Recently, there have been articles I’ve seen on Digg and our own Rsbandb Forums on how to make a Linux distribution look ‘pretty’. Specifically, the one from the Rsbandb Forums regarded how to make the popular Ubuntu look like Mac OS X, and the articles off of Digg were about making Ubuntu ‘prettier’ in general. This is all fine and good, but I don’t think the last few articles are for the current Ubuntu users. The founder of Ubuntu, Mark Shuttleworth, is more likely trying to draw in new users, and not impress the current. But this all leads to a new question – Would a nicer looking Ubuntu get you to switch from your current Operating System?
Up to now, Windows has been the default operating system for most people, Mac has been the good-looking at home alternative, and Linux the operating system of choice for the computer tech who refuses to conform to any company run by ‘the man’, or who doesn’t deem it necessary to pay for something as basic as an operating system. With technology being easier and easier to get, or if nothing else be informed about, people are realizing there are other options than the traditional Windows software. Linux already opens the door to anyone with a semi-modern computer, allowing the access to both a free operating system and free software alternatives to software on other systems. Also, being fully customizable, the stock look (yes, I’m talking about the bland brown that Ubuntu loves to stick with) can be changed from boring to snazzy with a few changes.
With this being said, would a nicer stock Ubuntu get you to ditch Windows or Mac to jump on the Open Source bandwagon? I have considered running Ubuntu solely on a few older computers, but due to constrictions with Wireless, it just wasn’t an option that stuck. A ‘prettier’ interface won’t get most other who read the articles in either location to switch either. In general, people want the interface and compatibility to be improved first, especially before something as vain as the looks.
I haven’t exactly been trying to learn how to use the command line, and I have heard it isn’t too complicated, at least for general purposes. But seriously, isn’t having to go to the command line to do something as simple as installing a program or changing some setting a bit old? I know it works, and you could do the same thing on a Windows or Mac based machine, but I prefer to click on a setup and be done with it.
Linux does work well, and is a viable solution if you are in need of an operating system, don’t get the impression that I think it’s a waste of time. Linux has been around since 1991, and has a huge user base. However, if you are looking to replace your current operating system and run a Linux distribution full time, you won’t be disappointed by what the community has to offer. Be warned though, if you do plan to switch from Windows or Mac that you won’t catch on overnight.
If you’d like more information on Linux, its distributions, and anything else related, check the official Linux site and consider burning a LiveCD of a popular distribution such as Ubuntu.
Would a prettier Linux make you switch?
Shuttleworth Apple Challenge
6th August 2008, at 2:00pm
I picked ubuntu because of the free shipit (two weeks delivery, even of custom orders, to UK). While mine isn’t totally pretty, and I can’t get java and flash working, I’m glad I got it. Different gripes to Windows, probably more prominent but I’m glad I have them (eg, I cbf to update OOO/Gnome/Compiz).