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Ensode.net's reader Daniel O'Neill wrote us an email in reply to our article about Linux in the workspace.  In his email, Daniel provided interesting anecdotes regarding Linux on the desktop, here is what he had to say:

"I am pretty sure that the main factor is fear.  I worked at Linuxcare in
1999/2000 and was responsible for all desktop systems within the
company.  Everyone ran Linux with VMWare running Windows as a backup in case of the hard-to-convert document or whatever.  I watched 45-year-old
women with virtually no computer experience whatsoever sit down at a
Linux system and start working with it immediately with no problems
whatsoever.  I also watched younger people who should have been more
computer savvy sit down with their new computer and immediately start
bitching about how it lacked this little feature or that.  After
patiently enduring this for usually about a week or so the people
inadvertently would turn around and actually start loving Linux.  The
fact that they were participating in the Open Source movement made them
feel even better. 

Any company that is going to deploy Linux among its
employees is going to have someone configure it.  If that person knows
what they are doing every employee will have a system that is stable and
easy to use. 

I also just spent a year in Germany where, contrary to what I had
ascertained from media coverage, openness towards Linux and Open Source was actually quite limited.  I think that there are many people there
who have had so many frustrating experiences just getting a computer to
do basic functions, that the idea of extending out further on a limb in
any way whatsoever is something they are not about to consider.  Also,
when I was there I tried to imagine what it would be like to use a
computer much of the documentation and software for is primarily in a
foreign language.  It is even difficult going into BIOS setup because
some of the keys are in different locations on German keyboards and the
BIOS generally expects a US keyboard, so without knowing that Z and Y
are in different locations can be very frustrating to the average user
and give them an impression that a computer is an unwieldy beast.  They
are probably thankful for the little bit of functionality that they do
have and don't care a lot about whether the OS is Linux or not.

It is harder for me to figure out why so many Americans who seem to have
a reasonable level of comfort with computers are so loathe to adopt
Linux.  When I first used Linux in the 1990's when I was trying to
network two computers together and had been totally frustrated with
Windows, it made perfect sense to me and I immediately realized that it
was the only way to go, even if things are not always perfect."

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