Smoothwall Firewall project

Monday, 11 May 2009

The total myth of Windows ease of use

Over the years I have heard from many people how easy it is to use Windows and how complex Linux can be , and that you always have to spend most of your life at the command line.

Well just look at this post on how to install Windows 7 onto a USB pen drive.

Windows 7 onto a USB drive

It is laughable the stages and processes you have to go through to achieve this goal on Windows, using the command line like it is going out of fashion. Admittedly to to anyone who is technically savvy this is not rocket science, but I think it would blow most Joe six packs into the weeds.

In Ubuntu , you click on a very simple and extremely useful Utility , and install as many Linux distro's as your heart desires.

Ubuntu USB drive creator

If you would like to go further and have multi-boot USB pen drives then you can just download and use another great Linux USB creation tool - unetbootin

No, anyone who says that Linux is more complex than Windows either has not used a modern Linux, and is therefore talking from lack of real update experience, or they are so blinkered that no matter how complex the task is on Windows, they just can't be objective. I use Windows, and it does some things well, but modern Linux is just more useful, in more situations, more often.

Just download Ubuntu 9.04 and see for yourself - Ubuntu 9.04


MattBD said...

I think ease of use is something that gets bandied around a lot, but is actually fairly meaningless. I mean, every OS will be easier to use in some ways and harder to use in others.
For instance, installing PyQt is simple in Ubuntu, and can even be done without recourse to the command-line interface using Synaptic. The same thing on OS X, which is supposedly the easiest OS of the lot to use, requires you to compile it from source. Ditto for PyGame (granted, most people technical enough to install PyQt or PyGame shouldn't have a problem compiling from source, but it's still something I'd rather not have to do).
For that matter, people often mis-state the term "ease of use" - ease of use for who? There's a world of difference between someone's grandma and a skilled software developer, and they will see ease of use differently. Something that to the developer is powerful, convenient and timesaving, may well cause Grandma no end of problems, and vice versa. In my opinion there's often too much emphasis on the experience for the beginner, when people shouldn't actually remain beginners for long. Yes, it should be easy to learn, but it shouldn't be dumbed down either or people won't bother learning - hence we have so many people who don't really know how to maintain their computers and wind up with difficulties from trojans and worms. It's like with a car - if you know a few basic skills like changing a tyre, you can save yourself a lot of hassle, and knowing a little about how your computer works means you can fix many problems yourself without having to hire a professional.

Codfather said...

Matt you are spot on, one persons ease of use is another persons hell. On Thursday I had to install the DVD/CD burning software , K3B on Redhat enterprise Linux, and found in the end , the easiest way to get this installed was to compile it from source. It was a simple four commands at the command line, but as you say for a grandma, it could have been a nightmare.

Yes, to say Windows is easier to use is just intellectual laziness. In some instances it can be, but then so can OSX and Ubuntu, it depends what you are trying to do.

It really annoys me when people say that it is hard to install apps on modern Linux, when 99.99% of the time it is just point and click when using Ubuntu.

I do think though that this myth is beginning to be exposed and more people with the help of OSX and Ubuntu are seeing there is another way.

MarkKB said...

So... you're using the example of putting Windows on a flash drive as an example of how Windows is more complex than Linux?

Don't get me wrong, I like to tinker in Linux just as much as the next geek, but how many people put an OS on their flash drive anyway?

What you're demonstrating is that having a specialized use application on one OS is better than doing it the manual way on another. If the demand for such a utility is great, eventually someone (probably a third party) will develop one themselves. If not, then, there's always the manual way if you desperately need Win7 on a flash drive.

Codfather said...

Well Mark I use it all the time, and a many people in the Linux community use it all the time, certainly while testing OS upgrades.

If you look at my previous reply, I agree Windows does do things well, but so does Linux. I'm just addressing the lope sided opinion that you have to do everything in Linux at the command line, which is patent nonsense these days. Also, not everything in Windows is seamless point and click, as it most definitely isn't.