Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 9th Apr 2009 14:28 UTC, submitted by Moulinneuf
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, has struck back at claims made by Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc about Windows' success in netbooks compared to Linux. Most of the claims made by LeBlanc are refuted quite accurately by Canonical's Chris Kenyon in a blog post titled "Microsoft, FUD and the netbook market".
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Comment by jpobst
by jpobst on Thu 9th Apr 2009 14:54 UTC
jpobst
Member since:
2006-09-26

It's a shame he didn't refute the most important claim: "We’ve seen Windows share on these PCs in the U.S. go from under 10% of unit sales during the first half of 2008 to 96% as of February 2009."

It would have been nice for that to be proven untrue as well.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by jpobst
by kensai on Thu 9th Apr 2009 15:06 UTC in reply to "Comment by jpobst"
kensai Member since:
2005-12-27

It is most likely, given it is Microsoft, that they are counting pirated copies of Windows as part of their market share. So that gives them an extra boost. Also they are counting how many people buy those, not how many stayed with Windows, cause I know a lot of people wipe Windows and install Linux, I did in this laptop, even though is not a netbook.

Is interesting how the article pays attention on how Microsoft has had to cut down their windows license prices dramatically, this is in fact hurting Microsoft as a business, so even f they have 96% share of netbooks they had very little profit on that. And as a company with a big market share and not so big profit, is not a good sign for them.

I really like how Linux is giving Microsoft a hard time, and for the first time, is cutting prices of Windows for the consumers. As the article says, love or hat Ubuntu/Linux but it is helping you as a consumer.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Comment by jpobst
by jpobst on Thu 9th Apr 2009 15:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by jpobst"
jpobst Member since:
2006-09-26

It is most likely, given it is Microsoft, that they are counting pirated copies of Windows as part of their market share.

I doubt that, since the article says the data is from NPD Retail Tracking Service, which tracks sales data.

Also they are counting how many people buy those, not how many stayed with Windows

Given that netbooks are available in both Windows and Linux varieties, I find it hard to believe that a significant number of people would buy the Windows one over the Linux one so they could wipe it and put Linux on it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by jpobst
by ChrisIrwin on Thu 9th Apr 2009 15:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by jpobst"
ChrisIrwin Member since:
2008-12-09

Considering how sub-par many of the OEM linux implementations are, maybe interested Linux users buy whatever one is on sale at the time.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Comment by jpobst
by cyberpython on Thu 9th Apr 2009 15:36 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by jpobst"
cyberpython Member since:
2009-02-02

Considering how sub-par many of the OEM linux implementations are, maybe interested Linux users buy whatever one is on sale at the time.

+ MAJOR differences in hardware setups (for a slightly different price or - in rare cases of "special offers" - even for a smaller amount of money).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by jpobst
by pxa270 on Thu 9th Apr 2009 15:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by jpobst"
pxa270 Member since:
2006-01-08

Given that netbooks are available in both Windows and Linux varieties, I find it hard to believe that a significant number of people would buy the Windows one over the Linux one so they could wipe it and put Linux on it.

It is possible, since many recent models are sold with Windows only (often the Linux configurations, if any, are very hard to find, especially in retail stores).

That said, I've never been convinced by the argument that Linux could be undercounted due to people buying the Windows version to install Linux on their own(inevitably followed by some personal anecdotes). For all we know, there could be just as many people buying the Linux configs to install Windows on their own.

Edited 2009-04-09 15:25 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Comment by jpobst
by Calipso on Thu 9th Apr 2009 15:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by jpobst"
Calipso Member since:
2007-03-13

Given that netbooks are available in both Windows and Linux varieties, I find it hard to believe that a significant number of people would buy the Windows one over the Linux one so they could wipe it


I hear it's actually difficult for some to actually find the Linux versions of a particular netbook. Stores will only have the Windows version even though the manufacturer makes a Linux version as well. So the idea that people buy the Windows version and replace it with Linux, may not be so far fetched.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Comment by jpobst
by B12 Simon on Thu 9th Apr 2009 15:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by jpobst"
B12 Simon Member since:
2006-11-08

It depends what's available. For many linux fans the lack of "Windows tax" is a bonus, rather than a necessity (i.e. they'll live with the "Windows tax" and install linux over XP if their chosen netbook only comes with Windows).

Of course many people will also install XP over linux, meaning these statistics are pretty meaningless.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by jpobst
by falcon50 on Thu 9th Apr 2009 16:36 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by jpobst"
falcon50 Member since:
2009-04-09

Count one more for the install Linux over Windows. I was in the market for a laptop and got one for $300 US with Vista pre-installed. The apparent reason for the deal was that the graphics chip was too slow for Vista. Since I don't really care about fancy graphics and just needed a new laptop. I immediately installed Ubuntu and it works very well. The "Windows tax" got paid but Vista was not even booted up on it much less activated.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by jpobst
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 9th Apr 2009 16:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by jpobst"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Other way around here. Ditched Linux on my A1 in favour of Vista, and later on Windows 7.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Comment by jpobst
by jabbotts on Thu 9th Apr 2009 16:59 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by jpobst"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I hear Windows7 is a nice update. But, you baught the lower hardware shipping with a Linux distro on it so you could later swap the OS normally shipping with higher hardware specs?

