Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 5th Oct 2008 21:21 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems The netbook craze is currently in full swing, with these small laptops being advertised everywhere (at least here in The Netherlands); in fact, you can already get netbooks with 3G from the mobile phone carriers at severely reduced prices (but with a one or two year contract, of course). Netbooks are also welcomed by the Linux community as the break they've been waiting for: many netbooks are available with Linux pre-installed. One of the more successful (and powerful) netbooks out there is MSI's Wind, which is also sold under different brand and model names by other companies. In an interview with LaptopMag, MSI's Director of US Sales Andy Tung, however, has some bad news for those that believe the netbook will be the foot in the door that the Linux desktop has been waiting for.
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Always go to a shop
by Adurbe on Sun 5th Oct 2008 22:22 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

I went to PC world to play with a advent 4211(msi wind) before making my decision, I dont understand how you can truly evaluate a laptop without poking the kyb and seeing how it 'feels'

i think too many people bought online without using it first and were then surprised it wasn't windows!

Reply Score: 5

RE: Always go to a shop
by lemur2 on Mon 6th Oct 2008 06:16 UTC in reply to "Always go to a shop"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I went to PC world to play with a advent 4211(msi wind) before making my decision, I dont understand how you can truly evaluate a laptop without poking the kyb and seeing how it 'feels'

i think too many people bought online without using it first and were then surprised it wasn't windows!


That would be the most common reason for a return, I would have thought.

"I bought this thing but it isn't exactly what I thought it was. Sorry, I just assumed it would be Windows".

What the MSI spokesman doesn't tell us is what the return rates actually are. If they aren't that high ... then it could still be the case that not many are returned for Linux but even fewer are returned for Windows (purely because the Windows version match the buyers expectations).

Finally, the MSI Linux version ships with SuSe doesn't it? This is probably the Linux distribution least adapted for use on netbooks.

The original EEEPCs and also the Acer aspire One machines were selling Linux well by including a specific UI that made them easy to use as netbooks.

Perhaps MSI could improve their Linux offering by going with something like this (tailored for use on netbooks) instead of SuSe:
http://www.ubuntu-eee.com/?module=moreinfo

Edited 2008-10-06 06:17 UTC

Reply Score: 5

v RE: Always go to a shop
by Stephen! on Mon 6th Oct 2008 10:10 UTC in reply to "Always go to a shop"
v Comment by shadoweva09
by shadoweva09 on Sun 5th Oct 2008 23:10 UTC
RE: Comment by shadoweva09
by bhuot on Sun 5th Oct 2008 23:35 UTC in reply to "Comment by shadoweva09"
bhuot Member since:
2008-09-18

If Windows/DOS is good enough, then Linux is a welcome upgrade and light years ahead.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Comment by shadoweva09
by shadoweva09 on Mon 6th Oct 2008 00:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by shadoweva09"
shadoweva09 Member since:
2008-03-10

Windows has been based on the NT kernel for 8 years, not DOS.

If you want open source operating systems to have a future, you as a community must be able to take an objective view of them and compare them to competitors. Until that happens, there is no chance of Linux ever gaining significant market share because of its shortcomings. The previous comment being buried is only proof that Linux is not ready because most of the community behind it cannot act rationally, or do things like admit weakness. If they had, the average user wouldn't have to put up with nearly as many annoyances because something would have been done about them.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by shadoweva09
by bhuot on Mon 6th Oct 2008 00:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by shadoweva09"
bhuot Member since:
2008-09-18

Your comment was pure FUD. I used Windows for 6 years and find Linux much easier to use. My views are based on my experience. There are legitimate criticisms of Linux and the Mac, but yours were stated so as to start a flame war. If you are giving criticism, then be constructive. btw: I use a Mac as my main machine.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by shadoweva09
by shadoweva09 on Mon 6th Oct 2008 01:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by shadoweva09"
shadoweva09 Member since:
2008-03-10

No, they were stated because I've done research into why I have to put up with annoyances on Linux, and come to the conclusion that open source for desktops needs a new kernel in order to ever be successful and I tried to convince people of that. Of course the community will always start a flame war if you criticize Linux for weaknesses to competitors; but it was the truth, sorry it hurts. (and this comment goes full circle into more flame wars because it also encourages the people who can't ever admit to Linux's weaknesses to start shouting at the top of their lungs so no hears the them, and the weaknesses are never dealt with. It's a perfectly rational comment, but it will get irrational responses.)

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Comment by shadoweva09
by bhuot on Mon 6th Oct 2008 01:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by shadoweva09"
bhuot Member since:
2008-09-18

Linux is a kernel, so replacing it would mean using another operating system. So, it doesn't make sense and that is probably why you were met with such resistance.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Comment by shadoweva09
by shadoweva09 on Mon 6th Oct 2008 02:17 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by shadoweva09"
shadoweva09 Member since:
2008-03-10

I specifically said to develop a new kernel/OS, not switch.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by shadoweva09
by TechGeek on Mon 6th Oct 2008 01:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by shadoweva09"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

And why exactly do you think that Linux needs a new kernel to be successful on the desktop? Seriously? Most current desktops have more cores and memory than the most powerful workstations a few years ago. I have far from uber gear and I am running quad core with 8 gigs of memory. I run Fedora 9 and I can run multiple video clips simultaneously without skipping, with audio mixed at the hardware level, and I have full 3D support. What exactly am I missing from the desktop experience?

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Comment by shadoweva09
by shadoweva09 on Mon 6th Oct 2008 02:21 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by shadoweva09"
shadoweva09 Member since:
2008-03-10

You can't solve every problem just by continually scaling up the equipment it's running on. Most of the problems I looked into can't ever be solved that way. And if You make a desktop OS it has to run well on the most common system of the day, a Pentiun 4 with 512 MB of RAM.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by shadoweva09
by leech on Mon 6th Oct 2008 02:59 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by shadoweva09"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

I think you should be saying that to the developers of Vista.

It crawls on 1gb of ram and a 2ghz Dothan (which is about equivalent to a 3.2ghz Pentium4)

It took 14+ hours to run the Windows Update. I say + because I didn't wait longer than that and ended up putting XP back on it.

The reason the OEMs have been putting Linux on the netbooks is because you can cut down Linux and customize the crap out of it so that it'll fit well on any hardware. The problem is that the OEMs aren't customizing it as much as they could.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Comment by shadoweva09
by TechGeek on Mon 6th Oct 2008 04:08 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by shadoweva09"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

I have been using Linux for sometime now. What I said about Fedora 9 holds true even on older systems. My old laptop running Fedora 8 was a P4 1.6 GHz with 1 Gig ram. You still haven't elaborated on what was wrong with the linux kernel. Linux scales well both down and up. Its used on many embedded devices and runs most of the top super computers. So why the need for a kernel switch?

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Comment by shadoweva09
by Alleister on Mon 6th Oct 2008 20:08 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by shadoweva09"
Alleister Member since:
2006-05-29

Well, could you then finally enlighten us with the results of your deep research on how the linux kernel prevents good video rendering? I find that quite unbelievable since video performance is actually a lot better on my ancient notebook running videos on linux.
I can view 720p without hickups on Ubuntu while the same videos have many framedrops/freezes on xp.

Reply Score: 2

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

I spend my days working on a kernel and I don't necessarily buy your theory that replacing the kernel is what will boost Linux's acceptability on the desktop/laptop/netbook. Frankly, the end user could care less about the specifics of the kernel as long as it meets the minimum bar of reliability and performance, which Linux does. It's all the other things, like X, management functionality, simple (and functional) control panels, etc which have a dearth of deep contributors that would take them quickly to mass-market acceptability.

If people really wanted to make Linux displace OS X or Windows on the desktop, they probably should put kernel work on pause and fix up (or rearchitect) various aspects of the Linux User Experience so that a typical person who's trying to get work done will be able to perform basic tasks (like setting up a common wireless connection or a projector/alternate monitor) in a logical manner that works more than 95% of the time.

Reply Score: 7

RE[4]: Comment by shadoweva09
by sbergman27 on Mon 6th Oct 2008 03:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by shadoweva09"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

If people really wanted to make Linux displace OS X or Windows on the desktop, they probably should...

I am highlighting this part of your post by quoting it, above, because it is often a presumed "given" that we tend to gloss over that, perhaps, we should not.

Reply Score: 4

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

There's a sizable contingent with that goal (it's easy to see from Ubuntu Bug #1 and from all the "I switched my grandma from Windows to Linux and she loves The Penguin" articles).

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by shadoweva09
by gman1223 on Tue 7th Oct 2008 03:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by shadoweva09"
gman1223 Member since:
2007-11-25

I spend my days working on a kernel and I don't necessarily buy your theory that replacing the kernel is what will boost Linux's acceptability on the desktop/laptop/netbook. Frankly, the end user could care less about the specifics of the kernel as long as it meets the minimum bar of reliability and performance, which Linux does.


I'll have to disagree with you there. I don't think that Linux (the kernel) meets the requirements for a decent desktop operating system. Some of the issues that I see are:

Drivers: The real issue here is the license model, hardware companies don't want to release an Open Driver, or their specs, and no, you saying they should won't magically make them do it, and it'll never happen 95% of the time. What's the next alternative? Closed Drivers? Sorry, that's illegal to include in the kernel, and iffy in Distro's, and the fact that Closed Drivers brake so much between releases of Linux doesn't make that option any better.

