It seems as though every day more people are tasting some flavor of Linux for the first time. There are a lot of reasons that cause users to choose this type of operating system, including the fact that it is open-source. Linux is becoming so popular amongst power users (and even novices) that companies are starting to work harder to make their products compatible with Linux. Lexmark is a great example of this. All of their printers and scanners now have the cute little Tux logo alongside those of Windows and OS X.

Fellow gnomie AJ sent the following email to me recently, and gave it the perfect title: “Food for Thought.” He raises some excellent points, and your answers will be interesting to read.

I have long enjoyed your multi-OS videos, and general impartiality that comes as the product of your open minded approach to tech.

Don’t get me wrong- I use all three operating systems, but Linux (and specifically Ubuntu and derivatives like Mint) have come forward leaps and bounds in recent years. Previously, popular distro’s were much less intuitive than their non-GNU alternatives. But with the latest stable builds (and what I can see from Beta 1 of Ubuntu 10.04) both the interfaces, and the systems as a whole feel much more intuitive, and well rounded; not just the pet project of a handful of programmers who passionately hate Microsoft, but can’t design a pleasing and intuitive interface.

I consider them to really compete with the big boys now in terms of usability, compatibility, stability, and aesthetically (10.04 especially with the beautiful new themes and feel). Ubuntu, be it through the use of alternative legal drivers, or through increasing support of windows filetypes and filesystems, is now compatible with almost all new retail market hardware in my experiences. Do you think that even from a business standpoint, firms should indicate greater product support?

I mean, I don’t think the passing end-user considers any of the Linux flavors seriously alongside windows, that lacks some Linux features and has equal usability! Especially recently my opinions have changed a lot through use. If firms began to show compatibility, do you think it would help give hard working developers, testers, and users of a warm helpful, and more importantly GROWING community the recognition they deserve?

I have been an Ubuntu user for some time so I have seen distro’s grow a lot (its been a shame to not see linux videos on your channel recently! Hoping that you review the new LTS when it is released in May).

What do you think? Do you agree with AJ that manufacturers are trying harder to incorporate Linux compatibility? Or… are we still a long ways off from bringing Linux to the forefront as an operating system of choice?

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