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Old 11-13-2012, 03:09 PM
 
Location: USA
430 posts, read 570,346 times
Reputation: 335
Quote:
Originally Posted by plwhit View Post
Lets use FACTS rather than hyperbole shall we?

OS Statistics

Based on the comments so far I don't think anyone has read/understood the article.....

It has NOTHING to do with how many distros or the age/mentality of the user or the "deals made with computer producers"....
Just a couple of points to clarify things:

1.) quote from W3Schools -
Quote:
From the statistics below (collected from W3Schools' log-files over a period of nine years), you can read the long term trends of operating system usage.
We see that Windows 7 and Windows XP are the most popular operating systems.
- so this data was collected only from visitors to W3Schools site. Who are largely developers/developer wannabes. Developers of IPhone and Android-based devices are probably not accounted for here since they wouldn't be going to W3Schools for that.

I think it's obvious that Windows dominates in the desktop and even laptop fields. And Apple and Android/Linux dominates in the mobile/tablet space. The question is which platform will grow fastest from here on? My bet is laptops and mobile devices. They're more "personal" computers.

2.) The original link to the Register article linked to page 2 of the article. If the person that clicked on the link did not click on "Previous" page, then he would have read only the second part of the article, which ended with Tannenbaum's reference to "Linux being obsolete", which, in hindsight, now belongs here: Top 30 Failed Technology*Predictions - Top 10 Lists | Listverse

3.) What makes the Register article "not interesting", even misleading, is that it writes that "Microsoft thinks Linux is a virus", which it probably did a long time ago, since they saw it as a threat to their business of OS and application software. A lot of technology companies like IBM and even Apple saw Linux as a promising "testbed" and probably good for the industry, therefore supported Linux in one way or another.

Microsoft has since changed its tune: Linux kernel in 2011: 15 million total lines of code and Microsoft is a top contributor | Ars Technica

As with the rapid development of the Internet and the Web, money talks. Capitalism works.

You think Ubuntu/Mint/Fedora don't make money?

By the way, here's another way Microsoft makes money from Linux (to rile up them anti-Microsoft folks): Microsoft profits from Linux patent FUD | ZDNet . Read the links under the article. Will probably **** off most Linux fans.


4.) As for Linux on the desktop, I just rebuilt a couple of Dell Optiplex machines from scrap parts yesterday to donate to kids in my area who can't afford their own computer. I installed Windows 7 and MS Office on it first. Then installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS in another partition. Frankly, the Windows 7 install was slower, more than an hour, plus I had to download drivers from the Dell website (audio/video/chipset for the integrated motherboard/etc..). I'm only now starting to install MS Office to the computers.

Ubuntu installed much easier, flawlessly, within 1 hour, along with all the other application software. More importantly, the drivers worked.Probably because Canonical has been working with computer OEMs to certify Ubuntu on their hardware.

Not knocking Win7 cause I do like Win7. Just laying out the fact that Ubuntu is much easier to install than Win7.

5.) Just because there are over 200 distros of Linux doesn't mean that you have to use all of them. Just stick with the ones in the top 3 or top 5 and you'll be good to go. The top distros of Linux are so easy to use that the only reason they're not being used is probably lack of marketing.

I understand the mentality of "you can't go wrong betting on Microsoft Windows". Companies probably do this because its familiar, common, and it works fine, as long as you budget enough for additional security. And the tools are pretty good, for the Windows environment. But for enterprising tech companies, going with the familiar, with "best practices" if you will, will only leave you in the middle of the pack. Basically, you're betting not to lose. Rather than leading to win.

IMO, to distinguish your company, you have to get an edge over the competition. If there's one common trait among the leading tech companies and start-ups, its probably the use of Linux in one way or another. That's what Google did. So did Facebook. So did Twitter. So do a lot of companies that want to get an edge.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Upstate SC!
2,408 posts, read 2,251,699 times
Reputation: 1473
Quote:
Originally Posted by fastninja500 View Post
3.) What makes the Register article "not interesting", even misleading, is that it writes that "Microsoft thinks Linux is a virus", which it probably did a long time ago, since they saw it as a threat to their business of OS and application software. A lot of technology companies like IBM and even Apple saw Linux as a promising "testbed" and probably good for the industry, therefore supported Linux in one way or another.
I'm pretty sure they were quoting MS on the GPL, not on Linux.

