The enterprise world may increasingly be infatuated with Red Hat, but the mobile and desktop worlds are very much in play, with Canonical's Ubuntu gaining ground in areas most Western observers will not have noticed. In short, there's never been a more exciting, disruptive time to own an operating system. This is most evident in …
So much choice: Exciting times
Who would have imagined Android would become so popular when there is formidable competition from the iPhone?
I hope Ubuntu also joins the race in phones. Can't believe Android & Ubuntu are free.
Cheers to what may be an end to a monopoly and here's to some healthy competition!
May the best products win!!
Been using Ubuntu for some years now, always using the latest offerings. The problem with it (and many other distributions) isn't if it works and if drivers are available, but how well it works.
There are two issues: one is stability, as I have yet to run Ubuntu full time on a machine without it popping up some weir issue (currently my desktop thinks it is ok to start its GUI without any window decoration, my netbook regularly failed to connect to my wifi - recently solved by some update,...)
The other is funtionality. Play flash full screen? Nope, not even on a quad-core machine with beefy graphics hardware. Intuitive (simple yet performant) video editing? Got some evenings to waste tinkering with it?
In short: they have come a long way, but it is a moving target. They may be now where Windows95 was, but the world moved on.
Beer icon because I'll have a drink on what the future can bring :)
been using it for a few years, and have had problems, but each iteration has been better, and the current incarnation I have no problems with at all. That's the point - new versions come out more frequently than Windows, each one is better than the last. I cannot see if taking too many iterations until Ubtunu (and others) are really very good indeed. Its already way better than your Win95 reference (Mine never crashes for example!). My Ubuntu desktop performs way better than the XP systems I use for work, and back to back comparisons of Ubuntu vs XP on quad core dev machines shows massive improvements in compile time for example.
Flash is still a problem, and the Video editors are not that great (but do work). However, both of these are third party applications and not provided by Ubuntu/Canonical itself. This is where Canonical money needs to be going (alongside the OS itself), to get the basic third party apps up to scratch. ON the whole though, given that all these apps are free, they are not too bad!
If Ubuntu fails you try another distro.
In my personal experience Debian is great on the desktop and Linux Mint on my netbook -- but, then, I'm a fan of apt-get and just seem to get on with Debian -- a friend tells me openSUSE is pretty good nowadays and Fedora is supposed to be pretty decent too.
My point is that if you like something about Ubuntu, but don't like the specifics, there are other options out there which may suit you. Please don't give up on Linux because Ubuntu's weird package choices don't get on with your hardware.
Flash on Linux
I know that this is not a help forum, but I recently found out something revealing wrt flash in Firefox on Linux.
I was puzzled by the fact that on the same hardware, flash appeared to run much faster on a new Ubuntu install than on a system that had been upgraded. The same was true on a new install using a previous home filesystem.
I found out that there appears to be a firefox quirk left over from a previous way of installing flash, which ended up installing a shared object called libflashplayer.so in the ~/.mozilla/plugins directory, which over-rides the version of flash installed system wide. This meant that even though I had flash 10.something installed, the properties shown in a flash window showed 9.something. I even found that renaming the file to libflashplayer.so.save in the plugins directory still caused it to be picked up.
This screwed up BBC iplayer and many other sites that checked the version of Flash installed. This had puzzled me for a long time.
Deleting the file completely suddenly made flash work sooooo much better. My daily use system is a Thinkpad T30 2GHz Mobile Pentium 4 running Hardy Heron at the moment (I'm still having problems with KMS, suspend and ATI 7500 mobility graphics adapter on Lucid, and I only want to use LTS releases), and even this is able to make a passable attempt at most YouTube videos now.
I have another dual core Pentium E2200 system, which I think is clocked at 2.2GHz running Lucid Lynx, and that manages flash fullscreen without problems after similar treatment.
I think that everybody who experiences slow flash in Firefox may want to check whether they have something similar.
I like how the choices the 4 layers debian give me.
Hardcore puriest >debian
as good and cutting edge as FOSS will allow>Ubuntu(child of debian)
it just works,>mint(child of ubuntu)
it works+fast>mint xfce OR it just works+flashy>mint KDE
how well it works
> .. The problem with it .. isn't if it works and if drivers are available, but how well it works, petur
Can't say I've experienced stability issues, and I'm running flash fullscreen here on this Lubuntu distro running off a USB on 979,756 kb of ram with a standard graphic card.
