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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Peter Besenbruch
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Linux needs to be more userfriendly how? The current GUI paradigm is 30+ years old, and some people will just never get it. Short of interfacing via voice activation which incorporates strong A.I., computing will just be one of those activities meant for smart or otherwise interested people.

In my case, the issues had more to do with issues common to all OSes: Passwords, formatting, file formats. These aren't OS issues, though; they are issues with all computers.

A couple of other points: The competent Word user had no trouble working with OpenOffice Writer. She said there was a lot of overlap in concepts. The church secretary has no issue with a point and click interface. Point and click basically works.

The major usability issue I encountered involved security. XP-Home, when set up as a typical home use system with a single user, is easy to use. Any time you enforce user privileges, things get complicated.

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