Sooner or later, we all end up installing new software on our computers. Whether it's a new version of Firefox, or a cool game, or a video editing package, there comes a time when you want to make your system do more than it can do now.
To a lot of people, Ubuntu represents the most end-user-friendly nongeek-compatible Linux distribution. But there are other commercial distributions that work even harder to create a desktop experience that is, frankly, Windows-like. The two most well-known of these are Xandros and Linspire (formerly Lindows). Since Xandros recently acquired Linspire, that leaves it pretty much in sole possession of that segment of the marketplace.
A few weeks ago, the OpenSUSE Project announced the release of OpenSUSE 11.0, the "community" edition of SUSE Linux, Novell's commercial Linux distribution. Like most recent distributions, OpenSUSE is made up of the usual suspects, including GNOME and KDE-based desktops, Live CD and full DVD installation options, and an online repository of software that can be installed using a GUI tool.
For many of us, our first painful introduction to old-school Linux installs came from installing early versions of Red Hat. Like most early Linux installs, it was a highly technical, highly finicky process that was best left to the experts.