Once a user becomes experenced he dosen't need a user friendly system anymore. Most people who try Linux and switch back becouse it's "not user friendly" wouldn't know.
The real complaint they have is that the experence they have with Windows is worthless.
I however came to Linux from Dos.. Annother command line. While Dos was a CP/M clone Bill Gates looked to Unix for ideas to improve Dos when making MsDos 2.
Dos has quite a bit in commen with the Unix command line.
Switching from Dos to Unix is remarkably simple.
More recently I've been required to use Windows at work. I know what user friendly is like I've used user friendly operating systems. Windows is NOT user friendly.
Here is the trick. Grab new users and teach them to use Windows before they get a chance to even look at Linux. When those users then look at Linux what happends? "Oh my ghod it's so hard".
It's not any diffrent from what you experenced when you were a new user on Windows however now your an experenced user expecting to just slip into a new system and guess what? Not gona happen.
When you first started using Windows did you know how to point and click?
If Yes continue If no skip to end.
When you first started using Linux did you know how to type on the keyboard?
If Yes continue If no.. Your a lier.
Using the mouse and using the keyboard are both basic functionality of the computer. Eather both are obveous or you have to learn both.
A lot of people complained that keyboards were hard. Thies people are just being difficult.
There are also people who clame the single button mouse is too difficult.. I kid you not. Long usenet threads back when most people still used keyboards and command lines.
Obscure commands? Who here knew what the Windows icons were for?
To start a program in Linux type in the name of the program and hit enter. Oh my brain that is SOO HARD.
To start a program in Windows click the start icon. The one at the bottom of the screen. No bottom left.. Not my left your left. Got it? Now click it.
Now click programs. No the folder named programs. Ok your new so you have no idea what a folder is just click on the word "programs".
Now look for the program you want.
Umm most are in the other folders. Click on the topics and look around and maybe you'll find it.
Yes now THAT is user friendly.
(head hits table)
And as has been said 1,000 times by people who do NOT like Linux "users just want to run there programs".
Yep.. and it's braindead easy to do that in Linux.
If you don't like using the command line to manage your files use a file manager.
The only thing left is installing software.
I still download and compile but again I'm familure with the command line and it's just easier for me.
But if your GUI inclined you can use RPMs.. they suck eggs and I'm not exactly supprised users find them hard. They aren't hard they are stupid. When an RPM dosen't work there isn't more to know. They don't work. Thats normal. Hay you wanted the Windows experence didn't you? I've had the same with Windows often.
DEBs work better.
When I use Windows I download a Unix envrionment and I'm happy.
Becouse Unix got to me first. (Actually an AT&T 3B2-300).
In addition to not actually being user friendly Windows is programmer hostile. This has nothing to do with the GUI/Command line thing. Linux ships with a complete set of software dev tools Windows ships devoid of same.
My options are to install a Unix environment or pay large sums of money for the software dev tools.
The problem with installing a Unix environment is unless your like me (and came from Unix to start with) your totally disorented by having to use Unix to develup Windows software. It still disorents me to some degree.
Also Microsofts APIs don't work right so it takes a little bit of trial and error to make it all work.
Linux APIs are well documented and work correctly (as a rule).
When a Windows API is broken don't bother Microsoft they won't fix it.
When a Linux API is broken inform the develupers. If you can fix it yourself. If nessissary hunt down a diffrent set of libarys.
One of the often made clames is that Linux is hard to install. Of course Windows is easier.. anything is easy when you leave it to an expert.
The actual problem is newer versions of Windows (post 95) are easy to install but they make this easy by overwriting your hard disk.
If you have an operating system already installed and wish to preserve it your screwed once you install Windows 2000 or XP.
Linux however bends over backwards to preserve your Windows FS.
However the newer user friendly Linux destros permit you to just let the install replace everything and then they become pritty much no diffrent from the Windows counterpart except that your installing all your drivers and applications all at once where as with Windows installing the OS is just the first phase. Then you install all the drivers and HOPE they work. Then you install the applications. Then you restore your data.
I back up my data to CD rom but often I'm able to compleate an install with out actually having to restore my data as I'm able to get the vareous Installs to NOT format my home drive partition (where all my data is).
I don't recomend this but it is something an experenced Linux user can pull off.
What we need isn't to make Linux user friendly. We SHOULD make Linux user friendly that isn't even comming close to helping us compeate with Microsoft.
We NEED to catch the new users before they learn "The Microsoft way"