[kwlug-disc] Linux advocacy, was: Linux Marketshare

Insurance Squared Inc. gcooke at insurancesquared.com
Tue Feb 2 09:32:49 EST 2010

Somehow, someway linux has to reach the tipping point.  We can sit 
smugly as if we're mac users :) or we can do something about it.  Here's 
two thoughts I've got (one of which I've implemented):

1) friends and family on linux.  Evaluate whether they actually have 
apps that must run on windows.  If not, wipe, and install linux on their 
machine for them.  Sell it as 'I'll make your computer go faster and 
look better'.  The new desktops are as good looking as anything 
available commercially, and I wouldn't discount that appeal to many 

I did this process for my wife.  I ensured that the only thing she 
actually used was picture/photo album stuff, email, and the web.  Boom, 
she's on mandriva on her laptop, and has no problems (no learning 
curve).  I did the same thing recently for my mother; her requirements 
were email, and the ability to play scrabble online (which turned out to 
be a webpage).  She was complaining about needing a new computer.  
Instead she got a hard drive wipe and linux installed.  No learning 
curve for her either, and the machine's super fast again.

2) For those in the computer retail business, here's what I'd consider 
doing now that linux is desktop ready.  Offer a "new computer for 
$150".  Where the 'new computer' is a physical clean of their old 
computer, hard drive wipe, and a fresh install of ubuntu.  There's your 
new computer - fast than ever, sleek and freaky looking!  Maybe throw in 
a new keyboard and mouse.  And if they don't like it, after three weeks, 
they get a credit of $100 towards a physically new machine.  No risk.  
Now I don't know what margins are on computers, but I expect $150 for a 
ubuntu install is as good as the margin on a new $500-$800 computer.  
(and while they're in the shop, offer them some memory upgrade, a new 
hd, etc. ).

You make $150.  In tight times, your customers save hundreds.  They have 
the backup of knowing that they can change their minds.  And who's 
likely to change their mind after running linux for three weeks?  Hardly 
anyone.  Mom and dad are going to be perfectly happy with their new fast 
computer and the money they've saved.

john at netdirect.ca wrote:
> Any thoughts on whether this information offers a good glimpse of Linux 
> desktop penetration?
> http://www.netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=8
> John Van Ostrand
> Net Direct Inc.
> CTO, co-CEO
> 564 Weber St. N. Unit 12
> map
> Waterloo, ON N2L 5C6
> john at netdirect.ca
> Ph: 866-883-1172
> ext.5102
> Linux Solutions / IBM Hardware
> Fx: 519-883-8533
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