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HP Operating Systems Software Linux

HP May Be Developing Its Own Version of Linux 303

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the pay-no-attention-to-that-man-behind-the-curtain dept.
vondiggity writes to tell us that HP is working on several different ways to make an end run around Vista. Among the plans is also a supposed rumor that certain factions within HP are developing their own flavor of Linux. Executives at HP deny that any meaningful amount of resources are being directed into plans for a mass-market operating system, stating their main goal is to innovate on top of Vista. "Still, the sources say employees in HP's PC division are exploring the possibility of building a mass-market operating system. HP's software would be based on Linux, the open-source operating system that is already widely available, but it would be simpler and easier for mainstream users, the sources say. The goal may be to make HP less dependent on Windows and to strengthen HP's hand against Apple (AAPL), which has gained market share in recent years by offering easy-to-use computers with its own operating system."
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HP May Be Developing Its Own Version of Linux

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  • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Friday September 12, 2008 @06:14PM (#24984683) Homepage Journal
    They could name it HP-LX!
  • by g0dsp33d (849253) on Friday September 12, 2008 @06:15PM (#24984685)
    It occurs to me that they aren't going to do this because they love Linux. They would do it to make money and I'm willing to bet that if they make their own version it would be designed to be difficult to move to other systems. They won't want to develop something at any expense and have someone else under cut their prices.

    It might be nice to have the average user know what Linux is though.
    • by Narpak (961733) on Friday September 12, 2008 @06:21PM (#24984757)
      If HP makes a decent version of Linux for their computers, even if it has system locks, could be an important introduction into the OS for many new users. A growth in the amount of users running Linux, or derivations thereof, could be good for Linux in general. Wider use = wider support. Not to mention that it could help to make porting games for Linux more lucrative.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by rarel (697734)
        Indeed. This would mean official support and official drivers on a wide range of machines, even if they're only HP-branded ones.
        Any support from major manufacturers can only lead to increased acceptance of alternative OSes in general. If they're working on one I think it's great.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by spintriae (958955)
        I don't see how HP could do any more for Linux than OSX has done for FreeBSD. I doubt very many Mac users even know what FreeBSD is. HP is building on a Linux because they can, and it's better solution than writing a new OS from scratch. They're probably not doing for the Linux community. The best thing Linux users can hope to come out of this is better driver support, if not open-source drivers, for HP computers. That's good enough for me.
        • by Narishma (822073) on Friday September 12, 2008 @06:48PM (#24985007)
          The difference is the license. With the BSD license, Apple can do whatever they like and aren't required to release their modifications.
          • by 2nd Post! (213333)

            Except that Apple does release their modifications... and they've opened up other projects as well.

          • Yea but what BSD code has Apple locked away?

        • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Friday September 12, 2008 @07:09PM (#24985229)
          I don't see how HP could do any more for Linux than OSX has done for FreeBSD. I doubt very many Mac users even know what FreeBSD is.

          Precisely. Users do not care. Windows/Linux/OSX/whatever...they do not care. As long as the UI is relatively easy, it makes no difference.

          recently, I had my daughter and her roommate living with us. A couple of 20somethings. I gave them an older VAIO with Ubuntu on it to use. No instruction, no notification, nada. After a few weeks, I asked "how do you like that new operaing system? It's not Windows, ya know"
          'Huh, what do you mean?'

          They never knew, nor cared, what the underlying susbsystem was. All they saw was a different wallpaper, and slightly different menu location. They found everything they needed to do, and simply got on with it.
          of course, without a geek (me) setting it up, they would have been lost. No printer, no network, etc.

          Linux needs better 3rd party periph hardware integration (camera/WiFi/printer-scanner, etc), better 'applications', and games. Given that, and no one in userland will notice the difference.
          • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday September 12, 2008 @07:45PM (#24985579) Homepage

            Just to go a little further, most people do not understand the concept of "operating system". I've tried talking to people about it before, and it's weird, but and I've even had to explain to people before that there's a difference between "the system" and "an application". In other words, not all computers have Microsoft Office, because that's an application that needs to be installed. Some people don't understand the difference between "the Internet" and a web browser.