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by jpobst
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:03 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by jpobst"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The Windows versions weren't available in this country at the time. Linux-only. Ran Linux for a while, but needed Windows for my university's WiFi (don't ask).

And, well, I prefer Windows 7 over anything Linux has to offer at the moment.

Edit: Mind, though, that I've replaced the SSD with a real hard drive, and upped the RAM from 512MB to 1.5GB.

Edited 2009-04-09 17:05 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Comment by jpobst
by czayas on Fri 10th Apr 2009 00:20 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by jpobst"
czayas Member since:
2009-04-09

Thom, which model of A1 are you talking about? The A110L (SSD) or A150L (HDD) ?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by jpobst
by darknexus on Thu 9th Apr 2009 15:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by jpobst"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Given that netbooks are available in both Windows and Linux varieties, I find it hard to believe that a significant number of people would buy the Windows one over the Linux one so they could wipe it and put Linux on it.

Uh, have you looked at the specs of most Linux netbooks versus their Windows counterparts lately? The Linux versions, when you can find them, typically have less built-in hardware and a small ssd rather than a standard hd, and typically these cheap ssds they use are dirt slow. Also, consider a netbook like the Asus EEE PC 1000HE. I'd dare to say that, right now, that's the best Atom-based netbook on the market and, of course, it only comes with Windows though it is as compatible with Linux as any other EEE model. Why would I settle for a lesser configuration when I could just buy the Windows one--at the same price, mind you--and install my preferred Linux on it? I'm not going to settle for lower quality hardware just so I can get a Linux netbook, especially seeing as I'll just end up replacing the supplied Linux in most cases anyway? If I'm going to reinstall, I might as well buy the model I really want and install the os I really want to use.

Reply Score: 8

RE[3]: Comment by jpobst
by earlycj5 on Thu 9th Apr 2009 16:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by jpobst"
earlycj5 Member since:
2007-04-12

I know I did. SLED 10 was available for my netbook but those models lacked Bluetooth, more RAM, and a bigger/faster HD that the Vista models came with.

It's not far fetched or not understandable. I want good hardware with Linux on it, unfortunately the OEMs seem to relegate Linux to the cheap stuff thinking that no one would possibly want the higher end hardware with Linux. It's a shame really.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by jpobst
by r_a_trip on Thu 9th Apr 2009 16:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by jpobst"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Most of the time the Windows variant is better specced than the Linux variant. So for a few dollars more (Windows Tax), you get a better Linux machine.

Not everybody is as crazy as me and buys a Linux Aspire One with a crappy 8GB SSD and replaces that SSD with a fairly expensive Seagate Lyrion 60 GB 1.8" hard disk. I wanted the Linux sale to count, so...

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Brand recognition pays a big part in it; two ntebooks side by side but one has a familiar desktop background image - sold. Better, worse or applicable to the need; doesn't matter, it's not different.

For those who consider the difference in OS, the Windows versions have generally had better hardware specs. People who know the benefits of better hardware but will replace the software with something that fits there needs also contribute to the Microsoft market share figures.

We'll have to see how the new crop of netbooks does using the same hardware specs for both software platforms.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by jpobst
by tjolley on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by jpobst"
tjolley Member since:
2006-03-14

Given that netbooks are available in both Windows and Linux varieties, I find it hard to believe that a significant number of people would buy the Windows one over the Linux one so they could wipe it and put Linux on it.


If the same hardware configuration was available with both OS's on a given product, I'd agree, but that is not the case. If both the Linux and Windows version of a Netbook was available at retail outlets, side by side, I'd buy the argument. But it is not that way.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by jpobst
by r055co on Thu 9th Apr 2009 18:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by jpobst"
r055co Member since:
2009-04-09

I have, due to the Netbook I wanted with the Nvidia graphics card only came XP.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by jpobst
by mabhatter on Thu 9th Apr 2009 19:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by jpobst"
mabhatter Member since:
2005-07-17

"It is most likely, given it is Microsoft, that they are counting pirated copies of Windows as part of their market share.

I doubt that, since the article says the data is from NPD Retail Tracking Service, which tracks sales data.

Also they are counting how many people buy those, not how many stayed with Windows

Given that netbooks are available in both Windows and Linux varieties, I find it hard to believe that a significant number of people would buy the Windows one over the Linux one so they could wipe it and put Linux on it.
"

Well it is RETAIL tracking, and most B&M stores gave up the Linux versions early-on because nobody knew what to do with. The major sellers of netbooks don't stock Linux version in RETAIL at all anymore.

