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Red Hat's CEO Suggests Windows For Home Users 1079

Posted by timothy
from the self-abnegation dept.
Selecter was one of many readers to point out a ZDNet story in which "the CEO of Red Hat now says that Linux is not ready for the desktop, but may be ready in a few more years. Curious - I'm wondering if this is the start of a corporate only retrenchment of Linux, or just a bump in the road to Linux having a wider desktop share?" Apropos that, Gwobl writes "Jim Lynch, over at ExtremeTech, weighs in on the fate of the Linux desktop, now that Red Hat has apparently turned its attention to the enterprise and Novell is buying SUSE (to go with Outlook clone Ximian, which it also owns). Lynch's take: Cheer them on! The Linux world needs these strong champions. And don't overlook Novell's networking roots. Time was, Big Red defined networking."
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Red Hat's CEO Suggests Windows For Home Users

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  • Remind me again.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mrs.Trellis (590263) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:00PM (#7391419)
    ...which company was it that has decided to focus on the enterprise market? They can't make it pay so they're going to muddy the water for all their former competitors, I thought more of RedHat this is more like Redmond FUDish behaviour. With it's new found direction, RedHat seems to have lost its honour.
    • by TheLittleJetson (669035) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:46PM (#7393071)
      new found direction? i was always under the impression that the linux desktop always was sort of a joke... sure, it's okay for geeks -- but the learning curve is far too steep for the average user. i think of my mother as the lowest-common-demoninator when it comes to computer literacy (no offense, ma!) -- and she still has difficulty with her mac [os x] after owning it for over a year, and recieving several lessons from family members.

      redhat was available on hp,compaq,dell servers for the past 4 years or so? i hardly think this behavior is "new".

      there's a lot of great environments out there, but when it comes to being *PRACTICAL* for average-joe-user, its really just windows and os x.
    • Re:Remind me again.. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AKnightCowboy (608632) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @11:53PM (#7393551)
      With it's new found direction, RedHat seems to have lost its honour.

      Sorry, but Red Hat has sucked for awhile now. They continually been behind in package management for example. Why should I need to go download a third-party Red-Carpet management app to get what apt-get and urpmi give me on Debian and Mandrake respectively? up2date has very basic package installation support if you subscribe to RHN (which we did, now we're screwed in 6 months) or hack in your own repositories.

      As someone who just installed about 6 Red Hat boxes into production after convincing the boss that we might as well go with the "commercially supported" distribution, I now face absolute product obsolescence in 6 months (Red Hat 9 will have no further updates, apparently including security fixes, after April 30th 2004). I tried to convince him that Debian was a decent choice, but it backfired when the "stable" distribution doesn't even install smoothly on our new hardware (APIC issues causing lockups DURING install on brand new Asus AMD boards). The only way to get around it was to compile a custom kernel completely without APIC support. Obviously this didn't bode well with proving Debian is a good distribution for the business environment. I fear it's going to be back to Mandrake for us on the servers. :-(

  • LEt's face it. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mindstrm (20013) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:01PM (#7391432)
    Nothing these companiess have done really drives linux.. linux drives itself. Even Redhat, despite their contributions, is just along for the ride.

    Linux will succeed regardless of what happens with these companies.

    It was a very useful tool before they arrived, and will be equally useful after they are gone.
    • by DaveAtFraud (460127) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:46PM (#7391857) Homepage Journal
      The slashdot posting should be modded -1, flamebait. The actual quote from Szulik is, "I would say that for the consumer market place, Windows probably continues to be the right product line," he said. "I would argue that from the device-driver standpoint and perhaps some of the other traditional functionality, for that classic consumer purchaser, it is my view that (Linux) technology needs to mature a little bit more." You will note that the posting says nothing about "home users" while the headline of the ZDNet article clearly says "home users."

      Another quote from later in the article: "We think that the enterprise desktop market place is much more strategic and has buyers whose needs we can exceed." The consumer market wants their computers to work with their digital cameras, GPSs, MP3 players, favorite games, etc. and, like it or not, Linux isn't there. Some of the lack of support is due to a "chicken and egg problem" of no one asks for such support so its not there and because its not there, no one asks for it. When some large companies tell their suppliers that they're out of the bidding because they don't support Linux, you'll see support for high-end stuff that rapidly filters down to support for "consumer" level stuff.
      • I feel compelled to throw in my basic economics training. See, economists devide all spending into three components: Government, Consumer, and Capital Investments by businesses. Add in Net Exports and you have GDP. Anyway, the purchase of equipment by a business would be a Capital Investment since it is something they will use to make more money. Since a home user is not the government nor business and certainly not an export buyer, they are infact a consumer.

        Therefore Home User = Consumer.
    • Re:LEt's face it. (Score:3, Informative)

      by bruthasj (175228)
      Bzzz! Denial is the first stage. We're all in this together. Just because RH is running after a market to make money in does not mean they are giving up their ideals. ES and AS are still available for download, as is are their clustering management tools.

      Folks, no one's turning into a bad tomato, nothing is wrong with RH and Suse. I'm serious. Give it six to nine months and you'll see.

      No one's along just for the ride, all of these guys have made tremendous contributions from the kernel to the compile
      • Re:LEt's face it. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by deaddeng (63515)
        They just killed their brand. There is no "RedHat Linux." Think about that. At least the Coca-Cola company had the sense to bring "Coke Classic" back.

        This is a major screwup from a marketing perspective. They are going to eat the Fedora, support or not.
  • Szulik sells out. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dolo666 (195584) * on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:03PM (#7391444) Journal
    This move is surprising to me, but I wouldn't put much faith in what Matthew Szulik has to say about Windows or Linux for home use, considering he's changed the direction of Red Hat's policy regarding sales and distrobution. To me all this means is that Matthew Szulik has changed his company politics (done an about-face). It's in his interest to tell everyone to use Windows at home, because he doesn't want to have to listen to Linux users complain about him selling out, and he doesn't want another vendor to compete directly against him with the corporate guys. A Microsoft partnership at this time is very wise with Red Hat, but I'd bet dollars to donuts, Billygoat Gates slipped him a mickey or something to that effect.

    Szulik likely realized that you can make twenty times more money working with big business than you can fielding techsup for home users. To me, this goes against the overall spirit of running Linux, and even the Open Source community, in general.

    Thank god Linus doesn't think this way, eh guys?
  • by bluethundr (562578) * on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:03PM (#7391451) Homepage Journal
    the CEO of Red Hat now says that Linux is not ready for the desktop, but may be ready in a few more years.

    CEOs are known for their business acumen, but not necessarily for their techincal knowledge or skills. I've even read in one really great Apple history book [barnesandnoble.com] that Apple engineers lambasted Steve Jobs as "non-technical" and considered him unfit to make "technical" decisions. I don't know that much about the RedHat CEO, but this may be a similar case.
    • You're right, CEO's aren't known for their technical knowledge, but by "ready for the desktop" I think he means "ready for the average person to use", if that's the case I think he's more qualified than someone with technical knowledge to make that proclamation.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:04PM (#7391458)
    Dear Redhat,

    Thank you so very much for the lovely knife which you planted in my back this morning. The handle is immaculate and the steel of very good quality.

    We realize this is a turbulent time for redhat and i had feared that you would not have time from your friends while you transition to an enterprise-targetted company. It was as such very nice to recieve your little gift and know you still cared. I was talking to Linux, Alan Cox and Mandrake, and they feel the same about the similar gifts you sent them.

    Love,
    SUSE
    • by mickwd (196449) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:15PM (#7391566)
      Dear Redhat,

      I've just been talking to SuSE and Mandrake.

      Where's our knife ?

      Oh hang on, we're volunteers. You want us to do it ourselves, right ?

      Love,
      Fedora
    • Matthew Szulik had a very difficult decision to make. Does Red Hat continue to lose money in the home market or leave that market.

      I think in the back of his mind he is not sure he made the right decision! He put his company in a position where it is now not in position to ride the desktop Linux wave if it happens. So he is over compensating here. He has convinced himself that he believes the Linux Desktop will not be ready for years.
  • Consumers... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aardvarkjoe (156801) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:07PM (#7391491)
    His statement is that "consumers" ought to be using Windows rather than Linux. Fortunately, as somebody who uses rather than consumes my computer, I'm just fine with my Linux desktop.

    The point is that he's right, in the sense that he's using: from a standpoint of people doing the marketing, they would rather have people using Windows than Linux. Of course, that's really pretty much irrelevant to us who actually use the computers.
  • by metatruk (315048) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:09PM (#7391503)
    and until there is a Linux distro that "just works" it won't be.

    Consider:
    The lack of good font support in X. But it's not just X. It's applications too. There's no unified way to use fonts, or to use the "right" fonts.

    Lack of good clipboard support in X: Perhaps it isn't X that's the problem. But most applications cannot agree on what clipboard format they are using. Forget about copying an image in Konqueror or Mozilla and pasting it into OpenOffice. Or even formatted text for that matter. Sheesh!

    Number of Linux distributions: There's no way to
    make a good installer that will install a commercial app on Linux and have everything work. There are too many dependencies for specific versions of libraries and things that would make this sort of thing worse than any kind of Windows DLL hell.

    Drivers: Linux intentionally makes it difficult for people to release binary-only drivers. Of course, Binary only drivers are a bad idea anyway, some vendors will insist on it such as NVidia.

    Games: Linux would make an ideal game platform IF games were released for it. Now I realize this is a chicken/egg problem of course, but you have to factor it in when thinking about if Linux is really ready for the Desktop...

    All of this being said, I do use Linux as a desktop. I feel comfortable with its limitations. I'm not an average user though, and I wouldn't expect any average user to figure out how to make Linux do what it can do.

    Now, where I disagree with Red Hat is that you should _not_ use Windows. Use Mac OS X. It's way better than windows in design, and just works.
    • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:29PM (#7391703) Homepage Journal
      I think part of the problem is the flexibility.

      Linux is so flexible that there are who knows how many widget sets, rather than improve on one, developers seem to rather work on their own and not really refine it.

      There is also no direction, and developers working for free often can't be motivated to properly document how to use a program. There's no money in testing, that is left up to others as well. This lack of direction also hurts development efforts as so many projects are repeating each other. They compete rather than having just a few projects that complement each other and put the effort into a truly refined product.
    • Consider: The lack of good font support in X. But it's not just X. It's applications too. There's no unified way to use fonts, or to use the "right" fonts.

      There is good font support for X (which as far as the average Joe need care is the same thing as "in X")- the truetype fonts I have installed here look wonderful. The problem is not all applications use them - even gnome and KDE behave totally differently. The quality is certainly available, but I agree there needs to be a lot more standardisation.

      Nu
    • Fonts, etc. (Score:3, Flamebait)

      by Ender Ryan (79406)
      The fonts issue has been fixed for... well, quite some time now. All distributions ship with good font support these days.

      Every "modern" app, ie. KDE 3 and GNOME 2, supports the new font system.

      Number of Linux distributions: There's no way to make a good installer that will install a commercial app on Linux and have everything work. There are too many dependencies for specific versions of libraries and things that would make this sort of thing worse than any kind of Windows DLL hell.

      Complete horsedun

  • by namespan (225296) <namespan AT elitemail DOT org> on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:09PM (#7391516) Journal
    Szulik gave an example of his 90-year-old father going to a local retailer in order to purchase a computer with Linux: "We know painfully well what happens. He will try to get it installed and either doesn't have a positive experience or puts a lot of pressure on your support systems," he said.

    Thing is, lots of consumers have exactly the same sort of experience with Windows. But with Window's they're the market leader, not some minority emergin alternative. People are far more likely to think there's something wrong with them when they can't make Windows work as they expect, and the reverse is true for Linux.

  • If I had a dime... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by festers (106163) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:10PM (#7391527) Journal
    ..for everytime someone said "Linux isn't ready for the desktop", I'd be paying these people to STFU. I was a big supporter of Red Hat in the past (been using it since 6.0), but with the recent changes to their support, and boneheaded comments from their execs, I've pretty much had it with them. Look, if Linux isn't ready for your desktop, fine, I won't beat you over the head. But it's been ready for my desktop for the past 3 years, and lots of other "non-techie" types as well.
  • hooray? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by digitalsushi (137809) * <slashdot@digitalsushi.com> on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:12PM (#7391536) Journal
    if linux goes back to the popularity it had in 1999ish, all the "1337 5cr1pt k1d5" will be happy again because their personal identity, defined through their computer's operating system, will be closer to unique once again! (speaking as someone who was one of these people back in 1999, and had a wise unix guru tell me why i was being a dumb kid, and helped me grow up by losing that attitude and demonstrating linux advocacy where appropriate, and avoiding it where not)
  • Initial reaction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by inode_buddha (576844) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:12PM (#7391537) Journal
    Maybe he's just being realistic? Don't get me wrong, I've used RH daily since 5.2. I've also supported Win9.x and XP for friends, family, and co-workers. When a linux distro has that slick of an install ("Just click "next""...), along with *all* the device drivers, it'll really take off on the desktop.

    And that's the catch-22, IMHO. I believe that the truly successful desktop linux company/distro will pay most all of their attention to simplifying and integrating things in the GUI, and 3/4 of their devel's will be device driver people. Why do I say this? because, people buy computers for its devices. Device manufacturers won't be arsed to write linux drivers until it has a much larger market. It won't have that larger market until you can plug XYZ into a USB port without thinking, cuz it had a penguin sticker on the box.
    • When a linux distro has that slick of an install ("Just click "next""...), along with *all* the device drivers, it'll really take off on the desktop.

      I am soooo tired of the assumption that the Windows SETUP is the Windows INSTALLER. Have you ever installed WinXP from scratch? It's still the ugly yellow text on blue TEXT INTERFACE. You can't just click next, next, next. You have to hit, like Shift-F8 to agree with the license, and partition/format the harddrive (I'm not complaining about the ability to
  • tacky (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pavon (30274) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:13PM (#7391545)
    I agree that linux as a whole isn't ready for the desktop, unless you have a nearby linux geek who doesn't mind do the occasional difficult administrative things that a normal user can't.

    On the other hand this announcement seems a little tactless. "We have decided to get out of the home desktop market, so no one should use linux on the desktop any more. Use windows, not those other linux distro's. I mean if we don't think this is a good market for linux than no one should market linux there." Now he was probably just explaining why they got out of the market but this is how it came acrossed to me.
    • Re: tacky (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Black Parrot (19622) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:23PM (#7391627)


      > I agree that linux as a whole isn't ready for the desktop, unless you have a nearby linux geek who doesn't mind do the occasional difficult administrative things that a normal user can't.

      By that standard, what OS is ready for the desktop?

    • Re:tacky (Score:4, Insightful)

      by kfg (145172) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @08:08PM (#7392026)
      I agree that linux as a whole isn't ready for the desktop, unless you have a nearby linux geek who doesn't mind do the occasional difficult administrative things that a normal user can't.

      But this is just as true of any other operating system. I put lots of food on my table and fuel in my boiler by administering Mac and Windows systems. The real problem here is the perception that these OSs can be administered by the average user. The end result is that instead of paying me $40 a couple times a year to keep things running smoothly they end up waiting until things go all to hell and have to pay me a couple hundred to straighten things out.

      Good for me, I suppose, but only in the same sense that it's "good" for doctors if people only come in with a cut after gangrene has set in.

      In this respect the greatest problem with Linux on the desktop isn't Linux itself, but the very geeks needed to administer it. They have no clue about the real needs of average users and don't set up boxes for them properly.

      http://qrxx.4t.com/linuxbeat3.htm

      As for the statements of Red Hat this is the sort of shit that happens when you decide you want to be a "playa," go public and put the MBAs in charge.

      Since Red Hat has decided that their own interest is in pushing Linux as an "Enterprise" system they have to support that point of view publicly by dissing Linux itself on the desktop ( and other people's enterprise systems as well, of course). They are no longer a Linux company. They are Red Hat (tm).

      Fuck 'em.

      KFG
  • 90 year old father (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:17PM (#7391582)
    Szulik gave an example of his 90-year-old father going to a local retailer in order to purchase a computer with Linux: "We know painfully well what happens. He will try to get it installed and either doesn't have a positive experience or puts a lot of pressure on your support systems," he said.

    Yes, and I bet 10000000 rubles that your 90 year old father would put extreme pressure on Microsoft's support system if he installed Windows instead of RedHat Linux.

    In short : Szulik's father is like mine : he still prefers typewriters (or, in his case, pen and paper probably).
  • by Dareth (47614) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:17PM (#7391585)
    This isn't about all of "us" who already have linux on our desktops. This is about all of "them" who do not know if they have Windows XP or Windows 95.

    There is a digital divide, but it isn't about race, religion, or economic status. It is all about knowledge, skill, and the desire to actually understand what you are doing. Many of "them" will never understand anything about computers. And probably most of "us" will never understand why they don't feel the same as we do.

    Use what works for you. If I want to use a hammer for any mechanical work, so be it. If you don't agree with me, you might just start to look like a nail. *wink*

  • by LinuxHam (52232) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:17PM (#7391586) Homepage Journal
    http://www.computerworld.com/managementtopics/outs ourcing/story/0,10801,86826,00.html

    IBM announced a new offering today, extending the outsourcing to include the desktop.. I thought this was a great step in the right direction since basically no one really follows all the way through with desktop management. If IBM owns the hardware and bills flat rate per desktop, it behooves them to minimize TCO.

    Paired up with ebusiness initiatives (i.e. "webifying" apps and streamlining business processes), this could lead to some IBM-sponsored Linux desktops.
  • by pjack76 (682382) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:17PM (#7391587)
    Or, at least, the corporate desktop, at least in environments where one doesn't necessarily want one's users installing all kinds of crap on their PCs.

    Secretaries, for instance, can probably live quite well with OpenOffice, one of the nicer scheduling tool (Ximian maybe, never used it). And if all the users in my organization who just needed that setup actually had that setup, my job as administrator would be so much simpler. </whine>

  • by nevets (39138) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:17PM (#7391589) Homepage Journal
    Szulik gave an example of his 90-year-old father going to a local retailer in order to purchase a computer with Linux: "We know painfully well what happens. He will try to get it installed and either doesn't have a positive experience or puts a lot of pressure on your support systems," he said.

    I'm sorry, but I tried to get my 75 year old father-in-law to use the internet. I got him a Windows box with a simple dial up connection and set everything up for him. But he has yet to use it by himself. It would have been easier for me if I set him up a Linux box, because I know it better and could write scripts to help him log on automatically. I know it is also possible to do that with Windows but I didn't have the time to learn it for him.

    My point is that computers in general are not easy for an old fashioned 75 year old who rather write snail mail letters than to use email. So that excuse is not a good one.

    Linux is partially ready for those willing to learn. It is not Linux's fault for not being ready, but it wont be ready until all software vendors port there products to linux. I won't be Windows free until I have a reliable tax program for linux. I still use quicken since I don't believe that gnucash is there yet. Also it helps since it works with my tax programs.