Dev Model: They don't focus on the Desktop: This can be argued either way, and be won either way too, but the main concentration on the current Linux Kernel seems to be for servers and super computers.

Hiding itself: Remember when Linus went on TV and told us that a kernel that a user never has to see is one that works? What happens when you upgrade your kernel? You risk breaking your system, the chances are that your custom drivers have to be rebuilt for it to work, and why isn't this being fixed? How can you consider it to be doing its job when it contradicts its creator?

I think the license, general focus of the devs and the community will just end up killing any chances that it (a Linux Distro) has in the desktop market. I'll be willing to place my money on FreeBSD, because we've already seen parts of it put into a much more popular OS (Mac OSX), and I'll be willing to bet that in the future, it will have its feet in much more than it has now.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Comment by shadoweva09
by SomeGuy on Mon 6th Oct 2008 04:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by shadoweva09"
SomeGuy Member since:
2006-03-20

the NT kernel is based on VMS. 1970ish technology, in other words. Its 35 year old technology, vs 40 year old technology for unix.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Comment by shadoweva09
by BluenoseJake on Mon 6th Oct 2008 11:11 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by shadoweva09"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

It's not based on vms, some of the design decisions of NT were modelled on VMS. They are 2 totally different things.

Edited 2008-10-06 11:11 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Comment by shadoweva09
by superstoned on Mon 6th Oct 2008 12:19 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by shadoweva09"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

Linux doesn't contain any code from 'unix' either. Anyway, I think a relevant quote would be: "Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly".

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by shadoweva09
by BluenoseJake on Mon 6th Oct 2008 12:38 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by shadoweva09"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

I'm noit sure the relevance, but ok...

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by shadoweva09
by tobyv on Mon 6th Oct 2008 17:54 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by shadoweva09"
tobyv Member since:
2008-08-25

Different, but heavily based on VMS concepts. David Cutler was the lead for both, and VMS kernel mode data structures were practically identical in early NT. The subsystems win32 etc were original, the underlying architecture wasn't.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by shadoweva09
by BluenoseJake on Mon 6th Oct 2008 21:49 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by shadoweva09"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Data structures are not the only criteria in comparing 2 kernels.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by shadoweva09
by jabbotts on Mon 6th Oct 2008 16:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by shadoweva09"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Admitting room for improvement is not at all a problem for many of us. The issue here is that your original post would be very accurate if we where discussing Linux five years ago but shows a gross lack of knowledge about the current distributions.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by shadoweva09
by Alleister on Mon 6th Oct 2008 12:37 UTC in reply to "Comment by shadoweva09"
Alleister Member since:
2006-05-29

Most of these Netbook Linux variants don't even expose the *possibility* of having a console. You would have to be an advanced Linux user to even get one. Dependencies are handled by the App installer.

Video support is great. It comes with most codecs you might encounter. Quite the opposite with Windows, which only comes with the damn Microsoft codecs that no one uses anyway, so every time for the first month you try to play a video you have to search and install yet another player that comes with the codec you need.

Please, if you don't know what you are talking about, keep your second hand opinions for yourself.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by shadoweva09
by jabbotts on Mon 6th Oct 2008 16:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by shadoweva09"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

You don't actually know anything about Linux do you.. Either that or you just prefer to give completely uneducated opinions.

Reply Score: 3

v ...
by Hiev on Sun 5th Oct 2008 23:50 UTC
Comment by bhuot
by bhuot on Mon 6th Oct 2008 00:04 UTC
bhuot
Member since:
2008-09-18

No, but I didn't come out saying that Linux was obsolete. Of course that is ok to put down Linux, but if you dare challenge anything about Windows, you get modded down.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by bhuot
by pixel8r on Mon 6th Oct 2008 02:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by bhuot"
pixel8r Member since:
2007-08-11

No, but I didn't come out saying that Linux was obsolete. Of course that is ok to put down Linux, but if you dare challenge anything about Windows, you get modded down.


So, are you simply complaining that people aren't agreeing with you then?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by bhuot
by bhuot on Mon 6th Oct 2008 03:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by bhuot"
bhuot Member since:
2008-09-18

"So, are you simply complaining that people aren't agreeing with you then?"

I am saying they are being inconsistent.

Edited 2008-10-06 03:42 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Return rates no surprise
by bosco_bearbank on Mon 6th Oct 2008 00:07 UTC
bosco_bearbank
Member since:
2005-10-12

I bought an Acer Aspire One (the Windows version, but I run Fedora on it most of the time) at Microcenter in the US. When I asked about returns, the tech I spoke with said that they were seeing more Linux machines returned than Windows machines - and it wasn't because of any hardware defects. Many people are used to Windows and don't want to make the effort to learn a totally new operating system. On the other hand, one sees many Linux newbies on the Aspire One Forum.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Return rates no surprise
by bhuot on Mon 6th Oct 2008 00:12 UTC in reply to "Return rates no surprise"
bhuot Member since:
2008-09-18

Now that is a legitimate criticism of Linux.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Return rates no surprise
by kaiwai on Mon 6th Oct 2008 01:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Return rates no surprise"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Now that is a legitimate criticism of Linux.


Even long time veterans have also pointed out that the quality of the Linux installation is definitely not up to scratch when compared to Windows XP. It is unfortunate that so many OEM's prefer to just throw the software onto the computer and hope for the best rather than making a concerted effort to create a unique experience.

Personally if it were me, I would have created a Linux based distribution where the GUI sat directly ontop of DirectFB then ontop of that built an easy to use stream line GUI using QT Extended Edition. It would be light weight and easy to use. The problem as far as I see is that people are trying to turn the netbook into a 'mini-computer' when what should be attempted is turn it into a basic stripped down device which does a small number of things well and doesn't attempt to do everything.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Return rates no surprise
by pixel8r on Mon 6th Oct 2008 02:45 UTC in reply to "Return rates no surprise"
pixel8r Member since:
2007-08-11

I bought an Acer Aspire One (the Windows version, but I run Fedora on it most of the time) at Microcenter in the US. When I asked about returns, the tech I spoke with said that they were seeing more Linux machines returned than Windows machines - and it wasn't because of any hardware defects. Many people are used to Windows and don't want to make the effort to learn a totally new operating system. On the other hand, one sees many Linux newbies on the Aspire One Forum.


This I can understand. I had some trouble selling my ASUS eeepc 701 (linux version). I had to be very specific with potential buyers that it did not run windows and in the end the person who bought it just wanted something for their kids to use the internet on. They had no idea how to use windows or linux so I figured it would be ideal for what they wanted plus a good learning tool should they wish to dig deeper. The price was certainly good too (much less than Retail).

As a side note, I've been using Linux for 6+ years, and still run it as my daily desktop on 2 PCs at home, but after a couple of months of using the linux eeepc, i hated it. I tried several different distros on it, and eventually went back to the default xandros. The 2nd benefit of the default xandros was that I could then sell the eeepc - which i did. I suspect winxp would've been just as painful on it, probably slower too.

These stats of linux returns being much higher simply tells me they are being sold without the purchasers knowing that they run linux. People should be encouraged to "try" linux at home via a livecd or something before deciding on a linux based laptop/netbook.

If people are simply buying them and then realising its not windows and taking them back, then these people are not looking for an alternative OS and therefore this is not a stat showing the failure of linux. More likely it just shows the failure of retailers to sell to the intended audience, choosing rather to sell as many items as possible than to make sure the product is right for the customer and vice versa.

Either way, I use linux simply because it works for me and its free. Its so much more convenient to do what I want with it and for me it seems much more responsive than windows. If linux does eventually die, then I'll be forced to switch, but until then i'm enjoying the ride. ;)

Edited 2008-10-06 02:51 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Simple fact of the matter ...
by MacTO on Mon 6th Oct 2008 00:07 UTC
MacTO
Member since:
2006-09-21

For a device like this, Linux vs. Windows makes very little difference at a functional level. Claims like Linux not being designed for video or the command-line popping up are pure nonsense: these machines don't have stellar video controllers to start with and you don't have to see a the command-line under Linux if you don't want to. The same goes for Mac OS X. The same goes for Windows.

But user perception does have an impact here. I've seen a heck of a lot of people who will just panic if anything looks different on their computer. The behaviour of most people around computers is analagous to the behaviour of a stray cat around people: they still distrust and fear them. You may be able to get a person to use a computer, just as you may be able to coax a stray cat onto your porch for food, but as soon as something changes their natural instinct is to run and hide.

So replacing IE with Firefox or Microsoft Office with OpenOffice is a bit of a non-starter because you have to restart rebuilding that user's familiarity and trust. Which, incidentally, is probably the biggest reason why users are clinging onto XP instead of upgrading to Vista; or why many still favour Office 2003 over Office 2007. It may sound funny since I'm saying this in the context of Microsoft, but they are clinging onto those old products because they trust them.

Reply Score: 14

RE: Simple fact of the matter ...
by Morin on Mon 6th Oct 2008 00:25 UTC in reply to "Simple fact of the matter ..."
Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

This raises the question again why Linux can't *look* like Windows. Of course, under the hood it's different, and any system-level stuff would be different... but somebody who is afraid of different looks would never get to that level.

