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IBM Linux

IBM's Answer To Windows 7 Is Ubuntu Linux 863

Posted by kdawson
from the riding-the-pr-coattails dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It looks like IBM isn't much of a friend of Microsoft's anymore. Today IBM announced an extension of its Microsoft-Free PC effort together with Canonical Ubuntu Linux. This is the same thing that was announced a few weeks back for Africa (a program that began a year ago), and now it's available in the US. The big push is that IBM claims it will cost up to $2,000 for a business to move to Windows 7. They argue that moving to Linux is cheaper."
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IBM's Answer To Windows 7 Is Ubuntu Linux

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  • by hofmny (1517499) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:04PM (#29816797)
    I think one of the hindrances for businesses to move to Linux on the desktop is the lack of programs for Linux that allow the complete lock-down of the desktop. In Windows, there are many applications that let you control which users can access different areas in the GUI, well beyond Windows Access Control.
    .
    I don't know of anything similar in the Linux Desktop Environment to Windows Access Control or the other programs that are out there. Does anyone else?
  • by pushf popf (741049) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:05PM (#29816807)
    If you reduce the cost of software to zero and compete only on the hardware, you shut out some people from the market and trample others with your behemoth size.

    Yeah, what a shame.
  • You go IBM!!! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kimgkimg (957949) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:06PM (#29816823)
    Ubuntu would be great solution for the enterprise. Basic email and office apps, what more do you need? The only problem with Ubuntu is that it needs more testing and validation before each release cycle. I've had basic functionality break between releases and this will not be acceptable for business use.
  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:06PM (#29816837) Homepage

    .... which IBM wouldn't even sell in its own computers. I wish 'em luck in their new endeavor. They'll need it.

  • Business (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sakdoctor (1087155) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:08PM (#29816857) Homepage

    Ubuntu works for me. Large community, fixed release schedule.
    But whatever your choice, small to medium sized companies need to plan well ahead *before* they get locked in,
    otherwise one day you'll be in your office and your MS exchange server will say "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that", then you're stuck with the thing forever.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:08PM (#29816871)

    If you control the machines what is the issue?
    Just change the permissions, or remove the stuff or make it not even executable.

    The only reason apps exist for windows to do this stuff is because of the incompetence of the average windows sysadmin.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:14PM (#29816951)

    IBM's retarded. What a garbage article. Windows 7 requires less from your hardware, and sorry Linux is not always cheaper (free is not cheap).

    Less than what? If I really wanted to, I could fit a minimal-but-working Linux system on a floppy disk. Can you do that with Win 7? Be kinda nice if you settled that before talking about which OS has larger minimum hardware requirements...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:14PM (#29816955)

    Windows: hire the most incompetent lowest paid sys admin, buy program. Someone gets around it. Blame program. buy another program
    Linux: uh, hire the most incompetent lowest paid sys admin, someone gets around it, fire sys admin.
    Next: Goto Windows

  • by EdIII (1114411) * on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:17PM (#29816987)

    That assumes that the value of the software is the same, value being usability, performance, etc. For netbooks, servers, and small dedicated devices I don't think Microsoft can compete at all.

    I'm all for Linux, but it can't completely replace Microsoft just yet. I use it for almost everything. However, there is still some development that I find easier to do with a MS operating system. Granted it's stripped down high performance version of XP, but it ain't Ubuntu.

    Now if nearly all of the programs being sold for the Microsoft platform worked equally well on a Linux platform then I believe that MS really could be shut out of the market with companies like IBM switching from Windows by default, to anything else.

    Unfortunately, I find a lot of the open source offerings for Linux lacking compared to what it is available for Microsoft. I can deal with terrible user interface and poor documentation on some of the stuff, but I doubt I represent anything but a small portion of the market.

    This is a real slap to Microsoft, but I hardly think this alone is really shutting them out of the market.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:17PM (#29816997)

    $2,000 US to upgrade per machine? I don't know what in the heck IBM is talking about. I've been running Windows 7 on a two year old $500 laptop without any issues since Beta. They are easily over exagerating that cost, in my opinion, and frankly it turns me off of Ubuntu to see them buddying up with IBM in this way.

    *On an interesting side note, I wonder if they calculated all the man hours and reworking of customized code that most shops would have to put in to go from a Microsoft shop to all Linux - I seriously doubt it.
    **Do we even want to get into the compatability issues with COTS that still plagues Linux?

  • by Narpak (961733) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:18PM (#29817015)
    OS/2 Warp was made at a time when a significant part of those with the knowhow to make and support a evolving OS worked for Microsoft. Not to mention that it is known that Microsoft leveraged their situation, and growing economic capacity, to convince manufactures that adopting their OS was a good idea.

    The Linux platform has a growing support base of not insignificant proportions at this point, and the Ubuntu system has proven itself to be quite robust and one of the easier implementations for new users to get a handle on. The capability to get technical help, support, documentation, and whatever else a company might need, is far different today with Ubuntu Linux than what is was for OS2 when it was introduced.

    I can not predict how this will turn out in the end, but looking back and using OS2 as an example for how this will develop seems like conjecture.
  • by capnkr (1153623) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:21PM (#29817057)

    ... Windows 7 requires less from your hardware...

    'Less than' what...? Vista??? GMAFB. Modern Linux distros @ default installation settings run just fine in 1/4 of the hardware a similar MS setup requires.

    Back to Redmond, shill...

