I've spent a day trying to help a user new to Linux get up and running, to get them using Spotify, Songbird, Skype and Dropbox on their eee pc netbook, running ubuntu netbook remix.
I'm a competent mac user and I know my way around a commandline, but I shouldn't need to expect someone else to do this, to install common, non-free, or simply non-standard apps like those mentioned above, especially after how simple the process of installing new programs on OS X or Windows is.
What options are there for ubuntu, to make GUI based installing something like as easy it is on OS X or Windows?
Also assuming you use .deb files for installing apps directly from websites, how can you easily keep them up to date?
Songbird, Skype, and Dropbox can all be downloaded as .deb files, but once they've been downloaded, I can't see an easy to keep them being updated the way sparkle works on OS X.