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Chinese Pirates Launch Ubuntu That Looks Like XP 580

Posted by timothy
from the day-late-6.83-yuan-short dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Ylmf, famous for pirating Windows XP, have just released a version of Ubuntu that looks just like Windows XP. Really, really similar. Apparently because Microsoft were cracking down on the actual Windows XP pirating — though I think they will still suffer for ripping off the GUI exactly." Of course, if that's the sort of look you like for your desktop, you need not risk any download cooties or language barriers; a reader in the Ubuntu Forums suggests this instructional video for giving Gnome the XP treatment.
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Chinese Pirates Launch Ubuntu That Looks Like XP

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  • Re:why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bios_Hakr (68586) <xptical@@@gmail...com> on Monday December 28, 2009 @01:44AM (#30568782) Homepage

    A very good question. If someone went *all out* and coded the Control Panel and the MMC, it might be okay. But as far as the primary desktop, I really see no need.

    As for the underlying stuff, it would allow people already familiar with Windows (MCSEs mostly) to make an easier transition. Looking at Ubuntu, 99% of the functionality is the same. I can setup screensavers (and power profiles), configure networks (including wireless), and install/remove programs. If someone emulated that stuff, my peers would have one less system of clicks to learn.

    Particularly, I wish the MMC was better emulated inside Ubuntu. I can partition drives, start and stop services, add users and groups, control file shares, and check the system logs from inside one interface.

    And the hardcore people (script gurus and PowerShell users) could (would probably) always learn the underlying systems.

  • Why still? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by craagz (965952) on Monday December 28, 2009 @02:00AM (#30568852) Homepage Journal
    Why is Microsoft still pursuing Win XP cloning? Now that it has ended support for Win XP? Let them pirates be!
  • Pirates (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Evro (18923) * <evandhoffman@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Monday December 28, 2009 @02:26AM (#30568916) Homepage Journal

    Now that "real" pirates are back on the world stage, maybe we can get rid of this dumb use of the word pirate? I, at least, was pretty confused for a couple of seconds as to why pirates would do any sort of software trickery.

  • by AnonymouseUser (1701830) on Monday December 28, 2009 @02:52AM (#30569026)
    Yes, it does make sense. Apparently the demand for Windows on-the-cheap is high in China, so in order to provide what the customer wants, at the price point they want, and without pirating XP, they came up with this. Everything is legit and everyone is happy (well, everyone except MS).
  • Re:why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theheadlessrabbit (1022587) on Monday December 28, 2009 @02:53AM (#30569028) Homepage Journal

    Remember Andy Warhole entering the urinal in the art show and winning! There are some very, very idiotic people who have no taste at all. They usually think they are sensitive and all knowing. Ubuntu can look really great. But a box stock XP machine looks cheesy to me.

    It was Marcel Duchamp, not Andy Warhol, who entered a urinal into an art show, (and he did this 11 years before Warhol was even born)
    And far from winning, the urinal was never actually put on display in that show. The only reason it got into the show was because the organizers accepted all submissions they received.

    The point of the urinal wasn't to be looked at in the same way we look at a Michelangelo, it was to draw attention to how we look at art vs. mass-produced objects. What exactly is the distinction between a fine art object, and a non-art object? How does placing one in the context of another change our reaction?

    How we approach something drastically changes how we think about it.

    The same thing can be said for Windows vs. Linux. We look at Linux as being vastly superior in nearly every way, and we can't understand why regular people see it differently. When we approach linux as nerds, we miss the 1st thing that non-techy people see. That is the interface. its not about being more powerful, more stable, more flexible, and free, to them, it's about being familiar.
    making Ubuntu look like XP might not be pretty, it might be cheesy, but how would a non-nerd approach it? with fear and confusion, or with the comfort and familiarity they are accustomed to? this could very possibly be a great way to help gain support in the Linux world.

  • Re:why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 28, 2009 @03:05AM (#30569074)

    Bullshit. The proof? I like Windows. In fact, I like it a lot better than any Linux distro I have ever used. Just last week I went to install Ubuntu on one of my older laptops and it failed to even boot. Windows XP? Booted and installed with no problem whatsoever.

    Keep telling yourself those crazy conspiracy stories about shills and marketing if it makes you feel better. Meanwhile those of us who live in the real world will continue to use what we really want while you continue to declare each year for the next decade the "year of Linux".

  • by Animats (122034) on Monday December 28, 2009 @03:06AM (#30569082) Homepage

    The typical "open source" solution to a badly designed GUI is to make the GUI reconfigurable, with "skins" or "themes". This is an admission of failure.

