Windows better than Linux?

This article seems to think so.

Standard Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Linux distributions from “niche” open source vendors, are offline more and longer than either Windows or Unix competitors, the survey said. The reason: the scarcity of Linux and open source documentation.

And there’s the rub. Open-source software suffers greatly from it’s lack of decent documentation. It isn’t simple to use, either.

Many Linux users (and Firefox users) believe that they are superior to Windows (and IE) users in every way. They’re cleverer, faster, quicker. Technical support staff are famously impatient when dealing with ordinary users.

I’m going to go out on a limb here, and say this: Computers are not obvious or intuitive.

I first started programming at the age of 10 or so in BASIC using a Commodore Amiga 500. Eventually I moved onto the IBM PC, into Assembler, into C++ and the rest is history. To me, computers are generally fairly simple. I can usually guess what to do, even with unfamiliar software.

If you haven’t been using computers since age 10, but only since you started your new job a month ago, then this isn’t the case.

Whereas Windows and Mac OS are designed to be user-friendly, GNU and Linux aren’t. They’re designed to be functional. And that’s what’s holding back their chance at real popularity.

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One Comment

  1. serena
    Posted June 8, 2006 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely agree about computers not being obvious or intuitive! Nothing would have persuaded me to switch over to Firefox, however great it may be, had it not also been usable. Unless you grew up in the early days of computers, you need to be faced with something akin to something you already know, or it’s just too complicated and time-consuming if you need the internet/to write up an essay/to create a spreadsheet NOW.

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