Linked by David Adams on Wed 6th Aug 2008 15:32 UTC
IBM After 10 years of supporting Linux, IBM continues to challenge Microsoft on multiple fronts and aims to push Linux even further into the enterprise. While IBM has competed and partnered with Microsoft over the last two decades, the Microsoft-free PC effort is perhaps its most direct assault yet. "The idea of Microsoft-free personal computing has been in the air for a while," Inna Kuznetsova, director of Linux at IBM, told InternetNews.com. "We're just partnering with Linux distribution vendors and hardware vendors to make it happen."
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Perhaps in the enterprise, but...
by darknexus on Wed 6th Aug 2008 16:53 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

unfortunately, I don't see a Microsoft-free home PC coming out of Linux for quite a while yet. When I say "home pc," I mean a pc that average joe can use without having to tweak and hack it. Currently, Linux just doesn't fit this bill and, barring some major redesign and collaboration on various parts of the system, I doubt it ever will. And, before all you Linux zealots go modding me down for daring to speak such blasphemy, I do believe Linux succeeds very well at a lot of tasks. It makes a very good server os and, with the right configuration, a nice enterprise desktop and development workstation. Not to mention it can be a very lean embedded system. It just doesn't fit the home desktop pc world yet, and I don't see it going that way any time soon no matter how hard various distros like SuSE and Ubuntu try to push it.

Reply Score: 2

satan666 Member since:
2008-04-18

I wouldn't count Linux out yet. All it takes is a little help from Microsoft (another Vista-like or worse-than-Vista "success" with their next Windows release).

Reply Score: 4

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I wouldn't count Linux out yet. All it takes is a little help from Microsoft (another Vista-like or worse-than-Vista "success" with their next Windows release).

So what you're saying is that in order for Linux to succeed on the home pc, Microsoft has to produce something worse than Vista? I'd much rather see software succeed, or not, upon its own design and concepts, not because some other company screwed up, and it's the lesser of two evils. I'm not saying Vista was great by any means, but seriously, how many more Linux adoptions did we see? Most of those who either hated Vista or had serious problems with it either stayed with XP or went over to the Mac.

Reply Score: 12

red_devel Member since:
2006-03-30

So what you're saying is that in order for Linux to succeed on the home pc, Microsoft has to produce something worse than Vista? I'd much rather see software succeed, or not, upon its own design and concepts, not because some other company screwed up


Yeah, I agree completely, thats what I'd like to see too. The point is, thanks to Microsoft's monopoly and business practices, thats NOT whats happening currently. I don't really think you can argue that Window's (Vista especially, but even XP) 'design & concepts' warrant the success (measured in install base) that it sees.

The point is even WITH Microsoft releasing a dud like Vista, its really hard for an operating like Linux, with plenty of technical merits, to make any inroads. This is thanks to the huge momentum Windows has, and Microsoft leverages at every chance they get to keep users unfairly locked in.

Reply Score: 3

jbauer Member since:
2005-07-06


The point is even WITH Microsoft releasing a dud like Vista, its really hard for an operating like Linux, with plenty of technical merits, to make any inroads.


Or maybe Vista has been badmouth to death but it's actually a reasonably good OS, while Linux on the desktop still leaves a lot to be desired.

Reply Score: 3

ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Or maybe Vista has been badmouth to death but it's actually a reasonably good OS, while Linux on the desktop still leaves a lot to be desired.


Or maybe we're facing a worldwide stockholm syndrome ;)

Edited 2008-08-06 23:07 UTC

Reply Score: 3

jbauer Member since:
2005-07-06

Or maybe we're facing a worldwide stockholm syndrome ;)


Right. Mark Shuttleworth must be suffering from that too:

I think we don't yet deliver a good enough user experience. I think we deliver a user experience for people that have a reason to want to be on the Linux platform, either because of price or because of freedom. If that was your primary reason, Linux is the right answer.

But if you are somebody who is not too concerned about price, who is not too concerned about freedom, I don't think we can say the Linux desktop offers the very best experience


http://derstandard.at/PDA/?id=3413801

Reply Score: 2

ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Right. Mark Shuttleworth must be suffering from that too:


Considering he was comparing Linux desktop with OSX and not Windows, I wouldn't diagnose him that fast.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Ubuntu and it's forks are but one branch providing ease of use to new users. That is definately Connonical's marketing pitch but I've seen many users prefer PCLinuxOS or Mandriva over Ubuntu derivatives. This week, it seems to be Mandriva getting the publicity; last week was PCLinuxOS.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I'd be curiousto read your list of points where an OS based on Linux leaves a lot to be desired.

Are we talking preinstalled on hardware or installed by the home user. General computing tasks or specialty needs like Tivo and video gaming?

I don't know that Vista deserves all the negative publicity it recieves though there is justification for some of it. At the same time, I think OS based on Linux are rarely given honest consideration they deserve; especially with the ongoing "year of the Linux Desktop" crap that people keep drudging up.

(There is no year of the Linux desktop, it already works perfectly well as a desktop or server system depending on the OS distribution.)

Reply Score: 2

renox Member since:
2005-07-06

If you're only counting direct association "Vista is too heavy --> I'll use Linux" very few did this, it's true.

Now if you think about the EEE PC, you may ask yourself *why* is-it coming with Linux in the first place?
The most likely answer is: Vista is too heavy for this PC and Microsoft is trying to kill XP: so Asus chose to use Linux.. So yes, Vista heavy resource usage, did increase Linux adoption (*).

*: well at least temporarily: as usual Microsoft reacted swiftly to anything which can damage their monopoly so they now say "use XP for low performance computer, it's ok!".

Reply Score: 4

dbodner Member since:
2007-07-01

"I wouldn't count Linux out yet. All it takes is a little help from Microsoft (another Vista-like or worse-than-Vista "success" with their next Windows release).

So what you're saying is that in order for Linux to succeed on the home pc, Microsoft has to produce something worse than Vista? I'd much rather see software succeed, or not, upon its own design and concepts, not because some other company screwed up, and it's the lesser of two evils. I'm not saying Vista was great by any means, but seriously, how many more Linux adoptions did we see? Most of those who either hated Vista or had serious problems with it either stayed with XP or went over to the Mac.
"

With some users having 15+ years of how they're used to using desktops, there's going to have to be a huge motivating factor to get people to change. It's going to take more than linux to be good for people to forgo their resistance to change. It's going to take a colossal screw-up by Microsoft. Despite peoples frustrations with Vista, it's not exactly like OSX is enjoying even double digit market share at this point.

Reply Score: 2

zetsurin Member since:
2006-06-13

"I wouldn't count Linux out yet. All it takes is a little help from Microsoft (another Vista-like or worse-than-Vista "success" with their next Windows release)."

To be fair though, all that does is promotes XP.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

It doesn't even need another marketing fiasco by MS. Take MS out of the picture entirely if you like even.

All it takes is for companies to continue developing and refining there distributions. The average home user gets Windows or osX preinstalled when they buy a new machine; I see no reason why a preinstalled and preconfigured OS based on the Linux kernel should be different.

The cases where a function is only supported by Windows are becoming very limited. These days it's industrial software (CAD), specialty needs (Gaming) or interaction with existing Windows (Windows only network protocols). The last is probably the most valid need but is not likely to effect many home users unless they run an MS ADS.

Continue to refine the "issues" that people have with a preinstalled Ubuntu, Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, Suse and you'll quickly see that home users don't care about branding provided what's in the box does all the bullet points listed outside the box.

The biggest challenge is really a political one in getting people to see a reason to try alternatives or think outside the marketing hype they are already saturated with.

Reply Score: 3

rhyder Member since:
2005-09-28

I've successfully moved a non-expert relative over to Linux as their OS without too many problems. The install needed needed a bit of expertise, but the day-to-day use has been closer problem free than Windows+OE+malware.

I know that other people have had similar successes.

Reply Score: 6

flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

Why is it that having Windows means to some people malware is a certainy? I cannot remember a single time I've been "infected" with malware, spyware or virii, with the exception to the Stoned virus which was back on my 286 and it came from a floppy disk.

I practice common sense when on-line. Never a problem.

People who piss on Microsoft for this sort of thing really should take equal slashes at the guys who write this stuff as well as the end user. For any end user to say, "I'm not technical, I'm not technical" is really ignoring the fact that they were the one that 99% of the time click on the bad egg, visit some porno, warez or dodge ringtone site.

Use Firefox also. Security of other browsers aside, it's exceptionally superior to any of its competition.

Sure there has been instances in the past where just being on-line without doing anything can result in your PC being attacked and serious shame on Microsoft for missing such a stupid and enourmous problem, but the majority of the time it's ignorant end users.

And yes, the OS shouldn't have bugs in it in the first place, no arguements on that in any way, but lets face it, there are a lot of factors driving software quality than the idealogical, "don't release until it's bugfree" mantra. If Microsoft took 10 years to check every single line of code against every single possible bug then the OS would be redundant half way through the testing phase, not to mention the flack the media would serve up.

This is not a "Windows" problem, it's a software engineering problem. One only has to look at the monthly Solaris patch announcements and all the bugs, exploit and remote code patches released to see that, not to mention all the bugs that are fixed in OSX and any random Linux distro.

Reply Score: 1

rhyder Member since:
2005-09-28

I'm not "pissing on Microsoft". I'm saying that I have moved non-experts onto Linux without any problems, and I know that other people have had similar successes.

Malware is a legitimate worry when setting up a novice with a Windows equipped PC. It's almost no problem (for the moment) with a Linux desktop.

I'm admit that the initial setup for a Linux desktop may need some expert intervention, but I have found, and others have found, that once it's setup, it needs very little extra attention. When you're setting things up for a loved one, this means piece of mind. The user of a Windows installation would need to be trained on how to do sweeps for viruses and adware.

Do you recommend that people run Windows without adware and virus scanners?

(Writing this on XP).

Reply Score: 5

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

As the son of an IT manager, my challenge is getting Pops to give it a go. I keep leaving liveCD with him when I'm back visiting but familiarity and lack of motivation to change his primary machine keep him bound to win2k. Needing to know the popular and current Windows systems for his contract work made him purchase a Vista license with his new laptop.

Really, the only thing holding him back is not taking ten minutes to boot from the liveCD and poke around a bit. I think part of it is the concern of not having familiar programs to work with media and documents but then I've not put a great deal of preaching just get a point for converting someone. His setup supports his needs so we'll look at it more seriously when that old hardware starts to fail.

Reply Score: 2

OSGuy Member since:
2006-01-01

The problem with Linux Desktop is that there is no commercial innovation. Every company relies purely on Open Source Software such as X.Org, KDE and GNOME. Not one company has dared to say, "Ok we have had enough. It just doesn't work (as in succeed)! We need something new! Something similar to what Apple did with Darwin". Even IBM hasn't done anything about it! The least they can try is try to port the OS/2 libs and GUI! They just keep relying on existing *broken* technologies. The X desktop is a home desktop made of different parts stitched together, the base, the board, left side of the board attached with the right side (from another desk) with a bit of polish to make it "look" solid but once you try to use it, not quite the same now is it? It just doesn't feel right. It's all shakey. Well this is the current state of the Linux Desktop where X is the "home desktop" in this case. Simply there isn't coherence in the system, everything is incompatible! FLTK, GTK, QT to name a few. Why? Because they all come from a different source - parent, there isn't a standard where regardless what type toolkit you use to develop your app, the Open Dialog, the Save Dialog, the app behavior would be the same! This is how Windows is! Windows has standards and the base is the Win32 API! Then you have things such as KDE for Windows or GTK for Windows where they break these stanatds. This is the problem with the Linux Desktop. Everything is stitched together and broken. As long as it remains this way, Linux Desktop will never be (except for geeks) and quite honestly? I think X is to blame for this because as far as I know, they haven't written functions such as "OpenDialog()" "MessageBox()" or "SaveDialog()" and Menu Bar objects -- you know, just like good old Windows so people are forced to write their own.

I can feel the steam and hate coming out from some angry Linux fan dudes now...grrrr -200 quick. Regardless what you rate me, it is the truth.

Edited 2008-08-06 23:26 UTC

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

There should be only one brand of car made from one brand of parts. This every car using the same type of bolts and round wheels just doesn't work.

Start looking at different distributions, as they actually are, as different OS and things become more clear. Debian is an OS with it's own strengths. Ubuntu a very similar but different OS. Mythbuntu an OS with a different purpose yet again.

(it's the choice and flexability of systems built from modular comodity parts that makes OS based on the Linux or BSD kernels so applicable to many different problems.)

I only mod up where applicable though so no /. inspired modding down by me.

Reply Score: 4

dbodner Member since:
2007-07-01

"Regardless what you rate me, it is the truth"

It's actually your opinion.

Reply Score: 1

B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

unfortunately, I don't see a Microsoft-free home PC coming out of Linux for quite a while yet. When I say "home pc," I mean a pc that average joe can use without having to tweak and hack it. Currently, Linux just doesn't fit this bill and, barring some major redesign and collaboration on various parts of the system, I doubt it ever will. And, before all you Linux zealots go modding me down for daring to speak such blasphemy, I do believe Linux succeeds very well at a lot of tasks. It makes a very good server os and, with the right configuration, a nice enterprise desktop and development workstation. Not to mention it can be a very lean embedded system. It just doesn't fit the home desktop pc world yet, and I don't see it going that way any time soon no matter how hard various distros like SuSE and Ubuntu try to push it.


By your expectation of what a home pc system can or can't do, MS Windows XP (I don't know Vista) and Mac OS X 10.5 are unsuitable for home pcs. Both require a good amount of tweaking and added software to become useful.

That being said, I am completly in agreement with your further assessment. GNU/Linux strong suit is not the home desktop pc. Good thing that IBM, Red Hat, Novell and Ubuntu are, according to the article, pushing for the enterprise desktop ;)

Reply Score: 2

gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't disagree... it's just that I don't really see Windows as a joe-six-pack OS either.
Give your friendly neighbour a -clean- PC with an Windows XP CD and and Office 2003 CD... and lets see how it goes. (Hint. Major disaster)

The amount of know-how required to successfully install Windows, then service packs, -drivers-, anti-virus, install and configure a fire-wall, etc is simply staggering.

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 4

Now maybe....
by DrillSgt on Wed 6th Aug 2008 17:17 UTC
DrillSgt
Member since:
2005-12-02

...the software developers will begin to maybe actually target Linux? The developers I am referring to are the likes of Adobe, all the game companies, Intuit, etc. Linux is a sound OS, and is extremely capable of performing all of these tasks and more. Currently, depending on the distro, is just as easy to use as Windows or OS X. The only problem being ISV's who for whatever reason do not want to port software they develop to Linux.

Of course, this is all IMO, and subject to being totally off and wrong.

Reply Score: 4

v RE: Now maybe....
by Karitku on Wed 6th Aug 2008 18:27 UTC in reply to "Now maybe...."
RE[2]: Now maybe....
by DrillSgt on Wed 6th Aug 2008 19:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Now maybe...."
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"Well it could but Linux has several problems when you try to non-open source software. First is freetards which will spit on you. Secondly there is no stable enough standard to keep up few years backward compatable. Thirdly there is the chicken-egg dileama where there is not enough people, at the moment, to use software to make money on it."

Well, in my experience, no one has spit on me for using proprietary applications on Linux or any other *nix. As for backwards compatibility, please give an example? The only time I knew of major breakage was with RedHat 9.something when they started using pthreads. That broke Wine and other software, even the OSS stuff. However, since that time I know of no major breakages, and everything I have used has been backwards compatible.

As for the number of people using it, no one can say for sure. I am counted as a windows user as the PC I bought came with Windows. I mostly run linux, using Windows only for games anymore, and when my job requires it. The only real issue is that ISV's can not see how many Linux users there are, so it is believed there are not that many. From what I see by looking around, there are plenty of them. I might just have to do an independent study..you know..walk door to door and just ask people what Operating System they use, which IMO would answer the question in actuality instead of guessing.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Now maybe....
by jabbotts on Thu 7th Aug 2008 16:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Now maybe...."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"Freetards ..."

There is a minority attracted to Foss purely for monitory reasons. There is a majority who see value in it far beyond the price of admission. Simply discounting anyone who uses Foss as a "Freetard" is rather dismissive and shallow minded.

"Secondly there is no stable enough standard to keep up few years backward compatable"

Complete bunk. What program from just a few years ago will not install and run on a distribution now? I suggest that the truth is actually that many programs made well over many years ago will still install and run on modern distributions. If you have the source tarball (.tar.gz), it will even install across processor types and distributions.

Market share does play a part in public perception. The brand name they see advertised most must be the biggest and best one available; all the posters say so. In that case, preinstalls are a big part of it. Hopefully developments like the EeePC and other preinstalled hardware that happens to use a Linux based OS continue to become available. Preinstalled desktops also even the marketplace. In terms of games though, the chicken/egg excuse has long been the vendors cry; there's not enough of you customers not using Windows to focus on anything else.

Some companies do have more open eyes like ID Software and the good folks behind Neverwinter Nights.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Now maybe....
by luzr on Wed 6th Aug 2008 18:47 UTC in reply to "Now maybe...."
luzr Member since:
2005-11-20

...the software developers will begin to maybe actually target Linux? The developers I am referring to are the likes of Adobe, all the game companies, Intuit, etc. Linux is a sound OS, and is extremely capable of performing all of these tasks and more. Currently, depending on the distro, is just as easy to use as Windows or OS X.


IMO the main show-stopper problem here is that you basically cannot produce closed-source applications for Linux.

In situation that even two versions of the same distro are not fully binary compatible makes development and distribution of Linux applications nearly impossible.

The best you can do is to release about 12 versions for major distros and possibly extend the set with each new distro release.

Technically, Linux desktop is there. What holds it is in fact politics.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Now maybe....
by DrillSgt on Wed 6th Aug 2008 19:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Now maybe...."
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"IMO the main show-stopper problem here is that you basically cannot produce closed-source applications for Linux.

In situation that even two versions of the same distro are not fully binary compatible makes development and distribution of Linux applications nearly impossible."


I both agree and disagree. ID Software released Doom 3 for Linux, and Return to Castle Wolfenstien for Linux, and these are my examples. The binaries can be released as a one shot deal, and that has been proven. Those both are very closed source. if games can do it, the other application vendors can as well. I have run both of those on many different flavors of Linux, and they have worked on all of them. There is only one installer/binary that was released.

"Technically, Linux desktop is there. What holds it is in fact politics."

I definitely agree on this one.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: Now maybe....
by ebasconp on Wed 6th Aug 2008 19:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Now maybe...."
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

VMware Workstation is also available for Linux: it is closed source, it is commercial, but is quite successful.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Now maybe....
by DrillSgt on Wed 6th Aug 2008 19:36 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Now maybe...."
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"VMware Workstation is also available for Linux: it is closed source, it is commercial, but is quite successful."

Very true. I went with the games as the discussion was going towards home desktop versus the corporate desktop.

Also Parallels is commercial ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Now maybe....
by luzr on Wed 6th Aug 2008 19:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Now maybe...."
luzr Member since:
2005-11-20

"IMO the main show-stopper problem here is that you basically cannot produce closed-source applications for Linux.

In situation that even two versions of the same distro are not fully binary compatible makes development and distribution of Linux applications nearly impossible."

I both agree and disagree. ID Software released Doom 3 for Linux, and Return to Castle Wolfenstien for Linux, and these are my examples. The binaries can be released as a one shot deal, and that has been proven.


Well, these are games. They have very little bindings to the rest of system.

Unfortunately, normal desktop apps have to bind to system. For example, they have to use platform libraries to look natively. Or just to draw text.

That for closed-source applications means linking to .so present on the system. There is no way around this. And they never can be sure what .so is currently present on the system.

Edited 2008-08-06 19:35 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Now maybe....
by DrillSgt on Wed 6th Aug 2008 19:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Now maybe...."
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"Well, these are games. They have very little bindings to the rest of system."

Well, I would say binding to the X server, sound libraries, graphic libraries, etc. in order to run would be the same scenario, or am I missing something? The games use the system libraries, as would any other application. Certainly more bindings than say a word processor, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc would need?

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Now maybe....
by luzr on Wed 6th Aug 2008 19:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Now maybe...."
luzr Member since:
2005-11-20

"Well, these are games. They have very little bindings to the rest of system."

Well, I would say binding to the X server, sound libraries, graphic libraries, etc. in order to run would be the same scenario, or am I missing something? The games use the system libraries, as would any other application. Certainly more bindings than say a word processor, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc would need?


Basic X binding is problem free, xlib comes as static library, BSD. OpenGL ditto. Not sure about sound, but I would expect it is the same. These all are low-level stuff. Simple to handle. And all you need to do game.

Anyway, the first problem comes with text rendering. Xft does not have a static version. And AFAIK it is LGPL anyway, so it cannot be embedded into commercial app.

And then, if you want to look&feel native, you absolutely need to link with GTK shared libraries. And those differ a lot.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Now maybe....
by DrillSgt on Wed 6th Aug 2008 19:55 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Now maybe...."
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"Basic X binding is problem free, xlib comes as static library, BSD. OpenGL ditto. Not sure about sound, but I would expect it is the same. These all are low-level stuff. Simple to handle. And all you need to do game.

Anyway, the first problem comes with text rendering. Xft does not have a static version. And AFAIK it is LGPL anyway, so it cannot be embedded into commercial app.

And then, if you want to look&feel native, you absolutely need to link with GTK shared libraries. And those differ a lot."


Fair enough, and that makes sense. Just makes me wonder though how VMWare and Parallels do it then?

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Now maybe....
by WereCatf on Wed 6th Aug 2008 19:59 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Now maybe...."
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Basic X binding is problem free, xlib comes as static library, BSD. OpenGL ditto. Not sure about sound, but I would expect it is the same. These all are low-level stuff. Simple to handle. And all you need to do game.

Anyway, the first problem comes with text rendering. Xft does not have a static version. And AFAIK it is LGPL anyway, so it cannot be embedded into commercial app.

And then, if you want to look&feel native, you absolutely need to link with GTK shared libraries. And those differ a lot.


Most games have some sort of a launcher that is done either with GTK+ or Qt. And well, what's the problem with linking to shared libraries? They link to f.ex. libgtk+2.so which is infact a symbolic link to the actual version of libgtk+ installed. They don't link to a specific minor version of the file, they link to major version and all distros create symbolic links for those. Try installing Linux, do ldd on a file and just check for yourself ;)

If an application states that it requires version Gtk+ 2.4 then it will work just fine with 2.4.2, 2.4.59 and so forth. Usually it will also work with 2.5.*, 2.6.* and further.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Now maybe....
by ichi on Wed 6th Aug 2008 20:02 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Now maybe...."
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Basic X binding is problem free, xlib comes as static library, BSD. OpenGL ditto. Not sure about sound, but I would expect it is the same. These all are low-level stuff. Simple to handle. And all you need to do game.


How about Maya, Shake, Smoke, Houdini or MainActor?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Now maybe....
by renox on Wed 6th Aug 2008 22:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Now maybe...."
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree: games need sound, 3D acceleration on top of the normal installation in the menus which is used by 'normal' application (VMWare isn't a normal application).

So games are *more* dependent on system than many other application, and this do create support issue on Linux, especially since the sound is a mess on Linux (has been since years even though the hardware doesn't evolve much) and 3D acceleration is mostly dependant on proprietary drivers (this will change, but it'll take a long time).

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Now maybe....
by chemical_scum on Thu 7th Aug 2008 03:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Now maybe...."
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02


Unfortunately, normal desktop apps have to bind to system. For example, they have to use platform libraries to look natively. Or just to draw text.


They don't have to bind to the system, static builds work perfectly well. They will work on any system with a recent libc. OK they will not necessarily match the current users theme they will look perfectly reasonable with a recent default theme for GTK or Qt depending what toolkit was used. There is in fact staticaly built commercial software on the market, for example SoftMaker Office.

Do not forget OpenOffice use to be distributed with a universal Linux binary. The only reason it is now split into an rpm and a deb download is to make it integrate with the two main package management systems. You could perfectly well install the rpm version on Debian/Ubuntu using alien.

Another way to make distribution independent software that runs on Linux is to follow IBM's approach (OK they only certify this for a limited set of distros but it should work on anything) is to write/port your application to the Eclipse Rich Client Platform.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Now maybe....
by jabbotts on Thu 7th Aug 2008 17:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Now maybe...."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"And they never can be sure what .so is currently present on the system"

Program installs deal with dependancies all the time. VMware Server installed from .rpm on Mandriva perfectly an I expect it would on Red Hat or Fedora also. VMware also provides a tarball install though I've not used it.

I'm seeing more reasons that are political than technical for why the platform is unsuited.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Now maybe....
by Boldie on Wed 6th Aug 2008 19:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Now maybe...."
Boldie Member since:
2007-03-26

If adobe made a linux version of photoshop I think lots of distros would try to make it to run on their distro. one version with a specified set of ''needs'' is all it takes. (?)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Now maybe....
by DrillSgt on Wed 6th Aug 2008 19:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Now maybe...."
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"If adobe made a linux version of photoshop I think lots of distros would try to make it to run on their distro. one version with a specified set of ''needs'' is all it takes. (?)"

Exactly. No different then requiring a certain version of Windows, you can just require minimum versions of libraries, etc. I know it can be done, as the company I am the Sysadmin for develops software that is cross-platform.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Now maybe....
by luzr on Wed 6th Aug 2008 19:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Now maybe...."
luzr Member since:
2005-11-20

If adobe made a linux version of photoshop I think lots of distros would try to make it to run on their distro. one version with a specified set of ''needs'' is all it takes. (?)


Actually, IMO, this is the possible way.

Somebody will produce *IMPORTANT* application for some distro (e.g. Ubuntu), but only for that specific distro.

Such application will become compatibility etalon. All other distros will need to support it, which in fact is relatively very easy. And problem is solved.

In fact, I believe and hope something like this will happen really soon...

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Now maybe....
by darknexus on Thu 7th Aug 2008 03:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Now maybe...."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Actually, IMO, this is the possible way.

Somebody will produce *IMPORTANT* application for some distro (e.g. Ubuntu), but only for that specific distro.

Such application will become compatibility etalon. All other distros will need to support it, which in fact is relatively very easy. And problem is solved.

In fact, I believe and hope something like this will happen really soon...

And this is exactly the problem I'm talking about. An ISV produces some software, let's go with Ubuntu for example. Now personally, I hate Ubuntu and don't want to use it. So I want to install it on Slackware. However it depends on Ubuntu's libraries, both names and versions, requiring me to hack around to make it work. This is not compatibility, this is mandatory, reactionary hacking for any other distro that wants to support the application in question. This is a simptom of the bigger problems (no standard ABI being the issue here), and is hardly the way to solve compatibility issues. If this happens enough, every distro will become a cluttered mess of hacks to make applications for every other distro work. As if the mess isn't big enough already. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this whole distro mentality needs to stop. Make a standard, call it Linux, or GNU/Linux, or whatever you want. Make that standard the consistent target, and tell the ISVs to port to Linux, meaning this new standard distro. If it'll make you feel better, have a couple of standard distros for desktop and server needs. And since Linux is open, nothing's stopping anyone else from making a distro if they really want to, it just won't be the standard Linux. And, before someone asks, this is not what the LSB is trying to do. The LSB is trying to come up with a standard that all distros can follow. i'm advocating dropping the distro model entirely. And you know what? If the Linux community can't get its act together I think its time to start seriously targeting one of the BSD platforms, or Solaris. There's consistency for you, since they're actual operating systems, not a kernel and a userland thrown together in a million different ways. FreeBSD is always FreeBSD, NetBSD is always NetBSD, and Solaris... you guessed it. Perhaps the effort should go into making the various *BSD systems more desktop friendly. Or, perhaps more efficient, focus on Solaris as it's already pretty well along in that area with a sound kernel and ABI, and standards you can expect to be followed throughout the system in each major version, and usually the versions after that as well.. The only real impediment Solaris is facing is the lack of a lot of drivers for some relatively common hardware, but even that's improving. If I had to put my money on which UNIX will eventually be ready for average joe's desktop, I'd put my bet on Solaris.
Now, I suppose I get to sit back and watch all the freetards flame me. Fair warning, all flames 2>&1 /dev/null. Or if you prefer the short hand, all flames >& /dev/null.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Now maybe....
by lemur2 on Thu 7th Aug 2008 04:02 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Now maybe...."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

And this is exactly the problem I'm talking about. An ISV produces some software, let's go with Ubuntu for example. Now personally, I hate Ubuntu and don't want to use it. So I want to install it on Slackware. However it depends on Ubuntu's libraries, both names and versions, requiring me to hack around to make it work.


Wrong.

http://www.varicad.com/en/home/products/requirements/

There are any number of closed-source commercial applications (such as the one linked above as an example) that have no problem whatsoever.

Pray tell, where is there any word at all about what distribution you must have in the "System requirements" for the Linux version of the indicated example product?

All that you require is a recent enough version of some common libraries installed. This is dead easy to check with your package manager.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Now maybe....
by DrillSgt on Thu 7th Aug 2008 06:45 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Now maybe...."
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"And this is exactly the problem I'm talking about. An ISV produces some software, let's go with Ubuntu for example. Now personally, I hate Ubuntu and don't want to use it. So I want to install it on Slackware. However it depends on Ubuntu's libraries, both names and versions, requiring me to hack around to make it work. This is not compatibility, this is mandatory, reactionary hacking for any other distro that wants to support the application in question."

I have never seen this problem running many commercial applications for Linux. Parallels, VMWare, CrossOver Office, Doom 3, etc. Those applications run on any distro without complaint and without any special work around. I am not saying it doesn't exist, as it may. I just have never seen it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Now maybe.... - open standards
by jabbotts on Thu 7th Aug 2008 17:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Now maybe...."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

The preference for open standards and user freedom instead of lock-in would probably keep any one distribution from being the only way to run a program.

There could be some licensing agreements like VMware's ESX not being officially supported unless on a RHEL system. I don't see any technical limitation that would force acceptance though.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Now maybe....
by jabbotts on Thu 7th Aug 2008 17:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Now maybe...."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

They did, they charged an obsorbitant price for it so everyone stuck with existing but as capable alternatives. If they tried again, they would need to provide the quality and function set that justifies the license cost or re-evaluate pricing strategies.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Now maybe....
by crimperman on Wed 6th Aug 2008 22:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Now maybe...."
crimperman Member since:
2006-11-09

IMO the main show-stopper problem here is that you basically cannot produce closed-source applications for Linux.


You might like to tell that to Adobe, who have produced binary versions of Acrobat Reader and Flash player for Linux for some time now. They make a single Linux binary for both. As an aside Adobe are one of the companies that are at least talking about opening up some of their code which is another encouraging point for Linux and other free OSs. This comment on FSM which has the details: http://preview.tinyurl.com/65nroh .

There is a side issue of whether a free[dom] OS should include non-free applications but this is largely resolved by the emergence of distro's that are happy to include non-free binaries. Thus users who want to keep their desktop "free" can do so and those who want the comfort of familiar non-free applications and formats can have them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Now maybe....
by candrews_animal on Thu 7th Aug 2008 01:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Now maybe...."
candrews_animal Member since:
2008-08-07

These guys don't seem to have a problem with linux.

http://www.seapine.com/
http://moneydance.com/


disclaimer i coop at Seapine and work on testing compatibility with different linux distros with one of there products.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Now maybe....
by lemur2 on Thu 7th Aug 2008 03:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Now maybe...."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"...the software developers will begin to maybe actually target Linux? The developers I am referring to are the likes of Adobe, all the game companies, Intuit, etc. Linux is a sound OS, and is extremely capable of performing all of these tasks and more. Currently, depending on the distro, is just as easy to use as Windows or OS X.
IMO the main show-stopper problem here is that you basically cannot produce closed-source applications for Linux. "

Too bad that nobody told the developers of the closed-source commercial CAD applications on this list about that:

http://www.tech-edv.co.at/lunix/CADlinks.html

If only someone had told these people:
http://www.varicad.com/en/home/
... that they couldn't possibly make this:
http://www.varicad.com/en/home/products/description/
... for Linux
http://www.varicad.com/en/home/products/requirements/

... oh, wait.

Oh dear.

Sorry, forget it. Another OSNews poster's bad, I suppose.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Now maybe....
by Coral Snake on Thu 7th Aug 2008 04:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Now maybe...."
Coral Snake Member since:
2005-07-07

I would say wrong on that one. You can produce proprietary closesd source software for linux if you use libraries that have a static linking exception to their open source licenses like FLTK, wxWidgets x11/Universal (NOT GTK or MOTIF because these would have to be dynamically linked ONLY to satisfy the LGPL without the linking exception and therefore have "dependency hell" problems) and do not use the "dependency hell" creating dynamic link method of producing binary software.

If you app can give up some starting speed you can also use a Managed software system like Java to produce not just Linux but genuine cross platform software. (I use several closed source Java apps on my Linux box and am quite satisfied with them. So much so that I have started taking up programming in the Java language myself.)

Actually I think more speed for Java if it could be done could solve the whole computer monopoly problem just as Sun intended it to do by making closed or open software than can rin anywhere.

Edited 2008-08-07 05:07 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Now maybe....
by luzr on Thu 7th Aug 2008 08:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Now maybe...."
luzr Member since:
2005-11-20

I would say wrong on that one. You can produce proprietary closesd source software for linux if you use libraries that have a static linking exception to their open source licenses like FLTK, wxWidgets x11/Universal (NOT GTK or MOTIF because these would have to be dynamically linked ONLY to satisfy the LGPL without the linking exception and therefore have "dependency hell" problems) and do not use the "dependency hell" creating dynamic link method of producing binary software.


Well, I guess this supports my point: If you need a good integration, you need GTK - and that one is possible as .so only....

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Now maybe....
by ichi on Thu 7th Aug 2008 08:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Now maybe...."
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Well, I guess this supports my point: If you need a good integration, you need GTK - and that one is possible as .so only....


Just use Qt with the license that fits your proyect better.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Now maybe....
by gilboa on Thu 7th Aug 2008 12:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Now maybe...."
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

Wrong.
This workstation (being used to type this message) has the following binary modules/software.

VMWare server 1.0.6.
Google earth.
Quake 3.
Quake 4.
ETQW.
LGP X2.
LGP X3 (still in beta)
nVidia binary drivers.

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Now maybe.... closed code exists
by jabbotts on Thu 7th Aug 2008 16:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Now maybe...."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

There is a good number of closed source used on Linux platforms. Adobe's Flashplayer is offered under a non-OSS license. Many of the developers of free projects offer a proprietary version or proprietary enhancements as there business service. Maemo Linux still includes closed source battery and network related code. Ndiswrapper is still required to make closed source Windows drivers work when no native kernel module is available. There is nothing in the GPL that prohibits using closed source in relation to an FOSS offering.

