What sends noobs running back to Windows?

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vladtepes
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What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Post by vladtepes » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:05 pm

We've discussed elsewhere the impediments to getting people to try Linux.

There are three types of computer users:
1. Those who will never try Linux (for reasons in the 'what stops Linux becoming more mainstream' thread)
2. Those who try Linux and run away back to the 'safety' of Windows (or Mac)
3. Those who stick with Linux.

Looking at user group 2 - what reasons do you think send new people running away from Linux?

I think this is the area most important to address, more so than trying to attract higher number of new users in the first instance, because:
- People who go back to another OS will tell their story and discourage others from trying Linux, and
- Higher conversion rates will get the "Linux IS worth it' message out there...


Anyway I think that one of the biggest problems is that someone may find their existing hardware (often expensive existing hardware) not compatible withy Linux. eg if they can't get on line because their wifi receiver isn't compatible.
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Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Post by idle » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:17 pm

1. Software
2. Drivers
3. Games
4. System Backup/rollback

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Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Post by Pierre » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:24 pm

if their Luck in IN & they can just drop the Live Media into their machine,
and that it then boots to a Live Environment,
then they can click on that Install Icon & the Installer does partition the HDD correctly,
and they can then use about half of the drive for Linux & the installation proceeds to completion.

Finally, they can can boot their machine to a working menu & select LinuxMint
& their machine now boots to a working desktop 8)

Do you know, just how many things can go wrong with that lot ? ?.
:roll:

yet - I've actually done that - late last year - with my New 64bit Desktop,
& did exactly that, as described - - it was wonderful to see - - No Issues. None At All.

then they get to this lot:
1. Software
2. Drivers
3. Games
4. System Backup/rollback

as they are Not Content, with a Superbly Working Replacement of Microsoft Windows.
- - they now need to Modify It :o
ie: they are a Potential Linux Guru :mrgreen:
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Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Post by rui no onna » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:33 pm

Apart from hardware support and perhaps not a good enough equivalent to their favorite/most-needed programs, there's also lack of real live person tech support. We may be fine doing multiple Google searches but that's not gonna cut it with most people I've interacted with.

vladtepes wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:05 pm
eg if they can't get on line because their wifi receiver isn't compatible.
This can be an instant dealbreaker. I tried to dual boot Ubuntu Breezy with XP years back on a laptop. Couldn't find a working fix so it was years before I tried Linux again.

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Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Post by Portreve » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:56 pm

This really takes me back to the days of so-called "Winmodem" software-driven modems (and other devices). I've always hated that, but then I hate and refuse to be a part of vendor lock-in. That mindset informs every purchase I make where any form of lock-in is a possibility.

Most computer users are not interested in philosophical pursuits where technology is concerned. Heck, it's hard enough to get people to exercise thoughtful civic responsibility where potentially real life life-or-death outcomes can and do happen.

Microsoft has ALWAYS exploited that. Apple didn't used to, but once Steve Jobs put Apple back on the map with a modern OS and the iPod, they have become progressively more and more exploitative of their users.

The world's "salvation" from Microsoft began with Apple's Think Different and Mac vs. PC ads back in the early 2000s, which got the conversation rolling that what people were experiencing as Windows users was not, in fact, endemic to the world of technology, but rather the result of one particular company's OS and software designs.

The world's "salvation" from Apple, Microsoft, and up to a point strictly proprietary OSs and software was and is Alphabet's Android OS.

The UNIX community and to an extent the GNU+Linux community have of course been responsible for much of the building blocks upon which Mac OS X at the kernel and low-level OS layer is built, and to a far greater extent upon which Android is built. Unfortunately, the GNU+Linux community are, to all practical intents and purposes where the general public is concerned, the unsung heroes.

Wither GNU+Linux? I don't know. I tell people all the time (when and where appropriate; I'm not an obnoxious boob in real life) about LinuxMint or GNU+Linux in general. I try to get people to understand the ethical considerations involved from the standpoints of contract law, intellectual property, and the intersection of politics and public policy with living one's own life. I will obviously make people aware distros are free in the sense of free beer too, but I always strive for the intellectual proposition, not the gut emotional one.
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Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Post by ugly » Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:22 am

I really can only speak for myself about when I get really frustrated using Linux. But I'm not sure how to describe it clearly. And maybe this is a little beyond the scope of 'noobs'.

I think part of the problem can be lack of documentation and feedback. Along with 'moving targets'.

