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Novell Software Linux

Novell Expects Vista to Spur Linux Adoption 444

Posted by Zonk
from the driving-them-into-the-arms-of-the-penguin dept.
It doesn't come easy writes "According to the Register, Novell expects the cost of upgrading to Vista will encourage many companies to turn to Linux instead. From the article: 'Jack Messman, chief executive of networking software vendor Novell says that 2006 will see widespread adoption of Linux on the corporate desktop. According to Messman the catalyst will be the release of Microsoft Windows Vista and the high costs associated with upgrading. Obviously, if they're right Novell hopes that turn will be toward SUSE Linux.'" We touched on this issue late last month, as well.
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Novell Expects Vista to Spur Linux Adoption

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  • News? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RobertF (892444) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:47PM (#13552397) Homepage
    They've been saying this each time Windows releases something. Hasn't come true yet. So you decide, is Linux adoption "10 Years Off" or will it become mainstream with Vista's release? Or are they one in the same? All of this is merely speculation.
    • Re:News? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:58PM (#13552507) Homepage Journal
      This time around, from the hardware specs alone, if it doesn't spur widespread adoption of Linux on the business desktop, it will spur widespread adoption of linux among honest poor people that get the business's 6-month old desktops and laptops that won't run Vista.
      • Re:News? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by RobertF (892444) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @08:03PM (#13552553) Homepage

        Why would they switch the operating system at all? Not everyone loves technology, they don't all go OMFG ITS A NEW VERSION OF MY SOFTWARE!!!! I MUST HAVE IT NOW!!! Especially when it comes to the operating system, most people just leave it as is. You know how many Windows 95 and 98 computers I've been cleaning up (spyware, adware, viri) these last few years? Many of them could run newer versions of Windows, but why would the people bother when their version works?

        People want computers to just work. They don't have to install new Operating Systems for their microwave, why should they buy a new OS, especially when what they have works. Many corporations will sit with what they have until they replace their computers. So unless computer hardware venders start mainstream selling PC's with Linux installed, don't expect massive adoption.

        • Re:News? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @08:24PM (#13552729) Homepage Journal
          Why would they switch the operating system at all?

          Primarily to keep the BSA nazis off their backs- when you get a computer free-for-carrying-off-site for your nonprofit or for home use you should ALWAYS reformat the hard drive and install a new OS. To do otherwise opens up your school children to being turned against you in a court of law by the BSA- as some teachers found out not to long ago. NO non-profit should ever be using Microsoft operating systems for that reason- it's just to hard to keep track of the licensing on donated equipment, unless you acutally purchase new copies of the OS. And of course, Microsoft is really pushing people towards Linux- Win2000 and Win98 are already gone from store shelves, and I give XP about 6 months after Vista is released to disappear.

          Not everyone loves technology, they don't all go OMFG ITS A NEW VERSION OF MY SOFTWARE!!!! I MUST HAVE IT NOW!!! Especially when it comes to the operating system, most people just leave it as is. You know how many Windows 95 and 98 computers I've been cleaning up (spyware, adware, viri) these last few years? Many of them could run newer versions of Windows, but why would the people bother when their version works?

          Different situation though- those are personal use machines that were purchased by people- I'm talking about the castoffs of corporations.

          People want computers to just work. They don't have to install new Operating Systems for their microwave, why should they buy a new OS, especially when what they have works.

          Because otherwise the BSA nazis invade- and if you don't have that paper license, it's several thousand per machine.

          Many corporations will sit with what they have until they replace their computers.

          Exactly- but when they do, the people they give the old computers to will go to Linux.

          So unless computer hardware venders start mainstream selling PC's with Linux installed

          You mean like Fry's does? For $400 less than a compariable Wintel System?

          don't expect massive adoption.

          Depends on your meaning of the term massive, doesn't it? I see linux growing in two areas on the desktop: Cheap NEW internet terminals with 1/3rd the power of what Vista needs just to run, and people who run organizations that live off of charity (like schools) that need an OS that will run on older hardware and has cheap licensing.
          • Re:News? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by bensafrickingenius (828123) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @10:05PM (#13553390)
            Primarily to keep the BSA nazis off their backs- when you get a computer free-for-carrying-off-site for your nonprofit or for home use you should ALWAYS reformat the hard drive and install a new OS. To do otherwise opens up your school children to being turned against you in a court of law by the BSA- as some teachers found out not to long ago. NO non-profit should ever be using Microsoft operating systems for that reason- it's just to hard to keep track of the licensing on donated equipment, unless you acutally purchase new copies of the OS. And of course, Microsoft is really pushing people towards Linux- Win2000 and Win98 are already gone from store shelves, and I give XP about 6 months after Vista is released to disappear.

