Zim, that hurts. Free software is free for many reasons. There are many developers and corporate sponsors out there giving up their free time and knowledge to bring us great software like Gimp, Firefox, Open Office, Linux, Apache... Please don't disrespect them. True, there is a lost of nasty free software, but there is also very good stuff. Even Mac OS is based on free software (BSD), as is Android. Probably even some of the firmware in Canon's cameras.
sposh I find it hard to believe I’ve hurt anyone but in case I really have I apologise.
I disrespect gimp (actually I think I dismiss it) and open office (you mentioned it) for that matter as it’s my opinion and I’m allowed an opinion as I believe that offerings will always remain underdeveloped compared to the offerings from Adobe, Corel, Serif, DxO. Please don’t put words in my mouth by lumping this opinion in with client/server software like Linux and Apache the original OP was asking about editing software and it was in that context that I made my comment.
I’ve been in IT for more years than I’m prepared to admit, I’ve run an adult training department I know the difference between learner friendly and user friendly. I know how much help and resource there is out there for mainstream. I’d also recommend getting a few copies of the likes of PhotoPlus magazine which exclusively deals with Canon gear and is great for the less experienced, but unsurprisingly doesn’t have many articles on Gimp.
In my opinion it’s wrong to recommend Gimp, go main stream is what I say, your opinion is different nothing wrong with that I certainly wouldn’t smite you or anyone else for it.