Mainstream Linux

Interesting article at Cnet by Matt Asay on the difficulty in bringing Linux to the non-technical masses— the ongoing dilemma is that adoption of a mainstream Linux by people without technical backgrounds would likely be unacceptable for Linux purists.

Asay’s opinion is that eliminating some degree of choice in favor of increased ease of use, coupled with corporate involvement, might be the way forward, concluding:

So, the Linux “desktop” can work. But to do so, I think we need companies involved, companies that are trying to scratch a very different itch than the one developers may be inclined to scratch themselves. That itch is usability for average end users. It’s an experience that is high on ease of use and trades away choice. This is not a bad thing.

A further problem that I see with Linux adoption by the technically less-inclined is that to the extent that they now regard their computers as internet appliances, non-geeks might be desensitized to choices regarding operating systems, and less willing to learn.