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Wine Software Linux

No Wine for Dell Ubuntu Users, Says Shuttleworth 328

Posted by Zonk
from the make-sure-to-sip dept.
yuna49 writes "News from last week, but still worth noting: Mark Shuttleworth told eWeek in a May 3rd interview that Dell will not include open-source software such as Wine with the PCs it plans to bundle with Ubuntu Linux. Says Shuttleworth: 'I do not want to position Ubuntu and Linux as a cheap alternative to Windows ... While Linux is an alternative to Windows, it is not cheap Windows. Linux has its own strengths, and users should want it because of those strengths and not because it's a cheap copy of Windows ... Often we see proprietary software companies just completely fail to understand not only the motivations of the Linux community, but also the processes. It's very practical, there's a way to get things done, and it's different. The VMware guys have really engaged with us completely and worked to the agenda set by the Linux community, which is not an ideological agenda but a practical one.' Does that mean Wine won't even be listed in the package manager?"
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No Wine for Dell Ubuntu Users, Says Shuttleworth

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:26AM (#19081721)
    Linux has its own strengths, and users should want it because of those strengths and not because it's a cheap copy of Windows

    And one of those strengths is that you can still install WINE after you buy the computer despite the decisions made by a large company or single individual.
    • by jimstapleton (999106) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:35AM (#19081807) Journal
      That's an option with any OS though.

      I've yet to see a company ship windows with Corel Photopaint, many don't ship with Nero, or McAffee Enterprise. Often the do ship with Adobe Acrobat, but never with Foxit...

      And I uninstall acrobat, and then install the rest.

      That's the whole point of having a computer, and it can be done with any OS, as long as the software is available.

      Now occasionally a new version of one will break the compatability with another, but I've seen that in OSS software, and while yes, I could fix it in OSS software, I don't (and most people) don't have that kind of time to waste for every application they use, and will end up doing the same thing I would with non OSS software - finding versions that do work.
      • by yahooadam (1068736) on Friday May 11, 2007 @11:53AM (#19084247)
        sudo apt-get install wine

        seriously - whats so hard about that ?

        TBH i think this is a good idea, why should dell install a boatload of rubbish on your PC, the same goes for windows, you can install it yourself if you want, that's why its a PERSONAL computer

        also - although wine is good, it is no alternative to windows yet, its still not simple and easy to use, and its not 100% there, but if you are moving over its definitely a nice way to keep your favorite windows apps going (if they work)
    • by Robber Baron (112304) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:15AM (#19082413) Homepage
      In fact if it's all the same to you guys, I'd prefer it if Dell DIDN'T bundle their computers with all that useless bloatware that they currently do (not that WINE is useless or bloatware)! It's almost at the point where it's better to wipe the damn thing clean immediately and then re-install the OS from scratch!
    • by Milton Waddams (739213) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:32AM (#19082695)
      You mean Linux lets you install software now?!?! Wow, maybe this really is the year for Linux on the desktop...
    • by sgholt (973993) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:38AM (#19082809)
      I think you and many of the other posters have missed Shuttleworth's point.
      He doesn't want linux to be a platform to run windows software. Wine is a great application, but windows software with a few exceptions is never going to run as well as it would on the Windows OS.
      That can only hinder linux adoption by those still tied to windows applications.
      The key to linux adoption has not changed...we need software companies to make software for linux.

      Shuttleworth has put a lot of money into advertising and promotion of linux...he is doing what needs to be done. The more linux users there are, the more interest software companies will take. Wine is a temporary fix to the bigger problem...it will always just be a temporary fix. These things take time but I think his comments do show a good understanding of the real problems.
    • by bberens (965711) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:42AM (#19082891)
      Imagine average joe user calling Dell because [insert Windows app] doesn't work in wine. Dell doesn't want that.
  • by uncledrax (112438) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:27AM (#19081729) Homepage
    Um.. so it's not included? Big deal..

    apt-get install wine

    done...

