Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 20th Jul 2007 23:36 UTC, submitted by Mickey
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu This is the first install of what will be a periodic, ongoing series on how migrate from Microsoft's Windows to other Operating systems. This first article provides insight in the much discussed Ubuntu Linux. "Were it not for Ubuntu being so easy to use in practically every way, I would not have written this article. But, as I've moved forward with it I've discovered a whole new world outside of a strict Windows environment. I think there are probably hundreds of thousands of users out there who are where I was: right on the verge of taking the plunge, wanting something more but not sure how to get it."
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I'm staying ...
by chiwaw on Fri 20th Jul 2007 23:52 UTC
chiwaw
Member since:
2006-02-05

... in Redmond, WA.

I mean, litteraly. I live in Redmond, WA. I wonder if that's why I prefer Windows over Linux. Living so close to the mother Borg Cube.

Reply Score: 5

RE: I'm staying ...
by Tuishimi on Sun 22nd Jul 2007 01:38 UTC in reply to "I'm staying ..."
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

You made me smile even tho' I am in a grouchy mood. ;)

Reply Score: 2

Another article?
by TaterSalad on Sat 21st Jul 2007 00:02 UTC
TaterSalad
Member since:
2005-07-06

Another article about how someone was hardcore Windows and switched to something else. These articles just restate the same thing and offer nothing new to the table. Why does he want to switch? He never really said why unless its to just diss Microsoft because thats the cool thing to do now.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Another article?
by chiwaw on Sat 21st Jul 2007 00:11 UTC in reply to "Another article?"
chiwaw Member since:
2006-02-05

Yeah, have been reading those stories since late '90s. Not sure what is gained by pilling up new ones. They all end up similar in nature, and rarely convincing (failing to give real, non-emotional reasons to switch).

Reply Score: 5

RE: Another article?
by WorknMan on Sat 21st Jul 2007 00:34 UTC in reply to "Another article?"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Why does he want to switch? He never really said why unless its to just diss Microsoft because thats the cool thing to do now.

I think that's pretty much it, see the following:

While it is freedom from the Windows chains, the Windows expense and the legacy baggage of bloatware and costly DRM ...

You don't use words like 'bloatware' and 'DRM' unless you're politically motivated. There's nothing wrong with that, but I have never seen a power user like me (I have 40+ apps installed on XP, and have no issues with it to speak of) try and make the switch. Unless I had political reasons to do so, why would I want to? I haven't seen a good reason yet. Sure, the Linux apps are free (as in beer), and free stuff is always nice, but in most cases, they're not as good as commercial alternatives, and many of the better ones are available on Windows anyway (and even more will be also when they port over the KDE stuff).

The way I look at DRM is this .. the only DRM'd content I own is a few iTunes tracks. Other than that, I don't bother with it. But if I wanted to, I could play pretty much every DRM content under the sun in Windows. I might be able to play it in Linux, assuming that somebody has already cracked it, but then it's playable anywhere, so it doesn't matter. It just seems rather pointless to migrate away from Windows to 'escape' DRM. I mean, especially since Linus doesn't seem a big critic of DRM, so it's probably going to be officially support in Linux anyway. It will have to be if the OS ever wants to go mainstream on the desktop. You may have turned your back on DRM'd content for the good of mankind, but you can be sure that 'Generation Gimmie' will not do the same. Trust me, I am not a fan of DRM either, but I agree with Linus .. it's a content problem, not a software problem.

Edited 2007-07-21 00:38

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Another article?
by flanque on Sat 21st Jul 2007 03:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Another article?"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

You don't use words like 'bloatware' and 'DRM' unless you're politically motivated.


Perhaps. I'm a Solaris systems engineer who uses Windows as my day-to-day desktop at home (and at work) and I have no problem admitting that any form of DRM which restricts my ability to use what I have purchased legally is definitely not OK with me. There's nothing political about it - I just want to be able to buy a song at a reasonable price and be able to play it on any device that I own which can play music.

For instance, I would like to purchase songs online, but everywhere I go only offers them in some DRM mangled way unless I want to pay extra per track, in which case it's far better value to buy the CD and rip them that way.

It's incredibly annoying! It almost feels like I'm living on the edge of loosing access to what I've purchased.

On the bloat side, I've yet to see a well balanced non-ideologically motivated article that proves undeniably that Windows (Vista) is bloat ware. A lot of people offer anecdotal proof, but so far nothing that proves any line of code from Microsoft could be written far more efficiently.

This doesn't mean Windows is a Jedi-like lean crisp OS, it just means that for me I am yet to see real evidence beyond that of die hards or the constant white noise that comes from the likes of Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols.

Overall however, I agree with what you've said.

Edited 2007-07-21 03:03

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Another article?
by jayson.knight on Sat 21st Jul 2007 05:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Another article?"
jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

"On the bloat side, I've yet to see a well balanced non-ideologically motivated article that proves undeniably that Windows (Vista) is bloat ware. A lot of people offer anecdotal proof, but so far nothing that proves any line of code from Microsoft could be written far more efficiently."

Stuff like this needs to be said more around here. Kudos to you for being that person.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Another article?
by Matt24 on Sat 21st Jul 2007 19:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Another article?"
Matt24 Member since:
2005-07-23

"On the bloat side, I've yet to see a well balanced non-ideologically motivated article that proves undeniably that Windows (Vista) is bloat ware. A lot of people offer anecdotal proof, but so far nothing that proves any line of code from Microsoft could be written far more efficiently."

Best article about quality of Windows I ever read: >>

http://www.roughlydrafted.com/Oct05.5Flaws.html

So yes, in my opinion Windows is bloated.

BTW, I do own a book about the Windows 98 registry which contains 423 pages.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Another article?
by MollyC on Sat 21st Jul 2007 21:01 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Another article?"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

roughlydrafted.com??
May as well cite ramblings from the alt.destroy.micrsosoft newsgroup.

And besides being from a rabidly anti-Microsoft (and Apple-worshipping) site, any article that talks of "Windows apologists" isn't to be taken as an objective article to begin with.

And if that is really the "Best article about quality of Windows I ever read", you need to do some more reading. The article cites five supposed flaws. Is that the sum and total of Windows "quality"? There's *nothing* that Windows does right?

Edit: I took a quick glance at the comments submitted to the article, and they pretty much rip the article to shreds.

Edited 2007-07-21 21:16

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Another article?
by Matt24 on Sun 22nd Jul 2007 07:36 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Another article?"
Matt24 Member since:
2005-07-23

Quote: roughlydrafted.com??
May as well cite ramblings from the alt.destroy.micrsosoft newsgroup. /Quote

Even though roughlydrafted.com is a pro Apple side, it does not make their articles less accurate.

Then, why did it take 5+ years to come up with Vista? Why did they 'halfway' start over again? Why did they have to remove several features? Why are there 5/6/7 (?) flavors that can either come in 32 or 64 bit? Why does one version not contain all the languages which can be chosen during any session? Why the very heavy system demands? Could it be bloat?

Edited 2007-07-22 07:44

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Another article?
by Morin on Sun 22nd Jul 2007 15:30 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Another article?"
Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> BTW, I do own a book about the Windows 98 registry which contains
> 423 pages.

How many pages would a book have that describes *all* configuration files found in /etc and in all home directories on any modern Unix? Because that's roughly what the registry is, just with less sensible access control than in Unix (which is undeniably a problem).

423 pages isn't a lot in that sense.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Another article?
by shykid on Sat 21st Jul 2007 06:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Another article?"
shykid Member since:
2007-02-22

It's incredibly annoying! It almost feels like I'm living on the edge of loosing access to what I've purchased.

That's how most sane people that disagree with DRM feel, but their paranoia of it makes them over-political nuts, and that makes the 'anti-DRM' cause look bad when it's actually pretty legit. The current state of current DRM inconveniences the consumer, but it doesn't hurt the pirates one bit. That's bass-ackwards if you ask me.

