Open Office and other software. These need to be pointed out.
For example if someone has Open Office and they do what they are used to in Widows Type, Save and Send a document to a friend who has Word the document will be saved as a .odt instead of a .doc. That I know of Word wont open a .odt file.
If am wrong let me know.

Office supports ODF, you just have to install an addon (not widely advertised one either). However, I mentioned this as a joke, as a base Arch or Gentoo installation is next to installing DOS, the average windows user will not have an idea on what to do.
BAD wrote:The persons first experience will be "Linux" does not work. Also they will not know how to fix it. Most Windows users don't have knowledge about file extensions and compatibility issues.
They will think Linux is too difficult and it does not work. So back to Windows they go.

This is an issue that could easily be solved with an OEM installation of Linux, like Dell. Ohh, and an OEM installation of Windows needs a cleanup after 6 months use (or about that), with NORMAL use. Windows "just works" slower and slower.. And it seems like the threshold for Linux is much higher than Windows. I have seen people complaining that not all their drivers works out of the box (none work in Windows), I have seen reviews complaining about poor java support out of the box (again, none in Windows) and the list keeps going on. It also reminds about the comments at BTJunkie on BeleniX (Open Solaris). But most people expect a free duplicate of Windows, when things don't work the way they are used to, they get frustrated and give up..
BAD wrote:As you pointed out besides clicking "Next" a few times Windows is preinstalled and just works so Windows users do not learn how to do anything but click, double click and right click.
Remember Windows is mindless for example Windows will connect to your neighbors wireless network at first start up before it connects to your own. It just works. True after you set up the security it wont have that problem.

The weird thing is that the average user has trouble maintaining Windows, and in fact are so accustomed to Windows quirks and errors they don't see them for what it is. The good olde "The program has performed an illegal operation" error message gives no real information about what went wrong, yet the average user will think they did something wrong and accept this. Programs do not perform illegal operation. And yes, you are right, people seem to think that being able to configure your system is a bad thing that makes it complicated..
BAD wrote:Think about all the issues: does their printer work what is cheaper a an OEM Windows OS or a fancy new combo printer. Does all their hardware work who wants to buy a new video card or sound card, how about laptops Lo Jack for laptops does not work with Linux.
Remember is Linux Free nothing more required or Free as in software but you need to buy a few things to get it to work.

Printer support gets better day by day, heck, HP claims to have all their printers supported in Linux (at least I think so). And yes, some hardware are still unsupported in Linux, but it gets better every year. I think this year we can see some interesting development on video card support (ATI & nVidia), hopefully more wireless devices will get supported (preferably natively, but some will still require ndiswrapper). And a OEM license of Windows is good for 1 computer, just the one it came bundled with. This means you have to buy a new license EACH time you buy a new computer, and with each version of Windows gets more and more bloated, you will keep buying licenses. I guess we have at least 3 licenses of XP laying around here that are not used (I personally have 3 Vista licenses, none used, 2 XP licenses, 1 used). So, no, I don't think using Windows will be cheaper over time...
Ohh, and a funny thing with ndiswrapper: Some cards actually performs better with ndiswrapper than they do in Windows. Now, that's embarrassing.
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Re: Showing Linux to Widows users

Postby JAK on Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:29 pm

Karl Marx is famous for having said: “Windows is the opiate of the masses.” Well, really he said “religion” is the opiate, but the result is the same. People feel “safe” being part of the herd instead of roaming off in another direction where quite possibly, there are greener pastures. “When the student is ready, the Master will appear”. This can be said for Linux as well. Microsoft has many years of brainwashing as a desktop OS for the people. MS has established an expectation of what a desktop experience should be like and for some people anything other than that is too much for them to grasp. You can't just snap someone out of their Windows daze overnight. Those who are interested will come around,... leave the rest alone. There is no point in forcing Linux on people who just don't care about anything other than MS Windows. Don't feel like you need to be on a mission to convert Windows users to Linux. Vista will eventually drive them crazy enough to look for an alternative. Just look at Apple sales since the release of Vista-- there's your proof.
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Re: Showing Linux to Widows users

Postby MagnusB on Fri Mar 07, 2008 3:43 am

And the increased "Switching from Vista" topics on the forums....
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Re: Showing Linux to Widows users

Postby iironjade on Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:36 am

Most people aren't exposed to Linux as they are with Windows or Macintosh: there are no ad campaigns, no heavily publicised launches or tv coverage. Until that happens (probably never), Linux' impact on the mass market home user will be negligible. This is sad because most people probably couldn't care less what OS they have as long as it works and meets their needs.
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Re: Showing Linux to Widows users

Postby BAD on Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:53 pm

Ronjade makes a good point

Most people have little or no exposure to Linux.

For example I have asked computer sales people questions about hardware compatibility with Linux. I always get the same answer try some specific manufacturer they usually have odd drivers. Sales people don't know anything about Linux and customers don't find out about options.
Mass retailers do not want to train sales people and they especially do not want to pay to train sales people. If their sales people actually knew anything they would want a raise. They would say I knew 1 OS before and I made $8.00/hr now I know 2 OS's I want $12/hr.
Also Retailers cant take a cut out of free. So there is no incentive.

The point of this post us to figure out better ways to introduce Linux to others
That is why only you can promote Linux Mint.

True Dell sells 1 laptop with Ubuntu which is a great start but they have that warning. *If you’re here by mistake and you are looking for a Dell PC with Windows, please use the following link. That is enough to scare off any Windows user.
* http://www.dell.com/content/topics/segt ... ~ck=anavml
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Re: Showing Linux to Widows users

Postby midknight on Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:36 am

iironjade wrote:Most people aren't exposed to Linux as they are with Windows or Macintosh: there are no ad campaigns, no heavily publicised launches or tv coverage. Until that happens (probably never), Linux' impact on the mass market home user will be negligible. This is sad because most people probably couldn't care less what OS they have as long as it works and meets their needs.

