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Linux Software Businesses Apple

Desktop Linux Share Overtaking Macintosh 926

Posted by michael
from the macintosh-is-dying dept.
prostoalex writes "Business Week magazine is optimistic about desktop Linux's future, telling a story of Capital Cardiology Associates, whose 160 employees migrated to Linux desktops. Furthermore, Business Week expects IDC to announce desktop Linux installations to reach 3.2%, for the first time overtaking Macintosh market share. By 2007, IDC forecasts, Linux will be installed on 6% of the desktops. It's also worth mentioning that desktop Linux market share for 2002 was 2.8% and that year it was behind Apple's operating system."
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Desktop Linux Share Overtaking Macintosh

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:13AM (#8277459)
    i know for sure i'd be running mac os if it worked on intel
  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:17AM (#8277493) Journal
    The marketshare is there now right? Most linux installs are for home users who are nerds, cad engineers, and some servers here and there.

    The server software is comming and cad software is just now being ported. Home software is still nowhere in sight.

    Also most nerds now download iso's from Debian and Gentoo, and FreeBSD. They do not pay for there rpm hell anymore. Are these users being counted as well?

    If there could be a way it would tell these software makers to port home software.

  • by bushboy (112290) <lttc@lefthandedmonkeys.org> on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:19AM (#8277501) Homepage
    This starts making Linux a very viable software platform in terms of established software companies such as Adobe and Macromedia.

    Being a designer, this is the key area I'd love to see Linux flourish in.

    To be able to ditch windows and natively run applications such as Photoshop or Dreamweaver would be a dream come true !
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:19AM (#8277503)
    Would these stats include Servers as well? A server is well defined, but the term desktops is not.

    So would this actually be saying more computers will be running linux vs. a Mac OS?
  • by Hamster Of Death (413544) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:22AM (#8277524)
    This just goes to show that you don't need to be an 800lb Gorilla to succeed, you just need to be useful. This is where both Apple and open source competes. They are both useful to different groups (with some overlap) but since the user base of all computer users is so large, 3% is still a large number of people. I guess it's proof that if you are good at what you do, people will come to you.
  • Re:As A Mac User (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dukael_Mikakis (686324) <`andrewfoerster' `at' `gmail.com'> on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:22AM (#8277528)
    I think by default Apple users don't care about market share. In fact, my experience is that they abhor market share and extol the "uniqueness" and individuality that comes from being an Apple user. I mean, not any geek could hack on a purple box.

    But also, lest you forget, remember that OS X, of course is based on Unix [apple.com] itself (FreeBSD). (Does that in any way qualify OS X for a "Linux distro"?).
  • huzzah (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BortQ (468164) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:22AM (#8277529) Homepage Journal
    While the desktop linux market share is rising about that of macintosh, that isn't a bad thing for the mac. The loss is market share will be to windows.

    One of the driving factors behind this is cost (especially in emerging markets). The change is coming in business environments, where the macintosh has always lagged far behind windows.

    I can't see any of the traditional macintosh markets switching to linux. The same UNIX base is present on the mac along with other more exclusive things.

    Anyway, I think that this is in fact a great thing for the macintosh. The compatibility of programs is much better between os x/linux then it is between os x/windows. And Apple has been showing it is more than happy to take up open-source created standards.

    In conclusion: go linux, go mac os x, die windows die!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:23AM (#8277536)

    If desktop Linux starts to hit Microsoft where it hurts, it will happen not so much among typical office employees but among specialized workers. These include stock traders, bank tellers, engineers, customer-service reps, and warehouse employees. They rely on just a few applications and need PCs that are simple to use and rarely crash -- which Linux can handle.

    The last part from the article is an understatement, but it shows BusinessWeek gets IT. It is a pretty well written, but short article, from the business perspective.

    Some disadvantages do remain in the near future (eg., the home desktop user still has to get around to installing a working DVD player for movies), but even businesses see the snowball is gaining in size and will soon pass the critical mass (to mix metaphors)!
  • Google Zeitgeist (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BlueEar (550461) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:27AM (#8277562) Homepage

    Google's Zeitgeist [google.com] still has Linux at 1% and Mac at 3%. I also find it not very encouraging that even with Longhorn delayed by 3 or so years predicted Linux desktop share gains are 3-4%. Maybe our New Years resolution should be to install Linux on at least one computer that was monopolised by Windows. I did just that :-)

  • It doesn't matter (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hornsby (63501) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:30AM (#8277584) Homepage
    I'm a long time Linux user who's just about to purchase my first Mac, a G4 powerbook. I use Linux on the desktop everyday, and while I like it, I'm not afraid to admit that compared to an OSX desktop, it lacks polish. I don't blame X, Gnome, KDE, or anyone for this. I really believe it's simply a matter of Mac development being more focused due to Apple spearheading it's development.

    Linux is awesome because it's affordable to everyone, and it's become a very nice alternative to Windows; however, I don't think that it's going to steal a significant number of users from the Mac market since OSX has a major geek appeal as well.

    It's silly to think that users have to be either here or there. I plan to continue to use both Linux and OSX after the purchase of my laptop, and I don't understand why everyone is so black and white about what you run on your desktop. Anybody that's used a Mac knows what the appeal is about. Linux has a natural attraction to anybody that wants a stable and cost effective OS. Why not enjoy both?
  • The Question (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:31AM (#8277588)
    Consumer: Hello, I just bought a new foobar2000 how come the monotior flickers?

    Distro: The foobar2000 doesn't have drivers yet, go buy a foobar 1999 or wait 6 months.

