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Is Linux Really Going To Rule the Desktop?
cyril kearney




msg:907593
 2:31 am on Oct 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

Here's the url to the story:
[story.news.yahoo.com...]

 

martinibuster




msg:907594
 3:08 am on Oct 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

Looks like a slow news day for tech reporters.

This is what reporters do when they have nothing to report on: Dress up an opinion piece and make it look like news.

mack




msg:907595
 3:33 am on Oct 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think linux has a long way to go before it will be widely used on the desktop. There are just to many companies producing their own distros. One of these companies has to make bounds ahead of the rest before they can be a serious threat to Microsoft.

bird




msg:907596
 9:57 am on Oct 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

Interesting theory, Mack.

So you're saying that only a monopoly can beat another monopoly?

Duckula




msg:907597
 1:53 pm on Oct 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

What's this, Slashdot?

Two stories. By the same nick. Both starting with "Is linux really...". Both being simply "Here's the URL to the story:" and an "story.news.yahoo.com" URL.

This is starting to ring alarm bells in my head. I commend Littleman to find out what's behind this. I surely not want trolling at WebmasterWorld.

mack




msg:907598
 3:26 am on Oct 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

I dont think they really have to be a monopoly, just have a much better distro than the rest. What one company should do is concentrate on designing a user interface similar to KDE but realy east for anyone to use, Then an advertising campaigne because whan i ask someone if they have tried linux, must say "what is that"

From an end user point of view not many peopel think they can run a system without windows. It is things like this, that a linux company should address.

David




msg:907599
 5:19 am on Oct 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

The only way I see that Linux can make a dent in the Desk top market will be through Corporate and school usage. If enough people use it at work or school it will filter down to the average user.

It would also help if when you bought a new computer you had a choice. Imagine going into Best Buy and seeing two Identical computers side by side, One with Linux and one with Windows.

mack




msg:907600
 6:33 am on Oct 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

Good point david....

The price would also be a deciding factor.

You go into your PC store and see the exact same system one with windows XP and the other with a high quality Linux OS. The price on top of each box might be anough to coax the buyer that Linux is a serious alternative.

The other main issue is getting enough software companies to offer linux versions. If the computer is cheaper with linux and if can run lots of popular aplications then joe public might be tempted.

Mark_A




msg:907601
 6:39 am on Oct 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

But mac that's all the "if's" - at the moment reality is linux on a desktop is for techies and geeks only ..

Joe public and Corporate user want ease and maximum compatibility - which at least for the time being is definately a windows OS.

If however they produced a freeware Win emulator they could be in business quite quickly... I would like to see that .. Personally I dont want the price for my new laptop to include Bill Gates's ET / Adware / BBrother - XPware hardwired into it thanks :-)

mack




msg:907602
 6:57 am on Oct 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

I agree it is all if's....

Think how fast the world of computers evolve though. All it really takes is a major computer maker to say "ok we need options"

I honestly cant see it happening for a long time. So long as people are willing to pay the extra cost of an XP liscense computer companies can sit back and let MS do their work.

I think eventualy it will be a computer company that will produce their own linux OS and bundle it with their system.

NFFC




msg:907603
 7:17 am on Oct 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Joe public and Corporate user want ease and maximum compatibility - which at least for the time being is definately a windows OS.

My Daughter would disagree with that [she is 5 BTW].

martinibuster




msg:907604
 7:52 am on Oct 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

Here's an article from San Francisco. It's called, "Testing Walmart's $200 PC." It's about a Linux computer.

It's written by a San Francisco Computer Geek. They don't get geekier than San Francisco.

Period.

You can read it here [sfgate.com]

This article re-hashes everything I've heard on the street about Linux:

The word on the street is that it's a pain to configure and set up. Modem/printer/monitor/etc. compatibility is a royal pain, and darn near impossible.

The article referenced above echoes everything I've heard from Hardcore San Francisco Geekoids for the last couple months.

