back to article Linux to spend eternity in shadow of 'little blue E'

Linux will never make any meaningful headway into the desktop. Nope, never. I could cite market share numbers, growth figures, and total cost of ownership studies, but none of that matters (plus, it's boring). Linux will never, ever defeat Windows because Windows has the little blue E. The blue E on my desktop that I can click …

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I agree but there is hope

I sort of agree with the article: most people who buy a computer expect Windows on it. On the other hand, I think there is still hope.

Love them or hate them, one thing that Apple have done for us over the past few years is show people that a computer doesn't have to come with Windows. One of my friends, who is the most un-technical person you would ever meet decided a while back that she'd get an iBook to replace her ailing Asus laptop. Her criteria for choosing the iBook was that it looked great and stylish. She had no problem learning how to use the dock nor that the browser was no longer a blue E but a blue compass or that the mail app was no longer a yellow clock but a mail stamp (which somehow does make more sense). Granted, she did put the whole MS office suite on it rather than using iLife but she did need to exchange documents with other people and Neo/Open Office was not up to scratch at the time (it's now better but still behind). So if she can switch OS, I think everybody can.

As for Linux, I agree that it needs to be a bit more polished in places but Canonical are doing exactly what needs to be done with Ubuntu. You can now use Linux without ever dropping to the command line and with everything working out of the box on a large variety of hardware. But most people won't ever get to installing an OS anyway, they'll use whatever is shipped with the computer, whether the hardware is well supported or not. A company that would start offering computers with Linux pre-installed and were to make the OS a feature of the computer, in the same way that Apple did, highlighting the difference rather than hiding it, would do well I think.

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Go

you forgot the biggest advantage of Windows

When windows fails, they can call someone. All users want is it to work - and with windows they are willing to throw money constantly at it until it does. Dont even bother trying to bring them round to linux, they are not interested, just let them pay you to fix windows - its a nice little earner, while you can count your pennies in oo on ubuntu!

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Too True

Our IT dept, spent a fortune** rolling out OpenOffice to about 1000 non-power users as they could do the same basic functions as MS Office products without the long term licensing costs.

However whenever somebody received a spreadsheet from a third party that didn't quite look right or couldn't find a function in the word processor, then they requested that Office was re-installed.

Now nearly all of the 1000 users have had MS Office re-installed. Familiarity and the "It's what everybody else uses" mentality will always keep MS Office products at the top of the market.

** Yes OpenOffice is free, but you have to provide user and support training, you need to test it with various applications/documents etc and the actual rollout itself.

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Some good points....

@Jared Earle

Linux doesn't _need_ the terminal. It's used for advanced tinkering (or if you are unlucky not to have common hardware). Okay, from that you may argue that you do need it still - but average Joe actually doesn't. Okay, you lose a lot of chance for optimising, but for the average windows user they can do the same through GUIs. Mostly. I apologise for poor English here, little tired.

That said I sort of agree with you, too much tinkering still needs the terminal. I know, I'm contradicting myself - but _I_ know what I mean.

(Most users can't do half the GUI config under windows remember - the techies do it for them).

Concerning the article - as one chap has mentioned, SCHOOLS. Start 'em young with a variety. See the difference. People don't like change and they hate learning. But, if they start with Linux or a mix then it stands a good chance. Get Linux in primary schools (Prinux anyone?). Perfect place for it too - no course work depending on things be just so....

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Linux

I agree

I think this is spot on. I'm an IT pro and I love the idea of using Linux and at home I now use it pretty much most of the time. But I hate to think of the blood, sweat, tears and late nights I've had to endure to get to this place. That said, if I need anything 'not so everyday' doing and I don't feel like battling with Linux then it's nice to know I've got my trusty XP box that will do want I want it to.

I spend a fair amount of time supporting family and friends with windoze machines as it is. It would be a nightmare if I pushed them all onto Unbuntu or similar - For them and me!

Linux is definitely getting better, but it's not quite there yet. And when it is it will need a singular Brand marketing campaign, which, like it or not, Microsoft and Apple do well, to get the average Joe to change. Not sure how that's gonna happen with all the distro's out there..... shame.

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Once again...