    As long as this scenario continues Linux will not "take over" the desktop market. I am on a ATI radeon 9600 and am using VESA drivers as we speak cause the Radeon drivers break X. So that Unreal2004 you all enjoyed. I sit here "waiting 6 months".
    Although this situation has gotten significantly better we are no where close to windows or Mac yet. There are still too many cases where if you buy some new hardware you have to upgrade distros or recompile the kernel. Still not acceptable for joe.
    Haha jokes on you, by the time you mod me down 100's of people will have read this and heard the truth! take that my slashdot overlords!
  • only 6% in 2007? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by skillio (594945) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:33AM (#8277598)
    hmm, i wonder if they're taking into account the ever-growing usability of linux to casual desktop users when giving this projection. it seems to me that in 3-4 years, just observing the trend, adoption percentages will be much higher than that. it isnt linear because as it gets better, more people try it, recommend it, etc, and obviously the price factor is big. in addition, i'd think something like the walmart cheap PC thing will be multiplying greatly as linux is shown to be user-friendly, with many more major vendors pro-offering linux in some form on their systems. maybe i'm just being optimistic, but i'd hope linux desktop adoption in 2007 would be 10-15% or higher - i guess we can hope (:
  • Re:Not the point. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dalutong (260603) <djtansey@@@gmail...com> on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:47AM (#8277673)
    It seems a lot of people think that overtaking Mac is not a newsworthy feat. It is a huge deal.

    They're not replacing Photoshop with Gimp, Quark with nothing, etc. But, if they have developed Photoshop for Mac, including MacOSX, then they now have a reason to develop it for GNU/Linux. This would be a reason for a lot of businesses to get into gear and start porting.

    I am aware of all the reasons they might not -- different distros, harder to support, not as focused a userbase, etc. but at least the list no longer includes "it's not even as popular as Mac!"
  • Re:Uhm... duh? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by loco_0wnz (655629) <asknight@sbcglLI ... t minus language> on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:48AM (#8277677) Homepage
    2 words... Hell [expletive deleted] Yeah! I personally have an agenda against closed-source programming and I do everything I can to promote Linux on the x86 front.
  • Re:Google says 1% (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:49AM (#8277678)
    I think you're just pulling ideas out of your ass to make up for lack of marketshare for Linux.
  • Re:Google says 1% (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ImTwoSlick (723185) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:55AM (#8277713)
    Probably because most Linux users change their user agent string to report as a windoze variant... That's what I do. I'm sick of so may internet sites denying me access because my browser doesn't identify as IE. Even though 99% would still work anyway. Now I just change the string, and have no more problems.
  • Re:As A Mac User (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Milo77 (534025) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @01:11AM (#8277784)
    just like luxury car owners don't care whether or not everyone owns the same car they do - mercedes (or bmw, etc) owners don't secretly wish everyone drove a mercedes even if they believe deep down inside that mercedes are the best cars on earth...not that i would know anything about luxury cars or car/computer analogies :)
  • Re:Google says 1% (Score:4, Interesting)

    by arvindn (542080) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @01:12AM (#8277787) Homepage Journal
    Note that opera on linux identifies by default as MSIE/Windows. Also I don't know what google's "5% - other" means. Perhaps some of that is linux but not correctly identified?
  • Re:As A Mac User (Score:3, Interesting)

    by prockcore (543967) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @01:15AM (#8277805)
    Its not based on FreeBSD. It uses parts of FreeBSD, but the bulk of the code is derived from Mach 3.x and 4.4BSD-Lite2.

    Thank you for making that point. If OSX were based on FreeBSD, it wouldn't have such miserable UnixBench scores. (My P4 2.3 ghz linux box gets a better unixbench score than a dual G5)

    OSX uses a frankenstein of parts from all over the BSD tree.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 14, 2004 @01:24AM (#8277847)
    Quote from the article:

    Munich went with Linux, but the city fathers may rue that day. BusinessWeek has learned that the project is behind schedule, bolstering Microsoft's message that Linux still isn't ready for prime time. "I haven't seen any of our customers use Linux in a mainstream way," says Martin Taylor, Microsoft's general manager for platform strategy.
    [End Quote]

    Some things a Linux desktop still needs (in my opinion, in random order):

    1. Good DVD player & CD-RW that just work, without mesing around. If this software is not part of the distro, simple instructions on how to get/install it (one click?).

    2. Friends who are familiar with the OS/Distro, for the network effects and piece of mind in case something goes drastically wrong. This is where having a "critical mass" (fuzzy value) comes in - this is already happening, but the more, the better.

    3. Better Wine, but that will come with age. :) [CodeWeavers is doing a really good job, with full disclosure of the limitations, which leads to a sense of psychological well being, rather than the feeling "they are trying to take advantage of me."]

    4. Better default settings for Desktop/Window managers that make sense to a majority (and keep the ability to tweak). The "usability" improvements and surveys will help here, a lot. More needs to happen in that field.

    5. Use easier "language" - eventually (in 1-2 years) e.g., non-cryptic commands, or a *standardized* set of aliases that work on all distros. [And continue to evolve the GUI so the user doesn't HAVE TO use the CLI.]

    6. Better Grub/Lilo/equivalent that is less intimidating for new users that want multi-boot. Preferably with a easy to use GUI that detects all HDDs & partitions and tells you what's on them (with as much relevant information as possible).

    7. Some packaging system with less dependency problems. [Yes, there are a few that show very good promise, with only occasional issues surfacing.]

    8. The equivalent of a "tray" where one can see the status of the firewall, proxy server, network connection, ..., similar to a few other OSs. The lack of such status is hard to get used to, for a new/non-expert user.

    9. Few, well chosen default applications on the distro (not "give them four of everything"). [Lot of progress has already happened in this area in a few distros.]

    10. Other stuff that's been talked about in other places. :)

    -srr
  • by SiliconJesus101 (622291) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @01:34AM (#8277898) Homepage
    Ahhhhmen brother. As a recent Mac convert (got lazy and sick of "fiddling" with my OS and hardware); I wholeheartedly agree.

    Although my Mac is an old "Sawtooth" AGP G4 with a 1.2Ghz GigaDesigns processor in it, it would still fetch at least $600.00 or $700.00; This is for a machine that was built in 1999!! Find me a consumer grade PC worth anywhere near this that was built in 1999 and has nothing more than a new CPU upgrade and I'll [insert favorite disgusting act here] in the middle of Times Square at high noon. Part of the expense of a Mac is saved on the resale value when you sell your old Mac and buy a new one.

