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Novell Headed To Linux Enterprise Desktop In Asia 145

Bill Kendrick writes "Novell's Asia-Pacific division is working on Linux desktop trials in Hong Kong and Malaysia, with the expectation that Linux's adoption on enterprise desktops will continue to grow. They expect many more companies to start embracing it within the next 12 months." A spokesperson from Novell comments: "I don't see it as a watershed where everybody's running Linux desktops, but you'll start to see the emergence of some examples of companies that have embraced Linux and are going down that path."
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Novell Headed To Linux Enterprise Desktop In Asia

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  • ...can be found at AsiaOSC [].

    They've got good info on each country - i.e., here's the page on Malaysia []. They also serve as a mirror for Open Office, various BSDs, multiple RedHat releases, and so forth, so they're doing more than just gathering news. No banner ads, either.
  • by bad enema ( 745446 ) on Monday March 01, 2004 @04:52PM (#8433399)
    This is only because they couldn't get the paper clip to speak Chinese.
    • Re:Yeah, well... (Score:5, Informative)

      by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:31PM (#8433801) Homepage
      Of course you guys are trying to be funny, but it may be significant to note that both Hong Kong and Malaysia are countries where a lot of computing is liable to be done either in English or, at the very least, in a Roman character set.

      English is the second official language of Hong Kong.

      The official language of Malaysia is Bahasu Malaysia -- not "Chinese" -- and in written form it generally uses Roman characters.

      I'd be interested to see what these desktops look like, but I'm betting Asian language support probably wasn't one of Novell's big motivating factors.
      • Cantonese is the "second" official language of Hong Kong after Putongwua (Mandarin) and English is an increasingly distant third.

        • Cantonese is the "second" official language of Hong Kong after Putongwua (Mandarin) and English is an increasingly distant third."

          You'll have to cite a source for that. A lot of people seem to disagree with you, [] including Hong Kong's Commerce, Industry, and Technology Bureau (a Web site sponsored by which is cited above).

          As I understand it, about 38 percent of people in Hong Kong speak English, and the state language policy is currently trilingual but biliterate [] -- meaning Cantonese, English, and Mandar

          • Re:Yeah, well... (Score:2, Informative)

            by PCM2 ( 4486 )
            Oh yeah, and before you respond with, "But written Mandarin and Cantonese are the same," even that is not necessarily true. []

            From the article:

            During the Cultural Revolution, Chinese characters were simplified so that they would be easier to learn and take less time to write. Because Hong Kong was still a British colony at that time, the writing system in Hong Kong remained intact, as it did in Taiwan because the Nationalists did not adopt the system from the Communists. So not only do Hong Kong children h

      • Official Language of Malaysia is Malay (langcode=ms)
        it also known as "Bahasa Melayu" or sometimes "Bahasa Malaysia"
        I prefer to call it Bahasa Melayu since it's the original name of the language.

        The language has 2 type of writing form, roman and jawi script. however jawi script is not popular.

        speaking about native language, Microsoft has announce "Language interface Pack" for Malay several week before. 004/2/23/technology/7357771&sec=technology []

        and i
  • by Anonymous Coward
    After all, you can buy copies of WinXP in that region for $5, even less if you are any good at bartering.
    • because they would rather put the squeeze on MS with a viable product that could compete elsewhere in the world?
  • by millahtime ( 710421 ) on Monday March 01, 2004 @04:53PM (#8433405) Homepage Journal
    The more that an open desktop is embraced the more that open standards are embraced stopping big companies like M$ from having closed standards.

    Can't do business if you can't share information.
    • by PacoTaco ( 577292 ) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:24PM (#8433736)
      Thank you for posting Slashdot standard comment #14. As always, this greatly enhanced the discussion of [Novell Headed To Linux Enterprise Desktop In Asia]. We hope you continue to make similar contributions in the future.

      -The Management

    • I'm sitting here with a mingled Office XP / 97 environment because of the huge compatibility problems between Access 97 and 2000. Since when does Microsoft give a flying frip about sharing information between its own products, much less anyone else's? Do you really think they'll give a damn even if they lose market dominance?