Any attempt in that direction that I've seen so far stops at a certain degree. Some make the desktop look as in Windows. Even the attempts to reproduce the start menu are rare. Let alone anyone touching the applications, like giving Firefox an IE look-and-feel and slapping a blue "e" over it.

Note that I don't really like the idea of cloning Windows - I'd rather see Linux have a *better* UI - but if people want it Windows-like to switch, then so be it.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Simple fact of the matter ...
by kaiwai on Mon 6th Oct 2008 03:10 UTC in reply to "Simple fact of the matter ..."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

For a device like this, Linux vs. Windows makes very little difference at a functional level. Claims like Linux not being designed for video or the command-line popping up are pure nonsense: these machines don't have stellar video controllers to start with and you don't have to see a the command-line under Linux if you don't want to. The same goes for Mac OS X. The same goes for Windows.

But user perception does have an impact here. I've seen a heck of a lot of people who will just panic if anything looks different on their computer. The behaviour of most people around computers is analagous to the behaviour of a stray cat around people: they still distrust and fear them. You may be able to get a person to use a computer, just as you may be able to coax a stray cat onto your porch for food, but as soon as something changes their natural instinct is to run and hide.

So replacing IE with Firefox or Microsoft Office with OpenOffice is a bit of a non-starter because you have to restart rebuilding that user's familiarity and trust. Which, incidentally, is probably the biggest reason why users are clinging onto XP instead of upgrading to Vista; or why many still favour Office 2003 over Office 2007. It may sound funny since I'm saying this in the context of Microsoft, but they are clinging onto those old products because they trust them.


Although the above would have sounded like me 3 years ago - I disagree today. The reality is that Apple are growing a frantic pace. If people didn't like 'change' then no one would be considering moving to Mac.

I personally do not think that the opensource community copying Windows is the best solution; even Windows users themselves admit that the user experience isn't exactly up to scratch. For me, I'd sooner see the opensource world clone the Indigo Desktop from IRIX. Replace KDE and GNOME with a single desktop like Indigo.

Take a look at this, for example:

http://techpubs.sgi.com/library/dynaweb_docs/0620/SGI_Developer/boo...

Copy everything down to the letter, then spruce it up. I'm sure with some updated icons and nicer fonts, it would be a great desktop for the average user. Its completely graphical and designed from day one specifically for non-technical people. The great thing is, also, it would be good on netbooks due to the minimalist design which ensures that maximum screen space is left to the end user.

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Although the above would have sounded like me 3 years ago - I disagree today. The reality is that Apple are growing a frantic pace.

But weren't you saying the same thing about OpenSolaris 3 *months* ago? And Linux before that? Haiku in another three months, maybe? And then how about SkyOS as the one to rule them all?

Reply Score: 3

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Although the above would have sounded like me 3 years ago - I disagree today. The reality is that Apple are growing a frantic pace.
But weren't you saying the same thing about OpenSolaris 3 *months* ago? And Linux before that? Haiku in another three months, maybe? And then how about SkyOS as the one to rule them all?


I never made such a claim. I don't know who you are reading but I've never been a 'SkyOS' fanboy. Haiku would be great as an end users desktop but I never claimed it to be the be all and end all of operating systems which can replace everything. As for OpenSolaris - the only thing I ever advocated about that was countering the claims by some that "OpenSolaris is dead".

If you are going to bring up accusations against me - at least base them on facts rather than wishful thinking.

Edited 2008-10-06 04:22 UTC

Reply Score: 0

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I never made such a claim. I don't know who you are reading but I've never been a 'SkyOS' fanboy. Haiku would be great as an end users desktop but I never claimed it to be the be all and end all of operating systems which can replace everything. As for OpenSolaris - the only thing I ever advocated about that was countering the claims by some that "OpenSolaris is dead".

I'm basing my observations upon what you have posted on OSNews and in your blog. OpenSolaris was going to be your primary OS. At the time, you were trashing Linux because of some problem with your wireless that OpenSolaris supposedly solved. Then, after a while, OpenSolaris was dirt because it failed to live up to its promises. Now Apple is the cat's pajamas. My speculations about your relationships with Haiku and SkyOS are just that: Forward looking statements.

Edited 2008-10-06 04:39 UTC

Reply Score: 3

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm basing my observations upon what you have posted on OSNews and in your blog. OpenSolaris was going to be your primary OS. At the time, you were trashing Linux because of some problem with your wireless that OpenSolaris supposedly solved. Then, after a while, OpenSolaris was dirt because it failed to live up to its promises. Now Apple is the cat's pajamas. My speculations about your relationships with Haiku and SkyOS are just that: Forward looking statements.


Then I think you need to get what ever faculty you use to make observations needs fixing. I never said that they 'solved' my problems. I might have said that I 'hope' that things will get fixed, but never made a claim. I'm a dyed in the wool Mac user, and I make my assessment based on having owned a Mac for over 4-5 years. Its not 'future vision' it is based on 'now and past' vision.

As I said previously, the only statements i made was countering claims that OpenSolaris is dead based on comparisons with Linux. You're the one making claims based on nothing. The statements of wireless was Linux versus OpenSolaris. I never made such claims that it solved all of the problems.

As I pointed out previously, I was addressing a specific case - the UI. The question that was raised if the problems relating to Linux were related to the UI being unfamiliar. I pointed out that a different growth rate in Mac hasn't be dampened because it has a different UI. All I have simply pointed to is that the problem with Linux has nothing to do with an unfamiliar UI but a UI that isn't working for the end user.

Reply Score: 0

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

As I said previously, the only statements i made was countering claims that OpenSolaris is dead based on comparisons with Linux

That was 3 *weeks* ago, and not 3 *months* ago. Although, I must admit that I was incorrect in my previous post. It was actually 5 months ago that you were trashing Linux based upon your wireless card and not 3 months ago. It was 3 months ago that you were trashing OpenSolaris for not living up to its promises, and moving to Apple. Apologies for any confusion. It's sometimes hard to keep up.

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

That was 3 *weeks* ago, and not 3 *months* ago. Although, I must admit that I was incorrect in my previous post. It was actually 5 months ago that you were trashing Linux based upon your wireless card and not 3 months ago. It was 3 months ago that you were trashing OpenSolaris for not living up to its promises, and moving to Apple. Apologies for any confusion. It's sometimes hard to keep up.


Girls, girls, can you please take this bitchfight outside? Our kiwi friend here has a weblog where you guys can discuss this stuff.

Thank you.

Reply Score: 1

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Agreed. Kaiwai does jump around a lot and seems to go hot or cold on things pretty quickly. I share your observation.

Reply Score: 3

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Kaiwai: I am not sure what desktop window manager that is, but everything you see there can be done on Linux today. The problem is that what you see as perfection, someone else sees as old or outdated or cluttered. People only have one Windows desktop to criticize. They either like it or they don't. With Linux, you can build your desktop however you want and everyone has a different opinion of what is best. So no one agrees about anything except that their way is better.

Reply Score: 5

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Kaiwai: I am not sure what desktop window manager that is, but everything you see there can be done on Linux today. The problem is that what you see as perfection, someone else sees as old or outdated or cluttered. People only have one Windows desktop to criticize. They either like it or they don't. With Linux, you can build your desktop however you want and everyone has a different opinion of what is best. So no one agrees about anything except that their way is better.


I said what it is in the previous parapraph - its Indigo desktop.

If it can be done today on Linux - then why hasn't it been done? why are we meddling around with half-haked Windows clones rather than building on something that actually *WORKS* and was designed to work properly rather than something that is a adhoc piece meal approach to development.

What I want isn't necessarily a clone, but an acceptance that cloning Windows UI isn't the panacea that will address all of lifes problems.

Reply Score: 0

Indigo Magic Desktop
by Moulinneuf on Mon 6th Oct 2008 17:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Simple fact of the matter ..."
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

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

External links

Maxx Interactive Desktop (MID) MID4Linux

http://5dwm.org/maxxi/home.html

If Thom Holwerda had not imposed a secret GNU/linux distribution *Beta* blockades on OsNews , I would have submitted the link.

http://osnews.com/thread?331904

Reply Score: 1

fithisux Member since:
2006-01-22

4DWM + Motif are ideal for Netbooks. I agree with you.

Reply Score: 2

MacTO Member since:
2006-09-21

Although the above would have sounded like me 3 years ago - I disagree today. The reality is that Apple are growing a frantic pace. If people didn't like 'change' then no one would be considering moving to Mac.


The frantic growth of Mac OS is positively irrelevant at this point. The data that I've found suggests that the Macintosh user base has grown by a factor of three. That is phenomenal. But tripling the size of the Macintosh market means that the Windows market has shrunk by less than 10%. The fact that 10% of the market can adapt to change shouldn't be too surprising. What would surprise me is is 90% of the market adapted to change.

NOTE: those 20$ to 30% figures that I've seen around the web are pure nonsense in this case since they are based on revenues. The cheapest Mac is significantly more expensive than the cheapest PC. Even something like the integrated screen in the iMac will distort prices upwards in favour of Apple. It also says nothing of people who buy Macs and end up installing Windows once they decide that Mac OS X is not for them.