EXACTLY
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Re: Showing Linux to Widows users

Postby Zero Prime on Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:35 am

It's really bad when custom PC retailers say that Linux is freeware and that all freeware is buggy and bad for a system. We actually have techs that will tell you this in a heart beat. I once went to one of the more prominent repair shops in my area to get a new power supply and was talking to the head tech. He was complaining about all the Vista machines he had to fix. I told him about Linux and he laughed. He said that if it was any good then he would have to pay for it and that it is considered freeware. I asked him how many Linux PCs he has seen come in his shop and he said none. I then reminded him that out of over 90,000 people in this town if he thinks I am the only one running Linux and also reminded him of all the Linux based servers here. I then pointed out all the Windows computers that he said were loaded with viruses and spyware that he had to fix v/s the fact that he has never seen a Linux PC enter his shop and asked. Why would anyone really want to pay for something that ends up here if they knew about an alternative?

It's ideas like this that are forced into the public mind that makes it harder to spread Linux.
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Re: Showing Linux to Widows users

Postby lakehousetech on Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:04 am

You certainly can't beat Linux for security and stability, but in defending that I have had some really negative responses. I recently got into an argument with an IT guy who develops .NET full time. He initially claimed that he was a Linux guy at heart, but after we begin talking more about it he changed his tune claiming that the Windows systems he works on everyday are clearly more secure than any UNIX or LINUX system could ever hope to be. He also criticized Linux for lack of consistency because of the different desktop options (KDE/Gnome/XFCE), and application differences...The things that have attracted me to Linux in the first place....having a choice for a change!
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Re: Showing Linux to Widows users

Postby BAD on Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:33 am

Re: Zero and Lake
You two make a good point about people who work with Windows not wanting to learn Linux. Why would they? They make plenty of money repairing and maintaining Windows.

Zero.
I stopped shopping at small shops last time I went to one I asked for a motherboard for an AMD 2000mhz cpu and the clerk said I have one left and I will sell it to you for $70 I laughed and walked out. I went to Fry's and got an AMD 3000mhz cpu and a motherboard for $60. Also I bought two motherboards from small shops one was broken and he other didn't work and I have know others who have had problems.
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Re: Showing Linux to Widows users

Postby BAD on Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:27 am

Kids are such punks
I was showing some 9 - 10 year old kids Linux and the software installed.
After a few minutes of watching me they would think they knew everything. If I forgot to click something they would get frustrated with me push me out of the way and say No this is so easy you just do this and this see.
Excuse me I didn't realize you were such the expert.
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Re: Showing Linux to Widows users

Postby iironjade on Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:48 am

BAD wrote:Kids are such punks
I was showing some 9 - 10 year old kids Linux and the software installed.
After a few minutes of watching me they would think they knew everything. If I forgot to click something they would get frustrated with me push me out of the way and say No this is so easy you just do this and this see.
Excuse me I didn't realize you were such the expert.


The frightening thing is they probably are. :shock:
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Re: Showing Linux to Widows users

Postby ed@Mint on Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:43 am

I really wish Microsoft to find an effective anti-piracy solution that works.
If _everybody_ really had to pay their Windows and MS Office stuff, i'm sure a lot more people would turn to Linux much more easily.

I don't know how the situation is in the US, but here in Belgium, Europe, i can tell you that i know really few people who actually paid for their MS software, apart from those who bought a laptop with it preinstalled.

[myLife]
If i may, i'll just describe my experience :
I myself have recently bought a dell laptop, which, of course, came with Vista.
This is the really _first_ time i have an official Microsoft license (and i've been using computers since Windows 3.11) and i'm glad about it.
It is a nice feeling to get to install all updates without worrying about enforced anti-piracy update.
So, i decided to quit using cracked software and thus, there's no way for me to pay for MS Office, for instance.

I know the existence of Linux since around 1999. I installed and used it for the first time in 2003 (Mandrake). I've always loved the Linux way to do things but i always kept on coming back to windows.
This was so until i installed Linux Mint about a month ago... I'm really happy with it, and i've finally found the distro that makes me stick to it full-time.
The only reason why i eventually boot vista back is to do some C#/.NET programming for my studies.
[/myLife]

so, to conclude, if i hadn't had the opportunity to keep using MS cracked stuff, i could have switched to Linux back in 1999...
Stop cracking Microsoft ! :wink:
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Re: Showing Linux to Widows users

Postby Mattd4AX3 on Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:18 am

I paid for my windows...

The OS really isn't that bad, it's just full of security holes and it's a system hog, MS has the resources and talented coders to start a new OS from the ground up that would be better than every other OS, their just too lazy to start doing it, hopefully windows 7 is recoded a bit.

Linux is actually easier in my opinion to first-time computer users, all the apps are right there and ready to be used.
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Re: Showing Linux to Widows users

Postby iironjade on Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:27 pm

If it weren't for Microsoft the world would either be paying over the odds for Apple pcs or still bashing out reams of code to make Linux work. MS, for good or ill, brought the home computer within reach of almost everyone on the planet: no small feat. This appears to have forced Linux, for home users, to raise its game and create distros which are user friendly and more like Windows than ever, at least in terms of normal domestic usage. This is probably the only way it could ever come close to competing with Microsoft.
Vista, XP etc. are the computing equivalent of driving a car without knowing anything about how it works and as Mint provides a similarly easy to use interface, there's no wonder it's popular: I don't know anything about programing or CML and I don't really want or need to. This is the key to a succesful OS for non-geeks like me. :)
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