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The problem with Linux is that it’s not as familiar as Windows – really?

August 13, 2010

When I read that one of the major problems for the adoption of Linux on the desktop is the fact that people expect Windows I find myself disagreeing.

Windows has been around for a long time and yes people are use to it, but if you look at the iPhone and the Xbox360 and PS3 interfaces they are nothing like Windows but still people were able to use them.

I feel the real problems are:
If you build something similar to Windows people expect it to work like Windows. Kind of like when you buy a new car, you expect the light switches and indicators to be in the same place because the environment is similar and it takes a while to get use to the new layout.
Linux has its roots in tools for the developers, so the developers built what worked for them and for how they worked which sometimes doesn’t match the wider audiences needs. This is being addressed with distributions like Ubuntu coming into the market and a focus on usability.

Being like Windows can be good and bad. Good because it makes thing familiar and bad because it emphasizes all the places it is different.

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