Experience the Rice Pudding
The experience of using a computer. There. You. Go. This is serious - please read it *completely* without getting angry or yelling about spelling/grammar/etc.
M$ (as opposed to MS), since the beginning, has bundled simple apps into its OS distribution that ensured a modicum of functionality for general users, as well as very pretty, addictive "games" that underhandedly trained the user certain concepts. These concepts were "double-clicking", "drag-and-drop", "key shortcuts", "drop-down menus", and a host of other skills that made using the rest of the OS easy. Why did this succeed?
1) It worked because it was pre-installed on computers.
WRONG. PCs used to be sold without Windows on them. All that used to be provided was a set of diskettes that *you* installed to get a [shudder] COMMAND LINE [/shudder]. AND PEOPLE CLAMORED FOR THIS. When Windows came out, it blew chunks. Not every mouse worked. Not every keyboard key was mapped properly. Got a specialty X card that the driver was DOS only? Pffft. It did not "just work" like any of the DOS's did (MS-DOS, PC-DOS, CP/M, DCL, etc.). M$ needed a GUI "killer app" that would make DOS easier to use... Eventually, the killer app became an "OS."
Windows floundered on store shelves for two years (four years from its promised release date of 1983) before it took off. Even when it was first pre-installed, people did not use it! The command line and its programs were just fine, thank you. What caused it to move? Finally, there was actually something that made it worthwile - Aldus Pagemaker (http://inventors.about.com/od/mstartinventions/a/Windows_2.htm) in 1987. _Then_ windows became a big deal.
2) It worked because of anti-competitive behavior.
ABSOLUTELY. Ever since M$ got the contract with IBM (http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa033099.htm), M$ has used _every_ trick (legal or otherwise) to make it. There is nothing "virtuous" or "moral" about business - and the sooner contributors to social experiments cum wanna-be brave new world "icons" realize that, the sooner something else can actually compete.
Remember when "nobody got fired for buying IBM"? How long did it take other "general PC" hardware manufacturers to encroach _that_ market? What did it take for them to do it? Did IBM sit around calmly by and watch it happen? No, they sued the pants off of 'em until the "off the shelf component" idea came around to bite them in the hind end. And then, as now, the "dominant company of XX market" was vilified, hated, and grudgingly respected.
3) *IX will be accepted because it is "inherently" better.
WRONG. Do buyers truly care about the OS? No. They care about the APPLICATIONS they can use on the computer. Will my copy of CRYSIS, CoD, WhatEverQuest 3D run? Can I get the spreadsheet I have been working on all week finished off over the weekend on my home machine? Can I browse my fav pr0n sites without the missus finding out or tearing up my machine?
"None of this is necessarily dependent on the OS," many *IX advocates claim. "Since you don't _need_ M$ to do this, you _shouldn't_ use them! You can use my home-made gooey to do it!"
Um... no. Alas, the days of slapping together something in your garage/basement/missile complex/etc. and it being taken seriously outside of the hobbyist utopia is past. It is one thing to put together a PC from brand name components, and quite another to solder together your own motherboard and expect people to buy it "because it's better - Trust me, I made it!"
You are then the guy in the van on the corner trying to sell Mr. Big Business 400+ little white boxes that his users "won't be able to tell the difference between this and what your competitors use. Trust me, I made each and every one of 'em, gov." And then you try to give them away for free... How did that transaction work out, eh?
4) There is enough varieties of *IX that everyone can find what they want.
TRUE, and THAT'S WHY IT FAILS. Windows succeeds because over and over, it was the same thing. Remember what happened when Windows 95 came out? PEOPLE HATED IT! "Where's my program manger?" "What is this Start Menu CR*P!?" It took a couple years (AND A LOT OF MONEY) for M$ to get people to accept it. Windows 98 complied and succeeded... Windows NT 4.0 complied and succeeded... Windows 2000 complied and succeeded...
Why is Vista *still* failing? You mean it doesn't have the same look, feel, and experience... It doesn't work the same with my apps... hmmm... I wonder what we can learn from this...
So, where is the ONE, TRUE, OFFICIAL Linux distribution? Where is the industry-standard Linux 2009 OS that will run every Linux program out there THE SAME WAY? When will it look the same when first installed or when I first turn on my PC? Sure, I want to be able to change the background, sounds, etc. BUT WHERE IS THE ONE CONTROL PANEL OR SETTINGS LINK THAT WILL HAVE THE SAME WAY TO CHANGE SYSTEM SETTINGS NO MATTER WHAT PC BRAND I BOUGHT? What do you mean "it depends on my shell? I have Linux, IT'S ALL THE SAME, ISN'T IT?!" The fact that some of you just rolled your eyes just made the point clear...
When will my Linux 2009 applications install like they do in Windows _and_ Mac - just click the link, download the installer and run it? I don't want to go to a Synoptic or YUM or RPM or YADA YADA YODA SODA to install an app - It's from Adobe, I should get it from the Adobe site to ensure that it's not infected, right? THAT'S WHAT YOU TOLD ME TO DO WITH WINDOWS AND MACS...
Most computer users are *not* developers. THEY DON'T WANT/NEED TO HAVE A DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENT ON THE MACHINE TO RUN A PROGRAM. Why do you need gcc 4.2.1 installed in this certain directory tree to make APP_X work? Why do you ALSO need 4.4.0 installed in another tree to make TOOL_Y work? Why does GAME_Z then fail because it had gcc 3.3.6 in the tree you installed 4.4.0 to?!?!
Microsoft is not overly concerned by SourceForge contributors working on distro XYZ. It will be forked many times over because slik_lord_33 wants to add his own YYAOCOCPMV2 (Yet, Yet Another, Other Complex Overly Complicated Package Manger, Version 2) to his fav flav... that no one else will know about it, let alone use.
- "If there are so many cooks in the kitchen... why isn't dinner done yet?"
- "Everything should be happy with what was made by the committee because everyone contributed to the final product. So why don't they use it?"
- "When everyone gets to be heard, no one hears anything." - Anonymous