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If Windows 7 Fails, Citrix (Not Linux) Wins 638

Julie188 writes "Microsoft blogger Mitchell Ashley, who has been using Windows 7 full-time, predicts that Windows 7 will fail to lure XP users away from their beloved, aging operating system — after all, Windows 7 is little more than what Vista should have been, when it shipped two years ago. But eventually old PCs must be replaced and then we'll see corporations, desperate to get out of the expense of managing Windows machines, get wise. Instead of buying new Windows 7 PCs, they could deliver virtualized XP desktops to a worker's own PC and/or mobile device. Ashley believes that Citrix's Project Independence has the right idea."
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If Windows 7 Fails, Citrix (Not Linux) Wins

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:12PM (#26667205)

    People will leave XP for whatever the next MS milestone is.

    They are not going Mac or Linux. The apps are not there.

    This slashdot editorial stance is making you guys look like the fox news of the open source movement.

  • Some salt... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BladeMelbourne ( 518866 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:13PM (#26667217)

    for when hell freezes over.

    Although if Microsoft had an option in 7 to "make it look like XP" it would be a good thing.

  • Actually (Score:2, Insightful)

    by alexborges ( 313924 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:15PM (#26667261)

    He makes a great point. However, i wouldnt diss linux in that play. Its not stoping either, citrix is not exactly cheap and XP will still be for pay/per head.

    This are good times for linux anyhow.

  • by alphatel ( 1450715 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:20PM (#26667315)
    That's just propoganda nonsense. If the scenario actually holds true, then Virtual Engineering wins. This means VMWare's enterprise desktop virtualization, and possibly Citrix might get a piece. This is just a little Citrix plug. Wouldn't quite call it news.
  • by dzelenka ( 630044 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:29PM (#26667467) Journal

    In my experience Citrix has some serious out-of-band issues with modifier keys on Linux and Mac OS X. Shift key events don't send correctly.

    C'mon, that is a problem that could be solved in an afternoon! It could be solved at the citrix client level or at the linux host level.

    If project independence takes off and businesses don't need a windows license on each workstation to make it work then look out. This obstacle will stand like a sandcastle in a rising tide.

  • by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:32PM (#26667527) Homepage Journal

    Citrix is freaking expensive too!

    And when you look at the difficulties and TCO on a Citrix farm, you're really no better off than if you just had a 5 year technology replacement plan anyways.

    And when you look at what Citrix is trying to do, centralizing application execution, compared to the rise of Web Apps and instant deployments (click-once and the like), there is really no big gain by going to Citrix unless you are locked in to proprietary software that only runs on Windows.

    Honestly though, you are significantly better off sticking to a 5 year replacement plan and pushing for web and low impact distributable applications.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:32PM (#26667529)

    Really? People using Linux in order to use Citrix in order to use Windows... is a win for Linux?

    The Citrix people will get their money, which is what they want. What will the Linux people get in this scenario? A larger install base? Of users that don't actually use the OS except as a stepping stone to their actual OS?

  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:36PM (#26667587) Journal

    Lets face it ME showed that already and what exactly ever happened to windows 1 2 and 3 (remember, the windows 3 we know and ***** is actually 3.11 (or something like that)).

  • by corsec67 ( 627446 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:40PM (#26667655) Homepage Journal

    I use XP all the time and I can say that I am quite satisfied so far. Sometimes I just do not get it, therefore I wonder why Microsoft would want to replace it.

    Because the longer that XP is around, the closer Wine is to replicating the environment, and Linux is to overtaking it in usability.

    That is one reason that MS wants to move forward.

  • by digitalgiblet ( 530309 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:42PM (#26667689) Homepage Journal

    Linux also has a PR problem. The average person (if they have heard of Linux at all, and most haven't) tend to think of it as something for anti-social geeks who will be mean to them if they ask for help.

    I'm not saying that is the truth of the matter, just the common perception I have seen.

    They also perceive Mac as being the easy and cool computer, but perhaps too expensive or trendy for them. Or simply not the computer they currently have.