    Also the GNU/Linux system needs a standard that all non-free software vendors can write code for. This includes games. Once it gets that far, and Linux gets the software vendors to treat Linux equal to Windows, then Linux will be a fine alternative to the average user. I don't care about 70 year olds learning about computers just because their children want them to (well I do care about my father-in-law ;-). I really care is when the average 30 year old business person can use it without out any more complaints then they have with Windows.

    • I'm sorry, but I tried to get my 75 year old father-in-law to use the internet. I got him a Windows box with a simple dial up connection and set everything up for him. But he has yet to use it by himself. It would have been easier for me if I set him up a Linux box, because I know it better and could write scripts to help him log on automatically. I know it is also possible to do that with Windows but I didn't have the time to learn it for him.

      The real problem, it seems to me, is that you provided your fa

  • How 'bout my $40?! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mariox19 (632969) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:21PM (#7391617)

    Let me see if I get this straight. The company from which I paid $40 to buy a box set of Red Hat Linux 9 is now saying their product is "not ready for the desktop"?

    This is the same Linux with the swell GUI, Bluecurve; which, to quote the press release [redhat.com] offers a "[c]onveniently organized, user-friendly desktop with numerous graphical enhancements and icons."

    How about refunding me my $40 for no other reason that shame on you! -- hmmm?

  • Digital cameras (Score:3, Interesting)

    by phliar (87116) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:21PM (#7391618) Homepage
    Who is this guy? The "success" of Linux may in fact depend on third-parties and device drivers for strange hardware, but Windows gets a free ride here, since MS doesn't have to worry about all that. When hardware manufacturers include Linux device drivers, and app makers automatically release Linux versions, it will kick Windows' ass. Any Unix could do this, not just Linux.

    Since that's not going to happen, we should keep doing what we have been. Linux or any other free software project didn't get to where it is because of some damn MBA suits. Why do we care about some suit's judgment?

  • by Rimbo (139781) <rimbosity@@@sbcglobal...net> on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:25PM (#7391647) Homepage Journal
    What the hell is this idiot thinking?

    On the one hand, he just pissed off a lot of the loyal Red Hat users. On the other hand, he just turned a bunch of consumers off of Linux. And on the third hand, for you three-handed folks out there, he's going to turn off his enterprise consumers as well by saying, "There's something we don't do well."

    Now it may very well be true that Linux doesn't do the desktop well, it may not be. I've got my own opinion, as do you.

    The point is that when you are trying to sell something, as Red Hat is, you don't say, "We don't do this, and don't think people should try it with our product." You say, "We may not do this well, but we think people can do it, and we're working hard to make the experience even better." This is Public Relations 101 for cryin' out loud.

    How the hell did Red Hat get this loon? And what's the over/under on Red Hat's PR department releasing an "Explanation" within the next 24 hours???

    Things are not going well down Red Hat way.
  • No love for OS X? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:25PM (#7391651) Homepage Journal
    WTF!?!?
    RedHat advocating Windows?
    You'd think they would have advocated an OS whose underpinnings are some what related to their own and offer a bonafide "OS alternative" that provides ease of use, popular applications and has name brand recognition.

    Sure, fine... turn away from the home-enthusiast and ma/pop sector. But at least support those who contribute to the OS community rather than the dark lord in Mordor^H^H^H^H ...err Redmond.
    • by Brandybuck (704397)
      Precisely. If I were Szulik, and wanted to abandon my entire consumer market, I would at least abandon it to someone in the family.

      "Redhat isn't ready for the average consumer's desktop. In the meantime, you might want to try Lycoris or Xandros..."
  • Linux is not fruit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kindbud (90044) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:26PM (#7391665) Homepage
    However, Szulik expects Linux to be ready in a couple of years after it has had time to mature.

    What is it, a fruit? It takes time to ripen? I think not. That's just stupid. RedHat Linux is not suitable for the home user desktop because RedHat has not made it so. Waiting will accomplish nothing.

  • It seems to me.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MortisUmbra (569191) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:29PM (#7391695)
    That the people who determine the future of Linux, generally don't listen to people like this....

    By that I mean that, for the most part, Linux users are more liable to decide to run Linux because it suit them and their needs, than they are to listen to some MBA dolt who tells them they shouldnt. And since, lets face it, the Linux community is more concerned with making a good OS than it is with taking the #1 spot, I dont see how this even registers on the scales.

    And to be honest, I do rather agree with him. I CANNOT set up my less knowledgeable family with Linux without answer 20x more "I have a problem" phone calls than with Windows. This is a problem for me running it on my desktop, but for my mother, it is a VERY real problem. And that is who he's talking about. Your mother, my mother, your grandmother....and even the simplest distro is still a bit much for them.
  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris&beau,org> on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:33PM (#7391731)
    Linux on the desktop is already beginning to happen. But it has been clear for at least a year that RedHat has made a strategic decision to leave that segment to others.

    Guess they have now decided to sow salt over that ground as they leave to hurt their competitors. No matter, they will be a footnote in a few years.

    I tend to doubt Fedora will ever build much of a community because Redhat will find they can't really cut it loose. Because were they to actually turn it over to the developer community we already know what they would do, and it isn't what Redhat has traditionally done.

    RedHat drove innovation by producing horribly broken .0 releases with all sort of bleeding edge software. Contrast to Debian. Being more concerned with stability, they would never have unleashed GCC 3.0 (aka RedHat's 2.96) anytime close to as early as RH did, but they NEEDED it for their commercial customers. Same for Glibc and their most recent stunt of backporting native pthreads from 2.6 into a 2.4 mutant kernel for RH9 and RHEL3.

    The value of RedHat used to be that they were where the Geeks and Suits collided and out of that friction came innovation. Run the Geeks off and they are doomed to solidify into the next SCO, a tired outdated product from a company without the resources to continue the required level of development needed to keep up. Anyone want to bet that several of their superstars bail before their next major release?
  • by hherb (229558) <horstNO@SPAMdorrigomedical.com> on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:40PM (#7391791) Homepage
    In our medical centre, we use Linux to exclusion. On the desktop, on the server. And we are happy that way.

    What's more, we couldn't care less what RedHat does or doesn't, recommends or thinks. We don't need them, never did. We use Debian.

