Thinking and Moving ForwardJuly 11, 2006
After getting some input from a couple of commenters (Rees and Limulus), and doing some thinking I decided to go ahead and order some more live CDs. I ordered the Ubuntu DVD, the SuSE live DVD and PCLinuxOS live CD.
Moving forward, my thinking is evolving more and more on the subject of making a Linux switch. While my Windows OS is clunking around, mauled and crippled, it still does things probably no other OS is going to do, including playing The Sims if I use the program manager to disable everything else. But there are still things I’m not ready to let go of and I think asking average Windows users to do that is not winning friends and influencing people. So, I’m going into this with no intention of making a switch. I’m looking for more features, enhancements and functionality. I’m anxious to see how these other distros fare against what I’ve already tried with MEPIS and against Windows.
Maybe someone can correct me, but my thinking is that the DVDs will contain more applications and I might get more mileage out of them in the way of usefulness. I’m talking about useful applications for me, a fairly average user. I’m well aware that Linux is chockfull of geek tools for people who are in to that sort of thing.
On a related note, reading this article about Xandros was interesting. I actually took a serious look at it in a recent Tiger Direct catalog. Most of the bundled software is stuff that almost all distros are including nowadays, with the exception of Codeweavers, Crossover Office, and the desktop emulator. The last one isn’t much of an addition, in my opinion but that’s just me. As for the other two, is it too much to hope that WINE might be bundled in with one of my DVDs?
I think you can guess what my biggest turn-off is towards the Xandros Premium Home Edition: $80. Considering I just ordered 3 different ones for less than $20, it doesn’t sound like a “best buy” by any stretch. I suppose they are hoping to cash in on the delayed release of Vista and offering a slightly lower price point. While going to Xandros won’t require a user to commit, as they can still run side-by-side with Windows via a partition, it will require activation and registration in order to get updates, patches and access to other goodies. And that does kind of violate the open source spirit a bit more than I’m comfortable with. So if my CPU crashes, I get to call both Microsoft and Xandros to get reactivated? No thanks. One call is too many.
It just came to me that a winner in the OS world needs to work well and offer functionality, but it also needs to NOT be something: Annoying. I think less annoyance will win many people over, or at least types like me who seem to find all sorts of things to be annoyed about. Linux, right now, has a bunch of annoyances. Enough of them to actually make Windows and worthy competitor. Part of that is my own learning of this stuff and part of it may be inherent to Linux and part if it might be just not finding the right distribution. I’m working on the first and the last and hopefully others are working on that middle one.