  • by keatonguy (1001680) <keaton@prower.gmail@com> on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:25PM (#29817091)

    Not true, you can lock down a GNOME desktop. This is not to say there isn't a learning curve to it, but I have done it for a production system that serves over 80 thin-clients in a K-12 charter school. It's all in the documentation (one of my favorite things about Linux's core systems, I might add).

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:25PM (#29817097) Journal

    Sorry bud but I don't understand your point. What's wrong with IBM recommending people switch to Linux? It was IBM who recommended Microsoft DOS originally..... now they are simply recommending a different product to run on the PC platform

    I'm all for giving people choices.

  • Ubuntu is an impressive distro for reasons many have argued here before. Karmic is actually a great improvement over Jaunty, and I think it's heading in a positive direction.

    I might not have seen it, but I think Ubuntu's server area needs professional, detailed, Ubuntu-specific (if needed) DOCUMENTATION on everything an Ubuntu admin would need to use. http://doc.ubuntu.com/ [ubuntu.com] has the most up-to-date version of the Ubuntu Server Guide, which is a decent start. It pales in comparison, however, to the FreeBSD handbook.

    Where's the documentation on
    GRUB 2?
    Upstart?
    UEC?
    Building your own repository?
    Setting up mass deployment via Kickstart/preseeding?

    These are all things integral to the operating system and its deployment. I'm not saying Ubuntu has to have the definitive guide to Nagios or other 3rd party software.

    Some things are well covered in the Ubuntu Server Guide, "Pro Ubuntu Server Administration" and Prentice Hall's "The Official Ubuntu Server Book". I would like to see more enterprise tooling and documentation for Ubuntu Server before I expect them to make a significant trench in the enterprise space.

    And for those who might say Ubuntu is a desktop-oriented distro,
    1) You haven't seen the work or the marketing Ubuntu has done on their server side, and
    2) I think Ubuntu could succeed if they can market themselves as THE operating system for an organization.

  • by phunster (701222) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:26PM (#29817111)

    There are indeed a lack of external programs to lock down the desktop. That's because that kind of thing is built into Linux. ACLs, permissions, SELINUX and on and on.

    If you favour Windows, that's fine, to each his own. But please don't spread the MS cool-aid without actually knowing what you are talking about.

  • by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:27PM (#29817127) Journal

    Your point is only valid if you want to prevent a use from changing his wallpaper, screen savers and the like.

    I don't think that's entirely true, I can think of an exception or two. Particularly where the workstation may be used in financial dealings with publicly-listed companies. In some cases you do not want people to fiddle with the settings of applications, to - for example - change the location of an audit log. Well, you might want to, but the financial regulator might raise an eyebrow over it.

  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:4, Insightful)

    by borcharc (56372) * on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:32PM (#29817185)

    And don't give me crap about open office solutions. It took most of these people 10 or 20 years to just get by with Office, you really think they are going to want to essentially re-learn everything? $2000 is only relevant if the people are actually fairly computer savy, which pretty much everyone everywhere is not nor do they care to bother.

    I have converted several MS Office users to Open Office, they have never complained. It usually came down to one simple issue, $339.99 or free, pick one, they are the same. This is my experience with office workers, executives, and my 60 year old mom. There is almost no relearning, no one complains especially when the boss says thats how it is. If you disagree perhaps you should give open office a try, its not the same piece of crap you installed 10 years ago....

  • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@NOspaM.hotmail.com> on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:36PM (#29817215) Journal
    Using the wrong OS can get a company shut down and the officers of the company put in jail.

    Ahhhh, the sweet sweet smell of Microsoft FUD.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:38PM (#29817245)
    But wait, isn't this anti-competitive? Isn't that what everyone around here always shouts about Microsoft being bundled with computers bought from major vendors? Shouldn't Slashdot be lambasting IBM for not allowing their users to install whichever OS they want? Shouldn't Slashdot be demanding that IBM's computers be sold with no OS whatsoever? Or is it only anti-competitive if Microsoft does it?
  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AnotherUsername (966110) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:43PM (#29817317)
    If someone utilizes Excel to its full potential, they would be pissed off if they switched to Open Office, because, frankly, Calc doesn't have the high-end functions that Excel does.
  • by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:51PM (#29817417) Homepage

    Unfortunately, I find a lot of the open source offerings for Linux lacking compared to what it is available for Microsoft.

    Indeed. If only there were some way of running all that software designed for the Microsoft platform on a Linux platform [winehq.org]...

    Just because your OS kernel is Open Source(tm) doesn't mean all of your applications need to be.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:55PM (#29817453)

    The only reason apps exist for windows to do this stuff is because of the incompetence of the average windows sysadmin.

    Isn't that one of the main selling points of Windows? That any idiot can run it, therefore why pay for expertise? Is that not what appeals to the average PHB?

    Of course, when there is a security problem or otherwise an instance of the shit hitting the fan, this strategy falls apart with record speed. To any philosopher, that would be obvious, since it was a recipe for mediocrity from the very beginning. But most people are surprised and downright shocked by things that are obvious and predictable to the philosopher. It's almost as though they have a need to be.

  • by JoeSixpack00 (1327135) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:58PM (#29817495)
    I think everyone here is missing the point. This is less about how accurate IBM's claims are, and more about the fact a company as large as IBM with a name that established was actually willing to publicly say it. That by itself is a major benifit for Linux.