...we see how disconnected from reality some in the IT community are. OF COURSE this article is absolutely spot on; wittering on about closed shop agreements utterly misses the point; it's what the huge majority of users want. I've just fought a huge battle to ensure my users can keep using Windows rather than switch to Linux. It's not because it's that I think Windows is superior in any way, simply that the whole place would grind to a halt when people no longer knew how to use all their applications, and I and my team would be spending our entire time trying to help them do the basics, rather than what we're supposed to do - whatever that is. Using computers doesn't come naturally to most people - as my wife says, "all I want to do is type". People are familiar with what they use, and they just don't want to have to learn anything new simply to do the same task - and why should they? It's not lazyness, but they and their employers have invested huge sums in getting them to their current level of proficiency. It's expensive to start again, even if the software has no cost. Even I still have trouble trying to remember how to do some things with the green X, whereas I remember the 123 keystrokes perfectly. And the majority of users are no different.

Teach kids different OSs at school? Why? You'll just confuse them. I learned how to do everything in CP/M - so that's been really useful.

No, it's not lazyness or stupidity or anything like that that keeps people tied to Windows, it's simply the fact that the thing works, more or less, and the way people expect it to. PCs are still magic boxes to most people - they know the spells needed to get things to work in Windows, and they simply couldn't care less if the spells work slightly better in Linux if they can't even find the spellbook, never mind remember how to cast them. In fact knowing how to use what you've got and not want something else strikes me as rather intelligent, if anything.

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Stop

I wouldn't be so sure - eternity is a very long time

Whilst I fully agree that Microsoft, with it's E, W and X, has an awful lot of brand recognition that provides comfort, the fact is that the average user's toolset is more than amply covered by both FOSS and Macs these days.

The desktop is TOTALLY Microsoft's game to lose, but they haven't exactly proven to be up to the task of maintaining their monopoly through innovation (e.g. Vistaster) - and the EU is doing an admirable job of restricting their ability to abuse their monopoly position.

With Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera et al out there taking the game to MS on the browser front. And Linux fairly well entrenched in the server market, Apple dominating the music, "creatives" scene, and dominant in most universities, there is a lot of pressure on Microsoft. Competition is thriving in areas where Microsoft has had to compete on a level playing field - and mostly losing.

At the end of the day though, as long as Linux doesn't die, "living in the shadow" is enough. It doesn't exactly need a huge amount of revenue to survive does it?

In the words of Rachel Hunter, "It won't happen overnight, but it will happen".

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we all *know* Linux is better?

bring back Otto!

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Linux

Windows minimises learning

Your archetypal user's desire not to have anything change from the way he has grown to understand it is going to have one major effect: he's never going to learn how to automate anything that he does, other than arguably within the very narrow domain that his office software macros allow him to, and that's assuming his training takes him that far.

Fine for your cubicle droid who clocks in, is paid by the hour and is controlled by a helldesk system which ensures that the person who answers the calls doesn't know anything useful to the person on the other end of the line.

Developing a whole operating system around the paradigm of a particular WIMPish (Windows Icon Mouse Pointer) way of doing a user interface is going to prevent exploration, experimentation and learning beyond the boundaries of the system view this interface presents. Windows is designed to prevent learning. The idea of "user friendliness" it embodies is about minimising what someone needs to learn in order to perform a narrowly defined task. Sure this will give high "productivity" ratings when narrowly measured against the narrowly defined task or a collection of such defined for the test. But the longer-term costs in connection with the artificial constraint on the development of wider-domain knowledge by the expensively educated, employed and trained human being behind the user interface should to be considered.

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Happy

Missing gratification?

While I pretty much agree with the contents of the article, I'd like to raise one point here that I encounter too seldom for my liking.

Been there, done that. Yeah, GNU *is* better. Steep learing cure, though.

But... why the fuck does everyone want to have GNU/Linux/KDE|GTK dominate the desktop, Life Universe and Everything in the first place?! Are their phallusses that tiny? Isn't it enough to them that it's good? That's it's a pleasure to work with?

And aside from that, don't they realise that, if it actually did dominate, it would simply become Windows? The capital goes where the profit is. Economics 101, kids.

If you love free, collaborative software; if you love things done right for no other reason than esthetics... then _pray_ it'll remain a niche product.

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This is by far your best article...