Retail specifically excludes online sales.. it makes them look better.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by jpobst
by Bounty on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by jpobst"
Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

Is interesting how the article pays attention on how Microsoft has had to cut down their windows license prices dramatically, this is in fact hurting Microsoft as a business, so even f they have 96% share of netbooks they had very little profit on that.


I don't see it. They basically EOL'd XP and were going to make zero on it. Now a new platform arrived that could not use Vista. They could have let linux run wild and made zero... or they can make 20$ * 96% of the netbook market for zero additional cost to produce. THEN in a couple of years stop releasing security updates for the EOL'd OS and repeat with Win7-8. It's a slaughter.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by jpobst
by Tom K on Thu 9th Apr 2009 21:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by jpobst"
Tom K Member since:
2005-07-06

Who cares if it's pirated or not? It's a choice being made by the consumer: "I don't want this Linux thing" -- so they go out and download Windows.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Thu 9th Apr 2009 15:34 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Just some things that one can think about:

1) The quality of the implementation of Linux is only as good as the amount of effort the OEM is willing to put into it. Nothing has ever stopped an OEM developing a Netbook which uses Intel everything (Processor/Chipset/Wireless/Ethernet/etc) and have a custom image based on Archlinux with a set of predefined packages pre-installed.

When Microsoft talks about Linux versus Windows, I think the managers at Microsoft should realise that the quality out of the outcomes (for either operating system) is only as good as the mount of effort the OEM wishes to put into it. I also hardly think it is the 'Linux communities' fault when OEM's also ship obscure and out of date Linux distributions with their netbooks.

2) It is very difficult to purchase Linux based Netbooks in NZ from a big name retailer; the last time I saw one was from Dick Smiths and the Netbook was not only hugely out of date, the specifications were far lower than the Windows model. This again goes back to the OEM not wanting to do the hard work involved with putting out descent quality product. I'd be quite happy to pay an extra NZ$100 if it meant that I could get a Linux based Netbook which had the same sort of attention that Apple gives to Mac OS X and their hardware.

Edited 2009-04-09 15:41 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Linux calling FUD?
by TaterSalad on Thu 9th Apr 2009 16:03 UTC
TaterSalad
Member since:
2005-07-06

Linux calling FUD is like calling the kettle black. Of course they would dispute anything Microsoft said. From what I read its not as accurately refuted as you would think.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Linux calling FUD?
by darknexus on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:46 UTC in reply to "Linux calling FUD?"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Both sides are equally guilty when it comes to spreading fud, and have been from the beginning.

Reply Score: 3

Fully agree
by ciplogic on Thu 9th Apr 2009 16:04 UTC
ciplogic
Member since:
2006-12-22

I've got a Samsung NC10 because of it's pretty good reviews and I was curios if it works out of the box!

It does. Putting Linux will make things work the same? Yes it does. What I do first to make Linux to work the same as Windows: install flash, banshee music/video player and codecs. In rest is the same as Windows. I found only one problem to it as it did crash the webcam detection. In rest all works out of the box!

Good point Canonical!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Fully agree
by Temcat on Fri 10th Apr 2009 11:34 UTC in reply to "Fully agree"
Temcat Member since:
2005-10-18

Do brightness keys and Wi-Fi on/off key work for you in Linux on NC10? Also, what about suspend/hibernate?

Reply Score: 2

Now, be honest, please.
by Liquidator on Thu 9th Apr 2009 16:42 UTC
Liquidator
Member since:
2007-03-04

I already addressed the issue of hardware support in our original coverage of Microsoft's blog post. Microsoft implied that Linux' hardware support is inferior to that of Windows, but that's downright nonsense, of course, and Kenyon agrees. "Ubuntu and most Linux distributions support over 3000 printers over 1000 digital cameras, and over 200 webcams. It also supports them without the need to search for drivers on dubious websites or load drivers from a CD. Just plug and play."


Ok, please, stop spreading FUD. While I consider Microsoft's FUD plain gross, I don't accept FUD from the Linux community either.

Yes, Linux ships with more drivers than Windows XP BUT counting these drivers that are standard with the OS and the myriad of drivers you can find on manufacturers web sites in their download area, of course, there are A LOT MORE Windows drivers out there than there are for Linux.

Is this Linux's fault? No. But this is the reality, and it is f#cking important for someone who already has his own hardware (compared to some one who hasn't bought his hardware yet). I have an Ubuntu partition on my computer. Ubuntu does NOT work with a number of peripherals that I have. I doesn't work with my DVB-T board Terratec Cynergy HT PCI. It doesn't work with my Canon LBP2900P. It doesn't work with my Plustek scanner and it doesn't work either with my Dazzle DV Editor board.

So yes, it's great, there are so many drivers with Linux, while there are almost none with Windows. Problem is most of the time, the driver you need isn't available for Linux, especially for peripherals (video boards, printers, scanners, specialty boards, DVB boards). And if your default Linux install doesn't provide the driver, you're pretty much out of luck because the hardware manufacturer only provides drivers for Mac and Windows. If you use Windows, it works out of the box most of the time. But you don't even have to bother using the driver that ships with the OS (it's old-dated already), just head over to the manufacturer's web site, download the driver, install it, and that's it.