    This is all about momentum, marketing, and market share. I mean seriously, we act as if Microsoft has never made erroneous or speculative claims in the spirit of customer coercion. This is how business works.
  • by ZorbaTHut (126196) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:09PM (#29817583) Homepage

    I do game development, and I use a lot of open-source libraries (BSD, LGPL, and the like, since I value having my source closed.) Every once in a while people ask me why I rely on libraries that I didn't write myself since, after all, they may be buggy!

    Well, a few months ago I ran into a nice hidden bug. I tried to track down the developer and couldn't, and I needed a fix right then, like, within a few hours. So I wrote one, and it worked.

    A month later I ran into a new bug, but this time I managed to find the developer. Turned out my fix was buggy (in a way that hadn't been triggered in the first place), but he'd just finished a non-buggy version, so I ripped out my patch and jammed his in and it worked. If I hadn't been able to find him, I would have had to sit down and fix it myself . . . but I could have.

    Meanwhile, I have many, many thousands of lines of libraries that just tick along joyfully without a hitch. Overall, it's a huge win, and the fact that they're open-source means that I can fix them if they break.

    It really is the way to go.

  • by IntlHarvester (11985) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:12PM (#29817625) Journal

    Modern IBM has more of a "Services vendor mind" than a hardware-oriented one. Traditionally, this means they prefer software products which are highly flexible and featureful, but difficult to "self-manage". And perhaps they're right, and Linux is a better fit for the outsourced IT model.

    Plus, if you RTFA and decode the marketingisms about "Smart Work", this has less to do with Linux vs. Windows and more to do with IBM selling Lotus Notes to people.

  • Here we go again (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davmoo (63521) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:17PM (#29817673)

    I find it interesting that these stories never seem to talk about the cost of retraining in that switch from Windows to Linux in the work place. The authors must be those same people that keep writing about how software companies should replace boxed product with downloading because bandwidth is free.

    I'm not saying that many companies wouldn't benefit financially from the switch. Many would. But there are a lot that wouldn't. Anyone who thinks the Microsoft license and the cost of the hardware are the only expenses has no business being a decision-maker in their company's IT.

  • by ChatHuant (801522) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:20PM (#29817695)

    Apache would like to have a word with you.

    Sure, let's talk about Apache then: Apache 2.2.x [secunia.com], 17 advisories, 28 vulnerabilities, 2 unpatched. IIS 7.x [secunia.com], 2 advisories, 2 vulnerabilities, all patched. Are you going to apologize now? I didn't think so.

    Do you get paid to shill?

    Being a devil's advocate on an issue != being a troll on an issue, but pretending to be a devil's advocate just so you can FUD = Troll.

    You don't know what you're talking about (as shown above), and you attack the person instead of the message. On top of that, you've been spamming your silly "shilling" accusation all over the place, no matter what other posters say. I think you're the troll here, and not a very bright one either.

  • by jbn-o (555068) <mail@digitalcitizen.info> on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:21PM (#29817707) Homepage

    I do game development, and I use a lot of open-source libraries (BSD, LGPL, and the like, since I value having my source closed.) Every once in a while people ask me why I rely on libraries that I didn't write myself since, after all, they may be buggy!

    [...]

    Meanwhile, I have many, many thousands of lines of libraries that just tick along joyfully without a hitch. Overall, it's a huge win, and the fact that they're open-source means that I can fix them if they break.

    It really is the way to go.

    Too bad your users don't have the same freedoms you enjoy. You're right—software freedom is the way to go. Sharing and improving, truly controlling one's own computer and the social solidarity that gives rise to is the single most important reason why nobody should use proprietary software. Including yours.

  • by AHuxley (892839) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:24PM (#29817741) Homepage Journal
    Windows expertise fairly cheaply
    Like the sidekick cheap?
    or London stock exchange cheap?
    The deal you get on the back of a napkin during a nice lunch is soon gone with recovery and the PR mess of epic fail.
    The only thing cheap about MS is the first try as a student to get you hooked.
    Just like a smart drug dealer at the gates.
  • by AHuxley (892839) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:28PM (#29817797) Homepage Journal
    As the old Apple joke goes, your getting the OS with a $2000 dongle.
    IBM is getting world class code for free and gets to sell support and branded hardware.
    Now thats smart.
    Value added and nice to the community.
    Its win for IBM, win for corps, win for developers and end users.
    Thats the good win btw :)
  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:35PM (#29817867)
    The cost of software is never zero; the cost of admins installing new software and of retraining every user to use a new release of the software far exceeds the licensing costs of the software in most cases. I believe Microsoft's own estimates for the total cost of upgrading from Windows 98 to Windows XP were over $2000 per seat; I wouldn't be surprised if it was higher now. Microsoft continually shoots itself in the foot by completely changing the user interface with each new release of software, resulting in massive productivity losses as everyone has to relearn how to do their job. Eventually, people will realize the huge impact this has on TCO. Not having to throw out your OS and apps, replace them all, and retrain everyone every few years on Microsoft's schedule is one of the real, tangible economic benefits of using open source.
  • by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:40PM (#29817909) Homepage Journal

    And don't give me crap about open office solutions. It took most of these people 10 or 20 years to just get by with Office, you really think they are going to want to essentially re-learn everything?

    Unless you're like my employer, which uses Access as a platform on which to run an off-the-shelf VBA app (from which we're slowly migrating), is the retraining from Microsoft Office 2003 to OOo 3.x with its traditional menus really that much harder than the retraining from Microsoft Office 2003 to Microsoft Office 2007 with its ribbon?