            When you talk about "the system", it can be pretty hard to explain to people what an operating system is, because they don't have a very good idea of what's done by the hardware and what's software. Some people think the "My Computer" icon is somewhere in the computer, almost physically, and they don't have a very good concept of how it can go away. Hell, in the early days of my desktop support, I had to explain to a couple people that "that box" was the computer, and without it "the computer" (i.e. the monitor) won't work.

            I know it's sounds crazy to people here, but lots of people don't know and don't care. At most, they know how to use a computer for the things they want to use it for. At long as they can do that without too much hassle, you can give them any OS you want.

            • by ancientt (569920) <ancientt@yahoo.com> on Friday September 12, 2008 @08:40PM (#24985959) Homepage Journal

              Being ignorant, that is to say, having little or no knowledge of a subject, does not mean that someone is incapable of learning (stupid.) I have two users I support on a regular basis who know how to do their jobs well, and complicated jobs at that, but don't know much at all about the computer they're using. One was recently quite frustrated that they weren't able to open PDF files with Word, the idea that files required specific applications to be used was a revelation. (Yeah, I might have been able to get it to work, but simple is better.) Another was only vaguely aware that they could navigate to files outside of applications, starting with My Computer was a novelty.

              Both have the capacity to learn how to use their computer for more than they have, and they are both capable of doing complex work very well. That said, there is some basic knowledge that IT professionals take for granted. The concepts of files and programs is a distinction that many computer users never make. The OS is a concept that both could grasp, but neither has any motivation to learn since it doesn't help them accomplish their tasks any faster or easier. It proves a distraction in fact to learn the things that they *could* do, since actually doing those things would cut down on their production and learning how to do them would take valuable time.

              Just to underscore the point, I recently put in a call to tech support for a complex application that was not functioning correctly. The subject matter was one of moving significant amounts of money that belong to other people, so we're not talking minor stuff. The support technician told me to open up "your Internet" and was quick to blame the oft maligned Microsoft Updates for the problem (and no, it was not an update at fault.) Granted, the reference to Internet Explorer, which is what they really meant, and the assumption that updates applied flawlessly to millions of computers would mysteriously make one machine malfunction did nothing to improve my assessment of their knowledge, but in the end they knew all they needed to in order to fix the issue. Their SOP was sufficient without real understanding of the underlying technology.

              The computing industry is still in infancy. Like a two year old taking first steps, the industry has collectively leaned a tremendous number of things and started to make huge headway into new areas. Like a toddler, we are proud and excited and tend to think that whatever we're currently doing (cloud computing, virtualization, ajax, xml) is the coolest thing ever. Often we have no idea what we're going to be excited by next. Note that none of this is bad, but perhaps a little perspective is called for.

              In the not too terribly distant future, the computer may be unimportant, the OS may be unimportant and the particular applications may be unimportant. It doesn't take a tremendous leap to imagine systems that look and feel pretty much like a browser but handle any type of content we want to throw at it and can analyze faster and better than we've grown used to expecting. Imagine an AI that could do all the tasks for you, which currently require "basic" computing knowledge. I submit that we'll soon look back on the days of files, applications and operating systems like we do now on the different types of engine building knowledge of a hundred years ago. It won't be unimportant, but users soon really won't need to know and when they don't, and they won't, it will be the most efficient tools that are used, not the best marketed.

          • by Abreu (173023)

            Are you sure they did not install a bootleg WinXP on it?

            (only kidding!)

        • by 2nd Post! (213333)

          You mean like release and host repositories for their base OS?

          Or contribute code back to various open source projects they depend on (GCC, LLVM, KHTML)?

          Or maybe release code? (WebKit, Darwin Streaming Server, Bonjour)?

          All of that would be great if HP did it; then we would have HP, Apple, and IBM being major open source advocates.

    • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Friday September 12, 2008 @06:28PM (#24984821)

      'm willing to bet that if they make their own version it would be designed to be difficult to move to other systems

      They have one already (sortof) - HP-UX [wikipedia.org]. Perhaps they're thinking of making their own Linux version to make it easier to move to other systems, like all the x86_64 boxes they currently ship with Windows on. If they stop producing HP-UX and port a lot of the code they have in it to Linux, they get the best of all worlds - fancy stuff for their fancy servers, and fancy stuff for their mass-market servers and workstations.

      They can also slap the Linux brand on it, so everyone becomes more comfortable running it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MarkvW (1037596)

      HP has the Stallmanesque "freedom" to make and sell any kind of hardware that it likes. If they make hardware Linux-friendly, that is excellent--pure and simple. At least that software will be available to HP users so that they can tinker on their machines AND other users can look at what HP has done to Linux and can build on that.

      I see no downside here. Who cares if HP's Linux is difficult to move to other systems? (1) "Generic" Linux will still almost surely be portable to the HP systems; and (2) if H

    • by twitter (104583) *

      Let me reword what you said to show how silly it is:

      It occurs to me that they aren't going to do this because they love Windows. They would do it to make money and I'm willing to bet that if they make their own version it would be designed to be difficult to move to other systems. They won't want to develop something at any expense and have someone else under cut their prices. It might be nice to have the average user know what Windows is though.

      Motives are less important than the freedoms provided. If HP

  • Weak (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 12, 2008 @06:16PM (#24984689)

    If anyone can kill Linux its HP

  • by mpapet (761907) on Friday September 12, 2008 @06:17PM (#24984699) Homepage

    For their quick start CD, firmware update CD's etc. System Insight manager and their other management tools are full of GPL software.

    It's not rocket science at this point and I'm sure they have enough market data at this point to see that it's a viable niche. After all, a low price is always a viable niche.

  • by Iberian (533067) on Friday September 12, 2008 @06:18PM (#24984707)

    If Linux is going to make it on the desktop this is the way it will happen. Now there is a concentrated effort of programmers (paid ones at that) with a large amount of financial support from a major player in the desktop market.

    HP wins because they can now ship a desktop for less and they have more control over the quality of the product which they ship. Win-Win for them unless MS decides this won't do and threaten to increase prices. It will be a long time before a corporate provider of desktops/servers can say no to MS.

    • by rickb928 (945187) on Friday September 12, 2008 @06:34PM (#24984867) Homepage Journal

      The real question is, does HP need Microsoft more than Microsoft needs HP?

      The answer is not entirely obvious to me.

      Easy to say that Microsoft could make HP very uncomfortable with abusive pricing, support terms, and general sabotage.

      HP could, however, deprive Microsoft of easy revenue.

      Or this could be the first step towards a serious anti-trust case, with Microsoft being charged with monopolistic practices, punishing hardware vendors for even tolerating competitive operating systems. Which they are pretty much avoiding right now, since Linux is such a small fraction of the OEM pre-installed market.

      But let a HP-Linux get 10% of the home market, and maybe Microsoft decides it needs to spank HP and teach it a lesson? And HP has almost as many lawyers as Microsoft. I;m counting the DOJ. Though they aren't very motivated most of the time, if the DOJ gets fired up, they will win.

      Interesting. Match this up with Ubuntu's new emphasis on being useable, and this could be pretty cool.

      • by erroneus (253617)

        That is the main question and recent research and polling is showing that most people don't actually care about the OS they are running. They may find it difficult or frustrating when they find they can't run "setup.exe} and especially infuriating when they clearly have a virus and can't install Antivirus XP 2009 to clean the infection.

        I once set up a linux desktop for an older family member and it had been running well for more than a couple of years... (It has been years since I checked on it) and he was

      • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew.gmail@com> on Friday September 12, 2008 @06:57PM (#24985109) Homepage Journal

        The moment that major manufacturers stop preinstalling Windows is the day Windows officially starts dying.

        Microsoft needs HP more.

        • The moment that major manufacturers stop preinstalling Windows is the day Windows officially starts dying.

          Wishful thinking.