Often times it is difficult for a new, or even a somewhat experienced user to solve a problem on their own. Mostly because it is unclear what is actually causing the problem. And without a clear reason why something isn't working a person can't intuitively solve the problem. And this can sometimes make what should be a simple task, into one that a user has to dump a couple hours into.

Sure, there are man pages. But to a noob, a man page is almost useless.

The option is to do an online search for how to solve the problem. But without knowing what the problem is, an online search can be difficult. And, even if the user can find the correct thing to search for, the issue of 'moving targets' can arise. A solution that worked a couple years ago, might not work now. Occasionally, the file that needs to be edited has been moved somewhere else, or something has been deprecated. It's tough to follow things like that (something like gksudo when moving to LM19 from 18).

Unfortunately, all this stuff kind of bombards a new user. I'd expect a someone who wanted to dip their toes into Linux would probably want to test if Linux is capable of coming close to doing what they could do on Windows. They want to find programs that are similar to the programs they are used to on Windows. A lot of times the equivalent programs are easy to find (sometimes the exact same program is available). But, eventually, they'll want to try something that involves compiling from source. They'll find something on github. There were be a barebones readme with instructions that they can't follow. Some dependency won't be mentioned, or the instructions aren't for the particular flavor of Linux they are using. And the new user won't be able to figure it out.

And it's a tough problem to solve. The software that's on github might be maintained by one person, and they really don't have the time to fully explain how to get it working for everyone. When it comes to a new user there needs to be a lot of hand holding.

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Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Post by rambo919 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:52 am

These days there is the added problem of certain standards like inits, display managers, important packages being deprecated either fast or slow (unity and gksudo being the best examples) and LTS bases changing and most previous forums and tutorials being rather useless..... what common noob under the sun will be able to deal with that level of complexity let alone realize he will now have to limit all search engine results to younger than a year ago IF he makes it that far? I dread the day that the potential general switchover to wayland actually happens.

Then there is the fact that Microsoft has managed to solidly corner the portable segment even though half the time it takes up way too much space and other resources to run on such devices.... think about that for a minute. M$ can reach places that the global Linux community cannot because it actually has properly organized end goals nvm that half of those are moronic if you look at it on the surface.... you have to admire even a moron for actually getting done what he sets out to do and fear him if he was only pretending to be a moron but that's another discussion. Not everything M$ gets done it manages by being underhanded, that's the reactionary mindset of the sore looser at best and willfully deceiving at worst.

The only reason people stuck with M$ till now is mostly everything just worked without having to think too deeply about it.... telling these people to RTFM or google everything is EXACTLY the type of thing to keep them in the arms of the devil. The only thing that will get them to leave those arms is M$ completely alienating them winch win10 is being fabulously successful with, some of those would gladly flee to mac except they cannot afford it and some of those only went to M$ because it simply was cheaper. Most people are sheep, telling a sheep to think for himself will cause him to find the closest sheppard even if that sheppard wants to fleece him. He will also refuse to believe the sheepdog is in cahoots with the sheppard but that's also another discussion.

BTW there is also a fourth group, the subgroup of group 3 that gets irritated and ragequits Linux because it's too much effort and there is more to life than continually wrestling with your computer. Struggling to make a PC behave predictably is fun for some yes but gets old real fast for others who tend to view the former lot as strange at best and masochists at worst.

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Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Post by gm10 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:04 am

1. I'd prefer the term newbie for the title since noob is generally in derogatory usage.

2. I guess Linux Mint 19 specifically made a lot of people run back to Windows. With the installer creating an unbootable system due to grub2 not installing from the originals isos, the near unbootable systems due to the revoked -24 kernel that Mint's updater nevertheless installed, the hoops you've got to jump through to successfully enable hibernation and sometimes even to just make suspend work, etc. made this release one of the more painful ones.

Hopefully that same experience also converted some though, because unlike on Windows you have so much more control over your system on Linux and thus can recover from all of these issues. It depends on a user's expectations though, I fully understand users who just want a system that just works without their interaction.
Last edited by gm10 on Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Post by rambo919 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:05 am

ugly wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:22 am
And it's a tough problem to solve. The software that's on github might be maintained by one person, and they really don't have the time to fully explain how to get it working for everyone. When it comes to a new user there needs to be a lot of hand holding.
The problem there is most of the people that can actually help are the anti-social type that are terrified of holding the hands of strangers..... which is probably why they tell everyone to google or read unfathomable man pages that assume the reader knows a LOT of implied information not explicitly stated on the page.

