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Michael Leo's profile photoNick H's profile photoGuillermo Garron's profile photoCurt Howland's profile photo
I agree, Guillermo. I think Ubuntu's ready. However, the support is what's going to be the issue. That is, your wife has you and my wife has me. But what about the person who doesn't have a tech background or a friend who does? For me, when I first started with Ubuntu in 2009, the forums were a HUGE help. But, I don't know if the average user will go there.

Furthermore, I've stated on my blog, that if a support person tells a new user to open a terminal and put in a command, I think that's a put off. The terminal, while easy and vital to tech people, is viewed as something's wrong. It's seen as a "programming tool." So when a new user has to open the terminal, I'm afraid they'll think that Ubuntu's NOT "ready for prime time." This, however, have be avoided if support for Ubuntu starts with opening a GUI app.

Also, while I agree that Netfilx isn't an issue now, it's not a native solution. And on my system - while it's not a new system, it's not a dinosaur, either - it's a little sluggish. That just doesn't happen with Android, ChromeOS, Mac OS X, or Windows. It makes Ubuntu (and other distros) look, again, like their not "ready for prime time."

Lastly, the only other major thing I see that will keep people from moving to Ubuntu is their iTunes library. Since Apple refuses to support Linux (Ubuntu, Android, ChromeOS, etc.), a person won't be able to listen to all of their music and movies she's purchased from the iTunes store. Now, again, in my situation, I converted all of my wife's iTunes library to mp3s. It took several CD's and several more days to import them. The reason it took longer to import is because Apple strips the meta data from the media. Everything is Track 01, Track 02, etc. So I had to go back and input all of the meta data.

Don't get me wrong, I encourage people all the time to use Ubuntu. But I think it's going to be a lot harder than we think. It's not just changing operating systems. There has to be a change of mind as well - a change of worldview. Currently, people don't have any issues with the inability to play the music they own on any device they wish or watch movies on any device they wish. They are quite happy with how iTunes and Neflix works. They don't see it as a disadvantage that those are purposefully limited technologies. What I see has to happen, to get people to really move from one platform to another, is something we offer that is quite different - that they see as a "must have." I don't think we're there yet. But I think it's really, REALLY close.
First, thanks for taking the time to write all that long comment. I think longer than the post itself :) .

I agree with you about Netflix, the community will have to work hard to make it smoother.

iTunes on the other hand is really an issue, As far as I understand you can listen to native iTunes music on Linux. I am sure I have done, no need to put them in mp3 format. I have even listen to them on my Blackberry :)

But, yes if you have an iPod (as i Do) you need iTunes, I have decided to buy my MacBook and not an IBM Thinkpad just to be able to run iTunes natively. (I did not want Windows around me).

We are close indeed, for some tasks we are there, for some others we need some more work.

And I can see (maybe only me) that we are going faster than two or three years ago.

Thanks again for passing by.
I'm sorry that my response was so long! I didn't realize it!

I should clarify what I mean about iTunes. If one purchases their items in the restricted Apple codec, then one can't listen to them in Linux. However, I believe that one can purchase DMR free items in iTunes. Those would play in Ubuntu (and Blackberry it seems!).

But I completely agree with you about the speed. Like I was getting at, I feel we are fast approaching the cusp but it will take some time before we get there. The future is hopeful! And with people like you, Guillermo, I'm even more hopeful.

Is Windows really that "hard" any more either?

And you install Ubuntu.  Then upgraded.  Then upgraded.  And you're looking forward to upgrading again.

How is this different than what you were doing under the Windows setup?
+Jack Gillespie your response was great :)

I am using iTunes for two years and since then they only sell drm free songs. 
+Michael Leo I did not say windows was difficult just more prone to problems in daily use.

Upgrading is not actually needed, just something I like to do. You can jump from LTS to LTS if you want, but I'm sure you know that already. 
Nick H
We run Ubuntu at Home, My kids ru it, My worlstation at work runs it.  It runs the 2 Windows 7 VM's that the office staff logs into and a Windows 2003 VM Test server.  Untill the vested interests of the retailer are switched over it's more than an uphill battle.  Keeping in mind, also, the loss of indivdual independence that the western world population is going through at the moment.

Generally the western individual is looking to offload as much personal responsibility to someone or something else as they can.  This doesn't auger well for Ubuntu.  The individual is not looking for freedom anymore, they're looking for the security of a warm cuddly blanket provided by someone else.

The reatialer would have to puch hard, and there would have to be some incredibley compelling reasons for the consumer to "make up their own mind" and choose Ubuntu.

And then you have the peer group.  "OH, your not thinking of using Linux"? "Are you you"? "You a geek or something"?

There are a lot hurdles to overcome.  But dual booting is a start to break these down.

The bigest is the vested interest of the retailer.  They're too far invested with Windows.
When the requirements that a user has can be met by a Linux based system, there is little or no "retraining" needed. Anyone who has used Firefox has used it on all platforms. Same for Skype, or LibreOffice, or any cross-platform application.

I've tried Windows 8 and WOW, that would take me a lot of effort to get accustomed to. The same with the "ribbon" in Microsoft's newer versions of their applications.

