Home > In the News > Linux Slips but Won’t Fall Linux Slips but Won’t Fall Eugenia Loli 2002-08-07 In the News 19 Comments Linux sales lost some ground to Windows last year, but are expected to climb in coming years as distributors create new revenue streams. Meanwhile, Windows showed hefty gains. Read it at ZDNews. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 19 Comments 2002-08-07 7:58 pm This isn’t going to sound original but who cares about sales figures on a free operating system? Besides how would you know the sales figures? Microsoft keeps good recordes, Apple keeps good records? Does RedHat even know how many copies of RedHat Cheapbytes or LinuxStore sell? 3 years ago there were questions whether Linux would ever be anything but a hobby. This year we’ve seen multiple governments talk about switching to Linux as their core platform (a transition that will take a decade at least and probably not effect sales figures very much). When I first started using Linux back in ’97 getting X to run at all on many systems was still a problem. Today we have posts about whether Gnome is using the right animal in their background graphics. Postgres and MySQL get reviewed alongside Sybase, Oracle and SQL server (they still lose but the comparison isn’t silly anymore). Walmart sells a Linux desktop today. Open source really doesn’t even need market share but market share at least is something that makes sense for comparisons. Linux is not RedHat anymore than it was VALinux or Ygissil. RedHat does a terrific job on vetting kernels, they’ve added a great deal of technology to Linux and are a wonderful player and I wish them success. But Debian will be there whether RedHat is or isn’t there. While the failure of commercial Linux might seriously slow the growth of the technology, it might also help a great deal in clarifying Open Source vs. Free vs. Freeware. And frankly even if Linux were to die the GNU project is much further along than it was at the start of the decade. I have the GNU catalog from 1990 if you look at that today and compare it to say Debian the progress in the last dozen years is amazing. At this point within a year of the release of the specs for almost any configuration of hardware we can create a free operating system that runs a complete suite of business, scientific, academic and entertainment applications. RMS has a great deal to be proud of even if the Linux sales figures fall to 0. 2002-08-07 10:14 pm In the time it has taken for Linux to evolve from an annoying and overly-complicated command-line OS to an annoying and overly-complicated graphical OS, Windows and Mac both have been reborn in new versions that the end user is pleased with, and which the experienced user finds little fault with. It’s not the 90’s anymore, Linux already had it’s chance repeatedly, and it failed so miserably that even *Amigas* are coming back. More than one fork of BeOS is finding widespread support. Even OS/2 is back as eComm. Does someone have to bring back the Atari 2600 before you’ll get a clue? Silly Penguin, ‘NIX are for kids! 2002-08-07 10:45 pm Well that was an inspired piece of trolling It may not be for you, and mostly not for me, your comment is still stupid. Grow up! 2002-08-07 11:42 pm illy Penguin, ‘NIX are for kids! ummm as far as servers and big IRON windows IS the toy. Lan boy buy the way moron, KDE and gnome are barely 4 years old. 2002-08-07 11:43 pm “Windows and Mac both have been reborn in new versions that the end user is pleased with, and which the experienced user finds little fault with.” Well, I am an ‘experienced user (notice I didn’t say programmer or hacker) and I find a lot of fault with the newer versions of Windows. It seems that MS is taking strides to further idiot proof the OS, adding more bloat and a ton of features who’s only purpose as far as I’m concerned is to get in my way. Apparently, the power users of the world don’t account for much anymore .. are we really a dying breed? Besides being web-enabled, the Windows desktop has advanced very little over the years. The quick launch toolbar was added (which I love) but even that has changed very little from Win98 to WinXP. Linux on the other hand has made tremendous progress in this area but unfortunately, it always remains two steps behind in application functionality and overall polish. As for Mac OSX, I haven’t played with it enough to comment on it objectively, but I haven’t been impressed with in-store demos I’ve seen. 2002-08-08 12:17 am Currentlt most major distros are still on GCC 2.9, Gnome 1.4, and KDE 2.2. They are all working on releases with Gnome 2, KDE 3, and KDE 3. Not to mention that Mozilla and OpenOffice have just recently hit the 1.0 mark. There are a new string of “desktop” distros that are just now being released, and starting to get OEM support. .Net may be making some progress but Borland also recently added C++ support to Kylix. The next major version (Longhorn) of windows is not due out till 2005 and I am willing to bet that Linux is not going to stop and wait up for it. Just like different people have different taste in the cars they drive, not everybody wants the same thing from an operating system and there will always be room for competition. 2002-08-08 1:26 am “buy the way moron, KDE and gnome are barely 4 years old.” Yeah, and if they were HUMAN four year olds, they’d already be in a Special Ed class trying to catch up with the other children. Silly Penguin, ‘NIX are for kids! 2002-08-08 1:48 am While Red Hat may not be able to realize revenue, companies like IBM surely will in the form of Professional Services revenue. Red Hat would be wise to expand into the Professional Services arena. 