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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 the_B0fh ( 208483 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:11PM (#26667185) Homepage

    If all I need is a netbook running linux (cheaper), or a newer computer, again, with linux, in order to hit the citrix backend, isn't this a net win for linux?

  • by guruevi ( 827432 ) <evi AT evcircuits DOT com> on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:13PM (#26667219) Homepage

    Really, Citrix? If anyone ever asks me about it again I will go postal. Are you seriously saying you need 4 beefy servers to run 50 users' Outlook and Internet Explorer and then still have it go dog slow.

    Citrix has some good ideas and technology. The implementation however is usually very bad. It's the Peoplesoft of virtualization.

  • by Enry ( 630 ) <enry@wayga.QUOTEnet minus punct> on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:18PM (#26667293) Journal

    Leaving your snark aside, if your point was true then we'd see a mass migration to Vista. It isn't happening, and so the future of Windows 7 remains in doubt.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:19PM (#26667311)

    How is this a 'win' for Citrix? Every time I've used it it's been buggy (From OS X Client) and slow (over normal Cable). A local virtual machine beats this hands down. In 5 years I will be able to run XP just fine on my 64bit, 5Ghz octo-core, 16GB of ram and have VMWare make a nice 32bit, 3GB of ram, dual processor for XP.

  • Those days are gone (Score:5, Interesting)

    by El Lobo ( 994537 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:21PM (#26667339)
    The days where people just queued for hours to get the latest OS/game/etc... are almost gone. Most people have left behind that romanticized period (thanks god). I use Vista on my new machines. In my old one I'm perfectly happy with XP. I like Vista a lot, but XP is very good as well....

    Hell I'm still using Mandriva 7 on my laptop and I'm still perfectly happy with it. I am not upgrading it to the last one or tu Ubuntu (insert the latest stupid name here). My Mac is running Tiger. Don't need Leopard or some stupid shining Time machine, thank you very much.

  • by GuyverDH ( 232921 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:22PM (#26667355)

    I'm currently working with vdm and Sun's SunRay Server software...

    It's very nice, and since the virtual desktop machines sit on the ESX cluster, hardware upgrades are too damned easy...

    Install the new hardware, load esx, add to the cluster and migrate running VMs as needed (or watch them migrate automatically if any of the old cluster members are overloaded)...

  • All I know.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by VinylRecords ( 1292374 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:23PM (#26667369) that this summer when I plan on purchasing a new PC, I better have the option of having XP as the only OS on the computer. No dual boot XP/Vista, no Windows 7, just XP.

  • Same old same old (Score:2, Interesting)

    by artg ( 24127 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:24PM (#26667389)
    Microsoft have screwed their customers over and over again. The customers don't learn, or don't care. For any other field, they'd notice that their supplier had replaced junk with more junk and they'd go somewhere else. Or they'd notice that they were dangerously exposed by buying a single-sourced product and would look for a safer source.
    But for some reason they're blind to these basic business rules. They'll whinge and moan and negotiate temporary discounts but in the end they'll just keep buying what Microsoft tell them too, because they're sheep.
  • More fear (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jabjoe ( 1042100 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:26PM (#26667419)
    Everyone really is terrified by the idea of the Linux desktop aren't they.

    Linux is use is growing here for people home use, even among non-programmers. It's free and fast. That's winning people. I think Linux is going main stream, and the more it does the more it will. It's coming up from the notebooks and down from the servers. It really does seam like the whole of the GNU/Linux world is going critical mass. Sorry Windows guys, you worse fears are coming. ;-)
  • by jollyreaper ( 513215 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:30PM (#26667479)

    I'm just pontificating here but I think we might not see the vast sweeping in of some new wholly dominant OS but a fragmentation of various solutions that work. A company might run a uniform platform just for IT's sake but that doesn't mean the company next door is running the same flavor.

    I really like OSX but I don't think Apple is trying to position it for the corporate desktop. The friendly Linuxes like Ubuntu remain incredibly strong.

