Two groups of testers, one of 60 working in Linux and with open-source applications, the other of 20 users on Windows XP and using applications for that operating system, were walked through a set of tasks, including basic office-productivity chores and sending E-mail. None of the testers had worked in their assigned operating system before.
Each tester was then asked how easy the tasks were to accomplish. Linux users needed only slightly longer--44 minutes, 49 seconds--to complete the chores than those using Windows XP, who recorded an average time of 41:21.
In addition, 80% of the Linux testers said they would need just a week to become as familiar with it as their current system, compared with 85% of the XP users who said the same thing.
But Linux lagged Windows XP in some areas. While all of the XP testers said they thought the design of the desktop and applications were both pleasing and easily navigated, only 83% of the Linux users said that about the open-source operating system and its software.
The study, which is in German, can be downloaded from Relevantive's Web site.