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Linux Business

Study Finds Linux 'Ready For Prime-time' 283

Posted by Zonk
from the linux-to-replace-24-when-season-resumes dept.
An anonymous reader tipped us to a Techworld article proclaiming Linux as the next big thing ... again. A study of IT directors, VPs and CIOs has concluded that within five years the open-source OS will be running more than half of all important business applications. From the article: "In short, open source, especially Linux, is being legitimized by the major enterprise vendors, and user executives are more than happy to believe them ... Microsoft's thawing toward Linux is now easier to understand when faced with such data - even as Windows continues to grow as the other main server platform of choice."
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Study Finds Linux 'Ready For Prime-time'

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  • Selfserving Article (Score:5, Informative)

    by Cyclops (1852) <rmsNO@SPAM1407.org> on Sunday December 31, 2006 @07:11AM (#17415298) Homepage
    Only there to promote Microsoft/Novell and Oracle. It's making a campaign in favour of our enemies disguised as a positive article.
    • by Umbral Blot (737704) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @07:23AM (#17415338) Homepage
      "our enemies"? I find it hard to consider a corporate entity my enemy (or a friend). They aren't people, so it doesn't make perfect sense to relate to them in this way. Certainly I can relate to the members of the company, but those members are constantly changing. And if some of those members do things I disagree with it doesn't mean that everyone in that company is reprehensible, or out to get me.
      • by aussie_a (778472) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @07:35AM (#17415374) Journal

        They aren't people
        Tell that to the law.
      • by theCoder (23772) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @08:33AM (#17415504) Homepage Journal
        We often speak of whole countries as "our enemies", so why not companies? IMHO, it makes more sense to speak of a company as an enemy than a specific member of that company. After all, individual to individual, members of the groups are not really enemies. Enemies want to destroy each other. Bill Gates isn't my enemy -- I don't (really) want to destroy him. Neither is Steve Ballmer. Or any other Microsoft employee. Microsoft the company isn't an enemy of me the individual, and the Linux community isn't an enemy to individual Microsoft employees (neither group wants to destroy the individuals of the other group). Individuals in either group may consider the other group as a whole as enemies, as the OP considered Microsoft an enemy and how people like Bill Gates consider the Linux community an enemy. Also as a whole, Microsoft is an enemy of the Linux community, as a whole.

        Groups of people, like companies or countries, can very easily be enemies, even if individual members of each group don't necessarily consider each other enemies.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Splab (574204)
          That is not exactly true.

          I reeeaaaally want to find the idiot who designed the way tabs work in Visual Studio over at microsoft and give him a good beating.
        • This is just Asinine. Microsoft is the enemy? This isn't some ideological war that is being fought, and shame on you for trying to make it into one. If you work for Red Hat, then Microsoft is your competition. Neither you nor the "Linux community" else can claim moral superiority over Microsoft. When did the "Linux community" get so vitriolic and spiteful? That's not exactly the community spirit that it is supposed to be promoting. Self appointed spokespeople for Linux trying to polarize the world of
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by SavvyPlayer (774432)

            When did the "Linux community" get so vitriolic and spiteful?

            There is no vitriol in the parent's post. The term 'enemy' is only as emotionally charged as the listener wishes it to be. As it's easier to hate an 'enemy' than to understand and accept an opposing point of view, this is probably not the best choice of words in a constructive dialogue.

            This isn't some ideological war that is being fought, and shame on you for trying to make it into one.

            The parent is simply making an observation. Free Softwar [gnu.org]

        • by mysticgoat (582871) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @03:23PM (#17417400) Homepage Journal

          Bill Gates isn't my enemy -- I don't (really) want to destroy him. Neither is Steve Ballmer.

          <rant class="awful" title="Final Sanctimony Of 2006" style="presentation: preachy;">

          Recognizing both of these guys as enemies is better than regarding them in any other way. Bill Gates' public history is littered with debris of the destruction he has caused to people who were his allies and partners: I would risk the safety of things I hold dear if I regarded him as anything other than an enemy. From statements in the public record, there is no doubt that if Steve Ballmer knew me personally, he would be threatening to "fucking kill" me.

          Slashdot is full of people who want to emulate one or the other of these guys. They've got a word for people who see the world the way parent post describes it: suckers.

