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Vista Launch Good for Desktop Linux? 535

Posted by Zonk
from the could-be dept.
Sensible Clod writes "XYZ Computing has an article hypothesizing that the arrival of Windows Vista may be a big opportunity for Linux to make headway on the desktop. Massive feature cutbacks for Vista as well as huge hardware requirements are cited as major factors. From the article: 'As the time gets closer and closer to the public debut of Vista the operating system seems to be constantly losing the luster which was associated with Longhorn...Whether it's the lack of a new file system or the Monad scripting shell, the absence of innovation in this operating system is giving it a black eye'. The article then shows the need for action to be taken to get Linux onto the computers in stores (display models!), and pinpoints a few important improvements Linux distros in general need to make. Very interesting read, and timely."
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Vista Launch Good for Desktop Linux?

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  • negligible (Score:5, Insightful)

    by silverkniveshotmail. (713965) * <everettpf3@@@gmail...com> on Saturday August 27, 2005 @06:58AM (#13414600) Journal
    Vista is not going to decrease the amount of people purchasing new computers with whatever current version of windows is pre-loaded. This is the majority of windows purchases. As for those who are going to be holding onto their current computers and using them most of them will probably not upgrade to the newest (most expensive) operating system available and will probably stick with windows xp or 2000 until they get a new computer that does come with vista.
    The same people who bought windows XP at full retail will probably go ahead and buy Vista at full retail while most of us that use linux now will just keep using linux whether or not some new version of windows comes along.
    I think the whole impact will be negligible.
    • Almost negligible (Score:5, Informative)

      by trezor (555230) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @07:03AM (#13414624) Homepage

      Vista will implement DRM deep into the OS and when apps start "taking advantage" of that, you will notice that it's not negligible any more.

      My reason for staying away from Vosta, hardware requirements aside, is DRM and DRM only. Because there are a few neat features under the hood I'd really like to have. For instance the vector-graphics GPU-accelerated desktop.

      • by jaiyen (821972) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @07:46AM (#13414769)
        Linux advocates - "No DRM in Linux!"

        Legally downloaded audio/video file disclaimer - "Needs DRM compatible PC"

        Windows Vista box sticker - "Fully DRM compatible!"

        To an average non-technical user who just wants their music and video files to play, isn't this going to make the DRM look like an additional feature that Windows has and Linux lacks? Sadly lacking DRM might end up turning people away from Linux rather than towards it :(
        • by Mateo_LeFou (859634) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @08:06AM (#13414847) Homepage
          Linux advocates - "Free as in Freedom"

          Legally downloaded audio/video file disclaimer - "Not Compatible with Freedom"

          Windows Vista box sticker - "100% Freedom-free!"

          *sigh...

        • by eggstasy (458692) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @09:53AM (#13415335) Journal
          The vast majority of computer users live in poor countries where software is either downloaded or acquired from friends. People buy PCs specifically because it is easier to get games for it than with a console - piracy is the norm rather than the exception.
          Piracy is the killer app that made the PC king, and brought broadband to the masses.
          So, if piracy is ever made impossible under windows, millions of people will flock to Linux in order to continue to enjoy software free of charge, with the additional advantage that it will also give them freedom. Watch, then, as some of those millions take an interest in the people who kindly provide them with free, legal software, and become active open source contributors.
          It's happening already. The other day some rich bastard was accusing me of being an evil pirate when I told him I never pay for software. I started looking at my software and lo - its practically all open source, even under windows. Gaim, OO.o, Gimp, Firefox, Thunderbird, The Ur-Quan Masters, heck, even my mp3s are mostly legal, indie stuff. I wish I could have seen the look on his face :)
          • by Tim C (15259)
            The vast majority of computer users live in poor countries

            No, I think you'll find that the vast majority of computer users live in rich countries. The vast majority of *people* live in poor countries, but very very few of them have computers.
      • Re:Almost negligible (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Randall311 (866824)
        Their will be a hack to break the DRM the day after it is implemented. This is windowz wer're talking about here. Heck, even iTunes music store DRM was hacked with Jhymn. Same deal here. There are legal and moral issues associated with DRM. If you paid for a song legally, then you should legally be allowed to listen to it anywhere you want. I know the ToS says otherwise, but that is crap. This is America, and when you buy something for your own use, you are allowed to personally do whatever you want w
        • by infolib (618234)
          This is America, and when you buy something for your own use, you are allowed to personally do whatever you want with it.

          This is the EU, and we slept our chance away while the "anti-circumvention" directive was passed. You might note that the same happened in the US. To make America live up to the noblest connotation of the name takes active citizens. (The same goes for the EU and the respective nation states except that "EU" has much fewer positive connotations to live up to.)