While there is a minority only concerned with liense costs, the majority of users simply need to see value in the software that justifies it's license cost versus competitive offerings.

I'd happily pay 60$ for a game provided the developers wrote a *nix native game engine and installer.

I think the other posts pointing out that developers can not see accurate user counts for the various platforms is closest to the truth though. Windows and osX have the benefit of established financial distribution channels and inflated figures due to counting every license moved weather it's wanted or even used in the end. There is no way to accurately count the number of different distributions in use.

I alone have four distributions across three boxes of hardware plus five or six virtual machines. I've even a few Windows licenses of various versions in the OS collection. The two osX rigs run on there own hardware so that puts me up by two OS licenses again. If I, as just one user, am an indication then the marketing figures are completely usless when measuring anything but balance sheet tallies.

Reply Score: 2

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"I'd happily pay 60$ for a game provided the developers wrote a *nix native game engine and installer."


That may be, but a company called Loki Software (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loki_Software ) existed a few years ago, who had license to port lots of Windows games to Linux, but they went out of business because they found that there's no viable games market on Linux. Why? Because a.) lots of Linux users refused to pay for software in general, so wouldn't by the games, and b) other Linux users refused to buy the games unless Loki open sourced the code (and the extremists even demanded that Loki GPL the code).

Linux users like you, that were willing to pay for closed-source games, were too few in number to provide a viable market.

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

You keep repeating that same myth; does that make it true? There are extremists in every fan camp and they tend to be the louder heard minority.

It also seems there is a company doing game compatability by subscription for Windows games on Linux platforms; why is it not out of business yet with all those zealots refusing to pay for software or service?

Also, how long ago was this? Even two years ago the market was completely different. How was support for 3D gpu at the time compared to now? What visibility did Loki give it's games? What other variables are involved?

One example is not indicative of the whole market. I can see the zealot rebellion screaming for puriton games and source. I don't think it's nearly as big a profit stiffling group as it's made out to be though. Even now, you have Gnusense, Debian pure, Ubuntu pure and then you have hte majority of people happily running nVidia kernel mods from non-free repositories.

Reply Score: 2

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Loki was a really good company and everyone knew about them. They would port really good year or two old games and sell them for cheap.They founded OpenAL and supported SDL. I personally bought Sim City 3000 and Civilization: Call to Power from them.

People were saying the same thing back then about "If they would just port product x, I would buy it", but every venture into the linux game market has been a commercial failure, even when it is done as conservatively as Loki did.

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Boo! I know some other ventures that have failed due to the companies aproach but don't know Loki well enough in that regard. Games where not a consideration for me on *nix at that time.

It's sad to see such a good gaming platform ignored.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

but they went out of business because they found that there's no viable games market on Linux.

lots of Linux users refused to pay for software in general, so wouldn't by the games


Good thing Windows users are so happy about paying for games otherwise there might be a big piracy problem that could drive companies out of business. Oh wait.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Now maybe....
by darknexus on Wed 6th Aug 2008 19:23 UTC in reply to "Now maybe...."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

...the software developers will begin to maybe actually target Linux? The developers I am referring to are the likes of Adobe, all the game companies, Intuit, etc. Linux is a sound OS, and is extremely capable of performing all of these tasks and more. Currently, depending on the distro, is just as easy to use as Windows or OS X. The only problem being ISV's who for whatever reason do not want to port software they develop to Linux.

Of course, this is all IMO, and subject to being totally off and wrong.

The problem with targeting "Linux" is that Linux has very few consistent standards. Each distro is different, with slight (or not so slight) variations in core libraries, tool chains, kernel versions and patches, and filesystem layouts. These differences tend to be enough to break binary applications, forcing the ISVs either to maintain binaries for several of the most popular Linux distros or to focus on just one of them. The LSB has been trying to get a handle on this for years, but very few distros actually care what the LSB says. Combine this inconsistent platform with how little actual market share it has, and a lot of ISVs simply wouldn't make a decent dollar out of developing and maintaining Linux versions of their apps. On top of this, a lot of Linux users won't install any proprietary software since it's "against freedom." This is why I believe that until we see some major changes in the foss community (both developers and users) many third party vendors will simply not bother with Linux.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Now maybe.... - Adobe tried
by jabbotts on Thu 7th Aug 2008 16:38 UTC in reply to "Now maybe...."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I hear Adobe produced a Photoshop for Linux, had no sales and claimed it a failure because Foss loving computer hippies won't pay for software.

What they fail to mention is that they charged the same 700$ license fee for the Linux based Photoshop that they charge for the Windows build. The difference between existing competitive products and Photoshop did not warrant the difference in costs. Photoshop did not provide 700$ worth of advantages to justify the license cost.

Heck, I'd be happy if they'd blood recompile Flash Player for 64bit. They have a 32bit source tree to run on top of the Linux kernel, all they have to do is recompile against the 64bit libraries and ship the damn thing. Instead, I have to get out the duct tape and hack the 32bit Flash player into my 64bit Firefox and OS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Now maybe.... - Adobe tried
by MollyC on Fri 8th Aug 2008 03:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Now maybe.... - Adobe tried"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"What they fail to mention is that they charged the same 700$ license fee for the Linux based Photoshop that they charge for the Windows build. The difference between existing competitive products and Photoshop did not warrant the difference in costs. Photoshop did not provide 700$ worth of advantages to justify the license cost."


To be more concrete, Photoshop isn't 700 dollars better than GIMP, right? Yet 700-dollar Photoshop IS a viable product on Windows and Mac, and Adobe makes hundreds of millions of dollars on those platforms, despite there being free-as-in-beer alternatives on Windows and Mac. If Linux, unlike Windows and Mac, isn't fertile ground on which Adobe can make money, at least enough to justify the porting cost and make a decent profit, then why bother?

And that goes for lots of commercial apps for which Linux simply does not provide a viable business platform for selling closed-source software.
A. There are orders of magnitude fewer Linux users than Windows and Mac, so the Linux market is already small to begin with == Strike 1!
B. A huge percentage of the Linux users that do exist refuse to pay for software == Strike 2!
C. A huge percentage of Linux users refuse to use closed-source software == Strike 3!

The absolute number of A) Linux users that are willing to B) pay for C) closed-source software is tiny compared to the absolute number of Windows and Mac users that are willing to pay for closed-source software.

Edited 2008-08-08 03:48 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

[q]A huge percentage of the Linux users that do exist refuse to pay for software == Strike 2![q/]

This is the same for Windows. Seriously, how large percentage of the people with Photoshop installed did NOT warez it?

Reply Score: 3

Microsoft-free PC hurdles
by Clinton on Wed 6th Aug 2008 17:30 UTC
Clinton
Member since:
2005-07-05

The only hurdles I can see with offering a Microsoft-free PC all have to do with either the availability of 3rd party software like Quickbooks, Photoshop, and so on, or interacting with other computers and people who use these apps, or simply habits. Mostly, I see human hurdles and not anything that indicates something wrong with Linux.

Regarding the last item, habits...

I installed Linux for a guy recently. I thought it would be great for him since all he uses are open source applications anyway.

He used the machine for three months, but finally had me come over and put Windows back on it because he couldn't get the EXE of Pidgin to install. I once again showed him Synaptic, but to him, installations had to be done via EXE files. Now, back on his Windows machine, he's using Pidgin, OpenOffice, Gimp, etc. Weird, isn't it? Nonetheless, it is a factor.

Edited 2008-08-06 17:30 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Microsoft-free PC hurdles
by Kroc on Wed 6th Aug 2008 18:06 UTC in reply to "Microsoft-free PC hurdles"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

The only home users who use photoshop, are because they pirated it, their friend pirated, or so on.

Home users do not *require* photoshop. If you do require commercial software, such that no alternative is possible, because you rely upon features you are aware of, or are tied to the *file format*, then you are already using the OS you have *chosen* to use.

The idea that Photoshop is somehow required in order for Linux to breach the desktop market is asinine.

Edited 2008-08-06 18:06 UTC

Reply Score: 11

RE[2]: Microsoft-free PC hurdles
by leech on Wed 6th Aug 2008 21:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft-free PC hurdles"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

That's not entirely true, I knew one guy who actually bought Photoshop for home use.

Then again the guy was unmarried, in his late 40's and lived with his parents. He also made his own tapestries from the creation of his own yarn on up.....

He also purchased Winzip.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Microsoft-free PC hurdles
by gilboa on Thu 7th Aug 2008 12:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Microsoft-free PC hurdles"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

Hey...!

I'm married, don't live with my parents, and yet, back when I was a Windows users (Win2K), I bought a WinZip license.

Oh... and a number of my friends have a perfectly legal photoshop license. (Believe it or not, some of them have children of their own, thank you)

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Microsoft-free PC hurdles
by Clinton on Thu 7th Aug 2008 06:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft-free PC hurdles"
Clinton Member since:
2005-07-05

The idea that Photoshop is somehow required in order for Linux to breach the desktop market is asinine.