On a more primitive level, DRM is tasteless. It's insulting because you're a pirate by default and not given full rights to your content. If I buy something, I want the freedom to do whatever I want with it as I please, so long as it's not illegal. (Hint: making copies per se is not illegal; I like backups.) Furthermore, it's not like the companies that use it are getting completely pwned by pirates and are next to bankrupt. They are trying to get even richer at your inconvenience, and they will turn their back on you in a futile attempt to make an extra buck from a pirate, even though evidence has shown they've been largely unsuccessful thus far because holes have been found in nearly every DRM system implemented.

I see where the guy's coming from, but he's fanboying so much it makes me gag. I don't see how DRM is "costly", just a hell of an inconvenience and middle finger from media companies.

As for the bloat part, the dude'd have a point if he weren't a hippie and would get a grip long enough to back up his claims. If I'm not a pirate, the system-level DRM in Vista is bloat, and so is Windows Genuine Advantage and Product Activation, since it's taking up space and I'm not using it. The same goes with any application I don't use, even if it's something as minor as Notepad or Freecell, or something as big as Internet Explorer or Windows Media Player. And there's no easy official way to completely remove any of it, AFAIK. While WMP and IE may be needed for some applications to render and display content, it's bloatware for me because I don't use any applications that require it. Nonetheless, I can't make the call that it's bloatware in general, because I don't know what people do and do not use.

With Ubuntu, however, you have Synaptic (or Adept) and the opportunity to get in lots of trouble. ;) You can remove any libraries, applications, and dependencies you choose, even the Linux kernel itself. You can also build an Ubuntu-based distro from the ground up. There's no official, clean, or legal way to trim down Windows like that--but if there was, I'm sure this guy would find some 'problem' with it since he is a fanboy, after all.

All of that being said, I'm not an Ubuntu fanboy, I swear. I don't even have it installed right now. I'm more of a SuSE kind of guy, which gives me as much freedom to tinker and customize as the Ubuntu people enjoy (though the default install is bloated beyond words).

Edited 2007-07-21 06:10

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Another article?
by Obscurus on Sat 21st Jul 2007 12:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Another article?"
Obscurus Member since:
2006-04-20

With Ubuntu, however, you have Synaptic (or Adept) and the opportunity to get in lots of trouble. ;) You can remove any libraries, applications, and dependencies you choose, even the Linux kernel itself. You can also build an Ubuntu-based distro from the ground up. There's no official, clean, or legal way to trim down Windows like that--but if there was, I'm sure this guy would find some 'problem' with it since he is a fanboy, after all.


Well, there is nLite for Windows XP, which is a tool that can rip out a huge amount of stuff and allow you to burn a new Windows installation disc. It isn't official, but it is clean and legal, and I've used it myself to great effect.

And the default Vista installation disc allows you to rebuild an .iso with all kinds of customisations and software preinstalled, so you can have Windows boot up exactly how you want it first time.


I'm fairly platform agnostic (I'm yet to find an OS I particularly like, although I least dislike Windows and Ubuntu on pretty much even footing), so I'm largely ambivalent to people's choice of operating system. Whatever floats your boat.

I don't think using pejorative terms such as "fanboy" is helpful or warranted in this case.

As for DRM, a lot of online music stores, such as iTunes and EMI have dropped DRM or made DRM free versions available alongside the DRM protected versions, and while time will tell how that works out, I think media companies are generally finding that maintaining DRM systems costs more than they supposedly lose to piracy, and are starting to slowly abandon it because it makes little or no financial sense.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Another article?
by dylansmrjones on Sat 21st Jul 2007 12:47 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Another article?"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

nLite is not comparable to Synaptic. nLite is a tool to create a customized installation disk (and a damn great tool at that!)

Synaptic is more like Windows Install/Uninstall craplet, but much more advanced.

The question of piracy is quite funny since the companies are losing nothing to piracy. Actually they gain from it. The theory of having lost money on piracy is based on the flawed assumption that people would have bought it if it wasn't (illegally) available for free. Fact is that people just would have gone on without that product.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Another article?
by Obscurus on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 07:52 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Another article?"
Obscurus Member since:
2006-04-20

nLite is not comparable to Synaptic. nLite is a tool to create a customized installation disk (and a damn great tool at that!)


No, I realise that, but to the extent that it allows you to rip out unwanted parts of the OS itself, it is roughly comparable. But Windows and Linux have quite different design philosophies when it comes to software installation and management, so it is difficult to make many valid comparisons in that area.

The question of piracy is quite funny since the companies are losing nothing to piracy. Actually they gain from it. The theory of having lost money on piracy is based on the flawed assumption that people would have bought it if it wasn't (illegally) available for free. Fact is that people just would have gone on without that product.


Indeed. A case in point, a lot of people rent DVDs from a video store, copy it and return the DVD. Because this is cheap and easy to do, they rent a lot more DVDs than they might otherwise, so the movie companies are making more money in DVD rental royalties than they would if this sort of "piracy" was prevented. If they couldn't do this, I'm sure they would be a lot more selective about what movies they rented.

The big multimedia publishing corporations don't seem to realise that their dwindling sales are because of a lack of worthwhile content, abysmal films, boring music and excessive prices, and nothing at all to do with piracy.

If it cost someone about the equivalent in time/effort/money to buy a new DVD as it does to download a torrent and burn a disc, I'm sure most would gladly get a cheaper internet plan and buy DVDs and CDs. But at the moment, it is much, much cheaper to get a fast broadband account with a big data allowance and download all the movies and music you want via bittorrent than it is to buy legitimate copies.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Another article?
by MollyC on Sat 21st Jul 2007 15:52 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Another article?"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

As for DRM, a lot of online music stores, such as iTunes and EMI have dropped DRM or made DRM free versions available alongside the DRM protected versions, and while time will tell how that works out, I think media companies are generally finding that maintaining DRM systems costs more than they supposedly lose to piracy, and are starting to slowly abandon it because it makes little or no financial sense.

Considering that iTunes' DRM-free EMI tracks have a 30% markup in the price, it could be that they've calculated (or guesstimated) that going DRM-free does cost more (due to the "supposed loss to piracy") than maintaining a DRM system, and the 30% markup goes to make up for it. Or it could be that they're using that as an excuse to up the price by 30% (and attempting to justify that by increasing the bitrate; I'd prefer an option to buy the lower bit-rate tracks without DRM and without the 30% markup; it's not like an iPod is capable of sound fidelity as to make much difference between iTunes high bit-rate and low bit-rate tracks (certainly not a 30% difference ;) )).

Well, regardless of the reason for the 30% markup for DRM-free tracks, the very existence of the 30% markup puts into question your theory that "maintaining DRM systems costs more than they supposedly lose to piracy..."

In fact, according to your theory, DRM-free songs should cost less, not more. (I say "should" because I don't expect Apple/EMI to throw away free profit.) Putting your own convictions to the test, do you think that an online music store could make more money by selling DRM-free songs at a lower price than it did DRM'ed ones, due to the money saved by not maintaining a DRM system? If so, then we can look forward to low-priced DRM-free songs (sold legally). But I have my doubts.

Edited 2007-07-21 16:11

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Another article?
by Obscurus on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 04:34 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Another article?"
Obscurus Member since:
2006-04-20

Well, regardless of the reason for the 30% markup for DRM-free tracks, the very existence of the 30% markup puts into question your theory that "maintaining DRM systems costs more than they supposedly lose to piracy..."


Well, not it doesn't, what is actually going on is that the music publishing industry is trying to convince consumers that it does. This is a transition period, and these companies are still testing the waters and exploring their options. They know they are fighting an ultimately futile battle on the DRM front - the war on software piracy is a bit like the war on drugs or the war on terror - the more you fight it the more you fuel it.

So what they are doing by offering the unrestricted files alongside the DRM versions is twofold: first they are making people who are mainly concerned with price and not quality choose the DRM versions, and second they are trying to placate the more astute consumers by offering a better product, but at a price premium. Their marketing strategies will simply follow the market - if demand for DRM free products rises, then the price will accordingly drop according to supply and demand.

