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HP Pushes Open Source For Small Businesses 118

Posted by Soulskill
from the financial-motivation dept.
ruphus13 writes "HP finally begins to actively push open source in its products. From the post, 'HP has been quirky over the years when it comes to open source. It has been, traditionally, a company that supports open source — especially in larger enterprises... Wednesday, it announced two new open source products, geared to small businesses and educational institutions. HP plans on including its 'Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solution' on more of its business class desktop PCs (to a total of seven models between the HP Compaq dc/dx lines in the US, eight models worldwide). Come December 15th, HP will also offer Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop on its HP Compaq dc5850 model. The base SLED-equipped model will cost $519, and features the usual open source suspects for the small business setting — OpenOffice, and mail clients such as Evolution.'"
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HP Pushes Open Source For Small Businesses

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  • What, again? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Erikderzweite (1146485) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @03:31AM (#26100879)

    How many times did they claim Linux support and backed out of it later?

    • Re:What, again? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anthony_Cargile (1336739) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @03:58AM (#26101007) Homepage
      Too many times, I'm afraid. They were also supposedly going to offer desktops with Linux around the same time Dell was, and I heard they did but never saw any advertised (or even hidden on their website, for that matter).

      You're right, they need to make up their mind or actually stick with what they announce they're going to do.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by theaveng (1243528)

        I took a quick look at what HP is offering.

        The $500 PC discussed in the summary only has 512 megabytes of RAM. That won't work with Vista which runs like a snail through molasses, but is it enough to run "SUSE" Linux? Or will that be running slow too?

        • by GuidoW (844172)

          The $500 PC discussed in the summary only has 512 megabytes of RAM.

          What?! 500 USD for a PC with just 512 MB of RAM? Is this a joke?

        • 512 MB ram is probably enough for SUSE in an office setting.

          As my second computer, I'm running Ubuntu on an older and slower Compaq that has only 384 MB ram. I use this for general office work (OOo, Firefox, Thunderbird, etc) when I've got my primary computer tied up with a 10 hour photorealistic ray trace rendering. I don't notice any performance difference with office type tasks between these:

          1. Dell 1.6 GHz Pentium 4, 256 KB cache, 1 GB ram, 3200 bogomips (Ubuntu 8.10 stock install)
          2. Compaq 1.0
          • by mysidia (191772)

            512 MB ram is probably enough for SUSE in an office setting.

            This is good enough for running server software.

            But if you're running X, KDE, and OpenOffice, it is clearly best for you to have 1GB of RAM.

            Because KDE/Gnome take a lot of memory, and OpenOffice is also a huge memory hog.

            So if you are running both, very little is left in the way of RAM for filesystem page cache, and you may actually start paging, which is ok on a server, but on a desktop, this results in a degraded experience.

            • by mikechant (729173)

              Well...
              I used to run Fedora 6/Gnome/Openoffice with 256Mb RAM, it was usable but a bit slow - surely something like that should be fine on 512Mb?

              • by mysidia (191772)

                Hrm.. why do you think 256Mb of more RAM is a magic number for good performance, if 256mb was slow for you?

                Even the most casual user will want to do some web surfing in addition to running OpenOffice.

                That most likely means Firefox 3, which has some substantial memory requirements of its own.

                And E-mail (Thunderbird, KMail, or Evolution). Multi-tasking between 3 applications is almost a foregone conclusion.

                3-way multitasking is something almost everyone does now (it's not a power user thing)

                At lea

        • by Yfrwlf (998822)
          No offense intended, but you're obviously very new to Linux. Depending on the software you want to run, Linux can run on anywhere from 8 MBs of RAM with no GUI, to as little as maybe, what, 64 MBs with a GUI? I dunno, I haven't tried seeing how much X plus one of the lighter GUIs require, but I'm sure it's not much. Gnome needs 256-512 to run well I think.
    • HP is IBM; IBM is HP (Score:5, Interesting)

      by reporter (666905) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @05:31AM (#26101315) Homepage
      HP is just executing the IBM plan for profits: (1) sell services and (2) sell hardware/software at a loss (or for free) to sell even more services.

