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I live with two girls who could get by on pretty much anything, but both have high-powered, hot-running Vista-based laptops for their internet. One buys clothes online, books cinema tickets and plays Farmville and Cafe world a lot (and I mean an unhealthy amount)... The odd time she opens a Word file or whatever but uses OpenOffice for that, or GoogleDocs if it's something she got in her email. That's the whole of it! The other girl looks up TV listings and uses Skype a lot, but doesn't even have an office suite installed. Granted, they're probably not the majority, but in my eyes they're two "average" users.
I don't doubt web-only people exist, I'm just not meeting them.
I think it is more average to depend on either MS Office or iTunes.
I know many people who just use Ubuntu for office, printing, email, webbrowsing and that works fine. For years now.
What else do these people need ?
Do only thing special might be that our government was smart enough to make a cross-platform application for doing taxes. So that too is able to run on Linux. Edited 2011-02-10 19:10 UTC
are we stuck in yet another how people use their computers debate. This is old.
Sure some people absolute need certain programs, and engineer might be tied to a particular CAD program, because he needs to be able to share he work with all of his coworker, everyone needs to be using compatable programs. Accountants are likewise probably best served by using the same spreadsheet program, and you can come up with a million examples of people who could not possible use another OS for some reason or another. And its tempting to looks at that list of people who simply cannot move and see what platform most of them are on and declare that platform the winner for all time.
But sometimes simplicity is a need too and that can often be achieved by deliberately not supporting some features. There is a place for a limited OS in the world, you can't discount some people needs for simplicty just because others have a need for complexity.
Of course sometimes it not always necessary to compromise, which is what HP is probably hoping for with webos. It will ship alongside windows in some way, either through instant on, virtualization, an emulator or something else. I am certainly at least interesting in how it turns out.