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System software has improved greatly in the area of server software and utilities. The installation process has become far easier; although I haven't used it myself, Caldera's installation process is supposed to be excellent for beginning users. My most recent upgrade caused several previously working features to fail.
In terms of Graphic User Interfaces, the K Desktop Environment wins my vote for best of breed. GNOME and Enlightenment have, unfortunately, put visual excitement before ease of use.
Application software still seems to be a patchwork of programs that require patience and knowledge beyond the grasp of an average user when they fail. However, there's a lot more of it, so your chances of eventually finding what you need have improved enormously.
So, is Linux ready for the desktop? Having gone through a week or two of intense frustration, I have to say no, not yet. However, putting my emotions aside, I definitely think it's within reach.
You may send me feedback or flames as you feel appropriate.
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