Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 19th Nov 2005 16:52 UTC, submitted by chrishaney
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu The first preview release of (K)Ubuntu 6.04 Dapper Drake has been released. You can download Ubuntu here, and Kubuntu here. Screenshots can be found here and here.
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by archiesteel on Sun 20th Nov 2005 19:02 UTC
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These are the people that will have problem using KDE. They are not likely to fill out any polls on a Linux site. Even if they happened to enter such site and see the poll, would they even know if they liked KDE or Gnome. Many people even get surprised when you tell them that their PC hardware and windows are separate parts. To these users KDE is not a good fit.

So, the data in your polls could probably give you some weak indication that geeks prefer KDE, but not much more than that. This is no surprise. KDE fits very well into Unix culture, where everything is possible for the Unix wizzard.

I'm sorry, but I find this *highly* speculative. The fact is that there aren't that many "average" Linux users (which, again, is an ill-defined group) compared to "geek" users right now. I do not believe that "geek" users are the minority yet.

That said, I do not believe that users are generally clueless - of course, support people will hear about the clueless ones because these are the ones that will call tech support. The "sample bias" you say applies to online polls also applies to tech support users.

The only scientific usability testing I've seen done used both Gnome and KDE, and users found tasks similarly easy/difficult on both DEs (then again, the sample size was pretty small so the data reliability is not optimal).

As others mentioned earlier, familiarity is as important - if not more important - than "intuitive" UI design. The fact is that KDE seems more familiar to Windows users than Gnome, and therefore one could make the case that business users - the vast majority of which are Windows users - would prefer KDE over Gnome.

A good example is the Open/Save dialog. The KDE one is closer in style to the MS Office open/file dialog (I won't say the Windows one, because they're quite inconsistent across varied Windows apps), while the Gnome one is decidedly different. Doing an informal test with my girlfriend and my roommate, I saw that both of them were more hesitant with the Gnome dialog than with the KDE one.

My take on it is that there isn't enough data to determine whether KDE or Gnome is more friendly to newbie users, nor to know if the initial friendliness has much of an impact on how quickly they'd become proficient with either of the DEs.

As for RedHat and Novell, well, neither of them dominates the "business" Linux Desktop by a wide enough margin to impose their choice of DEs. KDE isn't doomed, neither is Gnome. Both DEs will continue to compete, improve and interoperate, and that is a good thing.

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