Installing Non-Microsoft OSes For Charity Not So Easy

from the it-sounded-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time dept

Yesterday we were discussing Microsoft’s attempt to prevent an Australian charity from distributing computers with their operating system. One of the comments was that the charity itself should be blamed for not simply switching to Linux or some other open source/free offering and avoiding this whole mess. So, this story seems like an appropriate response. In Mexico, they planned to equip schools with PCs running Linux, but had a ton of problems doing so, and now most of the machines run Windows 95 or 98. To install and use Linux you need people who really understand Linux – and those people are a lot rarer than people who can understand a Microsoft OS. This isn’t knocking Linux, it’s just how it is at this point. Plus, they were having trouble getting Linux to work with some of the hardware they had. While it seems like a good idea, the higher knowledge level required to work with Linux makes it more difficult for charities to use.

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Comments on “Installing Non-Microsoft OSes For Charity Not So Easy”

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Duffman says:

Same problem

I’ve said this for years, ever since Linux started emerging as a viable option and friends constantly, openly bashed MS. Yes, Linux is more stable. Yes, there’s a lot more you can do with it. Yes, a lot of people do use it. But show me a 50 year old woman (not to be sexist or ageist, but women around that age tend to have the least computer experience) and/or an 8 year old kid using Linux comfortably, and I’ll show you an accepted operating system.

Right now, Linux is still mostly in the ‘geek’ realm, and unless it changes to meet the needs of the general public rather than programmers, that is where it will stay. Unfortunate, but true. I like ’em both, but who am I to say?

Geek says:

Re: No Subject Given

Should I rephrase that as “Why hasn’t Linux become Windows?”
Linux has designed an interface like that. The problem is, everybody know the one for Windows. I know this posting is rather old, but my point is still valid.
Linux just has different functions than Windows. Some of these make it better, also, harder. It’s a basic tradeoff. Simple useless stuff is generally easier to use. Likewise the opposite. It’s not as simple as just making a more user friendly environment.

Honestly, I think people should learn how to use a computer, or not use it. It’s getting pretty bad. We already do it for cars, so why not computers? Seriously, if you don’t know what a hard drive is, don’t even touch the keyboard.

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