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IBM Linux Business Software Linux

IBM Launches Microsoft-Free Linux Virtual Desktop 344

Posted by kdawson
from the open-collaboration-client dept.
VorlonFog writes "According to Information Week, IBM has introduced a line of business computers that avoid Microsoft's desktop environment in favor of open source software. IBM worked with Canonical and Virtual Bridges to create the platform, which IBM claims saves businesses $500 to $800 per user on software licenses and an additional $258 per user 'since there is no need to upgrade hardware to support Vista and Office.'"
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IBM Launches Microsoft-Free Linux Virtual Desktop

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  • fp (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CheshireFerk-o (412142) <kioshi83@NETBSDgmail.com minus bsd> on Friday December 05, 2008 @12:44PM (#26004769)

    one small step for OSS...

  • by RandomPsychology (932636) on Friday December 05, 2008 @12:48PM (#26004815) Homepage
    because for some strange reason, we're not allowed to use the word "Windows" anymore due to the DMCA...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by VorlonFog (948943)
      Mostly, I removed Windoze from my post summary because I didn't want to bother too many Slashdot readers with it.
    • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice AT gmail DOT com> on Friday December 05, 2008 @02:41PM (#26006305)
      A desktop environment is so much more than the OS, its even more than the OS plus Office suite.

      Off the top of my head, our 'desktop environment' consists of:
      • OS (Windows XP Pro or Windows 2003 R2 for Terminal Services)
      • Office 2007
      • CRM application
      • Report generator
      • CCM application
      • Autoroute 2007
      • TopCalc (a third party Line of Business application)
      • CAP (a third party Line of Business application)
      • Legis (a third party Line of Business application)

      And thats without listing the several internal Line of Business applications we use.

      I can't remember when the last time was that a 'desktop environment' I used consisted solely of the OS and an office suite - and thats why we can't migrate to a different platform: theres no alternatives to 90% of the applications we use on other platforms.

      I think thats a point that many people gloss over.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05, 2008 @03:18PM (#26006753)

        Actually, most people's 'desktop enviroment' looks like the following:

        OS
        Sony Rootkit
        Spyware
        Spyware
        Adware
        Trojan
        Keylogger
        Trojan
        Hidden folder full of p0rn
        Quicktime nagware
        Realplayer nagware
        Text file with all passwords
        Adobe nagware
        Hidden folder full of stolen (err, I mean shared) mp3s

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          You forgot ....

          Shockwave/Flash
          Java
          YahooToolbar
          Ask.com bar
          Google toolbox
          Weatherbug
          Weather channel desktop (need two weather icons, one might be wrong)
          Kodak Picture viewer
          Musicmatch Jukebox
          CouponsPlus (I think that is the name)
          Ding (SW Airlines)

          I could go on.

  • Better? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by magister159 (993682) on Friday December 05, 2008 @12:51PM (#26004859) Homepage
    And this is better than virtualizing $LINUXDISTRO + OpenOffice.org how?
    • Re:Better? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Friday December 05, 2008 @12:56PM (#26004925)
      It's better for IBM. No one ever said it was better for you.
    • Re:Better? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by truthsearch (249536) on Friday December 05, 2008 @12:58PM (#26004953) Homepage Journal

      Support from IBM. Costly, but effective, for many large corporations. Plus, for corporations which already pay IBM big bucks, it probably lowers support costs to use their desktop.

      • Re:Better? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by hobo sapiens (893427) <TWAIN minus author> on Friday December 05, 2008 @01:59PM (#26005745) Journal

        Support from IBM. Costly, but effective, for many large corporations

        Effective? Hah.

        I just left a company which was a big IBM shop. I had never worked in an IBM shop before. That was eye opening. We spent more time fighting the software that we did working. It was the most frustrating experience I have ever had to deal with in the workplace. I think on all future job interviews, I'll ask straighaway if the place is an IBM shop and if they say yes I'll thank them for their time.

        IBM doesn't provide support, unless by support you mean allowing their you to hire their overpriced consultants. IBM takes what should be open source products and strips them of useful features, loads them with cruft, and then sells them for exorbitant prices (looking at you, Rational Application Developer).

        There's a reason the definition for fear and loathing [foldoc.org] references IBM. As a former co-worker once put it: "Nobody was ever fired for choosing IBM."

