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Is Linux nearing XP usability?

I prefer:   407 votes

  1. 1. I prefer:

    • Windows xp
      298
    • pre xpLinux free
      64
    • Linux commercial
      45

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324 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Linux should be as easy as WinXP but Linux offers so much, it can overwhelm a new comer. It did that to me. I didn't know I could use up to 4 decktop environments, have 3 browsers, or 2 office suites for free.

Now, that may keep some people from Linux at home. They could make a flavor that is easy on options, plenty of programs but not too many of one type, and drivers for more hardware. I always had a problem with integrated devices and Linux.

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EDIT: I fixed the URL

Edited by markjensen

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Posted (edited)

On a box that is set up, the answer is yes! Linux is as easy to use. My wife and kids have no problem on my Linux box.

However, setting up can be either very automatic (more so than in Windows, in fact!), or it can be very problematic. This depends on the hardware you have, and is the biggest challenge to the Open Source community to work on improving.

I feel that once Linux gains market share, this will get much better (and quickly!) as hardware vendors jump on-board.

EDIT: Moved the thread to the *nix Client section, as it really isn't a 'customizing' thing... :unsure:

Edited by markjensen

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Posted

i can do more in linux after using it for 6 months than i could in windows after using it for 13 years. it is MUCH more usable.

with windows and OSX, you feel like you are trying to trick the computer into working. linux it gives you a lot more freedom.

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Posted

I don't know about your OSX observation. I only test-drove it in the computer store, but it seemed pretty usable (even with just the one mouse button).

The thing that took the longest was finding how to open a shell so I could do a uname on it. ;)

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Posted

its the same with all propriety non-source OS's.

you have to do things the way apple/ms wants you to do things, and if you want to do something they havent thought of already, you have to trick it to make it think your doing something else.

i dunno, hard to explain.

ok, example, like needing a third party app to skin the OS. it applies to both of them. with KDE/gnome/all wm's/ that functionality is already there.

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Posted

I would say, no. Not quite yet, but almost. Some things take a bit of work, but you have to willing to take a challenge every now and again, if you want to use linux :)

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Posted

I would say, no. Not quite yet, but almost. Some things take a bit of work, but you have to willing to take a challenge every now and again, if you want to use linux :)

so ..... nearing?

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Posted

so ..... nearing?

Yes definately nearing. And very soon (6 months a year maybe, which isnt that long really) will be a viable alternative for everyone in my opinion.

hmm i misread the title as is linux at XP usability :blush:

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Posted

Does anyone understand the poll? :wacko:

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Posted

I didn't really understand your poll options so I didn't vote. But, I belevie thta froma usability standpoint, assuming everything is set up just as it is when you buy a Win box, yes it is is pretty much there.

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Posted

Definitely far more so than a year ago. This is the third time I've really tried to use Linux consistently and I haven't been into Windows except to play games for a month :)

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Posted

I didn't understand the poll but I use both Windows XP and Linux on my laptop and I like both. I use Windows XP more though due to my school's programming course runs on it right now and so does all my applications. But I'm slowely but surely transfering over due to the flexability I have been able to find in Linux.

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Posted

I'd have to say no...not yet. I just went through two distros (Mandrake, Fedora) and had one hell of a time trying to install nvidia drivers. Regardless how easy it is for *you* to install these...the error messages I received would cause anyone who just wants it to work...to stop trying. I never got the drivers working in Mandrake...got them working in Fedora which I ended up sticking with.

Installing software is another issue. It just isn't user friendly...period. Even with Firefox I ran into issues about having to install something else (forgot what now)...then I had to figure out how to install that something else.

Linux has been fun to tinker with (I have it installed on my other computer)...but when you have to get stuff done XP is the only way to go..IMO. Granted...Linux has come a long way since I first installed a linux box in 97/98...but it still isn't "there". IMO...all these distros...all these programs...all these installation wizard things...need to combine and make some sort of standard. Without a standard...confusion and the inability for newbies to work with Linux efficiently will not happen.

Edit: Curious about this "flexibility" that one finds with Linux (and apparently doesn't with Windows). What does that mean exactly?

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Posted

Does anyone understand the poll?  :wacko:

im sorry about the poll, and wanted to redo it but have no idea about that.

even if the two options: pre xp -- free linux could be seperated it would look better

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Posted

I'd have to say no...not yet.  I just went through two distros (Mandrake, Fedora) and had one hell of a time trying to install nvidia drivers.  Regardless how easy it is for *you* to install these...the error messages I received would cause anyone who just wants it to work...to stop trying.  I never got the drivers working in Mandrake...got them working in Fedora which I ended up sticking with.

Installing software is another issue.  It just isn't user friendly...period.  Even with Firefox I ran into issues about having to install something else (forgot what now)...then I had to figure out how to install that something else.

Linux has been fun to tinker with (I have it installed on my other computer)...but when you have to get stuff done XP is the only way to go..IMO.  Granted...Linux has come a long way since I first installed a linux box in 97/98...but it still isn't "there".  IMO...all these distros...all these programs...all these installation wizard things...need to combine and make some sort of standard.  Without a standard...confusion and the inability for newbies to work with Linux efficiently will not happen.

