After reading the posts about the problems associated with 13, I'll limit myself to 12.10 for now. It has plenty of problems of it's own.
Since I was a kid, I have always been interested in using Linux. At the time, I was using my dad's box, so changing the OS from windows to anything non-conventional was out of the question, especially after I downloaded some l337 IRC h4x0r builds the tools of which fried out our brand new dell windows 98S.
Fast-foward to the future, I used a mac for years, and loved it. Still do. Slick interface, no problems, with access to the terminal. Recently, my hardware fried out. I would get another, but, One problem: I now live in brazil and buying a new one is too expensive. (5000 of the local currency for a basic setup)
So I downloaded ubuntu on my GF's spanking new windows 8, looking for a similar interface with the multiple desktops and perhaps even the option to click a button and see all of your open windows at once.
Since then, what I have encountered has been little more than headache. Although the warm and sensual pink, orange, and purple colors of ubuntu's interface are soothing, they have not proven to be enough to negate what I see are some serous problems.
Most of the problems that I will reveal may seem trivial to a long time linux and/or ubuntu user, for a first-timer, the most important thing is that his first few hours with the system are hassle free. It's hard enough for a long-time windows user to navegate and conceptualize a new system, to be constantly tripped up with things like being forced to:
then install the system (not work)
then open bios then switch to legacy
then switch to boot from CD
then select try ubuntu .
unconfigured wireless settings.
dig around in the settings (very bare)
go to work come home and gf fixed it
then research why ubuntu isnt working find out that the format used was wrong and needed to create a swap a boot and a couple of other paritions in a specific format in logic mode (the ubuntu website and tutorial said NOTHING about this)
reopen GPART from CD and delete old ubuntu data
reinstall according to the instructions PHEW! (>4 hours learning, downloading, writing disks, redoing, reconfiguring)
Operation system not found.
after bashing my head on the wall and going back to sleep i wake up the next day a little earlier and sit with my morning coffee to find out about what could be going wrong stumble upon boot-repair open the terminal to download install and run (wow, this is new) installation fails gives me a strange error code research error code no clear answer as to what the error code is give up for about a week and use ubuntu from the cd eventually get fed up and try the installation again it magically works then start the computer doesnt work go into bios change back to UEFI mode. SUCCESS!! Phew
I boot the computer sucessfully. During this time, I work 10 hours a day out of the house as a small business owner, have an infant son, and am programming an application in excell for the first time. Did I say that I am a little too strapped for time to be learning about the difference between legacy and uefi and dustbin and pastebin and whatever the hell else.
**I just want to install themthing and do simple tasks FIRST. I dont want to have to learn the intricacies of the sys before I can use it!
So, that being said, outside of the basic installation, now that i have it running i immediately noticed some problems, though small are indicative of some deeper, organizational or leadership issues within this movement.
First: The cursor automatically clicks if i type faster than 40 WPM! I type 150, so imagine the desperation of reducing your typing speed by more than 60%. I researched the reason and solution for this on askubuntu and i found about 30 different threads going back at least 2 years, each with about 10 different solutions. Most of the threads referred to each other, with the users saying that none of the other 20 options worked for them, the threads usually ended unsolved, with a user saying "well, it worked for me" or "maybe you're missing some important file."
There was only one option that didnt require me to enter into the systems settings through the terminal and modify a whole bunch of settings. A simple, quick, solution, that doesnt require me to do things I'm unfamiliar with. I won't modify things unless I know what I'm modifying, and I don't have the time to sit around and learn the entire operating system inside and out just to type an email. Today is a holiday, that's why i have the time to type all of this at 40 wpm.
Well that simple solution was to ente into the settings>mouse and trackpad> then simply disable click-on-tap while typing. Well, would you have it, that my particular installation of ubuntu doesnt even have the option to modify the trackpad? just the mouse! How strange! I dont use a mouse! and where are my trackpad settings?
I'm going back to windows. isnt opensource, is interface nightmare.
at least it installs
and lets me type
if the ubuntu team can't even fix that simple issue, and has an system installation and configuration processes that are so inconsistent that entire areas of the system config menu are MISSING, then what else is missing? Can I expect them to be responsive to bugs and user issues? An important thing to consider: "no one wants to board a sinking ship"
so, the moral of the story? create simple interfaces, with simple initial processes (formatting, installation, dual boot, sys config) with easy access to the more sophisticated features of ubuntu, So that us newbies with tight schedules, narrow minds, or both can ease in slowly.
If you want to turn windows users away from their little world, you have to make it accessible. Accessibility should be THE priority. Dump all of your resources into that.
What all computer users want above all else is that that [it] works.
This means that basic usability like typing and UI navigation, system and netork configuration and modification should ALWAYS function and have solutions with inputs the user is familiar with to 95% of all contingencies.
If the system is functional, and they are not bogged down with hours of installations, reinstallations, forum scouring, reconfigurations, 50 million unknown commands in the terminal, THEN they will be curious to know what exactly ubuntu is, and what makes it so special. In this second step ubuntu is also lacking. I have to say that the presentation of the features and advantages is virtually nonexistent on the site and nowhere at all on the user interface.
Are there the cool mac features where i can see all my windows at once? What about security? Malware? What about performance? Can I expect my system to run faster and more reliably with ubuntu? What about troubleshooting and support? These questions are still unanswered to me. And I read that little page about the features multiple times. Don't make me dig! Show me!
One suggestion is to integrate a multimedia presentation into the interface itself, for first-time users to easily familiarize themseilves. I mean videos and animations textboxes and the whole shazaam to highlight the use of these features (like a tour) that leads to a manual with the terminal's comands alnd many uses WELL DEFINED and systematically categorized, with hyperlinks to multimeldia demonstrations of their use in action. Don't make me come to you to learn about your product, come to me. Come into the interface that i am using right now. Ive never been to this space, show me what you've got.
I hope this helps!