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Barriers to Linux
Mar 08, 2001 :: Michael Sippey

We finally picked up a copy of Microsoft Word for the iMac last night. Got home, popped the CD into the drive, copied the folder from the CD to the hard drive, and boom -- perfect install. Three minutes, start to finish. It got us thinking about software installs in general, and barriers to adoption for Linux.

Now, we know that operating system installs are typically a bit more complicated than an application install. That said, we've had easy experiences migrating from Windows 95 to 98 to 2000, and expect an easy migration from OS9 to OSX. We may be guilty of having unrealistic expectations, but when it comes to Linux we're still shocked that it's not push-button easy to install Linux into a dual-boot Windows environment. It seems to us that there would be a large enough market of power users who aren't interested in buying a second box, but do want to explore and experiment with the open source operating system to drive development of a dumb-simple install process on top of an existing system.

Why do articles like this one at titled "A Linux Install Made Easy" have to educate users about IDE chains and master/slave drives in order to explain partitioning? Or, why hasn't RedHat done a deal with PowerQuest to bundle PartitionMagic with their distribution? Or, ideally, where's the Linux distribution that acts like BeOS Personal Edition, where "no repartioning is necessary," and switching OSes is as simple as double-clicking an icon?

Are we missing something?



Other pieces about client-side software: