German-based relevantive AG, specialized in software and web usability, have released the English version (executive summary) of their Linux Usability Report today. The GNU/Linux setup was a SuSE 8.2 Professional with KDE 3.1.2 desktop and OpenOffice.org preconfigured by the experts of basysKom to resemble a typical corporate setup. The study is based on a broad test conducted with 60 people who had previous Windows knowledge but had never used Windows XP. For comparison, 20 other people were asked to try Windows XP for the first time. Both are
possible migration scenarios as support for Windows NT is being dropped. The study is independent, as it was conducted without a client order.
Some quotes from the study: "The usability of Linux as a desktop system has been experienced as nearly equal to Windows XP. A couple of tasks were, in fact, easier and faster to solve on Linux", "The majority of the test participants enjoyed working with the Linux system [...]". The report also reveals that "80% of the Linux test participants said they would need a week or less in order to feel as competent on the tested computer system as with their current system". Burning CDs was perceived to be even easier than under Windows XP.
Constructive critique like poor wording of programs and interfaces was raised in the report too. The study will be one of the topics at the KDE Contributor Conference where those issues will be addressed. Core-developer Waldo Bastian already proposed a change (Screenshot) for a usability problem in the K Menu raised in the study. Comments and discussions on the study are welcome.