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I'm Going Back To Windows

No. Not me personally. It's the threat that we, as Linux users and developers, hear constantly. It's on the forums, mailing lists and IRC. These ridiculous threats, that if something in the Linux operating system is not fixed or handled to their liking, they're running back to Windows. To me, it seems to be getting worse and worse.

If I may, I'd like to discuss this for a second. First, I'd like to discuss what Microsoft is doing to the computing world. I give my respect where respect is due, and recognize that they have had great success, but wish to conjecture, that by making an operating system more user friendly, you reduce the mental challenging of a computer user. I'm not calling the user 'dumb', just not challenged.

Because, apparently, if there is no *.exe file to step them through an installation process, then it's too hard to install software. Obviously, if there is no Start Menu, then the system isn't user friendly. Of course, if there is no Control Panel, then the system can't be maintained. And, by having to use the terminal from time to time, you have to be a programmer. So why bother? Obviously, Linux is just too hard of an operating system. Linux is demanding just too much from the user. It will never replace Windows on the desktop.

It's almost as if, we as Linux developers, package managers and users even, are supposed to dumb down the operating system, so we can accommodate Windows users. Well, while I do agree with user friendly design, consistency and overall flow of an operating system, making the end experience much more pleasurable, end users don't always know what they want in an OS, and having a parent company, such as Microsoft, let the users control the design of the operating system, isn't necessarily a good idea.

So, as we see with each Windows release, computer users are challenged less and less to the point where using anything else, especially if it challenges you a bit mentally, is alien. Fortunately, there are people in this world who don't mind being challenged mentally. As such, they make up great computer users and advocates. They also find, that, using Linux as an operating system isn't necessarily hard, but just different.

Especially with Debian/Ubuntu. For example, you find that installing software is actually easier in 99% of cases than Windows. Start menu? Please. You see that you have panels that you can customize to your liking, and that menus exist all over the place, and ready at your command. You learn quickly where and how to control your operating system, and find, even, that there are just as many, if not, tons more, ways to keep it maintained. All of the sudden, you find that using Linux requires learning the terminal, but you find that you're better off for it, and you didn't have to learn how to program. So why bother? Because obviously, Linux is a solid operating system and platform. Linux isn't demanding too much from the user, but just stretching your mental muscles. It should replace Windows on your desktop.

So, now we look back at the threat "If you don't make Linux easier to use, I'm going back to Windows". All I have to say, is if you're not willing to take the time to learn something different (it's called 'work'), then don't let the door hit you on the way out.

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