They chose Ubuntu.
http://consumer.hardocp.com/article....xoY29uc3VtZXI=Complaining about Windows Vista is a national past time on Internet forums these days. Windows Vista "costs too much," "has onerous product activation," "requires too much hardware," etc. These complaints are often followed up by a very simple boast: "I'm just going to switch to Linux (or Mac)."
But in today's landscape, how viable is that statment? Is the threat to switch to Linux an empty one, or is it entirely possible? Linux on the desktop has been viable for years, especially for programming gurus who can solve their Linux problems by simply writing new software. It also seems to be viable for “Mom and Pop” end-users who just want a machine to write letters, send email, and browse the Web (although, admittedly, a guru will probably have to set it up for them).
But what about power users, such as the typical audience of HardOCP - those who know how to build their own computers, but not compile their own programs? Or people who may not know how to do something, but aren't afraid of taking the time to figure it out? Is Linux truly an alternative? Can they do everything they did in Windows? The truth is, we didn't know, but we very much wanted to find out.
They chose Ubuntu.
From what it seems like there are lots of people who consider themselves computer "power users", but they still haven't given Linux much of a thought. This seems absolutely crazy to me... how can they really be serious computers as a hobby yet they never move away from Windows? Hard OCP from what I can tell is one of the most popular computer enthusiast websites, and the people who contribute to that site still haven't gotten around to testing out Linux until now. In their credit, they have finally done this. But this is 2006... my grandma has tested out Linux more than these people have by now!
I'm here on this site (and not at Hard OCP, Anandtech, or any other computer hobbyist forum) because I see a direct connection between being interested in hardware and software, and I just don't see how people can get interested in Windows and the software that runs on it when you are so limited in how much you can modify it. Not only that, but it costs hundreds of dollars for just the OS, when a vast majority of Linux distributions and the software that runs on them are completely free of charge and readily available anywhere in the world.
I've come to the conclusion that games are the main reason why these sites stick to Windows so much, since the amount and quality of games for Linux is small compared to those for Windows. This is the only area where I see Linux is really running behind, and I hope game development companies start making big changes in their policy towards Linux soon.
Most major overclockers (that I know of) run Win2000, for the compatability with 3DMark etc. and relatively small resource usage. Interest in hardware doesn't have to extend very far into software. Personally, I'm quite interested in hardware, but other than usability I don't mind so much about the OS.
Since when does one has to use Linux to be reted a power user? Being a poewr user has nothing to do with the o/s being used. A power user uses the o/s that best suit his needs. There's a lot of software which is not readily available in linix, pro. cad/cam software is one type of software where windows needs to be used, Photoshop is another one. You can know an o/s inside/out and be totally unproductive when comes the time to use certain types of applications.
Part of it is MP3 support out of the box (although granted most of my music is in .ogg) and support for additional proprietary codecs. When trying to convert a "Windows" user to any Linux, the advantage of being able to play most of their media from the start is a huge selling point.
Part of it is the consideration that the desktop needs to be usable from the CD. The problem with Knoppix, which could rightly be called the grandfather of the Live-CD distributions, is that it is/was a technical demonstration. Mepis takes into account that the user who gets it may only have cursory knowledge of how a computer works at all.
Part of it is KDE, which again, turns back to spreading the use of Linux. Gnome is horrible for the average Windows user, or for the new to computers user. Sure, I'm not going to argue if somebody winds up liking Gnome, IceWM, Enlightenment, FluxBox, or any other desktop more than KDE. However, when I'm popping a CD into somebody's drive and demonstrating Linux, any KDE based *nix is much easier to follow.
Part of it is the Network Assistant, which makes restarting the network or modifying Network settings relatively easy.
Part of it is the System Assistant applications which make handling removing of log files, cookies, and cache files, again, relatively easily.
Part of it is the installation process, which even back in 2003 was only averaging 16 steps, not to mention being far easier than any other Linux to install ( http://www.mepisguides.com/install/i...pis-Linux.html ).
Part of it is the use of the Debian Packing System. I'm not exactly a fan of having to compile everything, or having having to deal with dependency hell. Okay, Fine, Yum removes part of the dependency risk when installing packages... but was it really necessary to create another Apt?
Part of it is the superior hardware detection. Mepis Linux has a better track record of correctly identifying hardware than either Ubuntu or PCLinuxOS which "compete" in the same market.
Part of it is the superior Wireless Support, which again, makes it easier to take Linux to new users.
What a lot of people don't like is the willingness of Warren to put Non-Free software onto the Mepis disc, or license software like Adobe Acrobat so that it can be provided to users through the Mepis Repositories.
It comes down to "What do people want" in their Linux. It also comes down to the community behind the distribution. Mepis does what I need it to, and speaking for myself, I don't mind Non-Free software enabling me to be more productive. I also don't mind Non-Free software assisting is showing other computer users what they are missing out on.
That being said, if someone wants to try Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, or Mepis, and then start distro hopping, hey, great. Another person who is more likely to turn around and start contributing back to the community. If they wind up using Fedora Core and start writing drivers, again, great.