          Being a OS X / Linux person myself, I still have to admit that:

          Windows will remain the dominant operating system as long as the majority of the mainstream software (productivity, games, etc) requires Windows.

          HP needs Microsoft more.

          Of course Gateway/E-Machines and Dell would love HP to leave the low-cost windows machine market, and HP knows this. I don't see HP having much leve

          • Having posted the parent.

            I do see a future where Microsoft Windows will become weaken due to web-centric applications. Regardless of my opinion on web apps...

        • by 2nd Post! (213333)

          Or the day Apple becomes a "major manufacturer" is the day Windows officially starts dying. It's getting awfully close at 8% in the US.

      • by 2nd Post! (213333)

        That already happened once 10 years ago. Look up DOJ, IBM, OS/2, and Microsoft.

        They held IBM hostage by withholding Windows licenses until IBM stopped developing OS/2 (they found another agreement with higher prices, I believe).

      • The real question is, does HP need Microsoft more than Microsoft needs HP?

        I think either way, major PC vendors would have to be a bit stupid to not have some kind of plan for an alternative to MS. Regardless of how far along they are into the implementation, they should at least have a plan for what happens if they were to stop using Windows.

        That's just the sort of thing that you do when your business is dependent on another company. If you're running Dell or HP, that should be one of your big concerns. What happens if Microsoft somehow goes belly-up? What OS do we use if we

    • by Chyeld (713439) <chyeld@gmai l . c om> on Friday September 12, 2008 @06:59PM (#24985145)

      When the lease to the space the company I worked for was about two years away from expiring, there was a huge and fairly public campaign launched to 'find a new location'. The company wasn't the only in the building, but they did lease about 15% of the floors.

      There was much excitement, employees were given surveys and polls. There were even a few... disagreements between people who were for locations closer to home that ended in one or the other no longer working for the company. The Business Journal even ran stories about it.

      The company sold the idea heavy for almost the entire year, to the point where everyone was excited to find out where we would be moving to.

      A year away from the date the lease was going to expire, the company announced that after exhausive study, it was determined that our current location was the best suited site, and that we had signed a new lease with the building. In consideration for signing the lease early, the building announced that our company's logo would be on the building and the upper management would have reserved parking spaces near the garage elevators.

      Take this for what you will.

  • by BitterOldGUy (1330491) on Friday September 12, 2008 @06:19PM (#24984727)
    I didn't see anything concrete in the 'article'.

    Here's my take: it's a press release to put the fear of Jebus in MS. That's all. There's nothing concrete. There's no explicit description of what exactly they're going to do - all HP would need to do is just ship with [insert your favorite distro here]. But instead they make this BIG announcement of how they're going to have their 'own Linux flavor' to 'replace' Windows.

    Yawn. Negotiating strategy and they're bluffing.

    • by compro01 (777531)

      If HP is making a version of Linux, I'd put more bets on it being in the vein of HP-UX than as a replacement for windows.

  • If it would help any, they can reduce the amount of ink in my printer cartridges by 1/8th.

  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Friday September 12, 2008 @06:21PM (#24984743)

    ...stating their main goal is to innovate on top of Vista.

    Could we please stop referring to programming as "innovating"? Not every single piece of code anyone writes is a breakthrough.

    • ---Could we please stop referring to programming as "innovating"? Not every single piece of code anyone writes is a breakthrough.

      Bittorrent is. I still have the first torrent from my rusty python script.

      100MB porn vid.

    • by BitterOldGUy (1330491) on Friday September 12, 2008 @06:36PM (#24984881)

      ...stating their main goal is to innovate on top of Vista.

      Could we please stop referring to programming as "innovating"? Not every single piece of code anyone writes is a breakthrough.

      I'm the exception. I wrote 'Bon jour World!'.That's innovation - at least according to most marketing professionals who sell software.

    • Judging by this [microsoft.com] thread (which I've contributed to), maybe they could use Linux to get their higher end 64-bit systems to actually run for more than a week without horrific slowdowns.

