Ubuntu’s User Interface: No Learning Required

A few hours after setting up my new Dell Ubuntu PC, my wife jumped onto the system. You know her kind: She is an Apple Mac OS fan who uses Windows — but doesn’t really like Windows. So, how did she do with Linux?

Let me put it simply: If you have any experience using Mac OS or Windows, you’ll master Ubuntu in a matter of minutes. Critics who think consumers will have a difficult time adjusting to Ubuntu’s user interface are dead wrong.

I spent a few minutes describing Ubuntu and the GNOME user interface to my wife, but then I noticed her eyes were glazing over. She is a classic consumer: Don’t tell her about technology, open source, 32- and 64-bit designs, etc. Frankly, she doesn’t care about all of that jargon. Just let her point, click and work.

I showed her OpenOffice and Firefox. She was surfing the web and typing away on our Ubuntu PC in a matter of minutes. Fast forward two days. She probably doesn’t remember Ubuntu by name. She doesn’t think about what operating system she’s using. But she does mention how fast the system boots up, runs and shuts down.

I’ve yet to hear anyone say that about Vista…


5 thoughts on “Ubuntu’s User Interface: No Learning Required

  1. Not sure how else to get a message to you —

    We’d love to tell you about our forays into Ubuntu-land: we are a medium-sized county-based public library that has rolled out Ubuntu desktops on all 350+ of our public access workstations. All our staff will be getting Ubuntu desktops early this fall. We are very much advocates of Open Source solutions and credit Open Source with our ability to supply and support so many workstations for our users.

    We’d be happy to write or collaborate with you to write about our experience.

  2. I’ve installed Ubuntu [most iterations] 7.04. The bootup takes forever on my P4 2.53GHz; 1GB RAMBUS RAM PC…Perhaps Dell has fined tuned the Ubuntu installation so that it loads quickly, but that is not my experience. I now use Debian 4.0r0 (etch) in lieu of Ubuntu. Learning Ubuntu or Debian is fairly easy too. No need to fear these Linux O/S’es any more than Mac or Windows.
    A change [of O/S] is as good as a rest!

  3. how abt u write sth on installing ubuntu on parallels on ur wife’s mac? i tried that but its a little difficult. i can’t seem to get it to work!

  4. Please note that I don’t have any plans to use virtualization software. I’m not sure why, but I prefer pure Ubuntu and pure Mac OS systems because I don’t want to manage multiple code bases on each system. And I certainly don’t want to add the Windows code base onto my Mac OS and Ubuntu systems.

    I realize this is a personal preference. Millions of people successfully use virtualization software every day.

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