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Linux For Housewives. XP For Geeks.

CmdrTaco posted about 6 years ago | from the or-just-cheapskates dept.

Operating Systems 511

Talinom writes "ZDNet has an article sure to raise the hackles of any self-respecting geek. They report that housewives buying small laptops like the Asus EE are causing Linux usage for that demographic to spike. A reporter for Tech-On states that 'Retailers and contract manufacturers in Taiwan say that novice PC users there, like students and housewives, tend to buy the Linux version of the Eee PC701, while geeks go for Windows XP.'"

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BLASPHEMY! (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#24116627)

Housewives with Linux??!?! Geeks with Windows?!?! Dogs and cats living together?!?!? MASS HYSTERIA!!

Re:BLASPHEMY! (1, Redundant)

wetelectric (956671) | about 6 years ago | (#24116781)

Always love a Ghostbusters quote :)

MMmmmm... Housewives!! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24117073)

Linux... housewives? Only cheesy pr0n can result. "I'm here to repair your Linux install ma'am. OOohh, I see the problem right here. I just need to $unzip this and $touch that. Now let's $fsck!" ~Bow chica wow wow~

Re:MMmmmm... Housewives!! (-1, Redundant)

Corporate Troll (537873) | about 6 years ago | (#24117209)

Excellent! If only I had modpoints....

Re:BLASPHEMY! (5, Insightful)

CKW (409971) | about 6 years ago | (#24117103)

No no, this makes perfect sense.

Housewives don't play video games and download a bajillion "utilities". Geeks do.

Housewives want to browse the web and use e-mail, and have a stable safe system.

Geeks love the chaos and security challenges that is posed by Windows.


craagz (965952) | about 6 years ago | (#24117377)

They buy Windows XP to be the "Frist Psot" on any Windows vulnerability on Slashdot. Housewives will hardly know about slashdot. Unless maybe they would like to venture onto

Re:BLASPHEMY! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24117391)

Exactly. They also like the speed. The last thing they want to do is wait for Windows to load, defrag for an hour, update the antivirus, and then start using facebook...

Re:BLASPHEMY! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24117395)

Geeks love the chaos and security challenges that is posed by Windows.

Speak for yourself, asshole,


Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24117521)

no, they just don't call them "utilities"

I 4 1 (5, Funny)

Mipoti Gusundar (1028156) | about 6 years ago | (#24116639)

I 4 1 amd welcomming our new script bashing apron wearing apple pie bakeing overlady's!

Re:I 4 1 (5, Funny)

Rinisari (521266) | about 6 years ago | (#24116671)

I would mod that comment up if the spelling wasn't so terrible.

Re:I 4 1 (1, Funny)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 6 years ago | (#24116753)

I'd mod you up if you weren't so hung up on typos. :)

Re:I 4 1 (5, Funny)

sensei moreh (868829) | about 6 years ago | (#24117325)

I'd mod you up, but then I couldn't comment on your post :)

Re:I 4 1 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24116979)

Well I for one am going around telling housewives with EEE PCs that Gentoo is a really great piece of software to try out on their machines.

Putting housewives off using Linux, you say? That's right: get off my -- fuckin' -- lawn. I didn't spend days in the nineties working out all this Linux stuff, hours compiling the kernel, fiddling with make files, just so some young whipper-snapper could come along and make it all easy, so anyone can use it! You, goddamn youngsters, swanning around with your Debian derivatives, don't even know you're born. In my day people compiled their own damn packages!

Anonymous Coward
(because no matter how low your UID, Anonymous Coward is still the oldest active member on this site).

Re:I 4 1 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24117503)

Like Mrs. Roberts [] ?

hahah (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24116641)

niggers and n/t

or course (-1, Troll)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 6 years ago | (#24116649)

Of course this is the case. The larger specs help the geeks compensate for their other, ummm, inadequacies.

Re:or course (4, Funny)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 6 years ago | (#24116783)

Yep. Because obviously somebody can't like or buy ANYTHING big/fast/cool these days without it being to make up for "inadequacies".

Do you do the reverse? I know I don't look at the guy pulling out of the shoebox apartment (old Pentium 75 visible through the windows) in a rusted out Geo Metro and think "Man, I bet he's hung.".

