ray spake thusly:
The issue is not that Linux is or isn't more difficult than
MS (IMHO it is not) - it's that it's different.
Agreed, but then there are different types of difficulty -
some of which are unacceptable. The difficulty of using
something new is perfectly reasonable, but the difficulty of
dealing with Malware and interminably broken software is not.
When folks have been brainwashed into thinking that MS is
all there is, anything that is a little different blows them
away. You'll get basically the same result if you stick a
seasoned MS user in front of a MAC. "It's too hard" -
because it's different.
The worst example of this brainwashing that I've ever
witnessed, was when a guy I knew won a Mac in a raffle, and
without even trying it first (or ever having even /seen/ a Mac
before) he sold it, stating that such computers were "only for
arty-farty types". When pressed for an explanation he simply
couldn't elucidate beyond the indoctrination he'd blindly
The only time such behaviour could even be considered acceptable
is if he used the money to purchase an accessory for his
motorcycle, such as performance pipes, forward controls or custom
hard bags. That is forgivable. :-)
Now just to be clear, I'm no Mac (software) fan either, but at
least I can justify my reasons (licensing).
The other point to be made is that the majority of folks
don't install any OS, so difficulty of installation is
pretty much a non-issue.
IME that's incorrect. Every Windows user I've ever known has
had to reinstall Windows at least once, that I'm aware of, due
to Malware infection; irresolvable problems with the software;
and/or to purge the accumulation of orphaned bloat and
corruption that plagues Windows over time.
I'm sure a certain proportion of those affected simply turn to
others for help - e.g. if the system is still under warranty,
but again IME these problems tend to reach a climax after the
warranty period has expired, leaving those users no choice but
to do it themselves.
I've helped out Windows users before and still do. Many do not
know how to install or configure hardware and software. When
their Windows box goes kaput, are at a loss on how to fix.
I'm sure there's also a certain proportion of those users
who'd rather buy a new PC than repair a broken Windows
install, much like there are some who'd rather buy a new PC
just to upgrade from one version of Windows to another, but
then this doesn't explain how Microsoft manages to sell
Windows upgrades, does it?
Up until Vista, most Windows users looked forward to upgrades.
User would take the Windows box to a clone dealer, who would swap
out the processor, upgrade the memory. (Or if a true clone
system, change out motherboard as well.) Then install the
Windows upgrade version.
Vista's lack of support for older applications and lack of
performance was a poor marketing and engineering decision.
IMHO, it was this support for older applications that made XP
popular. Users did not mind upgrading hardware to support it.
Software is an investment and users don't want to sacrifice an
application, just because of an OS upgrade.
Then there's the issue of so-called software piracy, which
accounts for a vast proportion of Windows installs. Clearly
/those/ people are installing Windows themselves too.
As to whether or not these groups of people are representative
of the /majority/, I have no idea, but even according to
Microsoft's /own/ figures, pirate software accounts for "More
than one third of PCs". That's a Hell of a lot of people
installing Windows on their own.
I think those figures are grossly exaggerated. With the advent
of their software protection scheme, WGA, user must have the
system authenticated by internet or phone call. Most PC's are
sold with an operating system.
However, there are probably a number of "technical" violations.
- Consider a user who purchases an XP upgrade version CD to fix
his OEM XP version that got borked because of a failed restore
from a failed hidden Windows 98 partition with XP image on it and
failed to make backup CD's when first purchased. Uses a
bootlegged copy of Windows 98 CD or previous copy used to upgrade
another, to verify so upgrade can install.
- Borrows an XP CD from work from a borked home system supplied
without installation media (which I consider as unethical) that
already had a legally licensed copy of XP.
- ad nauseum.
I gather that the Software Business Alliance cares little about
such technicalities. A violation is a violation. I would think
that user already paid for the right to use the software, that it
is paid for. Some companies have purchased additional licenses,
to ensure no shortcomings during audits.
Then enters Linux, which promises freedom from such licensing
violations, a continual software upgrade path.
Ballmer's threat, litigious verbiage in Singapore a couple years
ago about Linux violating Microsoft software patents was done to
stifle Linux adoption.
IMHO, Linux netbooks from Asia is their response to such threats.