Take a niche operating system. Put it in the spotlight vs. Microsoft’s disappointing Windows Vista. Hype the niche operating system for a few months. Win a business deal with Dell. And at some point all that wonderful buzz will produce expectations that you can’t meet. Such is the case, apparently, with Ubuntu.
I continue to value Ubuntu. And my decision to purchase a Dell PC with Ubuntu pre-installed back in June was a smart one. Yet more and more people seem to be highlighting Ubuntu’s shortcomings as a mainstream operating system. Here’s just one example of what I mean.
Memo to everyone who wants to give Ubuntu a try: Slow down. Don’t leap from Windows to Ubuntu unless you have a true interest in Linux. Give MacOS a try first. You’ll likely love Apple’s commitment to reliable, intuitive software. (I sure do.)
The Ubuntu party needs to include a selected crowd of folks for the next year or so. Most of the users are far more technical than me. They don’t mind working through command lines or searching the web for software components, drivers, etc. Mainstream users who crash the Ubuntu bash early — before the operating system is truly ready for consumer use — could wind up ruining the party for the rest of us.
Frankly, I like Dell’s approach so far: Offer Ubuntu on a few selected systems but don’t hype the machines. Let the market grow on its own, naturally.