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On 11/24/2010 04:56 PM, Robert Derman wrote:

I haven't followed this particular thread very closely, but nevertheless
one thing seems to be appearant, and that is why Linux only has a few
percent of the PC OS market and Windows has the vast majority of it.  
Most people who use computers are not computer experts, or computer
hobyists, and don't want to be, for them a computer is a tool they need
to use in order to acomplish what they need to.  Learning how to do
command line entry is not something they want to do.  Perhaps they
actually have a life, a spouse, kids other things they want to spend
their time on.  They want programs that install by clicking on Install,
Next, Next, Next, Finish.  As long as Linux doesn't work that way, they
will stay away from it.

Most people don't actually buy Windows, it comes installed on the laptop
they buy, so why would they want to bother with an operating system that
they have to install?  Especially if it isn't easy to install.  And why
would they want to bother with applications that don't install easily? 
I suspect that this is why most copies of OOo and in the future LO will
be Windows compatible versions.  


I agree with your statement, as far as it goes, but there is another
factor that is also involved.  There are as yet, as far as I know, no
schools that teach Linux.  The closest is those colleges and
universities that teach UNIX which, at the command line, is very
similar.  College and University are expensive, and many people, unless
they are intending to go into computers in some professional capacity,
just can't afford that expense.  Many people don't know what man pages
are or how to use them.  And for those that do, the man pages are about
as informative as a Microsoft help file: absolutely correct information
that provides no real guidance or help.

[Insert old joke about the helicopter pilot and the Microsoft campus here]

That leaves those who ARE willing to learn in a difficult position,
unless there are helpful friends around that can provide the guidance
they need.  Very often we, and I am included in that small population,
not only don't know the answers to how to do something, we don't even
know the questions (which is why I tell people that I'm a perpetual
n00bie.  Despite what I DO know, there's still too much that I don't and
don't even know how to ask about).

For Linux purists here's a clue:  help your fellow person.  Don't assume
that they have to know everything in order to use a Linux system, but
provide them with the guidance they need so they can.


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