There have been a number of commentaries the past week about how Linux will never be a desktop operating system that anyone would truly want to run. A well written article on the TechRepublic web site sums it up well. While I agree with the reality of what the author is saying, I for one still believe that Linux can become a force in desktop computing.
Just this year, after I’ve pointed out to 3 different friends that they were already running a version of Linux in their Android phones, I have switched them to Linux on their desktops from Windows XP.
I mean really, my 75 year old and almost completely blind mother runs Linux on her desktop. My autistic adult son runs Linux. My completely tech illiterate wife runs Linux. Now my friends with old computers are running it too.
A good distribution that is well maintained, in this case Linux Mint, does not require a geek to run it!
Offering of course, to provide tech support for all of these installations, I have only had but a single question from any of them! That question ended up being about networking, and took 30 seconds to fix. (They wanted to use OpenDNS to replace their ISP DNS for some kid-friendly site blocking.)
None of these people now running Linux are geeks. They are just regular computer users who do average stuff on their computer, you know, surfing the web, keeping a checkbook, writing a report, etc. All of them are keeping their systems up to date with updates as they become available. It really isn’t that hard!
So let’s stop selling Linux as a geek tool (of course it is, for those of us willing to use it that way) and let’s sell it as a vital key to the average users computer happiness!