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Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Posted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:43 pm
by MALsPa
Thankfully, we do have all of this choice in Linux, and I'm glad that there's no way that's going to change, no matter how much some people whine about it.

I went back through the thread and considered the different points of view. Yes, it's possible that Linux would be more popular with LESS choice. But, again, I don't see its lack of popularity as being a problem, and I certainly don't see the amount of choice in Linux as being a problem.

If some people stay away from Linux because they are bothered by the amount of choice, how are we to know that an equal number of people aren't attracted to Linux because of the amount of choice? We have no idea; but I certainly enjoy being able to choose between any number of distros, desktop environments, and applications that do similar things. To me, this is one of Linux' strengths, not a weakness.

mintnoob has pointed out that my attitude in all of this is kind of selfish, and I don't disagree with that. I came to Linux determined to make it work for me, and I accomplished that. I don't care about its popularity. My concern is that I'll be able to use it and never have to go back to the Windows world, or I'll never have to shell out big bucks for a Mac. Linux popularity won't be decreasing, as far as I can tell, so I figure it will be there for me.

In that sense, it's all about me. :lol:

But my point in describing my selfish attitude is that there are many other Linux users who feel exactly the same way.

If you want to make Linux more popular, I just hope it won't be at the expense of any of the choices that are available to me right now. Less choice in Linux would make it less appealing to me, and a lot of other folks share that sentiment.

In any case, Linux is what it is, and I'm satisfied with what it is. And I'm quite sure that it's only going to get better -- even with, as mintnoob calls it, "the insane amount of choice Linux offers."

Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:57 am
by markfiend
mintnoob wrote:Just because the "general consensus" thinks I'm wrong, doesn't mean I'm wrong. These kinds of subject provoke a lot of pride, therefore will meet a lot of resistance. It's the classic "All truth goes through three steps: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Finally, it is accepted as self-evident."
Ah! The classic "they laughed at Galileo" gambit. They laughed at the Three Stooges too, you know.
mintnoob wrote:
1) You are wrong about how low is the adoption rate for GNU/Linux in general.
2) If 1 fails, you are wrong about low adoption rates being a bad thing.
3) If 2 fails, you are wrong about low adoption rates being caused by too much choice.
4) if 3 fails, you cannot propose how you would go about limiting choice.
1) Then what is the correct rate?
2) A low adoption rate is reflective of a free OS, like Linux, not being as good as a non-free OS, like Win or Mac.
3) Then what are the causes?
4) I have proposed how.
1) It's hard to tell exactly, but somewhere around 3% to 5%.
2) and 3) As you've been told time and again, it's because people just use what they're given. Apple hardware comes with Apple OSX preinstalled. Other hardware comes with Windows preinstalled. Most people won't bother changing. Part of it at least is people spreading FUD about Linux: FUD like "there's too much choice in Linux"...
4) "Get all the Linux developers to stop developing what they want to develop and start developing what I want them to develop" isn't a proposal that many are going to take seriously.
mintnoob wrote:
In other words, you are wrong on every level, yet you keep flogging this same old dead horse of yours.
Evidence suggests otherwise (and I'm not talking about the poll results).
Evidence? This is obviously some new meaning of the word of which I was previously unaware.

I'm with MALsPa: I also think that people are attracted to Linux because of the amount of choice. The choice is a strength not a weakness.

Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:01 am
by randomizer
mintnoob wrote:Then what is the correct figure??? A lot of you keep saying that figure is erroneous, but won't give me the correct figure.
That's precisely my point. Nobody has the correct figure. If you can come up with a way of accurately measuring OS market share then more power to you. There are people who say less than 1%, there are people who say nearly 10%. All use different methods to obtain this information but with such huge variations none can really be trusted. If there was a truly accurate way of measuring this then we would see much more consistency than what we do.

Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:27 am
by Robin
All the choices available in Linux makes choosing a process rather than an event. One distro balks at my hardware while another recognizes and uses it immediately. One DE/WM has what I want, while others have too much of this, too little of that. One app is lightweight, another has better features.

It took me a year of trying several combinations and mixtures and experiments just to finally decide on a favorite DE (it's Xfce for me), let alone favorite software for my schoolwork and music and internet and whatever else, and longer than that to pick a favorite distro (for now, and it could change).

Taking the time to experiment, to try things on for size, to "throw it on the wall and see if it sticks," makes the choices in Linux - at least while we are still kinda new to it - simply take longer than we are used to. Most of our choices like what to have for lunch are simpler because we already know what peanut butter and jelly tastes like, and grilled cheese, and leftover pizza. Our experience makes the choice easier. With Linux it just takes longer, until we know what stuff "tastes like" to us.

Always learning and discovering new "tastes,"
Robin

Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:35 am
by tdockery97
As long as linux is free (as in beer) there will never be a way to compare market share with Windows/Apple. They can compare sales figures with one another all day long, but linux adoption is virtually invisible since there are no sales figures (with minor exceptions for Red Hat, etc.). I think I really like it this way, because of the resultant free (like freedom) comaraderie among the users, regardless of their distro of choice. There is a pride in knowing you have been able to accomplish something for yourself without the help or interference of the "big guys". Make mine Mint!

Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:55 am
by markfiend
tdockery97 wrote:As long as linux is free (as in beer) there will never be a way to compare market share with Windows/Apple. They can compare sales figures with one another all day long, but linux adoption is virtually invisible since there are no sales figures
A related problem is that people who buy a PC with Windows pre-installed with the intention of wiping it in favour of a Linux distro (generally because it's cheaper than the same model sans OS :roll: ) even if they never boot into Windows will count as a "Windows sale" according to MS.

Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:42 am
by MALsPa
markfiend wrote:
tdockery97 wrote:As long as linux is free (as in beer) there will never be a way to compare market share with Windows/Apple. They can compare sales figures with one another all day long, but linux adoption is virtually invisible since there are no sales figures
A related problem is that people who buy a PC with Windows pre-installed with the intention of wiping it in favour of a Linux distro (generally because it's cheaper than the same model sans OS :roll: ) even if they never boot into Windows will count as a "Windows sale" according to MS.
Sadly, I've been guilty of that a couple of times. Needed a computer in a hurry, ran and out and got a Windows PC, wiped Windows and put Linux on it. I would have preferred a Linux-preinstalled, or even a computer with no OS installed, but in the moment I just picked up the best thing I could quickly find for the money I had.

So, yeah, I helped inflate Windows numbers while not doing anything for Linux numbers.

Another example of why it's just impossible to know how many Linux users there are out there.

Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:14 am
by randomizer
markfiend wrote:count as a "Windows sale" according to MS.
Well technically the sale was made well before the PC even showed up in a shop. The OEM paid for it and recouped the costs from trialware.

Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:26 am
by markfiend
:lol: true.

Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:55 pm
by mzsade
Everything comes down to a choice between a heavier (more features) and a lighter (minimalist) distro, can't be all that baffling, I dual boot with Mint and #!, this way i have the best of both worlds--and with my separate Data partition i am practically invincible! :D

Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:34 am
by vtired
What % of computer users make (an informed) choice of the OS for their computers? 3 years ago I didn't know what is an OS. Most of the people I know are just know computer a a machine with MS windows, with it's virus and anti-virus and they are happy that way. As more people get informed about the existence of other alternatives Linux will get more users but I don't see it ever becoming more popular than windows. And it doesn't have to.

Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:02 am
by psylent
The huge amount of choice in linux is great, love it, the one and only reason (in my opinion) that linux can't overtake windows in popularity is the lack of native game support (the game devs fault really). The majority of the "hardcore" gaming community are highly computer literate, and most i know (i go to LAN's on a regular basis and enjoy competition gaming) , love the way linux looks and feels now, but as soon as the question "can i play all my games ? (with the same performace as windows) arises, it's a resounding "oh, umm, nah i'll be right then".