> They may be now where Windows95 was, but the world moved on.
Now I know you're kidding :)
"Play flash full screen?"
It works fine on my old single-core celerion laptop. Mind I'm using OpenSUSE 11.2 not ubuntu. Kubuntu runs flash full screen without any problems on my Asus 901as well.
It depends what and how you use it.
First of all there are problems with flash, this is true. And with drivers too.
However, All of my computers run flash in full screen, including my son's 250$ toy from ASUS. And yes- he plays flash games.
Video editing- you have to be kidding, right? I have digitized 10-15 hours of VHS home movies. It is a breeze! Perhaps you are doing it wrong?
Maybe you need to go back to using Win 95?
Now let's talk snapshots, backups, network drives, print servers, mobile sync (Android-Ubuntu One), software repositories, updates, boot and response times, security, Desktop workspaces... Seems to me Windows 7 is where Linux was 5-6 years ago. Hell, just few years ago you could not even get 64 bit Windows. Amazing, I know.
Try avoiding obvious bogus nonsense this time.
> The other is funtionality. Play flash full screen?
You run off the rails right here and show your true colors. You might have successfully pretended to be a sincere Ubuntu user otherwise.
Flash is crap on all platforms pretty much equally. If there are tricks to be had that speeds up Flash, they will be available pretty much across the board. However, the webmaster in question must decide to use them.
Thus running Windows 7 won't do squat for Hulu. You're still better off running it on a different OS if the corresponding machine is running better (more suitable) hardware.
OTOH, an ION running any OS will do very well with 1080p stuff from YouTube.
Beat that MS!
Used it for 3 years as a work desktop to look after around 75 Solaris Oracle DB servers , that's around 9-10 hours a day 5 days a week solid.
The only niggles I have run into are through my own doing and tinkering! I couldn't believe when 10.x arrived I installed it and it simply fired up the Nvidia drivers, located my two screens and set them into a two-screen desktop in a Twinview config without me doing anything!
Meanwhile the Support Desk advise us that we must reboot our XP machines weekly ( I have to have one for Outlook ) to ensure patches are applied and various other niggles are fixed. The longest I had my Ubuntu work box up was about 4 months without a reboot.
Full screen flash woes.
Sorry Jeidiah - there really are issues with full screen flash on certain hardware. I haven't spent enough time on it to get to the bottom of it, but my perfectly well specced (couple of years old) desktop, with an NVidia gfx card and the open drivers (I think - can't actually remember now as getting a working setup involved flipping driver choice a few times - fail number 1) chokes completely under Ubuntu 10.4 / Firefox / whatever version of flash plugin installs itself.
If I want full screen flash video (e.g. to watch iPlayer) I reboot into Windows and it 'just works'. For a lot of people, that's enough to kill bothering with Linux.
As a windows 7 HTPC user running an ION motherboard(atom 330 + Nvidia 9400M). I can say that Flash runs rather admirably for the issues its supposed to exhibit on a high resolution. Also Flash 10 with the hardware acceleration helps alot, which should have been added years ago. No skips or stuttering and it has passed the wife acceptance factor test which means the HTPC is used far more than the rabbit ears which are soon going to be connected to a ATSC card on said HTPC.
6 months was enough
Used Unity for 2 days. Poor. No chance.
Ubuntu wiped after an upgrade from 10.4 to 10.10 screwed my system. Fresh install for an upgrade? No.
Orange! Come off it. How much longer are you going to persist with that.
A valiant effort for free but still a long long way from challenging Windows, let alone Android.
Funny, I love Unity
I wiped XP after a particularly annoying trojan (infection vector was Java), and install Ubuntu Netbook Edition and have to say I love unity. Works perfectly on my 13" Toshiba Satellite Pro. Though seeing as I administer a FreeBSD server in work I'm a CLI person, so tweaking things isn't an issue for me. It's such a relief having curl, dig, tar, grep, etc in the OS, rather than having to install Win32 versions.
Wine appears to run the few remaining Win32 apps (the word isn't reserved for mobile applications) pretty well too (MemoryMap is one).
Have to admit, before this I had my fair share of Linux failures, and probably will again when I get a newer laptop.
Vive la différence
You typed too much and betrayed yourself
You mentioned using Ubuntu 10.10 on a netbook for 2 days, then mentioned Canonical persisting with "orange" (presumably the wallpaper, which you don't know how to change)? The problem is that 10.10 has a distinct purple theme by default - not orange. "A valiant effort" indeed.