Reply Score: 4

Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> Although the above would have sounded like me 3 years ago - I
> disagree today. The reality is that Apple are growing a frantic pace. If
> people didn't like 'change' then no one would be considering moving to
> Mac.

I think you should be careful when talking about "people" in general. I seriously think that those who switch over to a Mac are not the same as those who are afraid of anything looking different. The former want a cool system that works and are willing to pay a certain price in terms of time to get used to a new system. The latter do not want to invest any time at all, and simply want what they are used to. (just to underline my point that my opinion differs from yours, 3 years ago, I'm counting myself to the former group).

The sad reality, however, is that Linux isn't viable for either group, nor is it viable for the "old Mac crowd": It does not look and feel like Windows. It does not look and feel like a Mac. It is not a system that "just works" and delivers a polished user experience. Although its internals aren't that bad per se, there seems to be nobody who really takes it to a place where it would fit any of the above-mentioned user types.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Simple fact of the matter ...
by irbis on Mon 6th Oct 2008 13:05 UTC in reply to "Simple fact of the matter ..."
irbis Member since:
2005-07-08

MS Windows clearly has more commercial apps available for it than Linux has, including proprietary hardware support and drivers. That is by far its biggest advantage. But many ordinary PC users do not actually have very demanding needs for such software: a basic text editor, email and a web browser is often all they need.

MS Windows may also still have a small advantage in usability over Linux-based distributions, from a newbie point of view, but the difference is not big, and in many respect Linux, like Ubuntu or SUSE, may be easier to use than MS Windows too.

Like already said, people are just more used to MS Windows. Actually many have no idea that there even exist completely different operating systems. Such people would find Mac OS X as "difficult" as Linux too, only because it is a bit different from MS Windows.

The basic computer teaching that people get, in schools etc, tends to be way too MS Windows centric everywhere too (isn't MS Office plus Internet Explorer usually all that people are taught about at basic computer classes?). Actually even many so called IT pros may often seem like complete IT invalids if they get in front of a computer running anything else than MS Windows. It is a MS-centric IT world...

Reply Score: 3

Dave_K Member since:
2005-11-16

But many ordinary PC users do not actually have very demanding needs for such software: a basic text editor, email and a web browser is often all they need.


I think you're underestimating how many ordinary users have pet Windows apps that they don't want to do without. Lots of people deal with MS Office files, use a particular photo editor, love software like iTunes, etc. Convincing them to use Linux alternatives would be very difficult.

When their favourite software doesn't run on their Linux Netbook, they're going to take it back and look for something else.

Like already said, people are just more used to MS Windows. Actually many have no idea that there even exist completely different operating systems. Such people would find Mac OS X as "difficult" as Linux too, only because it is a bit different from MS Windows.


My experience does not support this claim. I know plenty of normal Windows users who've picked up a Mac and had a very easy transition. Mac OS is simply much easier to get to grips with than any current version of Linux.

Ubuntu is the distro that often gets recommended for newbies, yet I've seen some pretty experienced Mac/Windows users struggle with it and give up.

Take installing Flash for example. In Windows or Mac OS X it's a matter of following on screen prompts in the browser. Do that in Ubuntu and the user ends up with a tar.gz file that needs to be dealt with from the CLI. Even if they try to follow the instructions, there's a good chance they'll end up making a mistake, like downloading the i386 version for their 64bit system, and fail to get it working anyway.

Not a problem for experienced users, but this kind of thing trips up new users all the time. I don't think Windows/Mac users are used to having to track down tutorials, or deal with things like adding repositories to a package manager, just to get that kind of thing working.

Of course Windows has it's quirks too. The fact that people are used to it, or know someone who's familiar with its issues, does give it a big advantage. To compete on an equal level, Linux really needs to be unambiguously easier to setup and use. I'd argue that Mac OS X achieves that, while Linux doesn't come close.

Reply Score: 4

irbis Member since:
2005-07-08

I think you're underestimating how many ordinary users have pet Windows apps that they don't want to do without.

Naturally there are many sorts of computer users, having all kinds of needs and skill levels. But I was talking about grandma-kind-of users (no offense to grandmas though, in many work places where I've worked, some of the most skillful employees in IT have been some of the oldest women working there) who do use and buy computers too.

I've met many computer users who know practically nothing about, say, image editing. Many computer users have enough trouble trying to figure what, for example, this "new thing" called Internet really is and how to use it. Believe me, I've been giving education and advice to such people in IT related basic tasks, and my home nation is supposed to be one of the most advanced in IT and having one of the highest education levels in the world.

An enlightening example: a customer, a middle-aged man, comes to me angrily inquiring why Google doesn't work on the public work stations available there. I find out that the problem is simply that the browser doesn't have a visual Google bookmark ready to click in its bookmarks toolbar - like what he is used to. I patiently explain to him that actually it is pretty easy to find Google despite that: just type the Google address to the browser address bar. He is thankful as I type the address for him, but I'm left wondering if he could do that all by himself even after that. And he obviously has used computers before too, so he isn't a total newbie. Total newbies have hard time understanding even things like what a computer mouse or a cursor is and how to use the keyboard...

To such users, it really makes no big difference whether the browser they need happens to be running on Linux or on MS Windows. But it is true that they would probably expect that they can just go and buy software from a shop and run it on their PC regardless of the operating system it requires. Concepts like operating systems and their different requirements are far out scifi to such computer users.

I know plenty of normal Windows users who've picked up a Mac and had a very easy transition. Mac OS is simply much easier to get to grips with than any current version of Linux.

Maybe. And often the same software is available for both Mac and MS Windows, which makes transition easier.

Take installing Flash for example. In Windows or Mac OS X it's a matter of following on screen prompts in the browser. Do that in Ubuntu and the user ends up with a tar.gz file that needs to be dealt with from the CLI. Even if they try to follow the instructions, there's a good chance they'll end up making a mistake, like downloading the i386 version for their 64bit system, and fail to get it working anyway.

Commandline?? Tar.gz file?? When have you tried Ubuntu? Ubuntu asks whether you want to enable restricted multimedia repositories. Flash, and lots of other multimedia-related things, are readily available in ubuntu-restricted-extras package from those repositories. Actually, if you need Flash, it is quite likely already installed on your Ubuntu after the basic installation and configuration routines are done. No need to go to the Adobe site and download anything.

Ubuntu also has very good guides in many languages explaining things like this if you needed to do that. Now how difficult is it to open your graphical software management front end, search for Flash, and do a few clicks with your mouse? Installing software from Ubuntu repositories is just different than what you usually do in the MS Windows world (downloading an exe file from some web site etc.). People used to the Ubuntu way, would probably find the MS Windows way more difficult and troublesome.

I don't think Windows users are used to having to track down tutorials.

Yeah, they don't - because they just consult - all the time - their closest computer competent friend in order to get help in some basic things that they themselves feel helpless with. I know, I've helped many MS Windows using people who were not total computer newbies: in basic tasks like image editing, to setup Skype or a scanner etc.

But - I would claim that - persons who use something like Adobe Photoshop fluently would be quite competent enough to easily learn to use Ubuntu Linux too. It is not about Ubuntu being too difficult. The real problem here is - however - that (for example) Adobe Photoshop is not available for Linux (equivalent GIMP or Krita would be) which makes the jump from MS Windows (or Mac OS X) to Linux feel too big for them - too many things are and feel simply different to them.

Edited 2008-10-06 21:14 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Dave_K Member since:
2005-11-16

Naturally there are many sorts of computer users, having all kinds of needs and skill levels. But I was talking about grandma-kind-of users


In my experience most users fall somewhere between that extreme and the knowledgeable "power user". Even users with very basic needs are often used to particular applications. I think they're generally the people least likely to want to re-learn something else.

For example, I know someone who just uses their computer for internet access and straight digital photo printing. She only uses the software supplied with the camera and hated the (IMO far superior) alternative I suggested.

If I setup a Linux system for her, I know she'd try sticking in the CD that came with her digital camera and would be frustrated when it didn't work. Even having to deal with different software to access her photos would be a deal-breaker for her. I know other people who'd feel the same way about their MP3 player's software.

Commandline?? Tar.gz file?? When have you tried Ubuntu? Ubuntu asks whether you want to enable restricted multimedia repositories. Flash, and lots of other multimedia-related things, are readily available in ubuntu-restricted-extras package from those repositories. Actually, if you need Flash, it is quite likely already installed on your Ubuntu after the basic installation and configuration routines are done. No need to go to the Adobe site and download anything.


I installed Kubuntu 8.04 quite recently to play around with KDE 4. Flash definitely did not work out of the box, it definitely did not appear in the standard repositories accessible through Adept Installer, there was nothing clearly indicating how to make it available. I know enough to search online and add the necessary repositories to access commercial software like Flash, Opera, etc. but that isn't true for a Linux newbie.

I think the average Mac/Windows user, new to Linux, is going to follow the prompts in their browser when they try to access something like YouTube and find that it isn't working. That's especially true if they've tried the graphical package manger and failed to find what they need. In Firefox they're directed to the tar.gz file on Adobe's site.

Actually, having a quick look online, I've struggled to find a tutorial for this that actually uses the GUI. All the ones I found direct the user to open a terminal and type in commands. Trivial stuff for an experienced user, but off-putting for some Windows/Mac users who've never even seen a CLI. In contrast, tutorials for Mac/Windows software never use the CLI unless it's absolutely necessary.