So please stop lying. There are many, many more drivers available for Windows. Some people new to Linux could believe you after repeating such nonsense on and on.

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

When I spec out new hardware, I check the support across platforms. I gave up buying hardware that limited me to a single platform years ago.

In the case of specialty hardware, that may indicate the need for a specialty workstation. Your distro choice of Linux may be as unsuited to audio processing (random guess) as Windows would be to a transparent IDS/IPS or security testing toolkit.

You could also followup with your hardware vendors asking why they only support one or two platforms. They could have support for there hardware written at no cost to them beyond providing the interface specs so "we don't have budget to write drivers" is not an excuse.

The only way hardware vendors are going to take interest is if the consumer base starts asking more questions. If you honestly want hardware supported across platforms, vote with your wallet and buy hardware from vendors that support choice.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Now, be honest, please.
by Vanders on Thu 9th Apr 2009 16:58 UTC in reply to "Now, be honest, please."
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Ubuntu does NOT work with a number of peripherals that I have. I doesn't work with my DVB-T board Terratec Cynergy HT PCI. It doesn't work with my Canon LBP2900P. It doesn't work with my Plustek scanner and it doesn't work either with my Dazzle DV Editor board.


Great, but I can also name hardware that doesn't have Windows drivers: it was a huge problem with Vista, and still is a problem for some users. It's swings and roundabouts, but what Conanical have said is certainly not FUD.

It's not untrue to say that Linux has more drivers available out of the box, and it's more likely to support average consumer hardware, which a lot of the kit you list isn't.

By the way, are you sure about that Canon LBP2900: http://openprinting.org/show_printer.cgi?recnum=Canon-LBP-2900

Edited 2009-04-09 17:00 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Now, be honest, please.
by Liquidator on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Now, be honest, please."
Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

If it's not FUD, it's not true either (I explained why). My Canon printer isn't supported by Intrepid Ibex at least. I have to reboot and to use my USB key to open the file in Windows to print it if I need to.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Now, be honest, please.
by Vanders on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Now, be honest, please."
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

My Canon printer isn't supported by Intrepid Ibex at least.


I just posted a link to the OpenPrinting page for the Canon LBP2900 which indicates that Canon provide perfectly good drivers from their website. Have you tried them?

Besides which I am still correct in saying that Linux supports more consumer hardware out of the box than Windows and that there is hardware which does not have Windows drivers just as there is hardware which does not have Linux drivers.

Your individual anecdote doesn't make a case study, and it does neither refutes nor strengthens the claims that either Microsoft or Conanical are making.

Edited 2009-04-09 17:16 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Now, be honest, please.
by Liquidator on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Now, be honest, please."
Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

I just found the driver on the Canon web site. To be honest, I hadn't searched it there. I found out the printer wasn't recognized, I searched on the web to see what other users had to say and I gave up.

Besides which I am still correct in saying that Linux supports more consumer hardware out of the box than Windows


YES, but who cares? I mean, in the end, what matters is being able to use your hardware, isn't it? If you have a driver, no matter if out of the box or from the manufacturer's web site, you can use your peripheral, and this is what you should focus your rationale on. With Linux, most of the time, if it's not out of the box, it's not available (well except for some Canon products ;) )

there is hardware which does not have Windows drivers


Ok, give me an example. I doubt this is a popular consumer product. No sensible company would sell a device that is pluggable into a PC and that doesn't support Windows.


Your individual anecdote doesn't make a case study, and it does neither refutes nor strengthens the claims that either Microsoft or Conanical are making.


Yes it does. It does because I'm not the only one. Take a look at the Hardware section of the Linux Questions forum. Thousands of other examples.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Now, be honest, please.
by Vanders on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:55 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Now, be honest, please."
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

"there is hardware which does not have Windows drivers


Ok, give me an example. I doubt this is a popular consumer product. No sensible company would sell a device that is pluggable into a PC and that doesn't support Windows.
"

I never said "consumer" specifically, but as you mention it, a lot of "older" printers & scanners from HP, Canon & Epson (amongst others) are unsupported and will remain so, as the printer driver model was changed in Vista. I also own an Aureal Vortex sound card which isn't supported in anything newer than Windows 2k yet will work perfectly fine out of the box in any recent Linux distribution. You might say that this is unfair as Aureal have been out of business for a decade but it works in Linux but not Windows, and it's still a darn good card.

On the non-consumer front there are very few HPC devices (I.e. interconnect cards) which even entertain the notion of supporting Windows.

"Your individual anecdote doesn't make a case study, and it does neither refutes nor strengthens the claims that either Microsoft or Conanical are making.