          Enemies want to destroy each other.... I don't (really) want to destroy him.

          Ah-hah! There is the problem; a simple but very basic mistake in how one should interpret reality.

          It isn't about you all the time, you know. Do you really think that if you decided that Gretchen will be your lover, all of a sudden she will enthusiastically come to your bed? You actually have less say in who shall be your enemy than you do in who might become your lover. Failure to recognize that the other person has a lot to say about either relationship is not a good basis for one's view of the world.

          No, Grasshopper, in this life you do not get to choose your enemies. You get to choose what principles will guide your behavior. You will then find that your enemies will choose you. If you are resourceful, careful, attentive, and very, very lucky, you may be able to choose your battles. But not your enemies; they will choose you.

          Now enmity is another thing entirely. Avoid it, along with hatred, hostility, and all those associated feelings. Treat your enemies dispassionately, even in the midst of battle. For unless you are actually involved in hand to hand combat, there is no place for the intense concentration and focus, the tunnel vision and imperviousness to pain and injury, that are the hallmark of these emotions.

          Invest your passionate energies in your friendships and loves; don't waste them on your enemies.

          </rant>

          Desiderata [uiuc.edu]

      • You're halfway there: it's possible to consider a corporate entity as goals and behaviours distinct from the people who form its constituent parts. Think "emergent behaviour".

        So, yeah, I don't have any particular axe to grind against Microsoft employees (at least those whose names are not "Gates" or "Ballmer" at any rate. But that doesn't mean the I have to approve of MS policy, its corporate culture, and it most certainly doesn't require me to maintain a neutral attitude towards the corporation.

        Given t

        • by mspohr (589790)
          The other key factor is that corporations have no conscience. The individuals who make up the corporation abdicate moral responsibility. Each individual is not responsible for the corporation so therefore nobody is responsible.

          This psychopathic behavior is key to understanding corporations.

      • Whatever your own personal definition of the term 'enemy' may be, it's useful meaning has been pretty well understood for at least a millenia (or two)...

        http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/enemy?view=uk [askoxford.com]

        [I don't generally participate in offtopic discussions but seeing as I have no mod points today...]
    • by magixman (883752) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @09:25AM (#17415690)
      Only there to promote Microsoft/Novell and Oracle. It's making a campaign in favour of our enemies disguised as a positive article.

      I believe that attitudes such as this are actually holding back the adoption of Linux. It creates a sense that the proponents of Linux are all driven by their hatred of Microsoft rather than a cool-headed and objective choice of which operating system is better for a given situation.
      • by Cyclops (1852) <rmsNO@SPAM1407.org> on Sunday December 31, 2006 @03:17PM (#17417360) Homepage
        I presume you're confusing all variants of the GNU/Linux operating system with the Linux kernel, in detriment of all the good folks work, in favor of a select few kernel developers.

        As long as you continue to confuse a kernel with a full operating system, then you don't even hold a credible opinion either on the matter of the adoption of Free Software: you don't even know what you're talking about!

        What is holding back the adoption of Free Software is pure and simply the concertated actions [auckland.ac.nz] of companies like Microsoft, trying to hold on to their monopolies and power over all subjects, or users if you prefer...

        I'm sorry, but this isn't the rosy world you seem to live in. They *are* out to get us.

        In the paper I linked, it is described how Microsoft recommends hardware makers to not disclose any information of their hardware, because other people might make other drivers...
      • by grcumb (781340) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @04:46PM (#17417898) Homepage Journal
        I believe that attitudes such as this are actually holding back the adoption of Linux. It creates a sense that the proponents of Linux are all driven by their hatred of Microsoft rather than a cool-headed and objective choice of which operating system is better for a given situation.

        Why do you assume that the two are mutually exclusive? You don't think people are capable of making a decision based on years of frustration and pain, and deriving a logical solution to their problem?

        Let me tell you something: I loathe Microsoft professionally. I avoid it whenever I can. I use their products as little as possible, to the extent that I will invest time and effort in creating an alternative rather than to use theirs.

        That said, I'm objective enough to give credit where credit is due. Some of their products, for better or for worse, are the best available right now. Where that's the case, I either advocate using their products or creating something better, or both.