    • Re:negligible (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LWATCDR (28044)
      " Vista is not going to decrease the amount of people purchasing new computers with whatever current version of windows is pre-loaded. "
      I have to wonder computers are really "good enough" Except for the people that toss their computers when they get too infected with spy/adware who really needs a new computer?
      People that always need the latest and greatest are the people that do CAD, Rendering, high end photo shop, video editing, and Gamers.
      Everyone else is really fine with even the low end we have now.
      The
  • by Saven Marek (739395) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @06:58AM (#13414601)
    Out of all the features meant to be in vista some since 1992, almost all of them have been dropped. Microsoft a large gigantic corporation couldn't get them in their system working.

    What's funny is that every one of those features is available today in a Linux distro near you. Yet still nobody listens and switches to linux in droves, but many wait for vista

    I think sometimes everyone is a sheep
    • by Adelbert (873575) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @07:12AM (#13414653) Journal
      I think sometimes everyone is a sheep

      If that's what you think, then so do I!

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Your comments are a tad over zealous.

      I've been using linux as a way to learn how the command line works, I didn't enjoy the days or even weeks it took me to get my peripherals/hardware to work. I'd honestly rather go for a walk then get my cd's to burn.

      I want to be a programmer, so I'm learning about things I think/have been told they do. I don't want to just re-iterate all of the old arguments of why linux wont make it to the desktop just yet. But here is what I know from reading posts here (in short form)
      • by shreevatsa (845645) <shreevatsa,slashdot&gmail,com> on Saturday August 27, 2005 @09:00AM (#13415086)
        1) Driver Support: Maybe what you say is true, but my personal experience has been otherwise -- Linux picked up all my hardware automatically, while Windows (XP) didn't.

        2)Hey, there are enough games on Linux already! Doom3, Counterstrike, and um, a few others work on Linux. And besides,
        A master programmer passed a novice programmer one day. The master noted the novice's preoccupation with a hand-held computer game. ``Excuse me,'' he said, ``may I examine it?''
        The novice bolted to attention and handed the device to the master.
        ``I see that the device claims to have three levels of play: Easy, Medium and Hard,'' said the master. ``Yet every such device has another level of play, where the device seeks not to conquer the human, nor to be conquered by the human.''
        ``Pray, great master,'' implored the novice, ``how does one find this mysterious settings?''
        The master dropped the device to the ground and crushed it underfoot. And suddenly the novice was enlightened.
        -- The Tao of Programming, 8.2

        :)
        3) Openoffice, Kword, Abiword, antiword... all open Word files. The reason most Linux users hate to receive Word attachments is a philosophy thing, not that they can't open them.
    • What's funny is that every one of those features is available today in a Linux distro near you. Yet still nobody listens and switches to linux in droves, but many wait for vista

      I think sometimes everyone is a sheep


      You're welcome to think what you want, but it doesn't make it true. I've tried to install Linux 3 times, each time I failed (either with the installation itself or setting up the network). Linux for the non-geek is not easy, Windows is.
    • by fontkick (788075) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @08:07AM (#13414853)
      Why can't Linux people understand this: Windows users utilize software written only for Windows. My copies of Adobe Creative Suite, Maya, Dreamweaver, MS Office, Microsoft Money and other utilites cost me almost $4000. That's $4000 that pays my bills and makes me money. Will the Windows binaries run on OSX? No, so I'm not switching. Will they run on Linux natively? No, so I'm not switching.

      When software developers sell multi-platform licenses for each title, then we can switch. Until then, it's Windows or whatever OS you are locked into due to the expense of moving to another platform, which would require buying a full version instead of an upgrade. Why spend that kind of money to switch when the software/hardware combo you are using now will work just fine?
      • Seriously, keep it up! Because attitudes like yours keep me in the green. People just love paying inflated prices from their vendors because their vendors use expensive tools.

        So when somebody like me can roll in, with a ton of free-tool experience, and roll a cross-platform solution (Windows, MacOS X, Linux, BSD) with guaranteed uptime, remote maintainence from the developer, secure remote access features, and interactive documentation, and all for less than a proprietary solution would cost, what do you
  • People don't care (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27, 2005 @06:59AM (#13414606)
    People don't care about Monad or new file systems - they want nice GUIs with RSS integrated - IE with tabs etc... Vista is everything the average user wants.

    As for hardware requirements - most people will get vista with their shiny new hardware from dell or whatever. It will meet the requirements and look great with lots of eye-candy.

    Linux doesn't just need to be better than Vista - it needs to be MUCH better to get an average user to switch.
    • People don't care about Monad or new file systems - they want nice GUIs with RSS integrated - IE with tabs etc...

      Not really correct for you're average "get a computer for the kids" person. Most people won't a computer that will work with most of the software that is available on the market. Windows provides that for them. If it was a pretty computer, then Macs would be the dominant player.
    • Re:People don't care (Score:2, Interesting)

      by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      ``Linux doesn't just need to be better than Vista - it needs to be MUCH better to get an average user to switch.''

      That's what I always say when the (n+1)th Linux ready for the desktop discussion comes up.

