This is drifting offtopic, but after battling Windows XP for a week, I'm now surprised when people say Linux is hard to use. I spent days trying to figure out how to do the following on a new Thinkpad:
- Configure wireless networking. It simply refused to work.
- Disable all listening ports (to avoid viruses)
- Resize partitions
- Map the function keys to virtual desktops
I could buy extra software to do these things, but that means Windows is incomplete. With Linux, these core tasks are only keystrokes away once you have some guidance or experience, and there's so much guidance out there on the net. Once I finally gave up on Windows, I returned to the friendly world of Linux. Nearly all of the drivers for the hardware come with the distribution (including Intel Gigabit, an Atheros wireless card, USB device drivers, etc), along with simple tools to manage everything (iwconfig, netstat, ntfs/reiserfsprogs, KDE, and so on.)
Unlike five years ago when I did a similar comparison, I found Linux significantly more usable than Windows. I think Linux is now ahead of Windows in ease of use, and that adoption is held up only by momentum. Linux has problems too, but I'm convinced that time spent learning how to solve a Linux problem is quicker and more fruitful than time spent learning proprietary solutions.
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