I've been dual booting Ubuntu on a laptop alongside Windows for quite a few years now. I'm using an LTS version and haven't been exposed to Unity yet. I just checked out the online tour on the Ubuntu website and I'm just.... well, depressed.
Linux won't expand drastically into the home PC market unless it can accomplish the following:
- Make navigating my files and applications easy and intuitive. Finding installed applications should not be difficult.
- Make installing any new application easy.
- Let me configure the OS, my preferences and my hardware and drivers easily.
- NO COMMAND LINE REQUIRED.
- Extensive help within the application.
- Extensive hardware and driver support. The current state is not good enough.
Sadly even though Ubuntu has been the nicest one I've used, it seems to be dumbing down some things while others are still difficult. If a normal user who is not doing anything unusual has to open the command line, this is a fail.
I know this will cause a big flame war to say this, but as a long time Windows and Linux user... I have to say.... just make it work like Windows! Windows may be popular due to a monopoly on the industry, but they are now the standard and despite the MS hatred, they have over time developed a clear and non-complicated way of doing most things you need to do on your computer. I haven't opened the command line on Windows for years... not even sure if it still exists. I can find all my settings under Control Panel, and my applications are nicely organized and I can add shortcuts and organize files however I like. For all it's flaws, Windows is the standard in the industry. If Linux deviates too far away from this, it will forever remain a fringe option for technical or very determined users.
I say all this as someone who has no love for Microsoft and very, very much wants to see Linux grow in popularity. I've been dual booting Ubuntu to see if I could ditch Windows and use it exclusively. So far my answer is no way, and will be sadly getting Windows 7 on my next machine, and probably dual booting some distro of Linux. I might try Mint next.