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Linux Business Data Storage Hardware

Is There An OS On My Hard Drive? 553

Posted by timothy
from the pt-barnum-meets-computers dept.
stm2 writes "Thanks to an agreement between Lindows and Seagate, from October you will be able to choose a hard drive with or without Lindows. Michael Robertson, in his usual marketing speak, compares this to adding "Fluoride in the water", because now you get for free something you used to need to go after (people used to go to dentist to get their Fluoride). According to the PR, the OS can autodetect and configure itself on the host machine."
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Is There An OS On My Hard Drive?

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  • What? (Score:3, Funny)

    by CGP314 (672613) <CGPNO@SPAMColinGregoryPalmer.net> on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @02:44AM (#7041256) Homepage
    because now you get for free somethis you needed to go after

    What?
    • Re:What? (Score:3, Funny)

      by claygate (531826)
      Somebody set us up the Operating System
      • Re:What? (Score:5, Funny)

        by randyest (589159) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @03:29AM (#7041458) Homepage
        First, that set us up comment is truly funny for the first time in years. Second, please let me say that this is as cool as it is unexpected. And, to save you all the not-so-funny funny stuff, I will preemptively steal all the predictable bad jokes right now:

        • Imagine a beowulf cluster of these . . .
        • In Soviet Russia, OS comes with hard-drive built-in!
        • I, for one, welcome our new OS-bearing hard drive overlords . . .
        • I wonder what the SCO licensing fees are for one of these?
        • My TiVO is better, much better. Wholly unrelated, but better.
        • It's a dupe! A dupe I say!
        • Everyone knows Lindows is dead.
        • We haven't seen this sooner because Microsoft has been keeping it down. Damn monopolists.
        • I'm withg the GLAA (Gay Lindows Association of America) and let me tell you . . .
      • Re:What? (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Somebody set us up the Operating System
        What happen?
        LCD Screen turn on
        Michael Robertson: "How are you gentlemen"
        Michael Robertson: "All your hard drive are belong to us"
        Michael Robertson: "You have no chance to install WinXP"
        Michael Robertson: "Billy G make your time"

        Ha ha ha ha
    • Re:What? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by saden1 (581102) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @03:07AM (#7041378)
      The question isn't what but when. When will Microsoft money come into play. Sooner or later Microsoft will be knocking on Seagate's door with a fruit basked full of goodies.

      This a good start but I'm afraid money talks and we all know Microsoft money talks the loudest of them all.
      • Re:What? (Score:3, Funny)

        by caluml (551744)
        What I want to know is why everyone is so surprised that Florida is in the water? It was built on a swamp, for gods sake. Didn't anyone watch Gentle Ben when they were young?
        • Re:What? (Score:4, Funny)

          by Illbay (700081) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @07:42AM (#7042261) Journal
          What not many people know is, they built SIX Floridas before the current one...

          And they all sank into the swamp!

          • ...will burn down, fall over, and then sink into the swamp?

            The six-previous-floridas comment isn't as silly as it sounds, some of the swamps have several generations of ruins under them.

            However... I do wonder if LindowsOS will make the hard drive go brittle and blotchy.

      • Re:What? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by zelurxunil (710061)
        Seagate probably has Microsoft knocking on the door for the last few years with more money than they've ever seen. Unfortunetly for Microsoft they are gaining a little bit of a track record of well lets say not neccessarly treating business partners as well as some think they should. Accepting any Microsoft deal is almost a death wish for companies. They suddenly become locked into a Windows only market, and when Microsoft becomes unhappy with them, they'll just buy them, or copy their ideas and remove t
    • by Channard (693317) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @04:18AM (#7041601) Journal
      ... am looking forward to 'Lindows Refund Day'
  • Formatting (Score:5, Funny)

    by m0rph3us0 (549631) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @02:44AM (#7041258)
    At least it will be easier to explain to people why new hard drives need to be formatted. To get rid of Lindows.
  • PBF (Score:5, Funny)

    by CGP314 (672613) <CGPNO@SPAMColinGregoryPalmer.net> on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @02:46AM (#7041267) Homepage
    Michael Robertson, in his usual marketing speak, compares this to adding "Fluoride in the water"