At the moment, the music industry is only just starting to realise that DRM is not going to save their overblown profit margins, because consumers in general are only just discovering how inconvenient DRM can be to deal with. The more consumers that vote with their feet, the more the law of supply and demand will kick in, and the less you will see DRM being used. Of course, if enough consumers really don't mind DRM all that much, then I'm afraid it is probably here to stay, unfortunately.

I'd prefer an option to buy the lower bit-rate tracks without DRM and without the 30% markup; it's not like an iPod is capable of sound fidelity as to make much difference between iTunes high bit-rate and low bit-rate tracks (certainly not a 30% difference ;) )).


Well look, if you are only playing the tracks on your iPod, then DRM shouldn't be much of an issue. The DRM free versions are more suited to consumers who wish to copy their music onto devices with higher sound quality, and don't want to be encumbered by DRM when doing so, although I understand what you are saying, it is a rip-off to be charged extra. ;)

Reply Score: 1

Anti-DRM people
by b3timmons on Sat 21st Jul 2007 17:48 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Another article?"
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

That's how most sane people that disagree with DRM feel, but their paranoia of it makes them over-political nuts, and that makes the 'anti-DRM' cause look bad when it's actually pretty legit.

You are saying, in part, that most sane people who disagree with DRM have a paranoia of it that makes them over-political nuts.

Upon what are you basing these (several) claims? IMO, most people disagreeing with DRM are merely annoyed, some do something about it, and a few are obsessed. I don't see why it's different from most other causes. Moreover, concern for the long-term can come off as paranoia in the short-term. People (and many institutions, think Wall St.) do not instinctively think long-term. Finally, maybe their crystal ball is not clear enough to reassure them that something like DMCA+DRM will fail in the long term: "hope for the best, expect the worst".

Although I agree with your point that the anti-DRM cause is justified, just who do you think comprises that resistance? (The U.S. was founded by those who were effectively deemed "over-political nuts.") Do you feel that public protests against DRM are a bad tactic? Which tactics would be better?

For anyone wanting an update on the anti-DRM cause, see http://defectivebydesign.org/

Edited 2007-07-21 18:07

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Another article?
by butters on Sat 21st Jul 2007 06:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Another article?"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

so far nothing that proves any line of code from Microsoft could be written far more efficiently.

That's not the definition of bloat. Microsoft has plenty of very talented programmers, and I have full confidence in their ability to write efficient code.

This reminds me of a group code review I did recently where a new developer was told that he'll get a better feel for things as he develops his skills. The developer said, "I know how to code." A reviewer replied, "Everybody here knows how to code."

Bloat is more about design and architecture than it is about efficiency or quality. Bloat doesn't mean unnecessary complex code. It means unnecessarily complex design.

Design is hard. It requires a certain feel for the project as a whole, its development culture, maintenance, extensibility, flexibility, and robustness. Design has a habit of becoming bad over time. Especially in the context of operating systems, designs that stand the test of time are few and far between.

The elephant in the room when it comes to operating system design is backwards compatibility, because it often requires that bad designs stick around like an inoperable cancer, even as developers operate around it to keep the system alive. Once the design goes in, it's probably there for good.

When the old design runs out of mileage, a new design goes in beside it. That's where the bloat comes in. The resulting design has good parts and bad parts, new parts and old parts, and several ways to do anything. The resulting design is unnecessarily complex. It's bloated.

I guess pictures are worth a thousand words:

http://blogs.zdnet.com/threatchaos/?p=311

Linux provides about 325 system calls (up from around 70 for UNIX kernels of the early 80s). Windows has several thousand public system calls (can't find the exact number right now). That's bloat.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Another article?
by flanque on Sat 21st Jul 2007 07:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Another article?"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

Linux provides about 325 system calls (up from around 70 for UNIX kernels of the early 80s). Windows has several thousand public system calls (can't find the exact number right now).


Well that depends on whether or not the additional calls offer something that can and is being used. I'd be interested to know how many of those calls exist also due to backward compatibility, which might I say, we as the consumer demand.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Another article?
by ashigabou on Sat 21st Jul 2007 07:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Another article?"
ashigabou Member since:
2005-11-11

I am not sure this picture really proves anything. But I certainly agree on the inherently badly designed windows API. MS made the choice of backward compatibility, but the cost is so huge in terms of where the windows platform can go it is scary.

For example, I recently had problems with file handle on windows: on unix, opening a file is simple, and you have the choice of file handle or low level file descriptor. In Win32, you have something like : http://www.codeproject.com/file/handles.asp, so insteand of two simple concept with a clear API, you have several concepts more or less similar, just a bit different, with horribly designed API (for example, the HANDLE is a void*). You also have API which pass around pointer as integers and other horrible things. There is no way to do anything sane with those kind of API, and this is to open/close a file !

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Another article?
by Valhalla on Sat 21st Jul 2007 16:59 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Another article?"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

ashigabou wrote:
-"For example, I recently had problems with file handle on windows: on unix, opening a file is simple, and you have the choice of file handle or low level file descriptor. In Win32, you have something like : http://www.codeproject.com/file/handles.asp, so insteand of two simple concept with a clear API, you have several concepts more or less similar,"

well, the simple way would be to use the actual WIN32 API instead of obscure wrapping mechanisms.

DWORD BytesRead;
HFILE File = CreateFile("foo", FILE_READ_DATA, 0, NULL, OPEN_EXISTING, FILE_ATTRIBUTE_NORMAL, NULL);
ReadFile(File, Buffer, BytesToRead, &BytesRead, NULL);
CloseHandle(File);

now, I prefer the cleaner posix file-handling but it's not as bad as you try to make it out with that "(un)Handy Guide to Handles."

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Another article?
by ashigabou on Sun 22nd Jul 2007 01:56 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Another article?"
ashigabou Member since:
2005-11-11


now, I prefer the cleaner posix file-handling but it's not as bad as you try to make it out with that "(un)Handy Guide to Handles."


The problem is was to handle temporary files which have been opened through a secure mechanism (and gives you back a file descriptor). The libc functions open and close do not work on windows, so you have to use the function CreateFile, and you have to convert the file handle to a file descriptor somewhat. This is just an example of the differences between a clean, orthogonal API, which exists for years, and the win32 api which has a function with 7 arguments, of which 2 are almost always NULL.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Another article?
by Obscurus on Sat 21st Jul 2007 12:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Another article?"
Obscurus Member since:
2006-04-20

Bloat is more about design and architecture than it is about efficiency or quality. Bloat doesn't mean unnecessary complex code. It means unnecessarily complex design.

Design is hard. It requires a certain feel for the project as a whole, its development culture, maintenance, extensibility, flexibility, and robustness. Design has a habit of becoming bad over time. Especially in the context of operating systems, designs that stand the test of time are few and far between...


Absolutely. My personal opinion is that most (but not all) programmers are bad designers in the big picture sense. The best software often comes about when the project lead is a software architect who has more of a feel for the overall end result, and doesn't get involved with the nitty-gritty of programming. This is much like the arrangement between building architects and the engineers and labourers who implement the architect's design.

Unfortunately, far too much software is cobbled together without any real planning or design, and as far as I am concerned the only real "bloat" is pandering to backwards compatibility. If operating system designers specifically state that they will break compatibility with say, every other major version, or even every major version, bloat will be heavily minimised, and third party software designers will know what to expect.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Another article?
by PlatformAgnostic on Sat 21st Jul 2007 16:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Another article?"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Linux provides about 325 system calls (up from around 70 for UNIX kernels of the early 80s). Windows has several thousand public system calls (can't find the exact number right now). That's bloat.

I don't think this is true, butters. If you run link /dump /exports on ntdll.dll (ntdll is where the system call stubs reside), you find that there are 399 system calls to the NT kernel (all of the functions that begin with Nt). In addition to this, there are some kernel calls to the win32 subsystem for windowing management, but these are comparable in numbers to Unix calls to X and they are no really syscalls per se. The rest of the calls are implemented in user-mode and so are not as security-critical when applications call them.