      Linux (with GUI and all that) is already a better desktop OS for the average luser than Windows is. That doesn't mean they will or even should all switch. Switching is hard. If you get your work done on Windows, and can't be bothered to do the re-learning that goes with the switch to Linux, than don't switc
  • by Spackler (223562) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @06:59AM (#13414608) Journal
    This story was posted in 1995, 1998, 2000 and 2003. It is a dupe. Nothing to see here.
    • by lav-chan (815252) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @08:31AM (#13414957)

      It's posted more often than that. Every single time Microsoft does something even slightly stupid (even if it's not related to Windows itself), some idiot will come along and be like OH BOY TIHS IS LINIXS BIG CHANCE GUYS I CAN SEE IT NOW

      ... But Microsoft has done something stupid every day for the past decade (at least), and Linux still isn't popular on the desk-top.


      If you like Linux and want it to succeed, that's awesome. Me too. But stop kidding yourself, you look like idiots. Don't pat yourself on the back every time Microsoft screws up, because it's going to take a GIGANTIC screw-up to ever put Linux anywhere near being a popular desk-top OS. In fact, chances are that it'll never happen, unless somebody really smart does with Linux what Apple did with BSD.

  • Finally! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mensa Babe (675349) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @06:59AM (#13414612) Homepage Journal
    XYZ Computing has an article hypothesizing that the arrival of Windows Vista may be a big opportunity for Linux to make headway on the desktop.

    A decade ago it was Windows 95 that was going to be a big opportunity for Linux to make headway on the desktop, then it was Windows 98, 2000, XP, the DRM in Media Player, Internet Explorer, the license of MS SQL Server, the flaws in ASP security model, the nonsense of .NET hysteria, the C#... Meanwhile, GNU/Linux is already on my desktop and I couldn't really care less what Micro$oft does. I just use it because it is the best tool for my job. Period.
    • A decade ago it was Windows 95 that was going to be a big opportunity for Linux to make headway on the desktop

      I'm not sure I agree with that. Back in '95, Gnome and KDE were only a concept (they would come along in '97). There were a few patchwork desktops and perhaps IceWM and TWM, but if you counted those as a threat to Microsoft's 95 OS envioronment, you're wrong. Quite frankly, I think the people working on Linux back then were just worried about increasing the in-roads they could get in the more aca
    • ``A decade ago it was Windows 95 that was going to be a big opportunity for Linux to make headway on the desktop''

      It was for me. When Windows 95 was released, I was already using Linux (although I still mostly used DOS - for teh games). First, I hated Microsoft for making so much propaganda for Windows 95 that nobody was looking at OS/2...I'd seen it, and it ruled. Then, 95 was released, and I heard from all over the place how much it sucked, and from my OS/2 using friends how much better OS/2 was.

      Finally,
    • Re:Finally! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Felinoid (16872)
      A decade ago it was Windows 95 that was going to be a big opportunity for Linux to make headway on the desktop,

      Not even close.
      Windows 95 was Microsofts big chance to solidify it's hold on the market and brush aside all compeditors.

      Linux however was only just then being used on a few low load servers and a few desktops.

      When IE came out it was the death of Netscape. Linux didn't even have a TCPIP stack and couldn't actually go on the Internet.

      Windows 98 was Windows 98. Linux advocates used it to raise aware
    • Re:Finally! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Elektroschock (659467)
      Yes, and also consider that this article of the "XYZ"(!) experts is largely an advertisement for Linspire.

      Now, there are cheaper and better distributions. As a German citizen Linspire is of little use for me. I need native language support.

      Note that Wine 0.9 is close and I think we will see a boost in Wine compatibility soon. And then we have a free .NET implementation. KDE 4. OO 2.x

      I do not think Windows VISTA, a non-Vista Vista will be much better than Longporn.
  • by ThogScully (589935) <neilsd@neilschelly.com> on Saturday August 27, 2005 @07:00AM (#13414613) Homepage
    XP offered very little beyond Windows 2000 with a new skinning engine, especially as far as most people were concerned. So long as Longhorn looks a little prettier and the pressure eventually is pushed to corporations/people to upgrade for compatibility, people will move to it.

    Linux will find a way to people's desktops eventually, when it's more ready and the market in general is more ready to support it. Linux won't make inroads because of anything Microsoft does, for better or worse.
    -N
    • by cnettel (836611) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @07:21AM (#13414683)
      The fascinating story is also that a lot of stuff was cut back from Windows 2000. In beta 2, Office files with different data streams could actually be persisted to disk as several NTFS streams in one file, with the intent to expand this. Indexing was also implemented and at some point it was expected to be much better than the current service.

      Still, Windows 2000 was a huge step over NT4. And, still, XP improved several APIs, both in kernel and user mode. Auto-growing stacks was introduced (news in the Windows world), which of course can simplify development of recursive stuff in some scenarios. It's not much, and if you want to keep compatible with 2000, it's irrelevant, but they continued tweaking.

