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Microsoft (Mis)Educates Best Buy Employees About Linux

by Lambert Varias

A Best Buy employee recently posted screenshots of what he claims is part of a training program about Windows 7. The screenshots show some Windows vs. Linux comparisons. You probably know where this is going. The employee is overclock.net forum member GodofGrunts, and here are some of the screenshots he posted:


Now I have never used any Linux OS, but even if it’s true that there are fewer major software that are compatible with the system, I am pretty damn sure that there at least 2 Linux apps that provide video chat – Skype and Pidgin. As for the printer and scanner compatibility GodofGrunts adds, “I’ve yet to see a printer that doesn’t have a driver. You might have to download it from the products website though (gasp!).” GodofGrunts also adds that there are Linux distros that offer official technical support, contrary to what the table above indicates.


I like how Microsoft lists “Free downloads” as one of Windows’ strengths when in fact people can legally own a Linux OS for free; same with Linux programs. Is Windows free? Is Microsoft Office free?


Again, I don’t have sufficient knowledge about software so I can’t comment on that claim – note that the training program doesn’t really claim that Windows is safer than Linux – but this forum lists a couple of advantages that Linux is supposed to have over Windows. If this training program is really being used to “teach” Best Buy employees, it means that Microsoft is just breeding technological ignorance.

Why can’t they just talk about how Linux systems aren’t that user-friendly? At least that’s still somewhat true. The original images that GodofGrunts posted were taken down by Photobucket because of bandwidth limits, but you can go to Electronista to see some of the other screenshots.

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Comments (10):

  1. Manchicken says:

    There are dozens of mp3 player apps, Ipod is supported, I’ve never run into a camera that wasn’t compatible (I know a couple professional photographers who use Linux primarilly), and with apple maintaining CUPS, printer support has never been better.

    With Ubuntu and gnome and KDE, even the user-friendly argument goes out the window. Also, when’s the last time Microsoft supported you for free?

    Microsoft can’t claim a legitimate technical advantage, so they lie. That’s kinda normal for them. Ubuntu repos and fedora repos are littered with choice. There are more text editors, media players, file managers, web browsers, office applications, terminals, image manipulators, and mail clients than I have ever seen on any other operating system in my 24 years of computing.

    My wife even hapilly used Ubuntu for several years.

    That said, I mostly use macs these days.

  2. Rusty says:

    At least this is only an employee training software (if that). Hopefully people who actually buy the systems will do their own research on Linux…

  3. Thomas says:

    Yeah, you’re very right about Pidgin and Skype. Some distros come with them installed, and they’re much better than Windows Messenger, which is awful. WINE has good compatibility with things like World of Warcraft as well, and it runs great if your video card doesn’t suck.

  4. bob says:

    ya see, this is the bullshit that we employees have to say and push to customers.

  5. Martin says:

    Interesting that MS is spending so much effort and money to produce this training. A company doesn’t do that unless they think they have to. To me, this simply validates Linux as an OS that can be run by the masses.

    Thank you MS for the proof. No Linux vendor could have provided better proof.

  6. Brad Landis says:

    IMO, most people who are smart enough to use Linux won’t even go into Best Buy. If they need the Best Buy employee, who’s pulling most of this stuff out of his rear, to explain the differences, I don’t think they should be using Linux in the first place.

  7. WaterMelonOfTheSea says:

    that’s funny…
    i use Ubuntu linux and last time i checked add/remove programs in ubuntu it brings up a list there at least 10 widely used music players when i search mp3 and a bazillion other programs and apps that vary in nature that can be installed from there and not have to be hunted down in the form of a exe file that might be a virus.
    plus any .debs i installed aren’t viruses.
    and my graphics card also works out of the box for games and 3d accelerated graphics.
    also my printer keeps getting detected as unistalled hardware in xp while ubuntu works with it out of the box same for my web cam and usb mic.
    not to mention it’s “windows program compatible” with wine installed.
    i know for a fact that my Linux os is updated hell of alot more that my windows one since every 6 months a new version comes out and not to mention the updates download in that period of time.
    i could go on but i don’t see the need to.

  8. The Review Site says:

    Good post congratulations.

  9. Beer Club says:

    Hi am glad that Microsoft linux has apps for voice chat . Comparing with other linux ms linux has many apps and better features . thanks

  10. Antonio says:


    I have the impression that who wrote those notes concerning Windows and Linux has never used Linux-based OS…or maybe he or she is not smart enough to use them…


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