You're right that bad designs tend to stick around longer than they should. At the kernel level, though, NT is a very good design. And the designers of it have taken pains to ensure that it does not become dependent on any layers above subsystem processes in user-mode. The higher levels of Windows are a bit of a mess, but there are certainly folks working on fixing that. One piece of evidence is the genial divorce between IE and Explorer.

And about the "bloat" of supporting old features: the beauty of a VM system is that if you isolate code that is for legacy behaviors to their own pages, there is only a load-time and not a runtime hit for legacy functions when they are not called. Even better: if your dlls do not get rebased (which shouldn't happen to system dlls since they are well-known), there isn't even much of a load-time hit for the legacy functions. The only hit is that most of the legacy stuff will continue to be used because people don't want to change their old codebases. And why should they? If it isn't broken, then don't fix it.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Another article?
by Obscurus on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 05:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Another article?"
Obscurus Member since:
2006-04-20

Yeah, a lot of people don't realise how elegant and (relatively) simple the NT Kernel is. The kernel itself is far from bloated, and many people might be surprised to know that it can be ported to a range of architectures besides x86. It is the crap in user space that has been piled upon it that has given it such a bad rap.

Windows has a very well designed kernel, but the stuff floating around it needs some serious work in some cases.

Very well put post PlatformAgnostic, I'd mod you up, but it only goes to 5 ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Another article?
by stestagg on Sun 22nd Jul 2007 23:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Another article?"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Perhaps MS have put special anti-AMD code into explorer, but for me a good example of bloat in Vista involves anything to do with file operations in Explorer. Try to copy a bunch of files, or delete them. These simple operations take an inordinate ammount of time on a fast AMD processor.

As a direct compariason, try unzipping a large Zip file using explorer. Then try it with 7-zip. I measured a 1000x speed improvement using 7-zip over the Vista explorer. How is this not bloat?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Another article?
by flanque on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 02:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Another article?"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

I'm not sure how slow operations equates to bloat.

That seems like inefficient algorithms, but it's difficult for me to say as I haven't seen what's happening behind the scenes and where exactly the bottleneck is.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Another article?
by dylansmrjones on Sat 21st Jul 2007 12:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Another article?"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

You don't use words like 'bloatware' and 'DRM' unless you're politically motivated.


I disagree with that. You're right though that many users of those terms are using them in a "political" context, but it is not true for all.

Vista is bloated. Very bloated indeed. XP, Win2K3 and Linux/BSD with KDE or Gnome are bloated too. Not as much as Vista but none-the-less bloated (just look at Beagle - not the dog, but the indexing "service").

Being against DRM does not have to be particularly political. It can also simply be because users find DRM annoying (and to some extent perhaps even in violation of human rights, though that wouldn't mean a thing in USA ;) . It is however annoying no matter the OS in use, and as such does not relate solely to Vista.

Using the word "politic" with freedom in regard to software is somewhat misleading. Wanting to be free is more a matter of ethical standards than politics. And politic is renowned for its lack of ethical standards ;)

Personally I am not against DRM as long as it is legal to break it (which makes me an opponent of DMCA).

....

All left to figure out is why it is always Ubuntu they are jumping to. Apart from ugly default graphics I don't see what it has ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Another article?
by thecwin on Sat 21st Jul 2007 15:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Another article?"
thecwin Member since:
2006-01-04

don't use words like ... 'DRM' unless you're politically motivated

Digital rights management is defined as technology used to restrict the use of digital content according to copyright holders' wishes. I am admittedly politically motivated, but I think DRM as a term was actually invented by the media companies, "rights management" being a euphemism for copy protection. A quick Google shows that the latest euphemism is "Digital Consumer Enablement": http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6440876.html

... I have 40+ apps installed on XP ... the only DRM'd content I own is a few iTunes tracks ... if I wanted to, I could play pretty much every DRM content under the sun in Windows.

I'm not sure how accurate it is, but I certainly consider things like StarForce and other game or app 'copy protection' to be under the umbrella of DRM. As a buyer of games, and the owner of a laptop, I find it to be particularly annoying. It pretty much makes it impossible to play games portably, since I'd have to take them all with me which in a lot of cases isn't an option. This is a technically motivated criticism, not politically motivated.

Not only that, I've had a worse experience of software (in particular games) with copy protection screwing with my computer and causing crashes, and it's never seemed to stop pirate copies reaching p2p before the official release and with a better user experience. The worst game I've had experience with recently was the retail release of Dark Messiah of Might and Magic.

Dongle protection schemes are usually the best for protection (Cubase 4, Logic Pro...), but damn, they're annoying and cause an awful lot of stability problems sometimes, dependent on your hardware and USB bus. Again, they're particularly annoying if you're using a portable system, and a complete pain if you want to run it on your laptop and desktop simultaneously. I know you're technically not supposed to do this, but sometimes it's the only way to get the job done, and I can't see what's so wrong with it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Another article?
by WorknMan on Sat 21st Jul 2007 16:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Another article?"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

. As a buyer of games, and the owner of a laptop, I find it to be particularly annoying. It pretty much makes it impossible to play games portably, since I'd have to take them all with me which in a lot of cases isn't an option.

Granted, but what exactly does this have to do with Windows? Eg - the article author said this:

While it is freedom from the Windows chains, the Windows expense and the legacy baggage of bloatware and costly DRM ...

So what, if these games/apps were released for Linux, they wouldn't come with any sort of copy protection? Is there something about Linux that makes it immune from DRM content?

And just to clarify, when I said people who use DRM are politically motivated, I meant specifically when they use it as a reason for jumping from one platform to another.

Edited 2007-07-21 16:43

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Another article?
by thecwin on Sun 22nd Jul 2007 15:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Another article?"
thecwin Member since:
2006-01-04

Sorry, I forgot to address this (I intended to).

Indeed, this has nothing in particular to do with Windows XP, however Windows Vista is becoming worse with respect to integrating DRM into the OS. I think a lot of people are rather distrusting of Microsoft's current attitude towards DRM, particularly the attitude of Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, who seems to love DRM. Bill Gates doesn't seem as bad, though...

Vista has implemented a few DRM technologies, most importantly Protected Video Path. You could say that they had no choice, but I think that Microsoft really could have put up a bigger fight against the media companies for putting stuff like this into the OS. There are lots of arguments against tech like this in the OS, relating to security and general trustworthiness of the system.

Linux so far hasn't implemented non user-controllable DRM in the operating system, and doesn't seem set to, as it would conflict with the open source nature of the system. Distributions such as Ubuntu seem set on keeping DRM to a minimal, and for those who dislike the fundamental idea of DRM, it would seem more attractive than Windows.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Another article?
by benir0 on Sat 21st Jul 2007 22:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Another article?"
benir0 Member since:
2006-07-26

You don't use words like 'bloatware' and 'DRM' unless you're politically motivated. There's nothing wrong with that, but I have never seen a power user like me (I have 40+ apps installed on XP, and have no issues with it to speak of) try and make the switch. Unless I had political reasons to do so, why would I want to? I haven't seen a good reason yet.


Windows is bloated. This is not a political statement. DRM is restrictive. This is not a political statement.

How do you define power user? I had oodles of apps installed on my old WinXP box (certainly more than 40). I used the machine for coding, graphic design, web dev, etc.

I'm a power user who is pleased to have switched to Linux so that I can experience:

No viruses
No splash screens/self-promoting apps
Improved software installation/maintenance
More control/configurability

I understand that you may be a slave to a certain application or a certain way of doing things, but, IMO, you seem to eager to dismiss something that you don't have direct experience with.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Another article?
by butters on Sat 21st Jul 2007 05:27 UTC in reply to "Another article?"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Why does he want to switch?

