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 Ford Prefect on Mon 2nd Feb 2009 15:58 UTC in reply to "The linux plateau"
Ford Prefect
Member since:
2006-01-16

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

Seriously, I can't remember that I installed any driver in Linux, too, since about 2004. Before that, I remember that in 2002 I even had to recompile the kernel to get specific drivers I need.

If you don't buy cheesy hardware, it will run out-of-the-box with the Linux kernel. It will even be auto-detected on boot.

So there has ben lots of progress made there. Still, you have to somewhat chose the hardware you buy (instead of Apple doing it for you..). But unlike some years ago, that's not a big challenge anymore. There are also many really good laptops out there which are fully supported by Linux. Take Thinkpad machines for example.

I think it is interesting that in several usability aspects, Linux distributions are already far ahead Windows, comparable or even better than OS X. Mainly hardware and software installation, system transparency. I don't want to say this makes a GNU/Linux based system the better choice for "the" regular user, but that there are a lot of things that would comfort these users, but they cannot see their value before fully getting into it. On OSX you still have to find&install application themselves and get updates for them as well.

Edited 2009-02-02 16:02 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: The linux plateau
by darknexus on Mon 2nd Feb 2009 16:31 in reply to "RE: The linux plateau"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Software installation on Linux is only ahead of Windows/Mac if what you want is in your distro's repository. Otherwise, it's about as far behind as you can get, requiring more manual operations (usually on the command-line) and with each piece of software being just a bit different. Don't even bother trying to uninstall software installed manually unless you kept track of exactly what files it placed in which directories, you'll probably not find them all otherwise. It makes the uninstallation on OS X look like a snap by comparison. And don't even get me started about driver installation if you need a driver that is not part of the mainline kernel tree, and your distro of choice has merged some patch into its kernel that renders the driver you need unable to compile. Yes, it happens, and while I'm bringing it up, why should we even need to compile drivers ourselves anymore if we're not the ones developing them? This is what Windows, OS X, and Solaris have correct, none of this "driver must exactly match the running kernel version" nonsense.
Yeah yeah yeah, it's the hardware vendors, blah blah blah. I fully support open standards, and I'm aware of the situation. But it doesn't matter to 99% of the computer users out there, face it. All they want is for their brand new, shiny peripheral to work, possibly after using the provided driver disk. If it doesn't, it's broken, and the philosophical and political issues behind the reasons are irrelevant to them.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: The linux plateau
by Ford Prefect on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 10:32 in reply to "RE[2]: The linux plateau"
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

"But it doesn't matter to 99% of the computer users out there, face it."

I claim that 99% of the users out there don't need any drivers not packaged by their distribution of choice. That's exactly what my posting was about. Things have rapidly changed in the latest years.

Same goes for software. Even with ArchLinux, a really small distro compared to the big players, I get all the software I need through the two official channels (pacman and aurbuild, which is well automated, too).

Btw. just a hint in case you may need it later: All programs built with autotools don't only have "make install", but also "make uninstall". But you have to keep the sources directory for that.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: The linux plateau
by h3rman on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 23:49 in reply to "RE[2]: The linux plateau"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

Who cares if there isn't any money to be made.
Most people tend to forget that "Linux" isn't a corporation. "Linux" goes wherever the companies that direct Linux want it to go. And if there's millions to be made in the game Red Hat is playing, and virtually nothing "on the desktop", then guess where Linux is going.

Reply Parent Score: 2