April 21, 2009

New Linux Challenges

With the new push by the Linux foundation towards improving the public image of Linux through the new sites, we think about what are likely to be the new challenges Linux as a social phenomenon.

One arena that IMHO Linuxers everywhere should invest is in the education market (meaning: kids). My son (11 yrs old) got an Intel classmate for school last this year and it came with windows and a half-baked Linux distro, I'd rather not mention the name. After I told him about the multiple advantages of free software and Linux he started to use Linux as his preferred operating system on his new computer. It bothered me however that the outdated version of the Classmate came with did not do justice to what a first Linux experience should be.

Soon enough I proposed to him we installed Ubuntu Netbook Remix on the classmate. He agreed and when I asked him some partitioning questions like how much space he wanted to give each operating system, he surprised me by asking me to completely wipe off Windows. Of course nothing would give me more pleasure, but I asked again: "are you sure? what if you need windows for something Linux can't do?" he then laughed in my face and said: "There's no such a thing!".

Now, at school all the other kids envy his brand new Linux system and how much better it performs than the original OSs.

Kids are always willing to try new things. And if we introduce them to Linux early enough, they won't settle for inferior operating systems in the future, and definitely won't accept software which restricts their freedom to use their computers to their full extent.

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