Re:or course (3, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about 6 years ago | (#24117205)

Do you do the reverse? I know I don't look at the guy pulling out of the shoebox apartment (old Pentium 75 visible through the windows) in a rusted out Geo Metro and think "Man, I bet he's hung.".

Shame. he probably spent the rest of his wages on penis enlargement.

Not sure it applies here as much (5, Insightful)

jeiler (1106393) | about 6 years ago | (#24116667)

Taiwan culture is not US culture, of course. I imagine that even Geek culture is different between the two cultures.

Re:Not sure it applies here as much (4, Informative)

mikkl666 (1264656) | about 6 years ago | (#24116853)

Well, I lived in Taiwan for quite a while, and I think Windows is quite common among geeks because (for no clear reason) MSN Messenger has become the No. 1 communication vehicle among the young folks. No one ever asked my ICQ No. or mail address, just my MSN name. Which I still don't have, by the way.

Re:Not sure it applies here as much (4, Informative)

gmack (197796) | about 6 years ago | (#24117195)

MSN works fine on Linux. I use Pidgin (formerly GAIM) to chat with work contacts and push them to google messanger when MSN goes down.

No MS Windows needed.

Re:Not sure it applies here as much (1)

vampire_baozi (1270720) | about 6 years ago | (#24116867)

Come to Guanghua Shangchang, or any PC Cafe. The difference is minute. Except that Taiwanese geeks actually, y'know, have girlfriends.

Re:Not sure it applies here as much (2, Funny)

jeiler (1106393) | about 6 years ago | (#24116971)

That, in itself, is a huge difference. ;)

Re:Not sure it applies here as much (3, Funny)

introspekt.i (1233118) | about 6 years ago | (#24117225)

Girlfriends?! I'm buying plane tickets right now.

Re:Not sure it applies here as much (4, Interesting)

WibbleOnMars (1129233) | about 6 years ago | (#24116985)

Taiwan culture is not US culture, of course.

Maybe not, but the UK is much more similar, and I've stood in a Dixons store here and listened to the salesman talking to a novice about the EeePC on display, explaining its OS as "Linux is low powered and suitable for a beginner."

Granted, Dixons aren't the only people selling EeePCs, but they are definitely targetting EeePC at the less technically savvy.

Re:Not sure it applies here as much (1)

Nursie (632944) | about 6 years ago | (#24117347)

Dixons are morons.

that's the problem. You can't take from that experience that it's a corporate strategy or something they've considered and targeted. No, it's the idiot sales advisor giving his idiot opinion, as usually happens in dixons.

I saw someone in Dixons asking a sales advisor if the Xbox360 wireless adaptor would work on his network. He explained how he had a wireless router, a laptop and a Mac. "Oh, no, it's not Mac compatible, that won't work for you".

And like I have on many occasions before, I waited for the moron to sidle off to lie and make stuff up with another set of customers before quietly saying "he doesn't know what he's talking about, you'll be fine".

Of course then I got the guilt because the 360 wireless controller is extremely overpriced and nobody should be spending 60 pounds on that.

Re:Not sure it applies here as much (5, Insightful)

Icarium (1109647) | about 6 years ago | (#24117045)

It's interesting to observer how the mere mention of the word 'geek' on /. is automatically assumed to mean someone who has at least an interest in IT.

Geeks were around before computers. Not all geeks are IT savvy, not all IT savvy people are geeks.

Re:Not sure it applies here as much (2, Interesting)

jeiler (1106393) | about 6 years ago | (#24117263)

A good point, and good to remember, but ZDnet and Tech-On both used the term as well. Maybe the automatic assumption of "geek = IT" is more widespread than /.

Simple explanation... (2, Insightful)

denzacar (181829) | about 6 years ago | (#24117447)

Housewives - buying Linux version of the EeePC cause it is CHEAP.

Students - buying Linux versions cause they will promptly replace it with a pirated Windows version. Why pay for an OS when its available FOR FREE?

Geeks - buying XP cause they DON'T WANT TO BUY VISTA and they DO want to buy a computer with stronger/better components.
Such machines usually come with a OEM version of Windows whether you like it or not.

BTW... article is crap.
It fails to even say if it is the case of Linux and XP versions of EeePC or are they talking about Linux EeePCs and XP preloaded PCs in general.