    Great, so not only do they make a crappy OS, their also after my precious bodily fluids.
  • for free (Score:5, Funny)

    by mgebbers (252737) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @02:46AM (#7041268)
    now you get for free somethis you needed to go after

    that's how i tried explaining it to my girlfriend, but just like these hard drives, she didn't buy it either :-/

  • Fluoride... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Sago (231287) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @02:46AM (#7041270) Journal
    is a poison.... What are you trying to tell us?
    • Re:Fluoride... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Richard_at_work (517087) * <richardprice&gmail,com> on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @03:59AM (#7041542)
      Anything in quantity is a poison. Hell you can die from drinking too much water.

      Yes flouride is a poison, but it is also good for you in small doses, the kind of dose that they put in drinking water.

    • Yes, bad analogy (Score:4, Informative)

      by Gordonjcp (186804) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @04:30AM (#7041639) Homepage
      In Europe and the UK, there is a lot of discussion over adding fluoride to water. In Scotland, they've pretty much stopped adding it in most places. It's poisonous, and too much fluoride (like if you have fluoride in the water and use a toothpaste with fluoride, ie. nearly all of them) it will cause horrible damage to your teeth.

      Also, some people are highly sensitive to fluoride. You can get non-fluoride toothpaste, but can you imagine the hassle it must be, having to use bottled water for things like brushing your teeth, making tea or coffee, and in fact damn near anything else where you might ingest some of the water?
      • Re:Yes, bad analogy (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Tony Hoyle (11698)
        The UK government is planning to force everyone to have it added to their water, which pretty much means I'll have to start buying gallons of non-flouridated water at inflated prices (my wife has a stomach condition and things like that are almost guaranteed to put her in hospital).

        Not to mention the major health risk - if you boil water with it it leaves a residue that is apparently more toxic than cyanide, so you have to scrub the kettle clean after each cup... no thanks. I can't risk dying because some
        • Re:Yes, bad analogy (Score:3, Informative)

          by spike hay (534165)
          The UK government is planning to force everyone to have it added to their water, which pretty much means I'll have to start buying gallons of non-flouridated water at inflated prices (my wife has a stomach condition and things like that are almost guaranteed to put her in hospital).

          Uh, I really can't believe that. Flouride is perfectly fine in resonable quantities and prevents tooth decay. Larger quantities and you get problems like mottled teeth. Flouride is a common, common thing in the crust and is nat
  • Wow... (Score:3, Funny)

    by MoThugz (560556) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @02:46AM (#7041277) Homepage
    Somethis just never cease to amaze me...
  • by dobedobedew (663137) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @02:48AM (#7041283)
    I'll save everyone some trouble, and get the obligatory usual comments over with now...

    I, for one, welcome our new pre-installed overlords!

    1. Have your OS pre-installed on HD's
    2. ???
    3. Profit!

    Actually, click-n-run is probably their step 2. I wonder if it will work for them?

    And yes, I know you can just add the debian sources and do an apt-get install packagename.
  • So you buy a harddrive, it has lindows on it. Now id say that quite a few people who buy hard drives separately are going to put their own flvor of linux on it. Those who are buying to buy a harddrive for their windows machine are going to Windows on it.

    Just chaulk this up to another add on that very few people will use, just like turn signals on a car, or the page up and down button on the keyboard, or even the 9 cup holder in the Honda Odyssey

  • by Professor Chaos (577569) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @02:50AM (#7041294)
    while i applaud lindows and seagate for this, I personally use Ark Linux arklinux.com [arklinux.com] which does the auto-login thing that lindows does but in a safer way. Plus the fact that arklinux is community based is a big plus as well. the way lindows runs as root is just wrong, arklinux created a program called kapabilities that makes it simple to give a user access to certain configuration things. plus its one of the few linux distros thats apt-rpm based. its really hard for me to weigh in on lindows. sometimes they seem like a smart and helpful company and sometimes they seem SCO/Caldera like. still, anything that gets more people using linux on the desktop is great to see.
    • by steveha (103154) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @03:19AM (#7041420) Homepage
      the way lindows runs as root is just wrong

      It is possible to set up user accounts in Lindows. KUser, the KDE user manager tool, is available (renamed to "User Manager") and you can create users.