    That leaves XP. It is already installed on their computer. Installing a new operating system is not something they want to do any more than they want to install all new toilets. They'll do it if they have to, but are pretty sure they'll screw things up with disastrous results.

    The average person isn't a programmer and doesn't want to be. The concept of open source and free software means nothing to them except free as in beer. They like free beer. But they aren't willing to set up a brewery to get free beer. They don't want to learn the details of brewing. They just want to get drunk...

    There is nothing technically that prevents Linux from going mainstream. The Linux kernel (and that is all that is actually Linux) works and works great. The software that sits on top of it is of mixed quality. Some is great, some sucks. Same is true of Windows and Mac, right?

    So why don't those suffering XP users switch to Linux? Because they aren't suffering enough to take action. They give lots of reasons why they won't switch to Vista, but at the end of the day most don't largely for the same reason they don't switch to Linux: XP works well enough that they aren't willing to do what they consider the difficult and annoying work of installing a new OS.

    The same arguments apply to the digital TV transition. Some people simply don't believe they should have to buy a new TV or a converter box (or subscribe to cable or satellite) when the hardware they have is not broken.

    For the record, I believe that on older hardware (the kind my hypothetical person has), installing something like Ubuntu is likely to be much easier and more successful than Vista. But neither is as easy as keeping the current, spyware infested XP. Easiest wins.

    That was far more than I intended to post so I will stop now. Wait. Now. Doh!

  • Re:All I know.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BlackSnake112 ( 912158 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:48PM (#26667781)

    That is easy, buy an OEM XP online and built the PC yourself. Places like newegg sell the hardware and software. I would still shop around and get the best deal you can find for both hardware and software. If XP is what you want, shop around for the best deal for it.

    Unless you wanna go pirate or you can get the people on microsoft's phone line to grant you a new XP code. I know a lot of people who do that. They claim that their machine died (electrical short/flood/something believable) and they had to replace the machine. Might take some time but it often works.

    ON topic: isn't citrix still a pain to setup with all of ones apps? And you still need the licensing for XP clients (plus app licensing).

  • Re:All I know.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by characterZer0 ( 138196 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:49PM (#26667809)

    Or else what?

  • Re:Some salt... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by GordonCopestake ( 941689 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:53PM (#26667855) Journal
    It's called "Windows Classic theme" and has been around for a while. You can even make XP look like Win95 if you want. MS isn't stupid they know people cling on to what they know like grim death.
  • by tres ( 151637 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @01:00PM (#26667957) Homepage

    It's pretty evident from things like Google Apps and Microsoft's Live that the antiquated idea of a thin client is not going to be making its way back into the business.

      Enter the era of frugality. The decade of waste is over and now, whether by regulation or by pragmatic need to survive, business will be thinking about how to maximize the money that is available. Buying a newer version of the same thing isn't going to be happening anymore. Using the hardware and software that's already available will be more important than it ever was before.

    Microsoft should just get smart and start charging for service pack updates to XP. Extend the life of the product and start monetizing it in different ways.

  • by PJ1216 ( 1063738 ) * on Friday January 30, 2009 @01:05PM (#26668059)
    People demonstrated that they wouldn't put up with it. This is true. However, MS has responded and Vista (while maybe not worthy of an upgrade) is definitely a decent OS at this point. At least for the average (and even some above average) users. Also, Windows 7 really is what Vista should have been and if 7 (assuming they don't screw it up) had been released instead of Vista, people would have upgraded. I know I'm definitely getting to like 7. If all of my software works on 7, I'm definitely going to consider upgrading my main PC when 7 is released (again, assuming they don't screw it up before then).
  • by theshowmecanuck ( 703852 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @01:10PM (#26668119) Journal
    Not necessarily. One client I worked at implementing an enterprise ordering and billing app used a kind of thin client terminal specifically meant to connect to Citrix servers for the customer service representatives. It struck me that we had come full circle from mainframes and dumb terminals to essentially mainframes and dumb terminals. Except the mainframe is now a Unix server and you had windows instead of text interfaces.
  • by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <> on Friday January 30, 2009 @01:12PM (#26668147) Journal

    They are not going Mac or Linux. The apps are not there.