...bar the vocabulary-replacing swearing, of course. Windows' biggest weapon is familiarity. Even though people have to install anti-virus, install anti-spyware, cope with a slower PC with each release of Windows, get a local geek to install their broadband, whatever...they will go with Windows because they've used it before and won't give up at the first unfamiliarity or hurdle with the phrase, "I just don't get Linux."

This will probably change (authors get paid to either extend a cycle's upcurve out to infinity and say, "this will always continue" or extend the downcurve and say, "this is going to burn") but I have seen the thinking behind it time and time again.

And as you say, ignorance of operating systems/computers != stupidity.

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The real problem is....

....that unless Linux takes a giant leap into precompiled, click and go usefulness the masses will never "get it", and Windows will continue to eveolve.

Linux was handed its chance with Vista. After testing Windows 7 Beta I think that door is about to be closed for another 3 years.

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So...

I stopped using windows XP one year ago to use ubuntu only instead. I started ubuntu 2 years ago as a dual boot. At that time ubuntu was not as good as it is now so I struggled a bit. But now I can tell that ubuntu is heading in the right direction, most things got their own GUI. I am still using the command line because I am a bit of a geek, but I dont feel it's so much needed anymore.

By the way, I have been using windows for 10 years before that, I also tried Linux 10 years ago which made me puke at that time.

As for the little E, Firefox has a lot of market penetration (>20% now).

For the little X and W, OpenOffice has also descent share also (~15%).

So dont assume people dont use alternatives when they actually do.

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Yes and no...

This article can be summed up with one statement; "people don't like change".

Microsoft learned this the hard way with Office 2007 and Vista. The really amazing thing is that the people who complained about Open Office being different (and it really is a small difference) didn't get their noses out of joint with Office 2007, which is major shift in the user interface and has a rather steep learning curve for them.

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IT Angle

"No, "apt-get" on its own is not enough "

Why?

You don't get anything anywhere near as good from Microsoft.

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Paris Hilton

re: Close to home

Well, they are your employer. You either accept their change and work with it or leave their employ.

That's what I have to do when I'm forced to use Microsoft Word for a memo at work...

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Gates Halo

spot on article but...

I think there are 2 other key (and slightly overlapping) issues restricting Linux from being more widespread.

The first is the generational experience trickle into the academic community.

In a university, you will have astoundingly complex mix of multi-OS environments.

College will perhaps have a few unix servers.

Secondary schools will be pretty much windows only domains with a few macs in the music dept.

Primary schools are lucky to have a windows workgroup.

Bear in mind Linux has only been a viable option as an easy to use OS for the intermediate user for the last 8 years or so (v roughly).

[deep breath after that sentance!]

It'll take time for people with experience of the more friendly Linux to filtrate through to primary/secondary schools, where they in turn will introduce youngsters to the alternatives.

The second part is where the linux-heads seem to completely miss the plot, and that is managability within a mid to large network environment, and this is where the linux community needs to bend over backwards and re-double efforts to please your system administrator.

windows is now completely managed from the server. Everything from what drive letters are available, to your homepage and what favourites you get. Any admin worth his salt will NEVER be cought having to physically walk to a machine to manually change a preference, homepage or run an update. This level of control is critical in a school environment, where you have hundreds of wannabe hackers and script kiddies all trying to circumvent your security.

Chucking a random flavour of Linux onto his carefully crafted network invariably adds work, and usually a few headaches when it refuses to behave, allows access to resources on the network it shouldn't, refuses to access those it should, and generates masses of support work from unfamiliar users.

I refused to allow alternate browsers (ironically, because of the security implications) until Firefox Community Edition came along, and allowed me to dictate from the server the favourites, homepage, and trusted zones from within group policy.

When add-ins and activex comonents are carefully managed by zone, IE actually becomes much more secure than a 3rd party browser under full control of the user.

Linux is still an adolescent with an ASBO. It needs to grow up, get a suit and tie, and start behaving like all the other very mature XP workstations before it'll be widely adopted by the guys who actually dictate what you get on your business workstation

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Joke

Users aren't stupid?

"Users aren't stupid. They just have better shit to do than learn C++ programming or tinker around with FreeBSD."

Contradiction in terms. Dump their stupid, wilfully-ignorant, lame arses in a landfill somewhere.