            You are truly ignorant on this topic... Why would you try to post on something about which you know nothing? First of all, schools get Microsoft OSs for about $50. I know, I've been a public ed. tech. coordinator for 9 years. Second, there's a rollback clause in the license. You can use the license to install the current OS or any previous version. As for donated computers, MicroSoft bends over backwards to allow school to legally use ANY version of Windows on them, FREE OF CHARGE. See http://www.microsoft.com/education/freshstart/fres hstart.asp [microsoft.com]. What the hell is with you commie (NOT FLAMEBAIT! His name is "marxist hacker"!) idiots who just gotta bash MicroSoft at every turn, even when you're in over your heads?!?
            • Re:News? (Score:3, Informative)

              by sumdumass (711423)
              Your partialy corect.

              While microsoft does make great strides to give schools a break, not all schools are getting these breaks. Yours maybebut not all.

              I recently did some work for a catholic school in my neiborhood and found their computers comprising of almost all used and donated equiptment. No school licensing at all because the computer already had somethign installed. Also not long ago there was a news story about just this. Some school was audited by the BSA and fine ungodly amounts of money for not h
            • Re:News? (Score:4, Informative)

              by sumdumass (711423) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @10:36PM (#13553563) Journal
              Your confusing corperation with consumers.

              Any company of size will have at least one software vendor who will shift development to vista only and retire older versions. Every software upgrade I had to do was because of this. I had one company consisting of about 30 users and 4 servers recently replace all thier desktops and 2 servers because some crm vendor claimed they wouldn't support the older (win98-2000) systems any more. Of course thier product still runs on it but your on your own if somethign happenes.

              Another company i do business with had an app they wanted to use (some slick salesman told them it would trippe profits or something) We had to upgrade 65 units to XPSP2 in order to run it right after sp2 was released. Not only did this create a nightmare with glitches, half of the printers we replaced have since become "compatible" agian meaning we replace several high dollar units for no reason.

              Corperations don't upgrade because they can, they do it because one of thier vendors makes them. The companies interact with others and need to keep thier systems compatible with each others. They need to continue running the programs thier staff have been trained on and need to keep support option availible for them. thats why they upgrade to the latest operating systems.
    • Re:News? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by flatt (513465) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:59PM (#13552523) Homepage Journal
      Previous Windows releases didn't force you to buy a new monitor.

      Should be interesting.
      • Re:News? (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Attrition_cp (888039)
        Most people will just go out and buy a whole new computer with the operating system pre-installed though.

        I use linux daily and enjoy it, but is it really ready for your standard mom-and-pop windows users anyways?
      • Re:News? (Score:5, Informative)

        by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @08:55PM (#13552999)
        WTF did that even come from? Vista runs on any decently modern system, PERIOD.

        If you want disk encryption, you need the TPM module.

        If you want the fancy 3D effects, you will need a 64MB video card with DirectX 9 support.

        If you want to play videos protected with Secure Video Path at high resolution, you need a "trusted" monitor. Fortunately, "trusted monitors" don't exist yet, so content won't be requiring them for a good long time.

        Stop spreading bullshit.
        • Re:News? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by HermanAB (661181) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @09:31PM (#13553214)
          Hell's bells - trusted monitor - are you serious? I can't believe what people would put up with.
          • Re:News? (Score:4, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @09:53PM (#13553328)
            I don't know, if one of these "trusted monitors" refused to display Goatse I'd be more then happy to buy one.