    What's the problem?
    • by igotmybfg (525391)
      Clearly, the "problem" is that we, the Linux community, should be trying to "convert" the n00bs out there who don't know what apt-get is. Having WINE preinstalled would help them get over the fact that they're not running Windows, yet everything is fine, and they can do pretty much everything today they that they could when they were running Windows yesterday.
      • Clearly, the "problem" is that we, the Linux community, should be trying to "convert" the n00bs out there who don't know what apt-get is. Having WINE preinstalled would help them get over the fact that they're not running Windows, yet everything is fine, and they can do pretty much everything today they that they could when they were running Windows yesterday.


        But the problem is, WINE doesn't always work like it supposed to. Sometimes it requires tweaking. In my opinion, I would rather a "n00b" learn about a native Linux application that can do what they want it to than fiddle with WINE just to get their Windows application to work.
        • But the problem is, WINE doesn't always work like it supposed to. Sometimes it requires tweaking.

          I think you're wrong. About the "sometimes". Take it out and the sentence is good.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by metalzelot (1050906)
            Acutally the 'sometimes' is correct. I'm able to run windows-only applications (including games) without tweaking wine for it. Of course there are things where you have to tweak wine a bit, but fortunately many applications work "out of the box". But despite of that I think its better for linux newbies to get common to native linux applications. Because most of the time they are better anyway :)
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Ephemeriis (315124)
          And that, I think, is the whole point. Rather than advertise Linux as some kind of discount version of Windows, advertise Linux as an alternative. Apple doesn't ship Parallels with new Macs. Folks understand that if they buy a Mac there is going to be some learning involved. People buy a Mac because it is NOT Windows. And for the programs that people absolutely have to run in Windows, they can grab Parallels, tweak it a bit to get things up and running, and then run those few programs through it.
        • by Aladrin (926209)
          I completely agree. Switching someone to Linux and trying to make their Windows apps run in Linux is a losing proposition. Even at the best, Wine has an extra layer involved and will (at the very least) slow things down some. If all they do it use Windows apps in Linux, they're going to very quickly notice that everything ran better in Windows, and want to switch back.

          If, instead, they are shown native applications, they will be much happier, especially with the apps that work better than commercial apps
      • Clearly, the "problem" is that we, the Linux community, should be trying to "convert" the n00bs out there who don't know what apt-get is. Having WINE preinstalled would help them get over the fact that they're not running Windows, yet everything is fine, and they can do pretty much everything today they that they could when they were running Windows yesterday.

        If you ever tried running anything half-decent with Wine, you would know that it is not exactly a 'n00b-friendly' piece of software anyway. If you eve
      • by UncleRage (515550)
        Clearly, the "problem" is that we, the Linux community, should be trying to "convert" the n00bs out there who don't know what apt-get is. Having WINE preinstalled would help them get over the fact that they're not running Windows, yet everything is fine, and they can do pretty much everything today they that they could when they were running Windows yesterday.

        Actually, the real problem is that OEM's do not include FOSS versions of necessary (end user) applications. Consider applications as a gateway drug:
    • As a better, more grandma-friendly way to do it...
      Applications -> Add/Remove Programs -> check Wine -> click Install

      Or, we could just start saying "install Wine"
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      apt-get install wine
      What's the problem?

      The problems are:
      1. You need to put "sudo" in front for it to work.
      2. You should be using "aptitude" instead of "apt-get" (aptitude stores extra information that makes uninstalls cleaner [psychocats.net]).

      All kidding aside, I agree with your post. The fact that it isn't installed by default isn't very big news. There are thousands of packages not being installed by default, and they are all trivially easy to add. A new user just needs to be told that "Wine" is the program they

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Nothing really. It's a PR type statement by Mark that Linux is good enough to stand on it's own and if you give it a shot you shouldn't need Wine.
  • Way to go, Mark (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KingSkippus (799657) * on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:29AM (#19081755) Homepage Journal

    Every time I read something about Mark Shuttleworth, I become just a little bit more of a fan.

    While I have nothing against WINE—indeed, I use it myself for several things—I have to agree that it's just not right for distribution by a company like Dell. There's an art to getting it set up and configured, and while it's good, there are still a lot of applications that either don't work at all or don't quite work right in it.