      It doesn't work perfectly out of the box: you will need to manually add each user to the "dialout" and "dip" groups if you want Kppp to work, and the "Click-N-Run Installer" will ask for the root password each time a user logs in. (The solution to the latter problem is to disable the C-N-R Installer from auto-running).

      Once you have created a non-root user, the KDE login manager will run and prompt for user name and password.

      The above applies to Lindows 4.0 at least; I haven't really looked at other versions. (I wrote a review of Lindows 4 for Linux Journal.)

      steveha
      • by Arker (91948) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @05:08AM (#7041748) Homepage

        That's all very nice, but Lindows is explicitly aimed at the folk that couldn't do that if you walked them through it. People that would figure all this out (or know that they needed to make a proper account in the first place, for that matter) aren't going to be using Lindows and are not the target audience for Lindows. They should ship it so that it runs with a user account and works properly that way out of the box.

  • Ha ha (Score:5, Funny)

    by dmiller (581) <`djm' `at' `mindrot.org'> on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @02:51AM (#7041300) Homepage

    Michael Robertson, in his usual marketing speak, compares this to adding "Fluoride in the water"

    This is very funny. There is a long history of wackos equating floridation of drinking water with government mind control. Here is an example [geocities.com], which is very tame by the standards of the alternate-science crowd.

    Gotta go, my alien gray masters are calling me by mind control satellite to their sub-antarctic base again!

  • by Realistic_Dragon (655151) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @02:51AM (#7041303) Homepage
    There is a big chunk of people out there who aren't afraid to open up their own machines, but use Windows because they don't have enough Round Tuits to try Linux.

    If Lindows is easy enough to give a go it might last for a few days before being scrubbed (doesn't play game X)... but then the idea that Linux systems can do things pretty well will stick in the back of the mind for the next time they have to assemble a 'second machine' for general use in the house.
  • by achurch (201270) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @02:52AM (#7041310) Homepage

    with or without an Lindows

    Silent L? Hmm...

    At any rate, I have trouble seeing what Lindows is trying to accomplish with this move, outside of PR. Joe Sixpack will never buy his own drive, or at least his own system drive, and DIY people will, well, do it themselves. I'm sure it would be easier, and less failure-prone at that, to let OEMs install and configure for their hardware and then image their drives rather than hope that a preloaded OS on the HDD will work.

    So, what's the point of this?

    • To clarify (Score:3, Insightful)

      by achurch (201270)

      From the article:

      Fifty-five percent of the computers sold today are "white boxes" meaning they don't carry a brand name. They are typically assembled by small to medium size companies.

      s/OEMs/small to medium size companies/ in my previous post, and it still holds; unless these are really small companies, that only put out a few boxes a month or something, it'll still take not significantly more time and be more reliable to configure and image instead of using preloaded installers. Unless the companies

      • Re:To clarify (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ShadowDrake (588020)
        >it'll still take not significantly more time and >be more reliable to configure and image instead >of using preloaded installers.

        Unless there's a lot of product diversity.

        Say you offer five different mainboards (K7/SiS, K7/nVidia, K7/VIA, P4/SiS, P4/Intel), three video cards (S3/Trident/SiS/whatever is $9.99 today, Radeon series, Geforce series)and 5 boolean options (CD burner, TV tuner, DVD burner, upgraded sound, RAID card).

