Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 22nd Jan 2007 16:56 UTC, submitted by Robert
Novell and Ximian Novell might have signed a patent and interoperability deal with Microsoft Corp but it is not about to give up competing with the software giant and last week released a study that suggests its Linux desktop product is better value than Windows Vista. The company's competitive guide compares SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop with Windows Vista and claims that the Linux product provides 90% of Vista's functionality and 10% of the price.
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However, most of that learning curve is because people are used to Windows.

This point should not be underestimated. Windows seems obvious to those that have been using it for a long time, but it's not to those who haven't. The last version of Windows I used as my primary desktop was NT 4.0. I have to use XP often enough that I can do a basic install, but its administration is not obvious to me. For example, I know if I'm having problems with my wifi card on Linux, I can get its status by doing "cat /proc/net/wireless". What's the equivalent on Windows? What's the equivalent to "dmesg"? Or anything in "/proc" for that matter? On a more developer-oriented note, what's the equivalent to "readelf", or "strace"?

I think a lot of complaints about Linux usability stem from Windows power users who get frustrated by the fact that their acquired knowledge is now useless. People whose first reaction to needing software is to Google for it, instead of firing up Synaptic. People who have no problem with regedit, but find /etc to be arcane. It works both ways too, of course. Part of my frustration with XP probably stems from having things like 'ls' ingrained into my muscle-memory.

Edited 2007-01-22 19:28

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