The Linux learning curve is flatter than ever.
One of the biggest so called barriers to adopting Linux is what is called the learning curve. Many people describe the learning curve for Linux to be a steep one. It used to be but not any more. A steep learning curve is where to be able to use what you are learning effectively you need to learn a lot. The more you have to learn the steeper the learning curve. The less you have to learn the flatter the learning curve (duh!). With the advent of microsofts latest operating system and office programs the learning curve rose up sharply. This is because microsoft changed the user interface around quite considerably from the previous versions. Still it is windows and people can adapt. What it does mean is that the difference between the Linux user interface and the new windows interface are now on equal terms. I think that Linux actually has more of an advantage with some window managers being closer to the previous windows user interface than the new windows interface. Just the graphical way of navigating the operating system is not enough. After all a menu is a menu and anyone can click through one. In this respect the learning curve is almost a flat line. The real difference is in the programs that we use on a daily basis. More and more Open Source programs are available for multiple operating system platforms and as such the user experience for people using those programs is exactly the same. No matter what operating system you are using. In this case the learning curve is non existent. Some windows only programs and their Linux equivalents also mimic each other in their user interface. If only because that is the most logical way of laying out the program. Similar tasks beget similar solutions. So even more now than before, as the desktop versions of Linus proliferate, the visible and usage differences between Linux and windows reduces to the stage where anyone with any experience on one platform can easily, with very little effort, use the other platform. This means that the learning curve is very, very gentle. As a user becomes more proficient in using the Linux operating system and wishes to start using more advanced functions then the learning curve steepens. As it does for windows as well. For Linux it may mean editing text files. For windows it means editing the registry. The big difference here is if you mangle a text file you only lose that functionality and it is easily restored. If you mangle the windows registry then quite often it is time to get out the rescue and backup disks. So not only is Linux as easy to use and learn as windows is. It is more forgiving of mistakes that you may make on your journey to knowledge. More than ever that journey is less stressful and the hill is easier to climb with the rewards being greater than ever before.