        But when I look at what Microsoft has done - and continues to do - to the world of software, I cringe. I get really angry. I actively work to oppose them, and to find viable alternatives. The fact that I apply myself with a passion doesn't take anything away from my objectivity. So kindly leave your Platonic false dichotomies at the door, and accept that people can on occasion walk and chew bubble gum at the same time.

        (P.S. If you don't think there's any reason to have strong feelings about Microsoft, you haven't been in the business long enough.)

  • cash cow? (Score:5, Funny)

    by polar red (215081) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @07:11AM (#17415304)
    "most large vendors remain tied to legacy cash-cow operating systems"
    I wonder who they mean by cash-cow OS?
  • SharePoint? (Score:2, Insightful)

    Once again, I have to ask, how well does it integrate with SharePoint [microsoft.com]?
    SharePoint is going to me Microsoft's collaboration tool of choice and not only does Linux not play with it, it doesn't have a competing offering.
    Heck, this is going to affect OS X as well.
    (And I'm not saying SharePoint is the answer, but a lot of CIO's seem to think so. For whatever that's worth.)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by hey (83763)
      Why the heck does Linux have to bend over backwards to support the latest Microsoft thing?
      I don't see Microsoft doing the same for Linux -- they are baddies here.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by 16K Ram Pack (690082)
        That's not just what he's saying. He's also saying "and where's the competitive offering".

        Businesses want this. What are you going to say "no, you can't have this". Not going to work. Give them an alternative, and they might go for it.

        If more zealots stopped complaining about Microsoft and started coding Sharepoint/Exchange replacements, the problem would get solved.


        • One of the primary reasons that there aren't any "replacements" in the linux world (and limited compatibility with apps that play well with Microsoft's apps) all boils down to one thing: document formats. And who do we have to blame for that? The linux crowd who is constantly having to invest ungodly amounts of time reverse-engineering so that an alternative *might* work. Proprietary document formats ought to be illegal- no company should be able to exercise control over *my* data.
          • I misworded something so that my intent comes across the opposite from what was intended:

            And who do we have to blame for that? The linux crowd who is constantly having to invest ungodly amounts of time reverse-engineering so that an alternative *might* work.

            This should read:
            And who do we have to blame for that? The linux crowd who is constantly having to invest ungodly amounts of time reverse-engineering so that an alternative *might* work, or the company making all this extra effort necessary because of th
          • by amliebsch (724858)

            And who do we have to blame for that?

            You don't get it, do you? It doesn't matter who's to blame for that. The end user doesn't make decisions based on ideology. Almost nobody is going to forgive a product's deficiencies because it's not the manufacturer's fault - they'll just use another product.

      • by aussie_a (778472)
        When all of their potential customers are using it and feel its necessary for their business (which is what the OP is claiming will happen) they need to support it if they want those customers.
      • "Why the heck does Linux have to bend over backwards to support the latest Microsoft thing?"

        It hinders adoption when they don't.
      • by paganizer (566360)
        Sharepoint is not the latest microsoft thing, it's been around since 1999.
        It was also a lot cooler in 1999; you could do some really cool things with it, like web page subscription and commenting, that I don't think you can do anymore.
        But still, the version that is around now is a very, very valuable business tool; it allows small business to have features and abilities that you could not easily accomplish with anything else that i'm aware of for anything close to the same investment.
        I don't think it will s
      • Re:SharePoint? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Kjella (173770) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @09:59AM (#17415800) Homepage
        It's the usual game of lock-ins and lock-outs. Microsoft is trying to lock people in - Linux (= a subset of the OSS community, and mostly nothing to do with the kernel) is trying to create compatible solutions to unlock them. As for Linux always copying Microsoft - somehow I don't think Microsoft is intentionally trying to spite their customers, to get best cost/gain ratio by cutting costs, obsoleteing products and charging monopolist prices sure, but I don't think there's anyone at Microsoft thinking "Hmm.. I got this great product we could sell, but that'd be too good for them. Let's give them some half-assed jumble instead."