    This is a massive problem, and could seriously backfire on Ubuntu. If people buy a Dell machine with Ubuntu and WINE installed thinking that it will run Windows software, when something doesn't work right (and there will be things that don't work right), the average consumers will get mad at the wrong people: Ubuntu and WINE, not Microsoft. The focus will be on how Ubuntu sucks at running Windows software, not on how Ubuntu rocks at running Linux software.

    I see here a golden opportunity for desktop Linux to make major inroads with the public and take a significant step towards advancing free open source software. I also see here a golden opportunity to destroy the reputation of desktop Linux as a viable alternative to Windows and give people the impression that free open source software really sucks. Don't you think for a second that Microsoft is going to be trying their damned best to see that Linux on Dell machines gives people a bad taste for open source software.

    I have to give Mark Shuttleworth a pat on the back for seeing the big picture, for sacrificing trying to please everyone for the sake of making sure that this is done right, and that the software that people get is great, not just "it works good enough with a few hours of tweaking."

    • Re:Way to go, Mark (Score:5, Insightful)

      by liquidpele (663430) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:38AM (#19081839) Journal
      exactly. This is a wise decision based off of psychology.
      You can't let the consumer think they are getting something (ability to run windows software on linux) and then take that away (doesn't really work). They will be 6 times angrier than if they never had those features/expectations to begin with.
    • by Applekid (993327)
      I don't disagree with your overall point.

      But how would it be Microsoft's fault that people can't run applications intentionally written to be tied to their proprietary OS in an unsupported environment?

      I'm not even saying the blame isn't misplaced on Ubuntu and WINE (it's still pre-version 1.0, after all). Maybe things would be better off actually educating on how to tweak it with some docs and offering it as an option than just striking it altogether.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by KingSkippus (799657) *

        how would it be Microsoft's fault...

        Because some of the API's either aren't fully documented or don't work as they are documented. Also, they've patented some of the critical components that allow software written for Windows to run. The end result is that people working on the WINE project have to do a lot of reverse-engineering of what the APIs actually do (as opposed to what they say they do) and figure out alternatives to really basic things that are legally off-limits.

        And let's not kid ourselves.

        • to reverse engineer anything.

          When WINE gets good enough, they'll get sued out of existence.
          • The DMCA [wikipedia.org] doesn't make reverse engineering illegal. It "criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services that are used to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works (commonly known as DRM) and criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, even when there is no infringement of copyright itself."

            This wouldn't apply to reverse engineering software APIs at all, except perhaps an API that is used to decrypt DRM implementations.

            The DMCA is very, very,

    • Re:Way to go, Mark (Score:4, Interesting)

      by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:16AM (#19082425) Homepage

      The focus will be on how Ubuntu sucks at running Windows software, not on how Ubuntu rocks at running Linux software.

      Well, that's great as long as there are perfect 1:1 replacements for all the Windows software somebody wants. That isn't true for any serious gamer, for instance, or people who use custom business apps, which basically means every business that uses IT, or anybody with kids who wants to use a particular educational software package.

      Hell I'll happily admit I'm biased, because I used to work on Crossover and Wine, but even the MS Office+Wine combination handily beats OpenOffice. Even when not doing anything Wine or software related, I'd use Word/Excel for office tasks on Linux, because it worked a lot better than OpenOffice did, and the small amount of integration OO had into the desktop wasn't a big deal to me compared to things like, not being sluggish, and being able to perfectly import Word docs. Now don't get me wrong, OO has improved a lot since those days and I want to love it, I really do, but I know there are still a lot of people who use MS Office on Linux over OpenOffice just because they prefer it.

      This is just a re-run of the ancient debate about whether Win32 emulation is harmful or good. It never interested me, because it assumes an operating system can be a closed world. That's clearly not true and never has been true, if it was, you should argue that MPlayer being able to play non-Ogg codecs is bad and should be pulled, or OpenOffice being able to read .DOCs is bad and should be pulled, or Linux being able to read FAT32 partitions is harmful and should be pulled. It just makes no sense, actually, because if people need that compatibility they'll either use the compatibility layer or they'll just stay with Windows, in which case you haven't even helped them a little bit.

      • Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying that WINE isn't a great piece of software, or that no one should install it because it hinders the development of native Linux applications.

        All I'm saying is that for mass distribution of Linux on Dell computers, it shouldn't be included for precisely the reasons that Mark stated. I'm saying that because it's not a primetime player yet, it would cause more harm than good at a critical point in the determination of desktop Linux's feasibility.

        If someone wants or n

    • It's not the first time Shuttleworth has taken a stance like this. Beryl is turned off by default in Feisty because it's not very stable. Wine is not and has never been installed by default for any version of Ubuntu. (Besides, if you use Wine, you really need to get the latest snapshots because what's included in the main distro is too old)

      Some tech is cool, but if it can't be used by most people easily, it shouldn't be installed -- and in some cases shouldn't be included on the CDs -- by default, especi
    • Not to be a complete jerk and ruin the positive nature of the post but human nature is not going to do Linux any favours.

      Step 1 : "Wow I can save $50 by getting this.. Leenix instead of Windows!"
      Step 2 : Where is internet explorer!? Why doesn't my videos play!? Where the hell is solitaire!?
      Step 3 : ???
      Step 4 : Write off Ubuntu as complete crap, claim Dell makes shitty PCs that don't work and kick up a stink about it to everyone who will listen.
      Step 5 : Dell from Linux as it causes more problems, wasting mor
  • That's fine by me (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cHALiTO (101461) <elchalo@@@gmail...com> on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:31AM (#19081777) Homepage
    It's their choice, and I'm ok with it. Other distros also add or remove support for certain packages based on ideological positions (non free software, no binaries, stuff like that), so ubuntu and Dell can very well agree to do this to promote that way of considering GNU/Linux.

    And besides, it's still ubuntu, so nothing prevents those who MUST have wine to add a rep to their sources.list and get it somewhere else.
    • I run Ubuntu x86-64, and wine wasn't installed by default because the one in the repository is x86 only. I just added wine's own repository and installed it from there. Sounds like I'm in exactly the situation Dell is considering, and I don't see it as a problem.
    • Simple question.

      How would you feel if you bought a Vista machine from Dell, and discovered that to install Firefox you had to run regedit, hack up some registry keys, add some magic URLs to a database somewhere pointing to specially crafted Vista-specific Firefox versions on mozilla.org, and then click through a bunch of security warnings before you could install it?

      I know exactly what the reaction on Slashdot would be - they'd be raked over the coals for being anti-competitive, forcing the Moz guys to

      • Because in Ubuntu, installing wine is as simple as checking a box in Add/Remove Programs, or running an apt-get line (your choice). And, wine is also not exactly the most complete software on earth. It's not installed by default in stock Ubuntu eiter (or SuSe, and probably not Fedora). Installing wine by default would imply that this software is ready for everything you throw at it, and wine definitley isin't.
  • Ubuntu Fork (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jshriverWVU (810740) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:36AM (#19081815)
    In order for them to control what apps are available, this makes me wonder if they are going to do a respository fork. So when you apt-get install it's not coming from ubuntu.com but ubuntu.dell.com or something like that. Will be interesting to see how it unfolds.
    • by arivanov (12034)
      If dell will be supplying some level of support it should be. In fact that is possibly the best commercial decision done by any Vendor to ever try shipping Linux. Further to this the experience of the few colocation providers which support Debian and Ubuntu has shown this as the best way to keep things under control.
    • You can bet that Dell is going to license a lot of non-free codecs, and create a Dell non-free crap repo that won't bug you when you install it. It'll still be cheaper than Windows.
  • by NeverVotedBush (1041088) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:36AM (#19081819)
    It's built on wine, they feed back into wine, and it allows me to run the few remaining software apps I need to that are only available for Windows. I also still run Microsoft Office under Crossover but am almost always now using OpenOffice instead. Using Crossover, I hardly ever boot into Windows any more (yeah, I am set up dual boot still...).
  • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by otacon (445694) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:37AM (#19081835)
    No, he probably didn't want to include WINE because it will make Ubuntu bad because WINE is too hard for most novice users or a beginner to get working properly...if you make promises that it can run windows software to people, then you have to be able to be able to deliver on that.
    • Good point. Also, I think as people tried to use it and set up Windows applications, it would turn into a support nightmare.
  • Well (Score:2, Interesting)

    by El Lobo (994537)
    I'll never understand why is so important that an OS will be pre-installed with the machine. I'm NEVER satisfied with the way the OS is installed in any machine I buy, so the first thing I ever do is to re-format the drives in any new computer and reinstall it my own way.

