In the beginning, as we all know, Linux was an OS that was limited to those of us who had the time and patience to spend all night getting things to work. As the OS has progressed the user friendliness of the OS has increased dramatically. Now here we sit on the cusp of 2009 and there are numerous mainstream vendors such as ASUS, Dell, and HP offering pre-loaded Linux desktops and laptops, which brings me to my story.
My wife has been asking me for a small form laptop that she can use to access the Internet, check e-mail, type some documents, look at some pictures and listen to some music, which is what most average users do. Up until now small form laptops were very expensive but products such as the ASUS eeePC brought the price down to levels I was willing to pay. I actually purchased an ASUS eeePC for my wife but quickly sold it, another post for later, and purchased a Dell Mini 9 as soon as I saw the ad on the Dell web site.
Now to say that my wife is computer challenged is putting is nicely. She has killed more than a few of my computers over the years, mostly Windows. So it was with some trepidation that I ordered her Dell Mini 9 with Ubuntu. I have been an Ubuntu users for almost 2 years now so I felt confident the OS had matured to the point that I could get my wife using it without too much problem. So I took the plunge and ordered the PC.
We have had the Dell Mini 9 now for about 3 weeks. I set the PC up for her, added the Japanese character input as my wife is Japanese, set the OpenOffice default type to .doc so she can send docs to her friends, and set up the network printer and then let her have at it. In the 3 weeks we have had the laptop she has not had one single complaint. Everything works just fine.
So is Linux ready for the average user. My wife sure thinks so and if I can get my wife to use Linux without complaint, I can get anyone to use Linux.