College of St. Scholastica

Project Description

Desktop Usability For The Mainstream

Project Abstract

Linux is positioned at the bottom of the totem pole for desktop operating systems. Why is this? It is very possibly a usability problem. A large amount of people that have heard of Linux, but do not use or want to use it, do so because they are scared of the command line interface. Others know that Linux has a graphical user interface (GUI) and like it, but the process of software installation keeps them away. Many of these problems are based on user's dependency on Windows, but there are some problems with the usability of Linux in it's own right. I review the literature on the topic and discuss these problems, concluding with a proposal for a research experiment to evaluate the relative usabilities of Windows XP and Linux.

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