    They are not going to Vista or Windows 7. The apps are not there, either.

    Here's the essential problem: Microsoft cannot simply keep trading on backwards compatibility alone. Sooner or later, despite their best efforts to sabotage standards, the Internet will come along and eat their lunch.

    In order to keep that from happening, they need new Windows-exclusive apps, not just legacy ones. Which means they need to make Windows actually an attractive platform to develop new stuff on. Which is kind of hard, when despite IE, the Web is such an attractive platform already.

    For me, personally, it's bad enough to have to deal with IE. I really wouldn't look forward to fighting the Win32 API.

    But at the same time, their biggest selling point to all their existing customers is, "It's what you're used to!" and "It'll run your old apps!" In order for either of those lines to work, they would have to make as little progress as possible -- the best strategy, from that point of view, would be to sell XP SP3 as a new OS, instead of writing Vista.

    So, looking at that, they do seem pretty screwed. They have to innovate or the new kids will all start using Linux and OS X. But they can't innovate, because the more dramatic the improvement, the less they can use their 800-pound-gorilla of compatibility, and the more they'll have to actually compete with Linux and OS X on a level playing field.

    I don't think they can. If I was a Windows user, looking at the Vista situation, I'd think "I can use Vista, and none of my apps will work. Or I can use Ubuntu, and none of my apps will work, and the OS won't suck as much."

    And I don't really see how they can resolve this situation. It truly seems like a catch 22 -- every step forward is nearly guaranteed to break compatibility, and every effort to preserve compatibility is likely to prevent a step forward.

    So, why aren't they dead? Well, to quote Joel Spolsky:

    Microsoft has an incredible amount of cash money in the bank and is still incredibly profitable. It has a long way to fall. It could do everything wrong for a decade before it started to be in remote danger, and you never know... they could reinvent themselves as a shaved-ice company at the last minute.

    He wrote this four years ago, so the recession may have changed things, but not by much.

  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @01:12PM (#26668155)

    If you think Linux just has a PR problem, you've never tried to see things from the perspective of someone who has no geeky interest in how their computer works. These are most of the people who want to stick to Windows XP because it is safe, stable and fairly easy to use.

    Most of the people who say "oh, my wife or kid has no problem using Ubuntu" are also missing the point: your wife or kid has someone at home who actually knows how to use Linux. If they need to ask you how to do something, you're right there like their own permanent, free Geek Squad agent who is always happy to not only help, but take new steps to make things better.

  • by CXI ( 46706 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @01:16PM (#26668187) Homepage

    Once mainstream support and bug fixes to XP end, enterprise level IT groups will move to Windows 7 to continue to receive patches (*). There currently is no reason to move to Vista because XP works and is still supported. Once that support is gone, it's time to move on. The grandparent is correct.

    (*) No, not all of us can just switch over to Linux, and in fact that would be a horrible idea for your average office that isn't full of geeks. For some of them it's hard enough for them to even understand their job, never mind their OS.

  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @01:20PM (#26668221)

    Lets add for a lot of features that people are happy with on Windows.
    Linux will feel like a step back.
    There is gap in Linux Between Grandma (Who will just do one or two things) and the "Power User" who is willing to check stuff out and do things differently.

    These people will want to setup wireless via a GUI.
    They get worried when you do an Update for a driver there is a warning this is not Free software, meaning to average Joe, oh this is going to cost me money.

    And still Linux has a problems with Icons Oh Lets drag Fox to the dock from my File Browser. Hey where did the Icon go it was a nice firefox icon then it turned into an ugly window icon.

    Then when people make the complaint there is almost always a zealot remark how that feature isn't a good one and you should stop doing it anyways.

  • by porky_pig_jr ( 129948 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @01:22PM (#26668269)

    Speaking for myself,

    (i) I am XP user (since 2003) and I don't suffer. Well, not *that* much.

    (ii) The first reason I don't switch to Linux is specific applications I use under Windows (which are not free, by the way) which I can't find the equivalent on Linux.

