Why the Hell is not Everyone Switching to Linux?

Fear. Fear is the reason. Regular user, which is actually the majority of users, is afraid of Linux. Only way to beat that fear is marketing. Because the fear is kind of irrational. You can only beat it with marketing.

And simplifying the adoption process. Even for me, there are a lot of things to plan and consider before moving to Linux. And I'm a certified Linux sys admin and have used linux professionally before in work environment. But as majority of chefs don't cook at home, I don't want to think about the kernel while my child plays Roblox on a laptop at home. Or while I write something on Word at home. I don't want to compile drivers just because I bought a printer for kids.

I know they probably have alternatives on Linux. But that is the problem, there are "alternatives" on Linux. To what? There is a free OS that Microsoft bundles with any laptop, or a free OS that Apple bundles with their devices. I know there is an underlying payment, it is still free to regular user's eyes. And whatever they need, exists on those ecosystems. And Linux is saying that there are some alternatives to what you are used to, and some things may not work, or may not work as you are used to.

People want functionality first. Even when they say they don't care, they still want some things to, just work. They don't want to do anything about it too.

There's not a catch for regular users in this. Linux being a free OS does not count, other OSes are free for them too. They are preinstalled also. Preinstalled is nice. Linux being safer, stabler, faster does not count. They don't care about safe, that's become apparent now.

Is it fast and stable though? Is it snappy? Because look and feel is also something regular user cares about. And also if one regular user runs into a problem, can they solve it? Or is it one of the unsolvable issues, or do they need to restart some services from the terminal, or do they need to find an ubergeek? You can't explain that to a regular user. Windows and MacOS has their own "home-experts" now. Fathers, sons, nephews and co-worker buddies who are already aware of the solution that you bumped into. For linux it is a rare commodity.

Plus, people are either using computers, for leisure or business. And having said that people using computers are even a decreasing population. There are large mobile phones now, people are doing everything on their phones. The households without any laptop or computers is the majority of households, and I've even heard "oh yeah, there has to be a laptop somewhere in the house, but I don't know if it still works though" sentence multiple times.

So less people are using computers. Because most of them are just consumers. Consuming digital data and services. Mobile is enough for them.

And for the computer using group, there is a free "alternative" to linux, that is already installed with the laptop they buy, which they can ask almost anyone if they are stuck, if they cannot already handle it by just googling some words and following screenshots walkthroughs. There is a vast amount of search results to any question you ask regarding them.

The "alternative" to linux is familiar, good looking, cute, simple, snappy, stable and marketed the hell out of it.

And this free "alternative" to linux already has every tool that they need, and they are used to, just working, and every game they play just made specifically for it.

Why should they switch?

And, don't get me wrong, I love linux.

I want to and I want people to switch to it.

But, I can't convince anyone.

There's just no incentive.


I am Devrim Vardar.

I write code, fiction,
and non-fiction.

Full-Stack Developer, Startup Entrepreneur & Sociology PhD.

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