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

Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Phone - With Android

I ever so slightly regret the "upgrade" to Android. With a version less than the tablet, the UI changes are extremely noticeable, and the transition isn't as smooth. The device lags, and it just doesn't have enough processing power to give the necessary feel of goodness and elegance. On the other hand, you get tons of native applications that you can actually use, as opposed to the Ubuntu Touch idea. Shame really. For 'tis a compromise. If you ask me, I wholeheartedly embrace the M10 tablet upgrade, but on the phone, you might as well keep Ubuntu unless you need the device for serious use. If it's just an opportunistic call/SMS thing for when abroad and such, or to loan to friends, the original combo is adequate. If you need apps, then Android is the way to go, but do not except any miracles. It won't be speedy, and it won't be too pretty. All in all, an okay player. It is silly attaching sentiments to software or hardware, but I do guess I will fondly remember the Ubuntu phone attempt as a noble idea to make something great and fun. I could have kept the device in its original state, perhaps, but in the end, it would have ended in a pile of ancient stuff you keep around for a decade until you decide you need to throw it away to leave room for fresh memories and less ancient stuff. Having a flawless Android experience would have helped soften the edge, but as it is, it remains the bittersweet attempt at what could have been a revolution. The end. Read more Also: Ubuntu Desktop weekly update – February 23, 2018

​Docker and Red Hat News

  • ​Docker has a business plan headache
    We love containers. And, for most of us, containers means Docker. As RightScale observed in its RightScale 2018 State of the Cloud report, Docker's adoption by the industry has increased to 49 percent from 35 percent in 2017.
  • Mycroft Widget, Atos and Red Hat's New Cloud Container Solution, npm Bug and More
    Atos and Red Hat announced this morning "a new fully-managed cloud container solution - Atos Managed OpenShift (AMOS) - built on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform". The press release adds, "Because AMOS is built on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, a container-centric hybrid cloud solution, it can deliver the flexibility customers seek from cloud-native and container-based applications."
  • Red Hat Decision Manager 7 Boosts BPM with Low-Code Approach
    Red Hat is perhaps best known for its Enterprise Linux platform, but it has been a player in the Business Process Management (BPM) suite for over a decade too. On Feb. 21, Red Hat Decision Manager 7 was officially announced as the successor to the company's JBoss Business Rules Management System (BRMS) product. Red Hat first released BRMS back in May 2009 which itself was an evolution of the JBoss Rules Engine.
  • Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) – Active Stock Evaluation

FATHOM releases Crystallon

  • FATHOM releases Crystallon, an open-source software for lattice-based design
    Lattice structures are integral to 3D printed designs, and Aaron Porterfield, an industrial designer at additive manufacturing service bureau FATHOM, has developed Crystallon, an open source project for shaping them into structures.
  • FATHOM Introduces Open Source Software Project for Generating 3D Lattice Structures
    California-based FATHOM, which expanded its on-site managed services and announced important partnerships with Stratasys and Desktop Metal last year, is introducing a fascinating new open source project called Crystallon, which uses Rhino and Grasshopper3D to create lattice structures. FATHOM industrial designer Aaron Porterfield, also an Instructables member, developed the project as an alternative to designing lattices with commercially available software. He joined the company’s design and engineering team three years ago, and is often a featured speaker for its Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) Training Program – and as the project developer, who better to explain the Crystallon project?

Kernel and Graphics: Machine Learning, Mesa, Wayland/Mir, AMDGPU

  • AI-Powered / Machine Learning Linux Performance Tuning Is Now A Thing
    A year and a half ago I wrote about a start-up working on dynamically-tuned, self-optimizing Linux servers. That company is now known as Concertio and they just launched their "AI powered" toolkit for IT administrators and performance engineers to optimize their server performance. Concertio Optimizer Studio is their product making use of machine learning that aims to optimize Linux systems with Intel CPUs for peak performance by scoping out the impact of hundreds of different tunables for trying to deliver an optimal configuration package for that workload on that hardware.
  • Pengutronix Gets Open-Source 3D Working On MX8M/GC7000 Hardware
    We've known that Pengutronix developers had been working on i.MX8M / GC7000 graphics support within their Etnaviv open-source driver stack from initial patches posted in January. Those patches back at the start of the year were for the DRM kernel driver, but it turns out they have already got basic 3D acceleration working.
  • SDL Now Disables Mir By Default In Favor Of Wayland Compatibility
    With Mir focusing on Wayland compatibility now, toolkits and other software making direct use of Mir's APIs can begin making use of any existing Wayland back-end instead. GTK4 drops the Mir back-end since the same can be achieved with the Wayland compatibility and now SDL is now making a similar move.
  • Mesa 18.1 Receives OpenGL 3.1 With ARB_compatibility For Gallium3D Drivers
    Going back to last October, Marek of AMD's open-source driver team has been working on ARB_compatibility support for Mesa with a focus on RadeonSI/Gallium3D. Today that work was finally merged. The ARB_compatibility support allows use of deprecated/removed features of OpenGL by newer versions of the specification. ARB_compatibility is particularly useful for OpenGL workstation users where there are many applications notorious for relying upon compatibility contexts / deprecated GL functionality. But ARB_compatibility is also used by a handful of Linux games too.
  • AMDGPU In Linux 4.17 Exposes WattMan Features, GPU Voltage/Power Via Hwmon
    AMD's Alex Deucher today sent in the first pull request to DRM-Next of AMDGPU (and Radeon) DRM driver feature material that will in turn be merged with the Linux 4.17 kernel down the road. There's some fun features for AMDGPU users coming with this next kernel! First up, Linux is finally getting some WattMan-like functionality after it's been available via the Windows Radeon Software driver since 2016. WattMan allows for more fine-tuning of GPU clocks, voltages, and more for trying to maximize the power efficiency. See the aforelinked article for details but currently without any GUI panel for tweaking all of the driver tunables, this WattMan-like support needs to be toggled from the command-line.