  • It's worth noting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MysteriousMystery (708469) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @01:42AM (#8277928)
    It's worth noting that IDC #s are based heavily on sales figures. IE sales of box sets of Linux aimed at desktops (Lindows, Mandrake, Red Hat person, Suse) or systems preinstalled with the OS and not necessarily people downloading it for free, making copies of copies and such. The reality is that there is a high possibility the number of Linux desktops is SUBSTANCIALLY higher then their sales based estimates.
  • Re:As A Mac User (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JudgeFurious (455868) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @01:47AM (#8277945)
    I particularly like their poll at the bottom. "Are Mac users smarter than PC users?" or something close to that with a "yes" or "no" choice.

    If the total number of people online is divided between a relative few Mac users and a vast majority of people with a PC on their desk (translate that as "Windows") how could they possibly not expect that to result in an overwhelming "No"?

    At the moment it's 45% "yes" and 55% "no". Either the Mac users are heading there in large numbers, the PC users aren't bothering with it, or a bunch of people using PC's think that Mac users are smarter.

    My vote? Mac users are smarter. It's probably a localized thing and not widespread but almost every single person I know in I.T. goes home to a Mac at the end of the day (or granted a PC running Linux or FreeBSD) just like I do. I make money working with Windows because it's a mess. When I get home I want something that works.
  • by ratsnapple tea (686697) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @01:55AM (#8277974)
    I dunno dude. Like you, I'm a designer (print and web), but I think if you ask around, you'll find that the reason a lot of designers prefer working on Macs is that the Mac is somehow inspiring; it drives people to be creative; it feels less like a computer and more like an extension of your creative soul. The Mac has that special je ne sais quoi that Windows lacks, and--I'll probably get modded troll for this--Linux desktop environments, in my humble estimation, lack too. And I think that to a lot of people, that mysterious something is worth the Apple premium.

    So it's not just about market share. It's about how many graphic artists actually want to work on Linux, and while I don't doubt there are a lot of talented designers who would be more than happy to switch to KDE or Gnome, I don't think that number is going to be anywhere near the number of people who for some reason or another are attached to the Mac environment.

    Thoughts?

    yours
  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @01:59AM (#8277980)
    I think by default Apple users don't care about market share. In fact, my experience is that they abhor market share and extol the "uniqueness" and individuality that comes from being an Apple user.

    Actually, I just don't care about market share, with either Linux or the Macintosh. I settle for showing people(who show interest) some of the neat things about my powerbook and OS X. I'm very reserved about recommending it for someone, and there's no point in trying to get someone to switch- they have to want to, otherwise, it'll never meet their expectations.

    I mean, not any geek could hack on a purple box.

    Are you talking about SGI? If so, that'd be indigo, not purple- and one of the first Unixes I was exposed to was Irix on an old Indigo(IP12 with the "Song and Dance" graphics card, not nearly enough ram, and I think maybe 1-2GB of disk- but man, it could do some nifty graphics for the time, and it was an OLD system by the time I got my hands on it!)

    People say OS X is the first unix desktop-friendly unix(ie, no command-line necessary), and they're dead wrong- SGI had them beat by almost ten years with Irix.

    PS:hard core SGI people started on brown computers, not "purple" ones. Why Indigo, by the way? Well, the color supposedly perfectly matches Lotus Coachworks's Indigo paint(one of the top SGI execs owned a Indigo Lotus Espirit Turbo- guy had taste...)

  • Re:Er... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 14, 2004 @02:04AM (#8278004)
    I imagine a lot of these Linux 'desktops' are special-purpose machines running one or two specific apps, and not full desktops. Google, for example, still gets about 3% of its hits from Macs, versus 1% from Linux machines: http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist/zeitgeist-no v03.html [google.com]
  • Re:Google Zeitgeist (Score:4, Interesting)

    by prockcore (543967) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @02:06AM (#8278016)
    Google's Zeitgeist still has Linux at 1% and Mac at 3%.

    Yes, but Google's Zeitgeist isn't an authority on the subject. They only count the unique visitors to the site. Many Linux desktops are being set up in work environments, where people may not even have a browser installed, or where work might not let them visit Google.

    At home, most linux users have static IPs, or near-static IPs via broadband. The majority of OSX and Windows users use dialup. This means they get counted multiple times.
  • Re:Er... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ctr2sprt (574731) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @02:10AM (#8278028)
    You've got a valid point, but don't forget Apple's clout in education. At my college over 90% of students who owned computers had PCs, but over 2/3 of the public lab computers were Macs. So this will be distorting Apple's figures too. The interesting part would be how many of Apple's installs come this way, relative to Linux and Windows. But I'm not sure how you could gather that statistic.
  • Re:only 6% in 2007? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by unoengborg (209251) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @02:18AM (#8278058) Homepage
    Yes, it sounds low. But as the article states if Linux gets as much as 10% Microsoft will start feel the pain, and we can expect them doing something about it, and do so long before it reaches those figures. One such action could anticipated by the article would be to lower the prices.

    I wouldn't be surprised if you will get a free (as in beer) copy of some Windows XP Light bundled with every computer magazine you buy, and that Microsoft instead focus on sales of various kinds of OS related services. After all that's what .Net are for. Such development would slow down Linux adaptation significantly as many people will install such a free windows just out of curiosity.

    But even at 6% Linux will be a potentially interesting market. And more and more software companies will port their software to Linux.
    When that happens, the Linux growth will increase even further over the years to come.

    It is also interesting to note that the article predicts that Linux will have 6% of the market while windows will have the remaining 94%. That is probably not true. I would expect Mac OS to remain at something like 3% if not better.

    And remember even if MS decides to make their money from services just like Red Hat and other Linux companies do today, MS have to carry the whole cost of development of their OS while the cost of Linux development is shared among many diferent parties. This means that Linux venders can spend more money on developing their services than MS and hopefully that will show as a difference in quality, and ultimately in user preferences for Linux.
  • Irrelevant (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fr0dicus (641320) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @02:23AM (#8278079) Journal
    This is like saying "Taxi use outstripped Mercedes sales".
  • OK, but.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pbjones (315127) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @02:33AM (#8278110)
    Linux is displacing WINDOZE as a desktop, not MacOS. I look at it more like people are choosing to use LINUX instead of Windoze, mainly because the Mac market share hasn't disappeared, and most LINUX distros run on wintel hardware, which is not where MacOS is. More misdirected anti-Mac hype...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
  • Re:As A Mac User (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bob Uhl (30977) <eadmund42@NOSpam.gmail.com> on Saturday February 14, 2004 @02:34AM (#8278114) Homepage
    I make money working with Windows because it's a mess. When I get home I want something that works.