      After Lou Gerstner assumed the helm at IBM in the early 1990s, he re-organized the company to focus on services. He shutdown the division manufacturing desktops. He embraced open-source software like Linux. He turned IBM Semiconductor into a contract manufacturer of ASICs. Today, the bulk of both revenue and profits at IBM are due to services. Gerstner's successor came directly from IBM Global Services.

      HP followed in the footsteps of IBM and purchased EDS. Just like IBM, HP fired thousands of employees to eliminate redundancies.

      Both HP and IBM remain profitable during this ghastly recession. Sun Microsystems, which failed to significantly grow its services division, may not survive as an independent company.

    • Look into my eyes......
    • by leuchuk (1430731)
      At least their commitment about printer drivers in Linux works. See the other printer producers and their ideas about markets like Canons "there is no demand for Linux drivers or Canons help" approach (I heard that from a Canon rep). The other thing is that marketing is in every bigger IT business's main job is to produce bubbles and hype - whether they'll be ever able to produce and the deliver the promise, who cares there?
      • Brother makes VERY good linux drivers as well.

        • by haruchai (17472)

          I hope that they are better than their Windows one.
          Those damn Brother MFC drivers are a pain and their USB serial emulation used to prevent Windows from going into Standby

    • Mate, its going to suck and its going to suck badly just like every other Linux attempt. If you look at those who claim they support Linux, and provide Linux on their laptops - have a good look at the list of 'pic failure' when it comes to properly supporting putting the laptop to sleep or find the power management is worse than Windows XP/Windows Vista. What Linux requires to get working on the laptop and desktop is serious money - not only spent on hardware support but the quality of that hardware suppo
  • The fear is gone (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BearRanger (945122) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @03:48AM (#26100961)

    At long last vendors have gotten over their fear of Microsoft. There was a time HP and Dell would never consider preloading an alternative operating system. Now they're both doing it, and it's good for the customer, good for Linux and -- surprise -- good for HP and Dell.

    The complete marketing failure that is Windows Vista made this possible. (Note that I didn't say the failure of Vista. Microsoft is on the road to salvaging the OS itself, but customer perception of its quality is a lost cause.)

    • Re:The fear is gone (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Divebus (860563) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @04:12AM (#26101075)

      At long last vendors have gotten over their fear of Microsoft.

      Just what I was thinking. They're still a 300 pound gorilla but can no longer bully several 150 pound gorillas.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pallmall1 (882819)

        They're still a 300 pound gorilla but can no longer bully several 150 pound gorillas.

        HP is shipping Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop linux.

        Novell is Microsoft's trained 150 pound gorilla.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by rolfwind (528248)

        Wow, they lost a lot of weight. I remember when Microsoft used to be an 800 or 900 pound gorilla.

        Should make their doctors happy.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by kanweg (771128)

      I think it would be better if the {the other) machines they sold ran both Windows and Linux (such that customers could run both concurrently). It would be great if a PC manufacturer could say: "Yes, you can run that Windows-ony business app of yours, but you also get (access to) a boat load of free useful software. It would sell. And buyers could throw off Linux if they insist.

      That not being the case is still a tail of MS's monopoly abuse still present, I'm afraid.

      Bert

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by theaveng (1243528)

        Uh... then you'll have to add $200 to the cost of the PC. Better to leave the Windows off and push Linux as a "lower cost alternative".

    • Let's hope that a lot of businesses try this out right now, and get a little bit familiar with linux and the open source community. I hope the economic crisis will help with this aspect.

      Otherwise a lot of them will wait till Windows 7 is there, and simple use that since it will be so much better than vista. And they'll know how to use 7 better, all their previous investments can be reused.

      The amount of stories about businesses, individuals and education institutions trying out open source seems to be gro
      • by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @07:57AM (#26101791)

        You have more confidence in Windows 7 than I do. Do you have some reason for such confidendce? Vista was similarly advertised as a wonderful upgrade, but its promised features (such as WinFS) somehow managed to fail, miserably, when actually tried and many of them were pulled from the final product. The new user interface is pretty silly, its intrusive DRM and security features are painful for users and encourage similar stupidities of always hitting 'yes', and the policy games played with releasing 'Vista-only' drivers and products are awful.