      I would consider that a great innovation (though not necessarily a breakthrough).
  • Build upon debian? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by miffo.swe (547642) <daniel.hedblom @ g m ail.com> on Friday September 12, 2008 @06:23PM (#24984767) Homepage Journal

    I think the smartest route would be to build on debian in this case. While they could cram whatever they like ontop the OS would still both benefit from and contribute back to the community.

    Whatever they build upon i hold my thumbs its something new because if one thing is needed today its more OS out there. More diversity demands more standards and interoperations and that would be very good for IT as a whole.

    • While I generally believe that new forks are good things, I think that HP should work with Dell on Ubuntu. Hardware manufacturers would have to support Ubuntu if they want to get Dell and HP business, which I would have to guess is a lot of money. We would have better hardware support.

      • I'm an ubuntu user for three years, but I think it would be smart for any company that large to go with Red Hat for the better corporate penetration.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      The smartest thing to do would be build upon FreeBSD, then they wont have that pesky GPL getting in the way of their work.

      • That wouldn't be surprising as it worked so well for Apple.
        • by nurb432 (527695)

          And i wasn't slamming the GPL, it has its place. But in a corporation that wants to make lots of $, it isn't there.

          • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Friday September 12, 2008 @09:55PM (#24986419)

            And i wasn't slamming the GPL, it has its place. But in a corporation that wants to make lots of $, it isn't there.

            So IBM isn't a corporation? Sorry, in my experience most Linux development is done by corporations looking to make a profit. Why would HP copy Apple and be later to market and have less of a software base to start with? Even Apple releases all their changes to BSD code back, so they're not making use of any of the so-called advantage of BSD over GPL.

            Using Linux would allow HP to undercut Apple's development costs by having more code to make use of and more ongoing development from other companies. It's clearly the best starting point and nothing stops HP from preventing user migration with closed source end user software and services, or simply by selling the best, cheapest hardware (they are the number one vendor already).

    • Wasn't HP a major sponsor of Software in the Public Interest [spi-inc.org], Debian's parent organization, a couple years back? If they backed it substantially (they seemed to have featured prominently on SPI's sponsorship pages), would anyone here know if that was part of their strategy to eventually build a distro on top of Debian? Having both Ubuntu and HP contribute packaging fixes upstream to Debian would be great.
      • Yes, and I think they released a whole bunch of drivers for debian, or work closely with it, or something.

        Maybe even preinstalled distro of choice on their servers?

        HP and Debian have always been close. If Ubuntu hasn't drifted too far, I wouldn't doubt seeing Ubuntu preinstalls on HP stuff. It would be a serious spit-in-the-face move to MS.

  • by Assmasher (456699) on Friday September 12, 2008 @06:27PM (#24984801) Journal

    ...and I've got it right next to me on an Intel machine. I guess they aren't having too hard a time 'getting around Vista.'

  • I hope HP has lots of success in this venture in developing a Linux for their PCs...

    honest competition is good, maybe it will cause other OEMs to raise their eyebrows and pay attention. IBM are you listening? you should have done this with the Thinkpad laptops and desktop PCs (alternatives are good)...
  • by xzvf (924443) on Friday September 12, 2008 @06:27PM (#24984811)
    For both Dell and HP the allure of Linux is no need to be dependent on another company to innovate the OS to drive Laptop and Desktop sales. If they are willing to take a short term loss supporting two operating systems (Don't fool yourselves, OEM's support Windows for end users, not Microsoft) then they get to keep another $30-$100 bucks to add to their profits. Until the promise of cloud computing materializes, it will be difficult to sell consumer Linux without setting expectations that you will be using free versions of software or provide the software and support like Apple does. Plus be willing to stick out the growing process until you get 2-3% of the market. By the way, the model has worked for the big three of servers (IBM, HP and Dell) and now Linux is decent, higher margin revenue driver for all three companies.
  • by not already in use (972294) on Friday September 12, 2008 @06:31PM (#24984849)
    I don't know if this is what HP is speculated to be doing, but if Linux were to ever be successful as a desktop OS, they would need to do the following:
    • Determine which components are going to be part of the system.
    • Fork every single one of them.
    • Tightly integrate them
    • Do not call it a "distro" but rather a "linux based desktop OS."
    • Brand it without the word "linux"

    If desktop linux is ever to be successful, there needs to be a standard and tightly integrated stack. The choice and openness that makes linux so great in the eyes of some is it's bane in the desktop market, and for software support as well.