2002-08-08 4:17 am >>>Red Hat would be wise to expand into the Professional Services arena. RedHat has only 700 employees — they can’t compete with IBM’s 150,000 employee consulting group. 2002-08-08 5:14 am “Linux Slips but Won’t Fall”: I hope that next time Linux slips it’ll fall and break a couple of necks… Still not a good OS choice… Sorry Lin users but as a desktop OS it sucks in all ways and all distributions… Maybe that’s why I chose BeOS… 2002-08-08 5:52 am “Sorry Lin users but as a desktop OS it sucks in all ways and all distributions… Maybe that’s why I chose BeOS…” palm bought be inc for a mere $11 million. it’s too bad palm won’t open source be’s source code and maybe a michael dell entreprenuer/college student won’t make use of the code, improve it, and then market it 2002-08-08 6:26 am >Silly Penguin, ‘NIX are for kids! Urm, and Windows runs on how many mainframes / supercomputers? Oh.. That’s right… NONE! 2002-08-08 6:39 am “Maybe that’s why I chose BeOS…” Why do people continue to insist that BeOS is superior to anything? In case you haven’t noticed, BeOS is DEAD. That means it can’t even be realistically considered to be an option for a desktop OS anymore. Yes, linux isn’t perfect, neither is windows, but BeOS isn’t even in the picture anymore. I guess just as there are still OS/2 zealots around there will still be a few BeOS drones shouting “BeOS is the best! Linux sucks!” in a few years. 2002-08-08 7:09 am How to compare two differents things ?!?! The Linux and the Microsoft business models are two different things. I’m not sure we can compare something which is sometimes sold and very often freely used with something which is always sold (i prefer not to thing about the way it is somtimes sold :-)). Linux basis are quiet old now but it’s commercial use is still new and noone has already found how to make money with it. Maybe is it impossible… Maybe is Linux only built to be an another way to use the shared works, the shared knowledges. Maybe is it just the last way to defy the “non ethic capitalism”… def of “non ethic capitalism” by me : all the capitalistics practices in which human are only considered as id numbers, as products or just as incomes. 2002-08-08 10:12 am why do trolls like Mr Rabbit not go to the forums and start a thread like ” I am too dim to enter into a serious discussion” When they go there, they can bitch all they like about windows is better than linux, linux is better than windows, windows is easy to use etc etc etc etc etc One thing I have worked out from their usual postings is that they have tried linux in the past and found it too difficult for their little minds to deal with, things are not EXACTLY where they are used to seeing them. Thwey need to go get a life, or a woman, and stop cluttering up this spacwe with their rantings. thank you for your attention 2002-08-08 10:24 am Trix: Linux like Windows is used on the desktop, but Linux & the bigger NIXs are used in ways by profesions you obviously can’t imagine. Most all the ASICs & CPUs in your PC are designed, on NIX boxes, Windows plays little role in it’s own HW except perhaps the PCBs, the most junior part. You are insulting millions of engineers & systems people who could care less for your ignorence. And nobody is sayiny Linux is better than WIndows for Joe ,,,, it’s a harder choice to make but free of MS control. And isn’t MacOS now just a NIX too according to Apple, even though 90% of Apple customers won’t to go into that part. pherthyl: As for BeOS, people use it because they like it, it isn’t as deep as Linux but almost same cost, and has its own charms. I use it too, it has lots of problems I can live with, I just don’t want to use W2K anymore as MS has dumbed it down to a level that has little in common with what NT started out as. Calling people zealots for using the OS they like is really childish it self. 2002-08-08 4:39 pm Urm, and Windows runs on how many mainframes / supercomputers? Oh.. That’s right… NONE! And that is important, because we do that a lot. I think we are talking about micros here, don’t you? 2002-08-08 7:34 pm Like any extremist, OS zealots have too narrow a point of view: They think they have the perfect OS. There is no perfect OS. It doesn’t exist. As soon as you say “my OS is better because…” you label yourself an idiot. It’s a matter of the right tool for the job. Windows, Linux, even Beos (or OBOS) have their place. Depending on the job you want, you choose the tools (hardware, software, OS) you need. 2002-08-08 8:36 pm > And that is important, because we do that a lot. > I think we are talking about micros here, don’t you? I for one do it all the time. Almost everything I’ve worked on in the last few years has had mainframe components or mainframe interoperability issues. More importantly ideas from mainframes trickle down to micros. 1) Now that most micro operating systems are running server based apps regularly scheduled operations are becoming more important as a result almost all of them ship with a job scheduling system (job cards). 2) As these servers are becoming more important and the one user: one machine rule is being broken remote administration by lower level employees is becoming a key feature (operator’s guides, operator’s interfaces). 3) The hot idea in micros right now is moving from simple file systems to the entire file system acting as a database with file specific means of accessing the files (as per AS/400, MVS..). The big changes in the last 15 years in micros: multitasking, protected memory, network file systems all came from mainframe systems. The fact that Unix scales well up to much larger systems is important it means that applications written for Unix are likely to be viable a decade from now while those written for Windows are less likely to be viable.