    Blender, the animation system, is about to do this. All 3D animation systems are complex, but Blender has an unusually confused GUI, with changes in each release and out of sync documentation. So, in the next release, 2.5, Blender will support "themes", plus some scheme for custom Python code to rework the GUI. Now the developers can blame the user.

    The other classic vice of the Unix/Linux world is the one-way GUI. Input is graphical, but output is in a text window, because the GUI is wallpaper over some text-oriented application. This comes from a design flaw of UNIX - when you run a subprocess, you can pass in a list of arguments, but all you get back is an exit status and maybe a text stream. "exit" should have had "argc" and "argv" parameters via which the subprogram could return structured results to the caller.

    For a painful example of this problem, make a wireless network connection with a Linux EeePC. All the GUI gives you is success or failure. Errors are hidden in a text window with incredibly confusing blither from about six programs used to set up the connection, several of which produce error messages in normal operation.

    For better or worse, the Mac got this right back in 1984, and it's still worth reading the Macintosh User Interface Guidelines. Two rules often forgotten: "You should never have to tell the computer something it already knows", and "An alert box consists of a sentence explaining the problem, and a sentence suggesting what to do about it." The idea that you should never have to tell the computer something it already knows means that it's not acceptable to make the user copy information from one place to another. The Linux community does not get this at all, and the Windows community sometimes forgets it.

  • Re:why? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by starbugs (1670420) on Monday December 28, 2009 @03:18AM (#30569128)

    I own my OS.

    Your rent yours.

    For every non-booting laptop you find, I can give you a thousand viruses and worms I'm immune to.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday December 28, 2009 @03:19AM (#30569132) Homepage

    For the longest time while Microsoft was busy solidifying its monopoly position on the desktop, it did nothing short of encouraging copyright infringement by actually reporting "pirated copies" of its OS in its reported figures.

    Once that mission was accomplished and any sort of competition was put behind them, they started using stronger means to protect their software. But perhaps the measures are too strong in today's "Linux curious" environment.

    When a Linux desktop distro looks exactly like Windows XP, people already know how to use it. And with WINE being in a rather mature state, lots of software will run just fine... (including malware, I'm afraid...) It still will not be long before people realize they are not using Windows, but are quite able to use it... they will also realize that they CAN use it and may not need Windows after all. Perhaps this is something Microsoft doesn't want people to know.

  • Re:Pirates (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mccalli (323026) on Monday December 28, 2009 @04:17AM (#30569298) Homepage
    Now that "real" pirates are back on the world stage, maybe we can get rid of this dumb use of the word pirate? Look - the term pirate has been in use to describe copying software for decades. Once upon a time in my reckless* youth, I copied software too and I called it pirating. I got it from people calling themselves pirates, as released by groups like the Pompey Pirates [final-memory.org]. The word wasn't forced on us by some manipulating media, we wanted to be called pirates.

    I'm strictly reformed these days, and have been for quite some time. Every piece of shareware registered, absolutely no illegally copied anything, licenses abound (where necessary). I firmly believe in doing this the right way, especially since with the massive explosion of good quality open-source software (and cheap educational licenses - the 'poor student' argument rarely holds now either) there's really no excuse at all for copying now. But I still know what the word 'pirate' means in the context of software - it's a firmly established piece of the lexicon and it's not going away.

    I, at least, was pretty confused for a couple of seconds as to why pirates would do any sort of software trickery.

    No, you weren't. You are saying that for pure pretence reasons, as you quite clearly know what's meant. Statements like that don't help your cause.

    Cheers,
    Ian
  • Re:why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Monday December 28, 2009 @05:10AM (#30569440) Homepage

    I don't see why it would make a difference. If you drive a Volkswagen and then go and drive a Toyota, the indicator and wiper switches are the opposite way round on the steering column, and the instrument panel looks different .... Then they get used to it.

    The trouble is that most people don't do this, it looks different so they panic and can't use the machine. I have seen people unable to use their machine because the icons have moved around — I kid you not!

    Having never used Windows before it took me about two hours to get my head round XP,

    You are exceptional, as a most of us who read slashdot, we will take something new as a challenge, play with it & try to understand how it works — then start using it.

    The thing that most of us geeks fail to understand is that most users have little insight into how their machine works, they know that if they press this button something happens; but the why escapes them (even a why that is ''obvious'' to most of us). Because of this if anything changes they are no longer on familiar territory and become worried.

    This could be fixed by teaching/training that dealed with a computer/word-processor/... by teaching understanding — but even if a user gets any training the teacher probably does not have the insight to do this. Also such training would take a bit longer and be harder than the ''point, click, do'' courses that are most of what is on offer — so they would not sell in spite of the long term benefits.