        There seems no reason to think that the policies that led to Vista have changed, even if its preliminary tests are promising. Preliminary tests of Vista were also misleading in their performance tests.

        • by lukas84 (912874)

          Vista has "intrusive DRM"? I never noticed, and i've been using Vista since Beta 2 on my laptop.

          UAC, by the way, is not painful for users - if you just "use" your computer, you'll not see a single UAC prompt - when you start to do administrative tasks, things will be different.

          Technically, Vista was ok. If it would've been released 2 years earlier, it would've been great. Windows 7 is the polishment to Vista that XP was to 2000. History repeats itself.

          Vista fixed many, many issues that XP had, like the anti

          • Re:The fear is gone (Score:5, Interesting)

            by theaveng (1243528) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @08:58AM (#26102029)

            That's because Vista's DRM isn't turned on yet. Microsoft says they'll turn it on starting year 2010 (via an update of course), and then good luck trying to play all your burned CDs and DVDs that lack DRM.

            Also:

            I wouldn't be so sure that businesses will immediately jump to Windows 7. Being a contractor I get to see a lot of different companies installations, and Not One has upgraded to Vista. They still prefer XP even though it's almost three years since a new OS arrived.

            • by lukas84 (912874)

              That's because Vista's DRM isn't turned on yet. Microsoft says they'll turn it on starting year 2010 (via an update of course), and then good luck trying to play all your burned CDs and DVDs that lack DRM.

              Yes, every vendor of any OS can release an update that changes the behaviour of it. That's kinda the reason for updates. Alas, this hasn't happened yet and it won't - there is no base for all the "evil conspiracy" hype around Vista.

              I wouldn't be so sure that businesses will immediately jump to Windows 7. B

              • by theaveng (1243528)

                Oh okay. Well maybe I misunderstood then. I though the "protected media pipelines" were put in Vista for the purpose of blocking unauthorized copies of music from playing through the OS. Assuming I'm wrong, why did Microsoft put them there?

                ALSO:

                I'm not blaming Microsoft. I'm blaming the MPAA and RIAA; they're the ones who decided, starting 2010, to make CDs/DVDs unplayable in PCs that lacked DRM security. Sure Vista will play anything now, but come 2010 that will no longer be true.

                • by Dutch Gun (899105)

                  Oh okay. Well maybe I misunderstood then. I though the "protected media pipelines" were put in Vista for the purpose of blocking unauthorized copies of music from playing through the OS. Assuming I'm wrong, why did Microsoft put them there?

                  No, this would be a total disaster if they actually tried this. They'd have to block ALL APIs that allow unencrypted audio from unsigned applications, and that would break nearly every existing application that currently plays any sort of audio, not just DVD and CD playback. There are too many legacy audio pipelines they'd have to cut off (DirectSound, MCI, WaveOut), and even the native Vista audio API WASAPI allows unencrypted digital output. They'd even have to detect and block third-party audio pipeli

                  • by theaveng (1243528)

                    Thanks for the clarification.

                    I can certainly live without HD video. Even though I've upgraded some things (digital television, Bluray player) I'm still using the old standard definition television set(s). I think the picture looks just fine, and I'm sure SD would look just fine on my PC monitor too.

              • "Yep, smaller companies are more progressive than very large companies, ..."
                And they tend to have less money to spend on IT so they will just go with whatever comes with the computers they buy. The company I work for purchases only from Dell for the simple reason that we can still get XP, the boss has seen Vista and what it does to system resources. He hates Vista (he already complains about how slow his quad-core, 3GHz systems is with XP64) and has told me flat out that he will not use Vista in the comp
                • by lukas84 (912874)

                  But actually your right about smaller companies being more progressive in one regard, they are more willing and able to ditch Windows and go with alternatives.

