Thursday, July 23, 2009

Linux is not Windows

Why most people fail to use Linux

The reason why Linux currently has a market share of about 1% is not, that it's worse than others - let's talk about Windows. It's also not that it would be harder to maintain, or that the number of programs are too small to make a good use of it.

In my opinion it's a social problem. It's just the fact that people don't want changes. They like what they know, what they are used to. And if people want to try something new, compare it with what they know. And that is the problem.

With Linux you can do about the same things you can do with Windows. You can read and write mails, browse the internet, write blogs (I do here), write documents and create spread sheets. You can also import them from the MS-Office and edit them. You can listen to music, watch movies, play games. May be not the sophisticated games you know from Windows. But this is not Linux' fault. It's that it would be too expensive to make a game for more platforms. Especially for one having almost no market share. But Linux is different to Windows.

People expect to be Linux the better Windows. It is not. It might be a better (in some instances) operating system though.

The price for Linux

You can get from A to B with Windows and Linux. But in a different way. It's like you go with a car (Windows), where you can do that. But Linux is more like a jet, but is light weight, has low emissions, produces almost no pollution and is very fast, but cheap or even free. You also get from A to B, but you have to learn the way how.

There are no real threats out for Linux as I write this. One reason is its architecture (file and user separation, though you could also have it with Windows, but almost no one really cares). But the best advantage is its small market share. It's just not interesting for criminals to create malware for it. Thus (and see a few paragraphs below) you don't need virus scanner or malware detectors or removers.

Linux comes with all ports closed, unless you install servers. SSH might be open on a few distributions though, but that's no problem. You don't need to think about a firewall at all.

A further "problem" might be that Linux is too easy to maintain - if you already know Windows. For example Linux user usually do not download to install programs. Basically you tell Linux what you want, and it does all for you: finding the package, downloading, validating that the package is not compromised, install and configure it. While you are grabbing a coffee it's all set and done, ready to rock.

That way the packages are checked for validity (checksum and PGP keys) it is extremely unlikely they are infected with malware, or get infected on the way from the server to you, as an installation will be refused if that happened.


All one has to do is to want a change, if she or he decides. And accept it will be new, not just a better Windows. Needs to force one self to spend a few days to get used to it and not give up after just a few hours. If you think you are not willing to spend a few days and are ready for a change, not even bother with Linux.

1 comment:

Mark Coleman said...

So true. Unfortunately for Microsoft, market share is slipping, so Linux must be doing something right!