Ubuntu Linux, Day 5: You Invited Me to This Party

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30 days With Ubuntu Linux: Day 5

Today's post is going to be dedicated to addressing come issues and concerns from the many comments thus far, and re-establishing the scope and purpose of the 30 Days With Ubuntu Linux project. I think it will help the rest of the project be more constructive and productive for all if we all understand the ground rules going in.

I get that there are Linux geeks and gurus who just love the OS and are content to let the rest of the world wallow in Windows and Mac OS X. But, there is a very vocal segment of the Linux population that goes out its way to troll forums and comment threads and either A) gloat about what a superior desktop OS Linux is, or B) whine that nobody but Linux geeks and gurus consider Linux to be worthy of inclusion in desktop OS debates.

Linux users beg for Windows users to switch, so here I am.
Many of the comments act like I am crashing the party and making fun of the music, but I was invited to this dance. Time and time again I have heard that Linux is better, and I have heard specifically that Ubuntu Linux is the way to go for average users looking for a desktop OS alternative. So, I am here testing that theory out.

Let's get something straight--I like Windows. I understand that many Linux users have an anti-Microsoft chip on their shoulder, or some sort of issue with capitalism and paying for software, but I don't. If I did, it would be a lot easier to rationalize away the issues I encounter with Linux. But, I like Windows--so Linux needs to prove itself to me and earn my business.

It is hypocritical and disingenuous to trumpet the OS as an equal rival in the desktop OS arena, and then ask to be judged by a different set of rules. The majority of the users in the world use Windows--plain and simple. I am doing this project more for the users--like me--who use Windows (or Mac) and are told that Linux is better. The 30 Days With Ubuntu Linux project is aimed at enlightening average users about what to expect from the OS.

Honestly, Ubuntu Linux seems much more polished and impressive so far than I would have given it credit for before starting this project. Installing it and taking care of the basic tasks that most users require--surfing the Web, playing music, checking e-mail, and maybe writing an occasional document all seem fairly simple and straight forward to accomplish in this OS. Whether or not that is good enough is going to vary subjectively from user to user.

Over the course of the rest of the 30 Days With Ubuntu Linux project, though, I am going to continue to view the Linux OS through the eyes of a Windows user trying to make the transition, and that is bound to lead to some frustration and road blocks--as in the iTunes / iOS syncing issue. Of course, I will also make an effort to explore unique aspects of Linux and highlight those areas where it stands out.

I truly appreciate the participation from Linux gurus, and the volume of comments on these posts. One of the strengths of Linux is the support of the community, and--as a Linux novice--I am always open to suggestion and constructive criticism. Please feel free to continue sharing your thoughts.

When the month is up, I am sure there will be things I love about Linux, and things I hate about Linux. The goal is simply to help any Windows users weighing a potential switch to understand the pros and cons of moving to Linux, and to provide some sort of a road map that might help them avoid my mistakes and make that transition easier if they choose to make the switch.

Hopefully that clarifies some things. Now, let's get back to the task at hand of seeing what Ubuntu Linux is capable of, and what my mother-in-law might need to know if she wanted to switch from Windows to Ubuntu Linux.

Read the last "30 Days" Series: 30 Days with Google Docs

Day 4: Tweaking the Look and Layout of Ubuntu Linux

Day 6: In Search of Unity

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