One minor example I recently found, with a small non-profit, was dealing with Microsoft Publisher documents. When this group decided to switch from Windows XP to Linux, they expressed concerns over how they'd migrate their Publisher files over to the new operating system. In the short-term, they're using Publisher under a virtual machine. Thankfully Scribus is working on Microsoft Publisher support. Once a few bugs are worked out, it's likely that Scribus could become a final migration tool for those looking to dump Microsoft Publisher for something supported by the open source community.
Making the switch from one platform to another, is a monumental task for most people. As geeks, I've found that all too often we take this for granted. The fact is, most people simply want to find a comfortable means of using their computers and then to switch without a lot of additional work or a huge time investment. And while young people are dumping PCs in favor of tablets and smartphones, enterprise users are still relying on those crazy machines with a keyboard and mouse.
It’s been argued that no one outside of geeks will ever use Linux on the desktop. And yet each time I show someone what can be done on distributions such as Ubuntu and others, I'm asked how they can get this "Linux-thing" on their computer at home.
The real missed opportunities I see with the Linux desktop is due to a poor job marketing the many things Linux can do for the average user. Once installed, I've actually had a reduction in late night service calls. It's too bad that most PC users today won't ever have the opportunity to try a Linux desktop themselves. That, my friends, is what I call the biggest missed opportunity of all.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.