The year of Linux on the desktop?
No. Not yet. Maybe 5 years? But the trend is now discernible.
77 posts • joined 15 Feb 2010
No. Not yet. Maybe 5 years? But the trend is now discernible.
I've done exactly the same thing here. Host is Mint 17, VM is VirtualBox, guest OS's are XP (games not supported through Steam or GoG) and Win7 (a couple of older graphics / CAD type packages). Linux for everything else. VMs have direct internet access completely disabled, and when necessary communicate by passing data through the host. Guest system updates are now irrelevant since they are almost always security updates anyway, and once isolated a stable guest system will run smoothly ad infinitum.
Win 10 may indeed be the best thing since sliced cheese, but it is worth remembering that almost all sliced cheese is bargain basement rubbish, so "best thing since" hardly represents an improvement to want to eat, let alone get excited about.
I might as well be unpopular too. HPLIP (HP Linux Printing system) works just fine with a large number of HP printers.
Eventually come round? NO. Just walk away.
No you're not - age gives you experience, perspective and judgement. Which is why you you followed the path you did.
I abandoned MS when Vista came along. Ubuntu (V 8, maybe?) was better, but only just, and was quite hard work. Now, Mint 17 LTS is a joy to live with, and I shudder whenever I am asked to fix a windows machine - knowing that I have hours of slow pain ahead of me. I cannot conceive of ever going back to MS for an operating system.
P.S. I am "retired", sort of, and 71
Clearly MS have lost their way, and are jumping around like a cat on a hot tin roof looking for solutions to their problems. Trouble is, developers and customers are now looking elsewhere for their future technologies and income, and MS no longer even figures in their thinking. Analysts and the financial press seem to be agreed that MS is in serious decline, with the only real debating point being how long will it take.
Could have been so different, but hubris and deliberate deafness are a lethal combination.
If it really does what it says on the tin, then I will be upgrading as soon as it is stable. While I live and work in an almost totally Linux world, I still need to keep a toe in MS waters to deal with associates who still live there. VMs are essential tools for this. VirtualBox is my preferred software for doing it.
Drag and drop / cut and paste between OSs in VirtualBox can be very hit and miss at present and, while there are workarounds, they take time. Any improvement to this basic process will be very welcome. Also 3D acceleration which, although it is available as a setup option, can also be a bit iffy in practice.
The other enhanced capabilities look good too... Let's have it as soon as possible.
Once you had picked your film and loaded it (i.e. set the ISO in stone), the only other exposure control options you had were shutter speed and aperture. You learned to understand what Exposure Value meant, and how it influenced the final image.
In spite of the enormous computerised complexity of modern digital cameras, this is still essentially all these program modes do. And in doing so, they distance you from what is essentially quite a simple but fundamental decision - once you have decided what sort of image you want.
Although I own a mid range DSLR - and yes, I do use full auto at times - I revert to manual mode in anything I recognise as a difficult or "non average" scene, and choose my own aperture and exposure time. Or when I want to produce a specific exposure effect.
That said, one undeniable advantage of digital is the instant result, which (mostly) allows for immediate adjustment of an unsatisfactory exposure. Ansel Adams and Cartier Bresson could never do that, and they still managed to get outstanding results by fully understanding the basics. I still have my old Canon F1 and lenses, and I won't be throwing them away for a very long time.
Upvoted from a Linux system.
Got it in one, Chozo! Greeks and Trojan Horses all over again. Win 10 for free in the first year, and once we've got you all on legit copies, you ALL have to pay a sub to keep it going (I suspect). What kind of free is that?
You could enjoy even more update boredom by going Linux, where updates just happen - quietly and without drama. How boring!
Not only does Linux (I'm writing from a Mint 17 desktop) recognise and support recent peripehrals, but it will also support older kit such as my Canon LIDE20 scanner, long since abandoned by Microsoft and not supported since XP, but still a perfectly good scanner. Why should I have to rush out and buy new kit every time MS "upgrades"? (OK. That was a REALLY stupid question.)
It is also worth noting how many major manufacturers, e.g. HP, Canon, Epson etc., are now providing Linux drivers for their devices. Why would they bother doing that if they did not see a future in a Linux environment?