    (iii) The second reason I don't switch to Linux is potential incompatibilities with laptop (hardware). Not that I didn't try.

    Clearly, I have no incentives moving to Windows 7. Even if (and when) I need new laptop, I'll try to make sure XP is supported. The only reason I would move to Windows 7 (or 8 or 9) if the current version of application XYZ I'm using is no longer supported under XP, and for whatever reason I *must* upgrade.

    So, fundamentally, I care very little which OS I'm using. OS is just a platform to run some applications (I guess this statement qualifies me as non-geek, so sue me).

  • That's where citrix comes in...
    Give people Linux desktops for their general use, and operate a citrix server for those windows only apps. In the highly likely event that not everyone needs the windows specific apps all the time, you save money by only licensing for concurrent users. You can also separate your core business applications from machines which talk to the outside world (web/mail), which will improve security.

  • by kaizendojo ( 956951 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @01:29PM (#26668353)
    And they were saying the same thing post WFW, and post 95, 98SE. Corporate and educational markets are loathe to upgrade and are responsible for the largest amount of licenses. But for the record, I recently purchased a new PC for my home office with Vista Home Premium installed. I considered bricking it but decided the only way to be a LEGITIMATE critic for my clients was to actually use the OS instead of reading what others said about it. And you know what? Maybe MS has a legitimate gripe in their commercials; I enjoy using it and after turning off UAC and a few other prompts top 'save me from myself' I've become quite accustomed to it and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to clients without compatibility issues. (Of which I found none in my case out 30-40 apps tested...) I'm an FOSS supporter and dev and I love *nix and Mac too, but I'd really like to see at least one posting here at /. that doesn't begin with the word "Microsoft" and end with the words "Evil empire".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 30, 2009 @01:34PM (#26668417)

    You're doing it wrong, we support ~30 users per server and they are mostly 4 core boxes with 4GB of ram, not exactly beefy servers by today's standards. We'd easily be doing 4x that if we could go to x64 with 16GB per box but IE has this bad habit of loading the 64bit executable even when you explicitly launch it from the x86 directory causing all 32bit plugins and ActiveX controls to not work.

    It's appalling that you think that's reasonable.

    I ran 400 users on a Dec Microvax with dumb terminals and seven protocols on the wire 20 years ago. The performance you are getting from your hardware investment is pathetic.

  • by TeXMaster ( 593524 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @01:47PM (#26668613)

    Most of the people who say "oh, my wife or kid has no problem using Ubuntu" are also missing the point: your wife or kid has someone at home who actually knows how to use Linux. If they need to ask you how to do something, you're right there like their own permanent, free Geek Squad agent who is always happy to not only help, but take new steps to make things better.

    What you seem to miss is that the exact same thing also happens with Windows, as my experience as the 'free Windows tech support for everybody that gets to know me' shows. The myth that Windows is more user-friendly than Linux has been nothing more than a myth for the last two or three years.

  • by JTorres176 ( 842422 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @01:54PM (#26668717) Homepage

    I think that's the issue. XP isn't safe or stable... it's also not fairly easy to use, however it's probably the same interface you've used since you were a kid. That makes it familiar, not easy.

    Ubuntu may be safer, it may be easier to install, it may be more stable, and it may be very easy to install with no technical prowess needed at all.

    The fear of change and the fear of "what if" is what keeps someone like you from switching to Ubuntu. I'm not saying you should try something, I'm not saying that you'd even like it. The issue is that people make a lot of assumptions, just like you do, and go off of those assumptions. Whether they're true or not, it's what happens and they end up staying with what's familiar.

  • Re:More fear (Score:3, Insightful)

    by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Friday January 30, 2009 @02:04PM (#26668861) Homepage Journal

    Whether or not the apps are there depends on your needs, and unless your needs are for games or for niche applications (e.g. custom in-house corporate apps), Linux has got everything now.

    I'm on my computer nearly every hour I'm awake. I use it as my entertainment center, my workspace, my hobby workshop (photography), my news source, my communications center... and Linux has everything I need.