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:43PM (#29817927)
    Your neglecting the cost of system administrators installing new software on every machine, and of retraining every employee to use the new software. Actually, you're counting the cost as zero for yourself; how much total time did it take you to install the initial Beta and subsequent updates, and to learn how to use it? Is your time really worth $0/hour? If so, I really pity you... $2000 is about 40 hours of the average employees time. I suspect your total time wasted was probably about half that, but if your time is worth $100/hour, the numbers still add up to $2000.
  • by hofmny (1517499) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:53PM (#29818019)
    Huh wah?? Obviously you must be from a parallel universe, rather uninformed or a clever troll.

    I agree with everything you say, but instead I get modded down into the dirt as your obvious statements falsely manifest as being so informative as to incite a Linux/Window war, which wasn't even the intention of my initial statement. You even incited the mods, good job.

    Honestly the amount of fine grained control mixed with sudo (neither run-as or UAC are sudo, they impersonate another user rather then privilege escalation) you get with *nix environment is leaps and bounds ahead of Windows.

    The fact is, I only use Linux for servers and have been developing, administering, and project managing them for years. I know locking down a Linux server is easier and better than Window box -- in command line mode. However, I was merely trying to get a meaningful conversion started on locking down machines in a GUI environment, which I imagine is a different beast than GUI, which I am less knowlegable about.

    Nice try, but I suggest you undertake a bit of a learning curve and you will be enlightened.

    I don't know how you even get good karma or not modded as troll for that comment. I am already a knowledgeable system administrator in Linux as well as a seasoned software developer. However, the Linux Desktop has always been having issues over the years to gain any serious ground through a myriad of development problems. Over the past 2 years, it has improved a lot. However, everyone learns how to lock down Linux using the command line. The GUI environments could be a different beast. Sure, you could create groups and modify the actual binaries for Gnome, or KDE. That is obvious to such "enlightened" people such as us. But there needs to be better ways in order for businesses to jump on board. I know, because I deal with the business types all day, and am partly one myself. Hence my comment for a dialog on this situation. It does seem there is hope, as some people have talked about xguest or gconfig. Other people state that it is easy to control using SELinux -- something I always turn off and avoid like the devil. From what I gather, SELinx may be the solution to securing a Linux Desktop, so I will investigate this avenue. Thanks to everyone that left informative and not trollish comments.
    So I guess the conversation was a success, as it spread great information about this topic, even though trolls like you somehow are able to get modded so high while my initial posts get buried.
  • We don't like too much of a noob influx on Linux all at once anyways. It puts to much stress to the ones in the know.
  • by fluffy99 (870997) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:00PM (#29818079)

    I swear, some [ubuntu.com] people [ubuntu.com] can't [ubuntu.com] be [ubuntu.com] helped [ubuntu.com]

    Yeah, those folks need to go back to Windows where such a simple task is easy to accomplish in the control panel and doesn't require all that nasty editting of krb.conf and smb.conf.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:09PM (#29818181)

    >We don't like too much of a noob influx on Linux all at once anyways. It puts to much stress to the ones in the know.

    Oddly, that's how many of us feel when high-UID idiots such as yourself post on Slashdot.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:14PM (#29818235)

    Ubuntu is nice, and it is quite possibly the easiest to setup and use of all the distros, but no lying here. "The average user will never see the command prompt?" What the Fuck are you smoking and can I have some? If they have a PCMCIA wireless nic, there is a damn good shot that not only are they going to have to use the command prompt, but they are going to get real familiar with how modular the system is. I have an Ubuntu laptop that I use for writing, surfing, emailing, etc. It even has onboard wireless, so no dicking with NDISWrapper. I have gone days without seeing a command prompt, but I can not remember a week when I did not have to hit the CLI at least once, and during the first couple of weeks I had it, it was almost constantly open on my screen getting thigns configured. Ubuntu is nice, and if someone who knows what they are doing sets it up for you, you may go weeks on end without needing the CLI, but my grandmother can stick in a Windows CD, boot it up, enter the time zone, a name for the computer and a name for themselves walk away and come back to a functioning computer in approximately 30 minutes. Yes, there will be a few downloads of patches, but no more than dealing with the updates for a default ubuntu install. Windows works, 7 works well (Vista not so much). Windows 7 is easy to use and polished, Gnome and KDE are nice, but they do not have the polish Windows explorer has. Its getting there, but I do not recommend a linux box to my family. My sister's new laptop will arrive Thursday because she's getting it with 7, and that is a good thing.

  • For a modern desktop, then yes, you're not going to fit all the drivers and subsystems on a floppy.

    But for a specific embedded system with very few subsystems, and basically no drivers, then yo u might get on a floppy.

    The point remains that Linux scales up extremely well, and scales down extremely well. That is why supercomputers run Linux and small embedded devices run Linux.

    Microsoft is terrified of reinventing its core products. Microsoft does push some innovation, and they do some core things right. But their biggest change was grafting their current broken OS on top of NT rather than reinvent properly. And despite the fact that they foresaw the internet being the core experience of your desktop very early on, they didn't forsee internet security issues. Even as they implemented terminal services, they still worked around a broken multi-user model. And even when they saw their kernel was behind the curve on performance, they instead decided to bloat it even more.

    The headless Server 2008 was a step in the right direction. There were some claims that after Vista, they'd throw out their current API and start Windows anew, using an emulation layer (akin to Wine) to intercept old API calls. Vista's failure made 7 a necessity.