                  Which is exactly what i would recommend to anyone who dislikes Vista - if you don't like where Microsoft is going: Switch!

              • Windows 2000 Server is still dependable (at least as far as Windows goes). Sometimes an app you want to use either misbehaves with Windows 2003 or is flat-out incompatible (such as HP EVA 4400 drivers not working with 2003 R2). There are a lot of good reasons for staying with something that's a known evil.

                Most businesses have to justify the cost of upgrades too.
            • by Dutch Gun (899105)

              That's because Vista's DRM isn't turned on yet. Microsoft says they'll turn it on starting year 2010 (via an update of course), and then good luck trying to play all your burned CDs and DVDs that lack DRM.

              Anyone can write an application that pumps a raw digital audio stream through the Vista audio subsystem. There are no requirements at the primary (WASAPI) or legacy APIs (MCI, DirectSound, WaveOut, etc) for digital encryption of the audio stream or even an application signature. This sort of DRM update you speak of, in addition to being completely technically infeasible, would utterly break every single audio-enabled application on the Windows platform today, such as browser plugins, professional audio de

            • by cbhacking (979169)

              Microsoft says they'll turn it on starting year 2010 (via an update of course), and then good luck trying to play all your burned CDs and DVDs that lack DRM.

              [Citation Needed]

              Seriously, what you say is *marginally* less unreasonable than that absurd article Gutmann published a few years ago, which was demonstrably untrue on the pre-release Vista systems available then. Of course, he didn't cite any sources either. I realize there's plenty of /. group-think that "supports" your claim, but it just doesn't make

          • by BrentH (1154987)
            On my dads PC, somehow launching Firefox causes the UAC dialog. He doesnt know jack shit about all this rights business (well, he does now), but has certainly not performed actions that he shouldnt have done. However this came to be, is a fault of the software, not him. Nevermind that UAC offers not security at all, writing software to circumvent it is easy as pie. UAC just doesn't work, certainly not when I compare it to sudo on Linux.
            • by lukas84 (912874)

              On my dads PC, somehow launching Firefox causes the UAC dialog.

              So, Firefox is broken and you blame Vista? Interesting way of putting it.

              Recent versions of Firefox have proper manifests and only show an UAC prompt when installing an update (which makes sense).

              Nevermind that UAC offers not security at all, writing software to circumvent it is easy as pie. UAC just doesn't work, certainly not when I compare it to sudo on Linux.

              Can you elaborate on that?

              • by BrentH (1154987)
                It was a recent Firefox, version 3. Just happened overnight. Yes, that means Vista is broken, because the same installer works fine on other computers. Try googling 'circumvent uac' for starters. And if you don't see how sudo is superior, use it.
                • by lukas84 (912874)

                  I've used sudo, and think it's customizability would do great for Windows. It's clearly better than UAC in terms of configurability.

                  However, regarding security, my first Google hit was this:
                  http://www.theopensourcerer.com/2008/04/28/vista-uac-faux-security-or-what/ [theopensourcerer.com]

                  How does this issue not apply for sudo?

                  Assume i do

                  sudo evil_service
                  (runs in the backgrounds, installs itself into the init system)
                  and then do
                  evil_program
                  that uses some IPC mechanism to talk to evil_service, how is this different from UAC?

                  • by influenza (138942)

                    You're right, users can override any security mechanism if they have administrative access.

                    One big difference for most Linux users though, is that probably all of the software they'll need to use their computer is available from a single, trusted source: their distribution's repositories. So instead of having to surf the web to download applications (and potentially get misled into downloading malware) they can get everything they need from one source where every package has been through at least some sort

                    • by lukas84 (912874)

                      One big difference for most Linux users though, is that probably all of the software they'll need to use their computer is available from a single, trusted source: their distribution's repositories.

                      Which works only in theory - there are many cases where you have to download software seperately, compile it on your own, install it somehow.

                      But i'll agree on the general point with you: software packaging and automating is a really big mess on Windows. Enterprises buy lots of software and needs lots of personnel

                    • by yuna49 (905461)

                      there are many cases where you have to download software separately, compile it on your own, install it somehow.

