Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Linux 'not just for power users'

Filed under
Linux

Linux advocates hoping to convert Windows users to the open source operating system are more likely to succeed with technophobes and very inexperienced computer users than with Windows power users.

In a report published by research and analysis firm Quocirca, entitled "Migrating to Linux on the Desktop", the company found not only was it a myth that you had to be a power user to cope with Linux, the complete opposite is true.

According to the report, as users become comfortable with an operating system and start customising it, they are far less likely to want to change.

"The consensus amongst early adopters is that Windows power users are the most difficult group to migrate to Linux because of the breadth of applications they rely on and the advanced features they use within them," the report said." Replacing this richness with Linux-compatible alternatives, and at the same time dealing with their legacy data and home grown applications, is extremely difficult".

The researchers' view is supported by Jon Oxer, president of Linux Australia, an organisation dedicated to the Australian Linux and open source community.

Oxer told ZDNet UK sister site ZDNet Australia that, for a novice computer user, there is virtually no difference in usability between Linux and Windows. However, he said there were difficulties associated with changing a user's applications.

"[Novice users] are still going to have a learning curve about how to manage files and open programs. But at an application level, people put a lot of time into learning things like keyboard shortcuts," said Oxer, who pointed out that there are still problems when converting macros and other customisations.

"A [Microsoft] Word macro is written in a language specific to Word. It is hard to write something that will take the macro as it stands. There will probably have to be some form of conversion done," said Oxer.

The news for desktop Linux advocates is even worse when dealing with smaller companies, according to SMB IT and outsourcing specialists Brennan IT.

David Stevens, managing director of Brennan IT, said SMBs did not even consider Linux on the desktop because they did not want to take a risk and were willing to pay for Microsoft's software licences.

"There is no contest," Stevens said. "Linux just isn't an issue for the SME market. SMEs are much more interested in the stability, performance and productivity of their desktop and are risk averse when it comes to these objectives. The licensing costs charged by Microsoft are not sufficient to force a SME into looking at alternate desktop operating systems, or office applications".

Stevens said Brennan IT assessed Linux as a desktop platform every six months and believed at some point in the future its takeup would be "very significant". However, he does not believe the platform is "viable" now.

However, there is some light at the end of the tunnel for Linux firms, Oxer reckons.

Oxer said the growing interest in Web-based applications could allow Linux to sneak into the work environment as users become more reliant on their browser than they are on their desktop environment.

"When one only needs a browser and email program on their computer, the operating system doesn't matter. Breaking the desktop application paradigm is going to be a very big thing. If companies can migrate their applications over to Web services then the desktop becomes irrelevant. All users will need to know is how to launch a browser," said Oxer.

Source.

More in Tux Machines

OpenShift and Google

  • Red Hat launches 'OpenShift' dedicated on Google Cloud Platform
    World's leading provider of open source solutions Red Hat has announced the general availability of OpenShift Dedicated on Google Cloud Platform.
  • Red Hat and Google join forces on containers
    Red Hat and Google are set to offer enterprise customers a managed OpenShift service hosted on Google's cloud to make the build, launch and management of applications a less time-consuming process. OpenShift Dedicated on Google Cloud Platform will speed up the adoption of containers, according to Red Hat, giving developers the guidance they need to create applications and deploy them faster.
  • Red Hat’s Container Platform Lands on Google Cloud
    Red Hat’s OpenShift Dedicated container platform will now be available on Google Cloud Platform, the companies announced yesterday. OpenShift Dedicated is a managed version of Red Hat’s OpenShift container platform, targeting enterprises. Launched in December, the Dedicated version puts Red Hat in the role of a service provider, taking care of infrastructure and operations.

