A fair review

Last week, HConsumer published an article entitled 30 Days with Linux, in which the reviewer spent a month using Ubuntu. I have to say that this is probably the single best Linux review I've ever read.

Thre were two things thing I really loved about this article. First, I thought it was extremely fair. The reviewer seems to understand and accept that when 90% of the world uses Windows, there is a price associated with choosing to use anything else. In particular, he didn't blame Linux or Ubuntu for things like not supporting his favorite software or doing things differently than Windows, which you see that far too often in this kind of review. That little bit of understanding really made it clear to me that the reviewer was trying to give an honest assesment, as opposed to just cranking out enough words to fill a column.

The second thing I loved about this article was the length of the review period: 30 days. I think it's difficult, if not impossible, to fairly evaluate an operating system/environment in much less than that. Every system is different, and it takes time to adjust when switching from one to another. You need time to figure out how things are done in the new system, to find the shortcuts, and to really appreciate the more advanced features. A few days or a week might suffice for a shallow overview, but those aren't really useful to anybody.

I hope we see more articles like this in the future. The computing trade press has a nasty tendancy to be shallow and trashy, so it's nice to have some thoughtful, open-minded criticism.

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