  • by RMS Eats Toejam (1693864) on Monday December 28, 2009 @05:30AM (#30569490)

    When a Linux desktop distro looks exactly like Windows XP, people already know how to use it. And with WINE being in a rather mature state, lots of software will run just fine...

    Please, people hardly know how to use Windows or any other OS now, but the real problem is the lack of functionality in Linux. That being the ability to run Windows programs flawlessly. The real fact is that WINE compatibility sucks ass, even after you spend time installing Winetricks and downloading missing fonts and DLL files. Some programs still don't work at all, don't function property, or crash for no apparent reason. Even QQ, the chat client widely used in China, does NOT work with Wine. The only people who believe WINE is so great are the people who only use it for one or two popular programs. They aren't using it to run every Windows application they use now.

  • Re:why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by selven (1556643) on Monday December 28, 2009 @05:33AM (#30569500)

    And 5 people are going to reply with stories of how Windows XP couldn't get wireless, sound or the trackpad working while Linux got done in 20 minutes. And 5 people will reply back with their pro-Windows stories. The plural of anecdote is not data.

  • by johnw (3725) on Monday December 28, 2009 @05:48AM (#30569542)

    The Linux community does not get this at all, and the Windows community sometimes forgets it.

    On this front, the Linux experience is worlds better than the Windows one. My biggest frustration when trying to sort out problems on other people's Windows boxes is the frequency with which one gets an error message which amounts to "Something went wrong, but we're not telling you what." The big mistake which the Windows developers make is hiding information from the user so even if you are capable of understanding the technical aspects of the problem, you're not allowed to see them.

    It's true that the average user either ignores technical information in an error message, or goes into a panic when it appears, but there should always be *some* way of getting at it. Windows is dreadful in this respect.

  • Re:why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mjwalshe (1680392) on Monday December 28, 2009 @05:49AM (#30569546)
    they are probaly scamming people who think they are buying windows XP
  • Re:Pirates (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 28, 2009 @06:10AM (#30569606)

    Now that "real" pirates are back on the world stage, maybe we can get rid of this dumb use of the word pirate? I, at least, was pretty confused for a couple of seconds as to why pirates would do any sort of software trickery.

    Good luck with it. And by the way, overloading multiple meanings into one word depending on context is by far not a new approach in human languages. Better get used to it.

  • Re:why? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by ZeLonewolf (197271) * on Monday December 28, 2009 @07:44AM (#30569972) Homepage

    My fine-tuned and carefully-tweaked Windows XP box that I use as my main PC currently has 18 days of uptime. Windows today is simply not as unstable as Windows of yesteryear.

  • Re:why? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 28, 2009 @08:04AM (#30570078)

    'Fine-tuned' and 'carefully-tweaked' (far beyond the reach of many Windows users) gives only 18 days? You do realise that Linux boxes regularly, fairly easily clock hundreds of days, right?

  • Re:why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by oshkrozz (1051896) on Monday December 28, 2009 @08:13AM (#30570120)
    You can not compare a GUI to a CLI ... to change the IP right click on My Network (either on the desktop or in the start menu) and choose properties Select the Interface and choose Properties then select TCP/IP ... (3 steps) Ubuntu System --> Administration --> Network Select Network Log in Change values ... uuuh hey look also 3 steps ... If you are a CLI snob then use the freeking cli ... oh wait ... that's because you spent 2 hours to moan about it rather then 5 seconds on google to find out the CLI command on XP (or after 10 min of not finding it 5 seconds on google with ... how to change IP in windows XP) btw for those lazy people .. the cli in XP is: netsh int ip address "" .... various commands like static to set static and so on set completely overwrites the interface add adds the new IP/mask/whatever to the interface
  • by cheros (223479) on Monday December 28, 2009 @08:44AM (#30570386)

    .. that it would STILL be better than Windows..

  • Re:why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Monday December 28, 2009 @08:52AM (#30570458) Journal

    And THIS is why Linux will always stay a niche! Did you ever think that maybe,...just maybe, your potential customer frankly doesn't give a shit what YOU think "real computing" is?

    I have been dealing with computing retail since the days of Win3.x and even today Linux I'm afraid just don't cut it. Why? Because of guys like you and paperweight roulette, that's why. A new user is NOT, I repeat NOT, gonna be comfortable with CLI, and frankly if you have a decent OS there shouldn't be ANY reason why they should have to be. Apple OSX? Frankly most of the guys I've talked to running OSX doesn't even know it HAS a CLI. MSFT Windows? Again nearly nobody that uses it even knows about CLI, and frankly even with me working PC repair I can count the number of times I've had to go CLI on one hand with fingers left over and the last time was so long ago Win9X was the dominant OS.

