Today I came across a nice article by cnet on Linux user interface. The article obviously was geared towards new users who might be interested in Linux. This is a welcome change where everyday more reputable blogs and technology websites are opening up to Linux and introducing it to their reader base, who otherwise probably would have never have known about linux or dared to try it out. For new users switching to Linux or even test-driving it has never been easier. But do we really think if we want to encourage new users towards linux, we can achieve it by showing an image of a Solitaire game and (oh my gosh!) a calculator? Like they did in the Cnet article:
Linux is more than Ubuntu.
I am a big time Ubuntu fan. I am the last person in the world who has anything bad to say about Ubuntu (except maybe for the new concept). It’s rock solid in performance; fast, easy, regular updates, great installation options with wubi and livecd, huge software repositories, and great support system for help when needed. But this is also true for most other linux distros. Linux is more than Ubuntu, it is more than a text editor, a calculator or a solitaire game.
Linux is about knowing that you will never have to run a virus scan or defragment your hard drive. Why should you have to waste your time and money maintaining basic user protection that should be there is the first place? With linux you can customize your user interface more than just changing your wallpaper. When you use MacOSX or Windows Vista, everyone more or less has the same user interface. With linux you can have total control over what you do with your system, you can make it look like a MacOS or Windows Vista if you want. Some linux fanboys will tell you, “But why would you want Linux to look like Vista or MacOS?”, the answer is quite simple, what makes linux different from proprietary OS is that we don’t tell users what they should or should not do with their system, we just show them everything they could possibly do. With Linux comes the power of choice. It is no more exclusive to geeky linux elitist only. Linux is open for everyone and you are invited.
Linux is more than Gnome.
Gnome has become more popular in recent times thanks to popular distros switching to gnome as their default user interface. But this was not always the case KDE (K Desktop Environment), Xfce, IceWM, Enlightenment, AfterStep (and several I am probably forgetting) has it’s share of strong user base who swear by them. With the much anticipated upcoming release of KDE4, the Linux desktop environment scene has never been so exciting. KDE4 is a complete redesign with many many new features and is still in the development phase. Here are some screenshots of popular Linux UI other than Gnome:
Linux is also Eyecandy:
If you thought Aero effects in Vista was nice and OSX has beautiful graphic effects (which they do), than Compiz Fusion effects on Linux Desktop environment will blow your mind. Linux has a place for the nerdy programmer and casual users. To believe it you will have to see it. This video gives you a side by side comparison of Vista Aero effects and Compiz Fusion (compiz + Beryl) effects in Linux. This video is more than a year old and many things have improved since and more effects have been added than you already see in the video (for instance compiz and beryl projects merged and formed compiz fusion). Vista is still the same from a year ago.
Linux is a Media Center:
So hopefully with this brief but relatively fair introduction of linux desktop environment gave you a better understanding of the options and features you get with linux, and this will help you understand that linux is not all about Ubuntu and gnome. They are just part of the whole linux experience.
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