        I'd argue that an IBM issued linux desktop is just as bad as Windows. Leave it to IBM to find *some* way to lock you in. You'd expect that from proprietary software. But using F/OSS to accomplish vendor lock-in? That's a complete abomination.

        • Re:Better? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by deraj123 (1225722) on Friday December 05, 2008 @02:48PM (#26006399)

          I've experienced similar issues in a big "Oracle shop". Prior to that job, I never knew that Oracle produced such a multitude of applications. I think you're going to encounter similar issues anywhere that the tendency is to buy everything from the same vendor.

          However, that same tendency could have positive effect to the open source world. This is just another example of a standard, mainstream company saying "You don't have to go with Microsoft. Here's an alternative." When businesses start seeing this sort of thing offered as a viable alternative from a company like IBM (Nobody was ever fired for choosing IBM, right?), it starts to become a viable alternative in their eyes. Proliferation of non-Windows use in the corporate world can only be beneficial.

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

            by SoopahCell (1386029) on Friday December 05, 2008 @03:14PM (#26006723)

            If anyone working for me chose/recommended IBM Lotus Notes, that would definitely put them teetering on the brink of fired. That thing is a nightmare for everyone.

            • by deraj123 (1225722)
              Then you sir, would be somewhat enlightened. Unlike most management that I've worked with (not all, just most). Now, I'll admit that I don't have a tremendous amount of experience with Notes, but the short amount of time I spent filling in as an admin for some Domino servers has cured me of ever wanting anything to do with Notes again. So, we're on the same page. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that the majority of people making purchasing decisions in the industry are.
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by miro f (944325)

                because the majority of people making purchasing decisions in large companies make their decisions based on who provides the most lavish Christmas parties, the most golf trips yearly, and the best steak lunches.

                That's why with all our amazing purchasing power, it's always more expensive to buy from the "preferred vendor" than it is to buy from, say, Coles.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by pavon (30274)

      Because it includes Lotus Notes! Who wouldn't want to use Lotus Notes!

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It's better than exchange and outlook!

        *ducks*

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by fantom2000 (700930)
          well it is... stand tall.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by laederkeps (976361)
        Add a machinegun to that deal, and you'll have the finest desktop available!
    • 'Cause it's crunching on their hardware, not yours. Easy in, easy out. Stay if you want. Don't feed the Microsoft Monster. That's why, chiefly.

    • Because nobody ever got fired for buying IBM.
    • Re:Better? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Lodragandraoidh (639696) on Friday December 05, 2008 @02:11PM (#26005911) Journal

      $$$$, and less risk --- that is how.

      Most shops don't have the desire to do this themselves...they would rather farm it out to a vendor who they can hold to the fire (via contractual obligation) when things go wrong.

      This saves money -- because the Microsoft tax is avoided, and centralized management doesn't require as much resources.

      This is less risky because IBM will be around a lot longer than Biff the system admin (who would have built your system by hand in your example).

  • by truthsearch (249536) on Friday December 05, 2008 @12:53PM (#26004871) Homepage Journal

    To me, the most interesting part of this short article is this:

    Revenue from Microsoft's Client division, which derives mostly from Vista... edged up just 2% year over year... despite the fact that the overall PC market grew 10% to 12% during the same period.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by EXMSFT (935404)
      That was interesting. Though I thought this was interesting too:

      IBM is offering virtual systems based on the Open Collaboration Client through its Global Services outsourcing and system integration unit.

      Meaning, the software is cheaper than Windows (I'll let you conclude what you want about the cost of the the services to integrate it into your business).
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by lightsaber777 (920815)
        You can add to this that Microsoft's market share for the operating systems dropped below 90% for the first time in forever. Now if I could only install a Linux desktop at work, my work life would be much improved.
  • Congrats (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ericrost (1049312) on Friday December 05, 2008 @12:54PM (#26004885) Homepage Journal

    On linking to the "Printable Article" rather than 6 pages of 3 sentences each (I'm assuming since I didn't bother to look) that is the standard format for Information Week!

