I haven't yet played with Mint, but I've seen similar comments made about Ubuntu (which I have downloaded and tested out).I find Ubuntu, Windows, and OS X to be usable, and adequate for most tasks. But the average user doesn't think like that.I think you are right about that.They want to know who they can call when they need help. They want to know if it will run Microsoft Office. And they want to know that they can pick up a new printer or scanner at their local Walmart/Costco/Staples, and have it work with their computer.For those folks, no flavor of Linux is good enough.I am not sure that is true or not. I am sure that if that is the common perception, that is enough to keep many people from trying anything new, even though UNIX (ancestor of Linux) preceded Windows by about 15 years, and benefited from all that experience.I have never had a problem attaching peripherals to PC boxes whether they ran Windows 95, Windows XP Home, or now Windows 7 Professional. I upgrade Windows only when my income tax program will not run on the one I have. And that goes for internals, like additional RAM, hard drives, and so on too.But I never had any trouble getting stuff at Circuit City, Best Buy, etc., for Linux either, starting with Red Hat Linux 5.0, 5.2, 6, 7.3, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, 5, or 6, or CentOS 4 or 5 either. [Oops. Finger slipped before...]Also, I find that instead of Windows Office, that openoffice.org and now libreoffice work perfectly. I even ran IBM DB2 dbms on one of my machines for a while because I just could not get Microsoft Access to work worth a d@mn. And I do know about relational database management systems and SQL. I even designed one for UNIX back in the 1970s before they were commonly available. On Linux, I run postgreSQL.
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