    That's my feeling, only I admin Unix (Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, Linux & BSD) at work and when I get home it's Linux waiting for me. I don't like Unix because I'm a Unix admin; I'm a Unix admin because I like Unix.

    A certain Large Cyan company is getting ideas that really every Windows admin wants to (and can) handle Unix, and every Unix admin wants to admin Windows. We'll see how it goes, but I've my doubts.

  • Re:Google says 1% (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fr0dicus (641320) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @02:37AM (#8278130) Journal
    This isn't even easily possible without recompilation in most cases. I'm not denying that there aren't Linux machines out there, but I suspect most of them are servers - hence the low Google figure; you can't even buy a Linux desktop without some hassle, it has no obvious Access or VB equivalent, which makes penetration into SMEs difficult. Linux installed desktop base is simply very low.

  • by ricochet81 (707864) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @02:39AM (#8278138)
    websites too. A LOT of developers i've been around design pages for the mac and pc, and dont care about linux, it works somehow. But, I am increasingly peeved at web content that is windows only (IE and Windows Media Player) eg. launch.yahoo.com and many other streaming Windoze audio/video, IE jscript & other IE only web content. This fact should be made as public as we can so I can get rid of my windows partition once and for all.
  • by Sigh Phi (324315) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @02:40AM (#8278143)
    The original poster plays up one line in the Business Week article and completely skews the tenor of the article. To wit: Linux is becoming attractive in "business" -- never an Apple strength. The article's mention of Macintosh marketshare is a journalistic technique used to provide a frame of reference. Iraq is roughly the size of California, etc.

    But Macintosh and Linux have more than marketshare in common. Both platforms are committed to open standards and interoperability, the former out of necessity due to its historical role as outsider, and the latter out of philosophical conviction of its adherents. If Linux leaks into the business world, IT folks will find that the formats and APIs they're using work just as well on Macs. This could lead to a more equitable situation where people use the tools they like, rather than the tools that Bill Gates wants them to use. Joe the Administrative assistant will while away on Windows, Jane the database nerd loves her Linux cluster, and Johan the turtlenecked web designer makes merry on his Mac.

    Maybe I'm overly optimistic. IT monoculture is so annoying.
  • Re:It's worth noting (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fr0dicus (641320) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @02:48AM (#8278173) Journal
    Or substantially lower, which Google zeitgeist suggests.

    Some people are willing to try anything, but may still find Linux too hard or incompatible with their kit. I wonder how many of those boxsets were sold to people with Winmodems for instance? Given that this seems to be the Internet connection hardware of choice for the non-broadband enabled consumer, I would suspect quite a lot.

  • by kyshtock (608605) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @02:58AM (#8278221)
    How can one say such a thing? Macs are for people willing to spend extra money, for people who appreciate design and ease of use, for people who want to have a certain touch of uniqueness.

    On the other hand, Linux is for poeple who don't give a damn about the looks of their machines, for the people who aren't afraid to search the net about ten hours for the piece of code they need, and will read the docs and compile for about ten more hours. Oh, yeah, and for people with a certain cash affection.

    Oh, so you said desktop boxen! So? Check the prices: same machine, same capabilities: one computer, one operating system, one office package. Which is cheaper?

    However, gimme a Powerbook running Linux and I'll change my mind :)

    On a different level: applications. Industry uses Photoshop; industry uses Macromedia stuff, industry uses specific software which runs on more standardised systems, such as MacOS or Windows. When Photoshop and Dreamweaver and Flash and QuarkXpress, and all the software that equipment get deliverd with will work on Linux, TOO, than you can speak of a choice. Till then, you need to be extra carefull when you shop, because you new laser printer might not work on linux (been there, bought that).

    Cheers and power to the Penguin

  • by codepunk (167897) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @03:06AM (#8278255)
    I just converted a whole damn school over and I can show you a bunch of first graders that feel right at home on a mandrake thin client. Oh yea and get this the total investment for 75 machines was a $2000 for refurb dell server. Every one of the client machines was taken from a free recycling program.
  • Re:Not the point. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dalutong (260603) <djtansey@@@gmail...com> on Saturday February 14, 2004 @03:14AM (#8278298)
    I must have really not chosen the right words for "not focused enough userbase," as I have gotten two replies about the same thing. What you are saying is what I meant in that (at the end.)

    I am glad this hurdle has been crossed, though. I still think that it will make some companies look into the market more closely. Maybe some of them will see enough of a user base in server admin, software development, or even office productivity apps. Anything to get us to that next percentage point faster so that we might then have one of our many different sub groups get to be a similar size to Mac's even if they are not as great a portion of the GNU/Linux userbase as they are of Mac's.

    Some round numbers -- though they are all just hypothetical.

    Let's say 30% of Mac owners own a copy of Photoshop. Let's say that 15% of GNU/Linux users want to be able to use it. At the same total desktop market share there is not the same incentive for Photoshop to be ported. But if GNU/Linux had 6% of the total marketshare then it would make sense to develop Photoshop for GNU/Linux because they were getting enough phone calls to justify it. in reality it is likely that fewer GNU/Linux users want Photoshop... but you get the point. Anyway, it is also likely that the GNU/Linux market share wouldn't have to reach Mac's to make it a profitable market for Photoshop, or whatever app.

    My point about other apps and this stimulus (the surpassing of Mac) is that the more people use GNU/Linux for other things, the more mature it gets, the more other apps are developed for it (and probably maturing the GNU/Linux development tools to make porting easier), and the more people use it. That gets us to the point where the diverse groups of users allows each group to cut from a larger pie, and then create more incentive for companies to work with us.

    This has already happened. GNU/Linux became popular enough for people to start caring enough to make desktop environments since they knew people would use them. That allowed more people to start using GNU/Linux, which allowed for enough of a population for good printing software that CUPS was developed, which allowed for enough growth in the population to allow for the development of some office suites, which would only have had a market if less than directly related and other small time counterparts had gone in earlier with a lower barrier of entry and/or a stronger, though different, userbase.