    7 really isn't the savior press make it out to be. Most of the Vista UI regressions remain. With IBM and Google giving big-name credence to Linux on the HOME and BUSINESS DESKTOP, Microsoft should start quaking in their boots. IBM and Google have all the pieces to put together to deliver a really killer experience.

    I overheard someone once say they want an OS that they can use in their car, in their phone, and on their desktop. They want it to be consistent, minimal, easy to use, and provide them seamless access to their data wherever they go. I suggested Google online services mixed with Chrome OS, and Android may deliver that to them within a year.

    They paused, and then shocked, realized the future may be upon us very quick. And Microsoft is left with a prettied-up-Vista to show off.

    Microsoft better wake up real quick with a real, next-generation operating system of the future. It needs to be secure, flexible, low-latency, scalable, modular and customizable. It needs to be their Unix. Only, Steve Jobs beat them to the punch with OS X.

    Slowly, but surely, people will realize the Emperor is wearing no clothes. All the time, people see how sexy my KDE 4 desktop is. They ask me how they can get their computer to look like that. Then they hear it is free, legal, has no viruses, and easier to use than Windows.

    Then Ballmer starts throwing chairs.

  • If you control the machines what is the issue?

    Just change the permissions, or remove the stuff or make it not even executable.

    The only reason apps exist for windows to do this stuff is because of the incompetence of the average windows sysadmin.

    Right, and don't forget to sync up your passwd fiels across 30,000 desktops in your enterprise. I mean, it's just copying a file, right?

    Obviously there are better ways to do it than that, even on *nix today (ldap, nis, etc) but hey - maybe those only exist for linux due to the incompetence of the average unix admin? Or those other tools that make things easier, like config files. Who needs config files? You can just configure each daemon when you start it up manually, with command line params! At least, you can if you're competent.

    Now get off my lawn.

  • by GoochOwnsYou (1343661) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:30PM (#29818389)

    or most administrators are "Windows Trained" and wouldn't know the steps to lock it down

    Why would you hire a Windows admin (and by I mean Windows admin I mean only knows Windows) to work on Linux?

  • Oh no you didn't (Score:1, Insightful)

    by jim_v2000 (818799) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:33PM (#29818431)
    Please don't ever use the Wine as an example of Linux being compatible with Windows software. Because a huge majority of programs simply don't work with it, and those that do have had special coding done in Wine to make them work, and even then they are as buggy as hell.

    I'm not trying to bash Wine, I'm simply stating the facts as observed from four years of using Linux on the desktop.
  • by Techman83 (949264) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:39PM (#29818485)
    Yeah they forgot to mention the Cost of training for the switch from XP to Windows 7 and the also Office 2003 to Office 2007. Both are significantly different as far as interface goes and we have users that are going to require significant training no matter what we do. It's something that we haven't quite figured out how to tackle, as the ones who can't handle change scream the loudest.
  • by jim_v2000 (818799) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:52PM (#29818599)
    If your admins are going around installing an OS and apps on each machine individually in a corporate environment, you need new admins. And there's nothing so new and different about Windows 7 that would require any retraining...hell, you can still make it look just like Windows 2000 if you want.

    IBM's numbers are still bullshit.
  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jim_v2000 (818799) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:58PM (#29818657)
    I can see that one going down:

    CFO: "Why can't I open this spreadsheet that accounting sent me?"
    IT: "You're using Open Office...that spreadsheet was made in Excel and Open Office doesn't support X feature."
    CFO: "Well how the hell can I open it then?"
    IT: "We need to wait for enough other people to have the problem and for the developers to add the features."
    CFO: "My god...how long will that take?"
    IT: "Could be a few weeks, maybe months...or never."
    CFO: "Fuck that. I don't have time to waste. You said Excel will open in? Get that installed on here NOW!"
  • by melikamp (631205) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @11:01PM (#29818675) Homepage Journal

    So, you are saying, we shouldn't use your program because if it's buggy and you are unavailable, it's tough luck for us. We are better off playing a GPLed game.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @11:03PM (#29818697)

    Unless I missed something about buying Lenovo back from the Chinese...

  • by ZorbaTHut (126196) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @11:18PM (#29818849) Homepage

    Pretty much. If you think my game is more fun than GPL games, you should probably play mine. If you think GPLed games are more fun, go ahead and play them. I'd like to think that my bugs are minimal enough, and the game is fun enough, that it's not an issue.

    Luckily for me, the vast majority of GPL games are awful - largely thanks to the major differences between gamedev and OS/application dev - so I don't worry a whole lot about that competition.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @11:21PM (#29818879)

    WHen I bought the wife unit a Dell Mini 9 with Ubuntu pre-installed a few months ago, she looked at it and asked if I was joking.
    She had seen/used my Mandriva w/ KDE4.2 laptop and even used the Puppy on the old desktop so she was willing to go for a Leenuxy thing.
    She took one look at the ugly Gnome interface and asked why I had installed this ugly Windows 95 that was depressing.

    I laughed so hard she thought I was laughing at her and not at the sad brown desktop and I almost slept on the sofa that night.

    I installed something else the following day and got lucky that same night.
    Damn you Ubuntu! Why you gotta be so ugly?

  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by whoop (194) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @11:30PM (#29818949) Homepage

    Why is accounting running rogue software without permission from the CFO? How about "CFO: Why the hell is this accounting peon running Excel when the company switched to Open Office months ago? Fire him for piracy."

    If you don't implement a standard company-wide, then you will run into trouble. Simple.