Maybe you'd like to read my post again before you get into a huff. I never said that Photoshop was required in order for Linux to breach the desktop market. I don't personally think it is. I said that 3rd party apps were one of the reasons; and that is 100% true.

Also, I am a home user and I've owned legal licenses for Photoshop and Illustrator since the early 90s. I disagree that "home" users don't need Photoshop. I use it all the time. Nonetheless, I primarily use Linux (Debian) and think it is the best OS available today. I just switch to OS X when I want to do graphics work.

Edited 2008-08-07 06:11 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Microsoft-free PC hurdles
by Kroc on Thu 7th Aug 2008 08:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Microsoft-free PC hurdles"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Sorry, my post was not in direct reply to yours (to which I agree to); I was just tagging onto a particular issue that rags me.

I'm not saying that people at home shouldn't be allowed to buy photoshop! They can buy what they want, but people cannot say that Linux on the desktop is a waste of time just because Adobe don't support it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Microsoft-free PC hurdles
by porcel on Thu 7th Aug 2008 16:40 UTC in reply to "Microsoft-free PC hurdles"
porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

Well, you clearly did a disservice to him by not explaining the basics of the system he was receiving.

If you did not even bother to explain software installation to him, as easy as it is now, in any mainstream linux distro, then what could you expect the poor sod to do?

People need a little hand-holding before they are ready to run.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Microsoft-free PC hurdles
by jabbotts on Thu 7th Aug 2008 17:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft-free PC hurdles"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"I once again showed him Synaptic, "

I get the impression that he/she did give the new user some basic training.

For me, this same issue came up with osX. After growing up on Windows systems and a few less years of various Linux based OS; just uncompressing an object and copying it to the programs menu seemed far too easy. My existing habbit was not that only setup.exe can install but that installation had to be more complicated than dragging the program from a zip file to the start menu.

Reply Score: 2

They're Losing Focus
by rrife on Wed 6th Aug 2008 20:14 UTC
rrife
Member since:
2006-12-12

They're losing focus of what their company is about....if their goal is to only provide a Microsoft-Free PC, then they're going to fail as a company. Why not focus on providing a hardware/software solution that their customers need and not worry about who provides the software???

Reply Score: 1

RE: They're Losing Focus
by _txf_ on Wed 6th Aug 2008 20:43 UTC in reply to "They're Losing Focus"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

erm...you just said providing hardware/software solution that their customers need.

Then you say don't worry about providing software. Surely that is just providing hardware then?

They obviously need to care what software they are providing in order to give the best possible service to their customers.

Reply Score: 2

v problem with desktop linux
by Kishe on Wed 6th Aug 2008 21:51 UTC
RE: problem with desktop linux
by wannabe geek on Thu 7th Aug 2008 01:15 UTC in reply to "problem with desktop linux"
wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

Commercial software developers are afraid of FSF.

They're afraid that if they make closed source software for Linux, FSF will sue them.


Yeah, Adobe and Google must be sh*ing their pants.

Reply Score: 2

RE: problem with desktop linux
by lemur2 on Thu 7th Aug 2008 03:49 UTC in reply to "problem with desktop linux"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Commercial software developers are afraid of FSF. They're afraid that if they make closed source software for Linux, FSF will sue them.


There is nothing to sue over. You can use Linux in any way you want to, including making a closed-source application for it.

Fill your boots. Go right ahead.

You are perhaps getting a little confused (easy to do considering the extremely poor media coverage) about four lawsuits that SFLC did actually undertake of recent times, all of which were settled amicably out of court in favour of the SFLC.

To try to make it a bit clearer for you let me put it this way ... all four cases were the result of some companies making a commercial product FROM open source code.

Get it? They were not actually writing their own code ... they were taking code from an open source project and selling it. That was where the legal problem arose for them ... they are not licensed to do that.

If they had in fact been making their own code into a commercial application FOR Linux ... no problem whatsoever. Write your own code ... it is yours. Do with it what you want. Simple. easy to understand. The inverse situation really is also extremely simple ... if you use someone else's code for your product ... you must abide by the terms of their license.

Edited 2008-08-07 03:51 UTC

Reply Score: 3

crimperman Member since:
2006-11-09

There is nothing to sue over. You can use Linux in any way you want to, including making a closed-source application for it.


I know what you are trying to say (and you are right) but the licencing for Linux has no bearing on the licencing for applications that run on it. It works the other way too. Windows is proprietary and yet free software is developed specifically for it (as opposed to platform independent). As for the FSF they can no more sue somebody creating a non-free application for Linux than Microsoft can sue somebody for making a free software product for Windows.

Reply Score: 1

no developers here
by TechGeek on Thu 7th Aug 2008 01:32 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Its quite apparent that there are no developers on this site from the number of FUD about apps I see. First, there is NO problem writing closed source software on Linux. Most if not all important libraries for basic system usage are LGPL'd. That means that you can call them from your application without having to GPL it. Thats why the license was written. As for widget sets, most apps have there own widget set for their internal widgets. The window frames and such are part of those LGPL'd libraries. How else do you think people like VMware, Nero, Cross Over Office and such exist? Plus, if you are writing software using qt, You can buy a commercial license for creating closed source apps using all of KDE's libraries for a few hundred bucks. Pretty cheap compared to what other will charge you. No tto mention that there is absolutely nothing wrong with writing an app as closed source and creating an open source gui front end to interface with it. The only thing stopping developers is lack of understanding.

Reply Score: 3

enough misinfo already
by pixel8r on Thu 7th Aug 2008 03:00 UTC
pixel8r
Member since:
2007-08-11

There appears to be a lot of misinformed people on this forum. It seems very few windows zealots know much about linux and open source. They are not familiar with an OS that takes leaps every year in usability and features, instead sprouting examples from years ago as the reason why Linux is unpopular.

I think I've already mentioned why Linux is still unpopular (in the first sentence).

I believe the ONLY reason why Linux is still not popular is purely that hardly anyone knows what it is, and what it can do. Those that use it are not normally good at promoting it to others, instead coming across as "fanboys" etc.

IT people who are skilled with windows often will continue with it, and defend it, until they become too frustrated with it, and like me, begin their linux journey.

But these people are NOT the majority of windows users. The majority of windows users are typically people who dont even know what windows is, and have never heard of Linux. These people dont make the decisions on what to use, so they will never change because change is difficult. They learnt how to use a "computer" once and therefore anything else is just too hard and "unnecessary".

Claiming Linux is too difficult to use is the most absurd thing I've heard. My parents have used it for years since I first set it up for them (much like someone at the computer shop would set up windows for their customers). If they were to switch to windows now they would be completely lost. Its not about windows, nor is it about Linux, its about learning something new.

Have a look at the success of Ubuntu. People are surprised by how easy it is to use, and that is the reason for its success. When Ubuntu disappears because users think its too hard to use, then try telling me Linux isn't ready for the desktop. Its been ready for mine for 10 years now. Everyone's "ready" is different...and Linux is still making progress and becoming "ready" for more people every year.

Reply Score: 1

RE: enough misinfo already
by OSGuy on Thu 7th Aug 2008 03:57 UTC in reply to "enough misinfo already"
OSGuy Member since:
2006-01-01

Linux is no longer hard to use anymore and it does the job as a desktop but it's not what it is supposed to be. My opinion? The major problem now is the behavior of the apps otherwise everything else is solved for you such as installing new programs and drivers is quite easy at least if you know which one to select but sometimes those lists are quite confusing. Another problem is the naming of the programs. I don't know one linux program that has a descent professional name. The casing is all lower case, hard to read/pronounce, some weird geeky meaning instead of something like: Linux NotePad, Linux File Manager (I think there is one?), Linux Web Explorer, Linux Media Player, Linux Mail Manager. Each of these should be one and only and should be available in all Linux distros. The only decent name that I know is Audacity and StarOffice + all of their GUI should be the same and behave in the same manner. There should be no flickering when you try to move a toolbar, resize the window and you should not be able to click on the back window when you have a modal dialog displayed on the screen. All user inputs on the back window should be completely ignored until the dialog is displayed. Spacing of the icons should be identical and nicely aligned with the text of some other button next to it. You should not occupy half of the screen size for two buttons and a text box etc...there are so many glitches like this. I can write a whole essay if I go glitch by glitch. Some people may think these things are not important but they are wrong.

P.S. I am looking forward to that QT patch that make things stop flickering when you resize a sidebar or anything else.