            The capcha for this AC post is "rectum," it's like Slashdot can read my mind.
          • Re:News? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by rcbarnes (875915) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @04:39AM (#13555186) Homepage
            You don't think so? I have absolutely no problem imagining people putting up with anything with a pretty, helpful sounding name, even if it rapes their rights. Case in point: The Patriot Act. Sounds nice but is part of the rapid decline of personal freedoms. Jack shit has been really done about it, and the rights for it are simple and easy to grasp. It's even well-publicised by opponents. Now imagine digital rights (TC, secure paths (like trusted moniters), and so on). Add the complete phobia of scary words (read: slightly techinical terms) and if the PA didn't get shredded in a week, we don't have a snowball's chance in hell of breaking TC-related technology. People are too willing to pay tons of money to have confusing technology 'just work' even if it works lots less well than the old stuff. I'm scared shitless, and everyone on /. should be, too.
        • Re:News? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Tim C (15259) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @02:15AM (#13554614)
          WTF did that even come from?

          Ok, I'll tell you how it works. People tend to remember only those things that support their initial prejudices. Hence the OP will have read something like "Vista, like any other OS or device, will require a trusted monitor in order to display HDCP content". They will remember "Vista will require a trusted monitor", which will reinforce their preconception that Vista, like all MS products, is/will be a bag of shite.

          It's not even really his fault; it's just human nature. When people feel strongly about something the things that support their position tend to be the things that stick in their minds.
    • Re:News? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by LackaDaisy (825281)
      linux will probably not be *mainstream* for a long time, if at all. What they're saying is that companies will have yet another incentive to turn to linux away from windows.
    • There's a certain critical mass to operating systems that has to be reached in order for it to really "take off". But the main issue is, how homogenous is it for third party developers?

      In this way, Linux needs to have a two-fold market change. One for pure market penetration, and another for cross compatibilty for third party developers to feel safe enough to develop for linux.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:48PM (#13552400)
    What makes him thing that anyone cares about updating? Even after the release of XP, look at all the 2000 and 98 boxes still in use. Why is the release of Vista going to have any more of an effect?
  • Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bruha (412869) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:48PM (#13552412) Homepage Journal
    Could of easily been Apple on the receiving end of the influx.

    However Apple does not seem interested in corporate clients past the Xserve.
  • Also (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DanielNS84 (847393)
    With the lack of licensing problems a company can just make thousands of copies of a hard drive to be put in the company's desktops and say goodbye to a 3 week wait to get a crashed computer back up. (Assuming they use a standard computing platform throughout the company.)
  • I agree with this... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Praedon (707326) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:50PM (#13552431) Journal
    Its not like Linux has a billion versions for each distro of Linux, they have versions that make sense, and fit the needs of the end user. What if Red Hat had: Red Hat Home Users, Red Hat Professional Home Users, Red Hat For Porn Users, yada yada... People wont know what the hell they are getting!! But besides all that, Im happy to say that the Linux community has made some major breakthroughs lately with such vast compatibility ports to many commercial products used today for those who are "stuck" on Windows Desktops.
    • Unlike Fedora Core, (Redhat Free)Redhat WS, Redhat AS server, Redhat ES Server??
    • Yeah, instead there's Mandrake, SuSE, Gentoo, Debian, Slackware, Fedora, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Mandriva, Knoppix, Lindows, Caldera, Ubuntu, Xandros, aLinux, Arch Linux, Beehive Linux, Black Cat Linux, Symphony OS, BSD, Open Solaris, and many many others [linuxlinks.com]..

      So much more simple ;o)
    • by MsGeek (162936)
      To be fair, there *are* a hell of a lot of Linux distros out there, and not every one of them interoperate. Red Hat split their development version, Fedora, off from the main trunk of their "Red Hat Enterprise," and there is a "CentOS" repackaging of "Red Hat Enterprise" because Red Hat will not allow people to use their brand name on a Free release of their product. There are other forks of Red Hat, most famous being Mandriva which was originally called Mandrake.

      At least the Debian people are trying to bri
      • Not Quite (Score:5, Informative)

        by poofyhairguy82 (635386) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @12:47AM (#13554243) Journal
        It's too bad that Ubuntu won't join the DCCA. Ubuntu right now is pretty hot, they have a big fan base, and Kubuntu allows KDE people to join the fun too. I suppose the reason is that Ubuntu seems bent on forking Debian almost to where it's unrecognizable as Debian.

        As a moderator for the Ubuntu Forums, I feel compelled to give you the correct information.

        Ubuntu does not consider joining the DCCA because part of the purpose of that group is to keep things compatible with Debian Sarge. The group intends to rally around the newly released Debian stable and remain compatible with it. Ubuntu cannot and will not do this, because Ubuntu uses packages from Sid to form its distro.