      Vista can still, from what I know, be a huge enough step to warrant a 6.0 version number. It won't be a "new" product, but (just about) nobody ever said it would. If NT4 => 2000 was an upgrade worth mentioning, I would think that this will be, too.

      (And, hey, on a laptop/TFT desktop, Cleartype is enough for me to want XP if I run Windows)


      • Aside from the deep level programming stuff, which I don't know much about to be honest, there are some things in XP that I think do make it worthwhile to switch from 2000. Most of them are little things, but they are there.

        *simple SMB file sharing. Right-click, sharing..., "just share this folder". Bang. Everyone in the workgroup can now read your files.

        *network location awareness. A lot of the SMB stuff in XP is just done better than 2000, it seems to "just work" where as windows 2000 had problems w
      • If NT4 => 2000 was an upgrade worth mentioning, I would think that this will be, too.

        I think that transition offered a lot more than the 2000->XP, and I really don't have a solid picture of what Longhorn will actually ship with other than a badly needed desktop UI engine improvement.

        Regarding NT->2000, Support for larger hard drives, wider industry support, greatly improved support for DirectX, DVD, Firewire and USB were all very significant advances.

        (And, hey, on a laptop/TFT desktop, Cleartype is
    • "Linux won't make inroads because of anything Microsoft does, for better or worse."

      I'd say that's a bit of an overstatement. There's a limit to what consumer's will take, and as computer purchases become more transparent (IE when people realize they're actually paying $100+ for Windows and MS's other software) I think the door will open for Linux.

      Conversely MS could start charging a reasonable amount of money for their software and offering more open dev support and essentially zap up any need for an alter
    • And XP uptake was sloooow, esp. in businesses
    • When I have to use Windows, I use Windows 98.

      I don't know of any features in 2000, XP, or Vista that is compelling.

      More bloat, that's all.
  • by tobi-wan-kenobi (797654) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @07:00AM (#13414614) Journal
    how many people earnestly think it is about usability and security that most people choose their software?
    i agree, some of the more sophisticated desktop users might be willing to switch, but much more powerful forces for not switching are: a lot of people don't like serious changes. they know windows (though it might suck), not necessarily the OS, but the brand, so they stick with it.
    a lot of companies are either bound by contracts or - more importantly - by internal applications that are broken enough only to work with windows (in that case, to be more specific, mostly word, excel and access).
    these are, i think, compelling reasons why a large percentage - mark, percentage, not single individuals - will not want to switch to linux because of what the article states.
  • by ReformedExCon (897248) <reformed.excon@gmail.com> on Saturday August 27, 2005 @07:00AM (#13414615)
    Unless you mean to say that the lower new feature count will make it easier to clone those features into the Linux GUIs. Or maybe you mean that people who upgrade to new PCs will then have their older PCs available to load Linux on. I'm not sure how the next release of Windows will help Linux in the least.

    People buy Microsoft because that's what they expect when they buy a computer. Some people think they want more, so they buy a Mac. Other people are happy with Linux, and they don't even have to spend a dime to get the OS software.

    When Microsoft releases their next version, I don't think it will have the massive uptake that Windows 95 did, or even Windows 2000 did. Even Windows XP had a slower takeup than the real quantum leaps in Windows history (Win95, Win2K). People are just satisfied with what they've got.

    How are you going to convince satisfied people to run Linux? It doesn't really offer them anything that they don't already have or need. If it were that important to them, they would be running it already.

    So why would Windows Vista help Linux?
    • How are you going to convince satisfied people to run Linux? It doesn't really offer them anything that they don't already have or need.

      I think that a Windows virus that completely trashed every Windows box on the planet every 24 hours might do the trick. Virus writers are way too wussy.
  • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday August 27, 2005 @07:01AM (#13414616)
    Well, I recently took a good long look at all three desktop operating systems for a personal shootout, and I must say that out of Windows XP, Ubuntu Linux with KDE or Gnome, and OSX Tiger, OSX was the only one that stood out from the crowd as being anywhere near innovative or 'new'. I didnt see anything in Linux that I havent enjoyed using elsewhere for years, although its security strengths are a positive, Windows had the games plus point, but its much of a muchness desktop wise, but OSX takes integration and ease of use to a new level, especially for developers.

    What am I trying to say? Well, before you complain about Vista not being 'innovative', take a look at the alternatives first, they arent much different in many aspects.

    What desktop am I posting this from? OSX of course!
  • Linux' big chance (Score:4, Interesting)

    by treff89 (874098) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @07:01AM (#13414617)
    I completely agree. Vista, which (as Longhorn in its initial announcement stages) looked actually quite good, has now become what is basically XP SP3. Features that would have made it worthwhile, such as WinFS, have all been stripped from the final product: while Linux continues to accelerate ahead in terms of stability, compatibility and features. The fact that it is becoming easier to use, more recognised and therefore attracts more coders, also is a great plus for Linux and means that it is increasing in value exponentially. As well, Vista's crazy system requirements are in stark contrast to those of many Linux distributions, despite the fact that these distributions have most if not all of Vista's featurs (and many more on top. And plus - the price difference.
    • by antic (29198) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @07:32AM (#13414721)

      But isn't XP already ahead of the Linux desktop options anyway? You have to surpass the previous iteration of MS offerings before you snatch an "opportunity" with their successor.