Depends on the theme. OOTB I would say (bar wallpaper) that the 10.10 theme is orange. Ornage buttons, orange highlights etc. The only thing purple is the wallpaper.
So it's all down to personal perception I guess.
You can change the theme to what you want. Plenty of them at http://www.gnome-look.org
Yes, but no...
10.10 has plenty of orange throughout the theme.
The essence of the article is whether Ubuntu can piggy-back on the success of Android with the Unity UI. BIn my humble opinion, "no chance".
The update to 10.10 from 10.4 was really the final nail. Aside from that major issue, video playback was much poorer than XP, Win7 and even Mac OSX86 on the same machine. WiFi signal strength was much weaker - donating a poorer grade of driver probably.
Given the choice between XP and Ubuntu, I would choose the later. Not however, for more modern OS's.
This could have legs...
If executed correctly, I can see this having a future, especially in netbooks / tablets. The problem that faces Android on tablets is the lack of a Google app store. This wouldn't be so much of a problem if all the manufacturers of the new wave of tablets clubbed together to create a new store just for Android tablets (or an open app store to cover phones as well), but it isn't happening; they are all rolling their own.
We also have these cheap tablets, with Android, being hurled at us by the Chinese et al. The problem with these is also a lack of an app store (amongst other things), but they don't have the financial / market grunt to make a good one for themselves. They also don't follow through with regular updates and so on.
If Canonical / Ubuntu can Swiss-cheese a few things together to solve these problems, then they could have a winner. They'll need a common app store, a handful of Chinese manufacturers on-board, a decent minimum hardware spec, a centralised software update service, a decent UI (which Unity could be) and a good selection of core apps (browser, e-mail etc). If they could also persuade a couple of the bigger manufacturers to have go too, well...
Away with App Stores
Put a proper OS on it with a decent package manager, and you've got access to all the repositories on the internet.
You may have access to all the standard stuff, but not all the standard stuff will work well on a tablet nor netbook. One of the reasons that the iphone, ipad and Android phones have done well is the eco-system; everything installable just works as it should on a touch screen and fits in with the OS.
The standard set of stuff out there in repositories is for Linux on the desktop, not a tablet.
"The problem that faces Android on tablets is the lack of a Google app store."
You have heard of the Android Market now haven't you? http://www.android.com/market/
The current Android Market has device-specific filtering where for e.g. applications can specify they require a GSM connection, a specific screen size, small, medium, large (large being a tablet), if the device doesn't match, the app isn't shown in the market.
The current Android Market is perfectly capable of serving tablets as well as smartphones.
I am aware...
I am aware, AC, that Google has it's Marketplace. I am also aware that Google is not allowing access to said Marketplace from most tablets (not just certain apps, the whole thing!), hence the need for each manufacturer to produce their own app store, as they are doing.
Ergo my original point stands, unless Google opens up the store to tablets, and thus uses it's ability to filter apps based on screen size, SIM card country of origin, version of Android etc...
"And Microsoft's next-generation operating system has abandoned Intel exclusively for the first time."
2nd Time. NT did support MIPS, Power PC, 32bit and 64 bit Alpha as well as x86, which isn't just Intel.
Great isn't it?
I always like a tech author who can't remember anything that happened more than five years ago.
Like tech authors consistently forget, when reviewing the history of personal computers, the personal computer that brought the modern desktop experience, productivity apps and gaming to the most personal of personal spaces that a personal computer could reside - the home - whilst others were still sitting in offices. What else could I be talking about other than the Amiga. Listen to some tech authors and you'd think the Amiga never even existed.
// Any excuse to shoe-horn a reference to the Amiga into el Reg comments! ;)
Business analysts will go extinct before the PC
Whoever base his or her decision on business analysts is doomed to fail. I am sure that business analysts will be extinct much earlier than the PC. What a business analyst will never be able to understand is the PC versatility is essential to more user they can never figure out., simply because their minds are too narrow to understand.
There are much more computer user than the facebook-addict music/movie dowloader.
The actual trend to design devices with only one kind of user in mind is doomed to fail soon. Many user will get bored with their limits and will look for something more versatile. The problem is the focus on the 500M user on facebook and lose the 1.5B who aren't there - it's the same error movie and TV producer made targeting the bottom line because it is much more homogenous than those above it - and those people moved soon to other media.