    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday September 12, 2008 @07:20PM (#24985353) Homepage

      Why would they have to do that? It seems like they'd gain more fans and get continued community support by not-forking.

      I agree that it might be to their benefit to go their own way and optimize for their own purposes, but if they start from Linux, they're going to have release the source code anyway. Purposefully making it hard to patch those improvements back into the vanilla code is going to piss off a bunch of potential customers, and make it harder to port community improvements over to their version.

      Linux will be a successful desktop OS if someone can put enough pressure on major desktop app developers to release their software to on it. Or, depending on your criteria, Linux is already a successful desktop OS.

      • Why would they have to do that? It seems like they'd gain more fans and get continued community support by not-forking.

        /quote> Linux is controlled chaos. It is a million different pieces written by different people all over the world and put together to create a fully functioning desktop operating system. While this is cool in its own right, there is no single mindset or direction. IMO, to truly be successful there needs to be a "dictator" for lack of a better term who has the right vision. It would be necessary to have a fully cohesive system.

    • by Britz (170620)

      "it's bane in the desktop market, and for software support as well."
      That's probabely why Debian has so few programs...

      Maybe I am dumb, because I am not a developer, but AFAIR someone already stated that Linux now supports more hardware in existence than any other os. It might have not been established as a fact, but I suppose in hardware support Linux can compete with the rest of them. Your comment was not about hardware though, it was about software.

      No one can argue that the number of programs released for

      • No one can argue that the number of programs released for Windows is much, much higher than for Linux. But the reason for that is mainly the difference between open and closed source. In the closed source area there are many, many programs for the same purpose. In Linux when you want to develope something you can help in an already existing one making it better...

        Yes, I can help out but 99.99% of desktop users can't, because they aren't programmers. The reason there is so much less software for Linux on the desktop is because there is less financial incentive to create it due to the smaller install base. That's it. There's plenty of OSS projects on Windows people can and do contribute to, but commercial developers are mostly closed source and mostly aim for where there are lots of established users. That's really Windows right now and to a lesser extend OS X. Some d

        • Even if linux had an equal market share to Windows, it would still be far more difficult to develop for. Which window manager are we using? Which sound library? Which directory layout? Which [insert library that has a zillion different implentations]? "Linux Desktop" implies very very little, whereas "Windows XP SP2" or "OS X 10.5" tells you everything you need to know regarding what stack you're developing for. Even if the market share were equal, it would not be cost effective to develop for Linux,
          • Even if linux had an equal market share to Windows, it would still be far more difficult to develop for. Which window manager are we using? Which sound library? Which directory layout?

            You're assuming the market share was split up among many different distros and there was not one major winner (which there could be). If there was not, technologies would emerge to make it easier, either Java VMs, cross-platform/distro dev kits, or another technology. If there is profit to be had, there will be solutions.

            It'd not like users of Windows aren't spread across different versions with different libraries you know.

            Even if the market share were equal, it would not be cost effective to develop for Linux, not to mention support.

            I disagree. The market would make it effective by heavily rewarding technologies tha

    • I don't know if this is what HP is speculated to be doing, but if Linux were to ever be successful as a desktop OS, they would need to do the following: Determine which components are going to be part of the system. Fork every single one of them.

      That's a pretty lousy idea. That gets them a start, but loses them all the free work others are doing on Linux going forward, while still not stopping people from directly copying the work they do. If HP uses their hardware and services as differentiator, as well as some closed source end-user software, they could partner with someone like Canonical and gain huge amounts of development work/dollars free of charge, while still earning goodwill in the OSS community and maintaining compatibility with Linux so

    • by pembo13 (770295)
      Then the licenses would adapt to this threat.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Al Dimond (792444)

      Brilliant idea. Just fork everything. It's easy for the first couple years when you can just make superficial hacks to make it work on your narrow hardware selection.