    People have been predicting the era of the thinclient for years. Their arguments were compelling but nothing happened. There's advantages to having thick clients and you're simply not going to be able to deliver graphically-intensive content over the pipe, not for at least another generation or three.

    My prediction for what might make sense (not that it will 100% happen but at least is plausible) is for businesses to go with thick client closed box PC's. The phone system is the model here. There's nothing to tweak inside a PC anymore. There's not really any such thing as computer repair. At most you have a hard drive go bad, rarely a stick of ram dies. For the most part any problem is going to be software.

    What we're going to see is all-in-one PC's on the typical desktop, built like the new iMac with the computer sitting in the back of the monitor. (Though there will also be the option of connecting a pure thinclient to the same network.) Easy to install, easy to replace. It will have a custom linux install on it and can run apps either locally or via citrix windows. These all-in-one PC's will also have multiple video ports so that additional monitors can be driven from the same machine. Legacy Windows apps will run in Wine, complicated legacy apps will be served via the citrix or whatever server, and new apps will probably be developed for Linux but served out for the legacy Windows boxes. That's the situation we're in now with web appps acting as the platform-agnostic way of serving data to PC, Mac, Linux, phones, etc.

    I think for the typical 20 person office there will be one server in the back room running everything, maybe a failover box duplicating all of the resources. The major apps are housed locally so that they can keep working in case of a network problem but it will all phone back to the main office for synchronizaiton. Database-driven apps will work along the Google Gears model where offline copies of recent data are stored on the client or at the location's server so that failover from network problems is seamless. And because telephony is all going to IP, your phone guys and your computer guys will eventually become the same guy, it'll all fall under the aegis of "office electronic stuff."

    I think we're going to see much longer product upgrade cycles since there isn't a compelling reason to upgrade every 2-3 years. We might see terminals lasting happily for 8-10 years, maybe longer. There will still be big-box PC's in the office for those who need something special but that will be the exception.

    Now just because this all seems reasonable that's not to say it'll happen this way. But I just see a migration away from Windows, it seems like Microsoft simply cannot innovate fast enough these days. (maybe wishful thinking, maybe not.)

  • by awitod ( 453754 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:31PM (#26667509)

    If he is talking about existing PC's then I agree. My gut tells me that most regular people never upgrade their operating system anyway.

    If he is talking about businesses making the move when they replace equipment then I suspect he is quite wrong. Most businesses have avoided Vista not because they love XP, but because Vista has issues and requires beefy hardware. Windows 7 has two things going for it in this regard.

    The first is that it does seem to be quite an improvement over Vista. I've used it continuously for the past three weeks and I quite like it. I do not like Vista. The Vista shell pisses me off for many different reasons that I won't go into here. Windows 7 fixes all of my little pet peeves and I really like the new window manager.

    The second is that what was beefy expensive hardware when Vista shipped is now standard kit and quite inexpensive. Businesses in the U.S. can depreciate computers over five years. Any businesses PC purchased before 2005 will have fully depreciated by the time Windows 7 is an option and companies will be upgrading to new machines. A high-end computer purchased in 2005 or earlier probably did a terrible job running Vista. Most entry-level computers purchased in 2007-2008 to replace PCs purchased in 2002-2003 will run Windows 7 just fine.

    Windows 7 will see significant uptake in businesses compared to Vista.

  • First Post... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Legionaire ( 834947 ) * <> on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:31PM (#26667511) Homepage
    Citrix doing well at the moment comparatively speaking, shame they decided to lay off 10% of their workforce last year...
  • NX (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TypoNAM ( 695420 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:38PM (#26667617)
    No Machine [] so far has been a great alternative for VNC and the like to work with remote Linux desktops and even virtually. I've tried both their free NX server edition and the FreeNX [] server. FreeNX still needs some love/work in making it easier to get up and going, especially on Debian. The free NX server edition works better than FreeNX because I've been experiencing refresh/display corruption over time using FreeNX and not with the retail/free NX server using the same NX client (of which is always free, currently anyway) on Windows and Linux desktops.

