Why Walmart isn’t the place for Linux

A lot has been said this week about Walmart pulling the Everex gPC and Cloudbook from their stores. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has a interesting article on desktoplinux.com regarding his views.

What it boils down to is the people who typically shop at WalMart are probably not even capable of determining what OS their computer is running. All they know is they bought the computer and then bought Quicken and couldn’t get it to run on the gPC.

Tux Clueless

Linux distros like gOS and Ubuntu aren’t doing enough to educate people by telling them that Linux is another OS, and that they can do all the same things they can do with Windows, Quicken and Microsoft Office, however they won’t be using those programs. They’ll be using Linux, GnuCash and OpenOffice.org and it’s all FREE.

As for gOS, it’s very easy to use and very easy to figure out for new users. So the software design and ease of setup is there, but joe sixpack just wants to run what his friends do and it’s likely not Linux.

What do you think? Have you tried Linux? Tell me what you think. Do you think new users can use Linux? I think they can, but the issue of compatibility will stop them. Linux companies and the rest of the industry needs to push Microsoft to make OOXML the standard file format for Word, Excel, Powerpoint…etc. Until file interchange can be made seamless, everyone will want the defacto standard, which is Microsoft Office. People don’t know that unless your doing something complex, you can write Word files and Excel files on Open Office and send them to each other with no problems. I just got through almost an entire quarter writing papers in Open Office and I didn’t have a single file that was unreadable by my instructor.

So, I implore the readers of Gear Diary to at least try the Ubuntu Live CD for 5 minutes before commenting. It just might surprise you!


About the Author

Joel McLaughlin
Joel is a consultant in the IT field and is located in Columbus, OH. While he loves Linux and tends to use it more than anything else, he will stoop to running closed source if it is the best tool for the job. His techno passions are Linux, Android, netbooks, GPS, podcasting and Amateur Radio.