I’ve used both Windows and Mac OS X, and I don’t know how people manage to install software on them. Yes, I’m a fan of
aptitude (and I’ve had good experiences with Yum).
It’s pretty clear to me that this software installation system has tremendous advantages over the traditional “download a random binary package from somewhere” approach common to Windows and Mac OS X, as long as the package you want is in the proper repository.
That also works nicely for checking updates. Yet it’s not perfect, yet. Federico Mena Quintero’s Software updates for home users tells the story of how the process still needs some refinement.
Both of my parents could handle this process, but they can get so much more and better information from a system with a little bit more polish. Perhaps it’s time to see software installation and upgrades as one of the killer features of fully-free desktop operating systems–and do everything possible to keep this advantage.