If the operating system (OS) doesn't need to emphasize business use, Linux is a good choice, because its graphical user interface (GUI) software is quite mature. Retailers and contract manufacturers in Taiwan say that novice PC users there, like students and housewives, tend to buy the Linux version of the Eee PC701, while geeks go for Windows XP. The Linux version comes with a launcher providing pre-installed applications, Web services and other features at a click. The design was probably adopted to make the system even easier to use.

Maybe because that was NOT THE POINT of the article?
Something about the title... I don't know... ("Ultra Low-Cost PCs Dominate the Market")

Really guys... Why this flamebait?

Hmm.. (5, Insightful)

iXiXi (659985) | about 6 years ago | (#24116687)

Well, I am not sure that housewives can't be geeks. Maybe they confuse geeks that are buying XP with idiots? I wouldn't think that a true 'geek' would give a rat's buttocks about what OS came on the hardware. I put what I want on there when I get home.

Re:Hmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24116919)

I wouldn't think that a true 'geek' would give a rat's buttocks about what OS came on the hardware. I put what I want on there when I get home.

I don't know about that. some geeks are good at stuff, thus are in demand and short on time, so they want to have the OS on already to save time.

Re:Hmm.. (5, Funny)

Corporate Troll (537873) | about 6 years ago | (#24116991)

Exploits of a Mom [] . XKCD has a comic for everything ;-)

Re:Hmm.. (4, Funny)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | about 6 years ago | (#24117343)

Exploits of a Mom [] . XKCD has a comic for everything ;-)

Yeah and it's always that one.

Re:Hmm.. (2, Informative)

Corporate Troll (537873) | about 6 years ago | (#24117555)

Really? [] . There are others... The Bobby Tables one is just very very well known.

Re:Hmm.. (1)

Corf (145778) | about 6 years ago | (#24117465)

offtopic coincidence...

alt text for that comic:

"Her daughter is named Help I'm trapped in a driver's license factory."

current quote at the bottom of slashdot:

"Help! I'm trapped in a Chinese computer factory!"

Re:Hmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24117351)

Except Linux is free and Windows is expensive up the wazoo standalone. So I prefer Windows free with hardware when I need it instead of installing it at home...

That's kind of interesting but... (1)

x1n933k (966581) | about 6 years ago | (#24116695)

Half the fun of getting the EEEpc Linux is installing the ultra-slim version of XP yourself.

Maybe it is maybe Microsoft though of appealing to the market through reverse psychology, the Geeks buy it with XP so they can put Linux on it...


Re:That's kind of interesting but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24117419)

Half the fun of getting the EEEpc Linux is installing the ultra-slim version of XP

You and I have vastly different definitions of the word 'fun'.

I suspect that the following might apply to you:

"Dude, why did you install XP?"

"Well, I inserted a glass rod in my urethra and smashed it with a hammer, and I still wasn't having enough fun, so I figured I'd try installing Windows."

It's BECAUSE geeks are more saavy... (1, Interesting)

gfxguy (98788) | about 6 years ago | (#24116725)

Most geeks realize that Windows for a few dollars extra (or the same price) is worth it, even if you're not a fan of Windows.

I wonder if they've gotten these things to successfully dual boot. Yes, I realize there's not a whole lot of disk memory, but you can add more, no? Even if it's plugged into an external SD slot?

Re:It's BECAUSE geeks are more saavy... (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | about 6 years ago | (#24117113)

Most geeks realize that Windows for a few dollars extra (or the same price) is worth it, even if you're not a fan of Windows.

For a device like the EEE PC, I disagree.
My only reason to keep Windows around are games at this point, and the EEE PC would be unable to run the latest games anyway. For surfing, e-mail and office stuff I prefer Mozilla software and Open Office anyway. Those are available under Linux.

Re:It's BECAUSE geeks are more saavy... (1)

Nursie (632944) | about 6 years ago | (#24117397)

"Most geeks realize that Windows for a few dollars extra (or the same price) is worth it, even if you're not a fan of Windows."

You mean as a free extra and you then move to Linux? Like you may as well have the XP licenseif it's free?