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Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Post by Sir Charles » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:28 am

gm10 wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:04 am
1. I'd prefer the term newbie for the title since noob is generally in derogatory usage.
+1
"novice" being my personal preference.
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Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Post by Benedetto » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:39 am

Linux Mint 19, despite one 'hiccup', did not send me back to Windows, in fact it was totally the opposite. I erased Windows 10 when installing LM19.
I go along with the comments about gaming etc. which is a principal reason for a 'U' turn back to Windows. There will always be, as in other walks of life, people who wish to mollycoddled and Windows makes sure they are.
Linux is, for man of us who have used Windows for many years, almost a leap in the dark and I am sure many can find it somewhat terrifying. But a degree of common sense and aided by this board certainly eases the path
Best wishes,
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Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Post by Pjotr » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:44 am

gm10 wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:04 am
2. I guess Linux Mint 19 specifically made a lot of people run back to Windows. With the installer creating an unbootable system due to grub2 not installing from the originals isos, the near unbootable systems due to the revoked -24 kernel that Mint's updater nevertheless installed, the hoops you've got to jump through to successfully enable hibernation and sometimes even to just make suspend work, etc. made this release one of the more painful ones.
Teething troubles of a brand-new LTS series, plaguing some early adopters... :mrgreen:
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Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Post by rambo919 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:00 am

Pjotr wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:44 am
Teething troubles of a brand-new LTS series, plaguing some early adopters... :mrgreen:
Some of those early adopters having been sold on "LM can do no wrong" leads to them feeling deceived. And rightfully so. Remember all the flack win10 got from the start simply for being so obviously beta? The natural reactions don't change simply because the OS does.

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Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Post by Pjotr » Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:04 am

rambo919 wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:00 am
Pjotr wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:44 am
Teething troubles of a brand-new LTS series, plaguing some early adopters... :mrgreen:
Some of those early adopters having been sold on "LM can do no wrong" leads to them feeling deceived. And rightfully so. Remember all the flack win10 got from the start simply for being so obviously beta? The natural reactions don't change simply because the OS does.
Basic common sense: all brand-new stuff has teething troubles. Don't want those? Then just wait a couple of months. It's really, yes really, as simple as that. :lol:
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Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Post by gm10 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:06 am

Pjotr wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:44 am
gm10 wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:04 am
2. I guess Linux Mint 19 specifically made a lot of people run back to Windows. With the installer creating an unbootable system due to grub2 not installing from the originals isos, the near unbootable systems due to the revoked -24 kernel that Mint's updater nevertheless installed, the hoops you've got to jump through to successfully enable hibernation and sometimes even to just make suspend work, etc. made this release one of the more painful ones.
Teething troubles of a brand-new LTS series, plaguing some early adopters... :mrgreen:
Pretty much, But the fault is not with the early adopters. This isn't Slackware or even Manjaro. One of the main reasons Linux newbies choose Mint is because it's generally seen as one of the most easy ones to make the transition to from the Windows world, probably mostly due to its similar desktop design and coming pre-installed for a "works out of the box" experience (which is basically a hold-over from the old days, I would argue vanilla Ubuntu is much more out of the box these days than Mint).

If you only feel confident in your LTS series after a year of updates, maybe you should label it beta until that date. Specifically, new users were getting hit with 2 boot-preventing issues one after another. Both were basically Mint-home made but a new user wouldn't know. I wouldn't blame anyone for walking away from Linux entirely if this was their first experience with it.

Personally, I nearly walked away not from Linux but from this series due to the hibernation/suspend troubles that Mint 18 didn't have on the same hardware. I ended up tracking the issues down and getting it both working again but no fresh Windows convert can be expected to do that and the lack of those features seems like another major reason to me why you'd go back to Windows instead where such issues are unheard of.
Last edited by gm10 on Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Post by michael louwe » Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:35 am

Mostly the same reason as what sends noobs running back to Android, ... ie lack of apps/programs/games and device driver support due to a tiny world marketshare. IOW, there is not much money to be made developing apps/programs/games and device drivers for Linux and Win 10 Mobile.

How did Windows and Android gain major world marketshare during the late 1990s and 2000s respectively.? The marketing concept of "the customer is king".?

How did Linux and Win 10 Mobile remained for years with a tiny world marketshare.? Maybe the reason is the OS developers' disregard for noobs, who actually make up the majority of customers/users, eg the very techy upstream Arch Linux and Debian Unstable. Computers should be like dumb-TV-boxes, and not jigsaw puzzles.