While it would be silly to argue that the world is not going small screen and portable - because it is - this does not mean the end of the desktop, or it's close cousin the large screen laptop . The desktop remains the place where almost all productive work is done, such as CAD, architecture, large scale mapping, process control - just to name a few. None of these tasks work on your mobile or tablet. Do you really want to fly on an aeroplane designed by someone shuffling parts about with their fingers and thumbs on a screen the size of a mobile phone.........
However, since MS appear determined to abandon the desktop, the way is open to Linux to underpin what may be a small(ish) but still critical sector. Which is why I use it (Mint 17) for my workstation.
The next couple of years will be interesting.
Small screens for consumers, large screens for producers.
I appreciate that I'm comming into this one very late, and that the point may already have been made.
A lot of commentards questions and speculation here, but no real answers. MS's true intentions and plans will only be clear once we can read the Win 10 EULA. A quick search of the UK MS site a few minutes ago for "Windows 10 eula" draws a blank. If they have not yet published an eula, they may still be trying to decide what they really mean by "free", "for the lifetime of the device" etc..
The only thing I'm willing to bet on is that, when we do finally find out, it will not be what anyone was either expecting or hoping for.
Looks like the lion's got the tiger by the tail. Bets as to who might win?
Libre Office for Mac. No subscription required, no MS tax to pay, no ongoing financial commitment. Nothing else to say.
That'll be Mint 17 with 5 years of free Long Term Support - compare with MS "we will 'upgrade' everything annually, or more often if we want the money, for a fee which we will decide on at the time, whether you want us to or not". With Linux I can change or upgrade any of my hardware, whenever, without crashing the system. Tough decision.
And yes, it is simple to run an older Win version in a virtual machine if you want to.
A PC is a tool which I use to do productive work. My choice of OS (Mint 17) is determined by what enables me to do the most work for the least effort and cost.
Vista pushed us down the Linux road (about 6 years ago), and nothing MS has produced since has caused us to rethink that decision for even a moment.
MEMO:- Discuss future options with your accountant / CFO before upgrade decision.
Have to upgrade? No we do not. Migrate instead. OSX or Mint 17 - take your pick.
Thanks Khaptain. This is precisely Microsoft's problem, and it is hard to see what they can do about it any time soon. Even if Win 9 turns out to be brilliant (which seems unlikely), they still have to persuade dissafected customers to use it or, even more challenging, come back to MS from Apple or Linux. Who in their right mind would move from a good product which works to one which is clearly in trouble?
I suspect the challenge is too severe, and that MS will never recover to a position of dominance. And by implication, this must leave their long term future in doubt.
Totally agree. Desktop PC with large (non-touch) screen for productive work, and I'm looking hard at a Chromebook for mobile use. Covers all my needs, plus I can easily upgrade / rebuild my PC whenever technological developments justify it.
Good choice - join the rest of us.
If 8.x is supposed to be a taster for win.9 (as I suspect it may be), then 9 is also a fail. Like many other commentards, I prefer a clean, almost empty screen, mouse control (you can't do serious CAD on a touch system) and generally a minimal interface all round. This leads to speed and productivity.
I also hear there are proposals to tie Win 9 even more closely to the hardware it is first installed on, and to MS's cloud, further reducing the options for modifications and flexibility that I depend on while increasing costs to the user.
That's why I'm sticking with Linux.
So, if by registering an interest in Linux I am defined as an extremist, just what sort of rating do I get by actually USING IT as my primary OS? Oh, I can hear a helicopter approaching right now - I wonder if its a black one..........
And just to make matters worse I'm a Register reader as well......
Anyone got a spare tin hat........
Actually, forget the dual boot. Just stick with the Linux mint. (Posted from a Mint 14 machine)
Yup. I run XP SP3 in VirtualBox on Mint 16, on a reasonably powerful homebuild. AU is turned off. Internet access is disabled. Rock solid and goes like stink. Essential kit for working with / editing some older CAD files.
"I know the cause of your pain and can fix it by giving you something much worse to worry about. My bill will be in the post." Sounds to me like the sort of reply you would expect to get from a Microsoft type.
Hats off to Jake. I have moved several friends - and associates - from XP to Linux Mint, which seems to offer the most similar desktop experience to XP.
