Subject: Re: FW: Why would I pay for Ximian software?
From: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date: 03 Jan 2002 12:30:31 -0800

Tom Lord <> writes:

> Combine the availability of XP with a few whiz-bang features that
> excite the general public (e.g. voice recognition and home
> entertainment control), and I fear the lemming-rush to individual
> consumer lock-in will be overwhelming and permanent.

Windows style functionality is already overwhelming and permanent.  I
believe that anything which hopes to compete with Windows will have to
be either very very similar--down to the level of mouse clicks--or
radically different.  StarOffice is an example of very very similar.
PalmOS is an example of radically different.

> Also, what consumer applications do you think are important to
> individual consumers?  (Disclaimer: I'm interested in the (alas, open,
> research) problem of exposing the combinative, novel-problem-solving
> capabilities of computation to non-technical individual users, partly
> because I have the belief that there are maybe a half-dozen apps that
> are, to a first approximation, all anyone ever uses.)

I agree that users use only a few applications.  I think the
applications which matter are: browser, e-mail reader, appointment and
contact manager, word processor, spreadsheet, presentation creator.
Perhaps diagram creator, desktop publisher, web site creator, and
image editor.  Pretty soon I expect that we can add movie editor and
music editor.

> "As easy to use as proprietary alternatives" is (for the moment) a
> very low barrier.  In my experience, GNOME was there several years
> ago.  The problems were bugs and a level of inconsistency (in areas
> such as on-line help) that reeked of amateurishness and were a constant
> source of low-level annoyance.

As others have said, if you think that GNOME, and the applications
which comes with it, are as easy to use for most people as Windows and
MS apps, you are seriously mistaken.