Because most (software) geeks I know don't run windows at all any more unless they have to do something for work that isn't Linux compatible. And that's not a lot these days.

Also, on the 901, it's a choice of windows or another 8G of SSD. I'll be getting the Linux model.

Reasoning? (5, Insightful)

LightPhoenix7 (1070028) | about 6 years ago | (#24116729)

The article was short on details (aside from the study being in Taiwan), but my guess would be that the "geeks" are the ones playing video games, and unfortunately most of the big titles are constrained to Windows. On the other hand, a computer you're only using for e-mail and web browsing should opimally be as cheap as possible, and you certainly don't get cheaper on an OS than free.

Re:Reasoning? (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 6 years ago | (#24116891)

And also for the most part the average person doesn't really care if it runs Linux, Unix, Windows, BeOS, or whatever. They just want it to work. Being cheaper is a large factor when the price of the computer is only $200, and $50 difference is a lot. Also being so cheap if the consumer knows if that the Linux version isn't fully adequate, they can just get the Windows version. Yes, you can install XP over Linux on the EEE PC, but for the average consumer going to the store and spending $250 is a lot easier than figuring out installation of a new OS. Especially these days where you can't get XP at retail anymore.

Re:Reasoning? (2, Insightful)

Rhys (96510) | about 6 years ago | (#24116953)

Only an idiot is going to try playing a video game that needs windows (read: new enough to not be well supported by wine) on something like an eee pc.

That said, if they'll ever actually release the 1000 in the US, I'm planning on getting one and will probably load WoW on it (cedega/wine) anyway... Just to be able to use the money printing machine^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hauction house from hotels/etc.

Re:Reasoning? (2, Interesting)

Madball (1319269) | about 6 years ago | (#24116969)

I wouldn't say anyone (sane) would buy an eeePC for anything but retro gaming. My guess would be that for what an eeePC is built to do, the OS is not a differentiating factor for Ms. Housewife. She doesn't give a damn (as you say). And if it's a few bucks cheaper and does the same stuff, she's going to buy it.

A "geek" may realize that he's getting a nice discount on the XP model (getting XP and 4G SD card for $68 incremental dollars equivalent).

Re:Reasoning? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24117239)

The sort of games you can play on an Eee PC aren't the sort of games you need Windows XP for. It has an Intel GMA950. You can run zsnes/dgen/etc pretty well. pcsx and mupen work ok at 640x480. Neverball and PlanetPenguin are playable at the same resolution, although the framerate gets a little low if there are too many transparencies. Extreme Tux Racer is too much for the embedded graphics processor.

If you're thinking of installing Windows to play Crysis or Portal then forget it.

Re:Reasoning? (1)

Positrix (847332) | about 6 years ago | (#24117245)

Video games?
This is a subnotebook we're talking about.
I don't think gaming would be as significant a factor as you might think.

Different reason (0)

Stickerboy (61554) | about 6 years ago | (#24116733)

The geeks are buying the XP version to install their own flavor of Linux as a dual-boot?

Re:Different reason (4, Informative)

rvw (755107) | about 6 years ago | (#24116843)

The geeks are buying the XP version to install their own flavor of Linux as a dual-boot?

Then they are stupid geeks. The Windows version has a smaller disk, so it makes more sense to buy the Linux version.

This is great news (1)

bmcage (785177) | about 6 years ago | (#24116735)

This really is great news. No more annoying users in linux, they are all using XP. Only developers and housewives.

Expect this to be the same here in western Europe. New users with no baggage go for easy linux, while experienced tech users (identified as 'geeks') use old and encumbered Windows.

My girlfriend has got an eee (5, Interesting)

MrKaos (858439) | about 6 years ago | (#24116757)

She loves it because it fits in her hand bag, "it runs linux eh? what's linux? It does what I need it to do and it's cuuuttteee"

Re:My girlfriend has got an eee (5, Insightful)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | about 6 years ago | (#24116965)

And this shows that Linux is now usable for non-geeks when preinstalled. Many of those users wouldn't be able to reinstall their Windows either ;-)

There is still a lot of software that is only available for Windows (in particular games), but the OS itself is just as usable as Windows.

