Sequence: someone hears about Linux, does a bit of digging, finds out about Ubuntu, goes to ubuntu.com ready to try it out. The latest and greatest version of Ubuntu Linux is then downloaded and they become converts for life. This was what I expected would happen for me a few weeks ago after deciding I was fed up with having to reinstall MS Windows yet again. It also appears to be what the powers-that-be for Ubuntu are thinking when you consider that the absolute latest version of Ubuntu is always the one that greets visitors/newbies to ubuntu.com. After two costly weeks of combat, I am back to being primarily an MS Windows user. Why? In short, I got tired of spending at least 30 minutes trying to do anything "new". It didn't help that only about 1/3 of each new thing ended up working when that 30(++) minutes was over. Eventually I realized that one of the most polished versions of Ubuntu was not the 64-bit Kubuntu 9.10 I was running but instead the 32-bit Ubuntu 8.04 LTS version. This brings me to my question to the community: why are Ubuntu newbies used as guinea pigs? If I were king, I would prominently feature the friendliest, most polished, most stable version of Ubuntu, not the most bug-ridden. Sure the latest interface is the prettiest, but when I can't: get multiple displays to stretch my desktop, use my soundcard, use Skype, network "out" from a VM on my Linux install, and so on, I won't care if the interface looks like Mac's latest eye candy or Windows 3.11. I understand that Ubuntu is a community effort and progress will only come through people installing the latest version and hammering out the bugs together, but I have to believe that unwittingly putting the newbies on that bleeding edge is turning a lot of people away. As for me, I now have a Hardy Heron VM puttering along in my MS Windows and an awesome USB key with Fedora 11, but they will be side hobbies while my real work takes place in Windows, just as it has since Windows 3.1. Linux will be a side hobby, just as it has been since I first tried it in 1997. I will probably try again, older and wiser, six months from now. Next time, I won't be on the bleeding edge, but I will be more realistic about the pace of change from MS to Linux that I can handle. You will be pleased to note that Xubuntu is the daily interface for all my children as they use the home PC.