      And since when did more than 0.5% of the PC-using population ever really pay much attention to the left-out features (filesystem changes, etc).

      People who were considering Vista for their current underpowered machine would go with XP or 2000 before trying Linux, I suspect.
  • Both ways anyone? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mattygfunk1 (596840)

    There's nothing wrong with MS being ambitious in aiming to get new features into Vista, and even if some don't make it - there have been 4 1/2 years since the last release that should improve the usability of the widest deployed desktop OS in the world today.

    You can't sledge MS for taking longer than expected to release Vista, then in the next comment complain about the lack of features.

    __
    Funny videos, pics, flash & flesh [laughdaily.com]

  • by ApoJooce (894988) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @07:03AM (#13414627)
    There is no absence of innovation or new features. Avalon, the new graphics subsystem, and the developer tools that will allow you to develop for it, have leapfrogged everything I have ever seen. While Linux will still be using the 2D capabilities of a graphics card (sucks!) Microsoft Vista will be using all that tremendous 3D technology already present in our machines to render your desktop. 3rd party apps will be using it too. Yes, at first it feels like it will need ebtter equipment, but when you finally get that equipment and your pathetic X-Window or other Linux windowing system looks ridiculously passé when compared to Windows Vista, you'll realize Microsoft is no longer trying to catch up to OS X, which is already a much more polished OS than any Linux flavor.
  • So... (Score:2, Insightful)

    Desktop linux will break out next year!

    Just like the year before that and the year before that, hang on.. i'm noticing a trend.. next year is always the year of desktop linux..
  • TV Commercials? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @07:07AM (#13414636)
    The majority of people out there still haven't even heard of Linux. The people who just use their computers for email and think that AOL is the internet. Have there ever even been any TV ads for any of the commercial linux distros? What the linux community needs to do is make a real ad campain. I realize it costs money, but with all the people out there that love linux with a furvor, there shouldn't be that much of a problem raising funds.
    • Until recently (In the UK) there has not been much in the way of TV commercials for Windows/Microsoft.
      I agree that one of the major advantages Windows has at the moment, in terms of what OS the mass market will buy, is its already-large user base.
      People will continue to buy Windows because:
      1) They are familiar with it
      2) all their friends use it.
      3) They know someone who can fix it
      4) They are familiar with the programs they use on it.

      A lot of geeks seem to miss out on the fact that moving to Linux is a MAJOR
      • Re:TV Commercials? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Ashtead (654610)
        Add a 5th, and very big reason: People will continue to buy Windows because it comes with their new machine.

        Even as easy as pre-installed Windows is to get running on a brand-new machine, I still get occasional phone calls from people whose newly purchased machine gives them trouble accessing the Internet, since the supplied modem cable was plugged into one of the sockets on the switch in the LAN...

        Furthermore, the awareness of alternate operating systems or applications varies, many of them only know w

  • Terrible article (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Knome_fan (898727) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @07:09AM (#13414647)
    Am I the only one that thinks that article doesn't make too much sense?

    I fail to see how vista, even if it weren't very convincing, will help linux getting on the desktop. All a bad windows release will lead to in the short tearm is not many people buying Vist, but staying with their curren OS, which is some kind of Windows in most cases.

    And people who really care about monad not being included are people who would consider running linux anyway, but they only make a small percentage of the market.

    Further, I'm convinced that Linux will not make large inroads into the private desktop in the near future, not because Linux isn't good enough, but simply because Windows is much to entrenched in this market.

    Corporate and gouvernment desktops are an other story though and we'll see a lot of things happening there in the future, I'm sure.
    • I fail to see how vista, even if it weren't very convincing, will help linux getting on the desktop.

      As long as MSFT owns the distribution pipeline none of the big three are going to make waves by offering alternate operating systems. Consumers can't make a choice when they don't have a choice.

      Corporate and gouvernment desktops are an other story though and we'll see a lot of things happening there in the future, I'm sure.

      Already happening. I already hear grumbling from my business customers that X

  • by trezor (555230) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @07:10AM (#13414649) Homepage

    "Year of the Linux desktop" or whatever. Isn't that a dupe and troll in itself? It's been repeated over and over again, and yet never happened.

    Honestly, I don't think Linux (as it is now anyway) is ready for the desktop. Why? Sure, you got aptitude and lot of neat stuff. Gnome may be bloated as hell, but it looks good, and that's what most consumers want.

    You got lots of good stuff, but when your average linux-distro starts to break down, when stuff doesn't work automagicly, when hardware detetction fails and so on... Most users (and by most users I also mean powerusers) will have a really hard time fixing stuff, if they even manage to fix it at all. Not all of us are geeks who grew up with a keyboard.

