Sure, I can say forget it and install Windows on my PC. Perhaps instead, toss my existing computers aside and just adopt OS X, like my wife has.
But then I would have to brush aside intense moments of discovery and problem solving from over the years. Learned tricks, Linux specific scripts and discovering software so simple that adding any extra layers of fluff to it would feel almost criminal. No, for me easier is not necessarily better.
While there are always going to be people out there who are willing to cling tightly to their limited little world of easy and safe, these individuals can never really evolve into tech savvy problem-solvers. Perhaps this is a bit harsh, but Ive seen evidence that some of the most innovative programmers are those who cut their teeth on open source code.
Linux is too good for the mainstream
I think Linux is simply too much "work" for those who live on a fast food mentality. "I want it now, I want it easy and no, I don't care of it's healthy or sustainable."
As long as we live in a society that feels that way, I think we'll see Linux inroads to mainstream society remaining largely behind the scenes. Keep in mind that Linux adoption on the desktop is increasing everyday, despite the lack of mainstream press. How can Linux remain in growth mode while the mainstream still hasn't even heard of it? Simple. More people are becoming less mainstream in their thinking and joining us here within the Linux community by actively seeking out alternatives not sold on store shelves.
Sure, it's fair to say that advances in making things easier have done wonders for Linux adoption. However, is it not also fair to say that new users still have to meet the Linux community half way, despite some of the latest "niceties" available on the Linux desktop?
To put it bluntly, there is still some "assembly required." Even the most "new user targeted" distributions of Linux have a basic learning curve that must be dealt with head on.
Tomorrow and beyond
With each passing day, I see the economic climate changing. What was important to a computer user two years ago is evolving into a different vision of value today. Seems like everything is becoming more value-based and less about how much it costs. People are finding that sometimes buying into the easiest option isn't always the most sustainable or the most desirable.
Linux on the desktop will continue to grow in user numbers. We're going to see more people adopting to our way of doing things along the way as well. This doesn't mean the end of the proprietary operating system, by any means. Rather, we're entering a time in which people are seeking out more cost effective, sustainable computing alternatives to buying a new copy of Windows every few years.
Despite not realizing it yet, I believe it's this mindset of "value for time invested" that will deliver us sustainable Linux adopters vs. whiners. Unlike putting out a blue-light special on the latest proprietary operating system, we will not be seeing new users simply looking for a deal. Instead, I believe we'll be surrounding ourselves with individuals who feel they have a vested stake in the success of Linux as an independent desktop operating system for free thinking users.
Want a good computing experience? Great, Linux gives you what you've put into it yourself.