For the same reason why you might not want to order the same thing every time you go to a particular restaurant. Some people like to try new things. Other people like to find something they like and stick with it. Most people are somewhere in between, and they like to try things when the see a lot of other people trying them.

Linux is becoming a way for people who (to some extent) associate their consumer electronics with social status to be different without being too different. It's a lot like Apple, but without the iPod halo. You get just as much elitist credibility with more money left in your pocket.

thats the cool thing to do now.

That's not why I use Linux. It's probably not why a lot of OSNews readers use Linux. But Linux has obvious "me too" appeal that transcends anything that Linux represents technically or politically. It has a purely social component that is increasingly able to influence consumers on its own.

So, yes, Linux is becoming cool. It has other things going for it, too.

Reply Score: 5

typo
by poundsmack on Sat 21st Jul 2007 00:16 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

"This is the first install of what will be a periodic, ongoing series on how migrate from Microsoft's Windows to other Operating systems"

i am sure we would all like to know "how migrate" away from windows. but i would much rather know "how to migrate" away from windows. ;)

Reply Score: 5

Ubuntu *smrik*
by PlatformAgnostic on Sat 21st Jul 2007 03:56 UTC
PlatformAgnostic
Member since:
2006-01-02

It's funny how all of these articles end up the same way: guy uses windows... doesn't like Vista due to DRM and vendor lock-in (as if they're some big IT shop or something which has a huge cost of retraining), and then finds a true religion. Ubuntu!

I wonder if it's a small cadre of individuals who just keep on rewriting the same articles over and over again once they feel like the last one is forgotten, or if Ubuntu comes with a readme for newbies that they should quickly write a blog post on their installation experiences in order to reach the higher echelons of Ubuntu nirvana. Maybe Ubuntu's like scientology with Shuttleworth in the place of Hubbard.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Ubuntu *smrik*
by archiesteel on Sat 21st Jul 2007 18:07 UTC in reply to "Ubuntu *smrik*"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Heavens forbid that it could be because *gasp* they really like Ubuntu after trying it.

I see that the MS Defense Brigade is in full force today...in fact, the only thing more predictable than these series of "switching from Windows to Ubuntu" articles is the slew of messages from pro-Microsoft posters attacking the credibility of the author by trying to portray him as politically-motivated, zealotously religious, over-emotional, or simply a fake.

The question is, if you guys are so confident in Windows' superiority, why do you feel the need to attack these kinds of articles? The quality of your "superior" OS should be enough to prevent people leaving it by itself, no? What do you guys have to gain from decrying "switch" stories every time they come up?

The fact that you were modded up to +5 after comparing Ubuntu to Scientology shows that there is indeed a "small cadre of individuals" involved, only it's on the other side of the fence...

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Ubuntu *smrik*
by ssa2204 on Sun 22nd Jul 2007 01:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Ubuntu *smrik*"
ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

After reading this post, I have to ask...are you a member of the "Ubuntu Defense Brigade"? I think you clearly fail to realize how you are 110% no different than what you are crying about. You are clearly as blind as any pro-Microsoft defender or zealot, only difference being that your blind to anything but Ubuntu. Reminds me of an article in Forbes recently, where it was written "Linux users use Linux because they hate Microsoft". To choose something based on hatred is not only childish, but just plain idiotic.

Now if a reputable journalistic source had written an article on switching from Windows to Apple, Solaris, etc.. then maybe it would be worth reading. But these countless "MS sucks and is evil so I am installing Ubuntu to be in the cool crowd" are just useless. But this articles is the latter and not the former, as such people should point this out for what it is. Would this be any different than a Microsoft funded article talking about people or companies migrating away from Linux, not in the least bit.

Lastly if you consider this journalism, I would suggest you get out more and read other sources. My whole point was choose what is best for the job, not based on the OS religion of the day. Let people make a choice for themselves, sadly an all too vocal but small minority of Linux geeks seem to prefer that choice and freedom are actually removed...ironic.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Ubuntu *smrik*
by archiesteel on Sun 22nd Jul 2007 02:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ubuntu *smrik*"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

After reading this post, I have to ask...are you a member of the "Ubuntu Defense Brigade"? I think you clearly fail to realize how you are 110% no different than what you are crying about. You are clearly as blind as any pro-Microsoft defender or zealot, only difference being that your blind to anything but Ubuntu.


Actually, I'm not. I use all three major desktop OSes regularly (Windows and Linux daily, OS X about weekly). Right now I'm using Kubuntu, but I've used Mandriva in the past, and I've toyed around with other distros as well.

It seems to me that you consider off-topic ad hominem attacks against the article author to be the same as those denouncing those attacks. How you come to that conclusion is a mystery, as it does not seem to follow any logic whatsoever.

So, no, I do not represent a member of the "Ubuntu Defense Brigade". I am simply taking a stand against the various "shooting the messenger because you don't like the message" posts in this thread.

But these countless "MS sucks and is evil so I am installing Ubuntu to be in the cool crowd" are just useless. But this articles is the latter and not the former, as such people should point this out for what it is.


Where exactly in the article does it state that MS sucks, is evil, and that installing Ubuntu will make you be in the cool crowd? Did you even read the article? Because I did, and I didn't read that anywhere. Or is anyone switching from Windows to Linux fair game for ad hominem attacks and blatant misrepresentation?

Would this be any different than a Microsoft funded article talking about people or companies migrating away from Linux, not in the least bit.


So to you there's no difference about someone expressing themselves, and being paid by a company to do their PR for them? Unbelievable. I don't even know what to respond. I'll try my best:

Someone stating their opinion = ethically right

Someone paying someone else to parrot their opinion in exchange of money = ethically bad

Let people make a choice for themselves, sadly an all too vocal but small minority of Linux geeks seem to prefer that choice and freedom are actually removed...ironic.


The real irony is that here we have someone who has chosen for himself, who has presented his experience thoroughly and professionally, and because you don't like that choice you and others have decided to attack the person's credibility. That's what I denounced, and whatever you may think that does *not* make me the same as those who tried to shoot the messenger.

I stand for freedom of choice. The only freedom you stand for, it seems, is the one to choose Microsoft.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Ubuntu *smrik*
by PJBonoVox on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 09:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Ubuntu *smrik*"
PJBonoVox Member since:
2006-08-14

There are plenty of choices, we're just sick of people telling us about Ubuntu.

Yes, you like it, great. But this is a news site, so lets have some more news articles and less fanboy propaganda.

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Ubuntu *smrik*
by archiesteel on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 13:57 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Ubuntu *smrik*"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

There are plenty of choices, we're just sick of people telling us about Ubuntu.


"We" = "you"...obviously, lots of people *are* interested in Ubuntu, otherwise there wouldn't be so many articles here and elsewhere.

Yes, you like it, great. But this is a news site, so lets have some more news articles and less fanboy propaganda.


First, it's up to the editors which article gets put on the site or not. If you have an issue with the number of Ubuntu articles, take it up with them.

Second, there's nothing in that article that would come across as propaganda. Just consider it a Windows-to-Linux switch, where the switcher chose Ubuntu. Were it any other distro, the article would have been pretty much the same, because distros *are* pretty much the same.

Let's have more intelligent discussions and less pointless whining.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Ubuntu *smrik*
by ssa2204 on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 20:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Ubuntu *smrik*"
ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

Exactly! If OSnews wishes to be a "news" site and then they obviously have missed the target. Endless Ubuntu and Microsoft bashing articles are not news, this is propaganda. And as I guess I must reiterate again, this would be no more acceptable if it was Linux bashing in favor of MS, and yes these sites do exist.

I also must emphasize I am NOT defending Microsoft, as I clearly stated 2 days prior I was actually attacking Microsoft in favor of Linux in a 3 way meeting between client and another vendor. I pushed with all my might to have them move away from a certain Windows package that would have required MS OS and SQL server in favor of Suse and Mysql. So where someone gets the idea I am a member of the Microsoft defense brigade is beyond me, I am quite sure if MS was in on this meeting I would not have made any friends.