"Suggesting Linux to someone unable to wean themselves off XP would probably strain the friendship to a greater degree" No, does not work like that. I have had only thanks and, likewise, none of them have yet - over about 6 years, gone back to MS.
So, let's see. Let's try to get a handle on the "strategic" thinking here.
Announcing the impending end of XP is not driving Win 8/8.1 sales. Maybe 2014 will be better, but what if it is not?
We don't want people slipping back to Win 7.
Perhaps, if we keep XP ticking along until Win 9 / Threshold comes along.....
Then the whole world will obviously rush off to buy millions of copies in the first couple of days!!!!
Just like RT!!!!
I persuaded my employer to get me a HP 15C in the early 1980s. Although I have used many other calculators since, the HP still works perfectly, and remains my "go to first" calculator to this day.
And of course, because so few people (I think) use RPN these days, anyone who tries to pinch it will quickly curse and throw it back at me. Happy days.
A very interesting article, with a lot of interesting insights. It is obviously true that MS have made some very serious mistakes, but then so did Apple, not so long ago. Apple recovered spectacularly. Why? Probably by being clear about the sort of products their customers wanted, and by making products that were, by new technology standards, solid and (mostly) reliable. They were expensive, but they worked in ways that users understood and were comfortable with, and they built a loyal customer base on that.
Can MS make the same turnaround? After all they have lived with the "good OS bad OS" cycle for decades now, and still made buckets of money. Business as usual, as usual? No. Because, unlike Apple, they have yet to recognise that a turnaround is necessary. And even if they do, their internal culture appears to be so seriously flawed that they will be unable to take the necessary action.
Apple can sell into a customer base which is comfortable with what it has got, and can be confident that it will still be comfortable with the next iteration in the product cycle. MS used can no longer rely on this. When the customer is not confident, he (and she) is not going to buy. The new CEO is going to have to deal with, simultaneously, a bad OS cycle and a loss in customer confidence. That may be too much to ask.
Time will tell ......
Likewise. I went Linux about six years ago, and although I obviously benefit from the added protection it gives me, that is only one of the reasons I had for making the switch. I'm almost tempted to hope that Linux remains a minority interest on the desktop, just so that it is not worthwhile for the bad guys to attack it - even though that would be harder to do in the first place.
More to the point, the cybercrime issue is now so serious that only governments, co-operating on a large scale internationally, can begin to combat it. But, as has been observed elsewhere in other comments here, they seem to be much more interested in watching the sheep than catching the wolves.
To be fair...... MOST desktop PCs within businesses (CURRENTLY) use Windows.
We all know Linux runs the back office, but it is increasingly appearing on the desktop as well.
This of course would be the clearest possible indication that they are intelligent.........
I thought RT had been declared dead and buried. Why an RT 8.1 update? Am I missing a trick here?
I'm just so glad that my business objectives no longer include supporting MS's business objectives.........
Let's wait and see.....
Personally, as a heavy end CAD and graphics user - hence large screen and desktop PC - I find that a touch-focussed interface is fundamentally unusable. I appreciate that it is now perfectly possible to boot directly into desktop, add a second large monitor and install a mouse etc.. But all of these things involve bending the system to meet my requirements in a way that MS seem to regard as alien to their objectives. I'll stick to a system which meets my work requirements without my having to kick and punch it into compliance. (Have MS forgotten what business computers are used for?) I will not be getting Win 8.1.
8.1 looks like a brilliant system for consuming internet content on a phone or tablet, but so are iPads, Chromebooks and Android phones etc. - and they are already well established in the marketplace. Add to this Microsoft's blatant hubris, and focus on monetisation at any cost, and it is easy to see why they have lost their old position as the de facto OS and software supplier of choice. Ignoring your customers and hacking them of is far and away the best way to lose them for good, particularly if you do it at a time when a range of viable and economical alternatives are increasingly available.
MS will not disappear overnight, but their days of dominance are over. I'm happy to be proved wrong, but as I said above, let's wait and see. Give it 6 to 9 months, to sort out units shipped, units sold, and units actually in use. But I'm not holding my breath....
I'm a lot closer than that! I already have all the zeros - all I need is a lousy 1 to put in front of them. Buddy can you spare a dime?
Do what I have done to support old Win software.