Many developers consider code licensed under the GPL to be "viral" because once you use any GPL code in a project, it has the potential to "infect" the project thus forcing it to be licensed under the GPL.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Italy
6,387 posts, read 2,663,252 times
Reputation: 853
Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
People pay for it because they want quality.

People don't want to deal with beta (at best) software that gets abandoned when the developer gets bored. They don't want to figure out which forked project they should be using and which ones are going to die after a release or two.

There are scenarios in which Linux makes sense, but the desktop just isn't one of them. The software quality just isn't there. The hardware support just isn't there. And there's little indication that it'll ever get there. I've been running Linux since the 90s and while it has made a great deal of progress, many of the same problems remain - flaky hardware support, buggy end-user software that gets abandoned, radical UI changes for no apparent reason.

It's telling that the only areas where Linux has been able to succeed is where large companies with a profit motive have invested in it and steered projects. (Well, that's not quite true, it's also succeeded in areas like scientific computing where the projects are tightly controlled by universities and the funding comes from government.)
Maybe you're using the wrong distros? I've been using Linux desktops for the last 4 years or so. Nothing flaky that I can see. All the drivers are included in the kernel, no need for installing them separately like you have to in Windows. And as for support, there are forums galore on the web with lots of nice people who help out in no time. For free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swagger View Post
I don't know what else to say, brian. You've been given many answers, in this thread and others. It's like you can't read them or something.

If you actually do want answers to your question, you need to let yourself accept the simple fact that not everyone uses a computer in exactly the same way that you do, nor do they want to. You're stuck in this "linux is great for me, so it should be great for everyone" mindset that simply doesn't fit reality. It's been pointed out to you time and again through many threads in this forum alone, yet you refuse to accept that reality.
Well, that depends on your usage. I think most people use their computers for basic needs, and Linux does that and much more.
But if you want to be under the dictates of Microsoft, that's your choice, as we live in a democracy.

As for me, I prefer freedom to use my PCs the way I like.

Peace,
brian
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Upstate SC!
2,408 posts, read 2,251,699 times
Reputation: 1473
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahigherway View Post
Maybe you're using the wrong distros? I've been using Linux desktops for the last 4 years or so. Nothing flaky that I can see. All the drivers are included in the kernel, no need for installing them separately like you have to in Windows. And as for support, there are forums galore on the web with lots of nice people who help out in no time. For free.



Well, that depends on your usage. I think most people use their computers for basic needs, and Linux does that and much more.
But if you want to be under the dictates of Microsoft, that's your choice, as we live in a democracy.

As for me, I prefer freedom to use my PCs the way I like.

Peace,
brian
I had lots of issues with drivers on Ubuntu. I work in a VMWare image all day, and need to run it on a minimum of two monitors, but would prefer to have it on all three. The only way to get this to work in Ubuntu was to use an official driver from NVIDIA. Installing it was ugly at best, and it was flaky enough that I went back to Vista on the metal within a week.

I never felt more restricted that when I was on Linux (I've tried to make the move several times). None of the software that I want to run is there. It would cost me far more money to run Linux as my main work machine than it would ever begin to save.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Minnesota, USA
7,472 posts, read 7,818,394 times
Reputation: 5950
My experiences have been that:

1. Linux is actually BETTER at supporting hardware on many older machines. For newer computers, it all depends on whether the hardware vendor is willing to release open-source drivers or how fast they can be reverse-engineered. That, on the other hand, is usually already done with older hardware. Examples: For some reason, the WiFi on the laptop I am typing on right now (which is used and dates back from 2006) does not work in XP; it worked for a while, then quit. When I ran Xubuntu from a flash drive, I discovered that the WiFi is indeed not broken and even found another WLAN in my neighborhood (not that I connected to it, but in a rural area it's always nice to see how your neighbors get their internet). As for my old multi-function machine, it required hundreds of megabytes of drivers and VERY SLOW AND BUGGY factory software to run under Windows; Linux software was not included. But then I ran Linux, and what do you know? Not only were the drivers already included, but the scanning program (Xsane) was MUCH faster (by degrees of magnitude) and had a more agreeable interface (to me) than the "idiotware" included by the manufacturer.

I think the idea that Linux is not very compatible with hardware dates back to the era in which it actually WAS difficult to find support for many devices under Linux: software modems ("Winmodems"), wireless interfaces when they first became popular, etc.