      • Since when does Microsoft give a flying frip about sharing information between its own products

        Yes, my friend, we have all asked ourselves that question at one point or another - since when, indeed, does Microsoft give a flying frip?

        a question for the ages.

  • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Monday March 01, 2004 @04:54PM (#8433416)
    This raises the possibilty that Novell will partner with some Chinese software firm in order to pass China's impending domestic software content laws []. I'm sure that the Chinese government would give Novell a nice domestic content seal of approval if Novell brings some IP and perhaps $$$ to the Chinese table.
    • by coupland ( 160334 ) * <> on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:04PM (#8433531) Journal
      Surely you're joking right? You're not actually contending that Novell has the business volume and financial muscle to sweeten the pot for a nation that boasts a population of 1.3 billion? China doesn't need Novell, their economic policy is quite simple: "We have such an enormous population that we can afford to have exclusionary trade policies and it won't hurt us." Whether this is true or not isn't something I care to debate, but the fact of the matter is they don't want to fill the coffers of *any* North American businesses. Be it Microsoft or Novell.
      • by Vancorps ( 746090 ) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:17PM (#8433665)
        Sorry but you're plain and simply wrong. Run on over to Novell's website and look at their press releases. Novell has been involved in creating the whole chinese infrastucture. Cisco and Novell have been making massive amounts of profits in China in the last few years which is what essentially has been keeping Novell alive, same goes for Cisco for that matter. Remember not long ago Cisco execs reduced their salaries to $1 to same 10,000 jobs at Cisco, they are back to full salary now and Cisco is hiring new people. China is not as nieve as you take it for. They understand that duplication of efforts to achieve the same result is wasteful.

        That doesn't mean they won't build their own desktop where there is wiggle room for error. When it comes to servers China will stick with the products that have a reputation such as Netware and Linux and shy away from tarnished companies such as Microsoft and Sco.

        • "Cisco execs reduced their salaries to $1 to same(sic)"

          So a handful of Cisco execs makes the same as 10,000 productive employees?!!! That'll show those Commie Bastards that Capitalism Works!(tm)

          • I dislike the policy, but its still a hell of a lot better than what IBM does. They like to increase the salaries of their management, fire their employees and hire Indians to do the work cheaper. Totally against the original principles of which the company was founded.

            Also I do think its great that the board members chose to save jobs rather than fire a shit load of people and give themselves bonuses for raising stock a quarter of a point.

            • > Totally against the original principles of which the company was founded.

              So, on what principle do you think International Business Machines [] was founded?

              • These Principles [] Watson was very specific about how the company should behave.
                • The only thing which resembles is very specific how his employees should behave:

                  [...} generous sales incentives, a focus on customer service, an insistence on well-groomed, dark-suited salesmen and an evangelical fervor for instilling company pride and loyalty in every worker. Watson boosted company spirit with employee sports teams, family outings and a company band. He preached a positive outlook, and his favorite slogan, "THINK," became a mantra for C-T-R's employees.

                  I fail to see anything, which co

                  • The keyword is there is expansion, not mass migration dessimating the current town of which they reside. It hardly seems the spirit of what Watson had in mind for the company. The argument wasn't against globalization, it was about fucking over current employees to save a few bucks which you end up giving back to the board members instead of reinvesting it back into the company.
            • I dislike the policy, but its still a hell of a lot better than what IBM does. They like to increase the salaries of their management, fire their employees and hire Indians to do the work cheaper.