1 Move to Linux for all your day to day productivity and comms
2 Install VirtualBox or other Vware
3 Using the original discs, clean install Win XP in VBox
4 Fire up XP (or Win 7 if you prefer) and DISABLE ALL INTERNET CONNECTIVITY
5 Install your Win-only software and use it as before
6 Never, but never let the Win system to talk directly to the internet - move files/data through the host
Your Win software will work fast and flawlessly - probably until the end of time, or at least until it is directly ported to Linux or the Linux equivalent becomes available. The simple secret is NEVER to let Win call home and become corrupted by "security" updates.
Actually, they do. And yes, it is rock solid. The only "surprise" is that Lars does not know this yet.
Things which are hidden can't be seen....... You can be hurt by these.......
MS is beginning to look a bit like the Titanic - the damage is too serious, everyone realises that it is going to sink, and shuffling the deckchairs is doing nothing to address the problem. Fortunately, this time there are plenty of other ships out there to pick up passengers from the wreck and they are doing so very quickly. But MS does not own any of them.
I did the same as you several years ago. I also run Mint these days.
My vector graphics software of choice is Corel Draw (Suite). This (Version x6) runs only in a Win environment, so I run it in VirtualBox with Mint as host and an old copy of Win 7 as guest. Corel is now the only win compliant software I use, and this setup works a treat. (everything else I use is native Linux anyway) You could also run Adobe Illustrator or ACD Canvas in this setup, or try Xara Xtreme which runs under Linux anyway. Inkscape - also runs under Linux - is worth a look, if you only have fairly lightweight graphics requirements.
Unless I am mistaken, MS have ditched Expression Design, as it never seriously competed with any of the packages named above. No matter what you go for, or what environment you run it under, you will have to get a newer VG package, and you will face a significant learning curve.
Corel Draw X6 because (a) I know it well and (b) it is still by far the cheapest and best value package for the capabilities it gives you, particularly if you start by buying the older version X5.
"It's well worth the initial pain..."
Rather like getting rid of an agonising tooth abcess. Once you have made the switch the sense of relief is indescribable, and you wonder why you put up with the MS pain for so long in the first place.
So does your accountant.
Even though I have gone completely over to Linux for everything else, I still keep an old XP box just so that I can play Myst and Riven (my personal favourite) from time to time. And of course the rest of the series. I think they are mostly all available on GOG now, for anyone wanting to try them on modern kit.
So "you'll be back". Let's hold judgement on that one....... until Splodger has tried Mint at least as thoroughly as I tried Win 8.
I went to the "dark side" - ie Linux - four / five years ago, and although I keep an open mind on OSs and have looked at MS and Apple offerings, so far I have seen nothing to make me want to switch back to MS on a workstation. This is most emphatically true of Win 8 and 8.1.
All I want is a system that allows me to get on with productive work (what us people get paid for), not something stuffed with unnecessary crud. Mint works for us too.
In fact, the desktop will not go away. It is the arena in which all productive work is done, as opposed to the consumption of someone else's output, which can mostly be done with only a browser.
It may well be true that Microsoft needs the desktop, but the desktop does not need Microsoft. OSX and Linux offer perfectly viable alternatives - including support for lots of legacy apps. I am not in the slightest troubled by the prospect of MS's demise on the desktop.
This has been on the cards for the last five years or more. Microsoft products, both OSs and applications, are way over priced for what they offer. For example, MS Office may offer advantages over Libre Office for some users, but for a huge number of SMEs the cost is just too high. And now MS want you to pay on a subscription basis as well!
Google Apps and services may not be free, but they are one hell of a lot cheaper than MS's alternatives. Libre Office is of course free, and just how do you compete with free? There is almost certainly a huge market for a really cheap, basic version of MS Office, with only the roughly 10% of functionallity that the vast majority of users require. But I doubt if the money grabbing culture in MS would allow them to consider this strategy for one moment.
Time to sell your MS stock, I suspect.
Way back in the days when I worked for big business (remember ICI?), I learned that there were essentially only two types of business re-organisation. they were :-
1 Think, Plan, Communicate, Do (business goes on to prosper)
2 Panic, Juggle, Hope, Pray (the other thing)
Work out for yourselves what sort this is.