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ZDNet UK: Eye2Eye: Dirk Hondel of SuSE Linux, Part I

Mar 16, 2000, 01:19 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Will Knight)

"Dirk Hondel, chief technical officer with SuSE Linux, talks to ZDNet's Will Knight about the desktop, Windows 2000 and why his grandma ain't using Linux... yet...."

"Linux, today, is very much capable of filling the requirements of most desktop users. The main thing here is that Linux is a very good choice for technically interested users. If you're talking about grandma and granddaddy using a computer, then you have to ask: Is Linux the right choice? That is an area where we are talking about user friendliness, ease of use. I'm not saying it's bad, I'm not saying we're not there yet, I'm just saying there is still a road ahead...."

"But if you're going to make Linux more suitable for grandma and grandpa, aren't you going to loose some of its power?"

"I don't think you're loosing the power, it's more that you're losing some of the flexibility to adapt to your hardware. Or you may be losing some of the special features. But you're not losing the technology behind it, because the OS that is running is basically the same. It's more an issue of configuration to the hardware environment. The point here is not to trade off flexibility for ease of use. One of the means of doing that is to differentiate your product more, so you allow people to choose if they want the very easy or very flexible one. With SuSE, you can choose between a easy user interface and a more complicated one. I believe this is something that will become more commonplace -- that you will cater to different people's needs."

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