    Any Linuzzz distro can be obtained for free, so just, download the packages you need and... done.

    • Re:Well (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Silver Sloth (770927) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:47AM (#19081983)
      Er... but you're a techie. For the other 99.9% of PC purchasers who want their machine to 'just work' what is, or is not installed by default is quite important. After all, the reason Windows is the most popular OS is because Windows is the most popular OS.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fruey (563914)

        Yeah, like Windows "just works".

        • A lot of people expect Office to be included with Windows. It isn't.
        • A lot of people expect Outlook to be included with Windows. It isn't (but it is free).
        • A lot of people expect all their hardware to work first time. It doesn't. Even if you get an OEM bundle, sometimes just the order you actually start to use stuff / plug it in can cause glitches. A noob could hose a USB pendrive by just unplugging it during a big write, for example.

        I don't think Linux is any differen

    • I'll never understand why is so important that an OS will be pre-installed with the machine.

      Because there is a big difference between making the claim that a machine is "Linux Compatible" and actually shipping with a tested version pre-installed as a demonstration that there are drivers for all components

    • by Gordonjcp (186804)
      Are you talking about innovation? You, a Linuzzz user? Linuzzz? A freaking Unix clone! Innovation...? Hmm...

      Because obviously "different for different's sake" is a Good Thing. Hey, this new car I'm designing, I don't think I'll lay the pedals out as Clutch, Brake, Throttle - I'll arrange them as Clutch, Throttle, Brake! Oh, and let's get rid of that clunky steering wheel - so analogue! Let's have a couple of buttons for left and right. What about that engine? Nah, let's just use bungee cord and bike c
    • I'm NEVER satisfied with the way the OS is installed in any machine I buy, so the first thing I ever do is to re-format the drives in any new computer

      The key term you use is: I . "I" != "Everyone else"
  • I agree (Score:5, Funny)

    by UbuntuDupe (970646) * on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:40AM (#19081875) Journal
    I think we need a rule: "No Wine for Ubuntu users." That might make them less likely to think up names like "Breezy Badger" and "Dapper Drake". Although perhaps extend the rule to Beer, Liquor, and perhaps Shrooms as well?
  • it might be nice for people starting out, but it is never more than an apt-get away.
    people can install it if they want it.
  • Good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tribbin (565963) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:52AM (#19082061) Homepage
    I haven't installed MS software on my computer for about seven years now. People ask me if I got MS Office working on it; it is the first thing they try when they install linux.

    "I haven't tried it."

    People find that awkward.

    Also people often say that 'app X does not work the same as commercial product X'.

    Sure, intercompatability is pushed from the open side because of demand. But ...

    LINUX IS NOT WINDOWS!

    People find that hard to understand.

    I think this step by DELL + Ubuntu is a step in the right direction of bringing that understanding.
  • by Adult film producer (866485) <van@i2pmail.org> on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:55AM (#19082087)
    it's because you haven't faced up to the reality: Wine isn't very good.

    Sure you can make some programs work, sometimes. And sometimes when applications do work under Wine they act horribly, weird, strange, lots of font issues. It's not that the wine developers havent tried, it's just that emulating a Piece of Shit like Windows is nearly fucking impossible.. nobody can emulate the development hysteria that went into building windows. I don't fault the Wine devs, they tried mimic microsofts bullshit, but failed...