So seriously, the people I've installed Linux for all say it's easier to use and more reliable than Windows. Macs are not something I've had any dealings with for 20 years.
iTunes hasn't been a problem here.  From the beginning I didn't want to buy into Apple's walled garden, so I never started using iTunes.  So no iTunes content to worry about.  My wife has been running Linux for years now.  
The major problem I've encountered is LeapFrog's toy-management application (to download new apps & content, upload pictures and learning progress, etc).  It needs USB connectivity to a Windows application, and Leapfrog isn't planning on making a Linux tool (ironic in that many of the toys themselves are running Linux embedded software).  Of course, shouldn't feel left out, as Leapfrog ignores their Windows and Mac users as well <g>.  So I'm stuck with an XP VM image until such time as Wine gets USB support (hopefully before April 2014).
My wife is enough of a Linux fan that when I pointed out Eric Raymond at a SF convention, she hollered "Linux Rules" across the room to him.
I have used Linux since 2003. You are right the operating system is ready for non-tech users. But when you remarked that your wife is a biochemist , it sort of kills that preception.
really, what took you so long. when i met my wife, i put linux on her pc right away not wanting to deal with all those windows issues. that was 12 years ago. that is how long linux has been ready for the average person who does nothing more but basic stuff (which most people nowadays do on tables/smartphones anyway).
Tian Le
Another happy "let's replace windows" post. I've been reading a lot of those for the past two years. Well, I can't not to share an opinion of mine. The thing is, I've tried to switch my wife to using Linux as well. Being mostly a non DE linux user, I didn't have even the slightest idea what linux can offer as a desktop system. Now I know. Linux can be as well called a toaster os. 
I tested some popular and hyped distros on stable DEs. Such as Mint, Ubuntu spinoffs and even Fedora. I've tested KDE, Gnome, LXDE, XFCE and E17. To my embarrassment and disappointment linux failed badly on each of these each in different aspect. 
I had to fight with ms office over wine and its numerous bugs. Every DE I tried had a talent at ruining your work in most unthinkable way. This concerns some unexplained DE crashes, which happened with XFCE. Some unthinkable bugs that I've never seen, because I have never used KDE, gnome, xfce or lxde on a daily basis. I was disappointed in linux, disappointed by the low level of desktop integrity and stability. This level is nowhere to be compared to windows. I don't even mention user applications, which on linux fail to fulfill even some basic tasks.
   My wife she was terrified with linux. She works as a translator and deals mostly with documents, which should be all in doc format. So I used ms office over wine, which is just horrible. After two months of using linux she started asking me to install windows back. When I saw her working with it and fixing linux numerous glitches I understood that linux is just bad. I understood that linux works well only when you work in console. 
   I shall not get into the details cause it is always pretty individual and does not make any sense. You can always blame the hardware, the user inexperience or the bad luck. But why should I do it? When I install windows I never think of the reason, I just work. When I use linux I waste my time configuring it. If only after configuring linux would work, but it does not. The most grave and serious issues are hardware compatibility, desktop fragmentation, mediocre office features and, my god, bugs. So after dealing with all those I thought why the fuck should I even try? So to all naive enthusiasts and zealous fanatics, stay calm guys. Please don't say that linux is better, because it is not. I thought it was, I was sure that linux can replace windows in almost any aspect as well as you. But then I actually tried and saw what was coming. Windows is a good system after all.

And btw, since 2007 I have never had a problem with viruses, provided I had a freeware antivirus installed. I don't know why all linux enthusiasts call viruses a windows headache. I always wonder what level of computer competence should one have to constantly get viruses in your system, when it is so easy nowadays especially with a paid antivirus system. 
I see the Astroturf trolls have found this thread. Too bad.
Your inability to use NON-Linux applications (Word) on Linux cannot be a justification for not liking Linux.

If you put diesel fuel in a gas car it wont work, but you can't blame the car for that.
Tian Le
Curt, oh please.
What you should have thought, is that maybe some ppl have different standards and most probably they are higher. This could be the reason for my disappointment. Why don't you tell me then how can all desktop folder files disappear after an update and reboot in xfce? I bet you don't. So please.

This was not the inability it is called client requirements Michael.
To lure more users devs should have thought about compatibility issues first and not about plasma widgets. Oh well, why I even bother explaining this.

I have my experience, which is legit. You have yours. But please don't base your opinions on that. Linux can be a pain in the ass as well.
Well, in full support of your position, if you client requirement is to run only Windows specific applications, why even bother running Linux?

Use the right tool for the job.  Period.  If Windows is the tool use Windows.

But to expect NON-Linux applications to function natively in Linux is an unfair test of Linux.

I don't remember any Linux documentation that says it will fulling support NON-Linux applications without issue.

The claim is that Linux applications running on Linux can displace Windows applications running on Windows.

But again,  I support that your experience was bad but I think it was an unfair challenge.

Also look at my first comment....I really don't think Windows is "that hard" any more.  I don't use it because the tools I need are Linux based, and are all free.
+Michael Leo i agree with you. If I really need ms office I will install windows. If I need to write docs in any format I will use Linux and google docs or libreoffice or maybe even a txt editor.

In my case all my needs, but iTunes are covered with Linux. Because I do not want windows in my pc. I bought a Mac for iTunes, and I still have bash and Linux like tools.

Right tool for the right job. Can't be more clear. 
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