Re: Linux Mint is free
We find technology is usually simple and straightforward, but for the non-techies out there, it isn't. It's complicated, confusing, and difficult. And that's just email.
You click once on the Menu button (Start, if it were Windows), aim the mouse arrow at Internet, then at Thunderbird Mail. Click it once. Thunderbird mail appears... exactly as it looks and acts in Windows. What about that is complicated, confusing, or difficult?
I'm in the process of moving to Linux Mint full-time, since Windows 10 is such a steaming piece of shite that I can't stand to use it even for a few minutes, and it keeps getting worse with every new "feature" update that Microsoft inflicts upon the computing public.
I use Linux almost all of the time now... I'm using it now to write this, for example. Lately, I've only booted Windows for one game, but that one was the last one I will buy that isn't Linux ready off the bat (if it runs perfectly in WINE, that's good enough too). I've shrunk my Windows partitions and embiggened my Linux ones several times now as my need for Linux space exceeds anything for Windows going forward.
I'm aware of some of the things that aren't quite "there" yet in Linux Mint compared to Windows. None of this has been a problem for me, even though I've been using Windows for 27 years and Linux for about one year now. Even so, experience with computers is experience with computers; it's like how a musician who knows one instrument well can pick up a second one very quickly compared to learning the first one.
I also assumed that it would be like you said if I put Mint on a computer belonging to some "regular" user out there, and I made a comment to that effect on this or another site. I got a bunch of replies from people who said they'd done just that, and they get few or no support calls for Linux, but they used to get them all the time for Windows. Having seen how badly Windows can get screwed up, I certainly do not have any problem believing the latter!
I really don't see what would be so hard about using Mint if I were a regular user. Yes, a lot of administrative tasks that can be done using the GUI in Windows are done using the command line in Linux, but those same administrative tasks, even with the GUI, are beyond the scope of the hypothetical "regular" user I am thinking about. For day to day use, it's pretty dang simple... the Cinnamon start menu is very similar to Windows 7's. Point at the thing you want to run and click the mouse button. If you remember what it's called, hit the super (Windows) key and type the first few letters of the name and it will pop up the matches. You minimize it the same way, and it's there in the panel (taskbar) the same way, with the notification icons in the tray the same way. In ordinary day to day use, it is more like classic Windows in a lot of ways than either of the last two attempts Microsoft has made at Windows.
One difference, though, is that if you put it on a bunch of recycled computers, a huge megacorporation won't emerge from the shadows and try to strongarm a prosecutor into destroying you. So, there's that.