        5*3*2*2*2*2*2=480 different systems are possible, not counting insign
        • Good point; I hadn't considered that case. Still, how are you going to be certain the OS starts up and the hardware works correctly without testing it--and once you've tested it, why not keep the image around? With 200-300G HDDs available for cheap, even storing 480 images would be feasible using sparse files.

    • So, what's the point of this?

      The point is that in the future many whitebox-systems will preload Lindows that would otherwise ship clean.

  • Windows (Score:2, Informative)

    by cdagobah (612641)
    How long do you think it'll take Microsoft to entrap hard drive manufacturers to bundle Windows preinstalled and then force end users to pay for a $200 license. (damnit I knew 80 cents a gig was too good to be true!)
  • This is weird (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BooRadley (3956) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @02:53AM (#7041315)
    Most of the people who are buying hard drives do it for one of three reasons: either to replace a failing hard drive, to add space to an existing installation, or to build a new home-grown PC.

    I can't think of a good reason that any of these situations would merit booting a default OS from a hard disk, rather than formatting it, and installing what you want.

    The only people who might leave the Lindows OS on the hard disk are shops that build beige boxes, and don't want to burn a windows license to deliver a working computer. Maybe the mom and pop PC market is what they're after.

    • Re:This is weird (Score:5, Interesting)

      by NightSpots (682462) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @03:09AM (#7041385) Homepage
      What they gain is the attention of another press release, and a few dozen new users who happen to have the boot order of their BIOSes wrong, and will boot from the new drive instead of CD and see Lindows for the first time completely by accident.

      There will also be a ton of literature in the box, more inexpensive advertising. A lot of people have heard of Linux, but think it can be hard to install. If it's sitting there waiting for them, and they've heard of it but are afraid to try to install it, there's a chance a few might let it go ahead and boot... what is there to lose, right?

      Most people won't care. Lindows isn't going for "most people." Their target audience is the group of people who aren't afraid of Linux, but are technically curious. It's a small market, and this might actually let them make a little headroom.
  • Not a bad thing... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by UnixRevolution (597440) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @02:54AM (#7041321) Homepage Journal
    First off, it's not MS Windows so it's not *that* bad. second, you can opt to just get a blank drive. Third, it's kinda convenient.

    so quitcher bitchin :P nobody has a gun to your head saying you need to buy Lindows pre-installed on a seagate drive. I'm certainly not, although if i was buying a seagate i'd consider it.

    Plus for consumers this'll be "wow, no configuration, just plug the new drive in and the OS is there?" it's going to be great. Might even cause another mini-migration from windows for people who decide to get these drives. :)

    But i could be wrong.

  • Prediction (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BJH (11355) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @02:55AM (#7041327)
    The first ten comments consisted of:

    - 1 first post
    - 5 complaints about the submitter's lack of English skills and/or the editors' failure to correct same
    - 2 comments on how fluoride is not good for you
    - 1 comment making a double entendre about "getting stuff for free"
    - 1 Gentoo fanboy comment
    - Exactly zero comments about the article itself

    I predict that these proportions will be true for this article no matter how many comments it collects.
    • Re:Prediction (Score:3, Insightful)

      by anubi (640541)
      BJH, you are so right about the first posts in a thread. Most of the time, they are not well thought out, and reflect emotional responses.

      And rarely does any of the first 50 or so comments seem to come from anybody who has RTFA.

      I found setting up my Slashdot preferences to show newest posts first best for me.

      Its also why I have yet to mod a post "redundant", as I often do not make it to the very beginning of a thread.