2. I wouldn't say that there is only "half-baked abandonware betas" out there for the Linux desktop. Arguably, a lot of software can be described that way, but...what about Blender? Audacity? OpenOffice.org? The GIMP? K3b? etc. etc. etc. All of these programs have proven themselves effective for what I use them for (or for others), and often more effective (cost-effective or user-friendly) than their commercial equivalents. For example, I would shuttle my purchased eMusic MP3's from my laptop (which I usually used at the time) to my ancient desktop to burn a CD for playback in my car. My laptop had a DVD/CD-R drive, but K3b worked so much better than iTunes.

3. I'll admit that open-source development is an inherently flaky process. Take x11amp, for example. Modeled after WinAmp, it was the best audio player for Linux hands-down during the late 90s and early 2000s. Then it changed its name to xmms, and improved even more. Then, one day seemingly out of the blue, the development team at xmms decided that it wanted to make xmms an audio server and not a player. And today you have multiple competing applications that often don't even live up to the original. For example, I can play OGG and MP3 files under Audacity, but when I play a WAV file, for example, it stutters intolerably. And don't get me started with forks...the separation of LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org due to developer disagreements and the relinquishment of commercial support for the project is probably the best current example of this. At least in Windows, LO 3.5, which seemingly takes the philosophy that Java is bad because Java is commercial, runs much slower than I remember OO.o running.

Seemingly senseless radical changes in UI, though, occur in commercial software as well. Look at Office's switch to the "ribbon design", the evolution of Windows Media Player from a decent MEDIA PLAYER to a idiot-proof / intelligence-proof application of dubious function, and the most recent switch to Metro in Windows 8. In fact, at times I would say it occurs even faster in non-OS applications. However, I can't stand KDE ever since version 4 came out - and KDE 3.5.12 was my FAVORITE desktop environment, along with Amarok 1.4.12 (rather than the buggy Amarok 2), the Konqueror file manager, etc. Luckily, because of the nature of open-source, however, there's been a revival of KDE 3.5 under the name "Trinity Desktop Environment".
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:15 AM
 
Location: ɐpɐʌǝu 'sɐƃǝʌ sɐl
14,076 posts, read 9,756,786 times
Reputation: 6973
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahigherway View Post
All the drivers are included in the kernel, no need for installing them separately like you have to in Windows.
Sure, as long as you're using hardware that's supported (typically older stuff).

Even some well established hardware requires work to get working. I put together a system a few years ago that used a RAID card that had been on the market for years. Had to recompile the kernel to get it setup. That is NOT how it should be, for a mainstream o/s.

Again, I have to point out to you that not everyone is you, brian. Not everyone has the same requirements for their computer use, and not everyone is running the same hardware. Is it really that difficult for you to understand??!?
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
9,913 posts, read 14,189,969 times
Reputation: 2733
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurcoLoco View Post
Has there been such a well made desktop oriented OS? I mean even a commercial OS like Windows almost always has major security holes and other software defects out of the box. It takes like 2 service packs to make it run somewhat decent and secure. I don't know any OS that is codded that well at the core API or ABI level so they keep patching and patching and patching and then discontinue support since there is no money in time spent on the patches and other upgrades which should have been done before it was released in the first place.
Has there been such a well made desktop oriented OS?

That's a good question. There are a number of desktop OSes that aren't or weren't mainstream that may have been able to keep the security aspect up, but who knows if something like BeOS or QNX ... or older OSes like CTOS ... would have been able to maintain (G)UI consistency over time? That'd be pure speculation. Linux and the BSDs might be candidates were it not for the tremendous evolution that various X window managers and desktop environments have undergone. Sometimes I pray for a KDE reversion back to the 2.2.x days. POSIX is consistent, but the GUIs used in those environments tend not to be. I'm sure there are exceptions, tho. Is CDE+Motif (yuck) still available for Solaris?

In terms of API stability ... IBM may have been able to keep the base 32-bit OS/2 Presentation Manager consistent over time for corporate customers, but unfortunately the SOM/DSOM-based WorkPlace Shell had a couple of serious design issues that may have forced a large change, so it would depend on which way you designed your interfaces. 32-bit VIO (text-mode) programs could probably have been kept intact, but only weird folks like me tended to live in command prompts. :-) People like icons.