    • Re:Congrats (Score:5, Interesting)

      by VorlonFog (948943) on Friday December 05, 2008 @01:05PM (#26005069) Homepage Journal
      You're welcome. I hate those damned advertisement screens that pop up before you ever see the first page of the article. I also hate how they break a small article like this into multiple pages to increase the volume of adverts they can cram around the page. (I really wondered if anyone would notice or care.)
  • IBM claims the system can save businesses $500 to $800 per user on Microsoft software licenses and an additional $258 per user "since there is no need to upgrade hardware to support Windows Vista and Office."

    This seems like a good idea. The relationship of 'cheap' is directly proportional to 'easy maintenance' in this case. (Expressing this relationship very loosely anyhow.) The necessities are covered with a list of typical applications, but is there anything missing here?

  • TCO (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05, 2008 @12:57PM (#26004945)

    I'm posting anonymously because I don't want to have people at my company know who I am. But it seems to me that Linux while cheap to buy is not cheap to keep patched and secure, particularly in a fleet of inhomogeneous platforms and users and network,printer, or disk sharing conditions in different buildings and subnets.

    The nice thing about Linux however is that a very skillful and thoughtful person can plan out a very robust network and can mange the patches. But it takes effort, dicsipline and an above avegage IT guy. And if you lose that person, you are screwed. Even a new equally skilled guy probably can't get all the scripts and stuff the last guy used to manage to work.

    With windows, you can take a balow average imbecile, get them through a certification course, and they become almost interchangable monkeys. you need a lot of them since you will constantly be fighting fires or hunting down the right driver for the given brand of computer, but they can do it and it will work.

    Moreover, and this is the critical part, a manager who is not an expert can tell if his monkies are keeping up with patches. MS tells him what he need to do. With Linux you can't really tell if the IT guy is doing it all, or if your pants are around your ankles.

    So it's not enough to use Linux to reduce TCO. you need to have a company like IBM telling you how to manage your configuration. Not because a skillful IT can't. But because a manager will know that IBM has his back.

    saddly a mediocre virus prone Windows network is, to a manager, much easier to sleep at night, than a well run Linux system that's tight as a ducks Ass, simply because he knows it's reasonably safe from an industry standard point of view.

    people will trade, extremes (linux) for mediocre, if they can limit thier risks.

    I note this is one reason people think macs have low TCO. They are more secure than windows, and a manager can also know if they are getting patched right. So it's win win.

    • Re:TCO (Score:5, Interesting)

      by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Friday December 05, 2008 @01:43PM (#26005573)

      I would say you're spot-on. Not that any of this is really technically accurate. But rather, the perception is accurate. Many managers really do believe this.

      Such is the nature of IT. I've seen pre-packaged, supported software completely screwed up and ineffective in practice. I've seen Uber-admins roll together some scripts that just did amazing things for years and nobody ever really had to worry about it. I've seen amazing stuff completely fall apart when the guy who knew how it all worked moved on to other things. I've seen people say something is "impossible" while ignoring the fact that not only can it be done in-house, but there's also several supported solutions being offered by big IT houses.

      But at the end of the day, IT decisions are made on comfort alone. Sometimes that comfort comes from due diligence (experience and research). Often it comes from simple familiarity and a skewed perspective.

    • Re:TCO (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rickb928 (945187) on Friday December 05, 2008 @02:01PM (#26005777) Homepage Journal

      "particularly in a fleet of inhomogeneous platforms..."

      You probably meant 'heterogenous', but being as this is the Intetrnet, ya gotta be careful with yer language...

      "The nice thing about Linux however is that a very skillful and thoughtful person can plan out a very robust network and can mange the patches. But it takes effort, dicsipline and an above avegage IT guy. And if you lose that person, you are screwed. Even a new equally skilled guy probably can't get all the scripts and stuff the last guy used to manage to work."

      My experience is that this is true of most every OS.

      "With windows, you can take a balow average imbecile, get them through a certification course, and they become almost interchangable monkeys. you need a lot of them since you will constantly be fighting fires or hunting down the right driver for the given brand of computer, but they can do it and it will work."

      Ya sure. The monkeys will do fine until something difficult comes up, and then they will cause the trouble you don't want. As for hunting down drivers, you haven't been around Linux for long, have you? fortunately, Apple doesn't inflict you with this. They just deny you much choice in hardware...