      Note to others.. never be discouraged from entering a late post thinking it will neve

    • Check out the parent to my post here.. There's got to be a place for this in the FAQ.
  • by writertype (541679) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @02:59AM (#7041342)
    I think Robertson's at 6.7 deciJobs, and climbing.
  • Why rip on them? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bdaehlie (537484) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @03:02AM (#7041354) Homepage
    Who cares if most people will wipe their drives? Some might not, and either way some people will find out about the existence of Lindows. I don't think Lindows is betting their company on this move, so there is no need to rip on them for being dumb. If a drive is going to ship, it might as well have something on it by default. And if its going to have something on it, why not Lindows? Seems like they got a deal, even though its not going to make a huge difference. I think this is a smart move, and props to Lindows being smart enough to do it. People are so anxious to call Lindows (the company) stupid that they are overreacting to a small move made by the company.
    • Who cares if most people will wipe their drives? Some might not, and either way some people will find out about the existence of Lindows. I don't think Lindows is betting their company on this move, so there is no need to rip on them for being dumb. If a drive is going to ship, it might as well have something on it by default. And if its going to have something on it, why not Lindows?

      Why not Lindows? Perhaps because I don't want my hard drive to contain advertisements in the manual and boot sector for som
  • by JoeShmoe (90109) <askjoeshmoe@hotmail.com> on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @03:02AM (#7041357)
    When does Kazaa partner with Western Digital to bring us hard drives preloaded with assorted music, movies and games?

    They could do like NetZero does and advertise it as Internet SuperDuperDownload Accelerator. Download music and movies instantly! It's just a form of caching right? Right?

    -JoeShmoe
    .
  • by WoTG (610710) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @03:05AM (#7041364) Homepage Journal
    I like this idea. Those guys at Lindows sure know how to get publicity. Proof in point, they're on the front page of Slashdot for what, the 50th time? I'm going to guess that they'll be on Wired.com, News.com, a few newspapers, and elsewhere in the morning.

    Sure, most people will format the software upon arrival. Sure, few people are going to convert to Linux because of a preloaded OS on the HD. BUT, it costs nothing. Nothing to Lindows, nothing to Seagate (they have to test the drives anyway, it's trivial to load some software), and nothing to the end-consumer.

    At the very least, we shouldn't be dismissing this effort. It's another small step to bringing consciousness of Linux to the average PC user. Isn't that something we all want to bring some balance to the OS market?
  • by TheSHAD0W (258774) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @03:05AM (#7041365) Homepage
    (1) Shut down computer.
    (2) Install hard drive, connect power and IDE cables.
    (3) Turn computer back on and make sure it autodetects the drive.
    (4) Tear your hair out as the computer proceeds to boot Lindows instead of (FreeBSD/Windows/Linux/Plan9).
    (5) Uninstall the hard drive, and sigh in relief as your old set-up proceeds to boot normally.
    (6) Return the hard drive to the store, yelling and screaming until they agree not to charge you a restocking fee.
  • Hmmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JoeLinux (20366) <`joelinux' `at' `gmail.com'> on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @03:08AM (#7041382) Homepage
    I never thought this would be a way to undercut MickeySoft's OEM practices....

    Now, instead of asking, "Why should I over-right Windows? I have an OS that comes with my Dell!" People will say, "Why should I pay an additional $200 for Windows? I have an OS that comes with my hard drive!"
  • How much do you want to bet a blank drive costs more than the Lindows drive? It has to be, Seagate isn't doing this for free, they get a kickback from Lindows for each unit shipped, I bet.
  • The answer to the story, even if the hard drive is blank, is most likely "yes", especially if its SCSI - just look at the firmware for the drive. I know for a fact Seagate disks run a real-time operating system (BOS or somesuch). As ATA gains ever more SCSI-like features (tagged commands and queueing), even modern ATA disks probably too run an embedded OS.
  • by mabhatter654 (561290) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @03:24AM (#7041438)
    After all, geeks will grab the drive and instantly wipe it anyway...After all, most Linux installs boot from CD so we'd never see it anyway! But...It's an added feature Segate can put on the box, Electronic stores can advertize it as a feature. Mostly, it signals the END of seperate OS software sales

    It will now be possible to go to a store, buy pieces and have a working computer when you get home with no other work necessary. That's a good thing!! Segate sells a lot of retail drives. If it works out even a little bit for them maybe others will follow suit. I've heard ATI has MMC for Linux in-house somewhere...but that's a big step to sell linux in the retail box. Most mice & keyboards work in linux. Most networking equipment works with linux [heck most home routers RUN linux!] This is a perfect path to getting Linux market share

    It's too bad BeOS didn't think of this first! After all, Robertson is making an end-run around the infamous MS bootloader license. Shops can sell pre-tested barebones systems...then conveniantly slip you a pre-formated Linux drive. They are just selling "upgrade" pieces. And they aren't selling Linux at all...the Manufacture just adds that as a "test" feature. Very, very clever.