                      Really? "Many cases?" Name me five programs that an ordinary office or home user would need to compile if they're running a recent distro like Fedora or Ubuntu. I've used Linux for a dozen years now, and lately the only things I need to compile are obscure server apps. I can't think of a single piece of software running on my and my daughter's Kubuntu (Intrepid) machines, nor on my Fedora 8 de

                    • by lukas84 (912874)

                      Yellownet E-Finance (Swiss finance institute, online banking application)
                      Kanton Zurich Tax Application

                      Both are java, but the Linux variant is unpackaged.

                      Depending on what kind of hardware you're running graphics or WLAN drivers, as distributions always seem to lag behind new hardware releases.

                      Things get worse if you're an "ordinary user" and want to run current applications on a 3 year old Linux installation. Which works perfectly fine on Windows, but Ubuntu and co. are different here.

          • Technically, Vista was ok. If it would've been released 2 years earlier, it would've been great. Windows 7 is the polishment to Vista that XP was to 2000. History repeats itself.

            Win7 is yet another attempt to sell Vista. First MS wanted to sell Vista. When they saw that fewer buy it than expected, they made a Service Pack but didn't get enough sales again because businesses wanted to skip Vista altogether. Solution -- take the same system based on the same kernel, slightly improve it, make a new wallpaper, bribe reviewers with expencive laptops to get positive reviews and call it Windows 7, maybe it'll sell now.

          • Well, they haven't completely implemented Palladium, renamed 'Trusted Computing'. But if you work with CygWin and other open source tools, the poor interactions with their anti-viral and software management materials can get pretty painful. Getting OpenSSH, VNC, and Apache going under Vista were not fun for me.

            This is particularly played out in the Windows Media Player: as near s I can tell, they implemented a lot of additional DRM in the Vista version, and have been backporting it to XP to keep people from

            • by lukas84 (912874)

              Well, they haven't completely implemented Palladium, renamed 'Trusted Computing'.

              That's technology. Signature enforcement on binaries can make perfect sense in high security environments.

              Of course, technology being technology it can also be used for "bad" purposes. Like a knife can be used to cut meat or kill people.

              Getting OpenSSH, VNC, and Apache going under Vista were not fun for me.

              Okay, i can get that. With a new OS that changes a few fundamentals of the platform, there are bound to be some hiccups. Th

              • Palladium is a _lot_ more than signature enforcement. Read up on it, it's potentially extremely nasty. It's designed to operate at so deep a level that the BIOS, boot loader, and media burners can be locked to signed-only operating systems and run only signed binaries to access attached storage media. Imagine who'd benefit the most from that, especially because the signatures are expensive? And who's going to hold the secret keys for all those signatures? The same company that's already been convicted seve
                • by lukas84 (912874)

                  It's designed to operate at so deep a level that the BIOS, boot loader, and media burners can be locked to signed-only operating systems and run only signed binaries to access attached storage media.

                  Yeah, this is already implemented and can be used together with bitlocker and a TPM for full disk encryption without any user interaction whatsoever. It's nice functionality, IMHO!

                  If the BIOS is modified, then Bitlocker requires a temporary unlock key.

                  Imagine who'd benefit the most from that, especially because

                  • That's only one of its hooks. It's designed, as well, to manage media such as DVD players and streaming applications to be able to unlock the data with the pre-signed, TPM enabled application. This is fine for media which the owner wishes to protect, but is nothing but pain for material which the *producer* wants to protect, and the user does not (such as videos and audios and games). This is like SecuROM, elected to be governor of California. And the keys are designed so that Microsoft will handle the core

  • "It has been, traditionally, a company that supports open source â" especially in larger enterprises..."

    like when was it when they ever supported open source in any context?

  • A few thoughts... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nagnamer (1046654) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @04:54AM (#26101207) Homepage

    First of all, I wonder if "HP recommends Windows Vista® Business" (c/p from the product's description on HP's site) will go away when Linux offering is finally presented.

