I'm a pretty open-minded guy, so if igor says there's something amiss in the Linux desktop scene, there's something amiss. Microsoft is eating Linux for breakfast. Munich, Germany is all set to dump Linux for Microsoft, because Linux sucks. This news jibes with my own experiences trying to introduce some of my customers to Linux. Well, they don't like it. Why don't they like it? Mainly because they can't get some of their hardware to work and can't manage their photo collection in a civilized manner with Linux. Photo management is probably the most important thing for a computer besides Internet these days. There needs to be a Manhattan Project among Linux devs to work on that application, but instead Linux gearheads spend all their time reinventing the wheel with twenty different desktops and a couple hundred different distros. Microsoft just focuses upon creating one single killer desktop, meanwhile, that slays all the Linux competition. Another area that needs to be addressed in Linux is the problem of associating applications with filetypes. Most Linux distributions are completely retarded in this area. They open a dialog window requiring the user to hunt down a binary executable somewhere in the file system in order to open, say, an .htaccess file in a text editor. Well, that's a lot of silly nonsense, that's what that is. Instead of fixing this rather obvious problem for the end user, distros are instead working on what? Integration of the desktop model with that of smart phones? I don't know what KDE is doing, and I'm not sure KDE knows, either. XFCE is doing nothing. Aah, well, I think one can appreciate the viewpoint of Munich. At the end of the day people just want their computer to work and not have to spend a lot of time and effort in order to make that happen. At the end of the day, maybe it is worth it to pay Microsoft a hundred bucks or so to ensure the computer will work the first time, rather than the fifty-first time after a thousand hours of troubleshooting. KISS applies--Keep It Simple, Stupid.
The one thing Linux does well is Internet surfing, and that is mainly thanks to Mozilla supporting Linux with Thunderbird and Firefox. Okular is another killer app in Linux, superb for .pdf files. LibreOffice is great, although it does have limitations in terms of compatibility with Microsoft Word, and I'm sure that was a huge issue for Munich, just like it was a problem for me and my users. However, users expect a lot more from their computers than just surfing the Internet. Everybody and their brother has a digital camera these days, and the first thing they are going to do in Linux is try and manage their photo collection. Well, after a look at Gimp and Digikam, most users are going to ask me how much I will charge to install Windows and ACDSee. Those projects need a lot more developers and a lot more money in order to compete. However, I think the most logical alternative would simply be to entice ACDSee to support Linux. Probably the only group with the clout to do that would be Canonical, but they're busy plotting to take over the mobile phone market.