Sell Linux on its merits

There is one thing that most Linux proponents- myself included- are guilty of, and that is always extolling the greatness of Linux in contrast to the weakness of Windows. You often hear statements like “Windows sucks at X while Linux is super,” which though perfectly correct, now makes me wonder if Linux’s virtues cannot be eulogized without contrasting it with Windows.
Don’t get me wrong, Linux has quite a lot of advantages that Windows will do well replicating, but, always singing its praise in contrast to Windows makes me want to laugh. I believe we should tell Linux as it is: not a clone of Windows, nor was it created to replace it. Sure it’s nice telling people they are not likely to suffer security breaches on Linux as they would on Windows, but that should not be the norm of promoting Linux.
I believe the game of always contrasting Linux with Windows does more harm than good to the former. It actually sends the wrong message to potential users that the two OSs are perfect alternatives, which technically speaking, they are not. Linux does things well, and we should actually sell it on that rather than always lambasting Windows just to send a simple message.

3 Replies to “Sell Linux on its merits”

  1. It mainly depends on who are you talking to … unfortunately most of the people using a computer only know Windows so doing a comparison comes natural.

  2. Ive switched about a dozen family members to either Kubuntu or Mandriva2010 for a few reasons but the main one was that as the family's 'computer guy' was spending all my weekends cleaning the regular 'virus, malware' crud.
    But ive also done a few that were more 'voluntary' for friends and coworkers and many of them were just tired of the whole anti-virus, clean and maybe re-install song and dance.

    Heck, that's why I finally changed all our home computers 3 years ago to PCLinuxOS2007. It was by far the best 'just works' distro I had found and was with good reason #1 on Distrowatch.
    Once they make the switch to KDE4 soon, I am sure to recommend it again because I love the concept of rolling distros.
    But honestly, I think that many issues have been solved and that the top distros all just work.

    And honestly, I think distros are overrated when deciding to switch or swtich someone. That is no the real choice you have to make. The real choice is desktops. Take the top distros of a certain desktop and the difference is minimal. Heck, I can make more switches with themes and icons than most distros do.
    No, you choose now the distros for exterior reasons to the quality or just works factor. Buzz is a huge factor.
    The real choice is which desktop do you use. For old hardware, it goes without saying that XCFE and LXDE rule but seeing that most people have been WIndows users at one point and KDE is much closer to the Windows feel (and vice versa now) and GNOME tries to ape OS 10, I usually say KDE is the way to go to make a newbie at home.

    But honestly, the top two free software desktops are in league with the two proprietary ones and offer so much more. Using one over the other is a question of taste which is why configurability is extremely important.

    But switching someone over means making them feel at ease.
    My family who switched from FF3, Thunderbird, OO and VLC from Windows were just at ease at on Linux.
    That's the name of the game.

    I have a quadruple booting Mac for work and a few more OS I run virtually(!) and I often let people try out KDE and GNOME when they think about switching to Linux.

    Some people arent ready to jump in both feet so a dual boot option is less scary (even back in 2007 the PCLinuxOS dual boot screen was like the Mandriva one very nice while the Kubuntu still offers that horrible DOSlike black and white text option. User UNfriendly.)

    Where was I?
    Oh yeah…. for newbies i usually recommend Mandriva2010 or even Kubuntu9.10 or at least until PCLinuxOS switches to KDE4 but also for older hardeare
    PCLinuxOS KDE MiniME Desktop
    PCLinuxOS LXDE Desktop
    PCLinuxOS XFCE Desktop

    PS: while free as in freedom is great and is a big factor for some of my family, free as in gratis is a HUGE, HUGE factor.

    The 3 top reasons I hear for switching

    Virus free
    prolong hardware lifespan
    Free as in gratis

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