        I quote a member of the Ubuntu's Community Council governance board:

        "I don't think Ubuntu is a "fork" of Debian, at least not in the traditional sense. A fork suggests that at some point we go our separate way from Debian and then occasionally merge in changes as we carry on down our own path. Our model is quite different; every six months we take a snapshot of Debian's unstable distribution, apply any outstanding patches from our last release to it and spend a couple of months testing and bug-fixing it." [mako.cc]

        Therefore Ubuntu could not even join the DCCA even if it wanted to, because using Sarge (even testing) as a base instead of Sid would break the development model. Ubuntu will stay as compatible with Sarge as Sid does, maybe less.

        Have a nice day.

    • Fedora Core 4 itself gives you at least four choices from the install CD's: server, desktop, developer and custom. The first three make assumptions about the web services and applications you want to run, and the last one gives you full control of the stuff you want to install (some of which is never installed regardless of which of the first three options you choose).
  • by Loconut1389 (455297) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:51PM (#13552436)
    I guess it's time for me to learn how to do gui programming C++ and GTK? I've been spoiled with C# and VB for so long... I know unix based C++ and C, but not gui programming. This should be fun!?
  • self fullfilling prophecy

    This could easily turn into a self fullfilling prophecy. The more the meme is repeated now, two years before Vista launch, the more it will grow in peoples minds. The more it grows there, the more thinking and the more planning.

    IOW, keep repeating this! Windows Vista will make business switch to Linux. Say it enough and it becomes truth.

    • I've already made the decision to switch to Linux as my main OS -- but not until I get a CPU with virtualization, because I hate the idea of rebooting just for a game. The only non-game app that I have and use that is not significantly duplicated on Linux is YIM7 -- I do use some of the features on it that are specific to it and have not been duplicated in GAIM or other packages. I rather wish Yahoo would make a full version available for Linux users.
    • "two years before Vista launch"

      RTM is November 15, 2006. 428 days, or 1.17 years.

      And, if the entire OS is like Microsoft Max, perhaps it won't suck afterall.
  • That may be true (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HangingChad (677530) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:52PM (#13552448) Homepage
    But a lot will depend on how Novell can package desktop management. If it's a slick system that's easy to administer, they might have a chance to take some corporate desktop share from MSFT.

    And there still has to be substantial per seat savings up front and integrated migration tools.

    If they can pull off that package, yeah, they might a shot.

    • Re:That may be true (Score:3, Informative)

      by cpthowdy (609034)
      You have no idea how good it is already. ZENworks for Desktops has been doing this for Windows for years now. And when Novell bought up Ximian, they got Red Carpet. That involved into ZENworks Linux Management [novell.com], which has a web interface for management, VNC remote control to the managed machines, Linux imaging (ext2 and ext3 currently, ReiserFS support in the works), etc.

      The cool thing is that you can demo pretty much anything Novell has to offer for 90 days, so give it all a whirl. The documentation
    • Re:That may be true (Score:3, Informative)

      by houghi (78078)
      But a lot will depend on how Novell can package desktop management.

      Take a look yourself how they do it. http://opensuse.org/ [opensuse.org] where RC 1 is available. There also are several 1 CD versions in development.
  • I don't get it. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bluesoul88 (609555)
    This'll spur movement towards Linux? Why wouldn't users just keep the OS they already have? If the point is to avoid retraining, migrating to Linux is one of the more ironic moves a man could make.
  • by Trailer Trash (60756) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:54PM (#13552464) Homepage
    You can read *any* TCO study sponsored by Microsoft and you'll find that the upgrade to Windows Vista won't cost anything. There are *never* upgrade costs if you stick with Windows. Sheesh.

    Also, there won't be any retraining costs if you stick with Windows.

    Microsoft buys a lot of good research, you folks should read it more often.
  • From TFA... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SlashChick (544252) * <erica AT erica DOT biz> on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:54PM (#13552465) Homepage Journal
    "Jack Messman, chief executive of networking software vendor Novell says that 2006 will see widespread adoption of Linux on the corporate desktop."

    Just like 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001...