    I especially liked how extremely well NX works with slow connections, not necessarily slow on the client side, but with extremely pitiful 128kbps upload speeds from the server such as my home DSL connection when I'm away. I use to prefer VNC until I found out about NX of which is just more enhancements to the X11 protocol over SSH as far as I can tell (I'm definitely no expert as to what all goes in behind the scene). It Just Works(TM). :)
  • by linebackn ( 131821 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:39PM (#26667645)

    "from their beloved, aging operating system "

    Software does not age. People's requirements change. And that is just the problem (for MS), XP still meets the majority of needs for people.

  • Re:More fear (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mascot ( 120795 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:52PM (#26667843)

    Personally I am a big fan of Linux. Yet I still picked an XP netbook. My desktop still runs XP. My laptop still runs XP. My laptop at work still runs XP.

    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.

    It's a Catch-22. Linux won't get major commercial interest before enough people are using it, and it won't get enough people using it unless the software is there.

    I do have hope though. The snowball is definitely forming. But we're still a long ways off it starting to roll.

  • Citrix vs. VMware (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rwa2 ( 4391 ) * on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:56PM (#26667907) Homepage Journal

    So it's been a while (like a decade) since I've used Citrix for work, but I'm pretty sure I hated it. Same thing with Exceed (performance and reliability really sucked compared to running cygwin+Xorg or even VNC).

    I haven't been able to figure out from their website exactly what Project Independence is... though a link on the sidebar looks like it involves the Xen hypervisor. I think Xen is a good idea, I just haven't had any awesome experiences with it.

    I do have lots of experience doing more or less exactly the same thing using the free VMware, VirtualBox, and qemu software. Those work great.

    I run my "Work image" inside VMware, since I don't have or want all that much control over it. It's also a 32-bit WinXP image, and I'd rather run a 64-bit OS on the bare hardware. I use VirtuaWin to switch back and forth between the full-screen VMware guest session and the native Win2003 x64 Server running on my work laptop. That works pretty nice, though it took some experimentation to keep it from thrashing the pagefile with the VMware guest too much.

    I still find VMware relatively cumbersome to install on Linux, so on those machines I much prefer running VirtualBox, which has simple Debian packages. I have WinXP and CentOS images there to run a few proprietary software packages that don't run under Debian for some silly reason.

    Qemu is great for running and remastering KNOPPIX CDs / DVDs. It's a bit slower than the others, but much more straightforward.

    FWIW, I just started playing with the Win7 Beta last week, and didn't think it was all that bad (I have actually never touched Vista). I think the transition from WinXP to Win7 will be easier than from Win3.11 to Win95 and also even from Win95 to WinXP; but maybe that's just because MS has trained me to expect it to be so much more painful :P But I didn't have too much of an issue with where they rearranged important control panel items and munged up the start menu this time.

    My greatest complaint is that I can't make the "Start" icon smaller than 64x64 to shrink the size of the taskbar.

  • Right... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dedazo ( 737510 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @01:03PM (#26668019) Journal

    Aside from the annoying repetitions, I really liked this part:

    Contractors, consultants, and increasingly employees, use their own laptops to connect to the corporate network. Personally, I've not used a corporate supplied computer for the last five to six years.

    Hah! This ain't happening any time soon, at least not that I can see. Companies are extremely paranoid (with good reason) and in my experience will very rarely allow a connection to their networks (be it physical or through VPN) on hardware they don't own. Maybe small companies do, trading risk for lowered costs ("Hey, you got a laptop? Great!") but most don't. Not a chance.

    If that's one of his premises, along with the we've-heard-it-all-before-thanks babble about how the next version of Windows is DOA, then the whole thing can be safely ignored.