      "Moreover, and this is the critical part, a manager who is not an expert can tell if his monkies are keeping up with patches. MS tells him what he need to do. With Linux you can't really tell if the IT guy is doing it all, or if your pants are around your ankles."

      Ha. Almost funny. Again, really true of most any OS.

      One thing you can be sure of. If you throw a loaded gun in monkey cage, something bad is going to happen.

    • by steveha (103154)

      Moreover, and this is the critical part, a manager who is not an expert can tell if his monkies are keeping up with patches. MS tells him what he need to do. With Linux you can't really tell if the IT guy is doing it all, or if your pants are around your ankles.

      I'm not sure this is correct.

      With Ubuntu, a little icon lights up on the desktop if there are updates available. If you click it and type the admin password, the updates are installed and the icon goes out.

      So, what more do you need than this? The m

    • Re:TCO (Score:5, Interesting)

      by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday December 05, 2008 @02:35PM (#26006219)
      One of my former companies was taking in cost-cutting ideas during the 90s recesssion. One idea was to replace our problematic Window NT floor machines with Linux. The manufacturing software ran on X Windows and so these machines needed an X Windows emulator. Cost wise we would replace 2 licenses with one license and machines would work much better because the X Windows emulator and NT was taking all system resources. Besides that the NT machines needed constant software support with constant reboots. The CIO axed this down because "there was no support" Someone pointed out that you could pay for support via RedHat and that despite the claims of MS support, the only support we got from MS we ever got was to tell us to reboot. That and sell us an enterprise application that would allow us to reboot the machines remotely. Still the CIO was much comfortable with this solution than using Linux.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mlwmohawk (801821)

      The parent is a typical fanboi post, long on FUD, short on facts.
      I'm posting anonymously because I don't want to have people at my company know who I am.

      This gives it away, of course.

      But it seems to me that Linux while cheap to buy is not cheap to keep patched and secure

      Please site some documentation for this statement. It is pure FUD.
      The nice thing about Linux however is that a very skillful and thoughtful person can plan out a very robust network and can mange the patches. But it takes effort, dicsipline

  • Any idea why they didn't just use X11 thin clients or other free remoting systems like VNC or NX? What is so great about Virtual Bridges? I hadn't heard of it before.

  • by Hobart (32767) on Friday December 05, 2008 @01:00PM (#26004989) Homepage Journal

    Wow, this sounds fantastic! Instead of using Ubuntu with OpenOffice from the repos, and paying Canonical for support, or, say, being able to pay *ANYONE* for support, since I have the full source...

    I can be locked into paying IBM for support for all the proprietary binaries! What a great idea!

    ...except not.

    • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Friday December 05, 2008 @01:21PM (#26005267) Journal
      Well, the Open Software programmers have done a great job of providing a very capable platform. But it is not the technical excellence that is keeping MSFT well entrenched. From barely legal tactics forcing the vendors to do things, playing with device drivers, many many marketing and business practices help MSFT maintain its hold. No matter how good the OS codes are, it is going to take significant investment to pry the users from proprietary MSFT format. Let IBM match MSFT in these tactics. The fall out would be good for the general community.
    • by jimicus (737525) on Friday December 05, 2008 @01:37PM (#26005487)

      Wow, this sounds fantastic! Instead of using Ubuntu with OpenOffice from the repos, and paying Canonical for support, or, say, being able to pay *ANYONE* for support, since I have the full source...

      I can be locked into paying IBM for support for all the proprietary binaries! What a great idea!

      ...except not.

      Free clue: People are moving away from Microsoft for a whole bunch of reasons.

      "It's expensive" is a common one.

      "We're being pressured into upgrades we don't want to make" is another.

      "It's proprietary and only Micosoft can support it" is very rare indeed. Go look in the Yellow Pages and you'll find hundreds of companies prepared to support Windows. Obviously they're a bit stuck if you hit a problem that's caused by a bug which cannot easily be worked around, but these are seldom enough that it's not really a big problem.

    • Perhaps you are not the intended market.

      Many organisations outsource their IT services to companies like IBM. If IBM can supply the service and not have to pay for Microsoft licenses everybody (who matters) wins.

  • Just goes to show (Score:3, Insightful)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Friday December 05, 2008 @01:02PM (#26005023) Journal

    The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

  • Meh. Not real fond of "thin clients", terminals, etc.