Edit: Curious about this "flexibility" that one finds with Linux (and apparently doesn't with Windows).  What does that mean exactly?

get yoper. it installs nvidia drivers automatically.

the installer is OK, not the best, but it really isnt that hard. just try it. also, yoper uses apt, so installing software is as simple as "apt-get install <nameofsoftware>"

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Posted

Still, what the hell is pre xp -- free linux?

Do you mean linux that came out before XP was released?

Also, most commercial Linux distrabutions have freely downloadable versions as well..

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Posted

Installing software is another issue. It just isn't user friendly...period. Even with Firefox I ran into issues about having to install something else (forgot what now)...then I had to figure out how to install that something else.

Hi. Ever heard of update systems? Mandrake: URPMI or the user-friendly Mandrake Control Center; Fedora:yum/apt with front-ends to it (like synaptic); Debian based: apt with synaptic as front-end. All of these will install you drivers and software...

What can Microsoft offer in this area? Windows update service? What if you want to extend the usability of yor system?

A system that has a web-browser, a media-player (not anymore in Europe) embedded on it, is a pure joke.

The poll is pointless and doesn't reflect reality, Linux as an O.S. and all the software that is developped for the platform is at the moment far more advanced on all areas than any piece of code released by Microsoft . It's evolution is made on a daily basis, by the millions of users and developpers. Microsft can't beat that, not with their releases of

Service Packs that only correct bugfixes and don't really extend the usability of the system.

A company by it's own cannot compete with a large worldwide community. And that will be the ultimate end of this software company They undestood that and changed their tactics several times: with adds disbeliving Linux systems as servers (get the facts add campain) when their Windows servers cannot compete with UNIX based systems when it comes to security and stabillity; with a release for the home users that don't have the finacial capabilities to buy an extremelly overpriced piece of software (Windows Starter Edition). They have failed in every attempt.

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Posted

but everyone has heard of Microsoft, and they have heard of Windows.

I bet if you go and ask random* people on the street, all of them will've heard of MS/Windows, and fewer than 5% will have heard of Linux

*This is not random sampling, it's conveniance sampling

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Posted

Still, what the hell is pre xp -- free linux?

Do you mean linux that came out before XP was released? 

Also, most commercial Linux distrabutions have freely downloadable versions as well..

i mean to categorise as, all the windows before XP(pre xp)

and free versions of Linux.

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Posted

I say no. but it all depends on what you need to do. Getting a digital camera working in linux CAN be a pain in the ass. Same with setting up a printer. I was running debian on my laptop for about a year, gentoo and slackware on my desktops for about the same time. Right now..im happily using xp. It does what i want it to do and havent had any problems. I think windows as well as numerous distros of linux have come a very long way and have become both very usable desktop os's. I personally prefer xp right now.

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Posted

i could NEVER get my digicam which was supposedly win-xp approved to work in windows xp.

i got another model, this one worked, but if i unplugged it and plugged it back in, it wouldnt work. id have to restart to get it to work again.

thats not exactly my definition of "usable."

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Posted

The poll is pointless and doesn't reflect reality, Linux as an O.S. and all the software that is developped for the platform is at the moment far more advanced on all areas than any piece of code released by Microsoft .

VisualStudio.

Eclipse is useable, and XCode isn't too bad, but I have yet to meet a developer with any amount of experience with modern versions VisualStudio that hasn't been impressed. Excel is pretty respectable as well, it's not perfect but very few applications are.

It's easy to laugh at IIS or Internet Explorer, but Microsoft didn't get to where they are by writing crap for 25 years. If enough people start to care about the quality of the applications they use (or the platform they run them on) then Microsoft has the resources to compete on that front.

They have failed in every attempt.

I hope one day that I will own a company that fails as badly as Microsoft has.

When y/our competition is as powerful, successful, and as well-funded as Microsoft is then you cannot overestimate their capabilities. They have the money to employee every computer science PHd and every award winning interface designer on earth (though some will obviously reject the opportunity for idealistic reasons or what-have-you).

Given sufficient motivation Microsoft could develop a system that rivals the best that Apple, Amiga, or the FOSS community can muster. Whether they put their vast resources to work on creating such software remains to be seen, but I think we would all do well to treat Microsoft like the formidable competitor that they are. Until the day that Microsoft announce their exit from the desktop computing market or they start measuring their unit sales with 5-figure numbers I'm not going to make the mistake of underestimating them.

And this, assumes that people actually want to move to the best product on the market which we know is not always the case (vis. Mac OS circa 1991, OS/2, NeXTStep, BeOS, etc).

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Posted

I'll give MS that, VS.NET is amazing...

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Posted

I'd use linux if it wasn't for driver issues with my hardware or compatibility with games I play.

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Posted

I'd use linux if it wasn't for driver issues with my hardware or compatibility with games I play.

:yes: same here

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