    But if those that create software along with the internals of Linux keep the same attitude that you have, along with "fixes" that are tons of CLI gibberish that is supposed to be "tweaked" to work with the user's particular software/hardware? Well then enjoy your teeny tiny niche. Nobody WANTS to go back to DOS or CLI, which is why you don't see MSFT or Apple marketing DOS based OSes anymore. These Chinese hackers may be doing it because they can't pirate Windows anymore and think this will help "fool" their customers, but if it helps them to use their PC so be it. It is that "I've got a big ePeen" "cli rox!" attitude that helps keep Linux the "scary geek OS", along with no way to look at retail boxes to tell what works and what doesn't. Both lead to more work for the customer, more frustration, more headaches, more PITA problems.

    Everyone here is making jokes "why ruin a perfectly good Linux OS"? Well I would counter with "Why would anyone want to give up a good MSFT Windows or Apple OSX for your harder to use, harder to shop for, more irritating OS?". This is nearly 2010 and nobody cares about "your leet hacker skillz", especially when all they want is to have everything "Just work". Life is too short to have to fight with your OS or spend hours in a fricking terminal just to get things to work. No thanks.

  • Re:why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JWSmythe (446288) <.jwsmythe. .at. .jwsmythe.com.> on Monday December 28, 2009 @09:28AM (#30570756) Homepage Journal

        I'm a huge Linux guy, but I try everything to see how it works. I have a copy of Win7 Ultimate, and it's actually working pretty well. It's crashed a few times, but I was tuning the overclocking of the CPU and GPU at the time. Otherwise, it's gone pretty good. When I went to shut it down to install a newer video card yesterday, it refused because some application didn't want to shut down. Instead of just going down, it hung on a screen that says an application wouldn't stop, so it couldn't shut down. {sigh}

        XP has gotten a lot better, but it took quite a while for them to get it really stable.

        My Linux machines tend to hold an uptime of as long as they have power, or when I've rebooted it because I wanted to add or change hardware. Over 100 days is typical on them, not the exception. Windows, you can't ave those, because it will want to reboot itself for an update well before you reach those kinds of uptimes.

        I had a Linux server once, that misbehaved. There was an application that would get stuck, and was unkillable. It would fail after a few weeks of running, so the server was scheduled to reboot every Monday morning at 4am. That wasn't an OS fault though, it was a 3rd party app. It rebooted flawlessly every week for quite a while. I'd always get a reboot notification in my mail, so every Monday morning when I got to work, I was pleased to see it in my mail. Eventually, the author made an update available to fix it, and I took that cron out.

  • Re:why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gbarules2999 (1440265) on Monday December 28, 2009 @09:39AM (#30570866)
    If he was trying to set an IP address then he couldn't have just googled something, right?
  • Re:why? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 28, 2009 @10:42AM (#30571588)

    Life is too short to have to fight with your OS or spend hours in a fricking GUI just to get things to work.

    Here, fixed up for you. Almost too easy.

  • Re:why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by johny42 (1087173) on Monday December 28, 2009 @10:48AM (#30571656)

    So why do almost all replies of workarounds or help insist on using the CLI?

    Because it's the easier way, not the only way.

    Also, it's much easier to say "write these 3 commands" than "open menu, click preferences, then click that, then the third button from the top and then click yes if it asks you that", etc.

  • Re:why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday December 28, 2009 @11:24AM (#30572100) Homepage Journal

    Why is having to know lspci more of a fail than having to descend into the registry to find the same information? At least lspci allows you to display just the information you are looking for.

    It's not more of a fail, it's an equal fail. First the complaint is about Windows not having a tool that lets you find this information, but that is patently false. I detailed two means for finding this information. The fail is about complaining about a problem with Windows which doesn't exist, instead of googling for a way to find the information in the first place, which is what I did, booting another operating system to find information that Windows will cough up? That's a gigantic failure. Period, the end. But the biggest failure is complaining about having to use device manager properly (e.g. rubbing two neurons together — I discovered that it would cough up the USB vendor:device ID pairs on my own, by poking around the interface) or go into the registry in a way actually documented by Microsoft in their KB, when the alternative is to drop to the command line and type in a cryptic five-character command... WHICH BY THE WAY, is not enough to tell you what is really on your system. See, in linux, you have to go to ten different places to find information on all your hardware. lspci may list pci and PCI-E cards, but you'll also need lsusb to find all the USB devices, lsscsi to find ieee1394, scsi, and sata devices, /proc/cpuinfo to find out information on your CPU... So in fact, the Windows device manager does these very things which are being complained about, and provides functionality which is not available on Linux! THAT is the fail. There are lots of reasons to hate Windows, let's not make up ones that are lies.