              Out of curiosity, how far does your "scope of worthiness" extend? Obviously you think Indians don't deserve jobs even if they can do the work cheaper, but what if those jobs moved to Canada? Would IBM still be evil? What if they only jumped state? Or maybe stayed in-state but moved to a different urban centr

              • I don't deem Indians any less worthy of having a job than my father who works at IBM. The problem is that IBM was founded on basis to promote employee pridee. It was a company that you could rely on. It wasn't just about money, IBM has never had a problem making money. Look back five years ago before IBM really started shifting its workforce around. India was just an example, but the problem extends to moving it to Canada as well. IBM is huge, entire cities are built around its employees so when IBM moves t
        • by coupland ( 160334 ) * <> on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:35PM (#8433839) Journal

          Run on over to Novell's website and look at their press releases. Novell has been involved in creating the whole chinese infrastucture

          I ask this with all respect and seriousness: "Are you on dope?" No, what I mean is that I took your comment on good faith and went to look at the Novell web page. The only thing on the Press Releases web page is the press release from today, March 1st. And there's nothing on the Corporate Press Releases page even remotely related to China. Under International Press Releases there isn't even a section for China. Did you think I'd be too lazy to check their web site on your suggestion?

          Now as for being wrong, I'm not. China is well aware that their infrastructure is based on Cisco hardware and Intel-based PCs and Microsoft software. That's why you see things like the Dragon chip and threats of domestic software quotas. China wants to transition their population from importing these technologies from western companies and develop them locally. Whether it be Novell or Microsoft, China doesn't want to import all their technology from a potentially hostile nation. You know, a nation with a pre-emptive strike policy?

          And furthermore, how can anyone with a straight face say that Novell can sweeten the deal for the Chinese government by offering IP? We're talking Linux on the desktop here, what IP does Novell control that has relevance to Linux on the desktop???

          • China and Novell

            I apologize for the crappiness of the press room. It was once a far more intelligently designed place to gather information. But as you can see there is plenty of news on Novell's site relating to China and their rapid adoption of Novell services.

            As for Novell sweetening the deal, I never said that. As for Linux on the desktop, take a look at Both E-Directory and Zenworks. Both have very direct impacts on the desktop both Linux based and Windows based.

            As for China dealing with U.S. compa

            • Do you honestly think China is of the mind that U.S. companies act like the U.S. government?

              No of course not. What I'm getting at is that US / Chinese political relations are spotty at best. The Chinese government would be guilty of gross negligence if they didn't do anything to insulate themselves from the risk of a trade embargo. Thousands of well-meaning US companies don't mean a thing when the government forbids you to trade.

              • Well my information may well be outdated by now, but last I checked China was doing nothing about the human rights violations and at the same time the free trade deals went through unchallenged. I could definitely be wrong but I'm fairly certain their's no danger of the Bush administration imposing any embargoes on China.
                • I agree, I think it's extremely unlikely that trade between the US and China will be halted, but it's certainly a possibility the Chinese government has to prepare for. Relations between the countries have been soured by the Tiananmen Square incident, the downing of a US spy plane, the Bush administration's pre-emptive strike policy, and many other things. These are all recent events, not history. The world scene can change quickly. The US and Russia went from arch rivals to allies in the span of about
          • Novell does have plenty of IP to offer in the desktop space as evidenced by their Ximian and SUSE combo however I agree that they would probably not offer this in return for a deal with Chinese business - their attitude to IP in general and copyright in particular would put them off. Rather there are many large business poerating out of HK/Singa pore that they want a piece of.
        • They understand that duplication of efforts to achieve the same result is wasteful.

          I wonder if they also understand that unnecessary repetition is redundant.

  • Novell on the move (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KingDaveRa ( 620784 ) on Monday March 01, 2004 @04:55PM (#8433430) Homepage
    I think this is Novell's biggest Linux move since buying SuSE, seemingly putting some weight behind it. I'd be interested to see how they fare out in the asian countries.

    China will love them, what with the red colour scheme and all...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 01, 2004 @04:56PM (#8433442)
    the market. They have the software, the knowhow, and the capital. Their reputation, although a bit outdated, is a bit of a boon as well.