But - I would claim that - persons who use something like Adobe Photoshop fluently would be quite competent enough to easily learn to use Ubuntu Linux too.


I wouldn't make that assumption. I know some people who are fluent at using particular applications, accountants who work all day on Sage, Photoshop experts, digital musicians, etc. yet still struggle when it comes to configuring their system. I think quite a few would run back to Windows as soon as they had to touch the CLI (it may not be 100% necessary, but it's still the method used by most tutorials) and deal with the remaining usability quirks in Linux.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Actually, having a quick look online, I've struggled to find a tutorial for this that actually uses the GUI. All the ones I found direct the user to open a terminal and type in commands. Trivial stuff for an experienced user, but off-putting for some Windows/Mac users who've never even seen a CLI. In contrast, tutorials for Mac/Windows software never use the CLI unless it's absolutely necessary.


A few points here:

(1) You don't have to type in the commands. You can just wipe your mouse cursor over the text in the tutorial, and then middle-click in a terminal window, one line at a time. You don't even have to Ctrl-C for copy, and Ctrl-V for paste.

(2) Selecting text in one window and middle-clicking in another is far easier to actually perform than trying to follow instructions for a GUI. It takes far less clicking, for a start. Have you ever seen written-out instructions for manipulating a GUI? It takes pages and pages, with lots of screenshots and/or lots of text trying to describe exactly what to click on, in what order. If you have to click an icon or a toolbar button ... just try to describe which one you mean.

(3) Most of the instructions for Linux that you see in forums written out as commands to paste into a terminal actually have GUI equivalents. It turns out to be easier to document, easier to describe, and easier to follow to just select-then-middle-click the CLI command strings than it is to try to document, describe and perform the GUI equivalents.

I wouldn't make that assumption. I know some people who are fluent at using particular applications, accountants who work all day on Sage, Photoshop experts, digital musicians, etc. yet still struggle when it comes to configuring their system. I think quite a few would run back to Windows as soon as they had to touch the CLI (it may not be 100% necessary, but it's still the method used by most tutorials) and deal with the remaining usability quirks in Linux.


Clearly you haven't really tried it.

Here you go ... an example. In Linux, open a terminal window alongside your browser as you read this. The terminal will be available on your menus, probably somewhere under "System" or "Utilities". OK, with the terminal window opened, select the following line of text with your mouse:

echo "See, it really is quite easy, isn't it?"

OK, with that text still selected, middle-click anywhere in the terminal window. (If nothing happens, because you did not have the whole line selected, press enter).

Now type "exit" to close the terminal window, or use Ctrl-D as a shortcut.

Cheers.

Edited 2008-10-08 03:05 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Dave_K Member since:
2005-11-16

You don't have to type in the commands. You can just wipe your mouse cursor over the text in the tutorial, and then middle-click in a terminal window, one line at a time. You don't even have to Ctrl-C for copy, and Ctrl-V for paste.


A big problem with this is that users aren't trained to use the software by it.

A GUI is far more easily explorable and vastly more intuitive. If the commands they're pasting in don't do exactly what they want then they're stuck. With a GUI other options can be clearly displayed on screen, providing more flexibility without the confusion of a mass of different CLI commands.

An annotated screenshot of a preferences screen, describing all the options in a graphical application, can teach an average user more easily than pages of terminal commands.

Show someone how to search for and install software with the GUI frontend and they might well be able to do it themselves next time. Tell them to paste commands into a terminal window and a lot of users will have to go online and look for help each and every time.

It may be the quickest way of explaining how to get a specific task done, but I think it's best to avoid exposing normal users to the CLI. Unfortunately, unlike in Windows and Mac OS, that's virtually impossible with Linux.

Clearly you haven't really tried it.


I'm familiar and comfortable with the use of a CLI. Computer newbies, people who've only ever used Windows and Mac GUIs, definitely are not.

If you don't think that some new users are going to be scared off by a terminal window and text commands, then you can't have much experience dealing with them.

Reply Score: 2

christianhgross Member since:
2005-11-15

No there is a real serious issue. You buy the computer. You surf the Internet. You download a utility. You run the utility and it says, "sorry, but this can't be run since it is Linux."

Customer: "huh I thought this was Windows."

I have completely given up with Linux on the desktop. Heck OSX went from nothing and has factors more adoption than Linux. Linux on the desktop is DEAD...

On the server, well that is a completely different story... There I would argue that Windows is pretty braindead....

Reply Score: 1

Alleister Member since:
2006-05-29

You know, even if Linux had 0.5% market share, that is still a big amount of users. What do i care if my neighbor turns blue in fear if Linux is mentioned? Linux does everything that I want it to do and does it a lot better than Windows without annoying me with WGA, incompatibilities and all that for free instead of an ridicules price tag - Vista Ultimate retail costs $439 in EU... one would have to be an complete idiot to pay that load of money for such an insanely flawed product.

So even if Linux market share would be 0.1%... that is still enough people to get great support and enough developers. To me, Windows is dead on the desktop.

Reply Score: 3

they don't sell them anywhere
by stabbyjones on Mon 6th Oct 2008 00:14 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

netbooks i've seen here in aus aren't being sold with linux.

i was going to get an eee pc 10 inch to replace my 701 but everywhere i looked for the linux version i was told "yeah, i don't think we sell them."

after the initial shock of linux on netbooks everyone stopped caring and just went back to selling windows. once again australian retail is windows only.

in the end i just bought a dell e6400 and i'm done with netbooks.

Reply Score: 2

RE: they don't sell them anywhere
by lemur2 on Mon 6th Oct 2008 06:27 UTC in reply to "they don't sell them anywhere"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

netbooks i've seen here in aus aren't being sold with linux.

i was going to get an eee pc 10 inch to replace my 701 but everywhere i looked for the linux version i was told "yeah, i don't think we sell them."

after the initial shock of linux on netbooks everyone stopped caring and just went back to selling windows. once again australian retail is windows only.

in the end i just bought a dell e6400 and i'm done with netbooks.


What you say is disappointingly common ... but fortunately, not quite universal.

http://www.liliputing.com/2008/09/pioneer-dreambook-light-il3-now-a...

http://www.pioneercomputers.com.au/products/configure.asp?c1=3&c2=1...

You can have Ubuntu with the price of the machine, or any one of several Windows options installed at extra cost.

http://www.pioneercomputers.com.au/about/

Interesting to see that there is some indigenous innovation in electronics left in Australia, and that we don't really have to put up with what the big-name chain stores want to foist upon us.

Reply Score: 4

stabbyjones Member since:
2008-04-15

What you say is disappointingly common ... but fortunately, not quite universal.

http://www.liliputing.com/2008/09/pioneer-dreambook-light-il3-now-a...

http://www.pioneercomputers.com.au/products/configure.asp?c1=3&...

You can have Ubuntu with the price of the machine, or any one of several Windows options installed at extra cost.

http://www.pioneercomputers.com.au/about/

Interesting to see that there is some indigenous innovation in electronics left in Australia, and that we don't really have to put up with what the big-name chain stores want to foist upon us.


yes you can have ubuntu but i don't want ubuntu just as much as i want windows. i've seen those sites but my complaint was with retail. i think it's great to see those kind of options but it needs to be in jb hi-fi where john buys his next pc.

retail is the battleground not the web. i want to be able to buy a desktop with the latest release of debian, nothing pre-installed, just a dvd and bubble wrap.

Reply Score: 1

Victory
by CapEnt on Mon 6th Oct 2008 00:26 UTC
CapEnt
Member since:
2005-12-18

The fact of Linux being one of the options officially available by manufacturers for the consumer is already a victory, even if it doesn't enjoy the upper hand in terms of market share. Few year ago this would be unthinkable.

Reply Score: 11

Reasonable
by Ford Prefect on Mon 6th Oct 2008 00:31 UTC
Ford Prefect
Member since:
2006-01-16

I installed Linux on the old laptop of a friend, where Windows would not really work well. My installation was very simple, only a small amount of carefully chosen application with icons for them on the desktop. The first question he asked me was "Where's the Start menu?".

Most people who buy a slick Netbook don't have anyone giving them advice. I would not say they don't want to learn. I would rather say they lack any ressources for that. Ten years ago if you bought a computer with an OS on it, you got a manual with it. Even Windows came with a manual back then.

While today every UI is claimed "self explanatory", that is simple not true for the majority of the population today. Instead, most people just finally have learned Windows by now. Their knowledge is not the big picture, but rather specific cues and memory hooks they use to get their stuff done. Give them something slightly different, and they get frustrated. No manual, nobody to ask (don't assume the average customer would find online forums and even feel comfortable using them), what should they do other than returning?

Reply Score: 6

RE: Reasonable
by sbergman27 on Mon 6th Oct 2008 00:46 UTC in reply to "Reasonable"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

While today every UI is claimed "self explanatory", that is simple not true for the majority of the population today. Instead, most people just finally have learned Windows by now. Their knowledge is not the big picture, but rather specific cues and memory hooks they use to get their stuff done. Give them something slightly different, and they get frustrated.

May I suggest that the real solution is genetic engineering?