        Microsoft employ a lot of smart people, they have plenty experience, plenty HCI studies, plenty user feedback. Yes, marketing dictates that they need to put out new products no matter if the customer is happy with the current ones, but unless you consider Widnows XP perfect then there's plenty *real* improvements they can do in addition to the wizzy "new look". There's a good change they know that "ok, looks will get us this far but we need to actually deliver on a few things too". That's not to say that Linux should try to chase every distraction but SharePoint isn't just a Microsoft flirt. Many businesses want SharePoint, or something like SharePoint.

        Do you know what the Microsoft products often really are to the Linux community (and I bet this'll get moderated as flamebait)? It's the rallying flag, it puts everyone on target about "what are we making". "An excel clone, a photoshop clone, a sharepoitn clone". It's the closest thing many projects have to a vision or functional goal (because they won't/can't agree on their own, bazaar thing). That doesn't mean you don't take good ideas from other places, scratch your own personal itches and so on, but it's putting everyone on the same track. It's easy to say "let's go our own way" but when hundred different developers go hundered different ways, you rarely get very far. And then "well Widnows is doing ti, so it can't be half bad" is the compromise.
      • Because MS is the leader here, and because MS has marketing and mindshare.

        Linux is playing a game of catchup even when they're ahead because so few people know about what Linux can do. If linux had a billion dollar advertising budget, thousands of salesdrones, 90% of the installed desktops, hisghschools and colleges "training" the kids in OpenOffice and Firefox, and most portable devices supporting it, then MS would be playing "me too" also.

        I'm no big fan of MS, but like it or not they are the one to beat.
    • Re:SharePoint? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SQLz (564901) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @07:31AM (#17415358) Homepage Journal
      If people want to throw away TCO, security, easy of administration, power, and all the free enterprise proven software available for a glorified calendar and wiki program from Microsoft, they can go right ahead.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by melonman (608440)

        If people want to throw away TCO, security, easy of administration, power, and all the free enterprise proven software available

        Um, Sharepoint is aimed at business users, and most of them don't have a linux-aware workforce, so it's hardly a case of throwing away Linux benefits, more not throwing away Windows-based skills.

        for a glorified calendar and wiki program from Microsoft

        I take it you haven't used Sharepoint? I'm an all-Linux web app designer, but, having done some consultancy work on Sharepoint

      • Re:SharePoint? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Blakey Rat (99501) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @01:03PM (#17416544)
        How about you *use* Sharepoint for at least 1/10th of a second before making moronic statements like this?

        In any case, they're not throwing away:

        1) TCO- it comes with Office now, and they already own Office.
        2) Security- it's hard to find something to compare Sharepoint to, security-wise, since there's literally no competing software out there. But its security is sufficient for two reasons: first, it runs on intranets only and isn't exposed to the internet, and second there haven't been any huge vulnerabilities announced for it yet.
        3) Ease of administration- Sharepoint makes every manager an administrator of their particular sub-site. And it's easy enough that I've seen many non-technical managers operate it correctly with no problems whatsoever. So not only is it easy to administer, but it's easy to administer for non-techs.
        4) Power- Since there's no competing product in the marketplace, it's really hard to talk about power. So I won't.
        5) "All the free enterprise proven software available"- Since companies using Sharepoint generally aren't using Linux, they're not throwing anything away. Sharepoint may not be free, but it's definitely enterprise-proven. After all, Microsoft is one of the biggest enterprises there is, and they use it all over on a daily basis... I doubt any Linux-based software of this type can say that much.

        All that aside, the main thing you're missing is that Sharepoint is a *lot* more than a "glorified calendar and wiki program" and that, right now, there is literally ZERO competition. The reason Microsoft has a monopoly is not because their software is so great, but because, in a lot of areas, they have barely any competition. If the Linux community really wants to displace Office/Sharepoint, then they're going to have to make an alternate to it that's as easy to use as and as functional, and I don't see that happening.

        (For example, most Linux users will refuse to admit that OpenOffice isn't as good as Office, or that GIMP isn't as good as Photoshop. Until those blinders come off, those products will never improve enough to compete with Office or Photoshop. Of course, GIMP's developers have their head so far up their ass, it'll likely never compete with Photoshop regardless.)
    • Provide a scalable, manageable platform for collaboration and the development of Web-based business applications with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, a versatile technology in Windows Server 2003.

      And what that supposed to mean to the CIOs??? Or as developer and admin?