    It's a work in progress, I know... but now Vista is out now.. and microsoft will release another POS of OS soon enough... they have no chance to keep up with the Redmond madness.
    • Niche Applications (Score:2, Informative)

      by jrsjrsjrs (947704)
      WINE isn't very good at running the latest and greatest (bloated) version of AutoCAD, but it runs most small applications very well. For example, I just installed a new version of a small concrete and masonry design app last week. Straight from the installer, everything worked, from the calculations, right down to the correct menu items being placed and all of the reports printing. I agree with Mark Shuttleworth about not making WINE part of the default install, but don't say the project is worthless. For
  • Great idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sootman (158191) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:57AM (#19082129) Homepage Journal
    I've seen for a decade in my LUG what people go through when they try to use Linux as a 1:1 replacement for Windows. It's miserable. Linux should not be positioned as "like Windows but cheaper." (Especially since Dell's OEM deal with MS and crapware vendors means that a Linux system from Dell will probably cost exactly as much as a Windows system.) Mark S. is doing exactly the right thing here.

    That said, I have the feeling that these things won't sell well at all. (Not that adding Wine would make much of a difference.) Be honest: what does Linux offer the average user that Windows doesn't? The main one is "won't get infected with crap."* That's great, but that's not enough. People have put up with crappy Windows systems for so long that they think it's normal to reinstall Windows periodically, or pay a neighborhood kid or local shop $50-150 to clean off the spyware every few months (if they even bother at all), and to buy a new computer every couple years when the one the old one gets slow. People are used to Windows. They fear change. "The devil you know is better than the devil you don't." We love Linux, but we know what's involved, and we understand what the million little differences are and why they're there. The rest of the world just thinks "this isn't working right." The result of all this is, Joe User will NOT be buying Ubuntu machines from Dell. Dell will sell a few, but not many, and there's a very good chance this program will be axed within 6-12 months.

    * OS X offers this same benefit, plus it has the great iLife suite, gorgeous hardware, and unbeatable hardware/software integration. Not perfect, but miles ahead of anything else. That is a compelling reason to change, and I've seen a few people go from Windows to Mac, but even so, Windows has 90%+ share and will continue to dominate for quite a while.
  • "Does that mean Wine won't even be listed in the package manager?"
    Not by default (have not tried Ubuntu 7.04 yet). You have to visit http://www.winehq.com/ [winehq.com], browse to the download section and follow the directions to add the WineHQ APT Repository to your system's list of download sources.
    This is not exactly what a newbie might expect, but since WINE is still "early beta" quality, I would not recommend it anyway for people who dislike tinkering with the system. As WINE gets more mature, I expect that it will
  • by Brunellus (875635) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:02AM (#19082203) Homepage

    WINE isn't even in a default Ubuntu install. With or without Dell, Ubuntu does not ship with WINE. It never has. I hope it never does.

    One gripe I have with the community is that we tend to oversell WINE. Even though the WINE team have made a lot of progress lately, I still find WINE to be an imperfect solution, at best. Knowledgeable users know this. But the community insists on preaching WINE to every Windows convert. This is counterproductive.

    Rabid WINE advocacy builds unreasonably high expectations of 100% compatibility. This is not yet possible, and it is debatable whether this will ever be possible. New users don't appreciate the difficulty in the project, though. All they know is that NIFTY.EXE won't run. They resent the fact that they've been given "Broken Windows," rather than a "real OS."

    This is not to say that I'm against the WINE project at all. Quite the contrary: the compatibility layer gives the Linux community an extra tool. But I cringe every time I see people treating WINE as some sort of panacea, rather than using it correctly as a tool of last resort.

    • by robinjo (15698)
      Wine is one of the most important projects for Linux. The fact that a small project like Wine can run a big number of Windows software is just amazing. However, Wine has a bad reputation among Linux geeks who really don't understand how the world of the end user works.

      I have used Linux for more than 10 years. I have never used anything else as a server. I am working at a company that produces software for Windows. That's what we do because our clients have always used Windows. However, we've been also keepi
  • Perfect decision (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FullCircle (643323) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:11AM (#19082343)
    I completely agree with their decision. If you want Windows, buy Windows.

    Linux needs to stand on its own merits. Running Linux to use your Windows apps would make Dell and Linux look bad by giving a bad user experience.

    Wine as a Windows replacement is hard to set up, largely incompatible and the wrong solution for more than one or two applications.

