I’m working on repairing a laptop for a friend. She has very minimal needs, but reliability is one of them. I’m asking her to try Ubuntu Linux for a while. She’s totally open to the suggestion.

Here’s my question: How would you (simply) explain the difference between Windows Operating System and a Linux O/S to a total non technical person?

The only thing I could come up with was this:

Windows is like a Barbie Doll. She plays with Ken. They do cool stuff. You can dress her up, move her, do lots of different things. When you lose one of Barbies shoes, you really can’t buy just one more. If a dress rips, oh, well. There are a whole lot of accessories you can buy for Barbie. She’s way cute. She is fun to play with.

Linux is like a Gumby Doll. You can pose him, do different stuff. He plays with Pokey. They do cool stuff. He doesn’t come with many accessories, so there’s nothing to lose. Gumby costs a lot less than Barbie with all her accessories. He’s also VERY reliable. Not much to break, nothing to lose. He is fun to play with.

Anybody have a better way to explain the differences?

Barbie and Gumby image courtesy of Trash-n-Treasures Antiques & Collectables