Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 2nd Sep 2006 18:26 UTC, submitted by Mark
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu "Unless you have been living in a cave somewhere in Redmond you would no doubt have heard of Ubuntu and its many derivatives, touted as 'Linux for human beings'. Ubuntu has become the darling of the Linux media and has stolen the limelight from other prominent distributions such as the stalwart Red Hat and, the now Novell owned, SuSE. The question is why?" More here.
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"I pretty much stopped reading after the second or third "What users really want blah, blah, blah!" I've said it before and I'll say it again, please for the love of all things holy shut the hell up about what "Joe User" wants and let "Joe User" speak for himself."

Look as a noob here I know I'm even more in for a flame here but I thought I should probably just point out that "Joe" is already making his choice. Whether "we" the geeks like it or not, "Joe" is choosing Windows.
Not just because it is the OS that is pushed on them but also because as much as "we" all like to complain about blue screens and registry bloating, these things are not really issues to "Joe User".

Why would "Joe User" care about anything other than being able to put a document together and email it to his 10 friends, knowing that 9 of them can read it without a problem, and the 10th, who is his geeky nephew who is always trying to get him into this alternative Linux thing, will work it out on his own anyway.

I work with Unices every day, I am running an ALMOST Windows-free environment at home and there is no way on earth that I would push any Linux distribution on my In-laws who are currently fighting the good fight trying to understand OSX and WinXP. I have gone as far as setting them up with OOo, firefox and thunderbird. They are happy to try it all but none of those apps are without problems for them. Not just the ordinary things that they would probably get in the MS equivalents as well. Such as program crashes and odd behaviour. But also the discomfort of being moved way beyond their comfort zone just by finding menus in different places and struggling to identify the functions that they are after.

I don't claim to understand "Joe User" anymore than most other geeks, but I do try to understand the friends and family who struggle with computers everyday. These people feel discomfort when the menus in Word have been changed, how are they going to feel about everything changing? For all these hopes and dreams of what Linux should/could be I think "we" the geeks have a hard time accepting that "our" goals and the goals of "Joe User" are quite different. I believe that "Joe" just wants to come to work, have his computer look and work the same as it did yesterday, without having to understand why. And when he goes home he turns it off and forgets about it again until next day.
This does not mean that "Joe User" is simple, it just means that "Joe User" is more interested in playing footie, having a bqq and spending time with friends and family. Than he is in playing with his computer... It is after all just a tool, not a hobby.


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