A Call to Distros: Give Users What They Want
A few months ago we ran a poll about the most important non-free Linux apps. We had over 8,000 votes in that poll and we consider the results pretty interesting. Interesting enough to push Linux's market share if a distro capitalized on them?
Right now, the users of the 3-5 most popular Linux distros have to either search the internet for guides like this one in order to get an idea how to install non-free software, or they have to figure out how to use the distro's package management and how to enable certain repositories. In the case of Ubuntu also exists an easy-to-use utility that will download most of these apps for you and install them. But even in this case, the user must know of its existence and must know how to install it in the first place.
These are major hurdles for new users, even if they sound trivial to most tech-oriented OSNews readers. These hurdles contribute in a big way to some users who try Linux distros to go back to Windows running scared. This is an issue that at least the big-5 distros (Ubuntu, Fedora, SuSE, Debian, Mandrake) must provide an easy solution to. It is the time to do so!