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Linux

Not Quite True

What about the switch to Office 2007? That totally changed the user interface and hid all the useful commands in unfamiliar places. Oh, and it introduced yet another file format change to give incompatibility issues with those who wanted to stick with the old version.

The real power of the e, W and X is just because everyone else is using them. MS has already shown that it can change what's behind them and people will still spend money and buy the latest version. Users *are* stupid.

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Linux

Never a Windows Fan BUT

Use windows at work becuase I have to sadly.

Luckily though I kept off PC untill about 2001 up untill I was using my old Amiga 1200 with various Addons such as :-

68040 Card (Was well chuffed when i could play an mp3 at some speed)

My 2 Gig Hardrive

MY Power TOwer

OS3.1 upto 3.9

and 32mb Ram

Bought these abck in 1997 and they kept me happy

But in 2001 the old system was showing signs of teh times.

GRanted I could have bought Add ons etc etc for it but did not seem worth the money so i went the PC route with windows.

Now in 2009 I have started to play about with Linux Unbunto (Still geting used to it)

But I do like it (Just trying to sodding figure out how you install a sodding GUI) Yes i know about the gnome thingy.

But i am liking Linux more and more its more like an OS should be lets you control whats going on unlike windows which dictates to you what you can and carnt do.

ALso learning the terminal commands (Reminds me of amiga shell)

All good fun. But sadly ni this day and age every one is too busy rushing around and they just want something that looks pretty out the box and works!! (Windows)

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Thank you

As someone who is a Network Admin in the public school system, I spend most of my time working with teachers. I agree with you 100%. And thanks, by the way, for writing an article with a few explicatives sprinkled in for effect. It sounded much more well thought out than the usual 5 naughty word per sentence rant, which always makes me think of a 10 year old who has just learned a new word...

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The blue e, he?

I think you're wrong. More and more people are looking for the fox, the seagulls, all that reliable, affordable wildlife.

@John Carney : " ... the thing that is holding linux back is that for key apps, the software is significantly inferior to Windows - Word, Excel, Outlook/Exchange and Photoshop"

You HAVE to be kidding... I mean, there ARE windows-only applications that are better than their *NIX counterparts (though it's massively the contrary, especially in highly technical proprietary application. But I digress). but you're citing effing MSOffice and -amazingly- *Outlook* as good applications? Man, these apps are amongst the worst pieces of code ever written by Man. Get a grip. No-one knows how they work (especially, no-one at MS) and they're so full of holes you could fly a squadron of An-225 Cossack through them. Photoshop is not that bad for novice image processing, but is in no way better than the GIMP. You, dear Sir, failed.

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Anonymous Coward

Users aren't stupid?!

I wish. Vista and Windows ME, as well as any pre-3.11 version say different - no company should have been given another chance after any one of those buckets of shite, but thickie users keep coming back time after time after time. This isn't just about Linux - there was a time when Apple were a serious contender, in fact there was a time when someone could talk about the inevitability of Apple's eventual dominance and not be laughed out of the room. Even OS/2 had genuine potential.

The truth is that it is now many years gone since I installed a KDE-based Linux on a machine in the office and watched users come in, sit down and type a letter then email it without realising that they had not used Windows, so the "not ready for the desktop" argument is just bollocks, frankly. Windows is not ready for my desktop, but that's not stopped it.

Windows is third-rate crap and always will be, but dumb users who are scared of any change - even imaginary change - will keep it going for years to come yet. In the end, Linux and OSX won't kill Windows, Microsoft will.

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Flame

The users don't get to choose.

I've just reached the end of a VERY painful software audit. Suffice to say the organization of 500 seats were a teensy bit out on their licencing (read absolutely no SQL 2005 licencing and 220 Office licences out).

In this economic climate 2 things happened; the FD removed Office 2003 from all machines that did not need it, such as single purpose machines in the warehouse (OpenOffice installed instead). Sacked the third party developer who installed SQL 2005 and incurred £26K without looking at MySQL, Postgres etc.

The users use what they're given. They can threaten to quit if they don't get their W or X, but there are plenty of unemployed people out there willing to try a grey OO.

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Moving from Win to Linux...