As I said before, "It must have been a slow day. These reporters are wrapping their opinions up and trying to pass it off as news.

heini




msg:907605
 8:05 am on Oct 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

Martinibuster, that's about the super bargain Walmarts/Lindows offer.

90% of the points mentioned being problematic by the author are specific to Lindows and this specific setup.

Nearly none of it applies to a regular full Linux installation like Redhat or Mandrake or Suse.

All of those have automatic hardware configuration working as smooth as any Windows.

cyril kearney




msg:907606
 9:05 pm on Oct 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

heini,
I think you are saying that if the offering was Walmart/Red Hat (or Mandrake or Suse) that the $200 pc would be practical.

Has or why hasn't someone else jumped on this $200 band wagon? Could such a machine with an existing build of Linux (or a machine with more advanced hardware and a higher hardware price) really give Windows XP a run for its money?

Assuming it could, is the idea in the original article that Linux could get a 10% share of the desktop really far-fetched?

heini




msg:907607
 9:19 pm on Oct 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

No, sorry, Cyril. What I'm saying is the article Martinibuster refers to does not talk about Linux.

The problems the author describes having with this $200 Lindows machine are not representative of a regular full Linux installed machine.

I have no idea what can be expected from any new machine with any OS for $200. This setup anyhow seems to have some problems.

As to the original question: I certainly do not think the windows dominance over Linux is due to Linux being complicated.
If anyone still believes Linux is complicated, just install a new Mandrake or Redhat version. Actually it's faster and as automatic as any Windows setup.

Mohamed_E




msg:907608
 9:32 pm on Oct 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

If anyone still believes Linux is complicated, just install a new Mandrake or Redhat version. Actually it's faster and as automatic as any Windows setup.

Heini,

Do you feel that this statement applies to laptops as well? I would love to move away from the world of windows, but have heard horror stories about Linux on laptops (device driver problems, mainly).

The Redhat site seems to claim that Dell sells Inspirons with Linux pre-installed, looking at the Dell site and attempting to configure an Inspiron 8200 the only choices of OS that I had were four versions of XP.

Does ANY vendor sell laptops with Linux preinstalled?

Brad




msg:907609
 9:38 pm on Oct 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

Walmart has desktop systems with Mandrake installed. They are a bit more than $200 but still a good deal.

john316




msg:907610
 10:27 pm on Oct 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>The Redhat site seems to claim that Dell sells Inspirons with Linux pre-installed<<

I put Redhat on a dell inspiron with no problems at all. I took the thing to a weeklong family reunion and let the kids (a lot of kids) use it as the "gamer" machine, It ran non-stop for an entire week, no crashes...and the kids loved it.

One "kid" comment:

"You can tell smart people made this."

Try running any windozeOS under those conditions..hehe

littleman




msg:907611
 1:34 am on Oct 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

You ever try to install windows on a raw laptop? Not a "rescue disk" but a generic windows CD, it is often not a simple process.

>Linux preinstalled on a laptop
[xtops.de...]

littleman




msg:907612
 1:40 am on Oct 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Linux preinstalled on a laptop
[aslab.com...]
[emperorlinux.com...]

saurabh




msg:907613
 7:21 am on Oct 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

You ever try to install windows on a raw laptop? Not a "rescue disk" but a generic windows CD, it is often not a simple process.

I'd disagree. I've tried, and found Windows setup *much* easier. Mandrake installation had difficulty detecting my laptop's touch pad. On Windows I can use my PS2 mouse and the touch pad at the same time. Ever seen a windows setup asking you for the type of mouse you have.
Weather I install Windows XP on my laptop or my desktop it installs and configures all hardware without asking for a single driver. Can you say the same about Linux.. I don't think so.

