@ Robert Harrison
- Boots near instantaneously into a usable desktop (and that doesn't include a desktop that is displayed but unusable whilst you wait for the services to load)
Ubuntu may need a reboot after a 6 months upgrade - but can suspend/restart in seconds.
- Doesn't need to be rebooted after updates, updates should be quick and painless.
Ubuntu doesn't always need a reboot after an upgrade let alone updates. Also, ALL software on the system is included in the updates - spreadsheets, browsers, library files, OS files, - everything.
MS updaets the OS, Macs update the OS and most Apple software - Ubuntu updates ALL software.
- Frees you from the worry about spyware and virus issues to the point that system resources are not having to be consumed even by an embedded antivirus system in the background.
- Abstracts the user interface in some nice way such that you literally have links to: Email/IM, Web, Games, Office, Media and that's about it. Obviously a server edition of this future computer would have additional links.
Ubuntu's default Gnome window manager is a great clean interface.
- Installation of a game package should be as easy as drag and drop. Uninstall likewise, and the uninstall should remove *everything*, no cruft. Remember, you the user just want to use the computer not have to manage it as well.
Easier than drag and drop - just select tick box next to it on list in Add/Remove programs.
- Manages your documents such that you can hierarchical store them how you see fit (all in one sensible location on the future computer, not in the root drive, not in my documents, etc, etc) but that they are replicated so you can get to them from anywhere in the world, and they are secured.
Shared Documents can be accessed from the Place menu option. Depends on how you want it set up but we have a central server for docs and a folder on my desktop is connected straight to it.
- Handles as many different media formats as possible all abstracted from you the user. If media conversion is necessary it should be as simple as renaming the file whilst maintaining aspect ratio, sound quality, etc etc.
Ubuntu uses much cleverer stuff than (ha ha) file extensions. All media formats I've tried have been handled automatically.
- Doesn't crash or lock up or suddenly slow down for no explicable reason. Yes yes this is a tough one, but this is the ideal. If you can solve this you can retire immediately, somewhere hot, with a nice beach.
Easy one. Unix based so crashing doesn't really happen.
If such a desktop system were to come on the market I, probably like most people, would be willing to part with a lot of good money for it.
Don't need to - Ubuntu 8.04 is here for free.
Try it - what have you got to lose - I think you'll be shocked at how good it is compared to MS products.
Of course - you might have to admit that you're behind the curve a bit - but you'll still be a relatively early adopter.
Also, I'm not as experienced with Mac's but I think most of the points I've made apply to Mac's as well.