      Then eventually major changes have to be made. None of your programmers actually wrote this code or have a deep understanding of why it is how it is, and the people that did are actively hostile to you for trying to usurp their role in the project. A community with real responsibility and leadership isn't compatible with the kind of tight c

  • Ubuntu (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spandex_panda (1168381) on Friday September 12, 2008 @06:35PM (#24984873)
    Since there is already a great effort to make one linux distro 'easy' why would HP want to reproduce all the same efforts? They should at least take Ubuntu and build upon it, but really... Why bother? They may as well just work on developing hardware drivers for all their hardware and support Ubuntu as an install option (like Dell does). I think Linux is bloody good! The only holding it back now is aplications, wine is a good start, ensuring many existing windows apps will work on Linux, but a beautiful movie maker, photo manipulation, music maker et.al like Apple's iDVD, iPhoto and Garageband are something that Linux could do with. Maybe HP could sponsor one of these?
    • Re:Ubuntu (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Friday September 12, 2008 @06:38PM (#24984909)

      Simple enough.

      repository.ubuntu.hp.com With all the required drivers for hardware along with setup scripts. Just aim HPuntu at HP's repository and it does the rest. They could even provoide the i386 and 64 binaries on a DVD for a apt-cd repo.

      Dont repeat what Ubuntu does. Add to it.

  • by fishthegeek (943099) on Friday September 12, 2008 @06:38PM (#24984905) Journal
    HP needs what most all of the other OEMs need and that is some market differentiation that isn't based on price. No one wants a perfectly commodotized market to compete in. Windows for all of it's possible benefits carries a huge burden in that when you wish to sell a product built around it your product ends up looking an awful lot like everyone else's product. Leaving price (and profit) as the only real difference

    In the end I think that this is survival for HP because I think MS has jumped the shark.
  • by unity100 (970058) on Friday September 12, 2008 @06:39PM (#24984915) Homepage Journal
    i think im liking this idea.
  • vondiggity writes to tell us that HP is working on several different ways to make an end run around Vista
    .

    Vista doesn't seem to be hurting HP's bottom line:

    After the bell, Hewlett-Packard reported a 14.0% increase in third-quarter profits on strong laptop sales and growth in its international markets.

    Investors have been worried HP was losing market share to rivals Dell and Apple but so far that has not happened. The company has been helped by cost cuts and strong sales outside the United States.

    But

  • First off, I must say I love HP and its products. I have never been disappointed by any of HP's printers, scanners or complete computer systems both desktop and notebook.

    So it's my hope that a Linux OS from HP will continue to "deliver" on my part.

    HP will find most of the "infrastructure" in Linux already in place. What is required is to add some polish and sensible [meaningful] defaults to GNOME or KDE for desktop environments. The areas in which I find these environments still wanting are the following:

    1:

    • by AndyCR (1091663)

      1: Let's be able to configure shares easily. Right now its a mess and as a matter of fact, KDE does not seem to have something to represent Microsoft's "Add network places."

      This seems to work fine under Ubuntu.

      2: Fonts still terrible on Linux. I will jump with joy the day fonts on a Linux machine will look beautiful bey default. Right now, one has to install Microsoft's TT fonts and/or do some compilation. This is a non starter.

      I agree fully. Installing msttcorefonts is one of the first things I do before I get a headache trying to read text. This needs serious work. Surely someone in the Linux community can draw fonts?

      3: Software installation is still a mess. The other day, I tried to get Adobe's Flash player installed on a Debian system and I was not that successful till I installed from source. I do not see Joe Six Pack going through this.

      Software installation works perfectly for me. apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree. I don't know how you installed Flash from source, since it's not Open Source - I assume you mean you had to run their installer.

      • by Abreu (173023)

        2: Fonts still terrible on Linux. I will jump with joy the day fonts on a Linux machine will look beautiful bey default. Right now, one has to install Microsoft's TT fonts and/or do some compilation. This is a non starter.