    If there is one thing we believe that has slowed Linux' uptake on the desktop, it is RPM - RedHat's package management. Would they have settled for the vastly superior Debian package management system - where could we be today?

    But then, freeing customers from these artificial update cycles would mean losing revenue, losing stronghold on customers, and what corporate entity likes that idea?
  • Umm people? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kelz (611260) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:44PM (#7391844)
    Compatibility. Gamers (mainstream) don't use Linux because they don't want to figure out how to compile Wine.

    Average users don't use linux because it is a very high wall to leap over, and they are comfortable with IE and Word, and are not the least bit concerned with security, unless they regularly make purchases online.

    Businesses don't use Linux (in desktops) because the cost in time and money of training all the users to switch from dos-based to unix-based systems.

    I agree that Linux is not ready for the desktop yet, because the hurdles are currently too high. I think by saying this the Red Hat CEO is implying that they are working on a way to make the transition much much easier.

    Just remember he said Linux isn't ready for desktops yet
  • it's true (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kipple (244681) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:45PM (#7391853) Journal
    Imagine if you were a sysad trying to explain an average secretary how to deal with troubles in linux. The problem is, that there might be a lot of troubles that the average guy isn't ready to deal with. In windows you reboot and things go fine 99% of the times. In linux you can keep rebooting and it won't improve your situation.
    It's true that in Linux you have less chances of "strange errors", but - if you have an untrained person on the other side of the phone, every error is a strange error (that in windows you solve by telling them "reboot").

    conclusion: if you think that linux is ready for the average desktop guy, try installing into a mid-sized company and deal with end users.

    The Desktop is not a conquer - in fact, GNU/Linux is what it is for the sake of it. It's not a race! C'mon, who cares who wins the desktop in 2003? What's more important is that linux will become more and more stable and superior because its code quality and standards.

    On the long run linux will prevale. Right now that's not the top priority.

    now mod me down.
  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:49PM (#7391894) Homepage
    This may seem like religious rhetoric (I'm a Debian user), but frankly, it is RedHat that isn't ready for the desktop, not Linux. The biggest problem with any Linux system is being able to easily install software. RPM is not easy and RedCarpet is neither complete nor does it handle dependencies elegantly. What makes RedHat great is their nice shiny corporate facade and excellent (albeit spendy) enterprise support. That's good for enterprise use, but it's not much good for end users (unless you've got money to burn).

    The beautifully maintained Apt archives make life easy for the person maintaining the platform if they are comfortable with the command line, but it's no fun for the typical end user. Debian's install process is pretty intimidating (not hard mind you, but it will scare people away), and the lack of easy Windows network integration is a bit of a drawback for most people.

    XandrOS solves those problems with a nice GUI interface for Apt, the installer, and wizards for connecting to your EvilOS machines. It's not safe outside the firewall (or at least the version I purchased was not), but if you've got Windows machines and non-expert users, you shouldn't have the machine outside a firewall anyway.

    RedHat is the biggest, and perhaps the best for enterprise server closets, but not the best for the typical end user's desktop. So RedHat is focusing on the market to which it is best suited. It doesn't strike me as a bad thing. It's a lot better than hearing friends of mine, upon their first time using Linux, complaining that Linux is too hard because installing RPMs is a hassle, and further assuming that since RedHat is the one they've heard of, everything else must be worse.

    RedHat leaving the desktop space is a good thing - it leaves more market share for the truly desktop oriented distros like Lindows, XandrOS, Mandrake, and friends. It could even lead to commercial vendors focusing a bit less attention on RPM and a bit more on platform independent tarballs.
  • by ninjadroid (622900) <ninjadroidNO@SPAMgazuga.net> on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @07:51PM (#7391916) Homepage

    Am I the only RedHat fan who not only thinks this is a good idea, but is relieved that they're finally doing it?

    The business model for Aunt Tillie desktop Linux just isn't there for 3 reasons:

    1. Linux isn't easy and smooth enough for people who don't love the idea of Linux.
    2. Linux doesn't have all the readily accessible functionality that normal people expect.
    3. People who grok Linux are more inclined to obtain it for free than not.

    I envision the first two points becoming invalid within a couple of years, but the last one isn't likely to change. Since the vast majority of desktop Linux users are also free riding (nothing wrong with that, it's what I do), making money off of the Linux desktop is just a dangerous game to be playing.

    RedHat didn't sell us out. The Fedora Project [redhat.com] is The Right Thing. If you don't know what that is, follow that link and don't return until you grok in fullness.

    The average consumer doesn't like Windows, but they like it more than anything else because of what it can do. Linux is technically superior, of this I am sure, but until we can get the average consumer to like it more than Windows, we're not gonna sell it to them. RedHat's move to maintain profitability by pushing Enterprise Linux, coupled with the open development of the Fedora Project, is only going to accelerate this process by combining the best aspects of a profitable corporation and a loosely knit coalition of hackers.

    Remember, we are striving for world domination here...

  • Salting the earth (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Performer Guy (69820) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @08:02PM (#7391980)
    This is an old tactic, known as salting the earth, the intent is that nothing can grow there for anyone else.

    It's not enough for Red Hat to abandon it's base which it won at the expense of other distros. Now that it is 'withdrawing' from that market it feels the need to undermine the whole desktop Linux business in a segment that it thinks won't affect it's own business.

    Red Hat is gravely mistaken. It claims that it was unable to run a competitive business where the actual product was more or less free and the manufacturing overheads were miniscule. All that was left was support costs which are (or could be) passed directly along and a networked patch distribution model with little overhead.

    So what is really going on here? The reason it withdrew was not lack of profitability, but insufficient profitability. It basically wanted the higher margins of it's enterprise product and saw it's premium business being undermined by it's consumer business. In other words it betrayed it's base because there was almost no differentiation between enterprise and desktop versions of it's products and most could get support less expensively for the desktop. This is the real reason for it's withdrawal, not some imagined nonsense about desktop readiness. Remember enterprise support costs more not less than desktop support, in other words it's a nice little earner. An appropriate response (if Red Hat's excuses were anything other than a sham)would have been to charge appropriately for support on the desktop instead of abandoning it's users to an experimental distro that will be a nightmare for it's allegedly naive user base. The fig leaf Red Had is holding isn't big enough to cover it's shame. A cynical betrayal of it's base to protect enterprise margins and now an attack on the desktop when it knows damned well that approriate pricing for support is all that is required. It's difficult to imaging a more paradoxical porition that Red Hat's over this, they are using their concern over their poor abused users as the excuse for abandoning them, when things were ticking along nicely. This betrayal has everything to do with preserving margins on undifferentiated products.

