Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 14th Nov 2007 19:49 UTC
Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris Erstwhile bitter rivals Dell and Sun Microsystems are set to announce that Sun's Solaris and OpenSolaris operating systems will be supported in all of Dell's servers. Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell and Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz plan to make the announcement during a joint appearance at the Oracle OpenWorld 2007 conference today.
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Compared to 5 years ago, there are even less software ported to Linux.

Compared to 5 years ago, WINE is no better.

Compared to 5 years ago, 3rd party driver support for hardware is no better.

Compared to 5 years ago, OpenOffice has in all honesty, went backwards. Microsoft Office is EVEN more dominant now, than it was 5 years ago.

These are just my personal observations.


I'm glad you added that last about it being personal opinion. At least you admit you can't point to facts to support those assertions.

1. I doubt that the amount of software ported to Linux from some other OS is less now. Corel dropped out after MS invested in them and the CEO left. But that's the only significant dropper-out that comes to mind. But there is surely less need for ported, closed source packages today than 5 years ago, since more OSS packages are available to fill more niches.

2. I would disagree with this. In my business, which is supporting Linux servers and business desktops, I do use Wine in targeted areas. And Wine, while it has never blazed very rapidly down the trail, has indeed gotten better at the tasks I require of it. Though, thankfully, my need for it today is much lower than what it was 5 years ago. Today, as long as it runs IE6 well, I'm set.

3. Compared to 5 years ago, I find the driver support to be *far* better. Especially for that problematic area of *printers*. USB has gone a long way to help the situation, and more vendors are Linux aware. Of course, wireless network chipsets are the current bugaboo; But the stage looks set for that situation to improve. We, the Linux community, really have to take some of the blame for that, since our infrastructure did not make things as easy for hardware vendors or OSS driver writers as it could have.

4. I'm unclear if you are addressing quality or market dominance regarding OpenOffice going backwards. But I've had many users using it since 1.0.x, and I don't see how anyone could argue that it has not gotten faster, more capable, and better at importing MS formats in the last 5 years. And though OOXML is not exactly an *optimal* standard. It *is* better for 3rd parties like OO than the previous MS formats. So I only see things getting better, there.

These are, of course, my observations. But they are informed ones. Selling and supporting Linux, and in particular Linux desktops, has not always been an easy thing in this MS dominated world. So I am faced with these issues every day. And it is exceedingly obvious to me that I am having a much easier time of it today than 5 years ago.

At any rate, since *Solaris has even less supported closed source software, needs Wine for the same things Linux does, is *way* behind on driver support, and uses OO in the same ways as Linux does... I'm mystified as to why you would find it preferable for the reasons you give here. Which is not to say that it doesn't shine over Linux in other ways; I'm not knocking *Solaris. I have always commended Sun and the *Solaris community om their OSS work, and welcomed them.

While I *do* believe that a bit of consolidation might be beneficial to Linux in certain areas, I would disagree with your goal of narrowing everything down to one player. I feel that you are underestimating the *crucial* importance of ongoing competition. No player achieves top performance without someone or something to compete against. And that is before you even get to the arguments involving cross-pollination, and Linus' concept of massive parallel development and software natural selection.

That last might be controversial, but you don't have to accept that bit to accept that competition is vitally important.

Edited 2007-11-15 19:01

Reply Parent Score: 2

melkor Member since:

Good counter-arguments as usual :-)

The problem is, facts are hard to find. Statistics can be easily manipulated, as we both know. I'm only going on my own personal experiences with Linux, and with people that I know etc. I don't know anyone who has moved to Linux in the past 3 years. I do know a few that have been using Linux for 5+ years, but they are what I'd consider social outcasts, using Linux to voice their social displeasure with the world at large. I know of many people who have switched to Macs and OS X.

The gist of my argument was that if Linux can't make it in a server environment, then it's screwed on the desktop imho. Windows Server 2003 has done serious damage to the Linux market, and for good reason - it's reasonably priced, performs well, is reliable and pretty secure. The free cost of Linux is killed by the cost of having a support agreement with one of the big vendors, and Sun beats Linux from this point of view when compared to the 2 big players in the market. I'm sorry, but very few corporations will run Debian on a server - I'm not knocking Debian, it's a superb server operating system, but management WANT support, paid support. Having employers who are experts in the area is not the same as paid support from my experience.

1. Can you list me well know software products that have ported to Linux? A few games, that's about it. Please don't count software that originated from the Linux environment, like Mozilla FireFox and Thunderbird, or OpenOffice. Let's talk Windows based applications that have been ported across.

2. Wine isn't bad, don't get me wrong, but it's still very dodgy in use. Let's take into account a major software application - Adobe Photoshop CS2. Up until the very most recent point release of WINE, it didn't work. Capture one Pro doesn't work. Neither does a host of Canon based software for their digital SLRs. You might argue that that is only a small percentage of the userbase, and that'd be a reasonable argument, but let's consider that digital photography has really taken off in the past five years. Sure, open source has native applications, but in all honesty, they are pale compared to the native versions for Windows. Very pale.

3. Driver support - a difficult area, some areas, Linux is pretty good, like with printers as you pointed out. But, for a lot of stuff, Linux drivers are still MIA. Let's take my Logitech Wingman II steering wheel - 7 years old now, no Linux support.

4. OpenOffice has gotten a bit faster, but it's still a massive disappointment. Sure, it's good with writer, but that's about it. Excel support is still what I'd consider dodgy, Powerpoint support is ajoke, and Access, nada. There's more to an Office suite than just a word processor.

Just my honest viewpoints.


Reply Parent Score: 2

segedunum Member since:

The gist of my argument was that if Linux can't make it in a server environment...

What makes you believe this?

Reply Parent Score: 2