    Single point of failure. 'Nuff said?

    • by oodaloop (1229816) on Friday December 05, 2008 @01:17PM (#26005227)
      No, there's so much more. There's no CD drive, no USB drive, no external drive of any sort. There's no custom software or anything requiring its own license. We have a thin client terminal within the intelligence community called the DTW (Domain Trusted Workstation) that is pretty much universally despised by its users. DIA et al think it's a great idea though. Tom Freidman in his new book: Hot, Flat, and Crowded seems to think that it is the wave of the future though, even for home users. Let's just say I'll remain skeptical.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jimicus (737525)

        No, there's so much more. There's no CD drive, no USB drive, no external drive of any sort.

        Might work in a call centre but in many other parts of business, one size doesn't fit all.

  • by mlwmohawk (801821) on Friday December 05, 2008 @01:07PM (#26005105)

    One of the things that truly sucks about Windows is the registry. Each windows box is its own unique little snowflake, thus impossible to replace easily.

    If this is done right, all the configuration is in the user's home ditrectory, probably shared on the network, and the rest of the system is a standard image. That means any user can use any computer and have their system where they want it.

    This is no surprise to us UNIX folk, but POWs "Prisoners Of Windows," will love it. Imagine being able to replace/upgrade your computer simply by dropping a new box in front of you. Your settings completely unchanged!!!

    I have been doing this with Linux for so long (separate /home disk that persists), I can't believe people still put up with Windows nonsense.

    • by Shados (741919) on Friday December 05, 2008 @01:27PM (#26005353)

      On home network its a little more awkward, but in corporate environment, this is common and easy to do with Windows too. Its not auto-magical as it is with Linux, but still. Even at home, my User directory, and my user-specific settings are shared with a Windows Home Server, so I can go on any computer in the house and have access to my stuff.

      Now, a little bit of configuration with a Windows Domain, and the registery settings and login stuff will follow. At work, I can go to any machine, and things follow. The only thing missing is that in Linux/Unix, 99% of software can be -installed- in your home directory, in Windows, many can, but not all. Aside that though, everything can be made not to be tied to the physical machine no problem. Windows wouldn't be a viable corporate platform without it.

      If in Windows you really need the software to follow, for anything aside games, you can use Windows Server 2008's X11-like feature that allows you to remote app GUIs, and just install it on the server, problem solved.

      • by mlwmohawk (801821)

        On home network its a little more awkward, but in corporate environment, this is common and easy to do with Windows too

        LOL, you can "say" this, but it isn't true.

        Its not auto-magical as it is with Linux,

        So, you can't do it on Windows.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Shados (741919)

          The only difference is that in Linux, as long as the /home directory is mapped, you get all your settings and everything you installed in home. In Windows, you can map the user directory, so you get everything that doesn't need the registery right there, so a lot of app's settings, and your documents. The only thing missing is the registery, and thats just done by using roaming user profiles on the domain, which is one of the basic features.

          So why exactly "can't I do it on Windows"? You -do- know that HKEY_

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by mlwmohawk (801821)

            So why exactly "can't I do it on Windows"? You -do- know that HKEY_CURRENT_USER can be roaming, yes?

            OK, here's what you need to do to be real.

            You need one, that's right, one, system image that is either replicated and maintained on all the systems or is used to netboot the clients. The image contains all the companies approved and installed applications. This is a HUGE benefit to the IT department as they only have to test and deploy one image at a time.

            Any approved machine can netboot (or copy) the system

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by radish (98371)

          LOL, you can "say" this, but it isn't true

          Yes, it is true. I'm sitting at a Windows machine right now. I could get up, move over the the next office, log in, and it would look exactly the same. Same settings, same desktop wallpaper, same homedir, same everything. It's just standard roaming profiles. The only difference is for locally installed apps, but as our app image is largely the same on every machine that's not much of an issue.

    • by jimicus (737525)

      They're called Roaming Profiles.

      (ducks)

    • by spazimodo (97579)

      That's some fine trollin' Lou. The product described in TFA sounds more like a competitor to VMWare VDI in which case the proper "b-b-but UNIX was doing it 20 years ago!" response is to bring up the magnificence that is X11.

