Food for thought (was -> Re: C++ problems -Problems)

Patrick Head patrick at
Sun Aug 29 16:44:40 PDT 2004

Hello all!

About three months ago, at work, I had just loaded a system with Fedora
and OpenOffice.

In walked our M$ applications specialist and instructor.  She was
interested in what I was doing, and so I had the sudden inspiration to
start up the Linux system, log into a desktop, and then asked her to
just "start playing around."

At first, her questions were what I expected.  "What do I do??  I don't
know anything about Linux!"

I explained that the GNOME desktop (or KDE for that matter), has the
equivalent of the 'Start' menu, and from there she was on her own. 
After a couple of minutes, she noticed the 'Office Applications' menu
item, and asked me what that led to, so I had her start up OpenOffice. 
MUCH to my surprise, she was like a duck in water!!  Her assessment was
that if called upon to do so, she could prepare to teach the OpenOffice
suite with very little work, as the interface, and capabilities were
very close to the M$ Office suite.

My point in relating this story is that IMHO, the differences between
the major Linux distributions and Windoze is not really that much.  Yes,
yes, software installation CAN be more difficult on Linux, but I am sure
I could teach anyone capable of using the M$ style installer how to
install an RPM without much problem.

Another anecdote:

NOKIA, a client of my company, is preparing to switch ENTIRELY off of
the M$ product line, by I believe the end of this year.  This does in
fact include the desktop/workstations, as well as the servers.  The
report I received is that while the initial switch over to the Linux
desktops did include an influx of support calls from the users, after
only a few weeks, the overall training and support necessary for the end
users is now minimal.  Not bad if one does indeed hope that Linux
becomes a major player in the business world!

Just thought these two stories might be found interesting by a few ...


Patrick Head
patrick at

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