Yes it does.
"

No. No it really doesn't. There are just as many, if not more, people who have no problems at all with hardware support in Linux. The difference is they don't post about it online, because they have no need to do so.

Edited 2009-04-09 17:56 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Now, be honest, please.
by lemur2 on Fri 10th Apr 2009 06:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Now, be honest, please."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Ok, give me an example. I doubt this is a popular consumer product. No sensible company would sell a device that is pluggable into a PC and that doesn't support Windows.


There are a lot of devices still in use today that no company still sells today. In fact, the majority of working devices probably fit into that description.

Vista and Windows 7 use a different driver model than XP does, so that having an XP driver available for a device is not good enough if your machine is vista or Windows 7.

There is no money to be made, and no motivation, for a company to write a new Vista/Windows 7 driver for a device they no longer sell.

Ergo, most devices still in use, that were out of production when Vista came out, and hence have only an XP driver, now are devices that don't support Windows. That is to say, if you buy a new Windows machine, your device won't work with it because there is no driver.

Edited 2009-04-10 06:09 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Now, be honest, please.
by mat69 on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:01 UTC in reply to "Now, be honest, please."
mat69 Member since:
2006-03-29

I think you can hardly compare Linux and Windows on a driver base without giving context. E.g. Linux supports many technologies that Windows does not like ARM.

While Windows XP may not have that many default drivers that is no surprise after all, first Windows XP is _old_ while there are constantly new versions of Linux distributions with new kernel versions etc. and second they have no central way to install drivers from the net yet, what could solve the problem outlined before (Windows 7 is supposed to fix that).

Though I guess it is safe to say that windows has more support for peripheral devices than Linux so far.

"Problem is most of the time, the driver you need isn't available for Linux"

Well that is not a fact. Maybe it is your perception, but those people who don't have that problem (simply plug and play) probably would disagree. It really depends on what devices you have, you may be one of the lucky ones without any problems or another that is riddled with them.

E.g. my printer (choose a faster driver though), my scanner, my fathers camera, my brothers camera, my graphics card (R500 series) work all out of the box. While all of these aspects need further care on Windows XP.

"If you use Windows, it works out of the box most of the time"

For me most devices do not work out of the box on Windows XP, not even close, e.g. repainting is so slow, maybe 2 fps. Windows 7 tries to fix that -- imo a great thing -- though I have not tested that myself.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Now, be honest, please.
by Liquidator on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Now, be honest, please."
Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

You probably mean the ARM architecture...Seriously, other than technicians, who really uses or needs this support? There's no advantage at all IMO.

I think I wouldn't care if Windows didn't ship with any driver at all. After all, as you said, drivers are outdated on Windows, and you can find these drivers on the manufacturor's web site. Not having a central location to get drivers is not a problem at all, it even gives manufacturers more freedom (remember the nag screen saying the manufacturer hasn't paid the tax and therefore is not verified - use at your own risk).

I'm always amazed to see people not having hardware compatibility issues with Linux...I mean...There are so many threads of new users complaining on Linux forums that their peripheral isn't recognized, and some other senior users sometimes saying they are out of luck, or sometimes asking to recompile the kernel with a beta-quality module...It's a terrible experience for a new user who wants to use his existing hardware.

For me, some hardware doesn't work out of the box on Windows either. But I don't care, I just go to the manufacturer's web site. At least I have a solution. This is not the case with Ubuntu. If it doesn't work out of the box, it won't work.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Now, be honest, please.
by protoz on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:10 UTC in reply to "Now, be honest, please."
protoz Member since:
2008-04-28

Did you even read the article?

The last PC I built was for my brother and as an experiment I installed Ubuntu 8.10 64-bit on it just to see how long he could go before he wanted to go back to Windows. Over a month has gone by and he's never had a better time using a PC.

He plugs in all of his peripherals and they install automatically and work without any user intervention. This includes his video card, sound, printer, cameras, gf's ipod shuffle, his samsung mp3 player, web cam and wireless keyboard/mouse.

Each of those required a driver or software to be downloaded/installed on Windows before they worked properly. So you are correct. Windows has more drivers because they are needed to get peripherals to work correctly.

Ubuntu had everything he needed and a way to keep his music away from his gf's music (He uses Songbird and she uses Rythmbox). He was about to install the camera software for his cameras using wine but, I told him to just plug it in and see what happened first. F-Spot popped up, imported his images and tagged them automatically.

The only thing that hasn't worked was Wheel of Fortune which he bought at Wal-Mart. I could probably get it to work with a little research but he said he never played it before anyhow.

The only reason I still use Windows is for gaming because everything else I use works great on my Ubuntu server I use to play with Ubuntu.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Now, be honest, please.
by Liquidator on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Now, be honest, please."
Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

I'm dubious with such a good hardware support on a computer with Linux (unless you carefully picked your hardware beforehand).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Now, be honest, please.
by Vanders on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Now, be honest, please."
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Really? Why? It's perfectly unexpected these days. Even Wireless support is pretty good these days. I'm using a HP laptop which I bought with Windows Vista pre-installed, I installed Ubuntu 8.04 on it as soon as I got it home and it's all working. I didn't even try to be picky about the hardware much as I was confident that it would work.