  • Android will benefit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Erich ( 151 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @01:09PM (#26668105) Homepage Journal
    Nobody is noticing that Google is shipping an easy-to-use, free, fast, pretty operating system?
  • by darthservo ( 942083 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @01:16PM (#26668189)

    But no, Vista nicely demonstrated that people will not put up with whatever MS throws at them, as long as what they already have works well enough for their needs.

    Vista nicely demonstrated a failure at marketing (Vista-Capable) and a failure at showing users reasons why it would be worth upgrading to (on capable hardware).

    The problem was at the time it was released, people just did not see the reasons or benefits for upgrading. Most people who bought into the Vista-is-crap FUD without actually trying it for themselves or were simply unwilling to orient themselves with a new, updated OS are now realizing that XP is looking dated. Because of the perceived negative attributes of Vista (seriously, stop likening it to ME - Vista uses a very stable NT kernel, unlike the very unstable kernel present in ME) anything looks better than Vista at this point - even though there are many similarities between 7 and Vista.

    Yes, we will still have people who stick their feet firmly in the mud and refuse to transfer their own skills into a modern OS. These are the same kinds of people who either still use 2000 or eventually moved to XP with a lot of kicking and screaming. But, people will upgrade when a product is correctly marketed. Just look at iPods.

  • by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @01:25PM (#26668307) Journal
    After that? Wine on Linux?

    I don't think ReactOS is ready.

    But maybe if enough large corps got together and sponsored more work and resources on something like ReactOS, Microsoft might suddenly say "OKOK, you can downgrade to XP, just don't even think about that!".

    The problem for Microsoft is, if too many people stuck with XP, then eventually XP could become a defacto standard that even Microsoft themselves have difficulty changing.

    Then more people will start making XP compatible OSes.

    See what happened to IBM and the IBM PC BIOS?

    Or Intel and the x86? Intel tried to get everyone on the Itanic, but pesky AMD came along and provided a 64 bit x86 path.

    Naturally Microsoft will do all it can to not be "Yet Another BIOS vendor". Hence they must release Windows 7 and it must be slightly incompatible, but compatible enough.

    The trouble with Vista was it was too crap as well. So they lost a lot of ground there.

    But I believe OSS world has a long way to go when it comes to providing a "drop in" Windows XP replacement (most aren't interested in doing that).
  • by IANAAC ( 692242 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @01:27PM (#26668329)

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

    And in some cases, Wine has already become more usable. Take WineASIO, for instance. I get incredibly low latency using Wine/WineASIO and Windows VSTs under Linux that I never got under XP.

  • by turp101 ( 1465293 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @01:29PM (#26668359)
    Bad implementation would be the issue if you are only getting 50 Outlook and IE sessions on 4 servers. Either that or you need to upgrade the pizza box servers you are using. Just as an example, with quad-dual core processors and 8 GB of RAM, we will provide 2-300 users over 100 applications on 1 server. That usually doesn't even push the limits of the machine. We have peaked at over 400 during testing with mild performance degradation. It is just like corporate desktops, it is the hardware plus the configuration. If you don't do either correctly, you won't get results.
  • Re:More fear (Score:5, Interesting)

    by maino82 ( 851720 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @01:30PM (#26668365)

    I tend to agree with you, but I'm not expecting Linux to really take off as soon as I think you are.

    I recently came into a few old laptops and threw Xubuntu on them just to play around (one of them had been running Windows 2000 and the other was 98). I ended up giving them away to two friends who needed PCs (neither of which are very computer savvy and had only used XP a handful of times before) and they loved them and learned to use them right away really easily. These are the kind of people who will be easy to convert, but they're kind of a rarity in this day and age.

    My wife, on the other hand, has been using XP or 2000 for as long as she could remember, and it took her longer to get used to using Ubuntu on my media center PC (I don't know how many times I heard the phrase "but that's not how you do it in Windows"), but now she uses both Windows and Ubuntu pretty comfortably even though she still prefers Windows. I think that a lot more people fall into my wife's category and, unfortunately, without someone there to help them along and show them how to do stuff in Linux that they long ago learned to do in Windows, not many people in this category will switch over.

