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Ubuntu against Windows: a cart and at 10.10 there

“Ah, Ubuntu, my favorite linux-based operating system”
Sheldon Cooper

Linux operating system Ubuntu very much and I wish it prosperity. So now I will swear at her very much.

I think that this is a very good time to eat off Microsoft’s market share of Microsoft’s operating systems. I think that Canonical with its “Linux for people” ideology is exactly the people who could theoretically take advantage of this moment, and they themselves call the main problem of Microsoft’s dominance in the market. And at the same time I think that Canonical will now miss this moment by its own stupidity.

Why is the moment so good? Firstly, clouds and streaming have developed (many people already, not only geeks, transfer files via Dropbox, edit texts in Google Docs and listen to music online), and this reduces a person’s dependence on the system and allows him to escape from Windows where less painful than before. Secondly, smartphones on Google Android and iOS (and Microsoft are not on the move at the moment) and tablets on the same platforms (here Microsoft still has nothing better yet) have spread now, so a lot of people are now sitting in Internet, writes lyrics and listens to music not at all under Windows - and, making sure with the example of a smartphone / tablet, that life outside of Windows is good, the person is more psychologically prepared and to try something new on the desktop or laptop. And so far no one but Apple is using the opportunity to entice a person to another OS - and the next version of Ubuntu will already have Chrome OS, besides Microsoft can play a significant part of the smartphone market using Windows Phone 7, so the situation may already be completely different.

What exactly does Canonical do wrong? The desktop version 10.10 released yesterday contains several notable changes for the average user - such changes as music management via the volume applet and the replacement of the default photo manager from F-Spot to Shotwell. That is, Canonical believes that at the moment when it is necessary to struggle for the consumer with all our might, spend half a year on things like replacing one program with another in the default set — this is right and necessary.

What did Canonical have to do instead? This is a controversial issue, but I will offer my version. I think that the company had to do everything possible so that the transition from Windows was as painless as possible, since the current situation with the clouds plays up to it. I think Canonical believes that they have already done this in previous versions. I think they are cruelly mistaken. Now, if you open a Windows zip archive in Ubuntu, in which the file names contain non-Latin characters, they will turn into kryakozyabry. You can talk for a long time about the reasons and whether it’s considered to be Canonical or Microsoft’s fault, but in this case it’s not important at all. Simply, if you now show the usual non-IT Russian Ubuntu, and he finds that he cannot normally unpack the archive sent to him by the Windows-user, in the usual way, for him this all blinks away any theoretical arguments about the advantages of open source. This may not be Canonical’s fault, but Microsoft’s fault - but in any case, this is Canonical’s problem, not Microsoft’s, and to spend Canonical time solving it would be a big step forward compared to replacing the photo manager.

And I think that the main actions that had to be done do not even require writing thousands of lines of code. If it’s technically impossible to make everything out of the box work perfectly for Windows user requests, then you can honestly explain to him what will be inconvenient for him and how he can improve the situation. I read that 10.10, when installed from scratch, itself suggests to put ubuntu-restricted-extras, stipulating that it is not completely open source, but the mp3 will play - if this is true, then this is a very correct step. On the technical side, inserting this sentence into the installer is a matter of a couple of minutes, but the new inexperienced user no longer remains with the bare system, about which you have to google something and drive it into the terminal only in order for it to learn how to play its existing music files. So why, if they did it, do not go in the same direction much further? Why, instead of telling the story about the “wonderful email client empathy” (I don’t remember exactly what I’ve been talking about, but something like that), the installer doesn’t explain honestly to the user that NTFS partitions need to be mounted, but at the same time there is a way to do it so that they are mounted automatically when the system starts; that for a part of the periphery, manufacturers do not write Linux drivers, but you can often find self-made ones on the Internet; That tags of mp3-files in the Windows encoding may open incorrectly, but can you all encode them all together? Why not immediately reassure all those who fear the “hell of a sysadmin terminal”, saying that it is in the system, but if you wish, you can never use it? Why not take as an example a successful Android, explaining with reference to it that “linux-based” does not mean at all “difficult and incomprehensible”? Why not trumpeting loudly at all angles that using Wubi you can try Ubuntu easily and quickly, without risking anything and having an easy opportunity to go back (now went to ubuntu.com, switched to “desktop”, switched from there to “download” - only there, on the third level, there is a not very noticeable “windows installer” link, and even on the page through this link, a simple user will hardly understand at once why this is so convenient for him)? Why not to write the text “Memo for migrating from Windows” about the main problems and ways to solve them, why not to add a large icon of this text to the desktop when installing, why not to make a big link to this text on the main page of ubuntu.com? Canonical did a lot to make their system easy and convenient to use - but not enough to make it clear to the Windows user.

The reasons for this behavior are probably two. One is that the developers in their own lives deal only with the Latin alphabet and practically do not personally encounter problems of encodings and layouts, so they do not attach much importance to them, and users are not actively forcing the corresponding bugs on the launchpad. This explains the problem, but does not solve it. The second reason is that Google requests like “information for migrating from windows to ubuntu” surely get a lot of great ready-made texts, and in the official help there are heaps of useful information, and Canonical doesn't understand why they need to do something in such a situation still. But the developers from Canonical got used to google, we got used to google - and the conditional Vasya Pupkin, who is now sitting under Windows, faced difficulties at the first meeting with Ubuntu, will not go on google and will not find the one he needs in official help , and will return under Windows, where he does not have to google. But at the same time, the main difficulties for all the Pupkins will be the same - that is why it is theoretically quite possible to convey to them some basic information. I hope that Canonical will understand this before it is too late.

In order to have at least something good in this text, I will say that the font at 10.10 was typed nice.

This post is published at the request of the phillennium , which does not have enough karma to publish it.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/105961/

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