If you live in Europe you're running Linux

August 21st, 2007

There is a certain large class of internet users who, despite knowing that the internet is global, only seem to be interested in the national parts of it. They will use webmail, but only some national provider in their language. They will read papers, but only papers of their country. This to me is a little weird, because why would you limit yourself to just that little part when you have the whole thing to choose from? Anyway, my point is that if you're one of these people you're not going to understand what I'm about to say.

If you are one of those people on the internet, of which there are many, who have a wider perspective than just their country, then you can appreciate how often it feels like you're a second class citizen. Want to buy something on amazon? Well too bad, because there is no Dutch amazon, so you have to buy it from the US and overpay for shipping (or the French, German or UK one, but those don't have nearly the same selection). Oh, and it takes two weeks instead of 3 days. Ebay? Same deal. More often than not, you get a worse deal when you don't have a US shipping address. A lot of things you can't get at all. And most sites default to their largest, US version as well. It's not discrimination on purpose, of course, it's just that that's their biggest market.

Well that's kind of like it is to run Linux. There is less software available, you don't get support for hardware, basically the total number of services offered for Linux is much less, because the market is lesser. Either you can't get the same deals or you have to do more work to get them. But it's actually less painful than online shopping, so those who are switching will find it's not as bad as they thought. Basically if you can stand to live in Europe and shop online, Linux is a delight.

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