I certainly do think Linux being complicated is one of the main reasons of the Windows dominance over Linux.

caine




msg:907614
 8:56 am on Oct 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

As Mack said linux and its many distributions are making it hard too ever in the forseeable platform become a desktop solution to {b]anybody that is not quite seriously initiated in computers, from the building of them down to the shell of the OS[/b]

I currently am building a new PC just for my Redhat HDD which was dual booting with W2K, however i want it seperated and running at all times with W2k via a KTM switch, so for me i will slowly and surely adopt linux as a desktop solution.

littleman




msg:907615
 9:54 pm on Oct 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

I am sure it will very from case to case, but I had the unpleasant assignment of making a HP pavilion dual boot Linux/98SE.

I tried to install a generic 98 SE cd in the HP and it was absolutely miserable, the resolution was 800x600 with no true color, no sound, and no modem or nic card detection.

If I had the factory prepared rescue disk I am sure it would have gone much better, but I didn't and I was left with an unusable computer.

In contrast I installed Mandrake and it was smooth sailing. I was able to get the resolution up to 1280x1024, got sound working, got the nic working with DHCP and all the other important stuff sans the WINmodem.

XP would not even be an option for this 400MHz Celeron with 96 MEGs of ram.

When in windows the HP kept locking up and became unusable, I ended up scrapping the windows partition and doing a clean full install of Mandrake.

Mark_A




msg:907616
 6:57 am on Oct 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Whether linux will make headway as a PC OS, is not about whether it is easier or harder to install or use. It is only about whether punters "perceive" that it is harder easier, more or less compatible.

Technical arguments are for techies. Windows presently has way better public PR and top of mind awareness (so does Mac for that matter).

Unless the Linux industry does a lot of communications work, brand and confidence building, their OS could technically be a real warp but no one (relative volume wise) would want to risk / use it.

heini




msg:907617
 10:54 am on Oct 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Mark_A, that's what it's all about: Mass market awareness and branding. I guess 90% of all people having a PC don't even know they could have something different than windows.

One thing that could change this is the growing acceptance of Linux in governmental and corporate use. A lot of people will get in touch with Linux that way.

saurabh




msg:907618
 10:05 pm on Oct 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

littleman:
I had the unpleasant assignment of making a HP pavilion dual boot Linux/98SE.

I believe comparison is not quite right. You are comparing the Windows 98 to a newer (possibly current) distribution of Linux.

littleman




msg:907619
 3:24 am on Oct 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

saurabh:
I believe comparison is not quite right. You are comparing the Windows 98 to a newer (possibly current) distribution of Linux.

You and I both know that XP would be nearly unusable on a 400MHz Celeron with 96 MEGs of ram.

theperlyking




msg:907620
 6:56 pm on Oct 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

The thing about linux is not that its incapable of sorting out drivers or being a good desktop OS, its that so far its inconsistent and relies to a degree on people being reasonably good with computers. There are x (3,4,5?) places to set your fonts for example.

Against my better judgement perhaps, but redhat may be heading in the right direction with their common desktop look and feel ideas.

martin




msg:907621
 7:10 pm on Oct 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

>The thing about linux is not that its incapable of sorting out drivers or being a good desktop OS, its that so far its inconsistent and relies to a degree on people being reasonably good with computers. There are x (3,4,5?) places to set your fonts for example.

When I first installed Mandrake it took me 45 minutes and I was surprised that I was asked only a few questions in expert mode.
Every package has a nice description (paragraph or two) so it wasn't hard to decide if I wanted it or not.

littleman




msg:907622
 7:17 pm on Oct 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

>The thing about linux is not that its incapable of sorting out drivers...
Mandrake has always done a good job of this for me. It is actually batting 100% on all the desktops I have tried.

>or being a good desktop OS

That is definitely an opinion, one I completely disagree with.

>common desktop look and feel ideas

I like having choice, being limited to a single desktop, especially one that tries to look and feel like windows would be a tragedy on my opinion.

This 45 message thread spans 2 pages: 45 ( [1] 2 > >
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