Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th Jan 2006 00:21 UTC, submitted by george
Linux "More than five years ago the launch of Microsoft Windows XP - and its considerably improved features and reliability compared with Windows 98 and 2000 - made a comprehensive desktop rollout a no-brainer for companies. The other options were all far from desirable. Now, as the world gears up for the launch of Windows Vista, the conclusion may not be so cut and dry. Certainly, Vista is set to be feature-packed and reliable, and many companies will move to the new platform as a matter of course. However, Linux has come a long way in five years, with the concerted effort of hobbyists around the world supplemented by the resources of tech heavyweights to push its desktop features to near-parity with Windows XP."
Thread beginning with comment 83740
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
near-parity ?
by jacquouille on Tue 10th Jan 2006 01:09 UTC
jacquouille
Member since:
2006-01-02

The article says : "to push its desktop features to near-parity with Windows XP."

Disclaimer : I happen to be a KDE user, but I'm sure that most of the good things I'm saying below about KDE, could also be said about Gnome.

Before 2003, KDE was simply too heavy, buggy and instable to be really usable. Those were the times of KDE 2 and 3.0.x, and both were very depressing.

In 2003, the KDE 3.1.x series were released, largely improving stability and speed, and I remember that Slackware 9.1 with KDE 3.1.4 was already a quite decent desktop.

In my opinion, as far as the desktop features are concerned, near-parity with XP has been achieved by the KDE 3.2.x versions, released in Spring 2004. This versions brought a lot more stability, speed and responsiveness, while refreshing the look and adding many new features and programs. Read here :
http://arstechnica.com/reviews/os/kde-3-2.ars
Together with the new 2.6 linux kernel, this was a huge leap for the free desktop. At last it was completely usable.

KDE 3.3, released at the end of the summer of 2004, noticeably improved the speed and the rendering (much less redraws and flicker). This is when KDE begun to get 'sexy' and it was truly amazing to see the developers being able to further improve the speed after all what had already be done in 3.1 and 3.2.

KDE 3.4, released at the beginning of 2005, shipped with the new Plastik theme, and for the first time my windows-using friends begun to say that "linux looks very good". It also was the first KDE release to include experimental features to demonstrate the new X extensions like Composite. At the same time, Amarok and Komposť (a copy of Apple's Exposť) were maturing, largely contributing to the desktop experience. The new media:/ KIO-slaves and the optional use of DBUS and HAL allowed to use USB keys very easily.

At that point, IMHO, the linux/BSD desktop was already noticeably better than XP.

KDE 3.5 considerably improves on KDE 3.4. With it, I think XP is simply left behind. See :
http://www.kde.org/announcements/visualguide-3.5.php
Good for MS that Vista is coming soon, because, on a technical point of view, XP can't compete with KDE anymore.

I don't know much about KDE4, other than it will run even faster and use even less memory, thanks to the migration to the excellent Qt4 libraries.

Edited 2006-01-10 01:28

Reply Score: 5

RE: near-parity ?
by dunki on Tue 10th Jan 2006 04:28 in reply to "near-parity ?"
dunki Member since:
2006-01-09

Mabye true but if your company is used to work with windows a switch is not that easily made.

1. People have te learn a new interface, while with vista you can put it on the w2k interface. (No source for that, read it somewhere). Loss in productivity for a while.

And also the admins have to learn a new platform. Administration Linux or BSD is something different...

2. Your company software has to be working on the new platform. While this counts for both OSes. A migration from windows to a newer windows is probably easier then port the app to a new platform.

3. While there are good alternatives for MS Word docs and apps to read them. There are still some layout problems. At least the last time i used them.

4. Software availability. I use from time to time multimedia apps. (Adobe CS for example)

And mabye you like how KDE looks, I dont. A lot of windows take a lot more space then needed. But that is just an opinion.

Plug and play functionality is still beter in windows. But that is probably not that much needed in an office.

but he, i like Linux and the BSDs, but not on my desktop. Maybe i should try it again.

Reply Parent Score: 1

You're missing his point
by MORB on Tue 10th Jan 2006 09:15 in reply to "RE: near-parity ?"
MORB Member since:
2005-07-06

He said "on a technical point of view".

Reply Parent Score: 2