Security News

  • A 'mystery device' is letting thieves break into cars and drive off with them, insurance group says
    Insurance crime investigators are raising alarms over a device that not only lets thieves break into cars that use keyless entry systems but also helps start and steal them. Investigators from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, a not-for-profit organization, said in an interview they obtained what they called the “mystery device” from a third-party security expert at an overseas company. So far, the threat here may be mostly theoretical. The crime bureau said it heard of the device being used in Europe and had reports that it had entered the U.S., but said there are no law enforcement reports of a car being stolen using it in the United States.
  • Turkish hacking group offers tiered points rewards program for DoS attacks
    A TURKISH HACKING GANG is taking an unusual approach to funding denial of service attacks, and is soliciting for, and offering hackers rewards for taking down chosen pages. This is unusual, as far as we know, and it has led to the creation of comment from the security industry. Often these things do.
  • German judges explain why Adblock Plus is legal
    Last month, Adblock Plus maker Eyeo GmbH won its sixth legal victory in German courts, with a panel of district court judges deciding that ad-blocking software is legal despite German newsmagazine Der Spiegel's arguments to the contrary. Now, the reasoning of the Hamburg-based panel of judges has been made public. According to an unofficial English-translated copy (PDF) of the judgment, Spiegel Online argued it was making a "unified offer" to online consumers. Essentially, that offer is: read the news content for free and view some ads. While Internet users have the freedom "not to access this unified offer," neither they nor Adblock Plus have the right to "dismantle" it. Eyeo's behavior thus amounted to unfair competition, and it could even wipe the offer out, Spiegel claimed. "The Claimant [Spiegel] argues that the Defendant’s [Eyeo's] business model endangers the Claimant’s existence," reads the judgment, which isn't final because it can be appealed by Spiegel. Because users aren't willing to pay for editorial content on the Web, "it is not economically viable for the Claimant to switch to this business model." Spiegel asked for an accounting of all the blocked views on its website and a fine to be paid—or even for managers Wladimir Palant and Till Faida to be placed in "coercive detention" of up to two years.
  • Op-ed: I’m throwing in the towel on PGP, and I work in security [Ed: Onlya tool would drop PGP for Facebook-controlled Whatsapp. The company back-doors everything under gag orders.]
    In the coming weeks I'll import all signatures I received, make all the signatures I promised, and then publish revocations to the keyservers. I'll rotate my Keybase key. Eventually, I'll destroy the private keys.
  • 90 per cent of NHS Trusts are still running Windows XP machines
    90 PER CENT of the NHS continues to run Windows XP machines, two and a half years after Microsoft ditched support for the ageing OS. It's Citrix who is ringing the alarm bells, having learnt that 90 per cent of NHS Trusts are still running Windows XP PCs. The firm sent Freedom of Information (FoI) requests to 63 NHS Trusts, 42 of which responded. The data also revealed that 24 Trusts are still not sure when they'll migrate from Windows XP to a newer version of Microsoft's OS. 14 per cent said they would be transitioning to a new operating system by the end of this year, while 29 per cent pledged to make the move sometime next year.
  • Ransomware blamed for attack that caused Lincolnshire NHS Trust shutdown
    RANSOMWARE is to blame for an attack which saw an NHS Trust in Lincolnshire that forced to cancel operations for four days in October. In a statement, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust said that a ransomware variant called Globe2 was to blame for the incident.
  • Researchers Find Fresh Fodder for IoT Attack Cannons
    New research published this week could provide plenty of fresh fodder for Mirai, a malware strain that enslaves poorly-secured Internet of Things (IoT) devices for use in powerful online attacks. Researchers in Austria have unearthed a pair of backdoor accounts in more than 80 different IP camera models made by Sony Corp. Separately, Israeli security experts have discovered trivially exploitable weaknesses in nearly a half-million white-labeled IP camera models that are not currently sought out by Mirai.
  • Your data is not safe. Here's how to lock it down
    But some people worry that government surveillance will expand under a Donald Trump presidency, especially because he tapped Mike Pompeo, who supports mass surveillance, for CIA chief.
  • Tor at the Heart: Library Freedom Project
    Library Freedom Project is an initiative that aims to make real the promise of intellectual freedom in libraries by teaching librarians and their local communities about surveillance threats, privacy rights and responsibilities, and privacy-enhancing technologies to help safeguard digital freedoms.
  • PowerShell security threats greater than ever, researchers warn
    Administrators should upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft PowerShell and enable extended logging and monitoring capabilities in the light of a surge in related security threats, warn researchers [...] Now more than 95% of PowerShell scripts analysed by Symantec researchers have been found to be malicious, with 111 threat families using PowerShell.
  • Five-Year-Old Bait-and-Switch Linux Security Flaw Patched
    Maintainers of the Linux Kernel project have fixed three security flaws this week, among which there was a serious bug that lingered in the kernel for the past five years and allowed attackers to bypass some OS security systems and open a root shell.
  • The Internet of Dangerous Auction Sites
    Ok, I know this is kind of old news now, but Bruce Schneier gave testimony to the House of Representatives’ Energy & Commerce Committee about computer security after the Dyn attack. I’m including this quote because I feel it sets the scene nicely for what follows here. Last week, I was browsing the popular online auction site eBay and I noticed that there was no TLS. For a moment, I considered that maybe my traffic was being intercepted deliberately, there’s no way that eBay as a global company would be deliberately risking users in this way. I was wrong. There is not and has never been TLS for large swathes of the eBay site. In fact, the only point at which I’ve found TLS is in their help pages and when it comes to entering card details (although it’ll give you back the last 4 digits of your card over a plaintext channel).

Android Leftovers

Linux 4.8.14

Turns out I'm going to be on a very long flight early tomorrow morning, so I figured it would be good to get this kernel out now, instead of delaying it by an extra day. So, I'm announcing the release of the 4.8.14 kernel. All users of the 4.8 kernel series must upgrade. The updated 4.8.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.8.y and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser: http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st... Read more Also: Linux 4.4.38 Linux Kernel 4.8.14 Hits the Streets with Numerous Networking Improvements, More