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Posted Jun 2, 2009 18:24 UTC (Tue) by mikov (subscriber, #33179)
Seriously, I think these are valid questions to ask and discuss if we do it politely. The consensus between those who responded is that Canonical is benefiting the Linux ecosystem and I agree.
I do however think think that there are two different alternate realities here. One is the overenthusiastic reality which you see at tech sites and discussion forums (e.g. Slashdot), and the other is the actual physical reality.
For example In the physical reality I have never met a person who actually uses Ubuntu. When I say "uses", I don't mean install every new version and "try" it, but actually use it for everything on his home/work PC every day. I am sure such people exist, but they are much fewer in absolute numbers than one would assume by reading tech sites. (I myself actually _do use_ Ubuntu on my laptop 100% of the time, but people think I am crazy. We also tried to use it on desktops at work, but alas that failed).
On the other hand, I have met many people who have a Ubuntu Live CD, or a partition, which they boot probably once a month. This is a fake user base. Their primary OS with very few exceptions is Windows. These are probably the people who upgrade their Ubuntu every 6 months - I am sure that nobody who actually uses their computer would be crazy enough to do an upgrade so frequently.
So, I think the answers are more complicated.
Posted Jun 2, 2009 21:33 UTC (Tue) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
I think it is going to depend a lot on what groups you are with as far as how many people use what distro.
I used slakware for 10+ years so I'm not a non-technical user, and I decided to switch to ubuntu.
Posted Jun 4, 2009 7:29 UTC (Thu) by Lennie (subscriber, #49641)
Posted Jun 5, 2009 2:22 UTC (Fri) by Duncan (guest, #6647)
Agreed in general that these aren't true users, and that there are
probably a lot of Ubuntu LiveCDs and installs in that group. However,
it's important to note that the *ix way of computing is a decently large
change in computing mindset, and that some portion of these will
ultimately become full-time Linux users.
(FWIW, I was in this segment for 2-3 years, around the turn of the
century, with Mandrake the distribution I was playing with. Then MS
decided they were going a different way than I was, and basically gave me
that last push I needed to make the jump, when they went the eXPrivacy and
remote authorization route. This for a user who had previously considered
most MS software "too important" to risk warezing, and who had previously
been spending probably 50% of his computing dollars on MS directly. But
after the push, I soon discovered how liberating the land of freedomware
was, and now look back at proprietaryware much like a defector looking
back at his former home -- I have a lot of friends and family I left
behind and will do what I can to help them make the jump as well, but
it's nowhere I want to be or can even visit, unless the regime changes and
becomes free as well. I no longer even consider proprietaryware, nor
could I without serious legal issues, as I can no longer agree to all
the !#@! demanded of proprietaryware users, whose masters, those supplying
the proprietaryware, really /do/ seem to think of them as slaves, not
actual human beings, with few if any rights worth considering.)
> These are probably the people who upgrade
> their Ubuntu every 6 months - I am sure
> that nobody who actually uses their computer
> would be crazy enough to do an upgrade so
Why not? I actually use my computer, running Gentoo, and upgrade on
average 2-3 times a week. In fact, I hate going a full week without an
upgrade as the changes start getting too large to easily cope with all at
once. Thus, I'd argue that six month upgrades, far from being too
frequent, are WAYYY too infrequent, by three orders of magnitude!
FWIW, I found the same issue on Mandrake and quickly switched to Cooker,
where the rolling updates were MUCH easier to cope with and most of the
big issues the release version upgraders had to cope with were incremental
changes I had dealt with as a matter of course tiny incremental bits at a
time, long months before. Six months is simply WAY too long for easy
upgrades, and going longer than that, you're needlessly losing out on
updates and features that make computing both easier and more pleasant.
Posted Jul 21, 2009 3:34 UTC (Tue) by jmm82 (guest, #59425)
I work at a start-up with about 10 Linux users and all but one use Ubuntu(the other uses Suse). Everyone I know that uses it are happy and yes we do *real* Linux programming stuff.
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