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I feel that should have done more thorough testing of the Lindows OS machine they had, and more importantly, tested the other versions that were available. I felt like they dismissed Linux without even scratching the surface.
Then last week the WalMart.com $199 PC I had ordered arrived (with Lycoris Linux on it). And much to my chagrin, after I completed the setup, it wouldn't even boot into the desktop. I was quite disturbed by this.
And finally yesterday ExtremeTech tested the new Lindows OS 4.0 and gave it a fairly glowing review. They went so far as to say it passed the "Mom" test.
This raised all sorts of doubts in my mind. I have been using Linux as my main operating system* for over five years. In the beginning it was a little rough around the edges. Installation was more difficult and the software was hit and miss. But it really has steadily improved and now I do almost everything I need to do with it. I do word processing, spreadsheets, digital camera, scanner, mp3's, audio processing, photo editing, e-mail, surfing the web, and banking. Furthermore, my wife (a self-proclaimed techno-idiot) and her daughters have been using Linux on their PC's for years as well. And with absolutely minimal coaching from me, I might add.
Is Linux usable as a desktop OS for the masses? I decided that since I had this Wal-Mart PC right here, and all of the common Linux distributions, I whould try out some common functions with each of the distributions and see how they stack up.
* Assisted by Mac OS and BeOS when needed.