[sf-lug] Consumer & admin (was: Possibly interesting data point on jobs postings)

jim stockford jim at well.com
Tue May 16 20:00:31 PDT 2006

    I have to say I don't buy it--the stereotypical aunt
tilly cannot manage virus and other software on
Windows. There are lots of people who really don't
know the basic conventions of GUI (how to recognize
different elements and predict how they'll respond
when you wave your mouse around).
    People who can do a little on Windows have
climbed a (available, well-documented) learning
curve and are clinging there, shivering on the
mountain side, clutching at what's familiar, afraid
of letting go.

    Best I can tell (being more expert than I let on, and
therefore fairly blind), Linux and Windows
management is pretty much the same--you know
basic concepts, the GUI is there for you in either
case, no command-line need apply.
    And you wanna CLI? Bash beats batch way far.
    The fact that Linux is more immune makes it closer
to the don't-see-it, don't-need-to model.
    IBM's working on autonomous computers--hardware
and software that heals, fixes itself. Their goal is to
reduce IT costs.

 From  http://www.digitaltippingpoint.com/

  In an address to the Commonwealth Club in Santa Clara, California, 
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, acknowledged that GNU/Linux (just 
called Linux in North America) is the greatest threat to Microsoft's 
profitability, according to a story by Kristen Kenedy of Information 

Mr. Ballmer states flat out, "the greatest competitive threat we face 
is our own ability to either embrace or compete with alternative 
business models." In the case of open source, he says his company has 
made a decision to stick with its same old corporate business model vs. 
going the open source route. He says Linux has been outselling 
Microsoft in areas such as networked storage, e-mail security and 
e-science, and that demonstrates that the Redmond, Wash., software 
marker needs to begin to innovate. "We need to have a better 
high-performance cluster technology that Linux does," he notes. "We are 
hard at work at it. You take a look at what is going on in security 
appliances, we need better technology. So there are two or three areas 
where Linux has really developed a position."

Interesting to observe that sales by definition does not include the 
large number installed the normal way and actual marketshare is the 
combination of the two. This factor is epsecially true at firms with 
in-house staff that can download and install open source software on 
demand. Also, Mr. Ballmer and others at his company tends to use the 
terms Linux, Open Source and open standards interchangeably when 
speaking publicly which can confuse the topic.

On May 16, 2006, at 6:51 PM, Sarah Mei wrote:

> Thanks, everyone, for your thoughtful responses.
> I was asking in the context of a question I've been thinking about
> lately: why hasn't Linux taken off as a Windows replacement for
> non-technical home users?  There are of course lots of reasons why
> this might be, most of them having nothing at all to do with the
> technology itself.
> However, one interesting issue is that under Windows, non-technical
> users can do basic upkeep themselves, which is what I meant by
> "baseline admin tasks" -- the stuff you need to do to keep your
> computer running.  In the Windows world, this is OS updates, virus
> software, and spyware software.  In the Linux world, I suppose it's
> just OS updates.  (Anything else?  I'm more of a user than a sys
> admin.)
> So is there a distribution or an application that makes updates as
> easy as they are under Windows?  By this I mean OS updates as a fully
> automatic, you-never-see-it background feature, with the option to set
> various levels of ask-me-first-ness.  Is Adept something like this?
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