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Michael Robertson Interview about Lindows 384

unclegus writes "I ran across this article talking about Michael Roberston and Lindows. Says a "Sneak Preview" will be available in a few weeks. Release 1.0 will be $100 for single user ..." Dan Gillmor, the author of it, has said that it appears to be the real thing - I'll be interested in getting my hands on it.
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Michael Robertson Interview about Lindows

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  • Interdev under Linux (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2002 @03:38PM (#2811462)
    I get paid to write ASP pages.. there is no changing that to PHP, JSP or any other non-M$ platform. With that said, if I could run Interdev under Linux, then I would never have need for Windows again. If Lindows can do that for me, then I'll give it a shot.
  • Is this legal? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2002 @03:40PM (#2811486) Homepage Journal
    Apparently some parts of the OS will be proprietry, but the OS will include the Linux kernel and be reliant on it presumably, unless they intend to provide FreeBSD running in Linux kernel emulation mode with it.

    Is this (serious question) a GPL violation? If Apple can't make BASH the MacOS X command line shell (apparently they asked, RMS said no, that would be a violation), how can Lindows make Linux the kernel?

  • by Marx_Mrvelous ( 532372 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2002 @03:41PM (#2811491) Homepage
    From the info in the article, it seems that they are either erverse-engineering the Windows APIs, or mimicking the functionality with their own code. This is a time-consuming task.

    Also, they said they are focusing on only 10 or so applications. They list Work, Excel, etc. But what about future revisions of these programs? I wonder if Ms would purposefully change them to break under Lindows, which Lindows would have to change to accomodate.

    So will this become a perpetual 'chasing' game, trying to catch up to Microsoft?
  • by the_radix ( 454343 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2002 @03:42PM (#2811496) Homepage Journal

    He ran several Microsoft Office applications on his IBM ThinkPad, though some functions of those programs still aren't working properly under Lindows. They'll come in time, he says.

    So, instead of paying $100 for a Windows upgrade that crashes occasionally, but runs everything, we can pay $100 for an OS that crashes occasionally and can't run everything.

  • missing the point (Score:3, Interesting)

    by _UnderTow_ ( 86073 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2002 @03:43PM (#2811502)
    I know I can't speak for anyone else here, but for me the attraction of using Linux is not having to worry AT ALL about licenseing issues. If I have to worry about how many licenses is have I might as well use windows, then the windows apps I might be using will work (as well as they can).
  • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2002 @03:44PM (#2811511)
    Honestly this is a fine achievement if it does what it says. But for $100? To run on slow machines so that companies don't have to upgrade their hardware?

    Come on.

    Unless it supports things like USB for devices Linux doesn't already support, etc. I really don't see this being a viable competitor.

    My main beef w/Linux at this point is that I can't sync my Casiopeia via USB cradle (I have to use the serial keyboard "cradle") which is slow and painful.

    My god damn parallel printer (HP 960c) is not very well supported and making a /etc/printcap entry w/printtool is not helping (even w/the drivers from the HP sourceforge page).

    If Lindows will solve those problems for me I would be less weary... For $100 though? I will suffer w/my serial cradle and using WP8 (which works w/the printer just fine).

    Just my worthless .02
  • Screenshots (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jwilhelm ( 238084 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2002 @03:45PM (#2811518) Homepage Journal
    There are two screenshots of Lindows in use here: ot s.php

    It looks impressive to me (so far).
  • by Havokmon ( 89874 ) <> on Wednesday January 09, 2002 @03:45PM (#2811522) Homepage Journal
    If it weren't for the freaking regressions happening in Wine, I would be running 100% in Linux right now.

    The current WWN [] is convering the progress for some new testing tools for Wine..
    But what if already HAD those tools? They could have fixed those regressions already, and boom, you have a 'more complete' Wine.

    I don't think LindowsOS running Win32 apps is all that impossible. All the parts are already there, they're just not all working at the same time.

  • by Eloquence ( 144160 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2002 @03:49PM (#2811552)
    Lindows seems to follow an approach similar to that of Transgaming []: Get a few Win32 apps to work well and ignore the rest. (Contrary to Transgaming, however, Lindows appears to be proprietary with no intention to ever change that.) Whether this approach is really sufficient is doubtful: If private users can't run Fooster to trade MP3s and cannot play their favorite games, and commercial users can't run their in-house VB/Access stuff, they might quickly want to get rid of Lindows (which will probably change its name sooner or later). $100 also appears to be too expensive to just try it out to see if you can live without Windows. One of the advantages of Linux has always been that PC magazines could bundle it, and that you could download it from various websites.

    There may still be a Linux market for Lindows' extensions to WINE or whatever they're building on, though. There are certainly worse ways to burn VC.

  • Re:Why in gods name (Score:2, Interesting)

    by CatherineCornelius ( 543166 ) <> on Wednesday January 09, 2002 @03:53PM (#2811594) Journal
    Why in gods name would someone buy this at $100 a crack ?????

    That, as they say, is a very good question.

    It isnt gooing to be ANYWHERE (Windows isnt stable you say, Ok , whatever but for running Windows apps youre going to tell me a hacked emulator is) near as stable for windows apps as windows,

    A key stability issue with Windows is the kernel--if you run under a Linux or BSD/Mach/whatever kernel then a wobbly bit of software isn't going to cream it a la BSOD. And if the basic IP services and whatnot are on top of the thing like in UNIX then you don't have that "now reboot your computer" nonsense.

    and the Linux stuff is going to get dragged down by bloating everything to the moon for compatibilty ???

    You mean like with Gnome/KDE/Evolution Mozilla? Run mutt and lynx! :)

  • by yerricde ( 125198 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2002 @03:54PM (#2811598) Homepage Journal
    If Microsoft wants to get the maker of "Lindows" for infringing on the WINDOWS® trademark [], the maker of "Lindows" can change the name to the Spanish word "Lindos" (meaning "pretty ones") which carries connotations of both Windows and DOS.
  • Re:vmware does it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2002 @04:06PM (#2811671) Homepage Journal
    Is [creating a Linux kernel module] a GPL violation?
    Maybe, but that wasn't my question was it? Lindows is an entire operating system, not a LKM.
    I don't see how it would be a violation under the "mere aggregation" clause of the GPL.
    Because it's not a mere aggregation. A mere aggregation is where you bundle several unrelated things together. In this case, Lindows is reliant on a GPL'd unit, the Kernel (and presumably GNU tools, again assuming they haven't rewritten the rest of the system). That's not "mere aggregation".
  • by Ryu2 ( 89645 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2002 @05:01PM (#2812084) Homepage Journal
    I heard Lindows is at least partially based on WINE.

    Is Lindows just a WINE repackinging, and if not, what new code does it add that WINE does not have?
  • Re:vmware does it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kma ( 2898 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2002 @05:01PM (#2812085) Homepage Journal
    No. Linus has allowed binary-only modules into the kernel provided they communicate with the kernel using well-defined APIs. For instance, the vmware package includes a binary-only kernel module.

    Hmm, funny. What is this /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source directory doing on my system then?

    Keith Adams
    (VMware engineer)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2002 @05:46PM (#2812395)
    I'm pretty close to the Lindows plate, so forgive me if I post under AC...

    Photoshop IS supported even under the preliminary version of Lindows (0.90). As for other applications - it's important for us to release the initial version with MS Office support - once we get this turket out the door and make it stable - then other applications support will come.. watch us ;)
  • by TheRain ( 67313 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2002 @06:13PM (#2812596) Homepage
    "More choice is always better than less."

    That's true, and that makes sense. However, consider Microsoft making another version of Windows. Sure, now we have another Windows we can use.... but there are factors other than the availability of a new product or piece of software that affect the amount of "choice" we really have. Microsoft affects user's choice by brute force. It's not just Microsoft though... it's a common practice in the software industry. So who's to say whether this Lindows company will provide us more "choice"? In the end, they are. Also consider that Microsoft can easily break Lindows compatibility with later versions of Office and what not. They have the upper hand in that battle (bar the U.S. government's hand in the matter). I'm not saying this will not be a good thing.... just stating some thoughts, and I welcome your thoughts/counterthoughts.
  • by jon_eaves ( 22962 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2002 @06:30PM (#2812807) Homepage
    You make good points for an entire organisation, but what about software development teams in a company ?

    I am currently stuck using Windows 2k, I have cygwin, wincvs, litestep to make my life more livable, just so I can run Exchange/Outlook.

    That's right. The corporate standard mail is what is generally stopping developers from shifting, and that's where the killer is. I'm eagerly awaiting Lindows and Ximians Exchange Connector, and whoever can get it working first and best will get my money.

    Imagine the cost saving on having developers all using Lindows just from the uptime and availability aspects alone.

    Caveat: I'm assuming Lindows will be as reliable as *nix, not as Windows.

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"