  • by rliden (1473185) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @11:38PM (#29819029)

    Funny because about 30 years ago it was IBMs competition and lock in on its proprietary hardware (basically giving away their OS) that started this whole Microsoft thing. Competition on proprietary hardware and vendor lock-in isn't much different than competition on proprietary software with vendor or platform lock-in.

    I'm fine with IBM competing however they want (legally), but I doubt I'll ever see them as much different from Microsoft. To me they're the same animal with a different skin.

  • by tftp (111690) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @11:42PM (#29819059) Homepage

    If your admins are going around installing an OS and apps on each machine individually in a corporate environment, you need new admins.

    Each box has to be handled individually regardless of what you do. Admins may want to reimage the HDD, they may want to do clean unattended install, or they may want to do a standard manual install. It all depends on how many boxes need to be processed and how similar the results should be. But every box has to be touched - plugged in, powered up, and booted from some CD.

    And that much work is needed if you are dealing with new boxes. What if you need to upgrade existing machines? It's a night mare's job. All computers would be different. All would have some precious data on them that needs to be preserved. Some boxes would be just faulty. Some hardware would be insufficient for the upgrade. There would be 100's of different video cards, network and other I/O that needs their own, very special drivers. Windows 7 may not even have drivers for some older peripherals. No, an upgrade on a large scale would be risky and expensive, requiring a personal touch.

    In other words, "costs incurred by a geek in his basement" != "costs incurred by a large company during mass deployment of a new OS". The $2K figure sounds very reasonable.

  • by rliden (1473185) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @11:48PM (#29819089)

    Well to be a bit fair the guy is talking about how awesome open source is when it benefits him and how much more awesome closed source is when it benefits him. Not that I mind the infighting, but it sounds pretty hypocritical to me too.

  • Re:Misguided (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maugle (1369813) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @11:59PM (#29819163)

    Go and spend 24 hours or so on Ubuntu's forums before you try and tell me it is stable.

    That's your argument against Ubuntu? Do you know just how many forums are dedicated to solving various Windows fuckups?

  • That assumes that the value of the software is the same, value being usability, performance, etc. For netbooks, servers, and small dedicated devices I don't think Microsoft can compete at all.

    More netbooks sell with Windows [computerworld.com] than Linux. When IT staffers [techworld.com.au] were asked "the operating system of choice for IT netbooks is Windows 7". Some are hoping that because of Moblin [linux-mag.com] Linux will regain market share in netbooks. MS IIS [netcraft.com] comes in second in webservers, behind Apache. While down from it's high IIS still has a market share of 18% in webservers, excluding Apache more than all the others combined. I don't think Microsoft is in any danger of losing it's market share anytime soon.

    I'm all for Linux, but it can't completely replace Microsoft just yet.

    For most people both Linux and Macs can replace Windows. People just have this "Microsoft software is needed" attitude. Like a lot of other switchers before switching from Windows to first Linux then OSX I evaluated what I wanted to do, the tasks not the software. I then looked to see if there was any software available for Linux and OSX that could do what I wanted. Other than there being no drop-in replacement for Photoshop for Linux the answer was I could get software that would do what I wanted. And with WINE or Crossover [codeweavers.com] Photoshop CS 2 will run on Linux.

    Falcon

  • by mqduck (232646) <mqduck@@@mqduck...net> on Wednesday October 21, 2009 @12:37AM (#29819461)

    It really is the way to go.

    Except, of course, for the software *you* write.

  • by tuxgeek (872962) on Wednesday October 21, 2009 @12:47AM (#29819515)

    They've stated that they were aiming for cheaper and cheaper hardware, with the cost of computers focusing more on software and support.

    M$ has refined the art of blowing butterflies, rainbows & unicorns up everybody's ass, and have years of experience doing just that.
    Today in order to run their crapware you need a high dollar, high end, turbocharged PC.
    So much for the validity of anything they say.

    I have been quite happy running tux on every machine I own, year after year, and it runs just fine & dandy even on hardware designed specifically for that butterflyrainbowunicorn OS.
    So .. who need it?

  • by jim_v2000 (818799) on Wednesday October 21, 2009 @01:11AM (#29819677)
    Most machines that are running in a corporate environment (at least at the places I have worked) can be imaged remotely via a program like Ghost.

    Of course, I don't really think too many places are going to upgrade to 7 unless it comes installed on new hardware simply because there's not really any reason to go to 7 from XP if XP is working.
  • by CodeBuster (516420) on Wednesday October 21, 2009 @04:11AM (#29820491)

    I'm all for Linux, but it can't completely replace Microsoft just yet. I use it for almost everything. However, there is still some development that I find easier to do with a MS operating system.

    I agree. In fact, I have argued that very point on Slashdot here for several years now. The development story on Microsoft platforms with Visual Studio, .NET and C# really is the bee's knees when it comes to writing advanced object oriented software. This IMHO, more than anything else, has kept Microsoft afloat since 2003; without .NET they would already be dead. If the Linux crowd really wants to strike a blow against Microsoft then it must STOP attacking Miguel and Mono and instead help make the .NET experience on Linux the best that it can be. Right now they fight against Mono and attempt to marginalize it which ironically plays right into Microsoft's hand. If they really want to strike a blow against Microsoft then they need to hit them where it hurts by making MonoDevelop and Mono a serious competitor to Visual Studio and .NET Framework for development. Microsoft has always been keen to court developers (they talk all the time internally about "developer mindshare" because they know that developers are important) and the strategy has always paid off. Now is the time for the Linux crowd to take a page from the Microsoft playbook and focus more on the development experience with Mono.

