Golem.de has published a two part interview with Mark Shuttleworth (Wikipedia entry, his blog), the founder of Canonical Ltd., the company that is behind Ubuntu. Some of the questions he tried to answer were:
Where do you see the Linux desktop today?
Does MacOS X offer a better user experience than Linux?
Does KDE do a better job than GNOME?
Besides look & feel there are still problems with multimedia codecs. Isn’t that more important than the look & feel of the desktop?
You already had a look at Windows 7… What is Microsoft doing better than Linux?
How important are netbooks for the success of Linux?
Reports seem to indicate that many users replace their Linux netbooks with Windows models.
The answers are sincere and very straight forward. Regarding the question about multimedia codecs, there is some ambiguity surrounding it. The problems with multimedia codecs in Linux are not related to the ability of Linux to play multimedia content or not, but whether the codecs for proprietary formats should be included by default in distributions or not. And the answer here is no, they shouldn’t be included by default in Ubuntu (or any other distribution) because of patents and copyright restrictions. Therefore the user should take the decision of installing or not the codecs for various proprietary formats. And that is really easy in Ubuntu.
On the 22nd of October the poll I launched on the 15th will close. After analysing the results I will post an article that should try to respond to all of the Windows users’ misconceptions regarding Linux by showing them how easy and nice is to use free software.
Watch what Mark has to say. It might help you decide. :)