Re:My girlfriend has got an eee (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24117123)

Oh, phew. Despite all the previous Linux installations, none of them were usable. But now, this singular anecdote on Slashdot (a bastion of truth and free thought) has let us know that it is indeed usable. This is the year of Linux on the embedded device. (Just watch, someone is going to take that sentence and try to make it some sort of meaningful "rah rah rah" post with it.)

The Linux community will be having a party this Friday night. We're hoping to get three people to show up this time, and you're the guest of honor, LoneWolf666. We'll be naming our kernel installation scripts after you, after which we talk about our worst experiences using ndiswrapper. Lastly, we'll all sit down and remind ourselves of how much of a better person we are because we use a different operating system.

Re:My girlfriend has got an eee (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24116981)

"it runs linux eh? what's linux? It does what I need it to do and it's cuuuttteee"

Funny, I say the same thing about my real doll.

Re:My girlfriend has got an eee (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24117063)

"it runs linux eh?"

I gather that she's from Canada, so we wouldn't know her.

Re:My girlfriend has got an eee (1)

Devout_IPUite (1284636) | about 6 years ago | (#24117211)

Seems like geeks who want to install all this weird stuff are going to want more support for easy click and install than housewives who just want to check their E-Mail.

For a housewife, once it's installed, Linux will never need another modification. Same with XP almost.

For a geek, both are going to be rife with mods, but the Linux is harder to learn to tweak.

Dildo running Linux? (0)

pinkfloydhomer (999075) | about 6 years ago | (#24117551)

I thought you were talking about a dildo...

Windows (5, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | about 6 years ago | (#24116769)

I didn't know that the day would come, when I would feel more unfamiliar (didn't say uncomfortable - but I guess that's coming, too, with Vista (oh yeah, I don't intend to move to Vista - ever)) in Windows than in Linux. But, alas, that day has come and now I have no clue how to troubleshoot Windows anymore. It's just way too arcane and complicated. In Linux and Solaris I know how to at least start troubleshooting, and then I can search the 'net for specific keywords (error messages, log entries, etc.). Some of this could probably be done with Windows as well, but I just find the "whole experience" of troubleshooting it, more hairy and unsettling.

Re:Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24117049)

I'm sending you back to punctuation school. It's for your own good.

Re:Windows (5, Funny)

pla (258480) | about 6 years ago | (#24117143)

But, alas, that day has come and now I have no clue how to troubleshoot Windows anymore.

Silly, you don't troubleshoot Windows anymore.

First, you reboot.

If that fails to fix the problem, you roll back to the last restore point.

If that fails, you reinstall from the recovery partition.

And if even that fails, you call it a hardware failure and buy a new one.

Troubleshoot... Kids these days, sheesh.

Names (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24116785)

I've named my blow-up doll "Google".

It's a No Brainer! :-) (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24116839)

Housewives are used to getting the products that have the best cost-benefit ratio.

The Eee is a machine that provides wireless web browsing and email, instant messaging, etc.

And it's cheaper without XP.

It's a no-brainer then.

As for why do geeks prefer XP? I can speak for myself and say that I thoroughly know the beast, it is a pleasure to google for the most wild assed software/driver you can think of and find that due to the widespread presence of the thing, pretty sure SOMEONE has gone through the same ordeal as you, and has posted a workaround.
It works, and given current hardware configurations and provided that you configure it properly, it is FAST.

I know it is light years away from an elegant OS from an academic's point of view, but I rather have XP on an Eee and be open to all the possibilities of interaction with other peripherals (oh, how our choice of words reveal one's age) than spending time tweaking linux.

Re:It's a No Brainer! :-) (5, Funny)

neildiamond (610251) | about 6 years ago | (#24117431)

Housewives are used to getting the products that have the best cost-benefit ratio.

You aren't married are you?

Yes and? (5, Interesting)

Corporate Troll (537873) | about 6 years ago | (#24116861)

I bough the 701 4G a few months ago. My father in law liked it so much, and after hearing the price, ordered two for his kids: 4yo and 12yo. (Kids from his second wife: I'm not married to a 4yo or 12yo).

Anyway, I'm surprised to hear the geeks take the XP version. I'm actually quite happy with the default Xandros install. It even has perl, ruby and python for crying out loud!