    In any event, I kind of hope Linux doesn't take off in a huge way just because I like being a part of a smaller, closer-nit community. A friend of mine took the time to show me Linux way back when and it was his patience and help that made me want to stick with it and see what all could be done with Linux. From there, community forums and IRC channels helped when I had a problem I couldn't figure out. I think that if Linux grows too big too fast that some of that same sense of community will be lost.

  • by lucif3r ( 1391761 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @01:31PM (#26668393)

    This article really assumes that the expense of managing Citrix server farms will be significantly less than the expense of managing the XP machines.

    Not that I am saying it wont be but as someone with a decent amount of experience managing servers and even with Citrix servers I'm not sure you can just say that.

    Even if it's true, old habits are hard to break.

  • Re:VMware (Score:2, Interesting)

    by maven_johnson ( 870682 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @01:41PM (#26668505)
    VMware is already doing better than Citrix. They both posted 4th quarter earnings reports. VMware did better than expected. Citrix did worse. In bad economic times, generally, the weak get weaker and the strong get stronger. The post is just a plug for Citrix.
  • by CompMD ( 522020 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @02:26PM (#26669201)

    I'm not so sure about that. I work for a high-tech aerospace/electronics company, there are 3,000 people here at corporate headquarters, and we have replaced hundreds of windows workstations with linux and mac workstations over the last 18 months. All the windows boxes are running XP. The world isn't ending, we're adapting, and there is nothing the linux and mac users can't do that they couldn't before on windows except run Outlook.

  • by stewbacca ( 1033764 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @03:01PM (#26669751)
    I have a coworker who just bought his first Mac and was begging me to come setup his wireless router and cable modem. He wouldn't even try, because he was certain he would screw something up because he's been conditioned by Microsoft OSes. I told him to give it a shot on his own without even reading the help files, and sure enough, he had it running in less than 10 minutes.
  • by clarkn0va ( 807617 ) <> on Friday January 30, 2009 @03:08PM (#26669845) Homepage

    your wife or kid has someone at home who actually knows how to use Linux

    This is not the case nearly as much as it used to be. I visited my parents over Christmas, 1100km away. I've been telling my mom for years to switch to linux. Not because I think that everybody should use linux, but because she has some long-standing issues with her computer that don't affect linux. She has so far refused, simply out of fear of having to learn computers all over again.

    My dad, on the other had, needed a computer for his business (an automotive shop). I told him I could put one together for x dollars, and add $110 if he wants it to run Windows. "Why would I want it to run Windows?" he asked. Honest question, but I didn't have an answer, since I'd already verified that the applications he would be using were web-based. He's been running xubuntu since Christmas and I never hear about it.

    Compare that with my sister and her five young kids, 1800km away. My brother Tyler wanted to put together a budget computer for them four years ago and asked my help. We partitioned the hard disk in half, put windows on one and ubuntu on the other (because I thought that everybody should use linux). He also gave them a cheap lexmark printer that didn't work in ubuntu, so they chose to run windows. Two years later I found out that the printer is long dead and they've all taken to booting into ubuntu because their internet music and videos work better that way.

    Compare that with my two brothers Ray and Rick, 500 km away. I helped them both upgrade computers in the last six months. Ray reused his windows xp from the old computer. Rick didn't have an xp disk, so I put an unactivated copy of xp on one partition and ubuntu on the other. I showed him how to dual-boot and told him he could probably find an xp crack if he wanted. He never booted into Windows.

    Ray and Rick both have XBOX 360s and both have spent the last month or two trying to get media to stream. Both have had limited success. To Rick, running ubuntu I sent some links to discussing media server options. For Ray, running windows I had to instruct him to install vnc and open ports on his router so I could get in and eventually figure out that some necessary system services weren't running. I dug up a batch file off the internet requiring an ecclectic mix of programs. I spent hours installing these and duct-taping them all together on his system and things still don't work as they should.