Ubuntu won't go far for the same reason Linux never went far. Nokia's Debian based OS is an interesting attempt, but it looks they spent more time to have it run on their device than to add the applications users need. And Linux on mobile has the same issues Windows on mobile has. Both were never designed to run on such devices. And no Linux shop is going to design a wholly new mobile OS, it's far cheaper to go on modifying the actual Linux codebase, and try to adapt it.
"And Linux on mobile has the same issues Windows on mobile has. Both were never designed to run on such devices."
Nonsense - Linux is a Kernel - NOT an operating system. You can still have a fully functional Linux Distro running on a 486 with 16Meg of RAM. It won't be quick or pretty, but will work.
Modern smartphones, let alone tablets and NetTops have Hardware that surpasses this by orders of magnitude. Building a Linux Distro that runs smoothly on a 1Ghz ARM with 512Memory and 32Gig of storage (which is still quite conservative in this area) would be childsplay for many linux gurus.
Linux can be as big or as small as you like, Windows however cannot.
"....except for the coming extinction of the PC."
Presumably that's "coming" as in "death of COBOL". Let me know how this one's going in about ten years time. Last time it was thin-client appliances that were going to do for the PC, at least that made some sort of sense, even if it didn't happen.
"...Microsoft's next-generation operating system has abandoned Intel exclusively for the first time."
Yes, let's just pretend that the whole AMD64 business never happened and ignore any Windows on Alpha / MIPS / PowerPC shenanigans that was quite obviously a figment of everyone's imagination. It's easier to make sweeping statements that way.
Here's a tip: If you're going to quote someone, try making sure that they are saying something of substance rather than just a load of opinionated bollocks.
The End of the World is Nigh
"This would be fine - except for the coming extinction of the PC"
I suppose if people say it enough times they may come to believe it's true. If enough people swallow the line it may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
While there is undeniable a change in technology used by people - as there is when anything new or improved comes along - I believe the predicted demise of the PC is grossly premature though can see why those who have a vested interest in that outcome would be more optimistic.
What I want to know is when we're getting 'electricity, so cheap you won't have to pay for it', and those rocket cars we were promised.
The actaul phrase was "too cheap to meter", implying that it would be produced so cheaply and in such quantity that there would be no need to charge by the minute or hour and that metering would be replaced with a flat monthly rate.
I agree with much of what you say
But I disagree with your support of Unity and related changes. I have found that Ubuntu hides/changes too much and makes some things nigh-on impossible. I recently had to install the missing parts of PulseAudio in order to gain proper control - what Canonical provides OOTB is inadequate.
This isn't a problem if users remain dumb consumers like most Windows jockeys are, but it is infuriating when you know that a sub-system can do something, but the way Canonical has mangled it prevents one from easily doing it.
My rant aside, the main thrust of your argument is sound. MS is the new IBM. It is too old and too big to innovate, hence why it uses its restrictive, predatory tactics and standards-breaking tactics. Everything must be extended or tweaked so that they can claim "standards", but it's just different enough to not work well with everything else.
Unfortunately I can see echoes of that in what Canonical do. Uh-oh, back at my rant.
I presume you didn't have to compile PulseAudio to get what you wanted, and all that stuff was in the repository. Where's the problem then? Such an advanced user as yourself surely doesn't think that installing an extra package or two to get required functionality is a problem?
To me, some policy decisions (like cautious-launcher not letting people to execute anything with wine from a CD - it asks them to set the 'x' bit, but it's kinda hard for beginners to do it on a read-only medium).
The PC is clearly threatened
but rumours of its death are greatly exaggerated. The desktop PC is on the way out - you don't need all that peripheral space now that flash memory devices have replaced floppies and CDs - but there will still be a need for a device with a proper keyboard and a decent size screen for editing documents. The laptop will be around for a while and will probably see a resurgence when people get fed up with the limitations of tablets after the novelty has worn off. PCs don't have to be Wintel, of course.
The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.
"there will still be a need for a device with a proper keyboard and a decent size screen" - But you just said the desktop PCs were on their way out? Laptops have neither option without resorting to peripherals which make a mockery of having a laptop in the first place.
Tablets are just sub-netbooks with a "My first laptop" OS on them. Fine for media consumption but laughable for any work more taxing than finger-painting or using Notepad.
"The desktop PC is on the way out - you don't need all that peripheral space now that flash memory devices have replaced floppies and CDs"
DVDs are still alive and well though. Not much chance of archiving a photo album off onto flash memory.