      Well, we do not develop web services and heck I'm not sure what those are anyway. Last I heard Google doesn't use them - and it is playground of IBM/M$. From all it looks like: another non-technology crap (made up of buzz-words) create

    • by donaldm (919619)
      From the web page for Share-point:
      "Provide a scalable, manageable platform for collaboration and the development of Web-based business applications with Windows Share-Point Services 3.0, a versatile technology in Windows Server 2003."

      The continuing vague blurb sounds fantastic but Share-point is specifically for MS Windows. I have seen this in use and like any managed process someone has to manage it otherwise you are going to have a mess on your hands. Linux/Unix can do something similar but the method is
    • No alternatives? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by HangingChad (677530)

      SharePoint is going to me Microsoft's collaboration tool of choice and not only does Linux not play with it, it doesn't have a competing offering.

      Do you mean there's no open source competitive offering? Because there are products like Stoneware [stone-ware.com]. That used to run on Linux, haven't checked up on it in a couple years but it offers web portal features, single sign-on, application framing. I'm not sure what else you'd want a competing product to do.

    • by oohshiny (998054)
      SharePoint is going to me Microsoft's collaboration tool of choice

      Well, yes, it's Microsoft's choice, but it's apparently not the choice of users.

      and not only does Linux not play with it, it doesn't have a competing offering.

      There are several Sharepoint-equivalents for Linux. They don't seem to be very popular, however, which leads me to believe that they are not what users actually want. Given a choice, people seem to go for other collaboration solutions.
  • Legitimate at last (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 31, 2006 @07:19AM (#17415324)
    Oh thank God for that! I was about to ditch Linux after 10 years of being utterly Microsoft free.
    But with the blessing of these well informed and important pundits I feel the future is brighter
    already!

    There's something slightly sad and laughable about people who switch their minds once something is
    so bloody obvious it can't be ignored any longer. Next we'll have Bush saying the war in Iraq is lost
    and it was a bad idea in the first place - and everyone will applaud him for his incisive wisdom.

    Why are those with the most influence always the last to know what is really going on in this world?
    • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @08:55AM (#17415586) Homepage Journal
      You had to go there, didn't you. You had to bring up Bush and the myth that the war in Iraq is "lost" and was a "bad idea". You can't just leave well enough alone and talk about kernels and bandwidth and C++ and stuff, but you had to go and start pointing fingers just because a guy makes ONE LITTLE MISTAKE and invades the wrong country. Iraq/Iran, I mean, they're only ONE LETTER APART. So get ready to be modded down by some REAL AMERICANS who aren't quite so nitpicky. Not when Bush is doing such a great job, President-wise.
  • Linux gets a pool of lawyers and marketers.
    • Linux gets a pool of lawyers and marketers. ... then dump piranhas and a couple of alligators in the pool.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by richie2000 (159732)

        Linux gets a pool of lawyers and marketers. ... then dump piranhas and a couple of alligators in the pool.
        There's no way the pool guy is going to clean out those bones from the bottom of a pool full of sharks, piranhas and alligators.
  • I know a lot of traditionally mainframe/Windows businesses that are at some level bringing in Linux servers, often to do tasks like mail or firewalls.

    There never will be a "year of Linux", in the same way that there was no "year of Windows". It takes time, and it happens slowly. For me, 2006 meant the first time that I installed Linux on a laptop, and it was productive for me. Next year, some more people will discover it.

    But in the very long term, I believe it's unstoppable.

  • that studies have found Linux ready for prime-time for 5 years now... *yawn*
  • Fast. (Score:3, Funny)

    by SeaFox (739806) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @08:04AM (#17415440)
    Wow, that didn't take long! [slashdot.org]
  • The way this article is worded, it is obvious they are talking about servers. It will barely make a dent in MS's overall installed base. It might make a meaningful increase in Linux's total installed base, but I doubt it.

    Only when the Linux developers and community take the desktop seriously and start to make Linux more accessable to Joe Average Luser will Linux gain an appreciable market share.
    • by NorbrookC (674063)

      The way this article is worded, it is obvious they are talking about servers.