        I agree fully. Installing msttcorefonts is one of the first things I do before I get a headache trying to read text. This needs serious work. Surely someone in the Linux community can draw fonts?

        Microsoft did everybody a huge favor when they gave away their "core fonts for the web"

        Easy to read serif and sans-serif fonts are really valuable and not easy at all to design, even for an accomplished graphic artist.

        That's why quality fonts are so expensive

        Mind you, I am not talking about "cool-looking" or "funny" fonts, almost everyone can make one of those... While a fancy font might work for a logo or maybe a few words in an ad or a poster, anything more than a few sentences becomes unreadable.

  • Executives at HP deny that any meaningful amount of resources are being directed into plans for a mass-market operating system

    HP is proceeding with the same trepidation that Iran is while trying to build a nuclear plant within range of the 5th Fleet.

  • How will Yahoo sell these computers without all the crapware kickbacks they accept?
    Will all those companies create open-source crapware to clutter up the desktop?

    Will the Firefox title bar say "provided by Yahoo!"?
  • The bad news is that the new HP Linux will only run on PA-RISC.

  • Executives at HP deny that any meaningful amount of resources are being directed into plans for a mass-market operating system...

    A meaningful amount of money for a big corporation is very different than a meaningful amount of money for an individual. HP could easily invest several million in Linux without batting an eye (and without making the above statement false).

  • HP has had a lion's share of the market in servers by merging with the compaq company. Proliant servers sometimes ran hpux. This only makes sense now with the adoption of linux.

    Just think of the new service contracts they'll be able to secure?

  • Take a look at the available operating systems that you can get drivers for if you're running a Proliant.

    http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/DriverDownload.jsp?prodNameId=3279719&lang=en&cc=us&prodTypeId=15351&prodSeriesId=1121474&taskId=135

    Why would HP get into the business of building their own operating system? They already make good servers that run every popular OS out there, including Linux. What's the point of throwing a whole bunch of R&D into making ANOTHER op

    • Why would HP get into the business of building their own operating system? They already make good servers that run every popular OS out there, including Linux. What's the point of throwing a whole bunch of R&D into making ANOTHER operating system?

      They have good choice of OS's in the server market. They are also the largest seller of desktop computers pretty much all of which ship with Windows right now... which is both a huge expense and a huge liability for HP. If they aren't at least looking into the possibility of contributing to Linux and making it into a competing desktop OS (like all the other major PC makers are) then their CEO should be fired pronto.

      That's not to say I think H will pull it off and make Linux good enough and well supported e

  • The only reason you'd buy Linux systems from HP is if you are already an HP shop and need the badges to line up.

     

    • HP is irrelevant. The only reason you'd buy Linux systems from HP is if you are already an HP shop and need the badges to line up.

      HP is the largest PC seller, bigger even than Dell right now and growing. That does not really make them irrelevant. Anyway, they look a lot like Apple did before OS X was introduced... having a bit of a comeback because of their hardware offerings and looking to invest some of that cash into something to differentiate them from others. A smooth and well built Linux distro could do for them what OS X did for Apple (and undercut Apple and most everyone else at the same time.

      I doubt it will happen, but then I

  • Does anybody remember NewWave (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NewWave [wikipedia.org])?

    How about the Open Software Foundation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Software_Foundation [wikipedia.org])?

    Face it, HP is a hardware company. Their two previous attempts at something like this were abject and expensive failures. Dell, Gateway and Acer must be licking their chops.
  • by Eravnrekaree (467752) on Friday September 12, 2008 @08:39PM (#24985957)

    They would work on developing WINE. Just another Linux distribution would only be another OS that cant compete with Windows because it cant do wht most people need to do, run windows apps. If HP really was interested in defeating Windows it would help develop Wine, so everyone would be able to compete in the OS marketplace on an even playing field. Microsoft only keeps its market share because apps and drivers which only run on Windows. Allow people to run Windows apps and drivers and then you have an OS that really can make headway against MS.

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