    The real problem is (still) lack of applications and games. My home PC can't switch until Dreamweaver and Photoshop run on Linux. My office PC can't switch until Quickbooks and VersaCheck run on Linux. Honestly, I've seen more Windows->Mac and Linux->Mac migrations than anything else these past few years... and little to no evidence that shows that Linux is gaining popularity on desktop PCs, other than these "wishful thinking" articles from Linux company CEOs.

    Something else to think about: The upgrade cost to Vista, for most companies, is effectively $0 because it comes with new PCs. Contrast this with yearly application updates for Photoshop, Quickbooks, anti-virus, anti-spyware, et al. which can run thousands of dollars. Microsoft isn't the only cost center on a typical PC; in fact, I'd say they're one of the smallest costs involved with a typical office PC.
    • Contrast this with yearly application updates for Photoshop, Quickbooks, anti-virus, anti-spyware, et al. which can run thousands of dollars. Microsoft isn't the only cost center on a typical PC; in fact, I'd say they're one of the smallest costs involved with a typical office PC.

      Antivirus/antispyware apps.

      Hmm. True. It's a pity I don't have to run those on my Linux PC. I miss doing that.

      The real problem is (still) lack of applications and games. My home PC can't switch until Dreamweaver and Photoshop ru
    • Re:From TFA... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by killjoe (766577)
      "The upgrade cost to Vista, for most companies, is effectively $0 because it comes with new PCs."

      Most companies have select licenses which means they pay for each copy of windows used no matter where it came from. In fact if it came with your PC then you pay for it twice, once when you buy the PC and once under your select license. There are exceptions to this for large companies like dell who won't charge you for your copy of windows and office but will charge your select license instead (so you only pay o
    • So use Gimp and SQL Ledger. If you go to the bother of switching to a better OS, you should also consider switching to better applications. What is the point to keep running the same old shit?
      • So use Gimp and SQL Ledger. If you go to the bother of switching to a better OS, you should also consider switching to better applications. What is the point to keep running the same old shit?

        My accountant and book keeper run Quickbooks.

        Sure, I may be a freelance IT guy, but I'm not about to nor expect my accountant and book keeper to switch OS's and applications for my sake and orphan all their other customers. Nor would I expect to make it my business to migrate everyone they deal with to go over
  • by Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:57PM (#13552491) Homepage
    The problem with this view is that with big deployments, the Microsoft "price per seat" is always negotiable, especially when you bring a possible Linux migration into the equation. In fact we have seen this: XYZ government or company makes noise about moving to Linux, and Microsoft simply negotiates a lower price. When migration cost is the key issue, Microsoft has the upper hand. However, when other issues such as "open standards" are the issues, Microsoft can't compete. The problem is not selling lower TOC, it'' selling the benefits of "open standards". It's too bad that many Linux "evangelists" frame Linux migration arguments in the context of ideology, because governments and companies are rarely interested in these things, they have budgets to meet and people to serve.
    • ...they have budgets to meet and people to serve.

      More like vacations to illicitly fund and stockholders to serve.

    • However, when other issues such as "open standards" are the issues, Microsoft can't compete.

      It isn't that Micro$oft can't compete with open standards, but that it won't. Open standards allow you to use whatever you want, and Bill the Gates can't stand that. He wants you locked in with proprietary closed standards so that you have no choice but to buy and use his programs.

  • Less Functionality? (Score:3, Informative)

    by rolfwind (528248) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:57PM (#13552499)
    From TFA:
    Messman argued that Linux, having somewhat less desktop functionality, is a bonus for businesses as it discourages staff from wasting time engaging in non-productive activities, such as web browsing.

    What is exactly less functional? I agree that removing the browser can increase productivity, but the fact that it can be removed doesn't mean linux has inherent less functional, but quite the opposite.
    • It is a bad choice of words. Messman is talking about locked down machines that you can't download J. Random Shareware Screensaver for.
  • Novell??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RapmasterT (787426) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:59PM (#13552520)
    Yes, Novell is EXACTLY who I'd go to about predictions for the future of the computer industry. They sat on their asses and let MS chip away a virtual monopoly in networking technologies to the point where when people hear the name "Novell" these days they say "they're still around?".

    This reads like one of those "Hey, just reminding you we're still here" press releases.

  • First sighting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shishberg (819760) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @08:00PM (#13552527) Homepage
    Could this be the first sighting of "2006 will be the year of the Linux desktop?"
  • by vmaxxxed (734128) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @08:01PM (#13552541)
    First...