Reply Score: 5

Filling the gap
by dwave on Mon 6th Oct 2008 00:48 UTC
dwave
Member since:
2006-09-19

I don't think that Linux on Netbooks right now is anything more than filling the gap.

It's simply that Microsoft doesn't have anything. None of the current OSes from Redmond would scale down (or up in case of Wince) to fit the needs of a netbook or subnotebook. Just nasty old Windows XP. And It totally sucks on the Asus EEE PC. And no, Microsoft is not going to have anything else in the near and far future because their development cycle is fundamentally flawed, slow and ourageous expensive.

So Linux is definitely is here to stay and will eventually succeed. Like it already has already on countless devices in the embedded market. But it will more blend in with the rest of the device, making it an integral part.

Today, Linux on Netbooks like those EEE PCs is still a hack. It will get better with the Atom CPU and Moblin. Intel developed the Atom CPU with Linux in mind and started the Moblin initiative especially to help OEMs creating better Linux-based systems for their subnotebooks.

And the market is sooo ready for it. OEMs just have to make their systems better if they want to reduce those return rates - it's their fault. I don't like the Linux OSes that I currently see on netbooks at all and I guess Canonical will do a better job.

That of course will still not save the other problem, that netbooks are still overpriced crap without any real use.

Reply Score: 2

Not really news
by g2devi on Mon 6th Oct 2008 01:05 UTC
g2devi
Member since:
2005-07-09

People take time to get used to things. DOS was around for *years* before Windows was able to completely displace DOS. Even then, people still preferred using the DOS version of WordPerfect over MS Word. Although I hate it's user experience worse than XP, Vista isn't as bad as people say it is. People see difference without seeing any benefit for the difference.


People just aren't used to Linux yet and they don't see the benefits of Linux. All they see is senseless. If the benefits haven't been communicated, someone's not doing a good job. Give it time. It'll get better.

Reply Score: 3

Unfortunate
by UglyKidBill on Mon 6th Oct 2008 01:25 UTC
UglyKidBill
Member since:
2005-07-27

I had the chance to play around with one of these, and while on hardware/performance level it was great, I think (the pre-installed) SUSE really was making a dis-service here ;)

Honestly... the UI locked up a couple of times, configuiring the wireless card was far for comfortable, and it didn't feel particularly optimized for the screen size (my first experience with recent SUSE releases so I can't compare with the desktop version, but still...).

I slapped a random live distro, installed it just for the fun of it, and it felt better than the one bundled one... and it was gOS... not my favourite and not even a recent release ;)

As I said, it wasn 't making a good impresion for Lnux.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by bhuot
by bhuot on Mon 6th Oct 2008 01:39 UTC
bhuot
Member since:
2008-09-18

Also your concerns about dependencies and using command lines have nothing to do with the kernel. And there are many who are working on those problems like Gnome and like KDE, but they already know that can be improved and those are some of the main things they are working on. And I don't see why you can't have the same kernel that works on both servers and desktops - Apple does this and actually is a certified UNIX also.

Reply Score: 3

Bad distros
by bnolsen on Mon 6th Oct 2008 02:21 UTC
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

I haven't used the MSI wind, but I have used an EEE pretty extensively and have test driven an Aspire One. Honestly the distros on either of these were okay, not really great.

One problem is it seems the distro folks, especially the KDE/gnome guys got caught with the same problem microsoft has: scaling the GUI down to the netbook. It seems that now we're starting to see some new quality distros coming out that use the resources and real estate more effectively.

Someone can point me out wrong here, but it seems that distros that ship with these netbooks are the ones who've signed patent deals with the devil (MS).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Bad distros
by bosco_bearbank on Mon 6th Oct 2008 12:02 UTC in reply to "Bad distros"
bosco_bearbank Member since:
2005-10-12

[quote]Someone can point me out wrong here, but it seems that distros that ship with these netbooks are the ones who've signed patent deals with the devil (MS).[/quote]

The Aspire One uses Linpus Lite, which is a Fedora-based distro with a modified XFCE desktop. No obvious deal with the devil here.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Bad distros
by lemur2 on Mon 6th Oct 2008 12:58 UTC in reply to "Bad distros"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Someone can point me out wrong here, but it seems that distros that ship with these netbooks are the ones who've signed patent deals with the devil (MS).


This one:

http://products.liliputing.com/products/?id=208

is from a big name supplier and it runs a modified version of Ubuntu:

http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops/dell-inspiron-mini-9-linux....

http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops/dell-inspiron-mini-9-linux....

The Acer Aspire One also has Linpus Linux Lite, which is a derivative of Fedora 8, but they do seem to have butchered it a bit.

Anyway ... neither of those is an MS sellout.

Mandriva 2008.1 also is designed to work perfectly on an ASUS EEE PC ... but you will have to install it yourself and ditch the Xandros that the machine comes with.

Reply Score: 3

You're all missing the point...
by melkor on Mon 6th Oct 2008 03:41 UTC
melkor
Member since:
2006-12-16

You mention the return rates being high. Has that been the case with the Wind as well?
We have done a lot of studies on the return rates and haven’t really talked about it much until now. Our internal research has shown that the return of netbooks is higher than regular notebooks, but the main cause of that is Linux. People would love to pay $299 or $399 but they don’t know what they get until they open the box. They start playing around with Linux and start realizing that it’s not what they are used to. They don’t want to spend time to learn it so they bring it back to the store. The return rate is at least four times higher for Linux netbooks than Windows XP netbooks.


From the article itself...

...Returns of Linux based units is 4 times higher than Windows ones...

That tells me it's not a hardware fault, and what it says is that the average person isn't interested in Linux (something I've been saying for a while now).

People don't want to learn a new system, no matter how good it is. It's human nature. Remember, the saying "if the wheel ain't broke, don't fix it"? It's the same here - for the vast majority of people, Windows works, and works well and they're happy with it. They're never going to swap to Linux, no matter how good it is. This is why Apple's OS X, as good as it is, still only has a small percentage of the market.

There is some reason for people to migrate to Apple - a superb operating system that's easy to use and configure (just as easy as Windows, easier than Linux), and software integration is VERY good - iTunes, all the iApps and so forth. This does make a big difference to some people.

Linux is simply too fragmented, in both terms of develolpment, and promotion, to ever make a real dent in market penetration.

Dave

Reply Score: 3

Comment by moleskine
by moleskine on Mon 6th Oct 2008 04:27 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

I suspect that Linux is on netbooks only because at the time the makers were planning them (at least a year ago now and probably longer ago) WinXP was slated to be forcibly end-of-lifed in favour of Vista and there was no other MS operating system available with a chance of running well on the Atom chipset. So the netbookers turned to the first and cheapest available Linux distro they could find, and in most cases one that was local to them. Step forward on many machines the unfortunatey namely Linpus.

Putting Linux on netbooks was not about Linux or open source. It was all about saving money and getting to market on time. Now that Microsoft has finally "got" netbooks, the panic is over and we can expect to see the netbook makers gradually remove their Linux offerings, or most of them.

No one seems to be asking whether Linux is particularly suitable for netbooks in the hands of Joe Sixpack or whether netbooks are all they are claimed to be anyway. In the end, this is all about a) money, and b) how the Taiwanese do business. If it wasn't for Microsoft making such a hash of things, the big Taiwanese IT manufacturers would probably still be pretending never to have heard of Linux.

Reply Score: 5

I've bought wind recently.
by vtolkov on Mon 6th Oct 2008 04:59 UTC
vtolkov
Member since:
2006-07-26

Actually, XP was one of the reasons I've selected Wind. BTW, XP version has 120G hard drive. To be honest, the first reason was the price. 2K for regular mini notebook is too much, I do not want to spend as much for a travel computer, which is used rather occasionally. Second, I do not want Vista. Linux is Ok with me, but, in fact, it will not be as comfortable as XP. I am not MS devotee, I do not even use XP standard shell, I have a set of apps, which are selected for years, which are my habits now. And just few of them have Linux versions. What I will have to change my habits for? Only when I will have to do it anyway, for example, when I will have to choose between Linux and Vista, maybe then. But I wish I could install Os-X instead.

Reply Score: 3

It is a matter of time
by agrouf on Mon 6th Oct 2008 05:51 UTC
agrouf
Member since:
2006-11-17

People are not used to Linux. It works quite differently from Windows. This is not news. It will take time before people get used to it. More and more people get linux. Let me tell you the story of my girl friend. The first month of using linux she kept crying that it didn't work like Windows and why the f--k I didn't install Windows on the computer so she can use it. Now (about a year after), she doesn't even remember how she did on Windows. She is frustrated when she has to use Windows and she asked me to install it on her usb key so she can have her desktop everywhere. So some people are returning the MSI wind because they can't use linux but how many of them will learn it? In 5 years time, people will return the MSI because they can't use Windows and everybody will win, including MSI.

Reply Score: 2

RE: It is a matter of time
by sbergman27 on Mon 6th Oct 2008 06:02 UTC in reply to "It is a matter of time"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

She is frustrated when she has to use Windows and she asked me to install it on her usb key so she can have her desktop everywhere.

Am I the only one in the world afraid of carrying around and using a USB key Linux distro out of fear that anything that goes wrong afterward with any Windows box it's used on would be considered my fault?