    Let Linux have a fair chance on the desktop without false expectations of running Windows applications. If that's not enough, then Linux isn't ready for mass market adoption.
  • OS/2 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thetagger (1057066) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:12AM (#19082359)
    Good. Windows compatibility is one of the things that killed OS/2.
  • Unless you want to run notepad.exe or calc.exe. Everytime I try to use it for something cool (games), it's just not quite there yet. I do not mean to detract from Wine's accomplishments - they've bee astounding and commendable. The devs have really crossed some great divides to get Wine where it is today. The task at hand, if the goal is to provide 100% redmond compatibility, is insurmountable IMO, but they will probably do it someday.
  • Is not a copy of Windows required for WINE to function? Its been ages since I last tried this permanently-alpha software (I've been using 64-bit CPUs for the last two years), but from what I remember, WINE's own versions of the standard DLLs are not really usably for anything beyond Notepad and Minesweeper.

    If this is still true, than Linux will be a slightly-more-expensive version of Windows — if you must run a Windows app or two for some reason, and Mr. Shuttleworth's real concerns are something el

  • by beswicks (584636) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:35AM (#19082747)
    I've been running Ubuntu for some time now, I have even "spread the word" my installing it on a few poor students laptops when there windows installation has died and I couldn't be bothered to find the windows drivers for the laptops hardware. Most of the people I have installed Ubuntu for are happy with it right out of the box, once i've added Medibuntu so that it can play DVD's ofc.

    However I personally like to play a few Windows games like Half-Life 2, World of Warcraft and Counter Strike and in order to do so i've had to "apt-get install wine". So I don't see how dell not including wine on the machines is a big deal, as it doesn't make there distribution any different from "plain" Ubuntu.

    Dell are quite right not to install wine out of the box, as a user who can not "apt-get install wine" or if they have there own partial Dellbuntu mirror, adding the real Ubuntu software sources to apt, will have pretty limited luck getting it working anyway.

    What I would find interesting is dell including a way to play copy protected dvd's out of the box, as to be that seems to be the one real problem with a default Ubuntu installation that people are likely to notice.
  • No wine for Dell users is actually a good Open-Source move so people wouldn't think they moved to Linux just as a replacement.
    I have a dream! I have a dream, that one day, Linux users will be more then 50% of the people who use computers
    I have a dream that people will not use Linux as a user-friendly OS, but actually use it's command-line, and learn how to use it to improve their performance.
    I have a dream, that every new Windows user that had moved to Linux, would not connect to X as ROOT, and actually
  • Linux users prefer beer.
  • users should want it because of [what Shuttleworth wants]

    Telling your market what it should want is a death sentence for a project. It's one thing to do what you want and become popular because so many others can relate. But start shutting down ways they can relate, start enforcing your narrower vision on what was once a vision of maximum openness and freedom, and you alienate people. And once people who liked you for your gateway to freedom start smelling alienation, they run elsewhere.

    I hope Shuttleworth

  • I am an ex-windows-power-user, using exclusively Ubuntu on the desktop for about 6 months now for academic, home, and media center purposes. I might be in the market for a new Dell laptop with Ubuntu- except Ubuntu runs great on my old Pentium M laptop. Even compiz runs great on an intel 915. The only app I have ever successfully run under wine is Picasa, and someone else did all the work to make that fairly painless. It still sucks (colors, themes, file paths...)- Linux is not windows and should not try t
  • by q2k (67077) on Friday May 11, 2007 @11:02AM (#19083295) Homepage
    The reason to buy a Dell with Ubuntu pre-installed is not Windows related at all. It's all about hardware. A Dell desktop or notebook PC with Ubuntu pre-installed should work out of the box. The stuff we fight with any Linux distro, wireless drivers (although that's gotten much better with Feisty), suspend / hibernate not working, etc should not be an issue with the Dells.

    My wife's XP box is 6+ years old, so I'm expecting it to die soon. She doesn't do anything on it that requires Windows, so her next computer will have Ubuntu on it. I wouldn't hesitate to buy one of the Dells. The market for these (at least initially) is not newbies looking for their first Linux box, it's people that are already at least a little Linux savvy that want a new box with minimum hassle involved.
  • by ajs318 (655362) <sd_resp2 AT earthshod DOT co DOT uk> on Friday May 11, 2007 @11:32AM (#19083871)
    I have to agree with Mark on this one.