  • Free Advertising (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mo^ (150717)
    whatever we may think Lindows has set out to achieve, there is no denying that i have just spent 15 minutes of my life reading what to all intents and purposes is an advertisement for the software on my favourite tech site.

    maybe that was the idea... instead of shouting "BUY LINDOWS" at us via TV, they have instead bred an (mostly)informed discussion on the product. Not bad for a bit of free advertising
  • Brilliant! Really! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcrbids (148650) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @03:32AM (#7041466) Journal
    OK.

    So the biggest problem Linux faces on the Desktop is the Microsoft-sponsored stranglehold on the industry.

    Not only are OEMs strongly discouraged from installing Linux, they are usually contractually obligated not to install anything else!

    So, Mr. Cowpland, making the best of a *bad* situation, goes one back in the supply chain - to the hard disk manufacturers!

    Wow. Good thinking! No OEM contracts! Product delivered, ready for use!

    I know, 90% of these preinstalls are going to be nuked. So what. If Lindows gets 1%, given the cost of duplication on the drives, this is a smashing success.

    And, what else is he going to do? Knock Lindows as the orphan child of Linux, but, like Red Hat, this is clearly a positive commercial influence.
  • Side note (Score:2, Funny)

    by Laconian (578463)
    Many conspiracy theorists agree that fluoride was added to water to control the minds of the populace. http://www.sonic.net/kryptox/mcp.htm
    • by Anonymous Coward
      > Many conspiracy theorists agree...

      Isn't it odd how it's always the conspiracy theorists who seem to be doing
      the conspiring?
  • Debian inside (Score:5, Informative)

    by steveha (103154) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @03:35AM (#7041476) Homepage
    The good news is that Lindows is built on Debian. And even better news is that the Lindows.com guys didn't rip out the APT tools. Lindows doesn't use them (they use their "Click-N-Run" stuff) but the tools are there.

    It is actually possible to upgrade (or "side-grade" if you prefer the term) Lindows to just plain Debian.

    Basically, you just edit sources.list to point to a Debian mirror near you. (Lindows has it pointing to the main Debian server; be a good net citizen and change that.) Then "apt-get update". Then blow away all packages that have "lindows" or "xandros" in the name, if you want that pure free-software feeling... or don't bother, if you don't mind a few Lindows packages floating around. "apt-get dist-upgrade", handle any conflicts APT can't suss on its own, and install anything you are missing. If you blow away the lindows* packages and xandros* packages, you will lose LILO and the kernel, so you will need to replace those.

    Lindows by default sets up three partitions: a small /boot, a 256 MB swap partition, and the whole rest of the drive as a big ReiserFS partition, mounted as the root partition. I have not yet been able to build a kernel that can deal with the root ReiserFS; I keep getting the error "Unable to open initial console." I believe the problem is that it's trying to mount DevFS while the root partition is still mounted read-only, and I think the solution is to use an initrd (initial ramdisk). The 2.4.20 kernel that comes with Lindows 4 uses an initrd, and it of course works. I need to try building an initrd kernel soon.

    There will be an article about this on the Linux Journal website sometime soon... I'm not sure exactly when. I took a Lindows MobilePC and upgraded it to full Debian unstable; it now boots with GRUB and has a GNOME desktop, because that's what I prefer.

    steveha
  • Lindows in Japan (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Neo-Rio-101 (700494) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @03:43AM (#7041494)
    I saw Lindows here in Japan at a broadband trade show.