    "The requirements for Windows 9.x will make people turn to OS/2"
    - Result, OS/2 is dead.

    "The ridiculous requirements for Windows NT will increase adoption of NetWare"
    - Result, NetWare died soon after.

    "Novell expects the cost of upgrading to Vista will encourage many companies to turn to Linux instead."
    -Result ?

    It's been more than 10 years of these? Haven't we had enough?

    Linux has its own niche; it is not meant to replace windoz boxes, and it will not replace them in the near future. So, who cares ?

    • Linux has its own niche; it is not meant to replace windoz boxes, and it will not replace them in the near future. So, who cares ?


      B.S. Linux *has* replaced Windows in my house. My five year old child uses linux exclusively. My wife uses Linux. I use linux.

      Granted, Linux doesn't have much in the games category, but I'm not much of a games player. Besides, I've got a PS2.

      My list of unmet needs are getting pretty short:

      * Shockwave/Director player.

      * Flash IDE (but that's coming [sourceforge.net].)

      * Better general multimedia supp
  • sounds familiar (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Eil (82413)

    Then again, they said the same thing about Windows XP. We saw heaps of pundits insisting that the combined force of considerable hardware requirements and draconian product activation scheme would push Linux head-first into the desktop arena.

    Obviously, that didn't happen.

    While Linux has made great strides since the launch of XP, it hasn't even come close to putting any kind of dent in the prevalence of Microsoft on the business desktop. As much as I hate to say it, I don't see the situation changing much wi
  • by ChiralSoftware (743411) <info@chiralsoftware.net> on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @08:03PM (#13552556) Homepage
    I hate to say it, but if Novell's Suse distros don't get more stable, this isn't going to happen. I'm running Suse 9.3 and have experienced so many bugs and problems. Flash doesn't work at all within Konqueror. Sound doesn't work with Flash within Firefox or Mozilla. Things crash. Even Vim crashes when I try to use it with SVN. There are performance problems. It ships with a beta version of OpenOffice.org which is not stable. This is all with a stock installation of 9.3. I've been using Suse since version 9.0 and 9.3 is the least stable I have ever used. Anyone who tries this out is going to be disappointed.

    I have just now downloaded OpenSuse 10. I'll install it and hope to see some improvements.

    If Novell / Suse wants to get real desktop adoption, these are the things they need to do:

    1. The system needs to be more stable. Take a deep breath, slow down on the new features, and make it stable.
    2. THERE SHOULD BE ONLY ONE APPLICATION FOR EVERY TASK! This is so obvious and people have been saying it for years. On my Suse 9.3, if I want to control the volume, I go to Multimedia -> Volume control and I see NINE DIFFERENT VOLUME CONTROL APPLICATIONS, all of which work or don't work to varying degrees, and none of which are simple and easy to use and understand. That's crazy. That's on drugs. That's lame. Say whatever you want about how great Linux is but if my desktop has NINE DIFFERENT VOLUME CONTROL APPLICATIONS that is horrific. I bring up volume control, but the same problem exists in all the other application categories, but volume control is by far the worst offender. If users want to go crazy and install a dozen different word processors, fine, let them do it, but the default installation should have ONE and exactly ONE application in every category.
    3. There needs to be a good media player that is well-integrated and WORKS. I should be able to pop in a DVD which I got from Blockbuster and play it, with GUI controls, subtitles, everything, with no messing around. I should be able to go to CNN.com and look at video, with no messing around.
    The first two items are not rocket science. They're not technology problems. They are management problems. Someone who is a technical manager high up in Novell should lay down the law on these two issues and make them happen. Say to the dev team, "If you think that such-and-such should be the ONE application for such-and-such task, make your case, and we'll have a decision process and at the end we'll pick one, and go with it."

    The media player part is more difficult because it's wrapped up in all kinds of legal licensing problems. They need to solve these problems. They are solvable with money, lawyers and time. Guess what, time to do it Novell!

    • by Mostly a lurker (634878) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @08:23PM (#13552721)
      I'm running Suse 9.3 and have experienced so many bugs and problems.

      I feel your pain. However, there is a difference between the stability of the leading edge SUSE 9.3 (and SUSE 10) and the corporate oriented Novell Linux Desktop and SUSE Linux Enterprise System.