  • by DangerFace (1315417) on Wednesday October 21, 2009 @04:12AM (#29820493) Journal

    Honestly, it's rigodamndiculous how difficult it is to find, download, and install software on Linux. At least compared to the Windows/Mac platform... 2 freakin hours to install some software on CentOS? Tracking down weird shit in the configure logs to figure out what the hell is going on. 30 minutes on Google to figure out it is a problem with the libxml2 linking. Another hour to fix the damn thing. That's not going to pass the Granny Test.

    I agree wholeheartedly! I mean, I use RandomTechieLinuxDistro, and for some reason using a distro set up to be technical is a technical experience! The gall! OK, so on Ubuntu I would click on add/remove programs and have several thousand programs right there. So what? Grannies obviously usually compile their own kernels and just boot into a shell. Why would they ever use the most popular Linux distro out there, just because it takes way less time to install than XP or OSX, can be tested from a live disk, is free, and is laughably easy to use?

  • Yes, i've heard the talk about hardware being given away free with software... It's ridiculous tho...

    Software *can* be given away free quite easily, you don't even have to pay all the bandwidth costs because third parties will mirror your files... It's within easy reach of almost anyone to acquire the tools necessary to write and distribute software.

    Hardware on the other hand, while competition has driven the price way down, can never be free because each piece of hardware can only be cheapened to a point... It still requires raw materials for each and every unit produced, still needs to be physically moved, and also requires specialised equipment to build.

    What is absolutely disgusting, is that software has not seen the same competition that has driven hardware development so much... If software had evolved in the same way as hardware, it would virtually all be free these days and would probably just come bundled with hardware.

  • What software developers need to start doing, is targeting wine as their development platform...
    That way you don't really need to relearn anything or change the way you work, but you get linux/mac compatibility (of a sort) basically for free.

  • by jcupitt65 (68879) on Wednesday October 21, 2009 @05:18AM (#29820777)

    Firstly, I did not say Ubuntu. I said CentOS.

    But no granny would ever use CentOS. It's not a consumer-oriented linux at all. In Ubuntu, you have 30,000 packages all nicely indexed with sensible descriptions. I've never had a package install fail in 5 years of use. Click Add/Remove and you can find stuff easily, with a star rating system too.

    There are no stores that sell Linux programs. No online appstores.

    Canonical's AppCenter launches in a couple of weeks, though it's just the same thing they had before but with a nicer GUI. Perhaps it'll encourage commercial software, we'll have to wait and see I guess.

    Linux UI's are not always "laughably easy to use".

    Hehe ya got me there, that's certainly true. But installing software is far easier than Windows or Mac.

  • Re:Misguided (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JonJ (907502) <jon.jahren@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 21, 2009 @05:21AM (#29820781)
    No, but it invalidates your argument. Both operating systems have issues. Your point is null and void.
  • It's just not worth the trouble - no gamers really care.

    Hogwash.

    There are plenty of gamers that care, they just don't have any *choice* in the matter.

    Its the commercial game makers that don't care.

  • by stuboogie (900470) on Wednesday October 21, 2009 @08:55AM (#29822153)
    You seem to be overlooking a crucial element in the "OS Wars". As many proponents of Linux or Mac OS seem to do. The issue is consistency and familiarity. These are the primary reasons that MS has stayed on top as long as it has.

    First, you may point out that Linux "scales up extremely well, and scales down extremely well." You can also point out that Linux is "free, legal, [and] has no viruses." However, you can't really say it is easier to use than Windows. Not for someone who has never used Linux or any other OS besides Windows.

    Whether XP is their first OS or they have progressed through the iterations from Win 3.1, they know Windows. They know where they need to go in the UI to perform the tasks they need to accomplish. They have spent valuable time learning how to perform these tasks in Windows. They are comfortable with it and they become proficient (to some degree) in its use.

    Now, one day their Windows is taken away and they are given Ubuntu or Mac OS X. They have no idea where to go to perform the tasks they used to perform with ease. They have to spend their valuable time to relearn a new OS with a new UI. Their actual productivity takes a big hit and they are frustrated that they can't just get their work done. Imagine if that was everyone in your company!! Sure, the company could spend numerous man-hours training the users on the new OS, or they'll have to beef up their IT department to hand hold every user as they painfully become acquainted with the new OS. Or, they can keep using Windows.

    Sure, MS makes some minor changes from time to time, but these are done gradually and limited. This gives time for the users to acclimate without making them feel lost. I would love to see MS "wake up real quick with a real, next-generation operating system of the future. It needs to be secure, flexible, low-latency, scalable, modular and customizable." However, look at the backlash they got from the changes they made to the UI in Vista and Office 2007. You can argue about the effectiveness of MS's implementation choices, but the underlying factor is they tried to change Windows for the better (at least that is their intent) and users hated it. I would argue that is one reason Apple and Linux saw an increase in adoption.

    I'm still not sure how well Win 7 will go over as it has the same UI as Vista. As I recently moved my Windows box to Win 7 from XP, I can attest to the minor inconvenience of finding where MS has put things in this UI, and I consider myself pretty adept with computers and technology in general. Overall though, I like Win 7 much better so far.