    And for the vast majority of people who really only use e-mail and chat, browse the web, download photos from their camera, put music on their iPod, etc., Linux has them covered and has for years.

  • by superdave80 ( 1226592 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @02:15PM (#26669031)

    I've been running it (Vista), attached to the internet, for two years without having an anti-virus program installed, and NO ISSUES. I don't think I could do that with XP for even a single day.

    I ran Windows 2000 for years without AV, and I've done the same with XP without any problems. Please don't make up things just to make Vista look better.

  • by chammy ( 1096007 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @02:24PM (#26669165)

    (ii) The first reason I don't switch to Linux is specific applications I use under Windows (which are not free, by the way) which I can't find the equivalent on Linux.

    Why not run wine or one of the many great VM tools? The only things I have trouble running in Linux are a few of the newer games (all my university junk works fine).

    (iii) The second reason I don't switch to Linux is potential incompatibilities with laptop (hardware). Not that I didn't try.

    Try installing XP on a laptop that was built for Vista. I think you'll find that Linux is a HECK of a lot easier to find drivers for various things. Sure, you might not get that horrible little webcam running, but is that really an issue?

  • by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @02:32PM (#26669293)

    Try taking your Linux box down to your local Geek Squad desk and watching the kid behind the counter squirm as you explain that GDM fails to start, leaving you at a console login prompt.

    Because I'm quite sure that a Geek Squad kid will happily spend an afternoon on MSDN and booting Windows in console mode if there's an obscure problem with Windows. Rather than just reinstalling it.

  • by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @02:34PM (#26669335)

    Tried setting up wireless on OS X and compared it with Windows lately? Particularly if it's not a straightforward open or shared-secret configuration?

    It really should be an embarrassment to Microsoft how much easier it is under OS X.

  • by omar.sahal ( 687649 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @02:39PM (#26669407) Homepage Journal

    The grandparent is correct

    This could be true and MS could still loose. What no on this thread has got is that netbooks are very popular, the price is heading to £100 (roughly $200). Where is the room for Microsofts profit? can they still charge $50 to $25 per machine?
    There has been a lot of talk of Moores law and how its effectively stopped (or slowed) in terms of speed, it is still in effect in memory size however. Are we going to see devices that can do what computers do but are much more mobile (such as the iPhone/Google phone) I think Apple sees it that way the company was called "Apple Computer, Inc." for its first 30 years, but dropped the word "Computer" on January 9, 2007[6] to reflect the company's ongoing expansion into the consumer electronics market [wikipedia.or] What's Microsoft like in the consumer electronics market? Can they beat Linux for flexibility (being able to support different architectures, being put on low powered devices). Can they beat Linux for price competitiveness? For high-end expensive systems can they be more alluring than Apple.
    I am not saying Microsoft is dead and finished there not, but are they as competitive as they once were.

  • In order to keep that from happening, they need new Windows-exclusive apps, not just legacy ones. Which means they need to make Windows actually an attractive platform to develop new stuff on. [But] I really wouldn't look forward to fighting the Win32 API.

    Microsoft has already realized this, and that's why it started over with .NET. The various APIs exposed to the CLR, such as Windows Forms, XNA, and the like, won't immediately get ported to Mono. Mono will lag behind .NET just as Wine has lagged behind Windows.

  • by stewbacca ( 1033764 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @02:53PM (#26669635)

    I believe it will require an OS with strong client OS and application virtualization, or some of the promise of a tightly integrated Live Mesh and Windows Azure services to significantly differentiate Windows 7 from the same old desktop OS it presents itself as today.

    I assure you the majority of computer users have NO idea what any of that means. People who do understand what he wrote are likely to be set in their computing ways and not likely to switch.

  • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @03:10PM (#26669879) Homepage

    Hosted apps ARE bad, unless you can resolve the following:

    * Availability. Your favorite app site is getting DDoS'd? Another undersea cable got cut by an anchor? Sucks to be you.
    * Portability. just went black without notice. Do you have a local copy of your work, and if so, what can you do with it?
    * Security. It's highly unlikely that anyone is working 24/7 to hack YOUR particular workstation/network. Even if you don't know anything about configuring a firewall, at least you can unplug a desktop from the network and it will be essentially immune from remote attacks. A publicly accessible repository of private data, however, is a much juicier target, and if history is any lesson, security will not be a primary concern from the start.
    * Privacy. I'm the proud owner of a site with over 500,000 term papers on it that my users graciously "donated." What's to keep me from selling them, letting people data mine them, or anything else? My privacy policy? The one that's subject to change without notice?

    What problems do hosted apps solve, or what advantages do they provide?

    * People wouldn't have to install or maintain their own software. That's a possible advantage, but doesn't really outweigh all of the above liabilities. And what if I don't want to "upgrade" and learn a new UI right this second. What if I just need to finish my work?

    * My data is accessible anywhere. Again, that's a two-edged sword, and 99% of the time I don't really need/want my data to be accessible from anywhere other than the location I'm in. I suspect most other people don't either, and when they do they just e-mail a file to themselves.

    Software as a service is great for companies. They can implement subscription models so the customer doesn't realize how much he's paying over the long term. They don't have to worry about piracy. Distribution is basically free, allowing for a higher profit margin. I just don't see very many advantages for *customers*, especially long-term.

  • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Friday January 30, 2009 @03:34PM (#26670227) Homepage Journal

    What you seem to miss is that the exact same thing also happens with Windows, as my experience as the 'free Windows tech support for everybody that gets to know me' shows.

    Correct way to manage your conversations:

    Acquaintance: Oh, you do computers? Can you fix my Windows?
    You: I'm sorry, but I don't really use Windows. I work on the big ones that run websites and stuff.

    You can always admit more knowledge later as circumstances require, but there's no putting the cat back in the bag so don't start with it.

  • by haeger ( 85819 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @03:52PM (#26670439)

    The fear of change and the fear of "what if" is what keeps someone like you from switching to Ubuntu.

    I'm sorry but no. That's not it at all. It's the applications. Seriously. I know that there are many great applications out there but one step away from surfing the web and writing email and you're in trouble.
    I do project management. There are project management tools for Linux but they are nowhere close to MSProject, unfortunatly. Open Workbench is not too bad but it's not really up to par, it might be good enough for most things though.
    Excel is another critical tool. Most project management spreadsheets rely quite a lot on macros, something that does require MS-Excel, clones won't do.

    And yes, I could probably do my job using Linux and availible tools like KOffice/Kplato, OO.o/Openproj or similar, but I'd spend time on working with my tools instead of managing projects, something that's not what I'm paid to do.
    It doesn't take too much trouble for me before it's a good financial decision to buy the MS-tools.

    It sucks but that's the way it is.

  • Oh please.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jotaeleemeese ( 303437 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @03:55PM (#26670481) Homepage Journal

    I am tired of hearing these nonsensical arguments about geeks being some kind of rudimentary humans with no social skills.

    Geeks are some of the most commited people I know, help anybody that asks and go way out of their way to help people.

    And so tell me people I know that are less technically inclined.

    This myth of the inadequate nerd should be put to rest frankly.

  • It depends. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jotaeleemeese ( 303437 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @04:00PM (#26670545) Homepage Journal

    I have seen environments in which you can't support more than 20 users given the kind of application being used.

  • by GravityStar ( 1209738 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @04:34PM (#26670965)
    You mean defense in depth.

    As in; using your Windows XP as a normal User, not as a administrator.
    Running untrusted programs as Guest in a virtualized sandbox.
    Using a Anti-Virus.
    Using a software firewall against incoming connections.
    Using that same software firewall to intercept outgoing connections.
    Hiding your network behind a NAT firewall. (Not really for security, but hey, I'll take any advantage I can get)
    Using complex, non-identical passwords for any system.
    Not using IE.

    Noticed the "Using a Anti-virus" part? It's all part of a security mindset. Not running a Anti-virus is not a badge of honor. It's a invitation to consider your PC owned till proven otherwise.
  • by gillbates ( 106458 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @04:48PM (#26671141) Homepage Journal

    The fact is simply that everything I need and want to do, I can do in XP. The same is not true for Linux. It has huge gaps in its software availability. The cost of Windows in order to get access to all that software is negligible.

