I just stumbled on this older article & want to chime in.
I'm a convert from Windows desktop to Ubuntu. As a dev I'm more technical than average, but at the time I was a huge Windows fan & not super comfortable with the terminal.
Though I think I was the perfect target for Ubuntu... it was still a transition that required a high level of dedication & determination. As great as Ubuntu is, the entire Linux ecosystem lacks 2 main things: focus on user-friendliness & polish on the available applications.
The simple fact is if you want to market an OS to mainstream users, they never, ever want to run terminal commands to do anything. And even Ubuntu is only about 70% there. The gui has to be intuitive. It took me forever to first figure out how to get an app shortcut on my desktop. Fix the driver & hardware compatibility issues. Etc.
Second, I have so far found a Linux alternative to every piece of software I used to use on Windows years ago (except my accounting software, but I moved to cloud). However, without exception each one is visually uglier than the Windows alternatives. They may work as good or better - but if the GUI looks like the 1980s... people think it's old - even if it's actively updated. Microsoft makes Office & Outlook which are two of the main things people use. They keep the design polished, modern & consistent.
The public likes simple & shiny. Microsoft & Apple deliver this- even if they are bloated, vendor-locked & full of spyware, people won't care. Remember when Windows' Aero Glass theme came out? People were gaga over it.
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