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Re: When Will GNU/Linux Be Ready for Joe User?

From: Don Parris
Subject: Re: When Will GNU/Linux Be Ready for Joe User?
Date: Thu, 20 May 2004 04:06:20 GMT
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.6) Gecko/20040113

Simon wrote:

I'm doing a survey.

When do you think GNU/Linux will be ready for the average Joe?  What
obstacles must it overcome first?
My book, "Penguin in the Pew", discusses how religious and non-profit groups can deploy Linux in their organizations right now. Some churches and NPOs could literally switch overnight. Some would need to migrate more slowly. But it's "ready for the average Joe" right now. Our church's computer training ministry is largely Linux-based. Students actually get cross-trained between MS and Linux OS/applications. In other words, when they learn Writer, they also learn MS Word. They learn to look for help from the on-line help system before running to the tech support batphone.

One school district, I've recently learned, is using Linux heavily. Health First, a Florida organization, is moving MS out the door. I saw another post I can readily agree with - Linux should be ready about mid-2002.

The problem many people face is getting advice from people who have never used Linux. Typically, organizations will ask the most computer literate person they have about Linux - when they hear about it. The person they ask frequently has no experience with Linux, and often, very little admin experience with Windows. These sages simply stick to what they know. One deacon said he asked a Windows guy on his job about Linux. He was told "Linux isn't quite there yet". At the time, I had been using Mandrake Linux 8.0, and knew better than the deacon or his guru about Linux' capabilities. Quite possibly, the "guru" had rread articles. Most of the gurus on my day job know about Linux through reading magazines and web sites. They have little real experience with it.

Incidentally, you can download "Penguin in the Pew" from
Assuming you're not a troll, you should find that quite helpful.

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