Look, even Syllable stands a pretty good chance of working on an average PC these days, let alone Linux!

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Now, be honest, please.
by Melvin_01 on Fri 10th Apr 2009 05:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Now, be honest, please."
Melvin_01 Member since:
2009-03-24

Yes it is tru Ubuntu has a waaay looong device support list.

My Acer Aspire 5050-5410 works 100% out of the box. The only problem is that I have to enable some extra audio channels in order to hear it properly, but what the hell is a laptop and I never use it for multimedia!

My Gateway GT5676 - 100%

Friend's ex-Windows PC - 100%

Linux has reached a critical mass and almost everything has Linux support.

Note: Everything from the mayor players from the industry (HP, Dell, Acer, Intel, ATI, AMD, Nvidia etc.) has Linux support... all this without popping a Driver CD.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Now, be honest, please.
by mabhatter on Thu 9th Apr 2009 19:48 UTC in reply to "Now, be honest, please."
mabhatter Member since:
2005-07-17

"So yes, it's great, there are so many drivers with Linux, while there are almost none with Windows. Problem is most of the time, the driver you need isn't available for Linux, especially for peripherals (video boards, printers, scanners, specialty boards, DVB boards). And if your default Linux install doesn't provide the driver, you're pretty much out of luck because the hardware manufacturer only provides drivers for Mac and Windows. If you use Windows, it works out of the box most of the time. But you don't even have to bother using the driver that ships with the OS (it's old-dated already), just head over to the manufacturer's web site, download the driver, install it, and that's it."

Don't forget that those same vendors all cashed in to make people buy new hardware when XP (and later Vista, 7) was released even though the hardware was 6 months old and perfectly serviceable. Once a driver is in "Linux" it typically stays out there until nobody cares to maintain it. Things do fall off for lack of use/developer interest, but they could be fixed if you wanted to. Proprietary drivers not so much.

Reply Score: 5

v Its Ubuntu GNU/Linux!
by xsun on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:04 UTC
RE: Its Ubuntu GNU/Linux!
by Vanders on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:20 UTC in reply to "Its Ubuntu GNU/Linux!"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Not this stupid crap again. These days the amount of non-GNU software heavily outweighs the amount of GNU software in almost every Linux distribution or other Open Source operating system.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Its Ubuntu GNU/Linux!
by lemur2 on Fri 10th Apr 2009 05:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Its Ubuntu GNU/Linux!"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Not this stupid crap again. These days the amount of non-GNU software heavily outweighs the amount of GNU software in almost every Linux distribution or other Open Source operating system.


That may be the case, but it does not change the fact that GNU software is the largest amount from any one source by a long way.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Its Ubuntu GNU/Linux!
by Vanders on Fri 10th Apr 2009 13:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Its Ubuntu GNU/Linux!"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

That may be the case, but it does not change the fact that GNU software is the largest amount from any one source by a long way.


So what? That doesn't mean that it becomes GNU/Linux. GNU is an umbrella project: it isn't one guy writing everything, furiously. For what it's worth, a lot of the key developers who work on GNU projects are employed by Redhat and a lot of those projects are hosted by Redhat: should it be Redhat/GNU?

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Bounty
by Bounty on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:05 UTC
Bounty
Member since:
2006-09-18

"
"What makes a real difference to return rates is not whether it's Linux or not, but the quality of the device's hardware and the ability to fully partake in web and media experiences."

Kenyon makes a very good point here. Many implementations of Linux on netbooks are downright awful,
"

Actually I see that as misdirection, he seems to try to indicate the problem is the hardware quality, which I think is actually really good. I haven't read his article yet, so maybe I'm missing something that wasn't part of your quote.
At first there were linux SSD netbooks, that were supposed to be so much better (power use etc.) because they had SSD's. Then there were XP netbooks with HDD's because "Windows is so bloated we HAD to" at around the same price point. Maybe you can blame purchase rates on 160Gb HDD v.s. 8Gb SSD. That still side steps return rates. No you shouldn't compare the "well engineered" linux netbooks to the average windows netbook. Apples v Oranges? Even power users don't know which one is the THE well engineered linux netbook.

I blame it on this (customer review on newegg):

" I installed Ubuntu's netbook remix, which I've been somewhat satisfied by.

In retrospect, I should have tried to use the provided OS, but familiarity with apt-get and such made me decide to just install Ubuntu.