    Any Novell execs listening, open-source Openexchange [] and break the demon's back!
  • by millahtime ( 710421 ) on Monday March 01, 2004 @04:56PM (#8433448) Homepage Journal
    The east is a great place to start. They are embracing technology over there greatly. The newest cell phones and other technology are going on there. Plus the east (including china and india) has 1/3 of the worlds population. Pretty smart place to start.
  • Asian Markets... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SisyphusShrugged ( 728028 ) <.moc.draregi. .ta. .em.> on Monday March 01, 2004 @04:57PM (#8433450) Homepage
    Asian Markets work very much off of a piracy basis for their software, the large amount of software not being paid for or used within the context of a western office environment.

    This appears to me to be another part of the trend of companies salivating over the numbers...(Ooohh, 500 Quadrillion-Billion-Monillion people in China, thats a lot more than America!)
    • by RailGunner ( 554645 ) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:06PM (#8433559) Journal
      And that piracy is a big reason why Linux can work so well in the Far East. When you have a culture, or class of people, that are used to just pirating what they want, then it's a pretty easy sell to say - instead of dropping a few bucks on a pirated OS that you really can't verify whether or not it's been tampered with, here take this free, open source OS.

      Now, once the market in Asia is set up that it predominantly runs Linux - I think there will be a huge market that opens up for custom software for Linux, that could be a boon to the US economy - selling custom code and service to the large economies of Asia.

      And since Linux is free, and represents Freedom, maybe the people there will realize how great freedom is and want more of it.. putting pressure on the tinhorn communist dictators that run the region.

      Exporting freedom and capitalism never hurts...

      • Re:Asian Markets... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Vancorps ( 746090 )
        You're expecting a bit much from a linux introduction. I'll assume you are just dreaming though. The fact is most of the pirated software isn't tampered with, it works and many are quite happy with it since they know how to use it. The problem is still in making the OS intuitive.

        Say what you will about Windows but it is intuitive. My professor who now lives in China teaches children that have never even seen a computer. He sits them down in front of MS Word and they go off writing quite well. They even ma

        • Say what you will about Windows but it is intuitive

          There is NOTHING intuitive about current input devices and methods.

          What you MEAN is:

          "It's like the previous version"

          • These are children that have never seen or used a computer before. They just have knowledge of the language.

            Considering that I wonder what you mean by saying there is nothing intuitive about it? Perhaps nothing intuitive to you?

        • by Jason Earl ( 1894 )

          The problem is that most of these Asian countries that are heavily into piracy have to show the WTO that they are "making an effort" to curb software piracy. The easiest way to do this is to cut down on the prevalence of software piracy by government agencies. If the governments themselves can show that they no longer pirate software then that goes a long way towards keeping the company out of trouble with the WTO.

          Microsoft thought that these government agencies would cut down on software piracy by purc

          • I totally agree there. There are many factors that drive linux adoption. So far the WTO largely doesn't care about the software practices in China as we've seen them bend over again and again.

            Free software is a nicely solution because as you said, a lot of these developing tech centers simply can't afford the licensing. In my opinion that is what limits Netware adoption pretty much everywhere since they offer new products and services on a regular basis that can easily become very critical to any organisat

        • You obviously haven't heard the (relatively) old adage about intuitive interfaces, have you. [clears throat]

          "The only intuitive interface is the nipple. Everything else is learned." ---Anonymous* []

          * This article IMO comes to no definitive answer as to who actually first said it.
  • just maybe (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The Linux desktop is simply not ready yet. If you rush Linux to the average desktop user they'll try it, most will dislike it (in comparison to MAC & Windows) and it'll put them off ever trying it again.

    I think it'll be another decade until Linux is firmly on the desktop, and I don't think we should start introducing it to the average desktop user for another 5yrs yet.

    Like a fine wine, it will mature in time.
    • Re:just maybe (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Linux has changed a lot since 1997. You should give it another try. The only shortcoming is that proprietary vendors (Microsoft, Adobe, Macromedia) don't offer software for Linux. I don't think waiting 5 years is going to change that.
  • by nycsubway ( 79012 ) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:06PM (#8433552) Homepage
    I'd love to see that here. I think a Linux desktop would make a lot of people happy, the users for having linux and the managers for saving money. Maybe if it takes off there, Novell and others will try it elsewhere.

