Linux- 5 steps to a wider adoption.

Linux is the world’s best alternative to Microsoft Windows. It has everything that Windows has always dreamed of having. However, it is a big wonder why after being around for close to 20 years, Linux still has less than 5% of the desktop market share. The solution, I strongly believe, lies in overcoming  five simple but often overlooked barriers which when tackled by all concerned parties, will go  a long way to push Linux to the mainstream everyday computer user.
Step 1- Language
Linux is too full of technical jargon that just puts off the average Joe from even attempting to learn more about it. Though a lot has been achieved in breaking the Linux language barrier in modern distros like Ubuntu and Fedora, there still is a long way to go to make it more appreciable by everyday users. Much should be done to reduce the use of technical jargon to the barest minimum. The “sudo apt-get” type of language must be eliminated. Linux should use the language of everyday people than that of geeks if it is to reach the wider user base and make a meaningful thrust into Windows’ domain.
Step 2- Publicity
There does not seem to be any kind of active publicity going on anywhere- at least from where I stand- that is aimed at creating an awareness about Linux. There are hundreds of millions of people out there who simply have not heard about Linux before. That is a vast market waiting to be tapped. But without the proper publicity by the main Linus distros, such a market lies untapped. Lots of people are fed up with Windows and want an alternative, but how do they get to switch to something they have not even heard of before? It seems to me, frankly, that the few people that use Linux as their OS are doing more to advertise Linux than the distro vendors themselves. The internet is a very great tool that can be used to push Linux to the limelight.
Step 3-Cohesion
The Linux world is simply too fragmented. There are hundreds of distros out there all seemingly competing against themselves instead of against Microsoft. There does not seem to be any kind of cohesion or coordination in the release of the major distros, at least in my view. This has given Linux the very bad image of  looking more like some kind of child’s play OS. The fact that the Linux source code is a public property does not  necessarily mean there should be no cohesion in the Linux world. I strongly believe that a certain measure of cohesion or control would go a long way to make Linux look more professional in the eyes more and more people especially those in the enterprise market.
Step 4- Support
There should be more and more vendor support for the various Linux distros. It is not enough to just refer people to the fora for help. There should be some form of vendor support aside the community support available. This will give Linux a double advantage over Windows given the fact that the Linux community support is generally very helpful. A distro like Ubuntu has recently started offering such a support service and should be commended. More of such much needed initiatives will only go a long way to improve the popular adoption of Linux as an alternative to Windows.
Step 5- Reference manuals
More and more Linux manuals need to be published and promoted by the Linux community at large. More people may consider Linux if they know there is some kind of reference manual available to them- there are more people out there that still view Linux as something from outside of this Earth. There are some really good ones out there, but there is more room to go. More Linux bookshops need to be setup and promoted by the community at large. Some very good Linux reference manuals can be found in this store.
These are 5 simple points that I believe can help increase the wider adoption of Linux by everyday users across the world. What other ways do you think can help make Linux the OS of choice for more and more people? Share your thoughts. Talkback.

6 Things all prospective Ubuntu Linux users must know.

Ubuntu Linux is the world’s most popular and fastest growing Linux alternative to Windows. More people are seeking better, reliable and cost effective ways to keep in touch both at school, home and the office across all popular device platforms. That is where Ubuntu Linux comes into the picture. If you have heard about Ubuntu but are still doubting whether to migrate to it or not, then the following six basic points should help you decide.
Ubuntu is a perfect desktop OS that has all the functions that you may be used to in Windows. It is powerful enough for home or office use and has all the productivity suite you may need in your enterprise setting as well. More and more OEMs are now beginning to offer a range of Ubuntu desktops. Notable among the OEMs is Dell, ZaReason and System76. It is also very customizable and free to use without any licensing hassles. It is also safe and reliable in terms of security and other threats that Windows is easily susceptible to.
Virtualization and servers
Ubuntu is also a perfect server client that has been certified to run on HP’s Proliant Server ranges and on roughly 45 other server configurations from IBM, Lenovo, Dell among others. ISVs like Alresco and Openbravo also have enterprise class products built on Ubuntu server edition. There is also the Canonical-IBM  Virtual Bridges  partnerships that aims at virtualizing Ubuntu desktops on Linux servers. Indeed there is no shortage of Ubuntu server deployment options.
Cloud computing is a new and evolving technology area that can transform how IT environments deliver services. Ubuntu has an  Enterprise Cloud service which aims at helping corporate entities migrate their existing IT services into the cloud.
There is a flavor of Ubuntu for Mobile Internet Devices. Dell, ZaReason and System76 all sell netbooks preloaded with UNR. HP also has a customized version of UNR for its Mini1000 netbook edition.
There is training for Ubuntu by Canonical available for both individuals and corporate users. You get the requisite skills from the maker of the OS.
There is a vast array of support available, be it for home or enterprise users. Notable amongst them is the Ubuntu Forums and the new commercial service from Canonical. You will never be alone in your usage of Ubuntu knowing there is always some form of support available to you.
I am going to restrict today’s post to these six simple points and leave the rest to you to add in the comments. Feel free to critique if you disagree with me on this post. Talk back!

Ubuntu migration support services – A move long overdue.

In one of my previous posts, I talked about how the lack of easily accessible corporate support for those that wish to migrate to Linux based systems hampers the mass adoption of the Unix based OS by both individuals and corporate entities. Indeed most people would not use a Linux based OS like Ubuntu not because it is not good but because of a perceived lack of formal and reliable support from the OS vendor.
Most businesses would simply not migrate to an OS where if they have any problem, they are asked to consult an informal forum. Ubuntu has made great strides in winning a lot of both Windows and Mac OS users. But most of these users are those that like to try new things no matter the learning curve. There are more people out there that would use Ubuntu and throw Windows out the window if only they know they have reliable, formal support from Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu.
Also, I strongly believe that Linux is having a hard time winning over a lot of OEMs because of a lack of user support. Lets face it, Windows has a superior user support than Linux. So this makes it easy for OEMs to load Windows knowing those who buy their ware have support from the OS vendor. This is very much explained in ZDNets Dana Blankenhorn’s post.  That is not the case with Linux. Most of the support that Linux users have is through the use of the forums.
Do not get me wrong, the forums are a great place to get support which I did myself when I started my 
journey to OS liberation. But the fact still remains that telling people to turn to community forums for support makes an OS look more like something used by hobbyists than something that can be adopted in en mass.
It is in this regard that I was happy to learn of Canonical’s new support service for Ubuntu users. This very strategic but overlooked move could not have come at a right time. The technology world is at a crossroads and the Windows empire is reaching its point of demise. Last week’s DDOS attacks on Twitter and Facebook have provoked lots of anxiety and questions over the reliability of Windows. There needs to be a successor and if Ubuntu is poised to take up that role, then having a formal, reliable and corporate support from the OS vendor is a must.
This new service from Canonical is aimed at individuals and corporate organizations  who want an easy and smooth transition from slavery to the resource hog Windows over to Ubuntu Linux.  It is a very important move in the drive to make Ubuntu the OS of choice for those who value quality and excellence. 
Have a different view? Share your thought.