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

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.”