    They had a nice selection of scantily clad ladies in Lindows outfits, who were giving out snackfood. On the snackfood package was a picture of an octopus punching Bill Gates in the nads with 8 arms. No I am not kidding. It tasted quite good. I picked up my Lindows show-bag as well.

    In the booth they had Lindows on everything with "Lindows approved" stickers pasted over the "Made for Windows XP" ones.

    Everyone was trying to rm -rf / the PCs, but were failing quite miserably.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @03:44AM (#7041504)
    Most of the negative comments here are obvious, but I think Lindows should be applauded for this move. A version of Linux (even if it's one for newbies) has managed to find a new and unique distribution channel that Windows doesn't have and is unable to compete in.

    I expect drives to have a brief burn-in / testing period at the manufacturer anyway, so it makes no difference to me what comes on it by default - all zeros or an OS. As long as I'm still able to low-level format / repartition / high-level format it.

    Admit it: if you ever got such a drive (especially if the pre-installed Lindows option didn't add to the cost), you'd boot into Lindows at least once to check it out, wouldn't you? If you were building a machine for a friend or relative, you might even want to see how they got along with it for a few days before you nuked it and installed Windows. Am I right?
  • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @03:47AM (#7041507) Homepage Journal
    Is this a sneaky way to get a machine with Linux preinstalled? Can I now get a Dell box with a Seagate harddrive in it that has Lindows preinstalled? If so, this is pure genius.. it really makes you wish that Be had figured out this strategy instead of banging their head up against the OEM brick wall.
  • by stray (73778) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @04:34AM (#7041649) Homepage
    After reading (and agreeing to) all the comments pointing out that this pre-installation totally misses any targeted audience, I think at the end of the day this might be just a strategy to inflate the number of "sold units" of lindows.

    You know, much in the same way as it is argued that the real installed user base for Windows machines is actually lower, since OEM sales of boxen that are later re-formatted and Redhatized are also counted as Windows installations in industry statistics. So, every drive sold marks one unit of Lindows out there, whether it's DOA or not.
  • by heironymouscoward (683461) <heironymouscowardNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @04:36AM (#7041653) Journal
    This is what it should do. Sit on an idle and protected partition on the hard drive. Allow Windows to be installed as usual. Then, after six months, or every time there is a BSOD, virus attack, new piece of hardware that needs the now unfindable installation CDROM, popup a little window saying:

    Hi. I see that you're having some trouble
    using your Windows operating system. Would
    you like me to install Lindows so that all
    your problems will disappear?

    [OK] [Not yet] [Tell me more]

  • by rew (6140) <r.e.wolff@BitWizard.nl> on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @04:47AM (#7041690) Homepage
    These are the tactics that we accused Microsoft of when they were trying to push other browsers like Netscape and other OSes like Linux out of the market. I'm pretty convinced they work.

    Give people for free the stuff that you want them to at least try once. They they have to DO THINGS to get rid of it or change it. People are lazy, so at least some won't.

    As to where will this end up? Well the small white-box assembly shops might be tempted to use the Lindows install on the drive to burn-in the computer. And leave it on if the customer didn't order a MicroSoft install. So the end users might end up seeing it. Great.

    Some people buy a new HD, and will install it as the first drive, move the old one over. Bingo!

    I installed two machines last week. They came with Seagate drives. Had a Debian based installation already been present, I'd just have upgraded that. :-) I'm a lazy guy!

  • On this one [lindows.com] -

    Computer manufacturers will save millions by purchasing Seagate[...]

    But Mike seems to think it will be a bit more - [lindows.com]

    Computer manufacturers will save billions by purchasing Seagate[...]
  • by oolon (43347) on Wednesday September 24, 2003 @05:03AM (#7041734)
    Right at the bottom there is a lovely disclaimer....

    Lindows.com is not endorsed by or affiliated with Microsoft Corporation in any way - in fact, we don't even really like them because they are suing us.

    James

"The Street finds its own uses for technology." -- William Gibson

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