    But it's now 03:15 and I am not thinking so clearly, so I'm off to bed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 14, 2004 @03:25AM (#8278333)
    According to this site, desktop Linux usage to access the web sites of this site's clients barely tops usage of Windows 3.1:

    http://www.thecounter.com/stats/2004/January/os. ph p

    Kind of puts it in perspective, don't you think?
  • by dasunt (249686) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @03:52AM (#8278414)

    I purchased a Mac because I was sick and tired of "tinkering" with my computer, constantly tweaking settings, ensuring everything worked properly. I set my PowerBook up 4 months ago, and guess what... It just works.

    Just because MacOS X 'just works' for you, doesn't mean that it will 'just work' for me.

    If I'm not using the cursor, I'd like it to disappear. Does MacOS X 'just work' for me in that way? Is it easy to find a graphical configuration utility and make the cursor disappear after 5 seconds of inactivity?

    Oh, and I like hotkeys. Will MacOS X allow me to easily set up the combination of ctrl-j + l to switch to my web browser, and if that web browser doesn't exist, launch it?

    There's just two trivial examples I found off the top of my head. I could easily add more.

    Don't think everyone who uses the Unix-like OSes are a bunch of twiddling geeks who are content to fiddle with the OS while Mac users end up getting real work done. I'm not sure about the rest of the crowd, but the reason I use unix-like OSes is because its more efficient for me to get my work done.

    As for my x86 hardware, its performing fine, thank you very much. Unfortunately, there is cheap x86 hardware, just as there is cheap hardware for Macintosh. If you don't do your research when making a major investment, you will get burned. (Or did we already forget the Apple Cube fiasco?) A system from one manufacturer is not a guarentee of quality, nor is the inverse true. There are plenty of cheap automobiles that have problems even though they were designed by one organization. Inversely, I'm pretty sure that kitchen sink makers aren't allied with the lumber mills, and yet the roof overhead doesn't leak and my sink runs water without a problem.

  • by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Saturday February 14, 2004 @04:04AM (#8278447) Journal
    I agree with you on the hardware side. My next computer purchase will be a laptop, and it will be a PowerBook. PCs, even 'integrated' ones like laptops are parts-bin machines, and will always be parts-bin machines. The Mac is more like an Audi - although it may not boast any more features than a Ford, it's better thought out and it's more likely to just work.

    Having said that, I've been using RedHat Linux 8 since it came out as my primary desktop. I've not had to tinker with it for a long time - it just works. That doesn't mean I didn't need to tinker at the start - my ancient parport scanner for example, I needed to build sane from source. But then again, the scanner isn't supported at all under Windows XP (and I suspect not under Mac OSX), so I still win. Why not buy a new one? Well, the existing one might be old but it works and I don't see the need to replace working hardware which can be fixed by 'configure; make; make install'.

  • by pe1chl (90186) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @04:08AM (#8278463)
    The multi-distribution model of Linux has some advantages w.r.t. development by competition, but it works against general desktop acceptance.

    Probably there will be a shakeout and a small number of distributors survive. Only then can the desktop market be really developed.

    Linux enthousiasts like choice. Choice between distributors, choice between window managers, system administration tools, choice between applications.

    Desktop users like a uniform system where there are some known invariants. Systems that they can ask others to support, or that they can ask questions about when chatting with a co-worker or friend.
    Right now, Linux is not like that.
  • Re:Google says 1% (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fr0dicus (641320) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @04:55AM (#8278575) Journal
    I mean they're not default options. I was trying to point out why the Linux desktop figures probably match up very well with what Google Zietgeist says. Most Desktop machines are still used for business after all. Like it or not, these are two paradigms (as opposed to specific products) that are holding Linux off from the business desktop. Even the Mac has Applescript and Filemaker. You simply can't make a dent in installed base without something to match these business oriented RAD tools.
  • To be fair... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tkrotchko (124118) * on Saturday February 14, 2004 @05:22AM (#8278634) Homepage
    To be fair, Apple has flirted with porting the older Mac OS to x86, and the underlying OS X Darwin layer is available for x86, so its not like Apple isn't keeping this option open.

    Also consider if Apple did use x86, it doesn't imply you could use beige box PC's; it would simply mean that inside the apple box you'd use x86. I don't really see that as a religious issue; it would mostly be an issue of how you transition applications to x86. But that's a marketing issue, not a technical issue.
  • UNIX vs MS? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gordguide (307383) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @05:25AM (#8278638)
    Another story about marketshare. Maybe it's only me, but I find the constant micro-battles about market share to be just a little on the boring side.

    However, what instantly caught my attention with this story is this: IDG is essentially predicting that *NIX desktop OS's will grow to about a 10% share in a couple of years, and with two mature versions driving the increase, which has both momentum and is predicted to continue growing versus Microsoft's offerings.

    Now that's news.
  • by Ilan Volow (539597) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @05:57AM (#8278708) Homepage

    The points laid down in your post precisely illustrates why people from the mac community, those who have been utterly disgusted with microsoft's two decades of bad usability and non-innovation, should take their ideals and ideologies about how technology should be designed and migrate these ideas to their own Open Source linux desktop project. The "Linux Macs" (for lack of a better term) could then make use of the cheap x86 boxes that Apple could never take advantage of, and finally compete on the points of usability and user experience that were always obscured by a higher sticker price.

    I say that it's about high time to we mac folk take the Mac vs. Windows battle into linux land, creating a third desktop environment that give GNOME and KDE a serious run for their money.
  • by StandardDeviant (122674) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @06:38AM (#8278809) Homepage Journal
    "home software" means different things to different people. the canonical "big three" of home computer applications/uses:
    1. Web usage (IE)
    2. E-mail usage (Outlook/Outlook Express)
    3. Office/Productivity Suite [word processing, spreadsheet, etc.] (MS Office)
    That's pretty much all I ever see my non-unix-head/non-gamer friends using their machines for. Each of those categories has obvious, mature, and very functional replacements or analogs in the open source world (Mozilla, Mozilla, and OpenOffice, in order. or Firemumble, Thunderbird if you prefer that to the integrated moz). Heck, all of those even have windows ports that work very well, so you could give people a springboard to the world of software freedom without having to walk your non-technical friends and family members through hard disk partitioning or shell usage. ;)

    Now, if you mean games and stuff like tax programs or garden layout software, yeah, linux isn't there yet. I suspect it won't be long though before the linux market is large enough that small ISVs will be tempted by the low development costs to release programs like that. (The software overhead alone for a traditional programmer's workstation in the MSFT world can reach into the thousands rapidly. The software overhead for a linux development system is... however much a couple of CD-Rs is these days.)

