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Prime Time? perhaps not

First, let me congratulate Steve Alexander on trying Linux. Even though it
was apparently because Microsoft recommended it.

Next, I'd like to point out a factual error. While Mr. Alexander states
that "Linux users today number in the thousands," Red Hat Software
estimated the March, 1998 Linux population at 7.5 million. See for their computations. 

As for the difficulty of installing Linux, while I will grant that
installing applications is more difficult under Linux than Windows, a
comparable product, Windows NT, can also be very difficult to install. If
you have a hard drive over 4GB, you must partition it before NT will
install correctly.

People do not use Linux because it's easier than Windows. They use it for
a variety of other reasons.

Linux is cheaper than Windows. You can say that Windows came with your PC,
but you can bet you're paying for it.

Linux is more reliable than Windows. Some may say that Windows NT is
comparable, but that's arguable, and NT is even more expensive.

Linux is open source. If Linux has a bug, or you just don't like how it
does something, you can change it. If you are a business, this means you
can get your OS from multiple vendors who then have to compete on price.
If you want Windows, you have to go to Microsoft.

Linux is not ready for prime time, if that means non-technical people who
want an information appliance or support for the latest popular hardware
that only a huge company can provide.

But if prime time means business applications, web servers, workstations,
Internet connectivity and getting real work done, then Linux and its
millions of users have been ready for years. 

Chris Schumann <>