Edited 2008-10-06 06:04 UTC

Reply Score: 4

used to...
by l3v1 on Mon 6th Oct 2008 06:35 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

start realizing that it's not what they are used to. They don't want to spend time


I wouldn't say that's surprising. I'd like to see exact figures though, since the number of returns because of linux - and not some other issue - would at least tell us how the linux version sells. The fact of returns in itself doesn't tell much.

Reply Score: 3

Avantgarde
by Odisej on Mon 6th Oct 2008 06:57 UTC
Odisej
Member since:
2006-05-11

I've read quite a few decent comments here and, surprisingly, almost all seem to be correct. What some of us are forgetting is that there rarely is only one reason for a certain fault. And linux has quite a few. Btw, I am using linux on both machines I own and it works great for me.

I installed it on some other machines with mixed results. Bottom line being that if you use it for basic computing it works great, if you use it for something else you need to spend time with it. And most people do not want to or are afraid todo so. Age doesn't matter. My aunt is almost 65 and she's using Ubuntu without problems. My relative is 30 and he doesn't use it as he cannot play games. My friend hates OpenOffice for she has had bad experience in the past, while she doesn't use it at her shop for the lack of printer drivers and the application they must use and does not work on linux. And so on and so on.

The bottom line being: linux is gaining ground but will not, unfortunately, explode into mainstream desktops in a short run. There are problems. And why would it? I am glad I have an option to use it. Makes me happy and excited. I try to participate and support people that put their knowledge into making many many wonderful applications.

Besides, what is also important, revolutions were never led by masses but by the avantgarde ... ;)

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Traumflug
by Traumflug on Mon 6th Oct 2008 08:37 UTC
Traumflug
Member since:
2008-05-22

For a desktop, registry entries as opposed to config files are 10x friendlier for the user. The mere existence of config files means that user may have to edit them by hand, while they would never have to with the competition. Apple avoids this since they have strict control of the hardware.

Neither registry entries nor config files are meant to be seen by the user, so the the only "user friendlyness" they feature is, they are invisible. This invisibility is the same for a Windows registry as for Linux config files as for Mac OS X's way to store settings. Neither is more or is less user friendly than the other.

Apple by no means avoids config files, they just put them into $HOME/Library/Preferences instead of into hidden files into $HOME directly. Additionally, Mac OS X has a preferred format for config files, making them a bit more like on Windows.

The big disadvantage of the Windwos Registry is, due to it's nature to be a big single file, it's hard to do maintenance on it. You can easily remove applications and, even if you use an uninstaller, often registry entries stay in place and worsen (slow down) other parts of the experience.

If you simply spread setting into application-specific files, removal is trivial and even if you don't, the operating system won't bother about their existence. This way, Linux and Mac OS X maintain a better user experience without asking for even a single interaction from that user.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Traumflug
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 6th Oct 2008 09:04 UTC in reply to "Comment by Traumflug"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Neither registry entries nor config files are meant to be seen by the user, so the the only "user friendlyness" they feature is, they are invisible.


Which shows the fundamental problem of ALL modern operating systems: instead of actually *shock gasp horror* FIXING the problem, let's just hide it! Cover it up! Add another layer!

A good system doesn't need to hide stuff from its users. If you need to hide something because it's ugly - replace it with something that's not ugly.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Traumflug
by agrouf on Mon 6th Oct 2008 09:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Traumflug"
agrouf Member since:
2006-11-17

Do you mean Windows' code should be fixed instead of hidden? I don't think grandma would like to read Windows' code.

Edited 2008-10-06 09:45 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Dell Are now in on the netbook act
by Adurbe on Mon 6th Oct 2008 10:09 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/lapt...

Dell are now offering ubuntu and xp on their netbooks (although the xp looks the sweeter deal....)

Reply Score: 2

Hold the horses
by porcel on Mon 6th Oct 2008 10:39 UTC
porcel
Member since:
2006-01-28

MSI is not yet selling a version preloaded with Linux anywhere. I have a rebadged MSI Wind, the Medion Akoya Mini and it came with windows xp.

I also do work for a large hardware chain and none of the msi wind clones are being offered with Linux

Now go back and re-read the article and you will notice that this guys is talking about hearsay about what he says it's happening with other netbooks.

They haven't even yet chosen a distribution and he says so himself in the article. Given that no MSI wind netbook with linux is yet on offer, this news posting is either deceptive or just shows plain incompetence in people posting and reposting things without actually bothering to read the entire interview.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hold the horses
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 6th Oct 2008 10:48 UTC in reply to "Hold the horses"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Given that no MSI wind netbook with linux is yet on offer, this news posting is either deceptive or just shows plain incompetence in people posting and reposting things without actually bothering to read the entire interview.


Don't talk nonsense. The MSI Wind IS available with Linux pre-loaded (SUSE Linux, as the OSNews article details). Just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

On top of that, how could a manager from MSI claim the return rates are four times as high for the Linux model if there wasn't a Linux model in the first place?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Hold the horses
by porcel on Mon 6th Oct 2008 11:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Hold the horses"
porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

Here's what the guy said:

They (retailers) were also only selling the only available product from ASUS, and sales were only okay, and they struggled with return rates, especially of Linux systems.

So he is talking about the alleged return rates of Asus systems, not his own. I would question his assertion based on the fact that ASUS does not provide easy access to those carefully guarded numbers.

Then, in the next paragraph he talks about market research they have done, but not about actual returned units or hard cold numbers on the U100, which is the system under discussion, since this is the one that is is being rebadged all over the place..

Interestingly enough, we struggled with the Linux version of the Wind U90. Are there plans to tailor a Linux OS for the Wind?


We plan to bring the Linux version to the U.S by the end of the year. But we are working on some of the issues with the SUSE Linux and even continue to explore other flavors of Linux. We have discussed Ubuntu with a Mac OS type of look and feel. We are talking to different suppliers to figure out the best user experience.

So they haven't even yet selected a linux distribution and all his claims are based on what he has heard in the "channel". He cannot have any returns on the MSI Wind U100 with linux, which is the laptop we are discussing, because MSI is not bringing it to market until the end of the year. How hard is that to
understand?

So, do go back and re-read the article before you accuse me of talking nonsense.

Of course, they would have also done their Linux integration work on the prior models and it seems that they have realized that they need to do just that, but I wasn't discussing those, I was discussing the wind u100 and all the rebadged clones.

Edited 2008-10-06 11:45 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Hold the horses
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 6th Oct 2008 12:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hold the horses"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You ARE talking nonsense, because you do NOT read properly. Read what is says:

"We plan to bring the Linux version to the U.S by the end of the year."


Just because the Linux version hasn't arrived to the US yet, doesn't mean it's not available elsewhere in the world. US != world.

This is what he REALLY says about the return rates of MSI netbooks - based on INTERNAL research.

"Our internal research has shown that the return of netbooks is higher than regular notebooks, but the main cause of that is Linux. People would love to pay $299 or $399 but they don't know what they get until they open the box. They start playing around with Linux and start realizing that it's not what they are used to. They don't want to spend time to learn it so they bring it back to the store. The return rate is at least four times higher for Linux netbooks than Windows XP netbooksM."


This is all IN THE ARTICLE. In plain sight.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Hold the horses
by B. Janssen on Tue 7th Oct 2008 08:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hold the horses"
B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

TFA is ambiguous, which should be expected when you interview a sales rep.

Anyway, here's one possible reading:
Mr. Tung says that ASUS struggled with the return rates of netbooks in the retail channel in general and esp. with regards to GNU/Linux versions. He alludes to the only available product from ASUS, which could mean at least two things, a) the only available netbook in general or b ) the only available netbook manufactured by ASUS. I assume a) because Mr. Tung alludes to growing pains, thus indicating an young market. There has only been one timeframe where ASUS was the single vendor offering only a single netbook product, namely the ASUS Eee PC 701: September 2007 to March 2008. From Sept. 2007 to Jan 2008 the Eee701 was only available with Xandros Linux preinstalled. This suggests some conclusions but none are drawn.

This still is rather specific compared with the next answer Mr. Tung gives.

Mr. Tung explains that internal research lead to the results that netbooks are returned more often than notebooks and that 80%+ of the returned netbooks were preinstalled with Linux, so MSI concludes that people don't like what they don't know and they don't know Linux.
Mr. Tung, however, does not offer a glimpse if he is talking about netbooks in general or only ASUS netbooks or only MSI netbooks here.
So it simply is not clear from his answer if he means that MSI consulted their internal records or if an internal team did some market research. Either way is possible, but Mr. Tung's previous answer, which mentions ASUS, suggests market research and a reference to the results of the research, but it still remains vague.

I would be very careful to make a definitive statement about what Mr. Tung said here, but different folks, different strokes I guess.

Reply Score: 4

Look at the positive side...
by -APT- on Mon 6th Oct 2008 11:34 UTC
-APT-
Member since:
2007-03-20

Yes there might be four times as many Linux versions being returned, but just how many people are keeping their Linux netbooks? Getting so many people using Linux is a success, yes it's a shame that there are more returns for the Linux version but it's nice to see progress being made.