Both Win32 and the classic MacOS were able to maintain some level of consistency for a while, but you're only talking maybe 15 years in both cases. Well, almost 20 for Windows now. Those may be the two best examples out there. Not sure how secure MacOS classic was in an IP networking context ... when I used MacOS 7/8/9 in a work context, it was just on the corporate LAN, so I have no idea.

Quote:
OSes are like languages spoken on this planet. Do we really needs all these languages? Why can't we all speak the same language? Then comes the question which also has the answer as well: Which one should people use?
One of the problems with cookie cutter solutions is that there always exist some customers who have needs which that solution will not meet adequately. That's why some of the outlying OSes exist ... the mainstream solutions usually have some sort of problem meeting the needs of everyone.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
9,913 posts, read 14,189,969 times
Reputation: 2733
Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
People pay for it because they want quality.
Most people pay for it because

(1) It's the resident default value on their machines,
(2) It's what they know already,
(3) It's what other people they know use, or
(4) It's a requirement because of some software (game, application) they want to use.

"Quality" is rarely an issue in any context.

Quote:
People don't want to deal with beta (at best) software that gets abandoned when the developer gets bored. They don't want to figure out which forked project they should be using and which ones are going to die after a release or two.
I've been a Linux user since SLS 0.99 sometime in 1993, and I've also been a part-time FreeBSD user (desktop) in the past, so I have a certain amount of experience with FOSS desktop OSes. I use a half-dozen distros in various capacities today, mainly focusing on Xubuntu, Mint, Knoppix, and PCLinuxOS.

Calling Linux "beta level" is sometimes not unreasonable, since I've been burned more than one by so-called stable releases that proved to be far less than that before patching, but I would also say that is currently the exception, not the rule. As with many other types of products, some Linux implementations are better than others. If you don't want to tweak things and just "want it to work", some distros are just not for you. A windows user would be better served by Mint than by DSL, for example.

The rest of your comment reads like a series of OS advocacy talking points and shows you have very little hands-on experience with the platform. Sorry. If you really want to go toe to toe, I'm game, but this isn't the forum.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
9,913 posts, read 14,189,969 times
Reputation: 2733
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunk Workz View Post
I'm pretty sure they were quoting MS on the GPL, not on Linux.

Many developers consider code licensed under the GPL to be "viral" because once you use any GPL code in a project, it has the potential to "infect" the project thus forcing it to be licensed under the GPL.
The GPL (whether you're talking v2 or v3) is fairly straightforward even for an "old" mainframe developer like me:

If you use GPL software, and if you release your binaries, you have to make the source to those binaries available to the same audience.

If you use GPL source in your code and don't release the resulting binaries to anyone, you're just fine.

It isn't viral. It doesn't impact non-developers unless you're dealing with a deluded entity like the former SCO group, and it only impacts those projects in which one or more software developers choose to actually include GPL code.

Don't like it? Don't use it. Find a BSDL equivalent. The BSD folks don't care, and they LOVE the fact that their code can be used and embedded in proprietary solutions. Or write your own. I've been doing that for 30 years ... so can you.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
9,913 posts, read 14,189,969 times
Reputation: 2733
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunk Workz View Post
I had lots of issues with drivers on Ubuntu. I work in a VMWare image all day, and need to run it on a minimum of two monitors, but would prefer to have it on all three. The only way to get this to work in Ubuntu was to use an official driver from NVIDIA. Installing it was ugly at best, and it was flaky enough that I went back to Vista on the metal within a week.

I never felt more restricted that when I was on Linux (I've tried to make the move several times). None of the software that I want to run is there. It would cost me far more money to run Linux as my main work machine than it would ever begin to save.
I found that Ubuntu 12.04 LTS had broken NVidia drivers. XBMC runs with visible pausing when doing music visualization through ProjectM.

The same issue doesn't exist with Xubuntu 12.04 LTS. Go figure. Same driver version as far as I can tell, too.

BTW --- Ubuntu will normally install NVidia's proprietary binary drives as part of the normal installation process. Which version of Ubuntu were you installing? Sounds fairly old.

A lack of specific software is a classic reason to not use Linux, especially in a business or gaming context, though I've found that at home I don't have such issues. Everyone's needs and preferences are different, tho. Just because I loved using Yarn or slrn on USENET and think they both blow this web forum away in terms of interface doesn't mean that the authors of this web forum software would agree.
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