      I agree with you about the confusion of different applications. This, though, is an issue for the home user (not Novell's target market) rather than the corporate desktop.

      Like others, I do not see Windows Vista precipitating an immediate avalanche of Linux adoptions. However, I do see it causing CIOs to review their long-term desktop strategies: do they start installing Windows Vista on new machines or try to start the move to open source. Their decision could have a huge impact over a five year timeframe.

    • I agree 100% (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mfearby (1653)
      I've tried recent versions of SuSE, Mandrake, and Xandros, and I have to say that Xandros is the closest thing yet to a usable, decent, Linux distribution. In the past I've been a little more willing to overlook the blemishes in free distributions, but they're basically a re-badged copy of all the software that has floated to the top of the open source world. I expect a little more from an operating system, and efficiency, expediency, and stability are foremost among my list of requirements.

      If Windows Vista
    • You are completely right, Linux distributions are more and more resembling kitchen sinks. Alas when you complain you often get the standard response choice is good, which seems to be the official mantra in the community.

      What we need is just a minimal set of applications that do what we are expecting they will do, and do it very well, period.
    • I more or less agree with this, though I don't have most of these issues with Fedora Core, so it is certainly possible to resolve the packaging issue. Actually, I'm a little bummed that Fedora Core 4 dropped gnumeric from the default install set since I prefer it to OpenOffice Calc.

      The Media Player issue is a real sore spot for all Linux distro's though, and it extends to encoders as well. I recently did some video capture with Kino from a Sony digital-8 capture. The capture worked like a champ, but then
    • Novell is probably talking about corporate desktops. The 'no hassles' media player would not be a top item for this user profile.

  • somewhere in between (Score:3, Interesting)

    by yagu (721525) * <yayagu.gmail@com> on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @08:04PM (#13552562) Journal

    In reading the posts I'm seeing extremes of the continuum: those who say yes, this is finally the straw that bows the camel's back; and those who say, yeah, like they said last year, and the year before, blah, blah, blah.

    I think reality is somewhere in between. Yes, Microsoft continues to hold sway in their dominance and yes, every time they make a new release (less and less often, by the way) the silence of people rushing to linux is deafening.

    But there is ample evidence of chinks in Microsoft's armor and a soft underbelly starts to show. Consider the high profile of large customers lately deciding to at least pressure Microsoft by making public their decision or pseudo-decision to go with open source alternatives (consider MA, and some foreign countries).

    Historically no company can dominate forever, and eventually I think critical mass will be achieved and linux will gain the foothold and purchase it probably deserves. At least I hope so. I used to be gungho in my knowing linux would waltz over Microsoft but I know better now. It's more complicated, and Microsoft is a juggernaut and will be difficult to knock from the top of the hill.

    Be patient, be faithful, Linux has legs and is learning to walk.

  • by ewg (158266) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @08:04PM (#13552565)
    I'll bet they said the same thing about OS/2 when Windows 95 came out.
  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @08:05PM (#13552571) Homepage Journal
    you have to remember the system requirements and the drag to replace things, that plus the world market for the OS.

    It's like Ford/GM/etc pushing bigger SUVs on a market that is dealing with gas prices doubling in months, while someone else (Toyota/Honda) is selling cheaper faster hybrids that are mass-manufactured.

    At some point, the OS price and the total price point goes beyond what the consumer is willing to pay - nowadays it's all about the Net bandwidth and you're frequently better off buying a cheap laptop or PC or just using the PS3 or Nintento whatever instead.

    When PCs and laptops cost $2000 for entry and $4000 for premium, the OS cost was only a fraction, and you could raise the OS price and people would eat it up. But now that the PC retails for around $300 and a laptop comes in around $1000, the OS cost becomes noticeable.
  • As great as this may seem, some companies may find this difficult. There would be a lot of proprietary software that would need to be ported.

    I know, I know.. There's WINE and other similar software packages, but I highly doubt companies would want to resort to that.

    One good example I can tell you of is an enviromental software package that my dad has to use at Eli Lilly, it's written in FoxPRO, and already they're having problems porting it to WinXP.
  • Even when there's a better alternative, people don't always choose it.

