Subject: Re: Free software as a replacement for Microsoft
From: Steve Mallett <>
Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 10:15:06 -0300

> I recently switched my wife from Netscape on Linux to IE on Windows.
> Why?  Because Netscape is *awful*.  It's slow, crashes often, and too
> many things just don't work.  Any impartial analysis would tell you
> that IE is vastly superior to any other browser from a users point of
> view.
> Again, we must put ourselves in the mind-set of the user, not the
> mind-set of the developer.  Remember, the user doesn't know anything
> about code.  The user doesn't write software.  The user just wants to
> get their job done.  And their job has nothing to do with software.
> You want to displace Microsoft on the desktop?  Go spend some time in
> the shoes of a MS Office power user.  Spend some time watching a true
> Excel wizard at work.  Refuse to write a line of code.  Learn what MS
> Office users really do.  Until we have that kind of knowledge, we
> won't win.

As a relative, non-coder (yes, its true), let me weigh in.  I haven't the 
history behind the movement that many here have so my thoughts *may* be 

The greatest opportunity, I feel, that you all have is the opportunity to 
create a trusting bond with end-users.  Microsoft and/or its business 
policies repeatedly break that trust.  People feel screwed.  I did & I'm here.
Some of the apps I have don't do everything I need, yet.  But, they will.  
You are listening to me.  Microsoft, and others, don't do that.  I, and 
others, trust you guys.

Sure, you're not winning the battle for the desktop yet, but look how far 
you've come in such a short period of time

1) Put it in their hands  [There is no way this is happening at near enough a 
scale to be useful, yet.  Especially with everyday non-geek users.  You may 
have to drag people off the street.] 

2) Listen to what they say it doesn't do (Criticizm *is* tough to take 
sometimes, wear a cup.  How many of you have a feature-suggestions mailing 
list or contact???)

3) Implement it;  $trust += 1

4) Repeat.

These steps are also in order of perceived difficulty.

Steve Mallett | Just Stable, Open-Source Apps |

Project-Listing Maintenance In A Can:  (Aug 15th/01,
I have nothing to do with license approval.)

"Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as cooperation with good."
        -- Mohandas Gandhi