    I would not be at all suprised to see something akin to the shareware/micropublisher model bloom in the linux "space" as the desktop market grows. Personally I don't have much need for payware (almost everything I use and need is free), but if I can get, say, a $10-20 program to do my taxes with that runs on linux, I'd do it in a heartbeat. (That's not a terribly unreasonable pricepoint either, TaxCut basic is about $15.) I'm sure there are lots of other little niche products like that out there that could find a market with the open source community.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 14, 2004 @06:56AM (#8278856)
    I'm doing IT for a London based architectual firm that is all OS X. We run VectorWorks on G4 and G5 class hardware (I get to play with dual 1.8 Ghz G5s all day, weee).

    Anyway, during the hight of the MyDoom attack, we were swamped with e-mail, but the Viri could not touch our Workstations 'cus we're OSX.

    We won two jobs in that period due to the fact that some of the practices we were up against were out of action, or had lost critical work time due to MyDoom.

    Two jobs is a HUGE amount of work, in the Million pound range just for fees alone!

    Our main supplier who sells apple hardware to lots of other architects says that they have had a massive interest in OSX migration since MyDoom was released.

    I'm guessing that other industries are looking into alternets to Windows due to Viri, and OSX is the obvious choice for creative/critical design work.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 14, 2004 @07:18AM (#8278903)
    The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    Ah, yes - the doctrine which led the USA to provide arms to one Bin Laden, O, and one Hussein, S, during the cold war. Both of whom went on to prove just what good friends they could be.

    And you still believe it?
  • by webmilhouse (694316) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @07:33AM (#8278934) Homepage
    I think the number of people who have predicted the death of Apple in the past is directly proportional the number of times Apple has bounced back.

    I think Linux is gaining in business desktop use because it is x86 and most businesses already have a large investment in hardware that is easy to convert to Linux rather than replace with G5s.
  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@noSPaM.gmail.com> on Saturday February 14, 2004 @08:30AM (#8279083)
    The Cube was an attempt to build a small, silent system, and in that regard it worked well. It was just too expensive.

    I know several Cube owners who are very happy with them, and wouldn't give them up for love nor money.

    And you can use 3rd party software to assign any number of custom keyboard shortcuts that will do pretty much anything you want. This is especially powerful when combined with Applescripts.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 14, 2004 @09:35AM (#8279321)
    Funny thing about that 1% linux number... it seems to be stuck at exactly 1% every month for as far back as the Zeitgeist has been archived. Strange for a number in a survey to be so steady. Perhaps there is something else happening with their numbers... for instance, many mozilla users change their browser identity string to look like IE, so we don't get those annoying messages telling us that mozilla isn't supported, when it works perfectly well.

    Another possiblity is that most people google for related items, and most of the time this is through either windows desktops, or through a proxy that runs on windows.

    I also don't see an "unknown" category, perhaps they are just accidently seeing many linux configurations as unknown, and then sticking the unknowns into a windows category by mistake.
  • More expensive (Score:3, Interesting)

    by The Herbaliser (660976) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @09:54AM (#8279395)
    Three years ago, I spent $2500 on a fancy new PC. Since then, I've spent over a thousand dollars upgrading and fixing it, dealing with such issues as my power supply exploding after a year of use, Windows XP running like a dog (requiring a memory upgrade), needing a WiFi card, needing a Firewire card, etc. Every time I needed to do something new, I had to modify the computer. Meanwhile my buddy bought an iBook around the same time, and decided to upgrade to a power book after a year of use. I bought the iBook off of him for $1000. Its specs don't match up to my expensive desktop machine, but it seems to run faster, I've had no problems with it, it has features like Firewire that just weren't available on PCs at the time, and I'm generally pretty happy with it, and it works a lot better with the unix servers I need to use for school. I've spent thousands of dollars on a PC desktop that I now use as an iTunes music server (and to play minesweeper) but it useless for anything else, and $1000 on a used iBook that's almost as old and serves all my needs. It's a little slow when doing complex plots, but I can live with that. At least the OS multitasks properly, so my computer doesn't freeze up while they're running.
  • Article-Extension (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Greenisloved (689734) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @10:12AM (#8279492)
    What makes Linux a truly Nice Desktop to common not-so-expert users ?

    1.mp3 playing -XMMS [Works ,Less features , needs configuring additional support]

    2.Watching movies - Mplayer [Amazing ,can read many formats including .wma]

    3.Watch online Music like Launch [Not much help in Linux]

    4.Browser [tabbed browisng,Awesome Firebird / Netscape]

    5.MailClient [Great , Thunderbird , Netscape]

    6.Realplayer support[not great in linux]

    7.Yahoo Messenger advanced functionalities[Doesnt seem like yahoo messenger in linux beats its cousin in windows]

    Automatic Flashplayer ,Java JRE support etc

    I really love linux and think it has the potetial to become no 1 desktop product but i must admit i dont know if there is anyone OS which does all the basic things taht i have mentioned.

    Really new users want it simple..

    think a virtual Demo could motivate and help new users.

    computers are lovely bright and deep

    And linux has promises to keep

    Miles to go before linux sleeps

    Miles to go before i sleep
    lol..

  • Mac vs. Linux (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 14, 2004 @10:33AM (#8279604)
    I do not believe that Linux is coming near the Mac on desktops. It is just that since Linux is free amny people are trying it out or playing with it but I do not believe that serious desktop work is done with it. You can not trust pools on such an issue until you know how many people are actually USING Linux.
  • by d00ber (707098) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @10:53AM (#8279723) Journal
    I might get modded flamebait for this but ... After running both Linux (Yellow Dog 2.3) and MacOS X Panther I must say I like Gnome better. I think OSX would be just another desktop among many. Gnome is coming out with 2.6 soon and KDE is moving up a notch too so they will be getting faster and easier to use.

