wounded in the line of duty
Being the Linux support engineer for a large company in Romania, I entirely agree with Dag.
However, there are a few things to note:
There are some zones where little or no apparent progress has been made for YEARS. For example, it's almost impossible to use a scanner in Linux, if you don't own a SCSI one (the models in the official compatibility list, parallel scanners, are sooooo old or poor in an USB-dominated world...)
Another zone is mobile phone interaction - there is still no way to easily syncronize your cell phone with Thunderbird - a task that any non-technical user performs in Outlook Express on a daily basis;
I am a Romanian user. Despite the late progresses, CentOS 5.3 is still unusable as a desktop for non-technical users, because it lacks correct standardisesd Romanian keyboard arrangements and fonts with comma-below diacritics - in other words, one still cannot correctly type a text in Romanian language...
Finally, a desktop user still needs VERY EASY support for a few "gadgets", such as USB or PCMCIA modems from mobile phone companies. In Windows they are used to easily connect to a VPN, in a road-warrior setup; in Linux, even with OpenVPN, it is still problematic to (reliably) run an utility to connect with your USB cell dongle (think Huaweis...)
If a few features like these are completed, users will stick with a more stable (and conservative) distro, like CentOS or Debian, instead of Ubuntu, Fedora or alike...
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