Edited 2008-08-07 04:02 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: enough misinfo already
by lemur2 on Thu 7th Aug 2008 04:18 UTC in reply to "RE: enough misinfo already"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Linux is no longer hard to use anymore and it does the job as a desktop but it's not what it is supposed to be. My opinion? The major problem now is the behavior of the apps otherwise everything else is solved for you such as installing new programs and drivers is quite easy at least if you know which one to select but sometimes those lists are quite confusing. Another problem is the naming of the programs. I don't know one linux program that has a descent professional name. The casing is all lower case, hard to read/pronounce, some weird geeky meaning instead of something like: Linux NotePad, Linux File Manager (I think there is one?), Linux Web Explorer, Linux Media Player, Linux Mail Manager. Each of these should be one and only and should be available in all Linux distros. The only decent name that I know is Audacity and StarOffice + all of their GUI should be the same and behave in the same manner.


Open you Linux distribution's package manager. Hit the "search" toolbar button. Type in "notepad". You will be presented with maybe three or four choices (they will not be named notepad, but that word will typically appear in their description). Click on each one in turn, in order to read a short description of what it is and what it can do. Choose the one that sounds the best for you ... or choose all of them if you like to try them out.

Select your choice(s) for installation, click "Apply" ... you are done. On your menus, new entries will appear. It will be under a sensible menu heading, typically something like this:

Menu => Utilities => Text Editor (Mousepad)

... and if you selected more than one, the other(s) will be similar ...

Menu => Utilities => Text Editor (Gedit)

Please note ... you didn't even have to know the application's name. All you would do in such a case is direct your searches at what you want the application to do:

Search for "graphics editor" not "photoshop".

Search for "spreadsheet" not "excel".

Search for "word processor" not "word" (although, as it happens in this case, a search for "word" will yield similar results).

There you go ... problem solved.

Let me guess ... you haven't actually run a recent Linux distribution, have you?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: enough misinfo already
by OSGuy on Thu 7th Aug 2008 04:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: enough misinfo already"
OSGuy Member since:
2006-01-01

Actually I have ;) I reckon Mandriva has the best chance out of them all. However their control center is very weird looking. The dialog boxes it displays and the whole GUI is/are huge. They need to rewrite it with the KDE libs and make it more consistant. I also think it needs to be icon driven like the control panel in XP. Also, changing the graphics driver and screen resolution should not be under hardware, it should be simply under "Display" and that would indicate everything, drivers, refresh rate, resolution but not wallpaper as that would be Desktop Properties etc.

Edited 2008-08-07 04:33 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: enough misinfo already
by ba1l on Thu 7th Aug 2008 12:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: enough misinfo already"
ba1l Member since:
2007-09-08

In other words "it's not like Windows".

Did it occur to you that Microsoft's way is not the only way, nor is it necessarily the best way?

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

The Drake tools keep me using Mandriva instead of moving to Debian; they are a fantastic collection of tools.

They may look a little funny in the GUI but most of those tools also have a text based interface for working with them outside of Xwindows.

There was a problem with my X a while back so I ran the drake tool from outside of Xwindows and let Mandriva fix the issues; which it did perfectly. I've also had to use the network config tool in text format.

I think the "it's not Windows" comment sums you up best though.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: enough misinfo already
by jabbotts on Thu 7th Aug 2008 17:34 UTC in reply to "RE: enough misinfo already"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"Write" is too cryptic a program name? I use it often in KDE to, well, write text documents.

By contrast:

"Excel" indicats math and spreadsheets instead of velocity tracking?

"Access" is a database not a security related system?

"Wii" is a pretty cryptic name, maybe "Wee Nintendo Video Game Console" would have been more aproapirate?

Reply Score: 3

Not convinced yet
by vdbergh on Thu 7th Aug 2008 05:15 UTC
vdbergh
Member since:
2006-01-31

My son who knows a lot about computers in general and Linux in particular just bought a run of the mill Dell laptop.

Installation of Ubuntu 8.04 was easy. However after reboot a few essential things did not work: the network card stopped working after a few minutes and sound was choppy. Googling a couple of hours revealed fixes that worked. For the network card: downloading a driver from the manufacturers website (a source tar ball) and rebuilding initrd(!). For the sound: adding an obscure configuration option to modprobe.conf (we will document these tweaks at http://www.linux-laptop.net/ ).

There are a few remaining non-urgent issues that can very likely be fixed in a similar way. And yes. The next version of Ubunty probably will require no tweaking at all on THIS laptop.

My point however is that while Linux runs great on most hardware the out of box experience is not there yet. And this is what counts for most users.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Not convinced yet
by lemur2 on Thu 7th Aug 2008 06:04 UTC in reply to "Not convinced yet"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

My son who knows a lot about computers in general and Linux in particular just bought a run of the mill Dell laptop. Installation of Ubuntu 8.04 was easy. However after reboot a few essential things did not work: the network card stopped working after a few minutes and sound was choppy. Googling a couple of hours revealed fixes that worked. For the network card: downloading a driver from the manufacturers website (a source tar ball) and rebuilding initrd(!). For the sound: adding an obscure configuration option to modprobe.conf (we will document these tweaks at http://www.linux-laptop.net/ ). There are a few remaining non-urgent issues that can very likely be fixed in a similar way. And yes. The next version of Ubunty probably will require no tweaking at all on THIS laptop. My point however is that while Linux runs great on most hardware the out of box experience is not there yet. And this is what counts for most users.


Just get a pre-installed Linux system. They are becoming available these days.

You would only buy a windows system as a pre-installed system, or a Mac as a pre-installed system ... just do the same for Linux and you will have no such trouble. That indeed does count for most users.

As a pre-installed system ... Linux is well and truly "there". It has been so for quite a few years, actually. Aren't you sorry that you missed it?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Not convinced yet
by Dryhte on Thu 7th Aug 2008 06:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Not convinced yet"
Dryhte Member since:
2008-02-05


You would only buy a windows system as a pre-installed system, or a Mac as a pre-installed system ... just do the same for Linux and you will have no such trouble. That indeed does count for most users.

As a pre-installed system ... Linux is well and truly "there". It has been so for quite a few years, actually. Aren't you sorry that you missed it?


That's at least not true for me, I tend to struggle with several linux distro's post-installation steps, so I'd seriously consider a pre-installed system, but I've never bought a pre-installed windows desktop pc (bought some windows laptops, though). I installed Windows countless times, and while I find it a pain to install the drivers every time, I've gotten used to it. I'd never have expected Linux to support my hardware out of the box (though it does so quite often), I just needed an easy way to install hardware drivers.

You've got to admit that when hardware isn't supported out of the box, it tends to be quite hard to do something about it (except distrohopping in the hopes of finding a distro that does include support for the hardware).

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Not convinced yet
by lemur2 on Thu 7th Aug 2008 11:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not convinced yet"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"
You would only buy a windows system as a pre-installed system, or a Mac as a pre-installed system ... just do the same for Linux and you will have no such trouble. That indeed does count for most users.

As a pre-installed system ... Linux is well and truly "there". It has been so for quite a few years, actually. Aren't you sorry that you missed it?


That's at least not true for me, I tend to struggle with several linux distro's post-installation steps, so I'd seriously consider a pre-installed system, but I've never bought a pre-installed windows desktop pc (bought some windows laptops, though). I installed Windows countless times, and while I find it a pain to install the drivers every time, I've gotten used to it. I'd never have expected Linux to support my hardware out of the box (though it does so quite often), I just needed an easy way to install hardware drivers.

You've got to admit that when hardware isn't supported out of the box, it tends to be quite hard to do something about it (except distrohopping in the hopes of finding a distro that does include support for the hardware).
"

You said it: "You've got to admit that when hardware isn't supported out of the box, it tends to be quite hard to do something about it".

That is correct.

The point that you miss out on is this: Linux supports more hardware out of the box than Windows does. A lot more.

Every single time I have EVER installed Windows for anyone, I have had to go hunting for additional drivers. I would ask them "where are the CDs that came in the box with your hardware"? and they would look at me blankly.

You often have to do the first searching on the web for Windows drivers in 640 x 480 graphics mode ... assuming you can even find out what the hardware is, and assuming that Windows had a driver for the ethernet on the motherboard that is to even let you on the net.

More often than not I will take a Knoppix liveCD and a USB key with me so that I can boot Knoppix, run 'lshw', write down what the hardware is, and search for Windows drivers and save them on the USB key before I even try to boot with the Windows install disk.

It is way, way easier that way.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Not convinced yet - preinstall options
by jabbotts on Thu 7th Aug 2008 17:43 UTC in reply to "Not convinced yet"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

With preinstalled systems, the vendor takes care of hardware compatability. My ideally, the hardware vendor should provide interface specs for there product so drivers can be produced by anyone.

I've heard people prefering Mandriva or PCLinuxOS over Ubuntu with the current versions. Ubuntu does not provide the same degree of "just works" networking support and hardware detection that Mandriva seems to offer with 2008.1. There have been a few posts along the lines of "I couldn't get XYZ workign under Ubuntu but it worked off the Mandriva liveCD perfectly."

You may find it worth a try to boot the 2008.1 liveCD just for a look.