    Rick's brother-in-law had a laptop that pooped out its hard disk. It didn't come with a windows install disk, and he was too cheap to buy one, so Rick, on my advice, bought a replacement hard disk and installed ubuntu for him. He called once to ask about printer compatibility, but that is the sum total of support given to him for this computer in the past year.

    And finally, compare these with my brother Tyler again, 1800 km away, who two years ago bought a mac because he is technologically challenged and wanted something point and click. This morning he emailed me to ask if I would recommend putting Ubuntu on his client's computer, currently running Windows Malware Edition(R). He is burning the xubuntu iso as I write this.

    Yeah, none of these linux installs would have happened without my initial intervention, but that's a PR thing. None of these people are computer geeks, not even close. Technically speaking, I've done less support for my linux-using family than I have for my windows-using family. Your opinion is at best 2 years out of date.

  • by mordred99 ( 895063 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @03:33PM (#26670221)
    Huh? XP is not safe or stable? I have to disagree. If you are looking for zealot level security then I can agree, but from a simple standpoint of setting it up it is relatively secure with the default settings that come with SP2 or SP3. As for stable? I have never, in my 10 years (Alpha releases, etc.) had XP crash on me. Never. I have had crappy applications fail, etc.

    Ubuntu maybe safer? Well safer because you have to know exactly what you are doing to do anything. Download a tar.gz file and tell grandma to run it from the GUI. It takes time to learn these skills. Stable? I won't grant that as I have crashed my Ubuntu box multiple times (8.04 and 8.10). I still dont have sound on my box after re-installing over the weekend - and no one can explain why (simple, onboard sound card).

    Fear of change might be a factor, but change is also indicative that people know what they are doing which over 60% of the people out there don't know what they are doing with a PC anyways. They know how to do their task. Click here - do this. That is all. If a PC came, setup, guaranteed to work, get the latest updates, etc. Then great. I have not seen that yet. I have to know what I am doing to get my video card to work because Ubuntu could not get it to work out of the default. My sound does not work, Flash is a hack for 64 bit unless you know (again tar.gz files) to install the latest alpha from adobe.

    I am not saying windows is the greatest, I would never say anything of the sort. Just saying that the user experience is equal to that of windows is downright wrong, and almost sounding a little elitist. Will I trade my Ubuntu box in? Nope. I run a free VM server 2.0 on it and have my windows xp box running, so I can VPN into work, and work with my excel files, etc. I have all my other stuff on my Linux box and would not trade that for the world. I will dedicate my time to fixing the issues, and getting things to work, so that others will not have to go through the things that I had to go through.

    In the end, we all want choice, and choice gives us options. I would prefer if my son learned Linux. Why? Then he would know how stuff works. He knows the pretty GUI in windows, let him learn how a computer thinks, runs, etc. and he will be a great user of computers going forward. However, just like in life, if people don't want to learn, then you cannot force them. They will sit there, hands in the air, and say "Hell if I know".

    I will leave you with one final quote from MKL Jr.: "Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-bakes solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think."
  • by Odin_Tiger ( 585113 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @04:57PM (#26671231) Journal
    Or you could just do what I do:

    Acquaintance: Oh, you do computers? Can you fix my Windows?
    Me: No, I don't work on computers outside of my job.

    Nearly everyone who is an acquaintance has gone through that conversation with me at some point in time or another, and it's never been a problem. Most people just shrug and say, "Oh, well can you recommend somebody who does?" I think most computer professionals are afraid of how people will respond to them being blunt about that sort of thing, but the reality is that most people (in my experience, at least*) are perfectly accepting and understanding about it.

