Gerry Riveros, Red Hat product manager for their latest product, Global Desktop Linux said that the new product was being delayed until September. The product includes the Linux operating system software as well as other software for running on the desktop or laptop.
The reason for the delay is that Red Hat wants more time to investigate the possibilities of the ability to play a wider range of video formats including DVDs and streaming media.
If Red Hat hopes to be taken seriously as competition for either Microsoft’s Windows or Ubuntu, media capabilities should not be an afterthought that is tacked on the end of the product development.
In today’s media and entertainment centric society, the entertainment software should be just as important to develop as the productivity software. If you want mass market penetration, you should try to target the largest customer base possible. By focusing on concepts like entertainment sooner rather than later, you allow yourself more time to create a better user experience. Rushed products rarely turn out good for the consumer.
The concept of User Experience has become a major player in modern software. Software should be simple and user friendly, while powerful enough to do the complex tasks many will throw at it. This is a concept that Microsoft has mastered and Ubuntu has a great grasp on. Making software powerful while not overly complex is a tough job, but a vital one if you intend to make an impact on the market.
You can have the best software in the world, but if its difficult to use, then the consumer will seek alternatives.
While I approach the new Red Hat product with skepticism, I look forward to seeing what it can bring to the desktop and how it can help the end user.