Make up my mind! (1)

MarcoG42 (1087205) | about 6 years ago | (#24116865)

So, which is it? We get our hackles raised over non-geeks using a Linux-based OS, or we want it to be the year of Linux on the desktop/laptop/toaster/BOV? Let them use it. Let them tell their friends how amazing it is, and then their friends' friends. Imagine a legion of housewives telling everyone they know about this "New Windows" that is faster, cheaper to use and doesn't get that "blue screen thingy."

Year Of the Linux Desktop (4, Interesting)

scenestar (828656) | about 6 years ago | (#24116875)

I guess that instead of the year of the linux desktop we should be celebrating the year of the linux laptop

Funny, Considering the fact that Linux + laptops used to be one of the biggest headaches in the world.

Re:Year Of the Linux Desktop (2, Interesting)

Van Cutter Romney (973766) | about 6 years ago | (#24117057)

ASUS did a very good job by selecting hardware that is supported by Linux. I am a relative n00b to Linuxdom and I was able to re-install Ubuntu on my eee 900 (of course, with all the help that the Internet has), get all the devices working (webcam etc. which needed quite a bit of work), setup dual boot with Windows XP (setting up grub and all that...) and even managed to destroy and restore my MBR afterwards.

Re:Year Of the Linux Desktop (1)

vikstar (615372) | about 6 years ago | (#24117315)

...and still are

Dell Inspiron 9300 owner.

Well, yeah, obviously. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24116913)

Windows XP is a dangerous toy, much like a sports car: High upkeep, hard to handle, always broken in some way.

Housewives don't want to play with the computer, they want to get the job done. As long as they stay within the preconfigured range of capabilities, Linux is fire-and-forget.

It's true in my family (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24116929)

My 40-something housewife non-geek sister called me last month and told me all about her cute new Asus ePC. She loves it. I have no idea where she heard about it or what lead her to purchase it. I was really so surprised I forgot to ask. She's visiting me this week and I'm looking forward to her demonstration.

ZDNet confirms it... (4, Funny)

sootman (158191) | about 6 years ago | (#24116931)

2008 will be the year of XP on the desktop!

Er, laptop. whatever.

Sounds reasonable (4, Insightful)

427_ci_505 (1009677) | about 6 years ago | (#24116933)

I've never bought a copy of linux.

Or windows, for that matter.


hmm (4, Funny)

Peter_The_Linux_Nerd (1292510) | about 6 years ago | (#24116957)

Does this mean I am going to have to start using UNIX if I want to feel like an elitist-asshole?

Re:hmm (5, Funny)

foniksonik (573572) | about 6 years ago | (#24117437)

uh... you're supposed to get a Mac if you want to feel like an elitist-asshole... duh. Preferably a Macbook Air with solid state drive... $5000 or so... then install Linux on it.

Browsing and Mail (4, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | about 6 years ago | (#24116967)

Honestly, what does the average person need. Browsing, mail, photos? Sure, for multimedia Linux may not have the integration that something like Mac OS does, but neither does XP.

In many cases a more technical person has to have a Windows OS, either because they have to test against it, or they code in Visual Studio, or run some XP only app.

The prevailing mindset is that it is better to run the same OS at home as at work, if, for no other reason, the work software can be often be used at home as well. But with all the free and cheap software, and with the often extreme difficulty of keeping a MS Windows machine running, it is no longer a sure bet to run MS Windows at home. Many people are realizing that MS Windows is targeted to the corporate user, and requires corporate resources for the average person to use.

*nix, OTOH, if it is kept simple, and has some vendor support, can be run by the average person.

Games (4, Insightful)

swordgeek (112599) | about 6 years ago | (#24116973)

Geeks play games that run under XP. Housewives (househusbands, most of the rest of the universe) don't play games often, and when they do, they're browser-based or included in the OS.

Nothing to see here.

Re:Games (3, Insightful)

dyfet (154716) | about 6 years ago | (#24117285)

So let me get this straight, geeks want to play games on tiny screens and, for most games in today's market, what would be greatly underpowered hardware?? What do they play, minesweep??!

While I don't have an alternative explanation to immediately offer, I do find that particular argument far less than compelling to explain this phenomena, at least from the geek part.

Re:Games (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 6 years ago | (#24117335)

Yea, your right. OK, let me get back to playing Crysis on my EEEPC. Oh wait...