Anyway, I don't think netbook remix is quite ready. Even with quite a bit of tinkering it has some trouble especially with the speed and responsiveness of moving between windows. "

So users (even ones advanced enough to buy and reinstall linux distros and can tweak things) want something familiar. Then.... after quite a bit of tinkering, he has issues. It's bad enough when I try linux and tinker with it, I'm sadistic like that. You will be hard pressed to get regular(ish) people to do that. They probably start to tinker, then say screw this.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Bounty
by mabhatter on Thu 9th Apr 2009 20:06 UTC in reply to "Comment by Bounty"
mabhatter Member since:
2005-07-17

"
"What makes a real difference to return rates is not whether it's Linux or not, but the quality of the device's hardware and the ability to fully partake in web and media experiences."

Kenyon makes a very good point here. Many implementations of Linux on netbooks are downright awful,
"

Actually I see that as misdirection, he seems to try to indicate the problem is the hardware quality, which I think is actually really good. I haven't read his article yet, so maybe I'm missing something that wasn't part of your quote.
At first there were linux SSD netbooks, that were supposed to be so much better (power use etc.) because they had SSD's. Then there were XP netbooks with HDD's because "Windows is so bloated we HAD to" at around the same price point. Maybe you can blame purchase rates on 160Gb HDD v.s. 8Gb SSD. That still side steps return rates. No you shouldn't compare the "well engineered" linux netbooks to the average windows netbook. Apples v Oranges? Even power users don't know which one is the THE well engineered linux netbook.

I blame it on this (customer review on newegg):

" I installed Ubuntu's netbook remix, which I've been somewhat satisfied by.

In retrospect, I should have tried to use the provided OS, but familiarity with apt-get and such made me decide to just install Ubuntu.

Anyway, I don't think netbook remix is quite ready. Even with quite a bit of tinkering it has some trouble especially with the speed and responsiveness of moving between windows. "

So users (even ones advanced enough to buy and reinstall linux distros and can tweak things) want something familiar. Then.... after quite a bit of tinkering, he has issues. It's bad enough when I try linux and tinker with it, I'm sadistic like that. You will be hard pressed to get regular(ish) people to do that. They probably start to tinker, then say screw this.


But that's the definition of a "well engineered" system. Customers just take for granted that a PC with Windows is designed to work, but often many hardware features are disabled by poor drivers or lack of OEM ambition. It was particularly bad in the 90's but Windows and chip makers have started providing more drivers directly bypassing the manufacturing OEM.

Along the same line, many OEM installs of Linux don't even have time taken to choose compatible hardware, or to make sure they have up-to-date drivers. That is all PART of selling the computer. Just because "everybody" knows how to de-cruft an OEM Windows box doesn't mean that Linux is bad just because fewer people know how to de-cruft it. The problem is especially bad when somebody like Canonical is out there begging to be called and OEMS use no-name, no-support clones of third-string Linux vendors. Only Dell Netbooks ship with a first-string, top ten, linux distro, it's not really apples-to-apples.

Canonical can't fix bugs OEMs haven't given them help to patch, or even bothered to ask. That's what the post was really about. OEMs need to go to somebody like Canonical, who can make sure all the hardware is properly selected and the necessary software is pre-installed (and paid for if necessary) as well as provide ONGOING support for the OS and applications for EVERYBODY via their update service. For a fraction of the cost of Windows Licenses, OEMs could OWN a team of developers at Canonical... but all OEMs are seeing is "not paying" for Linux... not the over all picture.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by Liquidator
by Liquidator on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:07 UTC
Liquidator
Member since:
2007-03-04

What to say?...You're disconnected from reality...What you present is a perfect world and perfect solutions. The real world is tougher. Should I buy all my equipment again, just for it to work with Linux? To begin with, I don't know a good DVB board. I don't know a good DVB player either (I mean, comparable to DVBViewer).

Yes, I have sent a letter to Terratec in Germany last year, explaigning all you told me in your message. I haven't received any response from them, 5 months later. They don't care, and I guess their competitors are not any better (Pinnacle for instance). They don't even bother replying. Let alone releasing their specs, LOL.

What specialty platform do you mean? Do you still mean Linux? A specialty distro such as Mythlinux or Ubuntu Studio? But they have the same drivers, don't they?

Yes, I could throw away my equipment and buy everything new, checked by the LinuxQuestions community as Linux-capable, but this is not feasable in real life.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Liquidator
by zima on Sat 11th Apr 2009 16:51 UTC in reply to "Comment by Liquidator"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

What to say?...You're disconnected from reality...What you present is a perfect world and perfect solutions. The real world is tougher. Should I buy all my equipment again, just for it to work with Linux? To begin with, I don't know a good DVB board. I don't know a good DVB player either (I mean, comparable to DVBViewer).
...
Yes, I could throw away my equipment and buy everything new, checked by the LinuxQuestions community as Linux-capable, but this is not feasable in real life.

But I'm expected to buy new equipment when moving to Vista/Win7? After all, two soundcards and webcam won't work at all, printer only with basic functions, no good drivers for DSL "modem", GFX card with 2D only drivers.

And all of this works perfectly out of the box with any new Linux...