    Also, I wonder if the Linux OS will be labeled "Genuine Novell(r) SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop(tm)" or just "Novell(r) SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop(tm)". Imagine the following scenario: an unsuspecting consumer comes to the website, sees a bunch of "genuine" Windows products, and then notices a (non-genuine, huh?) Linux-something desktop and goes "Wtf? Why is this not genuine?!"... That'd be M$: 1, Novell: 0...

    Yeah, I'm skeptical... They all say they support open-source and free software, whatever. But I think they are just trying to get whatever piece of market they can.

    Remember how the Punk movement started off as an attempt to contradict the system, and now it's highly commercialized. You can earn a good buck for pre-torn pair of jeans, and you can sell a circle-A leather jacket... people used to make these things by themselves to make a statement. Now you can get off-the-shelf statements for money. I think it's gonna be the same for open-source. In the end, it's all about money, and they don't care about the underlying philosophies. Consumers don't.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jimicus (737525)

      First of all, I wonder if "HP recommends Windows Vista® Business" (c/p from the product's description on HP's site) will go away when Linux offering is finally presented.

      I doubt it. Have you noticed that the wording of that phrase is the same with every PC manufacturer? "${MANUFACTURER} recommends Windows ${VERSION}". It's a marketing thing from Microsoft - include this phrase prominently and get a % discount on your OEM licenses.

      • by Yfrwlf (998822)
        Right, of course these companies don't actually recommend it, it's just marketing for M$.
  • by supernova_hq (1014429) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @05:11AM (#26101255)
    If they always supported open source, then why do all their laptops have ATI graphics cards, Broadcom Wireless cards and Intel sound systems?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      They all work in GNU/Linux without any proprietary components, so what are you complaining about exactly?

      • by CoonAss56 (927862)

        ATI (working) is a oxymoron. They never worked until recently and then badly.

      • I would simply mod you down, but someone might get the impression that you have made a valid point.

        According to http://bcm43xx.berlios.de/ [berlios.de]

        A Linux driver for the Broadcom bcm43xx wireless chips.
        Broadcom never released details about these chips. So this driver is based upon reverse engineered specifications.

        The same applies to ATI, which only recently began releasing full specs and developing Linux support for newer chipsets.

        HP has definitely not "always supported open source". And they have in the past announced similar small-business-focused marketing initiatives for Linux that turned out to be half-hearted.

    • by cbhacking (979169)

      First off, "supports open source" is not the same thing as "sells only hardware with free/open-source drivers" although it would be nice if that were the case. However, for a quick example of HP's support of F/OSS, consider the high-end hardware that kernel.org runs on - donated by HP.

      Additionally, while not ALL of HP's systems are 100% F/OSS compatible, they have for a couple years now sold at least a few laptops (look in their business lines; their home machines all come with Windows) with Linux pre-insta

  • by mcrbids (148650) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @05:39AM (#26101339) Journal

    Small businesses are used to running on a shoestring budget. They will often make a $150 used PC from Ebay "work" because they spent their capital on inventory, or paying taxes, or paying off a balloon payment for a short-term loan.

    This is even more the case with the impending recession. Small businesses that can live on a shadow of the income of "the big boys" by staying lean and mean will survive and thrive through this economic shakedown, while wasteful "fat cats" will be pruned like the rotten fruit that they are.

    In this space, saving a few hundred bucks can make or break a deal, and HP recognizes this.

    Here, for $500-ish, they can offer a "complete office solution" that can only be matched for about $1,200 in the Microsoft camp. That's not a "few hundred bucks", thats OVER FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS difference, pure profit, all of it.

    All without sacrificing HP's profit margins!

    Of course they are going to do this, as soon as the $500 solution is functionally approximate to the $1,200 solution! (and it largely is, now!)

  • Seriously, the only thing HP has achieved in its 'Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solution' is substituting-out IE and replacing it with FireFox v2, (and they are still using Flash 9). wow.

