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IT-Analysis: Linux for beginners?

Jul 28, 2000, 11:55 (7 Talkback[s])

"Linux is now well established as a potential operating system selection for servers with specific requirements, such as Web page serving, e-mail forwarding etc. However when it comes to the desktop market there have been several factors hindering any large-scale deployment to the 'mass' user base. Amongst these inhibitors are the technological challenges of support for user applications, performance, stability, hardware platform coverage and user interface availability. A couple of recent announcements illustrate that things might be finally moving forward."

"The arcane Unix like command line functionality of the Linux operating system cannot be said to be 'user friendly'. The average man on the street might even call it hostile. Up until now you have required a reasonably strong IT background to be able to use Linux at all. Even with such a background carrying out everyday tasks can be complex. Whatever your opinion of the Windows family of products may be, they together with the Mac Operating Systems have allowed many non-computer people to use PCs for everyday tasks with some confidence."

"In order to address these usability problems US company Eazel was set up in the autumn of 1999 with the expressed aim 'to make Linux the desktop of choice'. Eazel have created a file system product named Nautilus to make Linux safe for the desktop, a development which up until now has always been just around the corner. A very long, winding corner. Nautilus runs on top of the GNOME GUI and will be incorporated into the default Red Hat Linux distribution. Early demonstrations of the tool have given glimpses of a system that has the potential to take Linux onto the desktop in large numbers by providing the simple point and click functionality expected of a operating system to be used by simple, ordinary users. A further enhancement can be found when logging onto the Net; the Nautilus web browser (built around Mozilla's Gecko) can be notified by Eazel of any installed programs for which updates are available on and offering the ability to install any of them with the click of a button. As you can imagine this assistance in the rapidly evolving open-source environment would be of value to any user."

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