I often consider making the switch, and am a programmer who is fairly familiar with using the unix console. There are four main things I do on my home machine... Web browsing/playing games/watching movies/litening to music.

If I moved to linux, I would spend a lot of time getting everything setup/configured, and then a lot of time re-familiarising myself with a new suite of applications to use, and at the end of the day I won't be doing anything better just differantly.

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IT Angle

Knowing about computers != Knowing about Windows

In my experience of people using Linux there are three types:

1) Doesn't know much about computers: Finds the switch to /current/ Linux distros easy. In fact they generally prefer it.

2) Thinks they know a lot about computers (actually: Knows about Windows): Don't like switching because it's different.

3) Knows a lot about computers: Finds the switch to Linux -- or any other OS -- easy. In fact they generally prefer it.

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Coat

Another Windows vs Linux crap

At the end of the day, the OS is a tool. Do you really want an argument over which hammer is best? A Stanley or a Draper?

To me, these so called "experts" on either Windows or Linux are just a bunch of OStards! Get a life, use what you want.

I'll get my coat, hopefully, no one's going to have an argument over whether a B&Q or Homebase's coat hook is best.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Users aren't stupid?

What an enlightened view.

You lot have such elaborately violent fantasies on the finest of hair triggers. I'm starting to think today's nasty new law might actually be a good thing.

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Not just Mars probes

"... corporate air that's been heated to a temperate 72 degrees ..." - unless you don't like working in a sauna ...

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Never mind little blue 'e'

A while back I helped my landlord get his computers connected to the Internet. One computer went to Yahoo!, and the other one came up to Dell's website. He thought that something was broken, and I had quite a time explaining how things worked, etc.

Computers are nice, but even Windows requires IT support when the user is, ah, a bit dim.

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Jobs Halo

Universities teach all systems

Word from an offspring. At Auckland University in New Zealand the computer labs are all Intel Macs loaded with 10.5, XP and Linux with posters on the walls on how to get in/out of each. You cannot buy a generic PC that will run all 3 OSs, only Macs can. It's a no brainer from a procurement p.o.v.

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Flame

Re: Once again...

Before I get started, I agree that Windows has a huge advantage as the incumbent from the perspective of the users: as long as the IT machine keeps paying the bills and keeps everything running, why would anyone uninterested in their job want more work? However...

"wittering on about closed shop agreements utterly misses the point; it's what the huge majority of users want"

If you listen to what people say about Windows in developing nations, there's a tremendous amount of brand envy going on: people won't take stuff which is better because they perceive Microsoft and Windows to be the premium brands. To find the appropriate analogy for the average British consumer, it's a bit like being offered a better ketchup than Heinz but having the feeling that people are forcing you to have a version of Tesco Value ketchup that you just haven't heard of. You want Heinz, just like the Americans, damn it!

So, in a world where Ford were the only perceived choice for cars, how easy would it be to sell a superior brand of car? If BT were the only game in town for a telephone service, how easy would it be to sell another, better service under a name which isn't BT? In a world where Microsoft is the only perceived choice, thanks to various bundling agreements, a degree of coercion, inertia and advertising, how easy is it to persuade anyone to move to anything else? The "closed shop" aspect most certainly plays a part.

"Teach kids different OSs at school? Why? You'll just confuse them. I learned how to do everything in CP/M - so that's been really useful."

Hey, why even bother teaching them foreign languages? Indeed, why not just give them a pamphlet containing the hundred most important factoids required for a happy life as an obedient, unquestioning citizen? It'd save anyone from having to teach or understand anything.

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Go

Whether You Like It Or Not ...

... the story's position is correct. Linux is the Betamax of the OS world. Time will certainly tell and so far Linux is just not where its gurus want it to be. If it were, all the bluster, hype, and hurt feelings wouldn't be there. You can tell something is a failure by the amount of hot air surrounding it. Shakespeare perhaps put it best when he penned, "The lady doth protest too much".

But we'll see and if history shows us anything, it's that all these same rebuttals will be repeated in five years, ten years ... oh you see what I mean.

But I and others can certainly be wrong, but for now Linux is an also-ran per the numbers. And in today's market driven societies (as opposed to tech driven) those numbers are all that really count.

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Stop

Jeez

Guys its really is just the plain simple fact that

windows will run on 90% computers without any problems !

