In my opinion (and we all have them), There are two reason that linux may fail to permiate the mainstream market en masse. The first being a lacque of useability taking into account Kernel Versions 2.6.27 and earlier which seem arcane compared to the improvements coming in 2.6.28 which I'll reference throughout this post. The other problem I foresee is a lack of centralized user support which, if implemented, would greatly improve adoption of linux. The is based on people being "Used To" windows.
2.6.28 will have support for GEM and Ext4 Stable, two things that will greatly improve useability. The GEM which is offered up by Intel will improve upon driver models, and at this stage favor Intel rightly so as they developed it. Ext4 as a stable file system which should enhance perfromance and provide many new features. These things aren't always obvious to the end user, but the best useability are the problems that never happen.
Synaptic is almost surpassing Windows XP and Vista's Add remove programs due to their configurability when looking for the correct packages per your distribution. I've found it helpful to change the repositories to grab the best software available.
Sound is still a bit lacking in Jack detection and volume control but as I've seen in Dreamlinux 3.5, sound is more likely to work out of the box on recent distro's which is a welcome enhancement. My HDA audio device used to be the bane of my existance to install. Those days appear to be dying.
Installation of current distributions seems to be a breeze with installers that are straight forward, asking you to decide the file system, Hard disk space to use, and no hard to decipher commands in most cases. In contrast to this, there still seems to be a lacque of vendor support for Drivers in Linux. These include Network drivers (mainly wireless), Capture cards, and other controller cards. Come to think of it, this too is becoming less of an issue as my companies provide information about their hardware.
Further, with a lacque of centralized support, it's hard for the average user to justify the move to linux. Most people can readily find answers to their windows questions even for out of scope support on websites like bleepingcomputer.com But at least bleeping computer is open to help it's users with linux support. That says a lot for what the user community is all about.
Finally, I think what could truly improve widespread adoption is better manufacturer support (provide drivers), centralized help, improved configuration applets, and GAME and multimedia for goodness sake.
These can all be accomplished easily in our current economic state, by imploring companies to provide Linux support as opposed to boycotting their hardware. I'm not asking that anyone boycott their electronics as wonderful as it all is, but this is food for thought.
I apologize for re-using the article's title, but wasn't sure what to call this. It's more or less my personal thought regarding adoption of linux. I encourage you to Visit Linux.com, freshmeat.org, and linux.org to gain a better understanding of where linux is headed. I'm excited about the direction of Open Source more so now than ever before.
Please post your thoughts
Edited by RandomUser, 30 December 2008 - 09:37 PM.