    WINE isn't always easy to configure. I tried it once, didn't get very far, thought "sod it" and looked to native Linux applications instead. And I have to say, they've improved with every version I've tried. (In all probability, so has WINE, so you may have a better experience than I did).

    The thing is ..... teaching a cat to bark will ultimately be a disappointing exercise. If your heart is dead set on something that barks, go and buy a dog. If you go for a cat, appreciate it for its felinity. Embrace the fact that it's not a dog, and enjoy how it can do things dogs can't do. It's really quite rare for anyone actually to need a cat with the ability to bark; most of the time you could get by with not barking, or borrow a real dog.

    Also, what we tend to think of as "native Linux applications" can usually be persuaded to compile and run under Windows precisely because they are Open Source. (Windows applications probably could be got to compile and run under Linux -- if we only had the Source Code. But you don't very often see an Open Source project that started development on Windows and got ported to Mac and Linux -- usually, they start out being developed on Linux or BSD and get ported to Windows. I think that speaks volumes about the mentality of Windows developers.) Firefox/Thunderbird, OpenOffice.org, Gaim and Audacity probably would meet the requirements of 90% of Dell's customers, and of course are potentially available on both platforms. But Microsoft won't be happy at the thought of something taking marketshare from Outlook and Office; and I'm not sure the various advert-pushing IM networks are entirely thrilled about Gaim.
  • Great Idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MrCrassic (994046) <deprecated@@@ema...il> on Friday May 11, 2007 @02:18PM (#19087385) Journal

    Honestly, I think that the decision to not include WINE in the Dell-packaged Ubuntu install is a great idea. As many pointed out already, WINE is really a crapshoot application (at least in my experience). Some applications will work wonderfully (like Internet Explorer or Winamp), while others will not work at all (Microsoft Office, Photoshop, etc). I'm sure that if the application were more mature and had support for most applications, then it would be valuable to include it (and charge for it as well).

    Plus, it's not like the option to install it disappears when you get a Linuxed Dell. There are still repos and other outlets that will make the software available, so it's really just up to the user as to whether he wants to try it or not. Then again, in a couple of months or years time when more people unfamiliar to the Linux platform start purchasing these laptops, there is a very small possibility that they would have an interest in using it as supposed to, say, VMWare (free).

    On top of THAT, Ubuntu doesn't even install WINE by default so this is a non-issue to begin with.

  • by s_p_oneil (795792) on Friday May 11, 2007 @02:32PM (#19087637) Homepage
    That sales in France won't be as high as usual. ;-)
  • by ZombieRoboNinja (905329) on Friday May 11, 2007 @05:43PM (#19090731)
    Obviously techies can just apt-get WINE, and semi-techies can just go to the website and download it. The only people this would seem to HURT are non-techies who can't even manage that much. Can you imagine even explaining the situation to those people?

    SLASHDOTTER: Bad news, Grandma. That new Linux Dell you're getting won't come with WINE.
    GRANDMA: Wine? Like, alcohol?
    S: No, no. It's a program CALLED "WINE."
    G: Why's it called that?
    S: It's an acronym.
    G: What for?
    S: Um, "WINE is not an emulator."
    G: It's in its own acronym?
    S: Well, yeah, it's recursive. I think it's kind of a joke.
    G: Okay, well, what does it do?
    S: It emulates Windows so you can...
    G: I thought you just said it's NOT an emulator.
    S: Well, right.
    G: It's in the name of the program.
    S: Yeah. So technically it's an interpreter, I think, but EFFECTIVELY what it does is let you run Windows programs in Linux.
    G: But didn't you say that Windows programs are buggy and full of viruses?
    S: Well, yeah.
    G: And that's why you're making me learn this Linux thing instead of just running Windows in the first place?
    S: Yeah.
    G: So why would I WANT to run Windows programs?
    S: ...NO CARRIER.
    G: Oh my stars, not again.

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