One of the biggest challenges that Windows users will soon face is the transition to an unknown territory called Metro which will be introduced with Windows 8. The PC interface has remained same ever since Apple took the concept from Xerox and made it popular through Lisa. It has improved and evolved over ages, but just like the front seat of a car has remained same for some good reason, just the way QWERTY keyboard has been around for ever.
Given the monopoly that Microsoft has in the desktop market, Windows 8 will come pre-installed on new PCs and users will be forced to use it. I don't know how the market will react to this massive change. Windows 8 could be yet another Vista in the making. Yes, it will be an incredible OS for touch based devices which is in the league of GNU/Linux's Gnome 3 Shell or KDE Plasma Active which is optimized for touch-based devices.
This transition leaves behind those users who are on the fence and may jump the ship if they are pushed. This is where GNU/Linux-based distributions can exploit the situation and draw a lot of Windows users to the GNU/Linux camp. Under Greg-KH's leadership the Linux kernel has great support for hardware (there are issues in the userland or with the apps, but Linux, the kernel, pretty much support everything).
Those Windows users who are looking for a familiar UI may find themselves comfortable with a GNU/Linux based distributions such as Lubuntu which offers the same UI with all the advantage of Linux.
Oliver Hoffmann posts on Muktware's Google Plus page: "Personally, I use only Lubuntu. Best bang for the buck, quick, easy to use. They should offer a Windows-XP-like theme for Lubuntu and a "LubuntuXP" distro with everything you need to keep using your old hardware and your old data (Skype, LibreOffice, Firefox, thunderbird, Picasa...), then people would switch from Windows XP to open source happily rather than re-learn yet another user interface with Windows Vista/7/8..., right?"
Oliver has a point and I can verify that. I had been running Lubuntu on my Dell XPS for the last 8-9 months and was very happy with it. I was using it as a demo for Windows users and converted quite a lot of Windows users to Lubuntu and Ubuntu.
Any LXDE Will Do
However, yesterday some unfortunate circumstances (which left a bad taste in my mouth) forced me to stop using Lubuntu after almost a year of loving it. I uninstalled Lubuntu from my Dell XPS and installed openSUSE LXDE on it. I will be writing about my experience with openSUSE LXDE on low-powered devices.
From my 8-9 month long experience, I do see great potential in Lubuntu. [Here is my old review of Lubuntu]
Do you see Lubuntu taking advantage of this situation? Share your thoughts in comments below.