“Just install Linux on it” is the “just change the engine of your car” of tech.

Not everyone is a mechanic, not everyone wants to be a mechanic, and, if we want a world where freedom is the norm, we must stop expecting everyone to become a mechanic.

Note: this is not because these people are too dumb to be mechanics. It’s because they’re brain surgeons and space-shuttle pilots and they have three kids and they care for a loved one and they don’t have time to also be a mechanic.

@aral However, the brain surgeon could be interested in having Linux installed and go to a mechanic, who does it for them. Or they buy a device, which comes pre-installed with it.

But here is the fact: They are not interested. And this has obviously multiple issues, and they are hardly a problem of Linux itself.

So our actual problem is not the Linux installation. This is just a technical act. It is meaningless. What matters, is to spark interest
in Linux.


@rugk Most people care about operating systems just as much as about the company which built the engine in their car. They care about things that work for them. That's our challenge. 😌

@z428 @rugk @aral

This right here. The underlying OS is not the issue, it is the fact that people get locked into ecosystems and once there don't see a path out. You can switch back and forth between Windows and MacOS easily enough because most programs are made for either one. Linux doesn't have that luxury because why would you make a program for a free competitor?

Office applications on Linux won't happen anytime soon, for the same reason Apple won't release iMessages on other platforms.

@jeff @z428 @aral While I agree with the general thought, you can actually use many applications from Windows/Mac on Linux, it just depends on what you use, i.e. Firefox, LibreOffice etc. However, i get your point that you likely talk about commercial applications.

@rugk It depends, and I'd try / suggest another route: Make people sensible for reasons why to use FLOSS software, not necessarily just Linux. And enable them to do so as much as possible. If you're in example supposed to work with CAD or a lot of planning software, Linux is no meaningful option but you still could use a lot of FLOSS on top of your current platform. That already would help in some cases. 😉

@jeff @aral

@z428 @jeff @aral

In any case, I think the end of update support of Windows 7 in 2020 can be a chance to bring people to Linux.
I mean many people still use Windows 7…

Due to the lack of a real cross-distro discussion platform I've written up some ideas here, now:

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