The whole point, which sadly is beyond some people's comprehension is that we want news...true news. This "I move to Ubuntu" articles is NOT news, it is an opinion piece flavored to favor one OS over another. The constant back and fort "My OS is better" is now beyond childishness to the point of utter stupidity.

The reality of this world is that Microsoft does exist, their OS is the choice of many businesses, many of our clients are Windows and Windows/Linux, as well as Windows/Apple mixes. I want information about these OS's that will be of usefulness. Unfortunately OSNews is no longer the site to gather information as all they wish to post to are useless personal blogs that contain no information. I can not think of seeing any recent GOOD articles on what the changes are to the next Apple OS, but I sure can think of how many useless "I switch to Ubuntu" articles there are.

For many professional such as myself, our opinion on Microsoft is irrelevant. Whether we like it or not, the next Microsoft server OS will be one we will be working with. A MS bashing blog is useless and tiresome, but a true article informing us what difficulties we may face regarding migration is of enormous importance.

Great, if OSnews wants to become just another fanboy site, then so be it, just do not claim to be a news site, because that would allow the assumption of journalism and editorial integrity.

Reply Score: 1

The worst GNU/Linux article ever
by ml2mst on Sat 21st Jul 2007 05:17 UTC
ml2mst
Member since:
2005-08-27

A huge article with a lot of non information. First of all the author doesn't even mention GNU at all. Secondly if this article is pointed at average Joe six pack, it should include some screenshots. I have the idea the author has no clue what he's writing about. Very disappointing IMHO.

Reply Score: 2

Re
by shykid on Sat 21st Jul 2007 05:17 UTC
shykid
Member since:
2007-02-22

I think there are probably hundreds of thousands of users out there who are where I was: right on the verge of taking the plunge, wanting something more but not sure how to get it.

Not so sure about the article itself, but I thought that was a very well written and concise quote. It's not just accurate for migrating to Linux; that quote could be used for describing a lot of things in life.

Reply Score: 3

re
by netpython on Sat 21st Jul 2007 06:35 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

Nice article :-)

Reply Score: 1

Migration
by sonic2000gr on Sat 21st Jul 2007 06:42 UTC
sonic2000gr
Member since:
2007-05-20

Migrating from Windows to Linux is not "a 24hour thing"
In fact, it took me about a year, it all started when I just wanted a free OS for my home server (which was running a "copy" of Win2003 at the time). It took me a few months to get comfortable with the new server setup, then Linux slowly replaced Windows in my main desktop. And it was not I was having any serious trouble with Windows either. XP works fine. If you are technically minded enough to maintain and program linux/BSD servers and desktops, you are obviously able to keep XP machines running smoothly. It is just that Linux offers you more things in *other* areas, and you may simply be tempted to try. And yes, I have a machine running Vista too...

Reply Score: 3

Religious, isn't he?
by rajan r on Sat 21st Jul 2007 07:52 UTC
rajan r
Member since:
2005-07-27

Why does every (okay, nearly every) article about switching to Linux seem to sound like some religious conversion. "My life was so empty with Windows. And then, I found Ubuntu! My life changed!"

I switched to Linux back when Mandrake was still called Mandrake, and switch back soon after. Tried Linux a few times after wards; the last was trying a Kubuntu Live CD on my laptop (despite being a generic laptop, networking and sound didn't work). And I was in some Linux install party.

But I certainly don't feel shackled and freedomless on Windows. (Though I'm switching to a Mac as soon as I can afford a new laptop).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Religious, isn't he?
by FooBarWidget on Sat 21st Jul 2007 09:56 UTC in reply to "Religious, isn't he?"
FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

"But I certainly don't feel shackled and freedomless on Windows. (Though I'm switching to a Mac as soon as I can afford a new laptop)."

OK, let's see...
- For Linux, you need compatible hardware, which you don't have. And you are not willing to buy compatible hardware for Linux.
- For MacOS X, you need compatible hardware, which you don't have. And this time you are willing to buy compatible hardware.

Huh?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Religious, isn't he?
by Obscurus on Sat 21st Jul 2007 11:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Religious, isn't he?"
Obscurus Member since:
2006-04-20

Some valid observations, but he didn't explicitly state that OS X would be run on the machine (though that is a reasonable assumption). And Macs are actually the most flexible platform of all, because of the advanced virtualisation features available to MacOSX(the upcoming VMware Fusion essentially puts other operating systems at a huge disadvantage in terms of cross platform compatibility).

On a Mac under OS X with VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop you have access to a huge selection of windows software running seamlessly, and most Linux programs can be compiled to run on OS X (it is *nix under the hood after all).

So there is probably a lot in favour of the Mac option (although price isn't a big selling point).

I use a mixture of Windows and Ubuntu machines myself, but I can see the Apple Mac marketshare exploding in the next couple of years (simply because Apple has been so effective in spreading their brand into a range of products, and aggressively marketing their computers - there used to be only a few Apple shops here or there, but now you can buy an Apple in any major departments store).

Although I must say, I am not a big fan of the OSX GUI at all, and I'm not enamoured with the default Ubuntu theme either, though that is easily fixed with a quick trip to Gnome-look.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Religious, isn't he?
by FooBarWidget on Sat 21st Jul 2007 23:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Religious, isn't he?"
FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

"And Macs are actually the most flexible platform of all, because of the advanced virtualisation features available to MacOSX(the upcoming VMware Fusion essentially puts other operating systems at a huge disadvantage in terms of cross platform compatibility)."

Uh, huh? VMWare is available for Linux as well, so all those virtualization goodies are not unique to OS X. I'm running Windows XP on Linux through VMWare right now. How does this "put other operating systems at a huge disadvantage"?


"but I can see the Apple Mac marketshare exploding in the next couple of years"

I can't. OS X has been around since 2001, and in these 6 years, it - along with all other non-Windows operating systems - has failed to even make a dent into Windows's market share. OS X, Linux, BeOS, ReactOS, SkyOS, Haiku, etc.: every single one of them has failed to make a significant dent in Windows's market share. Microsoft's vendor lock-in is still as strong as ever, and there are no signs of it weakening. The dependency on Windows is *huge*. Even stuff like DRM doesn't scare people away, except for the most paranoid geeks (who don't use Windows anyway) - 95% of the world is still forced to use Windows whether they like it or not, and I don't see that changing.

Oh, and did I mention places like South Korea? Banking sites and government sites over there depend on ActiveX (!). You'll have a hard time finding Mac/Linux users there, or even Firefox users.

Edited 2007-07-22 00:04

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Religious, isn't he?
by Obscurus on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 04:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Religious, isn't he?"
Obscurus Member since:
2006-04-20

You obviously missed the point I was making entirely.

1. In the last few years, Apple has aggressively been marketing iPods, iPhones, iTunes and their brand in general through relentless marketing, and the more people there are that have one Apple product, the more likely they are to buy another. Apple has been doing more in the last year to make inroads into the Desktop market than they ever have, and I'm pretty sure it is working (though I don't have any figures at hand to back this up at hand).

2. I'm not sure where you live, but where I live (Australia), the number of stores selling Apple computers has literally quadrupled (at least!) over the last 12 months. At my work, Windows and Linux workstations are slowly being replaced by big shiny 24" iMacs, simply because the people at the top of the organisation like Apple products (that what the wealthy executives use at home, so that's what they demand at work, and it gets filtered down the organisation).

3. You can run Windows and windows programs on Macs. Microsoft office runs natively, for starters, and that is the most commonly application suite in businesses and homes alike. That also means that people who have a silly dependency on ActiveX can load up parallels or bootcamp or VMware, and fire up Internet Explorer to their heart's content. Anything you can do on Windows, you can do on a Mac, because it will run Windows, and most of the applications it supports. The reverse however, is not the case.