  • Re:why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tjbassoon (1705876) on Monday December 28, 2009 @11:35AM (#30572222)

    "You definitely need to use the command line at least a bit to get an Ubuntu system up an running properly"

    This is simply not true. Just installed Ubuntu 9.10 on my wife's laptop and didn't need any command line anything to get everything running properly. Now, I did use the cli, but that was just because it's my preference to install some software packages that way because it's faster/easier than going into Symantec since I know the exact program name and don't have to search for it, click buttons and hit apply, just type "sudo aptitude install xxxx" and let it run its course. I'm teaching her about what the command line is and how to run simple tasks with it, but I don't ever forsee her NEEDING to use it.

    Ever.

    How about this for a scenario: Your old mother is having a problem with her computer. You have to tell her to click Start, Control Panel, switch to classic view ("where is that link, I don't see it? oh there it is"). Now click through a series of tabs - no, not there, the tabs are these things at the top. OK, now what options do you see? Do you see a checkbox that says ("what's a 'chaeckbox', oh I see") blah blah blah? OK, check that. Hit Apply. Now, close that window. Yeah, close it. Now go into this other panel..... etc.

    Now, the Linux way. Mom, go to Applications, Accessories, Terminal. OK. Now in that window I want you to copy and paste this like I showed you: sudo command-to-do-whatever. Now hit enter. Type your password. There you go Mom.

    What's easier?

  • Re:why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuantumRiff (120817) on Monday December 28, 2009 @11:45AM (#30572378)

    MSFT Windows? Again nearly nobody that uses it even knows about CLI, and frankly even with me working PC repair I can count the number of times I've had to go CLI on one hand with fingers left over and the last time was so long ago Win9X was the dominant OS.

    You must do just very basic PC repair then.. Anything of any decent complexity requires Command Line in windows. Powershell is a good example, along with scripting (Just try to run a network with over 20 machines without VBScribt, or batch files.. ) Group Policy commands (such as "GPUpdate /force") and even windows update (Wuauclt /detectnow, you don't just wait overnight for your patches, do you?) It's a few lines of Powershell to create a report that lists (via WMI) what bios version and computer model every machine is running in your domain. it is thousands and thousands of dollars for software that will do that for you! Hell, even Deployment, with either Sysprep, or the newer formats in Vista and Windows 7 require lots of Editing of Config files to do anything useful.

    Good luck administering any new MS tool, like Exchange 2007, Windows 2008R2 Active Directory, or SQL server without Command line knowledge.

    GUI's have always been the realm of Newbies.. MS is finally realizing the power of the command line the last 5 years or so...

    I agree that new users are intimidated by the command line.. Hell, I've helped out in teaching Senior Citizen classes.. They are intimidated mostly by the mouse!!!

    However, the only people that I have met that think that the command line is for old Dinosaurs, are guys that work at GeekSquad, and charge you $120 to run MalwareBytes and a defrag. Even the accountants at my work realize how handy scripting is, thats why Excel supports Macro's so much!

  • Re:why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SnarfQuest (469614) on Monday December 28, 2009 @12:40PM (#30573194)

    You must understand how much easier the GUI is. Let's say, you want to see what files are in your current directory.

    Under the command line, you'd have to do something extremely complicated, like typing 'ls' followed by a return, and eventually you'd finally be done.

    Using the simplified GUI, you'd simply click on 'start', then click on the 'my computer' icon/ You'd then scroll through the choices provided to select the disk drive you want to see. Then you'd easily scroll through the provided lists, clicking on all the folders to open a new leven of folders until you get to the one you are intrested in. Now, if you want to see the file extension, you'd simply find the option to enable showing the whole file name instead of just part of it, wherever it has been placed under this version of your GUI, prossibly somewhere under the 'start' menu. Once you have seen the file name, you only need to close all the windows for all the paths that you opened, being careful to not close other windows that may look simniliar.

    See how much simplier the GUI is, compared to the confusing mess that is the CLI!

  • Re:why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by orasio (188021) on Monday December 28, 2009 @12:51PM (#30573350) Homepage

    Enough with the shouting random words. Esp. when you don't have a lot of interesting stuff to say.

    In fact, most people do hate Windows, and they love Google Search. And while Windows is a nice easy to use GUI, Google Search is a CLI. But it's easier to use that CLI than to use the beautiful GUI they have.

    It's not that CLI or GUI are harder/easier by themselves. It's that some jobs are more suited for a GUI, and some others are better for a CLI, and it's pretty much proven that people can adapt to either.

The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.

Working...