What is the peripheral space you refer to? It can't be the screen because you later say you need a decent size screen. It can't be the physical footprint as you don't have to by a tower or other huge lump when you get a desktop - motherboards come in many sizes. I have an XPC kicking around that takes up half the room of a printer and an iMac that is essentially screen-only in size.
Perhaps you can elaborate?
Death of the PC, my arse!
It's survived 30 years and I suspect it will probably still be with us in another 30 years time!
( I am a Mac user and I know the PC ain't dead yet, despite not using them other than at work! )
"Microsoft's next-generation operating system has abandoned Intel exclusively for the first time."
So they don't believe in researching a topic before spouting bullshit at the Harvard Business Review? Windows has run on non x86 chips before and even Windows 7 runs on chips from this small company called AMD. But hell why let the facts get in the way of a sensational story proclaiming the death of PCs, Microsoft and Windows?
not very correct article
this article has many thing wrong, such as:
- "microsoft drops intel exclusivity" - when windows nt was new, it was available for mips and powerpc architectures as well (if i remember correctly) but they dropped them because there was no traction
- "intel does not want develop atom processor" - intel made extremely huge work to create atom, and move x86 from desktop/notebook to netbook and is clearly targeting tablets and phones next. the only difference is, that they are trying to do this with x86 architecture, not arm. by the way, do you remember, that intel did develope arm designed processors, however, they decided to drop them, to focus on x86
however, ubuntu moving to mobile is true. we'll see how much they are succesfull.
Ubuntu has several hurdles to overcome
Ubuntu has made huge strides taming Linux. It's unbelievable how long it took for a usable desktop to appear in Linux but Ubuntu can claim to have done it. Even so Linux still resembles Windows circa 2003.
It needs a facelift to compete with the compositing goodness of other OS's. X11 does have extensions for compositing, damage etc. but they must workaround X11's 2D centric worldview and there are far too many context switches going on too. So Ubuntu is dumping X11 for something called Wayland which IMO is long overdue. It doesn't stop X11 running over the top of Wayland much the way it does on OS X.
The desktop is also pretty spacial but it's not very task centric. This too needs addressing which probably explains the Unity project. If you were someone opening up your netbook in an internet cafe you probably have certain tasks in mind - browse web, read email and so forth and the computer should facilitate them more easily. I have my doubts how they'll achieve this but I suppose if users can flip between a tab oriented to a desktop view and back again it won't be too bad. Ubuntu were going to use something called GNOME Shell but it was a usability disaster. I hope Unity is better for the job.
I still don't see how Ubuntu intend to be on phones or tablets. I can see how they might feature in ultraslim netbooks with the above changes. Imagine if that recent Toshiba running Android were running Ubuntu instead. I think it would have been a far more successful pairing.
Ubuntu (Linux) is the OS, not the desktop. Gnome KDE, Unity or whatever run on top of Ubuntu. Ubuntu can run quite happily on small ARM devices with no LCD. Add an LCD + Phone HW and a phone GUI, and you have Ubuntu running on a phone - no desktop necessary. Pretty much the same as Meego, or Android.
That said, agree with other points.
worldview... centric... facilitate - BINGO!!
Throwing out the baby...
> It needs a facelift to compete with the compositing
> goodness of other OS's. X11 does have extensions
> for compositing, damage etc. but they must workaround
> X11's 2D centric worldview
This nonsense again.
No. What Linux needs is more and better video drivers.
If you run off the rails and abandon the best X drivers, then you start from scratch sending the entire desktop back to the mid-90s. It doesn't matter how much you've overwrought the plumbing. The total lack of acceleration of everything from 2D to 3D to video playback will kill you.
Context switching is nothing for a Unix to be afraid of.
Not that Tablet UI's are that overdone to begin with.
Idiots that push this Wayland nonsense should be subjected to what they advocate while leaving the rest of us to not suffer their stupidity.
X11/Unix base can't handle cutting edge desktop GUI?
OK you go speak with the OSX devs at Apple and let's see what they say about GUIs on Unix!
Have you even seen some of the cool stuff Beryl does on Gnome? I use transparent windows in Gnome all the time and they are extremely useful for making most use of the "screen real estate". I have to admit the blobs of rain on the screen and rubber windows I have yet to find a purpose for!
"No. What Linux needs is more and better video drivers."