Now, I don't personally like using Macs as much as I do Windows or Ubuntu, and they are obviously not a budget computing solution, but I would be very surprised if their marketshare doesn't at least double over the next couple of years, especially in affluent areas (macs are a bit of a yuppie status symbol - if you can afford a tricked out PowerMac with 16GB of RAM and a 30" Monitor you must be cool ;) )

I'm sorry to tell you that South Korean banking institutions are not really driving the uptake of desktop computers in the US, EU, UK or Australia, and these are the sort of countries where Apple will likely see a significant increase in marketshare.


EDIT: forgot a bit

Uh, huh? VMWare is available for Linux as well, so all those virtualization goodies are not unique to OS X. I'm running Windows XP on Linux through VMWare right now. How does this "put other operating systems at a huge disadvantage"?


The difference is the quality of virtualisation offered. VMware Fusion, as far as I am aware, is a special version of VMware that is only available for OSX, that allows you to seamlessly run windows (and other OS apps) side by side with your Mac applications, with full direct X 3d hardware support, and various things that VMware does not currently offer on any other platform. This may change in the future, but for now, Mac OS X takes the virtualisation crown.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VMware_Fusion

Edited 2007-07-23 05:17

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Religious, isn't he?
by FooBarWidget on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 09:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Religious, isn't he?"
FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

Yeah sure, but there's a huge difference between iPod/iPhone and an operating system. MP3 players and phones don't force vendor lockin. I can buy an MP3 player from any vendor and it can play any MP3 file. I can buy a phone from any vendor and I can call to any person in the world. That is not true for operating systems - they tend to restrict you to a hardware platform and a set of apps.
Furthermore, iPod has been around since 2001. The fact that iPod is popular didn't have much impact on OS X's popularity. Just look at OS X's market share now and compare it with 2001's. Then compare Vista's market share with it.
OS X's market share is definitely rising, but so is Linux's - and I'd say they're both rising far too slowly for Microsoft to be worried. Apple recently released Safari for Windows, and was flooded by criticism - not exactly something that boosts OS X's popularity.

I'm not sure why Mac people are so excited about Boot Camp. It's just a boot loader - how's that any better than a Windows-Linux dual-boot setup? Having to dual boot is often seen as an annoyance so I really don't understand why Mac people think Boot Camp is the ultimate salvation.

Yes, you have VMWare fusion. Yes it's nice to have Windows windows integrate with the rest of the system. But at the end of the day, it doesn't matter *that* much as long as you can easily get work done. People have been using VNC/RDP for years and they don't really care whether the windows are inside another window or whether they're integrated with the system.
VMWare Fusion's DirectX support also exists in regular VMWare releases, but it only supports DirectX 8 and still has problems. Most games these days seem to require DirectX 9 or higher.
And finally, for VMWare or Parallels, you'll need an extra Windows license. It's hard to get Windows XP legally after Vista has been released, and the cheaper Vista editions don't allow virtualization, so as a business you have to purchase Vista Ultimate (or whatever edition that allows virtualization) licenses for every Mac that you have. The large corporations might be able to afford this but for many smaller businesses it's just a waste of money. If they only use Windows apps anyway, and 90% of the staff only knows Windows, and the IT staff is full of MSFTs, then what reason is there for them to switch to Macs? They'll have to pay for the hardware costs, new Windows licenses, and retraining of personnel.

Reply Score: 1

Lot of ...
by chemical_scum on Sat 21st Jul 2007 10:49 UTC
chemical_scum
Member since:
2005-11-02

Astroturfers, trolls and Win fanbois around at the beginning of this thread.

This is an interesting sociological not technical point. They seem to have this fear of Linux, especially via Ubuntu becoming "cool". How much of this is due to real Redmond astroturfers and how much from Windows "power users" and others that fell a threat to their skill set I don't know.

I personally don't care anything about Ubuntu being "cool". I have been using Unix based systems since before Win 3.0 came out. I am happily running Ubuntu feisty on my home system it just works and I don't have to spend lots of time unbreaking things like when I was using RH 6 a good few years ago.

How ever I do feel that this upsurge of Win "users" wingeing about any article that writes about how positive it is to migrate to Linux from Windows is an indication that Ubuntu is beginning to address Mark's Bug No. 1.

Edited 2007-07-21 10:50

Reply Score: 1

RE: Lot of ...
by chemical_scum on Sat 21st Jul 2007 20:07 UTC in reply to "Lot of ..."
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

Astroturfers, trolls and Win fanbois around at the beginning of this thread.

This is an interesting sociological not technical point. They seem to have this fear of Linux, especially via Ubuntu becoming "cool". How much of this is due to real Redmond astroturfers and how much from Windows "power users" and others that fell a threat to their skill set I don't know.

I personally don't care anything about Ubuntu being "cool". I have been using Unix based systems since before Win 3.0 came out. I am happily running Ubuntu feisty on my home system it just works and I don't have to spend lots of time unbreaking things like when I was using RH 6 a good few years ago.

How ever I do feel that this upsurge of Win "users" wingeing about any article that writes about how positive it is to migrate to Linux from Windows is an indication that Ubuntu is beginning to address Mark's Bug No. 1.


It appears that some overly sensitive Windows fanatics out there have been moding this comment of mine down, possibly the same ones that modded down a previous post of mine that made a very gentle joke about MCSE's. Listen you can mod this down as much you like, it still doesn't stop it being correct.

Looks like I have hit a sensitive nerve on some people posting here. But it is just an honest appraisal.

Edited 2007-07-21 20:11

Reply Score: 5

RE
by Kroc on Sat 21st Jul 2007 11:26 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

We're all capable of making our own decisions. An article that starts by telling you that your decision is wrong, is starting on the wrong foot.

You can't please everybody; why then do articles have to try cater to everybody?

I want an article that caters to those who have just switched to a new operating system, and want to get the most out of it, not try convince others to change, we can all make that decision ourselves from the presented information - our own decision to change does not have to be explained to us.

I think I shall write such an article to show what I mean.

Reply Score: 3

RE
by dylansmrjones on Sat 21st Jul 2007 12:49 UTC in reply to "RE"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

I'd like to see such an article. Perhaps one about moving from Linux to *BSD could be nice as well? Or moving from Linux to Windows or whatever scenario one could think of.

An article including the caveats usually found when migrating to a new system would are sorely missed.

Reply Score: 3

useless article
by Morin on Sat 21st Jul 2007 12:52 UTC
Morin
Member since:
2005-12-31

For whom is this article intented? It throws words such as "GUI" and "ISO burning tool" at the reader. Anybody proficient enough with computers to read this article without tripping has already heard of Linux, especially Ubuntu. No, it's not complicated, but you need at least *some* knowledge in "GeekSpeak" to understand what he's talking about, and then it's *really* hard not to have heard of Linux at all.

Reply Score: 3

RE: useless article
by thecwin on Sat 21st Jul 2007 15:32 UTC in reply to "useless article"
thecwin Member since:
2006-01-04

Not sure. A lot of people understand what an ISO is (especially with their experience with downloading um... free operating systems) and a fair amount of people who have a passing interest in computers may know what a GUI is but not really understand what Linux is or have never had the confidence to try it.

So maybe it's targeted at people who already know what Linux is but want to try it... I think that'd make sense, since how else are you going to find the article other than by searching Linux or browsing a tech site. Marketing is really what is for making people who know nothing about a product know something about it...

Reply Score: 4

This is news?
by ssa2204 on Sat 21st Jul 2007 16:27 UTC
ssa2204
Member since:
2006-04-22

I always thought the point to OSnews was to provide headlines from around the globe regarding different operating systems. I can not say that it was this bad two years ago, much less a year. All we get now are "anti-MS", "Pro-Ubuntu", and of course the ever so interesting "MS to Ubuntu" articles. This is not what I would consider in any regards as even close to decent journalism, hence why I rarely bother to even visit this site these days.