    *I suppose, though, that it might be worth noting that although I'm typically the shy / quiet / not terribly social type, 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. YMMV if you're closer to the stereotypical 'geek', especially if you can't learn to make yourself use body language properly.
  • by lazarusdishwasher ( 968525 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @06:43PM (#26672453)
    Is this close enough? []
  • by JTorres176 ( 842422 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @07:00PM (#26672665) Homepage

    Ok, depending on your definition of "safe" and "stable" vary on experience. I install and uninstall a bit of software on my windows laptop and my linux pc. Because of this, windows starts to crash after a while, it's processes begin to hang on shutdown, things randomly disappear and magically reappear on my task bar. I've grown used to these things. In Ubuntu, adding and removing programs on a regular basis don't seem to affect anything.

    I've also grown used to having to run virus protection, spybot s&d, spyware blaster, and a handful of other utilities to keep windows safe. These make it feel secure while I'm able to do this on my own, the average person has quite a few issues that in my opinion as a field techie, leaves them open for quite a few problems.

    I remove viruses for people, I remove spyware for people, I help people learn how to take care of their windows machines themselves. I constantly see people using IE that went to the wrong website, or opened up the link that came in their outlook express promising Bill Gates would give them a new computer if they replied, or the free penguin screenserver makes these funny popups come up now...

    This makes me prejudiced because the only call I get concerning linux is usually the RHEL 3 server or FreeBSD 4.10 box that's been running a mail server in the back room of a business where the hardware failed after %n years and it needs to be installed on a new machine.

    I love linux, I'm an advocate of free (speech and beer) software. I don't think linux is ready for mainstream, not even ubuntu, but I do see it gaining momentum. Blaming linux for not being easy to use or not being secure, or not being stable is the wrong path. If you want to talk about grandma building programs from tar.gz packages, start trying to tell grandma to compile her own C++ programs on windows and realize that both are an exercise in futility.

    Linux may not be the right path for everyone, but the real reasons that it's not the right path has nothing to do with any of the reasons listed in the initial post. If security, stability, and ease of use are major concerns about linux, then he should probably research into linux a bit more. If he's concerned that the software he knows already won't work in linux and that he won't be able to understand the inner workings as easily as windows which he's learned over the last 10 years, these are indeed valid concerns.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 31, 2009 @10:53PM (#26681599)

    Here's how *I* manage it:
              Dude: Oh, can you fix my Windows system, (blah-de-blah.. usually "it's so slow", or "I have spyware" if they're a little more knowledgable)

              Me: I don't use Windows.
    (if they haven't already walked away)
              Me: I use Linux.. If you have too many problems, I recommend Ubuntu, it's easier and better than Windows. I can give you an Ubuntu LiveCD, you can use the CD straight off to web surf, word process, etc., If your windows install is too screwed up. You can use the CD to copy your files to a USB stick or whatever, and if you need to reinstall I'd install it and try it out before you reinstall windows. Your windows software won't work with Ubuntu though*.
              *I know this is technically not true, really almost everything works with wine. But not without a bit of hacking which some random person wouldn't figure out.
              I *used* to fix people's windows problems for free until like 5 or 6 years ago, it got increasingly complex, more of a chore rather than "fun". I began using Linux in 1994, and kept an XP system for games for a while, until I had them mostly running under wine. I charged to help with Windows systems up to about 4 or 5 months ago, but 3 things stopped me. 1) I don't use Windows so once the old "magic cocktail" of AVG6 + Ad-Aware on a LiveCD became ineffective I had no replacement. 2) Vista. I worked on ONE Vista system, it was so awful I never want to see one again. 3) Professional pride. It seemed greasy to fix people's machines fully with the FULL knowledge they'd get spyware back within days (they always did, the best managed 2 or 3 months). And as an IT pro, I've considered Linux superior to Windows for 15 years.. but once Ubuntu became not just better but EASIER than windows, I could no longer in good conscience support inferior technology.

    I've noticed the pool of people I know that help people with windows problems (for free) has dropped to zero. And, the pool of people who do it for cash is very low. I think the types into computers either all use Linux (or OSX), or do pro Windows work (and someone being paid at work to work on windows doesn't want to work on windows even more on the side).

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.