(Regarding Linspire and Ubuntu)
One of the problems with Linux on the desktop, IMO, is that it’s hard to find additional resources beyond what’s included with the CDs.
Everything that comes with Ubuntu, for example, should work – but when you want to find more software, it’s difficult to know even where to start. You can’t go to a retail store and buy Linux software. Most of the big download sites on the web don’t have Linux programs. The open-source sites are confusing, slow, decentralized and disorganized. It’s nearly impossible to find a good program unless you already know its name. Then when you find the program, you have to make sure you know what your hardware is and which Linux distro you have so you can get the right kind of installer. Bleh.
And when you need support, you’ll have to find a usergroup or forum somewhere that can help you, and that’s not always easy.
That’s why I recommended Linspire instead of the other distros: Click-N-Run, their download service, supposedly gives you a large library of programs that are easy to find, download, and install. In terms of support, I think they offer both web forums and email support directly from them, a rarity in the non-enterprise Linux world.
Are these thoughts accurate? I haven’t actually used Linspire before, being the cheapskate that I am, but it seems to be designed from the ground up with the beginner in mind – essentially marketing itself as a low-cost alternative to Windows. It doesn’t really emphasize its Linux roots, whereas Ubuntu clearly aims to be just a “better” Linux distro and doesn’t really seem to offer any more ease of use than Fedora.
Anyone familiar with both and can compare them for us?