    Plus, I don't really care if linux hits the mainstream or not. I use what works for me, I'll let others use what works for them. To me, open standards are a lot more important than whatever OS people are running to get their work done.

    • by swillden (191260) *

      Most users (and by most users I also mean powerusers) will have a really hard time fixing stuff, if they even manage to fix it at all.

      Complete nonsense. Windows power users can fix a broken Windows all right... by reinstalling it. Regular Windows users are just lost. If you consider reinstallation as the primary repair option, most modern Linux distributions are much easier to repair becaue their install process is faster and easier than Windows XPs.

      And, of course, extremely sophisticated users of b

      • Complete nonsense. Windows power users can fix a broken Windows all right... by reinstalling it

        Yes and no. See my other comment [slashdot.org] and tell me running to vendor supplied setup.exe-files is anywhere near what I had to do to get my stuff working in linux.

        And tell me most users wouldn't be able to reinstall their drivers by running a simple vendor supplied executable.

    • You got lots of good stuff, but when your average linux-distro starts to break down, when stuff doesn't work automagicly, when hardware detetction fails and so on... Most users (and by most users I also mean powerusers) will have a really hard time fixing stuff, if they even manage to fix it at all. Not all of us are geeks who grew up with a keyboard.

      Yes, when it breaks down its hard to fix. Not that it's very easy to fix the Windows registry when it breaks down, either.

      I recently installed Kubuntu on a cou
      • Kubuntu is in my opinion ready-for-the-desktop as Windows ever was, except that you better take care to use supported hardware

        You got a point there that I'm not refuting. And as I've said in a another post in this thread, it's not really fair to blame linux itself for the lack of vendors supporting it.

        However, for anything to "be ready for the desktop", you need proper hardware support. The fewest of people actually check if the hardware they buy are actually supported by the OS. It is expected tha

    • &gtPlus, I don't really care if linux hits the mainstream or not. I use what works for me, I'll let others use what works for them. To me, open standards are a lot more important than whatever OS people are running to get their work done.
       
       

      I'd like to see Linux hit the mainstream merely to improve the availability of commercial software and hardware. Companies won't invest the resources until there's more potential to earn a better return on their investments.
  • Missing the point (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gunpowda (825571) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @07:11AM (#13414651)
    The important thing to realise about new Windows product launches is that they form part of a cathartic marketing ritual. People want to buy a brand new, higher spec computer along with the latest version of whatever it is Microsoft has to offer because there's a mentality that 'old' and 'slow' spyware-infested computers are no longer functional, and this new product can solve all one's current issues, and it often does: XP was a vast reliability leap from ME or Win98.

    Quite a few people see the OS as ineluctably linked with the hardware.

    I think using a seemingly less polished, cheaper (or free) operating system will take much of the enjoyment out of a new computer purchase - after all, most copies of Windows are bundled with the latest hardware, and the high specifications required for Vista aren't going to bother the majority of users who will overhaul their whole system when confronted by the marketing blitz.

  • won't the lack of features cut back on the hardware requirements? i don't follow windows stuff, but that is the impression i got from my housemate. i know they cut a lot of things in general, but i thought some of the things missing would lessen the number of current machines that would not handle the new OS.

    if the current machine can run XP, then i bet a lot of people run it as long as they can. i would like to see them switch over to Linux, but let's be realistic. a lot of people never really upgrade the
  • Microsoft isn't trying to lock out competing technologies (free software) or lock us out of the hardware for the benefit of intellectual property "rightsholders." Oh no, those are accidents. They're just trying to protect us from viruses. You know, like for our own good and stuff.

    Want to see Microsoft's vision of the PC? Take a look at the Xbox. Of course it will be possible to run Linux on newer TPM enabled systems, but then a lot of digital content won't work. And ordinary people won't have the energy or
  • by bender647 (705126) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @07:36AM (#13414738)
    My company didn't use Windows 98 (or ME) at all. They stuck with 95 until the obvious benefits of Windows 2000 (and now XP) were mainstream. I haven't read about one feature in Vista that would compell them to upgrade a thousand or more PCs. They won't do it to give us more eye candy, or to raise the minimum system requirements.
  • Despite Linux's increasing share of the server room, can anyone remember the "Year of the Linux server"? People keep looking for the "Year of the Linux Desktop" and to a certain extent they're right: each year, events occur that could help increase desktop share. There's just no decisive flip to Linux.

    Linux is already desktop ready for large segments of users - for others it's nowhere close. Growing marketshare takes time and is self-reinforcing - the process is just going to take a while.
  • Since when thechnical merits have anything to do with market dominance?
    As others posters have pointed out, the situation has not changed much, and will not.

    Personally, I don't care that much. Maybe Windows is good for the average ignorant (normal non-computer-geek people) because, unlike Linux, it's focused on doing the tasks they way, having to think the least possible.

