Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 2nd Feb 2009 12:00 UTC
In the News Since it's nigh on impossible to produce accurate figures of operating system usage, we have to make do with figures that provide a rough estimate, at best. One such set of statistics are the figures from Net Applications, which tracks the 160 million monthly visitors to its hosted websites. The latest figures from January 2009 have been published, and they show that the rise of Mac OS X continues, as well as that of the iPhone and iPod Touch. Unsurprisingly, Windows 7 did quite well too.
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RE: The linux plateau
by Morin on Mon 2nd Feb 2009 13:01 UTC in reply to "The linux plateau"
Morin
Member since:
2005-12-31

> I can't remember the last time I had to install a
> driver for anything on OS x.

While this obviously stems from OS X being marketed with special (known) hardware, I am still puzzled why nobody tries that route with Linux. Choose known, working hardware; customize a working Linux distro like Ubuntu for exactly that hardware (and nothing else); slap a careful choice of applications on it; sell it.

Proprietary parts can be included since, unlike free-to-download distros, paying for licenses isn't a problem with a product that is sold for money.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: The linux plateau
by javiercero1 on Mon 2nd Feb 2009 14:16 in reply to "RE: The linux plateau"
javiercero1 Member since:
2005-11-10

You just described the business plan of all those Linux HW startups a decade ago.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: The linux plateau
by mojeaix on Mon 2nd Feb 2009 14:36 in reply to "RE: The linux plateau"
mojeaix Member since:
2006-11-29

That's basically what Apple did with BSD. Darwin is basically BSD with the Aqua GUI on top. Apple could have chosen to use Linux, but I think the licensing for BSD suited them better.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: The linux plateau
by Tom K on Mon 2nd Feb 2009 18:19 in reply to "RE[2]: The linux plateau"
Tom K Member since:
2005-07-06

The technology suited them better, too. Can you imagine Apple trying to develop an OS like OS X on a kernel as volatile as Linux?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: The linux plateau
by tyrione on Mon 2nd Feb 2009 22:43 in reply to "RE[2]: The linux plateau"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

That's basically what Apple did with BSD. Darwin is basically BSD with the Aqua GUI on top. Apple could have chosen to use Linux, but I think the licensing for BSD suited them better.


Wrong. Darwin has no Aqua GUI on top. OS X is far more than Darwin with Aqua GUI on top.

The massive collection of Cocoa Frameworks, the various parts of BSD, non-BSD, and more that add to their custom kernel and much more is OS X.

The additions of OpenCL and its Dev APIs for Cocoa and more, plus other additions to CUPS specifically for OS X, etc., not in Darwin is another reason people haven't just slapped X11 on-top of Darwin and thus presto! We've got OS X.

People who want Darwin with X11 also want Darwin to have all the QuickTime APIs, Xcode, Cocoa and more, but don't want to pay for it.

That's life.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: The linux plateau
by siraf72 on Mon 2nd Feb 2009 14:54 in reply to "RE: The linux plateau"
siraf72 Member since:
2006-02-22

"I am still puzzled why nobody tries that route with Linux. Choose known, working hardware; customize a working Linux distro like Ubuntu for exactly that hardware (and nothing else); slap a careful choice of applications on it; sell it."

Exactly!

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: The linux plateau
by darknexus on Mon 2nd Feb 2009 15:04 in reply to "RE[2]: The linux plateau"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Isn't this exactly what Asus and Acer are doing with their netbooks? Putting together a bundled system, working hardware and software, and using Linux as the os? Granted, I wouldn't have used the distributions of Linux they did, but still, the concept is the same.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: The linux plateau
by dagw on Mon 2nd Feb 2009 15:05 in reply to "RE: The linux plateau"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

I am still puzzled why nobody tries that route with Linux. Choose known, working hardware; customize a working Linux distro like Ubuntu for exactly that hardware (and nothing else); slap a careful choice of applications on it; sell it.

There have been dozens of companies that have tried that, few of them might even still be around. The basic flaw in the plan is that they are too small to compete on price and most people who want a dedicated Linux box have the necessary skills to install Linux on whatever hardware they happen to own. The vast majority of Linux users aren't willing to pay a $200-300 premium simply to get Linux pre-installed.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: The linux plateau
by kaiwai on Wed 4th Feb 2009 03:38 in reply to "RE: The linux plateau"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

While this obviously stems from OS X being marketed with special (known) hardware, I am still puzzled why nobody tries that route with Linux. Choose known, working hardware; customize a working Linux distro like Ubuntu for exactly that hardware (and nothing else); slap a careful choice of applications on it; sell it.

Proprietary parts can be included since, unlike free-to-download distros, paying for licenses isn't a problem with a product that is sold for money.


Because the only people who have so far come up with this idea have been geeks and enthusiasts - neither one of them are willing to spend the time and money on the spit and polish required to get it to the same level (and exceed) that of Mac OS X.

What is required is an alternative operating system whose vendor maintains and integrates everything so strongly that one cannot view the separation between the different components; the whole operating system is viewed in its entirety rather than being viewed right now as a collection of things hobbled together and put in an iso image.

What it would require first and foremost are drop in replacements for applications; you will need to have an Office alternative, a Creative Suite alternative, a Photoshop Elements alternative (for basic photo touching up) plus many other alternatives (MYOB anyone?) All of these are epic failures in the open source world.

Now, I don't blame the open source world because the basic foundation of open source is to scratch and itch. If the itch of that individual (or group of) developer(s) isn't the same as an end user - can we really blame the open source developers for not meeting the needs of end users?

What is required is a for profit entity who has paid developers and are able to meet these requirements by paying developers to work on issues that might not necessarily be issues they find sratchable but because they are being paid - they'll address them anyway.

Btw, as a side issue, a couple of years ago I tried to setup something similar to this; the 'ministry of economic development' was setup to foster these sorts of ideas. I went to talk to someone there to find if I could get VC funding or some sort of grant. Lets put it this way, they have thousands working in the ministry and the best they could do is refer me to a rack of pamphlets. Unless one can find long term investors who look at the long term gain rather than short term profit, ideas such as what you have suggested are never going to get off the ground.

Edited 2009-02-04 03:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2