Unix runs on 99% of computers with problems on 95% of them

Mac runs on 3% of computer with problems on .9% of them

And the biggest Fact of all

Games run on Windows and Consoles ..... and well actually thats it

Common is really what ive posted wrong please prove me wrong but seriously !!!

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Paris Hilton

re: Re: Users aren't stupid?

"I'm starting to think today's nasty new law might actually be a good thing."

And that's EXACTLY why they said it.

Mind you, I have to wonder if you're talking about the post at 15:23 because there's fuck all there that's anywhere near as bad as some of the other posts on this site.

(that's you, that is...)

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Paris Hilton

@AC

Y'all have thingamajigs down there too? Neat.

Paris because she knows what a thingamajig is and how to it.

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Go

@Robert Long

Yeah they are.

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Stop

Tin foil hat's

Some of you guys are scary , "I am IT Pro..,Windows only has a market share because.." yada yada yada.

I can do a far less on linux than i can do in a Win enviroment ,use far less applications and have even poorer hardware support..oh right wait that is MS's fault or the hardware vendors fault or the application vendor, or those stupid users know nothing...

No wait it is linux's fault for being ...shit

Everytime I find someone using linux as a desktop at home they usually deliver pizza's or do 1st line "is the plug in helpdesk support" of course online they are all sys admins with three data centers under there belt.

Love you guys but from a very great distance.

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IT Angle

"managability within a mid to large network environment"

That may be true, but you blow it all out of the water when you say that Windows is better.

My God.

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(Written by Reg staff)

re: Re: Users aren't stupid?

I was just pointing out that it was, I felt, disproportionate to suggest that people who don't know about computers should go the way of Mickey Eyes and that in GoodFellas.

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Boffin

re: Missing gratification?

Well, ever tried adding an NON-MS system to an MS network? HUUUGE pain in the arse.

Added a non-Linux system to a Linux network? Not *piece of piss* simple, but a lot simpler and easier than the above option.

Windows servers serve windows. If they *must* they'll do other systems but they'll do their damndest to make sure you pay a higher psychic price for your apostasy.

That would be ONE reason to want Linux everywhere (tm).

As to the downsides of monopoly, there cannot be whilst the code is FSF-free (as opposed to OSI-free). You can't make a monopoly on a product people can copy and improve themselves if they can or want to.

That's two.

Linux doesn't need to make huge profit and doesn't allow you to lock users in, so your costs are reduced hugely over Windows and its CAL's, BSA audits and all that.

There's three.

Want any more?

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I don't really agree

Sensible people take an interest in the tools they need for their work and learn how to use them properly. It doesn't matter whether it's a mechanic using a spanner, or a musician using a guitar, or an office worker using a computer. If you need it for your job, learn how to use it properly. This is especially true in the case of a computer where many people will be using one at home a lot too.

I don't think there's any excuse for not taking an interest in your computer's desktop environment and the applications installed on it. People are perfectly capable of learning new things if they have sufficient interest in doing so.

Of course, the simpler the thing works, the better, so e.g. people are likely to adapt quicker and better with a change from Windows to Mac than they are with a change from Windows to Linux. So this is not an argument not to continue improving Linux on the desktop. When Linux is reasonably easy for people to learn and use, people who aren't lazy/worthless/whatever will happily learn and adapt accordingly.

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I Just Hate It ...

... when my belief system gets dented.

Torvalds warns of Windows 7 threat

Might make Windows sing again

By Nick Farrell

Monday, 26 January 2009, 10:07

WINDOWS 7 might create the rebirth of Microsoft OS, which was blighted by the release of its Vista operating system, according to Open Sauce guru Linus Torvalds.

In an interview with Computerworld, Torvalds said that Windows 7 is better than Vista and the Vole may have a huge PR advantage as people will compare it to Vista and think it is good so, "angels will sing again." This is what happened with Windows 95 compared to Windows 3.1.

He thinks that Microsoft may have even done this on purpose.

The Vole realised the Windows development cycle is way too long and it would be insane to do that again, however they might aim for a two-year development cycle and Torvalds think that is too long.

Torvalds thinks that Vole should disconnect the operating system from the applications and release products sooner.