      Exactly. This is important, but (sighs) the usual meandering into Linux on the desktop crept in. The big problem is the confusion between server - business desktop - home desktop. Linux as a server operating system has been "ready" for a long time, and has been steadily making inroads. That it's just becoming obvious to upper-level management isn't terribly surprising, they're usually among the last to grasp the obvious.

  • In my experience, 5 years is too far away to make for a worthwhile prediction. If it is that far away, we are just guessing. Far too much can happen in that time (economic downturn, anyone?)

    Further, my last employer was a Windows shop. The infrastructure was designed around proprietary MS security and authentication. They don't want linux. They don't care what it runs or what it can do. If you don't have an MCSE, you aren't qualified to work there (>1600 IT employees for a company of ~9000). We made se
    • by Dan Ost (415913)
      If Linux offers a competitive advantage, then companies that refuse to switch to Linux will eventually be pressured out of their markets by competitors that do switch.

      Only time will tell, but it's easy to see who's drawing the lines.
  • by EjectButton (618561) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @09:14AM (#17415652)
    from the article:

    Microsoft's thawing toward Linux is now easier to understand when faced with such data

    The Novell/Microsoft deal is not Microsoft "thawing toward Linux", it is Microsoft attempting to exploit the patent system to spread their FUD in new ways because all other efforts have been ineffective. It is becoming tiresome to see this lie perpetuated. I know the Novell/Microsoft press release claimed it was all about interoperability between Windows and Linux but that was just a red herring for those not familiar with Microsoft's business history, and it sounds a lot better to Novell's customers than "Novell management cashes out and does long-term harm to the company in exchange for a short term financial benefit".

    Here is a simple question for anyone who believes the interoperability cover story, if Microsoft actually cared about interoperability why would they be paying Novell, or anyone else for that matter, hundreds of millions of dollars? Microsoft is the only organization in the world that has access to both complete Microsoft source code and Linux source code, if they wanted interoperability they would be in a better position than anyone else. Or, without spending a dime, they could simply release the specs which already exist internally for any number of proprietary non-standard pieces of software such as active directory protocols, smb/cifs protocols, exchange server, ntfs specs, wmv, etc etc. Rather than force everyone to reverse-engineer everything.

    I don't doubt that Linux will experience significant growth over the next few years, but this particular article is just more phb-oriented magazine filler.

  • I bet the series runs longer than Battlestar Galactica Redux.
  • It has been ready for the prime time for years, it is the work force that isn't ready. There's many IT support staff who can't administer Unix systems and therefore they can't administer Linux.
    • The problem is... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tony (765) *
      There's many IT support staff who can't administer Unix systems and therefore they can't administer Linux.

      The problem is, they can't really administer MS-Windows boxes, either.

      A basic understanding of computers would give any decent admin the ability to administer a Unix system (whether it's Linux, *BSD, OpenSolaris, or any of 'em). They might have to spend a week or two installing and learning their way around the system, and to grok the Unix Way, but they could do it.

      Too many MS-Windows admins learn by ro
  • slashdot.org bloated (Score:2, Informative)

    by Zpin (921535)
    This is OT, but since I don't know where else to put it: Why do I have to load 500kb of css and js before the page even starts displaying? I know there was some article about pages loading for more than 4 seconds lose user interesst, well this page loads way longer (I visit the links in the RSS feed: http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/12/31/ 0430229&from=rss [slashdot.org] 15 seconds on my 7Mb connection).
    Another funny thing is that the js consist mostly of comments...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rs232 (849320)
      "Why do I have to load 500kb of css and js before the page even starts displaying?"

      Same here, it also freezes on loading images.slashdot.org and google-analytics.com.
  • by viewtouch (1479) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @10:39AM (#17415946) Homepage Journal
    You guys always do this; you talk about "Linux" but you are really talking about either the X Windows System or you're talking about the thousands of various software tools (such as all the GNU software) in the various distributions or you're talking about the various applications software packages that run on Linux and X, most of which also run on, for example, BSD and X.

    Everybody here at Slashdot knows this already but, still, and probably forever, most people won't know this. So, is this OK? I don't think so. Linux is the heart but X is the blood, lungs, bones, muscle and skin. Let's get over being shy or ignorant about the importance of X, its uniqueness as a network display protocol, the renaissance in X development, the activity in X related projects like cairo, SVG, all things GL (OpenGL,XGL, AIXGL), Desktop environments based on X, etc..