    While true, it glosses over an important point: I can setup a Linux box *once*. I'm still running slackware 10 on some of my boxes. The annual reinstall is a rite of passage for most Windows users. In truth, most Windows users either buy another machine when theirs gets slow, or finds a geek who will reinstall the OS and their apps for them. That's why they tolerate it.

    The cost of keeping Windows updated is not negligible.

    The cost of the inevitable Windows reinstall is not negligible. While you may be able to increase the time it takes for a box to get owned by running antivirus software, you slow down the machine in the process. Virus cleanup is an inevitable part of using Windows.

    And while the software availability is a problem for some - like gamers - for those of us who know how to use UNIX, there is simply no replacement. Sure, you can get cygwin for Windows, but it's just not the same. I've found that I'm perhaps a hundred times more productive when using a Linux system, simply because the UNIX paradigm allows me to be more productive. Furthermore, because most of the software on Linux is free of charge, I'm able to do things on Linux which I would never be able to do on a Windows system.

    There is no silver bullet; you just pick which problems you want to deal with. Myself, I like a secure system which doesn't require constant updating and runs very fast. But I can understand why someone would use a slow, unreliable machine if it was required to be compatible with the rest of the business world.

  • by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @05:32PM (#26671639)

    "Lucky you. All of my clients are thick. Every last one of the bastards..."

    Some of us like 'em thick.

  • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Friday January 30, 2009 @05:48PM (#26671803) Homepage Journal

    I am tall, in good shape, and have a deep voice, so when I do make myself stand up straight, look people in the eye, and be assertive and direct, they tend to respond how I'd like them to.

    Same here. The difference is that after I tell them "I'd like to help but that's not my specialty", they walk away happy.

  • Re:CAL ? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RulerOf ( 975607 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @06:13PM (#26672085)
    No no,

    Costs A Lot
  • by Mascot ( 120795 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @06:31PM (#26672301)

    Good grief, I somehow managed to hit cancel here apparently. I'm too lazy to rewrite it all so this will be rather brief.

    I haven't needed to reinstall Windows since Win98. XP sorted the "yearly reinstall" issue for me just fine. Any XP installation I've done, even on kids' computers, have just kept on trucking until the hardware was well overdue for an upgrade. I can't remember having a virus since the Amiga, nor have I had to do any cleanup on any of the machines I "support" (that being extended family and friends).

    I totally agree with your final point. Pick whatever poison suits your needs. For the majority of people, that's still Windows.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 30, 2009 @10:45PM (#26674427)

    I've had AVG free for ages. Thing is, the only time it has ever detected anything was when I was downloading from sites that I would never, ever go to without an AV. I could've (and have) surfed for months at a time without AVG being resident and have suffered no problems.

    I have had no unexplained use of resources, strange processes, or network activity on this system. Ever. I think it's a fair bet that I've never ran into a virus with my regular surfing habits. Remove the very rare instances where I've run AVG on files I've downloaded from particularly dodgy sites and I've never had a detection from AVG. A free AV, much less a paid one, seems strictly unnecessary unless you're the type that needs to run every attachment you receive via email or download from warez sites. (Keygens, if you must know. I'm rather forgetful of where I placed my license for several games and got sick of waiting for Vogel to email me new codes. He even said to me that he didn't care as long as I had paid for the software in the first place. Something to which he could attest that I have.)

    If you had've said "I've been running it, attached to the internet, for two years without having a third-party firewall installed, and NO ISSUES. I don't think I could do that with XP for even a single day." then I'd agree with you.

  • by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @06:53AM (#26683265)

    To be fair to Microsoft, they don't exactly make troubleshooting Windows easy.

    How many times have you seen an obscure error message which ends with "Consult your system administrator" or dug through the event log (through a UI thoroughly unsuited for browsing, I might add) to find that despite a perfectly capable logging system, nothing useful's being logged to it?

If you want to put yourself on the map, publish your own map.