    It's more likely that they will stay with WinXP for as long as they possibly can. Linux is still too far out there.
  • More like: (Score:2, Interesting)

    This sounds like a marketing fabrication. Everybody knows that the release of Vista will not increase Linux adoption. The release of the first Vista virus is what will do that.

  • Did we hear this same statement from NT -> 2000 from 2000 -> XP and now from XP -> Vista? You guys just don't get the hint.
  • by failedlogic (627314) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @08:37PM (#13552842)
    Since the article indicates this was mentionned during a meeting of some sort and there is no mention of this "strategy" on the Novell site, it would seem that this "news" is "non-news" and the information was released by a PR firm to press bureaus to get their client some coverage.

    Anyways, corporate desktops have a lot of custom apps. Simply switching to Linux doesn't make sense. If the apps are tested and work with Windows, why change? I could see if they buy new machines, and are forced to get Vista, but I don't see why Windows 2000 or XP should not be a problem. In the next year or two, there shouldn't be any radical technology changes that can't have a 2k or XP driver made for it.
    • If the apps are tested and work with Windows, why change?

      I agree this is just PR fluff, but that is one of the key bits. If the apps - often internally developed - don't just work in Vista, Novell has an opening. The SuSE/Crossover combo seems to work remarkably well for older VB stuff. If Microsoft 'end of life's' Win2K (usually by not releasing security fixes anymore ala NT4) and apps just don't work in the new OS, IT folks will be looking for solution. I know I've felt a bit of pain just going to XP-
  • Linux desktops are almost ready for the average user. The problem is the "almost" part.

    Example: Ubuntu. Excellent distro, with a few flaws in its GNOME Desktop:

    I can browse a SMB network with nautilus, nice. However, I cannot access the data I see in nautilus with another program since the SMB folders arent actually mounted. Now that may confuse people. In Windows is simple network sharing REALLY simple. Click on folder, press "share", set the permissions, click OK. In Ubuntu, once I actually want to *mount
  • by HermanAB (661181) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @08:55PM (#13552991)
    People will use whatever comes with the PC in the shop.
  • Novell Never Quits (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @09:11PM (#13553088) Homepage Journal
    For years, Novell's NetWare made PCs running MS OSes (like DOS and Win16) worth using, especailly for businesses. Novell was the network game for MS apps for most of the 1990s, even after Win95 for a while. Especially as a file/print/authentication server, anyone using MS for anything serious, from small offices to enterprises, used NetWare, especially as a gateway to any serious mainframe/mini network.

    MS blew them out of the water with their unprecedented marketing of NT as a "network OS". NT was good enough to back up those claims, though not necessarily as good as NetWare. A combination of timing, marketing budget and general media infatuation with MS killed Novell in the market. For a while.

    But Novell's been playing a great catchup game. Refusing to die, refusing to cash in sleazily on Linux (like their evil spinoff, SCO), refusing to get sucked down with the old Unix leviathan, Novell has arrived at the upcoming "Vista" juncture with great alternatives to MS apps. OpenGroupware is better than Exchange; Evolution is better than Outlook. NDS is better than ActiveDirectory. Their TCP/IP is better than the MS stack. SuSE is better than XP (except perhaps in overall desktop useability, so far). Of course each of those judgements is subjective, depending on one's priorities, but they're close enough for everyone, in the aggregate.

    Novell has bought extremely viable techs with Ximian and SuSE, as well as others, that also integrate well into Novell's superior homegrown techs. They arrive on the scene with a brand long trusted for reliability, for "we'll still be around next year", for interoperability with Windows and others (Linux, Unix, etc). And their committment to open source seems complete, consistent and highly productive. When users get a chance to question their MS installations, due to an "upgrade now" marketing barrage from MS, Novell will be ready to catch some of the runoff. Many of which could be important beacheads inside larger MS organizations. When businesses see how well "Novell" Linux plays with MS systems, and how reliable is Novell's support (especially compared with MS), we might in fact see Novell turning the tables back on MS. People might again start to think about MS systems being "toys" until made serious by Novell business tech.
  • I always wondered why Linux is not more widely deployed in workplace workstations. With the greatly reduced threat of virii and spyware, seems like a no brainer to me, especially for IT workers.

    I wrote an article about this topic a while back, it can be seen at: http://ensode.net/linux_workplaces.html [ensode.net]

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