    The bottom line: advanced users and computer enthusiasts can adapt to a new and different OS much easier than the average user. Corporations are not going to go through the headache and growing pains of switching all their users to a new OS when many of the users do not know much more about Windows than what is required to accomplish their daily tasks. I believe Windows continues to persist as the dominant OS because MS does not make drastic changes to the OS. If users have to relearn how to use Windows, then they might as well learn another OS. That is when Linux and Apple benefit.
  • by makomk (752139) on Wednesday October 21, 2009 @09:12AM (#29822313) Journal

    If you look more closely, you'll find that those bugs were fixed by fixing the underlying issue in Wine that causes them. Read the part of the changelog that says what actual changes were made. The reason the list of bugs looks like that is because issues in Wine generally show up as issues in running some application (or, more often, several applications).

  • Re:You go IBM!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jez9999 (618189) on Wednesday October 21, 2009 @09:26AM (#29822463) Homepage Journal

    Basic email and office apps, what more do you need?

    I dunno about need, but there's a hell of a lot of stuff that wouild be desirable. I knew Ubuntu wasn't really finished, but I decided to check just how far along it had gotten by installing it a couple of months ago to function as my home network's router. It could do with huge improvement, to say the lease. Here's just a tip of the iceberg:

    - There are two separate clipboards, a mouse one and a keyboard one. Middle-click will often paste something different to ctrl-v. In this day and age, I'm sorry, I can't be generous - this is fucking retarded. Fix it, Canonical.
    - Sometimes selection copies stuff, sometimes it doesn't. Be consistent. I'd say make it never copy stuff.
    - This bug [redhat.com] meant that I had to hack an init.d script by adding 'sleep 5', just to get a DHCP server working on the Ubuntu box because of the way dhcp3-server assumes interfaces will be immediately available and NetworkManager makes them available asynchronously. Ubuntu enthusiasts tell me NetworkManager is pretty much only good for wireless, and disable it for wired connections. Utterly pathetic. We desperately need Canonical to get this [ubuntu.com] done - and competently.
    - Make up your mind as to what one should use to install packages. There's an add/remove software GUI, but there's also Synaptic Package Manager. Make up your mind, Canonical!!!!!
    - Better firewall configuration. I know I've been told a million times that you can't make a GUI for iptables because it's too complex, but I beg to differ - at least you can make a GUI for it that implements a decent swathe of its functionality. No, ufw doesn't cut it, it sucks. Not enough functionality. And how about a firewall that scans app binaries, and gives access on a per-binary basis?

    These are just some of the problems I've noticed, off the top of my head. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see Linux be a viable alternative, but it can't beat Windows 7 yet... and TBH I was amazed that some of these problems still existed, given how long Canonical had been at it.

  • by patrickthbold (1351131) on Wednesday October 21, 2009 @09:53AM (#29822781)
    Meh. He's using BSD, LGPL software. He's perfectly within his rights. In fact I'd argue that the authors of the software he's using are fine with his decision to keep his sourced closed, considering how they chose to licence their software.
  • Honestly, it's rigodamndiculous how difficult it is to find, download, and install software on Linux. At least compared to the Windows/Mac platform.

    I agree. For those who don't know the difference between the two platforms, I'll explain the process for each.

    For Ubuntu, and pretty much any other apt-based system:

    1. Click "System", "Administration", "Synaptic Package Manager".
    2. Type a few keywords related to what you want. For example, "dvd player" or "spreadsheet".
    3. Pick one from the selections that come up, and put a checkbox next to it.
    4. Click "Install". Wait for twenty seconds.
    5. New program is in easy-to-find, neatly categorised Applications menu. You're done!

    This is insanely complicated. There's no way any normal, non-nerd human could do this. And the selection of over twenty-eight thousand packages [koolwal.net], free for the taking, is completely insufficient for today's modern world.

    For compaision, here is how to do it the easy way with Microsoft Windows:

    1. Search Google for likely keywords.
    2. Check the first two pages of results for things that might have what you want.
    3. Spend some time going through the most likely results to find one that you don't have to pay for, isn't a crippled trial version, and doesn't seem to contain adware, spyware, or other bullshit. You can't really always tell, so you'll just have to guess sometimes.
    4. Download the installer and run it. NOTE: Windows may warn you that installing this could set fire to a box of puppies. Ignore it.
    5. Click "Yes" and "I agree" to various questions and EULAs you aren't reading.
    6. Answer questions about where to install files you've never heard of. Sometimes the defaults will be okay, and other times it will want to install stuff in really wacky places.
    7. Ignore lecture about how you need to close all other programs. The installer finishes.
    8. Ignore lecture about how you need to reboot. NOTE: You may not get a choice.
    9. Delete systray icons, desktop shortcuts, quicklaunch icons, startup items, additional prorgams it installed alongside, and other party favors.
    10. Your new program is now somewhere in your three-column-wide start menu. It might be under the program's name, or the manufacturer's name, or perhaps under the umbrella corporation's name, or it might just be its own entry floating down at the bottom or top of the menu. There's no way to know and you'll just have to kind of remember where it is, or become obsessive about categorising this stuff by hand.
    11. Pray it didn't come with any viruses or trojans. You're done!

    Yes, indeed, this is a much better system. Easier, saner, and less prone to error. Everyone should use it!

    Finally,

    30 minutes on Google to figure out it is a problem with the libxml2 linking. Another hour to fix the damn thing. That's not going to pass the Granny Test.

    Yeah! And Granny is really good at dealing with missing DLLs, corrupt registry entries, files that mysteriously become locked or read-only, and handling conflicts between programs trying to steal file associations. Granny never has problems with Windows. I never hear from Granny asking me to fix her computer.

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself. -- A.H. Weiler

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