He said for Linux six months is quite tight and the bits that are thrown together sometimes don't work properly.. However an annual release cycle is a reasonable cycle for doing a whole distribution.

Microsoft wanted people to rent the software, but users don't want to. If you do development over five years and make so many changes it is more painful for the user. The cost of the pain is likely to be higher than the cost of the operating system which is why people are slow to upgrade, he said. µ

All sixty-nine of you fanatics need to pay attention

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Linux

re:Windows minimises learning

"Your archetypal user's desire not to have anything change from the way he has grown to understand it "

But you forget that if the change is done by the product they USED to use, they will accept that change, where they will NOT accept it in a change to a new application, even if the change is less.

In businesses this is likely because the executive officer cannot appear to make mistakes, lest they be stabbed in the back toot suite. Ergo, they can never have made a mistake with with buying windows.

The recession and the cockup on Vista may have given many a chance to change without having to have admitted a mistake, but there will be many who are afraid to say "I was wrong".

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Internet != WWW

"The only good thing about the E is the title. That was well worth Microsoft paying those millions for. Ask an internet virgin to connect to the internet and when they see "Internet Explorer" vs "Firefox Web browser" which are they going to pick?"

Neither will connect you to the Internet. The former will however give you the wrong impression that "The Internet" is the same as "The World Wide Web".

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Anonymous Coward

@Pierre, RE: GIMP

Here we have one of Linux's main problems in my opinion.

I am unfamiliar with GIMP and its contemporaries so I am completely unable to comment on its suitability or comparative greatness.

However, I can assure you that giving a program the name GIMP just conjures up images of Beavis and Butthead-esque figures writing a program and then sniggering childishly whilst deciding on what peurile name to give it.

And lose the penguin.

You want your software of choice to be taken seriously? Then make it serious.

So, can anyone answer this: why does linux etc. still not have any meaningful market share when it is in fact free? How shite does something have to [be perceived to] be before people think that free is still far too much to pay for it?

As a last question, why do the most rabid of supporters of the Free Software ideology think that all Freedoms are good apart from the freedom to chose to use Microsoft products?

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Pirate

Linux advocates

It never ceases to amaze me how Linux advocates are completely and utterly oblivious to the realities of IT. As someone up there posted" Photoshop is great for novices, but it's not as good as the Gimp". Seriously? I mean, seriously? What medication do you have to be on to believe such a statement.

Normal users aren't going to come over if you dress up Linux to look like Windows, for 95% of the time, it just won't fly. What Linux needs to do is go into a completely different direction, come up with a truly new and revolutionary interface for the 21st century, instead of aping whatever comes out of Redmond or Cupertino.

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@Sean Baggaley

"Who CARES about Emacs? Who gives a toss about VI? Only the techies and geeks! These are the people who will cheerfully build a Gentoo system from scratch. If your distro isn't aimed at these people, STOP CATERING TO THEM. They are NOT your audience!"

Actually, not only are these people your audience, but they are the people writing it, and they are writing it because they like it and want to use it.

Take away choices and you'll start to see the geeks wander off somewhere that they can still have a choice. Lose the geeks and nobody's going to be pushing your system to the masses or to the manager.

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Paris Hilton

@Lee, Re: GIMP

"However, I can assure you that giving a program the name GIMP just conjures up images of ..."

Only if you have no sense of proportion.

"You want your software of choice to be taken seriously? Then make it serious."

No.

"So, can anyone answer this: why does linux etc. still not have any meaningful market share when it is in fact free? How shite does something have to [be perceived to] be before people think that free is still far too much to pay for it?"

Read the Halloween documents and the emails that have been brought out showing MS's activities to keep Linux sidelined.

Shit, you're a dumbass.

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Also ran?

@Doug Glass

go look in your friendly local datacentre/web hosting company/office server-room.

What's that running most of the kit? Oh, wow, Linux! the also-ran!

Linux server revenue is at around 20% of the server market currently, MS at around 40%. But that's in raw dollars and takes no account of the fact that Linux is run for free by a lot of corps on machines they buy with no OS or that they reimage.

Linux on the desktop? Well, frankly, ahaving all you brain-dead idiots that are scared of change is the last thing the people that write linux really want.

See KDE developers comments on how they don't need users. Contributors, yes, users (especially users that think they're entitled to something) no.

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