    Let's get over being shy about the importance of the UNIX component model and the valuable tool extensions that make this approach so much more useful than the monolithic approaches of other operating environments, such as rsync, scripting, et al.. And lastly, let's start talking about the absolute need for network computing. That's the computing paradigm of the present and the future. Let's talk about how so much of Linux, X, rsync (for example) and the applications are already so well suited for making use of and advancing that approach to software. Network computing is replacing the desktop as the next 'big thing', so let's start talking about that, why don't we? The game console manufacturers have recognized and accepted this, so why don't we accept that this is also true for applications?

  • If I had a dollar for every article I'd read proclaiming Linux to be ready for primetime, Linux will beat Windows, this is the year of the Linux desktop, I'd be a very rich man.

    OTOH, if I'd had a million dollars for everytime it became true, I'd be living under a bridge feasting out of the bins behind the restaurant.

  • my experiences - (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jmahler (192217) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @12:01PM (#17416272) Homepage
    We're trying to incorporate more Linux systems in our office, but as an accounting firm, almost everything is Windows only. From Quickbooks to the ProSystemFX suites of Engagement and Tax, we're pretty well stuck on Windows for the most part.

    That said, we've been working with Citrix on an experimental basis in order to add better remote functionality to our staff - and Linux boxes might wind up being the way to go on the client end. I know I've been using Ubuntu on my laptop exclusively for a year now, and a lot of our users have been coming up to me and asking what the deal is with the cube and whatnot (Beryl - check it out if you haven't yet, very very cool - http://www.beryl-project.org/ [beryl-project.org]), and I just use remote desktop to manage servers and once in a while run Windows apps if I really need to.

    Also, and this is a total self-serving link, I just wrote about giving my kids Linux laptops. http://endcycle.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] - SO FAR, they love Edubuntu. We'll see how long that lasts, though. :) I think it's going to be good. My younger took about 3 minutes to look around, and the next thing I knew, she had changed her background and theming - I was really impressed. AAAAAaaanyway, back to the discussion.
  • by gentlemen_loser (817960) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @12:55PM (#17416504) Homepage
    For purposes of this post, I am going to ignore the implications of MS FUD in TFA, and specifically address whether or not (IMHO) Linux is ready for the desktop. Additionally, let me preface this by saying that I have used Linux as my sole desktop for PCs since 1994, but roughly two years ago switched to OS X on a Powerbook G4.

    I recently tried to install Linux (specifically Ubuntu) on my Powerbook. To be fair, the live CD worked flawlessly and I was really impressed. Additionally, AirPort Extreme drivers are not working for PPC Linux, BUT I do not hold any distribution at fault for that because there are legal issues related to the open source version of the driver.

    The installation went smoothly until I got to the Yaboot install - which failed. After considerable poking around, I read that there is a new bug in Yaboot when dealing with ATA drives. After several hours of manually editing the conf file - I finally figured out a manual workaround that solved the problem. However, I was frusturated by the whole process. Some time ago, I tried Yellow Dog (4.1, i think) - which installed flawlessly using Yaboot. This tells me that the new ATA bug was introduced recently. In the time since I first tried YD to the time I tried Ubuntu - I expected progress - not regression. While someone with time and experience can work through these problems, how can anyone expect Joe-six-pack to be impressed and not pissed when he tries it? One of the major Mac rags just ran an article about multi-desktop Macs and included mention of Linux. Each time someone with a Powerbook (or some other Mac with an ATA drive) attempts to install Ubuntu (or even openSuse for that matter), they will run across such bug and be soured.

    The community as a whole needs a better way to deal with (read prevent) issues like the one I just encountered. While I understand how and why said bug occured, and how to work around it, someone trying to install Linux for the first time will run across it, get pissed, tell their friends Linux sucks, and get on with their lives. I firmly know that Linux has a better (read more stable) kernel than MS, and that all of the components necessary for Linux to be a prime candidate for the desktop are in place. Additionally, I believe that open-source is a better route. BUT, until the community gets its shit together and makes a distribution that works - Linux on the desktop will continue to be an uphill battle.

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky

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