[Bug 1] Re: Microsoft has a majority market share

codeslinger codeslinger at compsalot.com
Mon Aug 11 18:51:59 UTC 2008

This is a very good bug report with plenty of repros.  However there are
some related causes which have been overlooked.

The reason that people use XP is because "it just works" out of the box.
The reason that people don't want Vista is because it does not work, there is much that is broken with it and the user interface is terrible.

The reason that people avoid Linux is because of the perception that it
is too complex and that it does not work.

Now we all know that Ubuntu with GNOME takes care of most of the
complexity issues, Linux used to be too complex but this is no longer
the case, the GNOME user interface is much better than Vista.  Now we
must educate people about how easy Linux has become.

But!!!  Ubuntu still has not achieved the level of out-of-the-box "it
just works" capability which XP delivers.

The following comments are based on experience with Ubuntu Hardy 8.04
and hopefully won't apply to newer versions.

Specific things that desperately need to be fixed.

1) The web browser, Firefox, which is perhaps people's number one most
used app, it does not work out of the box, it will not play
flash/videos/audio etc. and getting it to work is much too complex and

I know there are copyright and patent issues etc.  But a person should
not have to search all over the web and find lots of bad/obsolete advice
in the process.  There should just be an icon on the desktop that takes
you to a web page with correct and up-to-date information on how to
install all of the usual addon's that people want.  And the process of
installing should be made as simple as possible.

2) Quicktime, does not work.  I have spent many many hours trying to get
it to work.  All my computer does is crash...  other people have
reported this same problem.

3) Samba should just work, but it does not!!!   I simply want to click
on a printer and tell it to be shared and it does it.  This should work
out-of-the-box but in fact the Samba Server software is not even
installed only the client is installed.  It is not enough to be able to
access other people's computers, it must be possible to with a minimum
of effort to give other Windows computers access to your Ubuntu
computer.  And it must be easy to do this, I never did get Samba printer
sharing to work, instead I got Windows to use the CUPS sharing which was
not difficult on XP, but it certainly does not meet user expectations of
point and click printer install, it also a lot of research to do CUPS on
Win98 and required finding and installing hard to get software.  The
same thing for Shared Folders, even though with many hours of effort I
got Shared Folders to work with XP I still did not get it to work with
Win98.  I suspect this is because Win98 uses a different SMB  protocol
then does XP.  But it is very important that this be able to work and
Samba does have the ability to support both and Samb does work fine on
other distros that I have tried.

4) The GNOME printer manager is mostly okay but it lacks some
fundamental functionality.  People need to be able to see the print
queue and they need to be able to cancel/hold a print job and to put a
printer on hold with a minimum of fuss.  With the currently installed
default software this is not possible.  By installing a different
program -- after much trial and error, it does become possible to view
the job queue but still lacks functionality for managing print jobs.
This needs to change.  The KDE print manager is much better than
anything I have seen on GNOME.

5) People want to be able to play movies on their computer.  I did the
research and found out that it is actually legal (now) in the USA to
install libdecss.  The courts have recognized the legitimate right to
play videos that you have purchased.  It is still illegal to use it to
copy a movie, but you are allowed to install the software for playing
the movie.  It takes hours of searching the web to find this out and to
find out how to install it.  There should be an icon on the desktop that
takes you to a website that gives detailed info about how to install it
and what is known about the laws for your country.

6) WINE needs to be better, if Canonical can afford it they should put
some dev resources in their direction.

Overall Ubuntu is Excellent!!!!    But these are some really core
issues.  Fix these fundamental things and Ubuntu can take off like a
Rocket!!!!   But as long as Ubuntu remains as it is, it will forever be
a small niche product.

By the way, I am also concerned about the bug system, many bugs seem to
stay for a very long time without any action being taken.....

I hope Mark, that you will see this entry and give these things some
thought.  I am a new comer to Ubuntu and it has been a mixture of
delight and frustration.  I have been in the computer industry since the
days of punched cards.  And I really don't see Ubuntu as being viable
until most of the issues I have outlined are addressed.

Microsoft has a majority market share
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