I think the quality of the distribution needs to be taken into account though. The Aspire One distribution (Linpus Lite) comes with severely broken package management making it impossible to update. If more netbook providers gave more thought to the quality of the distribution then they might have a bit more success.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Look at the positive side...
by collinm on Tue 7th Oct 2008 08:05 UTC in reply to "Look at the positive side..."
collinm Member since:
2005-07-15

acer said 80% of their netbook sale was done with linux....

source linux is your friend

Reply Score: 3

Manufacturers -- Tailor your Distros!
by kadymae on Mon 6th Oct 2008 13:50 UTC
kadymae
Member since:
2005-08-02

AFAIK, the *nix on the MSI Wind is poorly tailored to the actual hardware on the machine, and that several features that should just work out of box simply don't -- and probably never will.

I'm probably going to get a Mini9 with Ubuntu ... but I know what that entails and what "gotchas" I'm going to run into. (Based on past experience with the 'buntus I've got a 50% percent chance of having to hit the command line to get Opera on there.)

A good friend of mine is an early adopter of the eeePC. She's had mixed results with getting software on there and working and she's extremely frustrated by patches or upgrades breaking things that she labored to get working. (Such as getting her iPod to talk to the device -- she's had to wipe and reinstall 6 times to get that working.)

This is a woman with an MS who is the head of Reference at a library -- so it's not like she doesn't know how to, y'know, hit the web and do research.

She's frustrated with trying to find the version of several programs that will work with the eeePC flavor of Linux. (Something XP and OSX users don't have to deal with.) Crossing her fingers and installing something created for the "base" Linux? Sometimes it doesn't work, sometimes it does, and sometimes it breaks something else.

She's tired of having to hit the command line to install things or make subtle adjustments to settings.

She's frustrated that despite months of trying and typing in *exactly* what the gurus on the various fora have told her to type and changing the settings on all machines the way she's been told to, she can't get it to see the drives on her WXP machines. (She has to sneakernet all file transfers.) I visited her house recently and got an OS X laptop to see her XP boxen in under 10 minutes. (But no dice on getting it to see the eeePC.)

She likes the machine and it's done 75% of what she wanted it to do right out of the box, it lives in her purse, and she's got no plans to put XP on it, but her repeated problems, especially with networking and music/iPod have left her with mixed feelings about Linux.

Reply Score: 2

I love it!
by PortResi on Mon 6th Oct 2008 14:16 UTC
PortResi
Member since:
2008-10-06

I am a Linux user and have been for quite some time. On the side, I make cash here-and-there repairing other operating systems and hardware.

If people want to load a crappy operating system onto their laptops, well, it's more money for me.

Reply Score: 1

Fringe user
by vegai on Mon 6th Oct 2008 14:38 UTC
vegai
Member since:
2005-12-25

Oh really? Well, perhaps I'm not the usual user, but my story went as such that I preordered an MSI Wind U100 with Linux, because it looked much nicer than any of the competition.

A month later I was told that the Linux version won't be available in Europe. This made me change my order to Acer Aspire One, which has been great.

So... thanks, MSI for sparing me from you.

Reply Score: 3

Relative needs absolute
by AdamW on Mon 6th Oct 2008 15:41 UTC
AdamW
Member since:
2005-07-06

Sorry if someone posted this already, but I didn't see it on a quick scan.

Relative numbers mean nothing without an absolute reference. All we know is that the return rate for Linux systems is 'four times higher' than the return rate for Windows ones.

Sure, that sounds bad. But what if the Windows return rate is 0.1%? Then the Linux return rate would be 0.4%. Sure, that's four times higher, but is it a significant difference? Nope.

Without the absolute numbers, "four times higher" could be very significant or not really a big deal at all. Can't tell.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Relative needs absolute
by fretinator on Mon 6th Oct 2008 15:51 UTC in reply to "Relative needs absolute"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

It could even be as simple as "we receive 4 Linux netbooks back for every Windows netbook that is returned". And, they might sell 4 Linux netbooks for every Windows netbook. We do not know. Things like this drive me crazy. It's either a sign of laziness, ignorance, or malice, none of which make me very happy. I am not saying there may not be an actual problem, just that it should be presented in a logical way that backs up the conclusion.

It all starts in grade school...

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Relative needs absolute
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 6th Oct 2008 15:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Relative needs absolute"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

It could even be as simple as "we receive 4 Linux netbooks back for every Windows netbook that is returned". And, they might sell 4 Linux netbooks for every Windows netbook


He says the return rate is four times as high - not that there are 4 times as many returned Linux netbooks.

Reply Score: 1

There is no..
by fithisux on Mon 6th Oct 2008 16:03 UTC
fithisux
Member since:
2006-01-22

MSI Wind at 10" with Linux here in Greece. Moreover Opensolaris is moving to support it.

Reply Score: 2

My retail experiance with netbooks
by shaunehunter on Tue 7th Oct 2008 00:41 UTC
shaunehunter
Member since:
2007-02-12

Sorry for the long post, but is complicated.

Until two weeks ago I was a salesman at a major retailer of computers and this seems pretty accurate.

Earlier this year I inquired to my sales manager about the reason we weren't selling the most popular computer in the world (the Asus eeepc that started the netbook fad. really it was the OLPC but that isn't retail.)

He looked into it and found that the reason was it had a high return rate. This was the same as when they looked at the lindows PC in 2003.

Since we started carrying the Acer One I have done around 100 presentations on it. Most were very impressed and quite a few bought them. Personally I had very few returns of ether version of the one (XP or Linpus).

My coworkers had a different experience. I sold them as you sell everything else, you use them, find there strengths and develop a presentation around it. Having no Linux experience they stressed that it didn't run windows and it would work with windows programs etc. They do this with Macs and push people to Windows for the same reasons (Apple recently helped this situation by funding a training program and special purchase.).

We sold the Linux models out repeatedly with high volume shipments until the XP model came out for $100 more. Talking to customers the reasons were usually:

a) The XP model had 120GB of storage and 1GB RAM vs. 8GB and 512MB in the Linpus model. For $100 seems like a better deal doesn't it?

b) The only way to get extra programs on it is to enable the advanced-settings-menu through the shell witch you type bash in the run box then start synaptic then enable and add extra Fedora repositories. Now how in the hell are you supposed to know that especially if you've never looked at Linux before (I had to find out in forum)? So you tell the customer yes but recommend to pay the techs to set it up for them.

c) mplayer impresses no one, more so as you need to download the restricted codecs using above method. Interesting note standard Linpus Linux Lite doesn't have these issues the Acer modifications done to simplify the UI did this.

d) It's not Windows XP . This is also the biggest reason Vista and Apple machines are returned as well in my experience.

I have seen customers go the other way, Swayed by the speed difference and easy set up (The XP version with make you cry and scream and jump up and down in frustration). Also when they realize they need to spend $100 on Office and Onecare (we had a sale normally $230) then $100 for installation because it has no optical drive. It doesn't seem like a dirt cheap computer anymore.

Bottom line people like XP because their used to it, they're "Computer Tech friend" (I hate those guys, it just because you read CPU and built a computer with a window in it you aren't a tech. I'm still in debt from school to call my self that. assholes) recommends it because he's used to it and the guy at the store is used to it.

Sorry for the long post, but is complicated.

P.S. dwave is right once vista is optimized for net books the linux ones may be gone. Buy one now and that may not happen.

Reply Score: 3

People don't care about the OS....
by Mage66 on Tue 7th Oct 2008 15:13 UTC
Mage66
Member since:
2005-07-11

At least not like OS Geeks do. People care about being able to walk into a store and buy games and applications for their computer that work.

If Linspire had kept to it's original concept, which was to make a Linux distribution that would run Windows Apps seamlessly, and look enough like Windows so to make the transition easy... People wouldn't care that it was Linux under the hood.

Someone, somewhere has to figure this out and make a Linux Distribution that matches this goal. Then, other Linux Distros can go their own way.

But, the influx of users, and money that selling millions of copies of a Faux Windows based on Linux would help all versions of Linux as development money to pay more programmers to attack all those nooks and crannies that the volunteer programmers just find boring and uninteresting would get handled.

I'm happy that Canonical has figured out that if Apple could make BSD incredibly user-friendly and slick, that they could replicate it with Linux.

All someone has to do, is to give up the Geek-Friendly thought process, and pick up a user-friendly thought process and develop a UI for Linux that makes it as easy to use as Windows or MacOS X. The one thing that is needed is a universal installer so that a user can just download a program installer and double click on it to install a program without worrying about all the Linux crud like dependencies and stuff.

Linux needs to standardize so such horrendus problems are eliminated. You will need to do this to make Linux acceptable to the masses.

It's a shame Linspire turned out to be a way for one person to rip off millions, instead of being an entry-level Linux. We really need one of those.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by atari05
by atari05 on Tue 7th Oct 2008 17:33 UTC
atari05
Member since:
2006-06-05

I think its both the user rushing their purchase and assuming windows is on it coupled with SUSE. Its been a long time since I used SUSE and I slapped 11/GNOME on my desktop last night. I found the interface to be clean but there is WAY too much "control panel" (and yast) clutter and their updater's are so unintuitive. I can quickly see it confusing the hell out of JoeIuseWindows.

And whats with the LONG list of repos they give you when you first go to online update. There is no description on why they are there just "Hey, here is a list, have fun".

Reply Score: 1