  • The War Is Over (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:09PM (#8433580)
    I've been following the rise of Linux for the some time now. I don't run it, I run OS X and don't give a damn about the GPL.

    However, all the MS people I talk to have had a dramatic change of heart with the recent annoucements like this one. Nothing they've said explicitly, but the tone has changed from denial to they are finally coming to terms with the fact that Linux 'will' take over at some point. It's now only a question of how fast.

    The US will probably lag behind the rest of the world, but it's only a matter of time now.

    • Re:The War Is Over (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      If you have been following the news over the past few months you'll see:

      * MS execs are starting to warn about the growth of the company slowing
      * The 'Linux discount' is spreading like mad across the globe
      * Longhorn is getting pushed farther back
      * The virus/security situation actually seems to be getting worse every week
      * MS has nothing to replace their desktop and monopoly revenues
      * MS shareholders are getting pissed at not getting much bigger dividends
      * They've lost the server war
      * MS execs have been doin
      • With as much cash as they have in reserve, I don't think MS will disappear in my lifetime. They could become a radically different company compared to what they are today, however. Look at how IBM has changed from 20 years ago, when *they* were the desktop monopoly. Of course, as Linus said, "I'll know we've won when they release MS Office for Linux".

        I don't think its really getting worse for MS right now; Compared to a few years ago, I think their products have been getting better, spurred on by compet
    • Re:The War Is Over (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      A lot of hardware comes from the Pacific Rim. The more we see Linux/GPL in Asia, the better driver support. Most laptops and portable devices are manufactured there. It wont be long before we see compatibility originate with Linux before we see it with Windows/Mac. Why doesn't Apple show more interest in Asia? Wouldn't it be great to see more Asia-friendly Apple products. The Japanese would be a great market since they define "cool" for most of that region. Apple could do really well if they could get past
  • by prostoalex ( 308614 ) * on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:13PM (#8433630) Homepage Journal
    Here's the list of the best-selling software titles for 2003 [] (by quantity sold, not dollars fetched):
    1. TurboTax 2002 Deluxe
    2. Norton Antivirus 2003
    3. Turbo Tax 2002
    4. Norton Antivirus 2004
    5. TurboTax 2002 Multi State 45
    6. Taxcut 2002 Deluxe Block
    7. Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition Upgrade
    8. Microsoft Office XP Student and Teacher Edition
    9. Taxcut 2002 State Block
    10. Norton Internet Security 2003

    You can see that tax software is huge thing for a bunch of people to have on their desktop. Office suite is another. Internet security (not just antivirus, but user-friendly firewall, port manager and other utilities).

    Office is pretty much covered with OpenOffice, so that's done. As for Internet security tools, I am not sure which ones exist for the end user, but perhaps industry could come up with some.

    Tax software. Is there a good tax package for Linux, allowing those millions of accountants, small business owners and middle-class Joe's like you and me file their taxes?

    Out of free (of charge) software that is getting huge market share of desktop, what would the Linux equivalent of:
    - Kazaa
    - Real Player
    - ICQ/AIM (ok, Gaim is a good alternative)
    • First, the antivirus and firewall utils are unnecessary for linux (yet) : no widespread virii for linux, and firewall config utilities come with any decent end-user distro.
      (Since firewall is built into OS, no need for a separate SW package).

      Realplayer has a linux version as well, and there are plenty of good alternatives, like Xine or GMplayer, which support a LOT of codecs.

      For Kazaa work-alike, there's a bunch of Gnutella clients around

      So the only thing that remains is tax software..

      • I'd disagree about the firewall config utils that are bundled with Linux distros. True, if you wish to attack the config file manually, you can literally set up any kind of firewalling rule set. However, this is not possible with any GUI/web tools I've looked at.

