Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 26th Aug 2011 22:06 UTC, submitted by Morgan
Legal And we have another contender for the stupidest technology-related lawsuit of 2011. Do you remember RealNetworks? The scourge of '90s web users? Lucky for us, their horrible media player is no longer a requirement on the web. Also lucky, for those of us who occasionally run into content encoded in any of Real's codecs, there's Real Alternative (download here). Well, apparently, RealNetworks is not happy with Real Alternative (download here), as the US company has completely destroyed the life of the Dutch maintainer of a website who dared to link to Real Alternative (download here).
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Member since:

I wanted to make a list regarding problems of the Linux desktop, but my computer only has 4 GB of memory which didn't seem enough.

But what about this: if it's so good, why do 99% of the users avoid a free os and spend money on Windows and OS X. Even after almost 2 decades users don't want it. Year after year moments and reasons came why Linux would take over the world, never happened. Users would run to the stores if Microsoft gave Windows 7 away for free. Even a free Vista would cause that.

I have used Linux for years and I know what's good about it and what's not. I was part of a group that ditched Windows 98 and the only one to remain a Linux user when the rest switched back to Windows when Windows 2000 arrived. I hold out for many years until I also gave up. Not on the server, but on the desktop.

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vitae Member since:

Choose?? They choose to go to Walmart, Bestbuy, Kmart, Staples, Sam's and buy a pc which has Windows pre-installed. They don't care about OSes, the common user, they just want a damn computer. It comes with Windows, they use Windows. I suppose I could ask if Macs are perfect like so many of you describe them, why do they not dominate the desktop? However I would agree that "Year of the Linux desktop" nonsense should never have been started.

I'll tell you why I use Linux though.

1) Cost. Yep, especially in these difficult economics I don't need to be spending 75-100 dollars for the latest upgrade for ____ proprietary operating system, in which the changes will largely be cosmetic anyway. For those of you who money is no object, bully for you. Just recognize much of the world is struggling to get by, not pulling down $100k for a software engineer or systems admin job.

2)Versatility. Open source OSes (and this isn't just Linux, but BSD, Haiku, etc. which I also appreciate and use) offer more versatility to the user than any closed source one does. Some of us value that a great deal. Choice is important.

3)Malware. Sorry Windows people, but you got the marketshare, you bear the brunt of the attack. The malware writers are getting smarter by the day, designing ever more sophisticated pieces. MS announced recently that spyware on Windows 7 is 30% on the rise. It's not even a criticism of Windows per se, just an unfortunate reality. Going online with Windows is too much like looking over the ramparts at Helm's Deep at the tide of invading orcs.

4) It's not as complicated as people make it out to be, and that's the irony. I'm no Linux expert, but PCLOS works just fine for me. Is there quirks? Yep. But Windows has it's quirks too. I really only need a Windows partition for gaming and updating the Zune. Apparently Linux is good enough to be used on the desktop by government agencies, educational institutions and corporations, just not good enough for some users in this forum.

5) I have a genuine appreciation for what the open source community has achieved. They've come a long way since the early days, and some can spend their time comparing their work with what the corporations are doing, but that doesn't diminish all that FOSS has accomplished.

Reply Parent Score: 4

ilovebeer Member since:

1. "Cost".
You're right in that free is usually more cost effective then not-free. However, you don't need a $100k/year job to afford Windows. You also very likely don't 'need the latest upgrade either'.

2. "Versatility".
Suggesting that Linux is somehow more versatile than Windows is silly at best. Some things Linux is great for, but other things total crap. Some things Windows is great for, but other things total crap. Pound for pound Windows easily beats out Linux.

3. "Malware".
You're correct in that Windows is a much larger target for malware than Linux. Of course, it occupies are far larger market share. However, that's not to say a Windows box can't be just as secure as a Linux box - in reality is can. Windows and Linux both are only as secure as the person setting it up makes it.

4. "It's not as complicated as people make it out to be, and that's the irony".
In some ways it is and in some ways it isn't, it really depends on the user. There's another irony that you didn't mention... The fact that Linux has and continues to become more & more like Windows, with the exact same goal - to reach and work for as many users as possible. The way many distros are put together these days it seems the only thing missing is the Windows logo and support for a wider range of hardware.

Apparently Linux is good enough to be used on the desktop by government agencies, educational institutions and corporations, just not good enough for some users in this forum.

Funny, the exact same could be said replacing "Linux" with "Windows". Windows, by far, has the lions share of those markets however.

5. "I have a genuine appreciation for what the open source community has achieved."
I feel the same. Granted the open-source community isn't without it's flaws. Linus Torvalds will be the first to tell you that. But overall some good work has been done and hopefully it will continue. I believe it will.

For the record, I'm both a Windows and a Linux user and have been for many years in personal and professional settings. If there's a single piece of advice I could give someone on this subject it would be don't be dumb or naive enough to think either of these OS'es is "better" then the other.

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MOS6510 Member since:

I've used Linux for years and was very much in to it. I still have a Tux keychain, the cuddly toys, the books. Back then I used to buy the boxed version of Redhat, SuSE. At work I was the only one to use Linux on the desktop, but I did introduce Linux on the server so in a way everybody was making use of it.

However I was always busy upgrading my desktop, trying to make things work (better), fixing stuff, trying to replace crap apps by less crap ones. Al this stopped when I got a Mac.

My dream/goal at work was to replace Windows with Linux, on everyone's computer. That wasn't going to happen I soon found out, so I settled for OpenOffice to at least get rid of Microsoft Office. That never got past the trail stage as OO would mess up formatting of Office files or lack certain functions (mostly the spreadsheet).

People would send me Office files, walk over to me, ask me to open it and I did... waiting... waiting... why are you waiting? Well, it's still opening. Yeah for OpenOffice. Then it finally would open and often people would wonder if it was the same file they emailed to me because it looked kinda different.

I did install OpenOffice on PCs of friends 'n' neighbors, some not being happy at all, all replacing it by Microsoft Office.

My wife got Linux on her PC and I spend a lot of time fixing stuff for her, until she too gave up and stopped using a computer until she got my old iMac.

I know a number of smart people who gave Linux a go and none lasted. Sure Linux is free, great, choice 'n' freedom, but it just doesn't work as a consumer OS.

Android en webOS have shown you can take a Linux kernel and build something user friendly. But Linux distributions are a Linux kernel, GNU stuff and a bunch of apps thrown together and put up for download. It lacks a lot of polish, integration. And worse, most apps are just plain awful (with a number of exceptions).

Had there been one Linux flavor instead of 1.000.000 and with one desktop environment I'm sure it would have looked and worked much better. And even better: Linux combined with a Linux computer, so you'd have the OS and hardware made for each other. All hardware fully supported by the OS and its drivers.

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foregam Member since:

[...] if it's so good, why do 99% of the users avoid a free os and spend money on Windows and OS X
Bzzzzt, wrong. Many buy it, but a lot more don't. As to why: to run Half Life 2 or whatever other cool game which doesn't have a Linux port (that's most of them).

Reply Parent Score: 1