    It will be a cold day in hell before I ever use Red Hat again, for enterprise or anything else. They have betrayed their base and mendaciously and cynically undermined Linux to justify this shame faced betrayal.

    Never thought I'd see it from Red Hat. What a sad day for Linux. Just what the heck has happened inside Red Hat.
  • by SnakeStu (60546) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @08:03PM (#7391994) Homepage

    ...but maybe they just don't know enough. I mean, at their young ages (11 and under), they don't "know" what a "desktop-ready" OS is "supposed" to do. They have Win98 on their own machine, but they keep coming back to use GNU/Linux on mine on a regular basis. And asking to have it on theirs. And no, this isn't a make-believe story (and I'm going to have a chance to give them what they've been asking for this weekend).

    Now, admittedly, they're not doing business work on it, but that wasn't the point anyway, we're talking about home users. I'm pretty sure my kids qualify as such, whether they're playing games or doing homework. (Oh, FWIW, they/I use GNOME on Slackware, not RH.) Could the environment stand a lot of improvement? Absolutely.

    But GNU/Linux isn't alone in needing improvement to be "ready" for home users. Windows needs it too -- it needs less of a push toward DRM, less corporate/publisher control, etc. And the fixes that GNU/Linux needs (usability) are within scope, whereas many of the "fixes" in Windows (freedom for the user) run counter to the goals of its publisher, and will never be addressed. (Forget an uprising of customers, the apathy of the public is obvious.)

    RH wants to focus on servers for enterprise customers -- great, go for it. No problem with that. But to push home users toward Windows is self-serving and short-sighted, no matter what "justifications" are brought up for it.

  • "Yes" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jht (5006) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @08:14PM (#7392069) Homepage Journal
    That's the correct answer. Linux isn't ready for most home users, and most home users aren't ready for Linux, either. For better or worse, the average home user should either stick with the herd and use Windows, or they should run a stable, Unix-based OS for "The rest of us" - MacOS X. When the off-the shelf software support, ease of administration, and device support in Linux is on a par with either Mac or Windows, then it's time for Linux to hit the home desktop.

    Meanwhile, Linux is a viable OS for many corporate environments, and it's there today. The server marketplace is only getting bigger that Linux can target, and a lot of corporate desktops are the kind of focused tasking, centrally managed boxes that are ideal opportunities for Linux to show a lower TCO. So it's natural for Linux vendors to target the corporate market - retail boxed copies of SuSE, RedHat, and Mandrake are not where these companies are going to make their money.
  • by Johnny Mnemonic (176043) <{mdinsmore} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @08:30PM (#7392182) Homepage Journal

    Red Hat CEO says that users should use Windows!

    Microsoft to use Apple CPU in next-gen gaming console, forgetting that Macs suck for gaming!

    Apple computers comprise world's 3rd fastest machine!

    Honest to God, what's next? Has the sign of the apocalypse befallen us! Run, run while you still can, before the legendary Apple OEM 2-button mouse is nigh!
  • No no no no (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ItWasThem (458689) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @08:30PM (#7392183)
    Wow. This hurts.

    I've used Red Hat since 5.2, still maintain several Red Hat servers at work. You can be sure I won't be using or recommending Red Hat any more be it for personal or corporate use.

    Looks like my Mandrake 9.1 discs are going to get much more use. Of course there's an issue with those as well what with Mandrake moving to ads in 9.2 :/

    I saw a poster in another thread earlier that said the only reason he sticks with a mainstream distro like Red Hat or Mandrake is for their software update and packaging services. I think that's right on the money. If it weren't for the need to constantly be up to date I could ditch mainstream distros completely. These companies are starting to cause more trouble than their worth.

    When I see news like this it just makes me wish we could put the Linux geenie back in the bottle, get these corporate types out of our hobby, and for once have something for ourselves that doesn't get corrupted and then suffocated by the greed and ignorance that permeates business culture today. As an example the Internet could've been great. Heck, computers could've been great.

    Now when I code I spend more time wondering if someone has a patent and will sue me, if I still have the CD I ripped the MP3 I'm listening to from in case the RIAA police come knocking, if tomorrow I'll be able to use my non-broadcast flag television set, etc. etc.

    Now I'm just bummed. Damn.
  • games man!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sivaram_Velauthapill (693619) <sivaram.velauthapillai@NospaM.gmail.com> on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @08:43PM (#7392305) Homepage Journal
    I have been saying this over and over: until Linux supports games and other multimedia applications, it won't fly on the home desktop. Not everyone plays games, but it is a killer application. Home users care about multimedia, games, and stuff like that. Linux is weak in those things...

    Sivaram Velauthapillai
  • by mantera (685223) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @08:48PM (#7392351)


    Red Hat will soon lose its grassroot respect and might just become one of those VC-run and profit-driven corporations; those who have expected Red Hat to become the Microsoft of the Linux world probably were talking about microsoft's marketshare but now it appears the outcome will quite possibly also include microsoft's practices.

    This isn't the first alarming sign; there's been a few trickling down for a little while, with all the consolidations, takeovers, acquisitions... et cetera et cetera it won't be long before we'll have to wonder whether the GPL will be able to prevent linux from becoming yet another private affair.

    This investors' darling is sure to do as investors want. I have always been and still am more respectful - and i know some of you might be tempted to flame me for this, please don't, it's not my point - of Sun Microsystems than ever been of Red Had; Sun is a company that was started by techies and still run by techies, often acted contrary to investors expectations and still does, and contributed far more to open source, with java and openoffice, than red hat ever would've had it not been for the GPL. The creeping clan of MBAs and capital interests Red Hat is awashed with will only mean it won't be long before it'll be the despise of the people it is now alienating; it's just inevitable. You guys sorta got what you wanted, albeit with a twist; you wanted men in suits to endorse linux and now that they are you seem surprised with their actions. If you invite wolves and sharks to dinner just don't be surprised if they'll shave all the meat off the bones and not care for your share, heck, you may even become the meal too.

    I think what linux, and OSS in general needs, is an altogether economic model; you just can't have a conventional financing for an alternative development system and expect all to be good. I think such a system that might have promise would be something like those Mutuals or cooperatives that are proven in the housing market and neighbourhood or workplace groceries; some of such "societies", especially in Europe, are big enough to provide an economically viable business that is also ethically and socially responsible.