    Maybe someday a big company --- whith enough power to fitht Microsoft, and whose name the public already respect (Google?) --- will make a
  • Companies and most consumers do not enjoy the multitude of desktop choices the linux provides. It was predicted years ago in the KDE/GNOME world that one would emerge clearly superior to the other and the other would disapear. This hasn't happened.

    Clearly linux on the desktop for the general population would be better served putting all the effort into one consistant desktop. It would not please all the tweakers who like to configure every little thing. Sure KDE/GNOMR are similar, but not the same.

    There ar
  • The advantage of Windows over Linux is software compatibility. I am not looking forward to Windows Vista because of the hundreds of computers we maintain at work, few, if any, will be ready for Vista because of hardware compatibility. We have ten percent Macintoshes and they suffer from both software and hardware incompatibility. At least where I work, the momentum is behind Windows XP & Office 2003. It's not a choice, but a fact of reality. Getting Macs and Linux boxes to work on the same playing

  • Does everyone forget that the bulk of the computing public wants more shiney blinkey and purdy?

    joe Q dont care that vista has no monads. joe Q does not even know WHAT a filesystem is.

    Joe Q will buy a new PC with vista on it, joe Q proved this with XP, he did not run out and buy XP he got it on his next machine.

    the ONLY way linux will get on the desktop is DELL offering it at a $150.00 discount

    the FUD about useability, installer, GUI and all the other crap I see flung about here has nothing to do with it.

    get
  • by bogaboga (793279) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @08:03AM (#13414833)
    Desktop Linux will still be a long way off until applications can be installed and un-installed in an easy way. I know folks are going to mention apt-get and its sister dpkg tools. But these are not very useful unless one can configure them and is also on the internet. With the rich resources of the OSS community, one wonders why rpm dependency hell has no adopted solution. Autopackage http://www.autopackage.org/ [autopackage.org] would be a good start but all major distros are not even giving it support! From a developer's point of view, writing an application for Linux means testing the application on no more than 6 distros! In some cases, I have seen more than 17 binaries for the same applications targeting different Linux distros. In the Windows world, there could be just 1 or 2. So it follows that if we in the Linux world can make life easier for developers, then that is positive. Our egos alone will not deliver. I think we need some kind of dictatrship here.

    The other thing Desktop Linux needs is good fonts. I am yet to find a desktop Linux installation that is beautiful out of the box. Often times, one has to download M$ fonts or could use the script found here: http://vigna.dsi.unimi.it/webFonts4Linux/webFonts. sh [unimi.it] to get good fonts for the web.

    Next thing is multimedia and multimedia applications. Totem in the GNOME world and Amarok in the KDE world will not play mp3s out of the box, yet there are no licensing restrictions on these formats! These are so many other examples in the multimedia field.

    There is a bug/feature I found in Linux that needs attention in relation to how devices are mounted. Remember that we in the Linux world are aiming at domination. So we should attract as many users as we can. The bug is here: http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=111173 [kde.org]. I was surprised that there was a wontfix mentioned. So how are we to attract users if there will always be confusion in how devices are mounted?

    Last but not least, we need publicity - good publicity. Right now, Linux is being touted as very good or good enough for the average user. What happens is that folks then have to understand that Linux is just a KERNEL and that there are many implementations associated with this kernel. To many, understanding this is a challenge. So one says "I use Linux at home, it's freely available on the net...try it out..." (and they leave it at that)! What follows is confusion as newbies find tons of distros and incompatible packages. Folks what do you think?

  • "Feature cutbacks" aren't a problem for anyone who didn't read the original press releases!

    It seems that this new version was originally planned to be a large step forward from XP but as we learn more about it and Microsoft's plans for the future, the changes are constantly being scaled back from what was originally promised. Whether it's the lack of a new file system or the "Monad" scripting shell, the absence of innovation in this operating system is giving it a black eye, no matter how nice the GUI is or
    • This is shortsighted thinking. Cutting out compatibility and stability features [e.g. proper FS, POSIX.1 comaptibility, etc, etc, etc] hurts the users because it limits the sources of software they can run.

      Of course that's par for the course for people today. Think of what is only IMMEDIATELY beneficial...

      Tom
    • What the hell do 99.999999% of potential customers want with "monad" and "a new file system"

      Hey, now. Without the new monad shell, they will be alienating all the Haskell users out there!
  • "it has been stated that a "Vista Ready" system will have 512 megabytes or more of RAM, a dedicated graphics card with DirectX 9.0 support, and a will be "modern" Intel Pentium or AMD Athlon-based PC. An older system or one with integrated graphics will be able to run Vista but will probably have to do so in more of a legacy mode, without full use of the new Aero graphics package."

    Something to keep in mind though is that if Linux distros work and look like today, they're comparable to Windows Vista will be
    • The point is why buy Vista for the ungodly monopolistic price they'll charge if all your going to do is DISABLE all the features?

      I'd rather have them spend more time on a POSIX compatibility in the kernel then a spiffy new 3d gui which will be as useful as a belly button.

