We need to clone Frogboy so he can be two places at once .
I'm pushing hard to try to get Win7 on all of my (and my parents') machines when it comes out. Student discounts, the family pack, etc - I'm pulling out all of the stops to grab it on budget and in a short period of time. IMHO it's worth it .
For all the grief we used to receive about how “open source” and “freeware” would rule the world
Heh. For all of the efforts to make it user friendly - they forgot the ecosystem.
It's not just about UIs and pretty interfaces, it's about the software ecosystem and the support system.
Here's what I see on Linux: A couple of good apps on a decent OS.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of apps on Linux are supported only as long as the author is interested in the project. And support is usually in the form of forums or IRC.
Again and again when I have issues with open source stuff, I run into the the "we're just hobbyists" argument. They're just hobbyists so they don't answer to you. They're just hobbyists so they'll do things their way. They're just hobbyists so when they drop the project, pray that somebody else picks it up (which almost never happens with smaller projects). They're just hobbyists and users are idiots anyways.
Not exactly a good formula for making something user friendly, which will be REQUIRED if they want to "rule the world."
Here's what I see on Windows: Lots of great apps on a good OS.
Being supported financially by users means if you don't keep it running well, you lose your income. If you don't provide support, people may move away.
Microsoft may CLAIM they're just doing good stuff for mundane business reasons, or that stuff was planned all along - but the truth is, they're doing it because they know full well who has the purse strings. I don't think Windows 7's performance tweaks were totally random or because they felt like it - I think that they knew full well what had to be overcome to get rid of the negative reception of Vista, and knew full well they needed to regain their users respect.
That's not to say that ALL open source or ALL proprietary works that way - but IN GENERAL, being user supported means you care about your users, even if they claim you really don't. And even people who outwardly claim they hate something might use it if it provides real benefits to them.
It can really all be boiled down to this: "Free" software isn't responsible to the users because it's a hobby and the users don't pay them a dime. "Proprietary" software is responsible to the users because at the end of the day, the user pays your bills.
Hence "free" software, ON AVERAGE, will be less user friendly than proprietary software. There are exceptions, yes, but on average that's what happens.