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I've toyed with Ubuntu 6.10, but haven't spent as much time with it as I'd like. Only two problems occurred with the 6.10 installation: first, I had to install the NIC drivers. No problem. It was a PCI NIC, and I had the driver disk, which had linux drivers on it. It installed right away. The second problem was the audio codecs to get rhythmbox to play my music. Again, no problem. Easyubuntu made quick work of that.
Friday I installed Ubuntu 7.04 on a generic box I had purchased from a coworker. It was a PIII 1 GHZ machine, 512 MB RAM, 40 GB HD. It had a bad copy of XP on it, so I wiped it and loaded Ubuntu. The install was slick and painless, and I was delighted to see that all drivers installed properly. I put rhytmbox to the test, and my CD's played flawlessly.
Time to try Ubuntu on a "big box". Yesterday, I grabbed an old Dell GX24 with a 1.7 GHZ P4 proc, 512MB RAM and a 20 GB HD and loaded Ubuntu, this time timing the installation. It was 28 minutes from boot to the web. this included partitioning, formatting and complete installation of the operating system. No muss, no fuss. And again, all drivers were properly installed.
On various forums, I have seen the goal of Linux to create a Linux "so easy your grandmother could use it". While Ubuntu does require a bit of a learning curve, it's a small one. Truthfully, I find it to be less of a learning curve than for Redmond's newest issue. This operating system is ready for prime time, and, in my opinion, is far superior to anything put out by MS or Apple. And it is as user friendly as any operating system I have ever used.
This is the first non-Windows O/S that has me convinced I could eventually live a Windows-free life. I'm not a coder; I leave that to those who are. I want an O/S that's functional once I bring it out of the box. And with a fully functional Office Suite (openoffice.org), there's very little NOT to like about Ubuntu's latest offering.
Well, it is good that you liked the latest release (and it is certainly an improvement in a number of aspects), but I am not too sure why Open Office is such a big part of your views on it. You could naturally install Open Office on any Linux distribution, it has nothing to do with Ubuntu itself.
Oh, I know you can use open office on any distro (and on Windows as well). It's just an added bonus that it's bundled. My comment was as opposed to Windows, Ubuntu (and in fact, most Linux distros) comes with a fully functional bundle. I wasn't using it to demonstrate the superiority of Ubuntu over other Linux distros, just what I perceive to be its superiority over Windows.
In the end, I believe everyone should run the right OS for them. And I intend to check out a whole host of other distros eventually. But the goal of Linux has been to put out a completely user friendly OS, and Ubuntu certainly qualifies as one.