Reply Score: 2

Game on x86
by REM2000 on Thu 7th Aug 2008 08:36 UTC
REM2000
Member since:
2006-07-25

Games on Linux is gonna be really hard, a lot of developers are in DirectX lock stock and barrel. If this wasn't bad enough Microsoft doesn't give two s**ts with Windows Gaming, they are pouring everything gaming related into their xbox platform.

id are a very forward thinking company with are in it purely for the games, it helps they have talent like carmack at the helm who with his success can do whatever he likes, i.e. continue to develop in an excellent and open technology such as OpenGL.

Currently even Mac's have a hard life with games, with crappy ports and lucklusture releases.

As for the state of linux when compared to windows we are defintely past the hacking stage. I can install ubuntu on a wide range of hardware, setup and configure all without having to go into the command line. Linux really needs a co-ordinated marketing push to get into peoples faces, word of mouth is solid but slow.

The eePC (inc other linux netbooks) and rising sales of Mac's show that people are not afraid of change. This is the most common argument with Vista, people don't like it because it's different. This is a load of crap, the majority doesn't care they adapt and use the device.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Game on x86
by lemur2 on Thu 7th Aug 2008 11:35 UTC in reply to "Game on x86"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Games on Linux is gonna be really hard, a lot of developers are in DirectX lock stock and barrel.


The Wine project already has a DirectX compatibility layer.

http://lxer.com/module/newswire/view/100891/index.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhOmL-1NCHw

Enjoy.

Reply Score: 2

Apple beat IBM to the punch
by MollyC on Thu 7th Aug 2008 09:39 UTC
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

As usual, IBM is late to the party. Apple has already achieved the "Micrsoft-free PC", and Apple's are used 10x as much as Linux PCs.

BTW, basing an entire initiative on "Microsoft-free" is lame, in the extreme. Linux advocates would be better off pushing Linux for what it is rather than what it is not. "It's not Microsoft" is only going to sway the already converted. IBM's just pissed that 90% of PCs are "IBM-free".

Reply Score: 2

RE: Apple beat IBM to the punch
by ichi on Thu 7th Aug 2008 10:29 UTC in reply to "Apple beat IBM to the punch"
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

BTW, basing an entire initiative on "Microsoft-free" is lame, in the extreme. Linux advocates would be better off pushing Linux for what it is rather than what it is not.


They aren't pushing Linux, they are pushing PCs without Microsoft software.

Linux just happen to be the best tool at hand, more so when IBM has already some experience with that OS.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Apple beat IBM to the punch
by MollyC on Fri 8th Aug 2008 03:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Apple beat IBM to the punch"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

But that's my point.
Why would I want a "Microsoft-free PC" to begin with? Because it's "Microsoft-free"? That's circular logic that won't convince anyone but Microsoft haters.

Secondly, if I do want a "Microsoft-free PC", why would I use IBM's offerings rather than Apple's?

Selling things based primarily on "Microsoft-free" makes no sense.

Reply Score: 3

ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

But that's my point.
Why would I want a "Microsoft-free PC" to begin with?


Maybe to stay clear from non interoperable technology and avoid lock-ins... it depends on your needs.

I think the point of a "Microsoft-free" PC is to push the idea of a software stack that completely replaces Microsoft technology.

Sure, you could go with Apple, but you can also pick IBM & Co. It's like, well, choice.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Apple beat IBM to the punch
by jabbotts on Thu 7th Aug 2008 17:47 UTC in reply to "Apple beat IBM to the punch"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I see a lot of MS Office for Mac installed. osX is a very nice BSD distribution though.

Reply Score: 2

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

BTW, basing an entire initiative on "Microsoft-free" is lame, in the extreme.


My guess is that they're trying to imitate the success Apple has had pandering to the "Anything But Microsoft" crowd with the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" ads.

Reply Score: 2

history is against MS
by unclefester on Thu 7th Aug 2008 10:05 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

In the entire history of computing only two companies have survived for over 40 years. These are HP and IBM. Neither started out as a computer company. In both cases they are highly diversified companies selling a massive range of hardware, software and services. In both cases they have had to totally restructure their businesses and have suffered massive financial losses.

MS, on the other hand, relies almost entirely on two products - Vista and Office. Both products are massively leveraged on each other. An single event such as the EU mandating that all documents use open formats would effectively spell disaster for MS in a matter of years. Even adoption rates of Linux in the order of 10-20% would be a disaster. Must have software such as Photoshop and Autocad would be ported breaking the current lock-in. MS has no alternate plan. Every attempt to broaden it's business base has been unsuccessful. Once the MS lock-in ends the monopoly is broken and the share price plummets creating further uncertainty.

If you think MS can't go broke consider the three biggest industries in the US prior to 1850 were slavery, hemp and whaling.

Reply Score: 4

RE: history is against MS
by lemur2 on Thu 7th Aug 2008 11:25 UTC in reply to "history is against MS"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Must have software such as Photoshop and Autocad would be ported breaking the current lock-in.


Neither of those is must-have software.

The upcoming version of GIMP, which includes GEGL, brings GIMP up to feature parity with Photoshop.

http://www.piksel.no/60
http://www.linux.com/articles/57833
http://www.gegl.org/

There is any amount of CAD software for Linux, take your pick:
http://www.tech-edv.co.at/lunix/CADlinks.html
http://www.roseindia.net/linux/linux-cad-software.shtml
http://www.freelists.org/webpage/cad-linux

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: history is against MS
by unclefester on Thu 7th Aug 2008 12:28 UTC in reply to "RE: history is against MS"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Professionals don't want to change to another product when they have spend years mastering Photoshop or AutoCAD. Why try and save a few hundred dollars when it costs you $10,000 due to lost productivity?

Reply Score: 2

Photoshop and Linux
by Janvl on Thu 7th Aug 2008 12:00 UTC
Janvl
Member since:
2007-02-20

We use Photoshop professionally among other software that is proprietary. If it would work on Linux we would switch immediately.
Why?
Linux does not get slower over time, no virusses, no trojans, webdeveloping on a linuxserver makes it easy to check what you are doing. Need software? Look at the repos, loads and loads for no fee at all, meaning that one can try it and if it works and brings money donate to the developers or buy service from the developers.
Using linux makes life easier, after you learn to know it a bit, I've done it since 5 years and wouldn't want to miss it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Photoshop and Linux
by lemur2 on Thu 7th Aug 2008 12:11 UTC in reply to "Photoshop and Linux"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

We use Photoshop professionally among other software that is proprietary. If it would work on Linux we would switch immediately.



http://luiscosio.com/how-to-adobe-photoshop-cs2-on-ubuntu-10-steps

http://wiki.winehq.org/AdobePhotoshop

http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2008/02/wine_offers_imp.html

Enjoy.

Edited 2008-08-07 12:13 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Linux...
by Novan_Leon on Mon 11th Aug 2008 16:14 UTC
Novan_Leon
Member since:
2005-12-07

Linux will never reach the mainstream home markets unless the Linux/Open Source community does two things:

1. Provide an easy, seamless and nearly lossless way to run Windows applications from within Linux (think: Parallels on Linux for Windows applications).
2. Allow the common idiot user to configure his ENTIRE system without EVER having to touch the command line or even know what a command line is.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Linux...
by irbis on Mon 11th Aug 2008 17:24 UTC in reply to "Linux..."
irbis Member since:
2005-07-08

Allow the common idiot user to configure his ENTIRE system without EVER having to touch the command line or even know what a command line is.

You have rather good points, ok, but the fact is, however, that the common user you call "the common idiot user" doesn't know how to configure his Windows PC either... I should know as I've spent countless hours helping to use and configure the windows PCs belonging to customers, colleagues, friends, or friends of friends, just because they didn't know how to configure or use those things themselves.

As an example, there was a friend that had a very unstable Windows 98 PC (and lacked the install CD) and after many frustrating hours trying to repair Win98 we ended up installing Ubuntu for him. He was rather happy with Ubuntu - although admittedly needed lots of help first as it was a completely new thing to him. Well, he bought a new PC later and uses Windows XP now, but he still asks my advice rather often when needing to do or configure something more difficult with it. So not so big a difference in that regards between Ubuntu Linux or MS Windows.

It is more a matter of getting used to something, at work, at school etc., and what you have got with the PC when you bought it, what you were thought in your computer classes etc.

Granted, some things may still be needlessly difficult in Linux environment - and MS Windows is quite good in its usability - but there are also many things where Linux distributions are easier to administer and use than a Windows PC. So it all depends, and both systems have their pros and cons, also in their usability.

I don't think that using commandline is an absolute necessity when configuring, for example, the newest Ubuntu? Although, I agree that using and knowing commandline can help a lot when configuring Linux PCs. But that is also due to the nature of Linux, its flexibility etc: you can configure it to do almost anything. The systems: Linux distros and MS Windows, are different and have a bit different purposes and goals.

Edited 2008-08-11 17:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2