    That's true as of this tech note dated September 22, 2008, 1 link from TFA: https://kb.altiris.com/display/1n/articleDirect/index.asp?aid=41672&r=0.4010279 [altiris.com]

    Note that HP is still using some flavor of Windows, running Trend Micro OfficeScan, plus this which gives me the shakes because its called Symantec something:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    2009 is the linux's year!

  • Printer drivers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by frisket (149522) <peter AT silmaril DOT ie> on Saturday December 13, 2008 @08:08AM (#26101831) Homepage
    If they'd only open up and produce printer drivers for CUPS...
    • I've never had an HP printer that didn't work swimmingly with Linux. From what I've heard from others, HP seems to be the best supported in their experiences as well.
      • I second that. The HP inkjet and LaserJet drivers are part of RHEL too. They "just work" without extra effort.
      • The GP was probably thinking of Canon, where drivers are buggy to non-existent. I've got a Canon laser/fax/scan that is holding the corner of my desk down so it doesn't rock.

        That's all it is good for.

  • I don't know of any.

    As I understand it, Intuit owns about 80% of the US SMB accounting market, the other 20% is split between Microsoft and Sage. Everything else combined, does not have enough of a user base to even register - which is a huge problem when it comes to support issues.

    By support, I don't just mean phone support. I mean being able to find people who know, and accept, the product: accountants, consultants, employees, and third party developers. There are also issues of worthwhile documentation a

    • by jvin248 (1147821)
      SMBs can start with gnucash for accounting... but what they may really want are the open source ERP systems that incorporate all inventory/manufacturing/CRM/accounting into one package. OpenTap is one, but there are a lot currently and expanding in this space.
    • by Zemplar (764598)
      Although I agree with your sentiment, your use of "linux" is not surprising on Slashdot. However, the US SMB's need an accounting application that is not kernel or platform specific. A good FOSS/GNU accounting application is what's really needed.
      • IMO: it does not have to be free, just reasonably priced.

        Web-apps can be difficult to install, that is one of the problems that I have with LedgerSMB, and OpenERP.

        • by Zemplar (764598)

          IMO: it does not have to be free, just reasonably priced.

          Agreed, especially since decent support will be needed for those less financially or tech savvy.

  • I took a quick look at what HP is offering. The $500 PC discussed in the summary only has 512 megabytes of RAM. That won't work with Vista which runs like a snail through molasses, but is it enough to run "SUSE" Linux? Or will that be running slow too?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by yelvington (8169)

      The $500 PC discussed in the summary only has 512 megabytes of RAM. That won't work with Vista which runs like a snail through molasses, but is it enough to run "SUSE" Linux? Or will that be running slow too?

      You must be new here.

    • by jvin248 (1147821)
      Not sure about SUSE... but load Xubuntu on it and it'll fly. Or load up regular Ubuntu.

      The real inexpensive solution - for SMB's with 5-10 or more users is to go the route of LTSP.org It's easy to put into Ubuntu, and probably SUSE too.

      Then a moderately powered server with up to 30 thin-clients (or even 10 year old pc's stripped of all drives and network PXE bootable) can function for the business.
    • http://www.novell.com/products/opensuse/sysreqs.html [novell.com]

      * Processor: Intelâ"Pentium 1-4 or Xeon; AMDâ"Duron, Athlon, Athlon XP, Athlon MP, Athlon 64, Sempron or Opteron
      * Main memory: At least 256 MB; 512 MB recommended
      * Hard disk: At least 500 MB for minimal system; 3 GB recommended for standard system
      * Sound and graphics cards: Supports most modern sound and graphics cards

      The KDE 3.x s

  • If the giants would center around a free version of Linux it would benefit a larger group of people including themselves. Imagine if IBM, Dell and HP all offered an Ubuntu solution with one of their screaming machines? I know there are *other* favorites here in slashdot, however Ubuntu - for the most part (IMHO) has the best chance to work out of the box for *new* users. This would also drive some to other OS's like SuSe, RedHat and others. The sooner more of the masses see the power, stability and security
  • Using the page: http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/execteam/email/hurd/index.html [hp.com] I am making a short suggestion to pre-install Ubuntu. Maybe you should also.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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