Originally Posted by rwm72
I think you kind of hit the point here. While most people on these forums know about free and proven alternatives to both MS Office and Windows, the end user does not know. And maybe they don't care. Sheep need to be led. And the marketing machine at MS has very deep pockets, and are capable of convincing most people that even the worst product is a must have.
If Linux and Open Office had similar marketing budgets, or even a fraction of them, the awareness could get out there, and result in a higher install base. But it's not going to happen... unless someone with large pockets gets on board. Google is the most likely at this stage, so their entrance to the ring should be welcomed.
The only other alternative would be if all PC manufacturers unanimously agreed to dump MS and support Linux to potentially save money and gain back some control. But this won't happen either, because no one wants to be first, and even when someone does jump the MS ship, it will be alienated, most likely by the MS negative marketing campaign machine. So they all have to jump ship at the same time... wishful thinking.
You're giving too much credit to consumers.
Most consumers use Windows and its associated software because they use it at work, and are familiar with it, in addition to the fact that they can often get it free from their employer.
That's almost the only reason other than the fact that PC's are made at cheaper levels.
When I did much work for the school system in past years, parents were almost violent against having Macs in school because they used PC's at work. They tried to insist that their kids needed to use PC's in school, even elementary school, so that they would be able to use them at work when they got older. That diminished greatly over the past few years as Mac sales have prospered and have shown up at work as well.
There is no interest in using Linux in schools, or, for the most part, in business. Linux desktop use has hovered from below 1% to about 1% and back in the US for years now, while the Mac has grown considerably. I know that Linux users like to think differently, but as far as OS's on the internet goes, Linux is still around 1%.
Almost everyone has heard about Linux, but as soon as they buy a computer with Linux on it, such as netbooks, which should be the easiest way to get on Linux because netbooks have the least computing demands, what do they do? They return the machines.
Many of these machines already have had OpenOffice installed, along with other open source software that is perfectly usable. But they want their own apps, and they can't have them. So, back to the store.
It's been mentioned that it's driver problems. Well, that's just another nail in the coffin.
This is about as much a closed environment as you could ever hope to get for a Linux foothold, but it didn't work.
I read articles in OSnews about how Linux netbooks were going to be the gateway to the consumers heart, and lead to the big breakthrough that Linux people have been predicting for almost a decade now.
But it was a major flop. Now there are some articles about what went wrong.
It's simple, you can't force an OS, or software, on people who don't want it.
Most people want Windows and its software. An increasing number want OS X and its software.
It's also interesting that over the past few years, and increasingly so after the Intel move by Apple, that some of the best known writers on the Linux scene publicly moved to OS X.
I really don't see Chrome, which won't be out for at least a year as being any different. And we all know Google. Will this ever get out of beta?