Re:Games (1)

Cypher04 (807337) | about 6 years ago | (#24117369)

Are you saying that they are buying the windows version to run Crysis? I find it hard to believe anybody would purchase one of these to play games.

I'm suffering an identitiy crisis (2, Funny)

John Jamieson (890438) | about 6 years ago | (#24116989)

I bet this is tough news for a bunch of us. It's not that I have a problem sheding the geek moniker, I welcome it.
But discovering you are not who you thought you were is still hard.

It is rather like growing up in a "not respected" family, and then finding out you were born a royal, and switched at birth.

for the ladies (1)

WwWonka (545303) | about 6 years ago | (#24116995)

You know, this was such an easy one to see.

for the past ten plus years I would download a copy of some Linux distro and install it on a spare PC. It would be bloated, ugly, techy, just too much for the normal casual internet user. I would then strip it of it's bulk(emac anyone), make it look super pretty and super easy, throw some Hello Kitty like wallpaper on it, then all of a sudden the girlfriend at the time was interested in using it! for XP for geeks? Someone is smoking some serious Bill Gates produced crack.

My elderly aunt has a linux eeepc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24117013)

There's some truth to the article, except that real geeks aren't using Windows at all. The situation is basically "average joe" and "doesn't know any better" are using windows but linux is fine for everyone else.

I'm still waiting for a linux based eeepc without a we-pay-MS-patent-protection-money-distro like Xandros! Come to think of it, even FreeDOS would do :)

Not that XP is geekier (3, Interesting)

4e617474 (945414) | about 6 years ago | (#24117029)

I can think of several reasons a geek might get XP while preferring Linux. A job that lets you telecommute but doesn't supply a notebook or a Linux-friendly way on to the VPN. Getting locked into XP through years of acquiring familiar apps and tools. Shelling out cash on specialty hardware before checking Linux compatibility. Pouncing on the chance to snap up XP just to hedge their bets before they can only count on finding Vista. And then there's always the people who intend to dual-boot. You'll see them buying XP, then they'll get Linux without alerting the media.

TFA article is pretty clear on why the housewife wants the Linux Eee PC. But it doesn't even tell you what they meant by "geek" - fondness for games? already uses more than two programs that didn't come on a computer? computer literacy? - much less offer any reasoning.

No NSFW tag??? (2, Funny)

pla (258480) | about 6 years ago | (#24117059)

Linux For Housewives.

Hey, some of us read Slashdot at work! Can we at least keep the porn off the front page, please?

EEE, the new iPod? (3, Interesting)

dreemernj (859414) | about 6 years ago | (#24117065)

iPod's were purchased by everybody and their mother. People with no interest in computers or high end stereo equipment or portable audio all of a sudden bought expensive iPods. Now people with not a ton of interest in computers, and definately not in really expensive ones, see a computer that's inexpensive and has an OS that is actually very friendly to newbies, and they are eating it up.

If you haven't tried an EEE and are surprised by the idea of non-geeks using Linux, you should try one with the default setup. A few people I know that were never particularly adept at figuring stuff out in Windows, people that definately don't qualify as geeks, have been picking up the cheapest EEE to use for web browsing and music playing. Then, all of a sudden, they started doing things like switching to the full desktop mode, adding new applications, doing what they have to to get the EEE to support what they want to do.

I'm no UI designer, that's for sure, but there is definately something about the EEE's flavor of linux that has gotten a lot of non-computer types to delve into really learning about and customizing their OS. That's not the case with everybody obviously, but in general there is a level of accessibility in the EEE's setup that seems to just make people happy.

Its because geeks know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24117105)

If you consider what an XP license is worth, I would probably choose the laptop with XP and then put the flavor of Linux on that I want...

Obligatory XKCD reference (1)

lazy-ninja (1061312) | about 6 years ago | (#24117189)

House Wives running linux? Like Mrs. Roberts [] ?

Hardware differences (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24117199)

One problem is that some manufacturers are releasing certain models with only one operating system choice.

Take MSI's Wind. It is available in both Linux and Windows flavors. However, a number of more high-end features (6 cell battery, bluetooth, etc.) are only available on models shipping with XP. Most consumers probably aren't going to be too interested in paying extra for these, but technology enthusiasts are.