      Tom
  • Got standards? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by StikyPad (445176) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @09:38AM (#13415244) Homepage
    The problem I see with Linux on the desktop is that it's nonstandard. By that I mean that a programmer can't assume that any one installation resembles any other. From libraries to window managers to Xfree86 vs X.org or whatever it is now, there are no constants. I understand the benefits of such a scenario; it's great for people who love to pop the hood and do it themselves. But it's a nightmare for the average person who just wants to USE a system rather than build it themselves.

    Users don't want to (and shouldn't have to, in my opinion,) worry about things like dependancies, finding a binary package for their particular distribution and/or kernel, or compiling and configuring a program upon installation. The power of configurability is great, but it doesn't have to be an either/or conflict with usability. How many times have you found a program you were interested in, and you ./configure, only to find 5 or 6 things you need to install just to get it to finish without error? And once you get an error you have to figure out if you're actually missing the requirement, or it's just an environment variable, or the wrong verson of the libraries, or permissions, or any other number of potential conflicts. SUSE, for example, doesn't even install gcc by default. I don't think it should need to install a compiler just to be a viable desktop solution, but the fact is that unless someone's already made a binary package, a compiler isn't optional, it's mandatory. The very essence of Linux, its constantly evolving nature, is also its weakness when it comes to getting a foothold in the desktop market.

    Also the networking, while powerful, is anything but simple. In XP for example, if I right click on a network interface and select "Share this connection," Windows automatically starts DHCP on my second NIC, assigns my other computer(s) an IP, and everything just works. In Linux, I have to set up masquerading, routing tables, rules, etc. It's these sort of things that send most people running.

    Standards DO have drawbacks, but they're generally outweighed by the benefits. Too many choices can be bad. One need look no further than the current battle between HD-DVD and BluRay for a perfect example.

    Honestly, I don't ever see this happening, but unless the Linux community can rally around ONE distribution as the "standard", I don't think Linux will ever be an option for the masses.
  • by stilleon (601857) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @09:43AM (#13415278)
    I have been an MS Windows user for years and have alittle experience with GNU/Linux and Mac OS X. After seeing all the cool things stripped out of Vista (especially the new WinFS) what is left is basically Windows XP SP3. Boring.

    Frankly, with the new Intel Macs hitting the street during that time, with its ease of use, long track record, etc., that is the system that can win big, and I think that Apple (especially with its monopolistic policies with hardware and software, such as leveraging Final Cut to get Avid/Adobe to give up on Mac and of course iTunes) may just be the next Microsoft.
  • Answer: No. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sootman (158191) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @12:58PM (#13416487) Homepage Journal
    Too late to get modded up, but what the hell. No, Vista will not be the spark that ignites Linux. Win98 was pretty unstable. Did Linux take over then? No. Win ME sucked ass. Did Linux take over then? No. Win2k was pretty nice but wasn't shipped on much consumer hardware. Did Linux take over then? No. WinXP is annoying as fuck, what with balloons popping up everywhere (Take a tour! This is the start menu! Wireless is here! Wireless is gone! Hey, wireless is back! No, wait, gone again!) and all the activation BS, not to mention spyware, viruses, self-spreading bad stuff, etc. Did Linux take over? No. Vista? Well, technically I can't see into the future, but I'm a pretty good guesser.

    "Whether it's the lack of a new file system or the Monad scripting shell, the absence of innovation in this operating system is giving it a black eye." One second--you think customers care one fucking bit about innovation in an OS? What planet is this guy on that he thinks people care about a fucking FILESYSTEM or SHELL?!?!?* I'm gonna say this once really loud for the cheap seats: WINDOWS IS POPULAR BECAUSE IT'S THE OS ON THE CHEAPEST COMPUTERS OUT THERE!!!!!!!111oneoneone. The 5% of customers that do care about innovation already have a home: they're at the Apple store.

    * note: Windows does ship with a shell. But no one needs it. (Because Windows also ships with a GUI, natch.) Before writing another article like this, do this simple test: walk up to 50 people and ask them about the shell in Windows.
    - 46 will go "huh?"
    - 2 will say "cmd.exe but I have no use for it." (You just stumbled across two people who work in IT or a computer store.)
    - 1 will say "cmd.exe and I use it once in a while because I've been using PCs for 20 years and I still do things there 'cause I'm used to it."
    - And exactly one will say "cmd.exe but I don't use it 'cause it's teh sux0rz! When I get a new comp the first thing I do is use IE to download Firefox and then I use Firefox to download Cygwin!" [diveintomark.org] (Read that page, it's really funny. I love that story.)

    Monad is very cool [newbox.org] but even if MS would have shipped it in Vista, did you really think you were going to spend next thanksgiving teaching your mom how to use it? "Look, mom, here--I just pipe this through that, and what makes Monad even cooler than bash is that it isn't just text coming out, these are actual objects, so I can take these results and..." Uh-huh. Right.

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