Unfortunately gaming companies will not make games that have native support for linux as in their mind the userbase is small and the implementation is fairly difficult. Also in some ways the large choice does limit the ability of the companies to develop for a specific type as each distro has it's own quirks and methods.

I for one only keep windows for games, nothing else, Mint9 (64Bit) is IMO the best OS i have ever used, and many people at LAN's are very interested in it, until that fateful question arises :).

If the linux community could get omboard with the gaming community it would i am sure be a short time before linux would take over from windows for the home user, and who knows maybe company's would start using it then also.....

Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:06 pm
by mintnoob
calinut1 wrote:The Linux community, the project leaders of the distros, anyone who has the power to decide this. I didn't say there are such persons, I just said what would happen if THERE WERE such persons ad if they decided to do something.
FYI, I'm not advocating forceful removal of too much choice in Linux. It will have to be voluntary.

Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:16 pm
by mintnoob
Snydar wrote:I think that the fragmentation of Linux was a large part of the reason that I gave up using Linux my first try. I just wanted something that worked. I didn't want to spend hours googling for which version of Linux is best, and then which desktop environment for that distro is best, and then which applications would work for that desktop environment.

I think it would be very helpful if new Linux users were directed to ONE place to go at first. I would like them to be presented with a small questionnaire. There would be a list of applications that they use in Windows / Mac and you would click the check boxes. At the end, you would click the download button, reboot and install your system.

I think a lot of potential Linux users try a distro that is too difficult, and also have a hard time choosing which applications they should use.
Good writeup. The above quotes of yours I quoted in agreement.
To conclude, I'll say I strongly support having the freedom of choice in Linux
I want to reiterate to everyone that freedom of choice is one of the things I love about Linux. I just think Linux has gotten too bogged down with the AMOUNT of choice that it's stifling it's progression (maybe that's a better word than "popularity").

I guess I should say I'm more for the QUALITY of choice, not the QUANTITY of it.

Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:32 pm
by mintnoob
MALsPa wrote:Thankfully, we do have all of this choice in Linux... and I certainly don't see the amount of choice in Linux as being a problem.
What if the reduction of the amount of choice led to better distros, apps, and hardware compatibility (i.e. BETTER choice)? I hope people don't think I'd rather have Linux be more popular rather than better. I just think reduce the obscene amount of distros and apps in a category will, in the long run, lead to better products.
If some people stay away from Linux because they are bothered by the amount of choice, how are we to know that an equal number of people aren't attracted to Linux because of the amount of choice?
If the Linux desktop market share is only 1%, then it really doesn't matter.
mintnoob has pointed out that my attitude in all of this is kind of selfish, and I don't disagree with that. I came to Linux determined to make it work for me, and I accomplished that. I don't care about its popularity. My concern is that I'll be able to use it and never have to go back to the Windows world, or I'll never have to shell out big bucks for a Mac.
You're not as "selfish" as you make yourself out on this one. I don't see you at this forum just to get what you need and then take off. I see you helping people, so obviously you're not just here for you.
Linux popularity won't be decreasing
[Joke time] At 1%, it's popularity can't get any lower! :lol:
If you want to make Linux more popular, I just hope it won't be at the expense of any of the choices that are available to me right now. Less choice in Linux would make it less appealing to me, and a lot of other folks share that sentiment.
I think a lot of you are fearful that fewer distros/apps/ect will equal worse distros/apps/ect. What would you rather have: quantity, or quality?

Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:46 pm
by mintnoob
markfiend wrote:Ah! The classic "they laughed at Galileo" gambit. They laughed at the Three Stooges too, you know.
Why are you guys laughing at me?
1) It's hard to tell exactly, but somewhere around 3% to 5%.
2) and 3) As you've been told time and again, it's because people just use what they're given. Apple hardware comes with Apple OSX preinstalled. Other hardware comes with Windows preinstalled. Most people won't bother changing. Part of it at least is people spreading FUD about Linux: FUD like "there's too much choice in Linux"...
4) "Get all the Linux developers to stop developing what they want to develop and start developing what I want them to develop" isn't a proposal that many are going to take seriously.
1) Even if you're correct, OH WOW, 3-5%! :roll: If Linux was at 5%, I'd still make this thread.
2-3) Every time I tell someone about Linux and it being FREE and practically virus-free, they become VERY interested in hearing more about it. I think a lot of you are not giving the masses the benefit of the doubt.
4) Too bad that's not my proposal.
Evidence? This is obviously some new meaning of the word of which I was previously unaware.
Yes, the evidence suggests I'm correct or the Linux desktop market share wouldn't be so pathetically low for a system of TOTALLY FREE software.
The choice is a strength not a weakness.
I still think a lot of you are confusing the amount of choice with the quality of choice.

Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:00 pm
by mintnoob
randomizer wrote:That's precisely my point. Nobody has the correct figure. If you can come up with a way of accurately measuring OS market share then more power to you. There are people who say less than 1%, there are people who say nearly 10%.
Well correct, or incorrect, I gave sources for my quote, but even if Linux was at 10% and Windows was at 80%, Linux is still getting slaughtered, especially for a free system.

And don't think I'm just concerned about it being a popularity contest. If Linux was the superior software system out there, I really wouldn't care about it's popularity other than Microsoft's monopoly of the desktop market share which worries me for political/social/economic reasons (I think Gates being the world's richest person does the world way more harm than good).

Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:01 pm
by randomizer
mintnoob wrote:Well correct, or incorrect, I gave sources for my quote, but even if Linux was at 10% and Windows was at 80%, Linux is still getting slaughtered, especially for a free system.
But being free means nothing. AVG is free and so is Avast!, MSE and others. Yet what do most people use? Norton, McAfee and TrendMicro. People like free stuff but when it comes to software there seems to be this perception that free = crap and it's better to pay for quality. I have even had Linux discussions while playing games (damn I'm a geek :lol:) and at least one person said that the only companies that use Linux are the ones that can't afford Windows. They knew it was free, but they had some idea that Windows was better because it costs money. Of course this argument is trivial to counter with the OS market share of multi-million-dollar TOP500 supercomputers owned by companies with more than loose pocket change (market share is at least measurable on these given that there are only a few hundred in the world compared to PCs).

In many other cases people just don't know about the free alternatives because they're confronted with advertising for commercial products all the time. After all, Windows 7 was my idea.

We've already discussed familiarity and people's lack of will to learn something new so I won't go into that again, but it's also a major factor why free isn't that important.

I should make a note that choice confuses me. I still use Windows for just about everything and have installed several versions of every major distro either natively or in a VM at some point. I usually replace it shortly afterwards. I don't know what to pick because I think there may be something better or more suitable. This doesn't mean I don't like the choice, I just don't know what to do with it. Others don't have that issue and prefer the options. Again, you have to be willing to learn, else any operating system other than what you've already known is not for you.

Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:17 pm
by mzsade
I recently tried to encourage Linux use on a social networking site that i visit (after giving up on my local friends), started a thread on it..no use, people expressed some interest, were very respectful and all, but nothing doing, they would rather stick with their boot-legged copies of XP. Basically, i think it's the fear of the unknown and Linux has nothing to do with it. If tomorrow Windows released a version and advertised that it would work in a way that was entirely different and that there would be a manual and tutorials for it, i don't think many Windows users would touch it.

Re: Would Linux be more popular with LESS choice?

Posted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:18 am
by randomizer
mzsade wrote:they would rather stick with their boot-legged copies of XP.
Why not? Both are free. :|