I plan to buy a 6-cell Wind with XP, wipe it, then install my distro of choice.

liars & touts & shills, oh my (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24117223)

truth is, they'll eat what they're fed.
the lights are coming up all over now. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

& pretending that it isn't happening here;
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

Housewives choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24117271)

I can verify this. Lately I've started to feel like a drug dealer. It all started when I put Linux on the mother in laws PC. For years I had the dubious role of family head geek, always clearing off malware and reinstalling Windows - of course it gave me a glow of feeling wanted, but also being taken for granted. Then one day I told her about Linux while we were eating dinner. Instead of the expected response she said.. "That sounds interesting, can you install it on my computer?"

Initially I started backpeddling. "It would be too complicated", "You wouldn't know where the menus are".. and the more I took this line the more she became determined that she would try it. (Tip to advocates; Instead of gushing with enthusiasm try this strategy instead, it works)

I think us male geeks underestimate mums and grans. After I ran the first update to fix a problem with Firefox I didn't hear anything from her. Not for months. When I asked "How are you getting on with Linux?" she said "Oh just fine thanks!". And I thought, hmm she is probably too embarrased to say that she's broken it and doesn't understand anything. So, I thought I would be out of a job. Either she's given up on computers or it never goes wrong. Last time I went round Synaptic was open on the desktop. Next time I go over I expect she'll be recompiling a kernel.

Anyway, now I get asked all the time "Mrs McCallum at number 50 wants Linux"

It's always the husband or the son who are looking daggers at me. "Mum won't know how to use Linux. It's too complicated. Why are you doing this?"

And it's always the woman who is robustly telling them to shut up... "It's *MY* computer and I'll have what I want on it"

So now I hear them at parties talking to friends.
"Oh, we use Linux of course..."
"What's that?"
"Well, it's not for's probably too complicated for you..."

Gentlemen, we are seeing a revolution. It's not the young geeks who are ringing the changes. It's the housewives. And in England, when the housewives mobilise you take notice. Something has got to them. Maybe it was a feature on Richard and Judy about Linux, or something on Radio 2... maybe it's the cute penguin.

fuqckk!? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24117305)

Geeks want big iron (1)

dsurber (53971) | about 6 years ago | (#24117313)

I bought an HP2133 [] with Vista even though it is available with SUSE. When I bought it the only way to get the most powerful hardware was to buy the Vista configuration. It was my first experience with Vista so I played with it for a few days, but now it is happily running Kubuntu. It is not even dual boot; 100% all Linux. If I could have gotten the big iron with SUSE I would have.

Housewives more astute than geeks? (2, Insightful)

adsl (595429) | about 6 years ago | (#24117317)

I hate to say this on slashdot, but the Linux version of the eeepc comes with better hardware out of the box. It also presents a proposition for users to wean themselves OFF Mr Softy products. i.e. if they can live with Linux on their small form factor Asus, then why pay for MS Office and other MS products when Free, or very economical, Linux apps are readily available! You don't think that MS is concerned about this? That's why the small form XP was suddenly made available for these machines at a rock bottom price. So it seems that housewives and MS know something geeks don't!

Get back in the kitchen! (5, Funny)

jeebusroxors (812064) | about 6 years ago | (#24117359)

Wimins? On computers? What will they try next....

Isn't this a good thing? (1)

Clarious (1177725) | about 6 years ago | (#24117421)

I mean now Linux is easier to use than Windows, or at least pre-installed linux's machines are easy to use, as I still can' get my laptop wifi card to work. And how is vista doing in taiwan? (I haven't read the article yet)

A new strategy for DirectX support?? (1)

Banekartr (1058752) | about 6 years ago | (#24117499)

Lets unleash their nagging at Microsoft for DirectX support... now it is only a matter of time. Sit back and wait.

Pics ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24117561)

... or it didn't happen

Geeks play games (2, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | about 6 years ago | (#24117563)

Geeks play games. Housewives don't. OK, that stereotype has been busted by some of the "casual games", and the game demographic in general has become more evenly balanced. How about this: Geeks need XP for work, housewives don't. Follow this with: They're using it as their primary OS, but what are they running in a VM?

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