The Register writes:
According to Jim McQuillan, founder and project leader of the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP), Linux falls down with the home user in its “failure of design. It’s too cluttered with techie stuff on the desktop.” Techies own Linux, control it, design it. Their inability to attract home users, who all too often can’t even program the clock on their VCRs, is very much down to a failure to do usability studies, he said. Such studies are long, costly and involved and since the Linux community is so widespread and diversified throughout the world, there is no central body looking into such matters.
This means that newbies may successfully install a Linux distribution, or see one at a friend’s home, and is then be faced with a desktop full of application icons he doesn’t begin to understand and most of which he doesn’t need. Most of the experts I spoke with claim the newer versions of the various distributions are more home user user- friendly in terms of the applications they initially install to the desktop.
But the feeling is that the user must somehow find out what those distributions are and get one of them. But finding out which are which is unfortunately rather more difficult than not.