While we have had every article under the sun posted regarding the latest Ubuntu, it has been far and few have we seen anything regarding the next server OS from Microsoft. Yet truth be told, this next OS will have a much more significant impact on more people than a few geeks deciding to use Ubuntu. At the moment we have around 15-20 clients that are currently using Windows 2003 server that are in line for migration to either new hardware, or new OS. Every bit of information that one can read will always be helpful, yet sadly OSnews is no longer that place. Aside from a few young, and old, techie geeks who have a desire to be thought of as hardcore Linux users, Ubuntu is just a non-issue. While it may be something to fool around with when there is nothing else to do, Ubuntu can hardly be considered along side Windows. I have looked at every release of Ubuntu for the past 2 years or so, as I do with Fedora, Solaris, and Novell. In almost every regard Novell has rated out extremely higher than Ubuntu on every level. Nothing personal against the Ubuntu project (although Ubuntu fanboys do annoy me with their lack of reality) it truly is not even the best alternative OS to migrate away from Windows, much less if there is even a need to do so. Let's have an article someday exploring whether there is even a need to do so?

And no, I am not necessarily a pro-Windows cheerleader. In fact last Thursday in a 3-way meeting with a client and another vendor I argued for over an hour away from Microsoft in favor of Linux and OSS. My point was to use the best available for the need, and in this regard Linux was the choice. By not sticking to any "religion" this allows me the true freedom to use the best that is out their for any given project, something that simply can not be done if you stick exclusively to Linux only, or Microsoft for that matter. Yet this seems to be a concept far beyond too many people.

Reply Score: 2

RE: This is news?
by psychicist on Sun 22nd Jul 2007 11:42 UTC in reply to "This is news?"
psychicist Member since:
2007-01-27

I wouldn't know why the next Windows release should be any more important than a newer Linux or Solaris distribution targeted to enterprises being released in that same time frame.

I think you are right about Ubuntu/Kubuntu not being ready for the enterprise but is very much suited to the home user as an addition to or replacement of Windows or Mac OS X.

In fact at a customer's office that had been seriously infected by worms and viruses and was pretty much shut down for several days I installed Slackware on the server and on the desktops as well with Windows XP running in VMware Player.

Even though they didn't use the Linux operating systems at first, it was a better solution than what they had before because of the much easier recoverability, despite the lack of RAM in the computers.

This was because I had set the virtual machines to reset to a consistent state at every shutdown and the virtual machines couldn't reach the internet anymore. For those purposes they could use the Linux host operating system with Mozilla Firefox.

When he moved to a larger office that he had acquired there was an equally bad state of the systems and a year ago he told me to convert half of the desktops to Linux and keeping the other half on Windows for the time being.

So I did and I installed OpenSUSE 10.1, which turned out to be pretty disastrous with instability and other problems. We were joking that it wasn't really better than Windows at all.

So when OpenSUSE 10.2 came out I reinstalled all those systems and this has turned out much better with the stability that we have come to expect from Linux except for the inexplicable removal of the smbfs file system.

And since I had readied a distribution based on Slackware 11.0 in the meantime, I made each desktop to dual-boot between OpenSUSE 10.2 and Slackware 11.0 and all has been good ever since defaulting to one of them on each system.

For newer deployments for this customer I will only consider Slackware anymore because the OpenSUSE developers keep removing and changing things that are being used. Since I always build my own custom optimised kernels on Slackware I don't have to deal with this Big-Brother-like behaviour, fortunately.

I wouldn't mind if they did that if there was a replacement but at the time cifs was not ready yet. I would rather use NFS V4.1 with a locking mechanism that is interoperable between NFS and Samba, but that seems not to be included in distributions yet.

I have consolidated Windows 2003 to a virtual machine running in VMware Server on a Slackware Samba server and it is reachable via Terminal Services. This works great and I can easily create backups of the VMs. The data is regularly rsynced to a backup server.

The customer has regularly asked me if WINE couldn't replace the Windows server but up to now I have told him to keep it because not all applications run under WINE. So this is a case of giving him the best of all worlds.

I have tested and installed Ubuntu and Kubuntu for several people but not for enterprise use yet, because I feel that at the moment it is too buggy and inflexible compared to OpenSUSE and Slackware. This might change in the future though and I will evaluate future versions.

Reply Score: 1

jokinin
Member since:
2005-11-07

it's not that i have nothing against ubuntu in particular, but lately it seems like there's no Linux distro other than Ubuntu.
I hate this kind of pseudomarketing making us think that me must all use Ubuntu, Linux is about freedom, and not about making choices for you.

Reply Score: 2

I had started to try to switch to Linux
by Radek on Sat 21st Jul 2007 18:00 UTC
Radek
Member since:
2007-05-08

at the times of Win9x. It was very crash prone oses and I simply got enough of blue screens when doing very rudimentary tasks like web browsing. Even if I have to use dualboot and manage to compile so called "winmodem kernel module" it saved me lots of nerves.

Then I was starting to be more and more familiar with Linux. More and more tasks I could do in Linux instead of Windows. Internet was starting to be more important as well. Linux proved to be much more stable, to has far more robust file system and hundreds times more capable file management options.

Understanding of idealogical/political issues came later. And I don't understand why people fear to make points about them? It's something wrong to be paranoid about being basically at mercy of one big vendor (proved to abuse its market power at that)?

Do you like competition or rather monocultural "ecosystem" where "one shoe fits all" is so prevalent?

But there are also technical issues why os like Linux is more robust, secure and more convenient than Windows. File systems capability, desktop diversity, application management, network functionality and no obscured APIs, protocols and file formats.

Reply Score: 5

Hmmm
by aaronb on Sat 21st Jul 2007 18:10 UTC
aaronb
Member since:
2005-07-06

[Start quote]
This is what it does: It runs the OS faster than the operating system itself can do on physical hardware.
[End quote]

Has anyone else had experience of this?

Reply Score: 1

If u hate the gui
by knightrider on Sat 21st Jul 2007 18:33 UTC
knightrider
Member since:
2006-12-11

Give bb4win a shot. Or xoblite or geoshell.

Edited 2007-07-21 18:35

Reply Score: 1

Bloat and DRM
by blitze on Sat 21st Jul 2007 23:16 UTC
blitze
Member since:
2006-09-15

Bloat in Vista, sure is. Don't want media centre, DVD authoring MS style, Media Player, and a swath of other MS products that can be replaced with much better 3rd party alternatives.

The default install of Vista should be without all this crap unless you offer them as a choice during the install process.

DRM, only seems to be integrated in Media Player and Media Centre. Use a 3rd party alternative to these items and DRM is a non issue or has been from my experience.

Would I migrate to Ubuntu full time if all my work apps were supported (WINE/Native)? Hell yeah. Linux is just a hell of a lot easier to work with. Fact of life.

Reply Score: 2

Re: Ubuntu
by mind!dagger on Sun 22nd Jul 2007 03:28 UTC
mind!dagger
Member since:
2007-06-26

I just laugh my @$$ off. My wife, a former diehard Windows person got finally got fed up with her XP freezing. She finally asked me to load Ubuntu over seven months ago. She's been doing all the stuff she used to do on Windows.

I guess Microsoft should claim victory!

Reply Score: 2

Another one?
by Soulbender on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 07:54 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

Seriously, how many boring "I switched from X to Y" "articles" have there been? Does anyone really care?
It's like writing an article on why I changed toothpaste brands. Sure, maybe my immediate family cares (a tiny bit) but no-one else give a flying fsck.

Reply Score: 5

How nice for the author...
by PJBonoVox on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 09:07 UTC
PJBonoVox
Member since:
2006-08-14

...that he made the switch so easily, but how many more cookie-cutter articles like that are we going to be subjected to? Come on OSNews!

(p.s. If Linux is so easy to use, why are there so many 10+ page install guides?)

Reply Score: 1

RE: How nice for the author...
by Soulbender on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 13:01 UTC in reply to "How nice for the author..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"(p.s. If Linux is so easy to use, why are there so many 10+ page install guides?)"

Because if you want to try it you need to install it, as opposed to Windows which usually came on your box.

Reply Score: 2