Linked by David Adams on Mon 24th Aug 2009 09:21 UTC
Linux A reader asks: Why is Linux still not as user friendly as the two other main OSes with all the people developing for Linux? Is it because it is mainly developed by geeks? My initial feeling when reading this question was that it was kind of a throwaway, kind of a slam in disguise as a genuine question. But the more I thought about it, the more intrigued I felt. There truly are a large amount of resources being dedicated to the development of Linux and its operating system halo (DEs, drivers, apps, etc). Some of these resources are from large companies (IBM, Red Hat, Novell). Why isn't Linux more user-friendly? Is this an inherent limitation with open source software?
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Great Article Bad Conclusion
by mojeaix on Mon 24th Aug 2009 22:15 UTC
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This article was an excellent analysis, with valid points along the way. However, I feel that the conclusion that Linux-based operating systems are not as user-friendly as MacOS X or Windows is wrong.

From my experience, distrubutions like Ubuntu, openSUSE, Fedora and Mandriva are *at least* as user-friendly as Windows and lag MacOS X by *at most* a small margin.

The two problems I have found (and these are not trivial problems), is when installing Linux-based OSes on hardware that was only designed for Windows; and when users try to run certain "must have" Windows programs and games on Linux-based OSes. People also tend to value Windows and MacOS experiences highly because it is what their training in school was based on, or they have become familiar and heavily invested in one interface over another.

None of these problems are intrinsic to Linux-based OSes or the Open Source development model in general.

Edited 2009-08-24 22:16 UTC

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