    Im guessing there is a much larger developer developer base behind Gnome and KDE than the Mac OSX gui.

    I've found Linux to be more stable than Darwin too. If you have more that one person logged into Panther I find it slooows down and then freezes.
  • by localman (111171) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:02PM (#8280131) Homepage
    You're missing the point. Of course a computer isn't an investment. We all use computers as tools. I won't argue whether the PC or Mac is a better tool but here's my experience with pricing:

    In 2001 I bought a G4 Powerbook 500 for $3500. At the same time my wife bought a Sony VAIO for $3200. Aside from the fact that it had no CD, the battery lasted about 1/4 the time, and it had a smaller, lower-res screen, we'll call them equal.

    In 2003 I sold my G4 (with a cracked case from droppage) for $1025 on ebay. She sold her pristine VAIO for $400.

    Of course, this is for laptops, and it could be argued that Sony's are overprice for PC's. But still, she "paid less" and I "got more" both in specs and resale value.

    And all of this is a waste of time anyways -- as people rarely complain if you buy a more expensive car (with virtually no technical advangages) I can't see why people are so hung up on computer price, especially with the functional differences. Perhaps a matter of taste -- but what's wrong with paying more for something that fits your taste? It's all just a pissing contest and it's tiring.

    Or so I say -- despite my adding fuel to the fire ;)

    Cheers.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:09PM (#8280173)
    The most important thing to remember is that UNIX-based OS desktop usage is rising.

    I work at a school where, for the first time in it's 30+ year history, it just installed a Macintosh lab and is installing Linux on x86 hardware in a second lab. This is at a small school where there are only 6 computer labs. The great thing about what is happening is that Linux, Macs, and other UNIX-based OS systems play nice together. They use the same network implementations, users can share files between one another without format issues, and much more. The users get to choose which OS and platform they like, without worrying about communicating with others.

    In fact, when you look at the broad picture, Windows is the only non-UNIX operating system left among the major operating systems. Instead of Macs screwing things up for system admins in terms of networking, file sharing, etc. like it did in years past, it's now MS Windows that is creating all of the problems in multiplatform environments.

    The good news is that among my co-workers and students, the disadvantages for using Windows is beginning to outweigh its advantages. As more people are beginning to realize that Linux is perfectly suitable for day-to-day office operations (without proprietary MS solutions involved in the backend to screw things up), and Macs can pick up on the specialized multimedia tasks and communicate with the Linux boxes without problems, there really isn't a dire need to use MS products anymore. If anything, folks where I work are beginning to realize that MS products are limiting their choices and are beginning to make things more difficult instead of easier.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:30PM (#8280315)
    it is bad in terms of maintaining developers interest. If they are going to support Windows and one other platform, better for Apple that it be OSX. Marketshare matters.
  • Re:WOW (Score:3, Interesting)

    by The Lynxpro (657990) <`lynxpro' `at' `gmail.com'> on Saturday February 14, 2004 @01:31PM (#8280667)
    "And in 2102 we'll be on 100% of all machines!!"

    Fitting. Considering how Windows won't recognize the year 2100 if a mobo BIOS is reporting that as the current year. $25 to Microsoft support taught me that regarding Windows98.

  • by Durandal64 (658649) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @01:56PM (#8280831)
    i know for sure i'd be running mac os if it worked on intel
    No, you wouldn't be. If Apple suddenly switched architectures, they really would die. Let's ignore the issue that Apple would lose revenue from people just building their own white box Macs, for now. Let's list the other problems with releasing an x86 OS X port or just dropping PPC altogether.
    1. What motivation does Apple have to do it? They are consistently turning a profit, and their hardware is no longer pathetic in comparison to the x86 world's offerings. By all accounts, the 970FX is shaping up to be a killer portable processor with high speeds and lower power consumption, and the G5 has been well-received by Apple's existing customers. It's at least on par with Intel's offerings and has an architectural base built for shuttling massive amounts of data, and is being developed by IBM, who have no intention of letting it flounder like Motorola did the G4. The move makes no sense. Apple have an awesome chip with a killer architecture that's built to scale well. What have they got to gain by switching architectures? A couple of hardware enthusiasts running OS X?
    2. They'd piss off developers. They've just completed a transition to a new operating system and made their developers port their projects over to that. Now they're supposed to rewrite all that PowerPC code to run under x86? Sure, you can run Mac OS X on x86, but what would you do with it? Say, "It looks purty"? 'Cause the bigtime software developers aren't going to take kindly to the massive reengineering of their products that would be required to turn fast PowerPC code into fast x86 code, not to mention dropping AltiVec completely in favor of inferior SIMD implementations.
    3. They'd piss off customers by shooting themselves in the foot.
    4. The demand for this move just is not that high. The current Mac userbase doesn't care. They're going to buy from Apple regardless of whether it's x86 or PowerPC because of positive experiences. Who are the people we've got clamoring for OS X on x86? That would be the people who build their own machines, which would be a very small percentage of the market. And even if Apple granted them their wish, they'd install OS X on their custom-built PC's and quickly realize that they can't do anything with it and that OS X on x86 is completely useless. Then they'd complain about how slow it is compared to Linux and Windows.
    So could someone please explain how this move could possibly go over well? If IBM and the G5 hadn't "come along" (Apple and IBM had been collaborating for a while on it before it was announced), Apple might very well have moved to x86 out of pure necessity. When the G4 was making pitiful showing after pitiful showing in benchmarks and cost efficiency, Apple had a reason to switch to Intel. Their chip supplier was apathetic to their needs as a personal computer maker, their architecture sucked, their bus was old in 2000 and their machines were too expensive for the performance they offered. Even then, a move to x86 would have the accompanied problem of developers making the transition in a timely fashion.

    Now, with the G5, the performance necessity to switch doesn't exist. Apple aren't losing any money at the moment, and they have a healthy $4.5 billion in the bank, so there's no real monetary need for it. And to top it off, Apple have recognized that their marketshare is small and will probably stay that way, so they're diversifying their revenue sources with consumer electronics (iPod) and legal music downloads. They're not just about computers anymore. They cater to a niche, and that niche just happens to have money. By making their products stylish, they establish themselves as a "upper class" of computers and gadgets. Same with BMW, same with Ferrari. Small marketshare, but they just happen to be turning a profit based on their perceived status.
  • by NtroP (649992) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @02:07PM (#8280881)
    This summer I will be rolling out our first large-scale Linux thin-client network.