If Win 10's forced auto-updates/upgrades and Telemetry & Data collection did not happen, I would have remained with Windows(= a user from Win 95 onwards) and not be "forced" running to Linux Mint 17.
....... Even though pre-installed OEM Windows is not free, it is worth buying or paying because of Windows's ease-of-use for the average users, especially noobs.

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Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Post by rambo919 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:44 am

Personally I have always had trouble finding adequate apps for android but that might also be because I have never attempted to pay for anything when it comes to apps.... With games the platform is absolutely useless unless you like online pay-to-win games.
Never tried iPhone because 1-expensive and 2-I hate iAnything on sheer principle and will rather die before I join that cult..... almost refused Linux because of the cult-like mentality of some people but thankfully I saw past the radicals.... With Xiaomi phones I now have the internal conflict of cheaper phone but Apple wannabe..... MI makes me nervous for some reason but I digress.

Many people, especially those used to it working in their favor, have a mentality of if it doesn't work from the start and keep working then it's defective. Most traditional Linux users don't mind the extra effort but completely forget that THEY are NOT the majority of people on this planet..... a oddly myopic view where even though they even admit to this fact they still don't really register it.... and that of course ignores the typical snide elitism that..... yeah. With all of this as obvious as it is if anyone is still mystified that people sometimes actively choose to stay away from the "crazy geeks and their perpetual hobby" (which is how most Linux users are seen outside of the "Linux is life" bubble) it HAS to be a chosen delusion for whatever reason. Most people compare client-side to "the real world" and any attempt to elevate Linux by saying "almost all servers run it" inevitably falls on uninterested ears. Also telling them that Android is Linux inevitably leads to misrepresentation of either Android or Linux in general which also does not help matters..... I really really dislike modern tech journalists with their superficial "look at me oversimplifying this" articles, it's supposed to be an information piece not an infomercial.... no one in his right mind EVER trusts an infomercial.

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Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Post by rui no onna » Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:18 pm

michael louwe wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:35 am
Computers should be like dumb-TV-boxes, and not jigsaw puzzles.
This.

My grandmother has never touched a desktop her entire life and she's scared to use one. I wouldn't give her a desktop or laptop (regardless of Windows, Mac or Linux) especially since I live 15,000 miles away. However, I felt comfortable enough giving her an iPad. She used that to view grandkids' (and great grandkids') pictures on Facebook and for FaceTime.

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Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Post by Portreve » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:59 pm

On the one hand, I would love it if the only OS platform option extant was from the libre community.

On the other hand, there are so many irresponsible people out there that the GNU+Linux community in my view should not be expected to support absolutely anyone wanting to try a distro.

Several years ago, a very wise friend of mine made an observation: not everyone should be a computer owner. I agreed with him then, and nothing has subsequently deterred me from that view.

So, let's for a moment forget about Apple of the present and recent past. Apple of the 1980s, with respect to the Macintosh, had taken the UI design approach that controls and the interface, while it should not be needlessly or arbitrarily complex, should also never be dumbed down and made into a "push the shiny candy apple red button" form seen in various programs written for Windows over the decades. Apple's approach then was to say, "What is the appropriate design, regardless of how simple or complex, which makes a given process intuitive?" It was, in my view, a fairly elegant approach to design.

Apple, back in the day, hired people with art, graphical design, and mechanical design backgrounds to help build and refine the various user interface concepts. Microsoft, on the other hand, largely just stole from Apple and did not actively (in any serious way) try to pioneer their own style or form.

Switching gears... the GNU+Linux developer community often takes the approach of saying, where hardware support is concerned, "We don't really care about supporting some particular device. Any given model of a type of device, like a scanner or printer, etc., is part of a range of devices using many of the same components. Let's support things from the component level, which will then cause many devices to work." This is itself a form of reverse engineering. It may take a bit longer than just banging away on one and only one model of device, but it's a more efficient approach because you get a lot more bang for your development buck. That's not really the problem, anyhow. The problem where hardware support is concerned chiefly is with walled-garden hardware where the developer does not want their device to be supportable outside of their range of control.

From a strictly intellectual point of view, it's the fact that the general public does not understand this is going on, or that this is why hardware is much easier to support on an OS platform where the developer, who is doing everything they can to restrict it, fully supports their own device because they are making money from doing so. In my view, just like supporting categories of underpinning components is a better approach to third-party support of hardware, getting people to understand what hardware makers are good and which ones are a**holes can and often does result in shifting the needle of public usage of devices, even if only slightly.
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Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Post by Schultz » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:03 pm

What sends noobs running back to Windows? I would assume when they find out that "Linux isn't Windows." My apologies if someone already stated this, didn't read through all the responses.

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