      IT departments all over the world do what you describe with Windows boxen every day. You can store data centrally and have users work off of standard images, you can use several tools to migrate profiles and settings between PCs, you can use roaming profiles (OK, I admit the last one is

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by baggins2001 (697667)
        you can use roaming profiles (OK, I admit the last one is a joke)

        Finally someone who has seen the difference between roaming profiles and what a Unix box can do.
        Roaming profiles is one of the most screwed up things I have ever seen, when compared to the login method used in Linux. Have you ever heard a CEO yelling because his computer wouldn't boot in less than 10 minutes. Why, because someone set his computer to use roaming profiles, and put his email files there. Why, because this is what is taugh
  • Microsoft and Free world coming together.
  • What IBM is up to (Score:5, Informative)

    by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Friday December 05, 2008 @01:10PM (#26005145)

    I noticed that these computers make use of Lotus Symphony rather than Open Office, so I did a little reading. Lotus Symphony is based on an Open Office back end with a custom front end. This front end has gotten mixed reviews for having a better interface than Open Office, but less features.

    Symphony is not open source. Open Office is open source, but has loose licensing rules which allow Symphony to build off of it without contributing back. Symphony is free, which is nice, but IBM retains control of it.

    Control is the key here. The point of Lotus Symphony, and the point of this line of computers, is the same: to sell other Lotus software which will tie in with Symphony, and to sell support for Lotus products.

    This isn't such a bad thing, really. Having an IBM-backed line of Linux business machines will give Linux a better reputation in the business world. However, I am wary of the closed source Symphony becoming a standard for Linux business machines. Also, if IBM is going to benefit from Open Office, I hope that they would also contribute back to it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      About OpenOffice.org [openoffice.org]

      The OpenOffice.org project is primarily sponsored by Sun Microsystems, which is the primary contributor of code to the Project. Our other major corporate contributors include Novell, RedHat, RedFlag CH2000, IBM, and Google. Additonally over 450,000 people from nearly every curve of the globe have joined this Project with the idea of creating the best possible office suite that all can use. This is the essence of an "open source." community!

      (Emphasis mine)

    • I noticed that these computers make use of Lotus Symphony rather than Open Office, so I did a little reading. Lotus Symphony is based on an Open Office back end with a custom front end. This front end has gotten mixed reviews for having a better interface than Open Office, but less features.

      Not just that, it's also based on a very old version of OpenOffice - 1.x, that when we already have 3.0.

  • upgrade? (Score:5, Funny)

    by s1lhouette (1319369) on Friday December 05, 2008 @01:29PM (#26005371)

    and an additional $258 per user 'since there is no need to upgrade hardware to support Vista and Office.'"

    Since when have people been upgrading to vista?

    • Read your quote again.

      And again.


      Once more..... Got it?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Some have hte Vista downgrade forced on them when they buy a new computer. I bought it since I had to pay $20 more for XP and I was wiping that shit as soon as I got it anyway.

      Sucks, but thinkpads are good enough I'll take it.

  • by Britz (170620) on Friday December 05, 2008 @01:49PM (#26005651) Homepage

    While a hassle- and flash-free version of the article seems nice the linked page also does not seem to contain any adverstising. How does InformationWeek pay their authors and bandwidth bills (Slashdot seems to add a lot to the latter)?

    Right: They pay the same way Slashdot does. With ads. It's a one page article:
      http://www.informationweek.com/news/software/open_source/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=212202109 [informationweek.com]

  • The old school purist in me is disturbed by calling something Lotus Symphony that has nothing to do with Lotus 1-2-3 or the original Symphony for DOS...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_symphony

    Oh well. I still miss WordPerfect....

  • I just downloaded symphony, imho, a piece of crap if there ever was one. no rreason even to try it - just to give you a flavor of how bad it is, on the list of windows programs under the start menu is JUST symnphony - no choice of loading just the word or excel mimic
    when you starti it, you get several seconds of a license splash screen, then a choice of new word/powerpoitn/excell, then a slooow wait after you choose one
    Graphic (chart) in excel clone very limited....

    Thats about as far as I got; decided it wa

  • by sagematt (1251956) on Friday December 05, 2008 @02:35PM (#26006229)
    The Year of the Linux (Virtual) Desktop!

The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow

Working...