The problem isn't the video drivers, it's the massive hoops that extensions must work through in order to work implement 3D in X11's 2D based framework. A simple example - user clicks at 10x10 on the screen. What widget is under 10x10 in a desktop where surfaces may be scaled, semi transparent, animated? X11 has no idea. It can't translate coords, it doesn't have anything equivalent to a GL picker to figure it out. This seriously impedes the kinds of things you can do even with a compositor extension.
"If you run off the rails and abandon the best X drivers, then you start from scratch sending the entire desktop back to the mid-90s. It doesn't matter how much you've overwrought the plumbing. The total lack of acceleration of everything from 2D to 3D to video playback will kill you."
Utter nonsense. You're not starting from scratch at all. Open source and proprietary drivers already and exist and work in the absence of X11 and through DRI. How do you think DRI happens you nitwit?
"Context switching is nothing for a Unix to be afraid of."
Yes it is. It kills performance. If you have to pass between 2 processes (X server & compositor) then you incur a substantially larger roundtrip than doing it in inprocess. Messages have to be marshalled, scheduler interrupts must occur, pipelines and CPU caches get flushed. It takes far more time than doing it locally where it could occur in a single timeslice. It might not look like much for one call but this is potentially hundreds or thousands of calls. Anyone who has ever done RPC would understand this.
"Idiots that push this Wayland nonsense should be subjected to what they advocate while leaving the rest of us to not suffer their stupidity."
Idiots who push this Wayland nonsense are people who have actually bothered to read the technical issues and understand them.
Why don't you go read what the problem is and how Wayland attempts to fix it:
Frankly I find it laughable that some people get so defensive of any criticism of Linux that they can't recognize a practical solution to an obvious problem. X11 simply is not suitable for compositing or 3D effects. The extensions that exist are merely bandaids to the fundamental problem.
Wayland isn't a free ride (QT and GTK need to be ported to support it for example), but the payoff is enormous. Ubuntu are to be congratulated for biting the bullet to do something which should have been done a long time ago.
I never said you can't do 3D on X11. What I said is X11 itself is a 2D framework. It has no concept of 3D at all. The 3D compositor is an extension that has to work with the limitations of X11. It runs in a separate process incurring overheads, it can't translate mouse inputs properly which limits things.
Moving the compositor into the framework and making it 3D aware would massively improve desktop performance. There would be less damage (repainting) so repainting or moving windows would be faster. It would be more responsive since more is done in-process. And effects like compositing, transparency would be more efficient and useful too since coordinate translation would be correct.
Just look at what Aero does for Windows, or Quartz does for OS X to appreciate what Linux can and should have. If you like Beryl then imagine what it would be like if the compositing was built-in from the ground up.
Not drowning, etc.
"This would be fine - except for the coming extinction of the PC"
How many times have we heard this? Remember when we were told that everybody was going to be using netPCs (or variations on that name) and the traditional PC would soon be no more? That came true didn't it? I mean we're all reading this on what amounts to a thin client terminal aren't we?
We're not? Well there you go.
death of PC ?
Not really what will happen is that everybody who uses their pc for facebook, email and web will go to mobile devices, probably. These people are now using PC's with way too much power.
I also look forward to this time. Maybe just maybe the amount of spam will decline if everybody who does not know what windows update is, is moved to a non windows platform.
People who need to develop stuff as in write code, edit anything more complex than a facebook profile like documents, spreadsheets, music, movies, pictures, websites, code they will still need a decent PC/laptop.
I have been on the lookout for a small laptop that could replace all the PC's that I have here but did not find anything yet that would satisfy me and I don't think I am overly demanding.
HDMI output with abitlity to playback HD content, not too noisy while playing said content and the ability to edit documents and as the last impossible hurdle run everything on Ubuntu without charging me an arm and a leg.
I'd like a bit more analysis on the point of exclusivity. What does it mean exactly?
For a long time OSs like Fedora and Ubuntu have been at the stage where they more or less work with a little tinkering. The fact is that the tinkering can be done by individual hobbyists to get a PC bought with Microsoft's OS to run Linux... alternatively, the R&D of a PC vendor can invest a little effort in tinkering and package up their hardware with a working Linux distro.
The thing that has stopped vendors from doing this, I thought, was 'exclusivity' agreements. If they are not in place then vendors can use these free OSs to bring their prices down, which is important at the lower end of the market... let's see some ultra cheap and pre-tinkered Linux based hardware then!
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