Only my TV card is fenomenally supported on Vista/Win7...by community (DScaler compatible) - and actually, it has the best drivers/software for both Windows and Linux out of all analog TV cards I've seen. So I wouldn't be surprised if the same was true for DVB...

Reply Score: 2

eternal
by Bounty on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:14 UTC
Bounty
Member since:
2006-09-18

» Adobe Flash player being pre-installed
» Basic media codecs being pre-installed (these add a few dollars to the cost of a PC)
» Extensive hibernate and resume cycle testing (many OEMS have had to develop and implement new QA processes to work with Linux)

Honest question, do the XP netbooks come with these things? I don't have one so it would be good to know if things are even.

Reply Score: 2

on the other hand
by Bounty on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:26 UTC
Bounty
Member since:
2006-09-18

"Other Thoughts: I immediately installed eeebuntu on it and it flies. "

There are people out there buying XP netbooks because of hardware choice then installing linux and they're very satisfied. So it does mean that the manufacturers are screwing linux fans by not offering the correct mix of hardware and software.

Problem is a catch 22. Buy XP, creating demand for XP, get less support for linux. I think the HDD v.s. SSD thing at the birth of netbooks screwed linux.

Reply Score: 2

Linux hardware support
by sachindaluja on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:29 UTC
sachindaluja
Member since:
2007-02-15

Microsoft implied that Linux' hardware support is inferior to that of Windows, but that's downright nonsense, of course, and Kenyon agrees. "Ubuntu and most Linux distributions support over 3000 printers over 1000 digital cameras, and over 200 webcams. It also supports them without the need to search for drivers on dubious websites or load drivers from a CD. Just plug and play."

Its not as much about how many devices Linux supports out of the box ("without the need to search for drivers"), but more about how many it supports outside of the box(when you actually need to search for drivers which are not built-in). And that number pales in comparison to Windows when you exclude drivers in the source code form (which are rather unwieldy for the end user) or those that are not supported by the device vendor.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by polaris20
by polaris20 on Thu 9th Apr 2009 17:38 UTC
polaris20
Member since:
2005-07-06

"Microsoft would be wise to shut people like LeBlanc up. If you want to compete with Linux, then do so by improving your product (like they are doing with Windows 7), but don't resort to the FUD tactics of yore."

What makes anyone think they can shut LeBlanc up, when MS's CEO can't keep his mouth shut?

Reply Score: 3

Comment by princos70
by princos70 on Fri 10th Apr 2009 00:49 UTC
princos70
Member since:
2009-04-10

Hi, it's my first post here, after reading this web for some years.

I bought an EEE 901 some months, it came with Linux, tried Windows XP and the only reason to not return to some distribution is because in Linux battery last 5 hours maximum in the same conditions that yields me 6:30 in Windows XP (brigthness 30%, wifi on, clock speed 800 Mhz). Wifi Off, battery lasts around 6 hours in Linux and almost 8 hours in Windows! Tried latest Ubuntu with some tweaks and most duration of battery is 5:30 with wifi on.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by princos70
by lemur2 on Fri 10th Apr 2009 06:16 UTC in reply to "Comment by princos70"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Hi, it's my first post here, after reading this web for some years.

I bought an EEE 901 some months, it came with Linux, tried Windows XP and the only reason to not return to some distribution is because in Linux battery last 5 hours maximum in the same conditions that yields me 6:30 in Windows XP (brigthness 30%, wifi on, clock speed 800 Mhz). Wifi Off, battery lasts around 6 hours in Linux and almost 8 hours in Windows! Tried latest Ubuntu with some tweaks and most duration of battery is 5:30 with wifi on.


You probably need to be running KDE 4.2 to get the battery life when running Linux.

Mandriva 2009.1, which is now in RC stage of pre-release, runs KDE 4.2 and it will work 100% out of the box on an EEE 901.

Reply Score: 2

Microsoft tax: Who's counting?
by czayas on Fri 10th Apr 2009 00:51 UTC
czayas
Member since:
2009-04-09

In my country, when you want to buy a computer you have limited choice concerning the OS. There are only some netbooks with Linux, those with limited hardware specs. All the desktops and notebooks (and the best netbooks) come with Windows.

I wanted the best hardware I could afford, so I was forced to pay the Microsoft tax for my HP desktop, my Toshiba notebook and more recently for my beloved Acer Aspire One netbook (A150X) that I am using right now. I replaced the Vistas and the XP with Ubuntu. I also replaced XP with Mandriva on my Mom's desktop. I also have built myself a desktop PC with Ubuntu on it. This is one happy Windows-free family.

I am sure my case is not unusual. It should be great if there were some kind of accurate OS census.

Reply Score: 1

Ferrari Laptop fiasco
by RonnieRomero on Fri 10th Apr 2009 10:25 UTC
RonnieRomero
Member since:
2009-04-10

Wow, is this the same chap who was caught up in the Microsoft Ferrari Vista laptops blogging review fiasco about a year or so ago? I had no idea he since started working for MS themselves!

Reply Score: 1