    Mistrust of corporations is growing because they put shareholders first. That creates opportunities for cooperatives and mutuals, which don't [guardian.co.uk]

  • Dare I suggest it? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ceallaigh (584362) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @09:01PM (#7392446)
    Consider purchasing a Mac and enjoy the best of both worlds; Unix with a responsive and functional desktop.

    Sean
  • by Micah (278) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @09:04PM (#7392470) Homepage Journal
    ...but only as part of a complete hardware/software package that is marketed to the home user.

    I personally think this is an opportunity that screams for a PC manufacturer to pursue.

    Make a top quality PC, one that anyone would be proud to own. Make a Linux distribution that is self-branded and custom tailored to this PC. It should come pre-installed, but if it needed to be re-installed, it should consist of nothing more than sticking the CD in and maybe pressing Enter a couple times.

    Said distro should contain nearly every piece of useful or fun Open Source software, and maybe some non-Free stuff like Loki games (I bet they could get a cheap bulk license). It certainly should include Flash, Realplayer,and Java if at all possible. (No flames needed; that's just the reality of what end users expect.)

    A set of manuals should come with it -- a manual for getting started, using the office suite software, connecting to the Internet, etc. I think it should also include documentation for graphics apps like Gimp, sodipodi, and even Blender -- all in paper book form with pretty pictures. Another book to introduce "power user" concepts like simple programming (probably in Python) and databases would be a nice touch. Show them how to set up a database and connect it to OpenOffice (which of course should be made easier than it normally would be).

    Sell it at a price where they could make a couple hundred bucks per unit, market the crap out of it to home users, and I think they'd do well.
  • Good God People (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wxjones (721556) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @09:07PM (#7392490)
    I've been using Linux as my ONLY desktop OS since 1996 (FVWM for gods sake). My work computers run Linux. My home computers run Linux. Hell, my four year old uses Linux (he really likes Doom II). Would I recommend Linux to my mother? HELL NO! Do I care if you use Linux? As if. Do I give a rat's ass about 'World Domination'? Let me clue you in here. I use Linux because it suits my needs. Period. If it suits your needs great, I'll be happy to exchange knowledge with you. If you choose MS, I have no sympathy. One day probably someone will make a wad of cash by making a version of Linux as point-and-click as Windows. Fine. Hasn't been done yet and I don't care.
  • by zpok (604055) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @09:14PM (#7392537) Homepage
    Linux is nowhere near the desktop.
    - no GUI rules, total application jungle and no power apps for the end user. Don't get me wrong, I think OO and the Gimp are good programs. They're not however serious Office or Photoshop replacements.
    - no hardware support - the average person wants their gadgets and stuff to work without having to write a driver or spend hours on end trying to install one.
    - administrating your machine and keeping it sound and safe is not feasible for about 90% of people that are currently using computers

    Windows is on all desktops, but does a half-ass job
    - sure, you have tremendous power-apps, but you'll lose data ever so often for no apparent reason
    - there's a sort of plug and play that sometimes works immediately and even works longer than a month. More often than not, however you're frustrated into looking for drivers.
    - administrating your machine and keeping it sound and safe is not feasible for about 90% of people that are currently using computers

    There's only one desktop that really takes the hassle out of computing, and that's OS X.

    Disclaimer: I think Windows is friendlier and more foolproof than Linux, but I think Linux is way cooler and an incredible feat in itself. But we're talking about the desktop here.

  • RedHat FUD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BeeazleBub (535448) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @09:18PM (#7392576)
    The only reason RedHat would say that Linux is not ready for the desktop is because they haven't been able to accomplish it yet. Their infrastracture can hardly bear the load of their enterprise clients. If they actually sold a desktop product with good support, it would crash their support network like a stone. Besides who wants to run a desktop that is more than a year behind the times as soon as its released. Fedora hasn't changed any of that, they're just setting it up so that someone else does the work for them. RedHat will never be able to compete with Novell and Suse desktop, server or otherwise. Why would anyone pay $350 per server each year. You might as well run Windows. Sadly, Redhat no longer brings anything to the table that's not offered by any other linux packager. Why pay when you can get the same, for free. B-
  • by Larthallor (623891) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @09:46PM (#7392741)
    He's complaining that the drivers just aren't there and that this makes the technology immature. WTF? If he were talking about how writing quality drivers for Linux was so much harder than writing them for Windows because of some flaw in the driver model for Linux, then he'd at least be making sense, because he'd actually be talking about the OS. He'd be wrong, of course, but at least he wouldn't be speaking gibberish.

    It's true that there aren't Linux drivers for every device that comes out when it comes out, as there is for Windows. But how is this reflective of immature Linux technology? It's just that the manufacturers don't want to spend the money to write multiple drivers and so they pick the one that has 90% market share! That's it!

    Let's see how mature Windows technology would look if hardware manufacturers told Microsoft to write their own damn drivers. Better yet, if they told Microsoft to hack them together through reverse engineering! How friggin' easy would it be burn your damn CD or use your wireless card on Windows then?

    The real driver problem for Linux is market share. This is why drivers for enterprise types of hardware are getting better manufacturer driver support - Linux is actually gaining some market share there.

    If Linux were to ever crack 40% market share on the home desktop, there'd be drivers come out our ears.
  • by CoeurDuLion (721563) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:25PM (#7392956)
    I have been working with a Large organization that is very Windowized on the Desktop and E-mail (Exchange). They have no problems and understand the necessity of running big iron hardware with Unix for major databases and web applications.

    Like many mixed shops, we started to use Red Hat linux on commodity x86 hardware for Apache, Snort, Ethereal, and other functions about two or three years ago (right when the Red Hat 7.x series emerged). We were able to leverage our Unix admins as well as old and new cheap hardware to fill in gaps when our budget couldn't buy a new Sun or HPUX box dedicated to a single function.

    For those of us who needed a dedicated Unix box on our Desktop that would work with the Windows-centric computing environment for users - Mac OS X and G4 Macs were made to order, but we also used a lot of Linux desktops as x terminals for administration as well an even cheaper form of Unix Workstation.

