The following idea, proposed on Ubuntu Brainstorm, puts forward the sugeestion that users should be allowed to configure the application set before installation. Sort of like the Windows Browser ballot but for, well, pretty much everything.
Great intention but wrong idea?
I can’t imagine what a plain Jane No-name would do when confronted with a screen like the mock-up above. The majority of non-geeks can’t tell a web browser from a office suite without some clarification let alone having to pick from the veritable cor-don-bleu app menu above!
Others, perhaps already daunted by the prospect of switching OS, may feel even less assured with their decision when given a screen with row-after-row of drop boxes and options; coming from the comparatively pampered land of Windows or OS X to a decision-minefield as proposed would be hell for the newbies i know. They don’t want choices before they begin they just want something that works!
The ‘easy-switch app’ selection screen is a great idea but i don’t feel its best presented to nervous newbies before they’ve even got to the partition editing screen. Instead i think it would work extremely well as an application – sort of like a ‘preferred applications’ menu on steroids and with one-click install alternatives. Now that would be newbie friendly.