Linux is never going to make it as a consumer PC operating system until the average user can comfortably use it. The Content Consumer checks it out in the The Great Ubuntu-Girlfriend Experiment:
I’ve toyed with Linux since 2002, when I first installed Mandrake. With the latest release of Ubuntu, I was interested to see how far Linux had come since then in terms of being used easily by the mainstream. So, I tricked my grudging girlfriend Erin into sitting down at a brand new Ubuntu 8.04 installation and performing some basic tasks. It’s surprising how many seemingly simple things become complicated and even out of reach for someone without a knowledge of Linux. There are a lot of little things that could be done to make the experience a lot more friendly for non-computer-literate people – some of them easy to implement, others not at all.
Click through to read the full test (it’s not tedious at all) and I think you will agree that 1) Erin is unusually savvy for a philosophy major, 2) things aren’t as bad as the introduction would lead you to believe. Still, after reading it, I’m not sure Linux would do very well in a Great Ubuntu-Grandma Experiment.