    During this time we also were one of the first groups to purchase from the Ala Carte support offerings including Engineering Development Support from Red Hat...for an initial product it wasn't half bad. But then Red Hat started screwing with their support offerings every two to three months. They would change what is available or what was supported and many times this would be while we were negotiating with them for additional support. Eventually the Red Hat Sales Rep said that we had to purchase Red Hat Advanced Server at $2k a pop to get Engineering Support and other Niceties that we had with a similar support agreement from Micro$oft. When I told the Red Hat Sales Rep where is my ROI compared to MS products - because w2k server was only costing me $2k a pop - he said that I didn't have to pay the MS client licenses tax on the workstations. When I told him that I already owned the licenses, he got mad and hung up the phone on me (needless to say he doesn't work at Red Hat any more). Ironically it is cheaper to buy a Sun Fire 100/120 or Sun Fire LX 5X/6X series server with the Solaris license rather than buy a Red Hat AS License. I even get a free year of support from Sun.

    What has happened is that if you want to use Red Hat Linux is that you have to pay $$$ for it as opposed to just having to pay for support. I understand that Red Hat is having financial woes and that they are trying to focus on a market that they have some market share in...but what they are forgetting is that the guys who brought linux to that market used the free versions to demo an application and then they added support when they got the OK from management to do a production implementation. It also eliminates the use of the product for quick fixes with a limited budget (Snort Sensors, Ethereal).

    Lastly Red Hat has forgotten that People who use Windows at home are going to encourage it at work. Especially if Linux is not available in a form that they can use at home. The main issues with Linux today are: 1. Driver support - this is being fixed every day by hundreds of developers; 2. A reasonable software installation system - Red Hat started a great system with the Red Hat Package Manager, but really have not developed it from the initial product. Many other RPM based distributions of Linux have much better implementations of Red Hat Package Manager than Red Hat (Mandrake comes to mind). Both of these are areas that Red Hat has to devote development dollars and time to help correct for their server/workstation market. They could still make it free to users who don't need support without making that user use an unstable Fedora product. This is the value that they can bring to market...not another Micro$oft type of pricing scheme that is going to turn IT managers and Corporate Managers away from wanting to use their platform. No one is going to build an application on Fedora because of its BETA nature and most corporations aren't going to buy a copy of Red Hat AS for a test implementation. In reality I see Novell/SUSE, Mandrake, and even Debian taking the platform farther than Red Hat.

    It was good while it lasted, but it seems that Red Hat did not have the leadership, creativity or imagination to have created a business without reverting to the tried and true schemes of its biggest competitor.
  • OS X (Score:3, Interesting)

    by whiskey riot (602687) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @11:54PM (#7393557) Journal
    I wish Matthew Szulik had mentioned OS X, giving Apple a little publicity
  • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Wednesday November 05, 2003 @12:02AM (#7393611)
    My back ground:

    Started with Linux on servers with Slackware 3. The good ole days of GUI's were for wimps and if you wanted that SCSI card to work, write your own damned drivers...okay maybe not that bad, but close.

    Eventually I attempted to install RH 5.2 on my desktop to replace Windows 98 in the middle of 99. I could do it, went out and bought SuSE. Everything worked, except for my Winmodem and sound card. Easy enough, I recycled a jumper based 33.6 from my old 486 and was on the net. I thought Star Office was cool, used it for a summer. THen I came back to college and it came time to replace my laptop.

    I was doing a lot of work in PHP and MySQL at the time and liked being able to develop in a native *iux enviroment, but I needed M$ office, powerpoint really, for classes and the ablity to use my scanner, digital camera, and other devices. I was not going to buy another shitty windows laptop, so I chose an iBook with OS 10.1 and then upgraded to 10.2.

    I have been impressed. I had my native *iux, on a FreeBSD core (I quit using Linux for webservers over their BSD cousins in 2001), plus I had many products that provided drivers for the macs. Also, I had access to a number of applications like Photoshop, DW, Flash, Pagemaker, and many other standard applications. iPhoto, iTunes, and the Combo drive coupled with battery life was great.

    Since then I have been sold on the macintosh over Linux for most desktop uses and there are even a few games available...

  • Stupid. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mattr (78516) <mattr&telebody,com> on Wednesday November 05, 2003 @03:17AM (#7394310) Homepage Journal
    This guy ignores these realities:

    1. The parts of linux which are "not ready for the desktop" are the things needed on the enterprise desktop too. Things like cut and paste, and printing to name a couple. If RedHat does not approach these issues its enterprise desktops will not be polished in the near future.

    2. RedHat is not big enough to take on Microsoft on its own, as plenty of companies have found. Its latest announcements have given weapons to Microsoft which can be used on decision makers and what's more, has alienated the community of individuals and companies which have created nearly all of RedHat's products.

    3. There currently are in fact a lot of people using linux on the desktop, and RedHat seems to forget that ALL current RedHat customers started by using the RedHat desktop!! Does RedHat imagine they can throw ALL of their current customers into the trash and start from scratch?

    4. Mac OS X is unix-based, unlike Microsoft Windows. It would make far more sense for RedHat to recommend that home users use Macs, which are easier to use, more advanced, and could also run unix applications, than to recommend Windows, which you can only trust to further muddy the waters of incompatibility. The less people use Windows in any sense, the better for RedHat.

    5. RedHat has now officially alienated its customers, the producers of most of its products, the competitors which up to now had been in league with RH against Microsoft, and everybody smart enough or interested enough to recommend RedHat desktop software and use it. If they thought it would be ready in a couple years, they would not be dropping it now. After all the recent announcements about product life cycles and not selling desktop software, and now this total backstabbing, I am losing interest in RedHat and see no reason to recommend their enterprise line anymore though I would have done so in an instant a couple months ago. RedHat has forgotten how it got started and why they have gotten this far. Even in large companies and governments, the decision makers need to be on their side and this guy is RedHat's own worst enemy.

    6. The linux desktop has made many strides recently and will continue to get better, no thanks to RedHat. Possibly this and the Novell news will help other distros become more unified and give some more impetus to fixing the desktop. But this is mainly going to happen because people want to invest their time/money in making it happen and RedHat's lack of interest in such development indicates it is not interested in supporting linux's future. Possibly Fedora will take off, but something tells me it is not going to be because of this suit. U.S. corporate culture has breeded a whole generation of smiling, heartless executives who imagine that getting the numbers right will spell success. I feel ashamed.

    7. Slashdot, arguably one of RedHat's best free PR outlets, has turned from RedHat lovers to FSCK RedHat (that's FUCK REDHAT! for nontechies). RedHat can kiss their allies goodbye. FUCK EM!

It's a naive, domestic operating system without any breeding, but I think you'll be amused by its presumption.

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