    We have a new school being built, and two more being renovated. The workstations will be thin clients (built from new parts by students at about $150.00 ea. not including monitors - we will be putting some of our savings there to get flat panels). The servers will probably be Dell or Iron Systems Dual Processor systems with 4Gig Ram.

    We will be installing a Mac OS X X-Serve kerberos/LDAP password server to take over autentication from our Active Directory Server (although the AD server will continue to provide account details for our Windows Clients). Our Mac and Linux clients will use LDAP for account information so we can have true single-signon district-wide.

    Almost all standard usage for computers at the high-school level consists of web-based research (web-browser), typing notes and papers (basic word processing), developing presentations ("powerpoint"), and email (web-based). All of this can be done without pain, or viruses, or licenses, with Linux/OOo/Mozilla.

    We also have an Apache/PHP/MySQL based student management system that we've developed in-house which automagically provides teachers and students with a web-based view of their classes, teachers, students, etc. This system auto-creates accounts and manages class enrollment associations based on information from HR and Student Records through the normal process of student-enrollment on our AS400. This means there is no staff/student account management. When a staff memeber is hired and assigned a teaching position (or other position) their account is auto-created (currently in Active Directory), they are assigned groups and a home directory on the server in the building they are assigned to. As students enroll in our district they get accounts auto-created in the same way, with passwords randomly assigned. When the student enrolls in a particular class, the teacher will see them on their class lists on the web and be able to tell them their default password so they can log in and change it via the web browser (which changes it in AD) Teachers can also "reset" a sudent's password for students in their case-load via the web - no more calling down to the helpdesk to and taking up everyone's time just to change a password (Admin-secretaries and other designated people can do the same for staff in their building).

    Assignments and other resources can be uploaded via the web interface and "handed-out" to student in a class with the click of a button - this is available securely outside the firewall so teachers and students can access these files from home. All files are thus virus-checked and controlled as opposed to being carried in by floppies. Student can similarly hand-in documents to their teachers. Attendance, and grading will be rolled in next, at which point our hope is to post the source for other school districts to use.

    What this means is that almost all daily functions can be managed in a completely platform-agnostic way. Accounts are the same regardless of OS. Home directories are available via the network district-wide with single-signon. And, with the exception of some of our "MS certification" classes (which will be delivered via Citrix and rdesktop) almost all other functions can happen with any OS and more importantly, with linux. Specifically, dumb-terminals, with no moving parts and no requirement for constant maintenance and upgrade. All users will be using Open Office where ever practical to avoid the overhead in license-fees and content lock-in.

    Our students will graduate with a solid knowledge of Mac OS X, Windows and Linux. They will be able to be flexible in the workplace because they won't start with the attitude we see in so many of our current teachers: "If it's not [insert the only App/OS they've ever used], I don't know how to use it".

    Another advantage is that we can now actually use the many donated computers we get. Before, we would get an old PII 233 and spend more money tha

  • by HiThere (15173) * <charleshixsnNO@SPAMearthlink.net> on Saturday February 14, 2004 @02:07PM (#8280882)
    This is a troll, and a lame attempt to be funny.
    Deal with it.


    Unfortunately, it's also true. It is possible to make MSWind boxes reasonably secure. By disabling "functionality" that's on by default. And adding a firewall. And (much like Linux distributions used to have a lot of dangerous daemons running by default and no firewall).

    Where I worked (recently retired) we did this using Novell Netware and Groupwise. And a few other things. And first Netscape, and then Mozilla. etc. It was pretty effective. I suppose that it might have been possible to design a virus to crack into the setup, I never investigated, but it was such a rare setup that the virus would die of loneliness. (Monoculture is bad, in and of itself. Forget the vileness of the monopolies that impose it.)

    But even so, people would bring floppies in from school, or accept mail off the web, or any of various other things, and THEIR machine would get infected. (Occasionally the virus would be shared with everyone editing the same MSWord document.) Not pretty. The Mac users never had this problem. (Neither did the Linux users, but they were all techies, so that's not the right population for comparison.) It was only the MSWind machines that got hit. And on those machines, it was usually only the MSOffice applications, though occasionally it would be the system itself.

    It *could* have been made more secure through draconian measures. Or it could have been made more secure though replacing the MSWind machines. Management decided to increase the number of MSWind machines. The Mac users fought. The Linux users fought. Things stayed pretty much the same, though over time the Mac users were worn down. (Some were switched to MSWind, a couple switched to Linux..Web developers, so Linux didn't scare them.) Linux usage was increasing rapidly at the time I left, but strangely tech people who insisted on Linux for their own machines often wanted to force others to use MSWind. And so did the managers. (I could understand the managers, but the tech folk puzzle me. They both want to force everyone to be the same, even though it's a provably bad idea. But the managers don't really understand the proof, and like the feel of control. Perhaps the techs also just like the feel of control.)

    But MSWind even in a rather controlled environment is very significantly more dangerous and unstable than any of it's major compeititors.

  • Mixing values here (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pelorus (463100) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @02:36PM (#8281095)
    The 3% that Apple has is the number of units sold in a quarter taken as an average. Apple's installed desktop base is (according to Forbes) closer to 10%.

    Seeing as there are nearly a million new Macs sold every quarter, can Linux compare with that?

    It's stupid anyway.

    IF, and I do mean IF, Linux does well - fantastic!!!!

    I'd love to be a Mac user in a market where there was 75% Microsoft, 20% Linux and 5% Mac. The very fact that a LOT of people had chosen Linux speaks volumes to me. And like it or not, Linux and Mac OS X are closer i terms of the things that really matter (sharing documents, working with Windows-only web pages, email viruses).
  • by kalidasa (577403) * on Saturday February 14, 2004 @03:36PM (#8281475) Journal
    Nice troll, there, but I know I'm not the only Mac user on Slashdot who only got a Mac after OS X came out. So it's not just "due to past users who refuse to change."

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