Proof of the Usability of GNU/Linux

For years, I have been told by various people from the world of IT that GNU/Linux will never make it on the desktop because of [insert list of complaints/claims/exaggerations/irrelevancies] even while many millions of individuals, schools, organizations, businesses large and small and governments installed and used GNU/Linux as their main OS. A lot of these comments came from the USA where, we are told, real businesses depend so much on particular applications and ways of doing IT that M$ is essential and will never be displaced.

If this were mathematics, such assertions would only need one counter-example to be disproved. I will try again with this, NetApplications counts for Mountain View, California, USA.How can any of the FUD be true when a whole community of 74K people can do 88% of its IT with GNU/Linux?

Only a couple of years ago, they were able to do their IT with that other OS but chose to change quickly.

According to NetApplications, virtually all IT can be done by GNU/Linux in a small city in USA. That should be a sufficient counter-example unless the FUDsters claim Mountain View limits its use of IT to trivial stuff, or that everyone in that city is a GNU/Linux geek or that it’s somehow irrelevant. No, the FUD will go on. Denial is too strong an instinct.

UPDATE This just goes to show us that we must not depend on “partners” of M$ for our data. When I wrote this post, the percentage for GNU/Linux was ~90%. Now that show a few percent… see Mountain View, California, Penguin Heaven

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
This entry was posted in technology. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Proof of the Usability of GNU/Linux

  1. sorry buddy wrote, “Give a freshly installed version of say Debian to your mum and ask her to check her email.”

    Here’s a counter-proof:

    Provide a link that looks like a blue “e” to FireFox or Google Chrome browser and watch things happen. With XFCE4 or KDE 2, a user poking for a “start” menu could find the browser as well. I have introduced thousands to GNU/Linux. It takes them 3s to figure that out. Even if your mum were a bit slower that’s a one-time problem. Ask her to check her e-mail on “8” and see what happens.

    Whether you like it or not, an OEM can customize Debian GNU/Linux with an icon or two just as any installer can.

  2. sorry buddy says:

    Here’s your proof it isn’t usable.

    Give a freshly installed version of say Debian to your mum and ask her to check her email.

    Do the same with Windows/OS X.

    Watch the linux agony unfold.

    It simply isn’t ready. Not because of the functionality, but the design. Its designed by developers for the most part. It doesn’t have user testing performed.

Leave a Reply