My dad would have never switched to Linux if it wasn’t for GNOME!
I’ve came to realize an important fact in the last couple of days.
Personally, I have always liked KDE better. After all this time I came to realize that GNOME is not bad, or even a little bit “evil”. I could say I’ve softened up on my previous impressions left by GNOME. While Ubuntu is a great product by marvellous people, I have thought of GNOME as being a lot unprofessional. But it isn’t, it has its very good purpose and good use. That is why I have used Kubuntu. Now, it still tempts me to install GNOME as I would like to see how it evolves practically (even if probably a lot slower than KDE, :P). But no, I’m a big KDE fan and I’m not going to change that easy. GNOME developers would have to rewrite a lot of stuff to give me any reason to use it as my (other) main DE.
Now back to the main idea: why my dad successfully switched from Windows to Linux. I’ll say it out loud. It’s because there is GNOME! If you think I’m wrong, that it’s because I made him use GNOME first and not KDE, you’re wrong. I made him use both desktop environments. After 3 weeks with GNOME, 2 weeks with KDE was a disaster for him.
What I’ve really come to realize is what changed my previous idea about GNOME. While KDE isn’t hard to learn to get used to for the first time for people like me (although not really a nerd, I like to consider myself one), it is a headache for people like my father. For some time I thought that the GNOME developers are writing unprofessional software, because the software they write hides or removes a lot of functionality an advanced and even moderately experienced user expects to find.
My dad used to think that Linux is not a desktop OS :D. The first few times I showed it to him, it didn’t impress him even a little (I was using Gentoo and Fluxbox for a long time then). After I managed to convince him to try Ubuntu for a while at first because XP is lacking drivers for his laptop and he hates Vista even more, everything changed. But a while became a long while :). One day my dad told me how happy he was that when he went to work with his laptop and plugged in the USB printer, Ubuntu automatically set up the printer.
I hope Ubuntu and GNOME will continue to make Linux easier for people like my dad. Ubuntu and GNOME is what contributes mainly to new users coming to Linux.