Linux isn't very popular on the desktop. It's a far third behind OS X, which is a very far second behind Windows. Most people cite pre-installed operating systems as the reason. But as a student of psychology, I see something most people don't. There's one big factor in why Linux isn't popular on the desktop. Linux is free. I know this sounds like complete dog's bollocks, but hear me out before judging my sanity.

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serdar's picture
Created by serdar 16 years 9 weeks ago – Made popular 16 years 9 weeks ago
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aboutblank's picture


16 years 9 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago


Charge the People a Fee or Two

Charge whatever you think they'll pay for the software. Even better, you can charge them for support or consulting fees. You can provide value to their computing experience and you can even make some money out of it.

motters's picture


16 years 9 weeks 20 hours 6 min ago


Nice try

Well it's a nice try, but I don't agree with this analysis. Most people do indeed have a somewhat irrational decision process, so that when buying a computer they tend to think of the Windows operating system as free anyway. You didn't have to buy it separately, so it must be free, right? Isn't Bill Gates supposed to be some kind philanthropist dude who gives software to schools in poor countries?

In terms of operating systems what people value more than cost is convenience or ease of use. Pure pragmatism, untroubled by ideals of freedom. Does it run faster? Can I use my Ipod with it? Can I use it to chat, and download stuff? Play my favourite games? ... and so on. As the neighborhood "computer person" these are the kinds of things which ordinary folks who have no idea about software or the IT industry want to know when you mention an alternative operating system.

pogson's picture


16 years 8 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago


Premise is false

The premise is false. GNU/Linux is selling like hot cakes. Look at a site biased in favour of M$ (.Net/.asp etc.) http://w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_os.asp. They show GNU/Linux and MacOS neck-and-neck. Their browser stats even lists 2003, a server as a desktop client. Some people will think less of GNU/Linux because of its price, but the huge segment of humanity that do not currently own a PC and this year will have the opportunity to buy a cheap PC with GNU/Linux installed will be very sensitive to price and go for GNU/Linux. The number of users of GNU/Linux could double in 2008. ASUS, Everex, OLPC and others are going flat out producing cheap GNU/Linux boxes. Apple is not selling that well. Where are their outlets?

Sell GNU/Linux on its features. One of them is low price. Others are reliability, open standards, huge repositories of free software, the GPL, less bloat, no DRM, no phoning home, no forced upgrades, and no restrictive EULA.

One man, closing all the Windows.

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