        Even Firewall distros like smoothwall lack features I'd expect in a corporate firewall. EG, (for Smoothwall) the capability to block outgoing ports - blocking outgoing port 25 for anything other than the company mail relay(s) should be one of the f
        • by LittleLebowskiUrbanA ( 619114 ) on Monday March 01, 2004 @07:05PM (#8434659) Homepage Journal
          Apparently the person who modded you up didn't check on what you said or just doesn't run Linux.

          Ever heard of Firestarter []? That's one GUI firewall I can think off the top of my head. Let's see here, how about fwall []?

          As far as your corporate firewall question, you might check into PF [] and OpenBSD OpenBSD [] As far as Smoothwall did you try the corporate [] version or just a free download? Googling, lookg what I found as far as your remark about outgoing ports and Smoothwall [].
          Haven't seen such a blatantly uninformed post in a long while.
          • <sigh>

            Your Google link for adding blocks to outgoing ports appeared to demonstrate exactly what I meant: You have to manually add rules since the web interface cannot do that. I don't consider wiping Linux and installing BSD to be much of a solution. And if I'm manually configuring PF, I may as well manually configure IPTables. Firestarter is a Gnome GUI tool, so not much use for anyone running Windows who needs to access the firewall machine.

            So, to sum up: Well done for completely missing the point
    • by BCW2 ( 168187 )
      I have asked Intuit to port Turbo Tax to Linux every year for the last three. The first time they emailed me and said thy were looking into it. I have been ignored the last 2 times. I don't expect a response this year either. When someone come out with something similar for Linux, Intuit will never get another dime from me.
      Quasar from Linux Canada is nice accounting software. It can be used as personal for 30 bucks or upgraded to business far cheaper than any Win product I've heard of. Not free b

      • I would estimate, from purely a user's perspective, that TurboTax and Quicken are in such deep Win32 doo-doo that Wine would probably be the only option for a port. They would probably have to do a re-write to make a native port to UNIX/Linux-land.
    • You're absolutely right in that the "personal taxes" category for linux software is very vacant. However, while not quite geared to the home user, there are quite a few high-end financial app suites targeted at the real bean-counters. One I recently ran across is OSAS [].

      When you buy the software you get the source, and they do allow customizations & modifications to the source as well, just no releasing of the code to the public. [note: this is all to the best of my understanding. If someone out ther
    • by ArsonSmith ( 13997 ) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:31PM (#8433799) Journal
      Tax software. Is there a good tax package for Linux, allowing those millions of accountants, small business owners and middle-class Joe's like you and me file their taxes? online. I've been using it for years now.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Anti-virus is not necessary for a standard Linux box, unless it's sharing files with Windows machines via Samba or routing e-mail sent from Windows machines. For a firewall, iptables is default on all distros these days and that takes care of inbound traffic. The point of an outbound firewall is due to the prevalence of viruses and spyware on Windows, which, again, isn't a problem on Linux. I'd agree that outbound firewalling is cool and nice to have, but it just isn't urgent like it is on Windows.

      As fo
    • by Dark Lord Seth ( 584963 ) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:40PM (#8433891) Journal
      Out of free (of charge) software that is getting huge market share of desktop, what would the Linux equivalent of:

      - Real Player

      Ooo! I know!

      # RealPlayerOne, Linux port ( Dark Lord Seth, 01-03-2004 )

      dd if=/dev/random of=~/realplayer.tmp bs=1024 count=1024
      dd if=/dev/random of=~/tmp/realplayer.core bs=1024 count=1024
      dd if=/dev/random of=/var/real/buffer bs=1024 count=10240

      echo "Buffering...\n\n"
      sleep 10

      echo "Buffering...\n\n"
      sleep 10

      echo "Buffering...\n\n"
      sleep 10

      echo "Connection reset by peer."

      #rm ~/realplayer.tmp
      #rm ~/tmp/realplayer.core
      #rm /var/real/buffer
    • Tax software. Is there a good tax package for Linux, allowing those millions of accountants, small business owners and middle-class Joe's like you and me file their taxes?

      I've used TurboTax for several years now, and I haven't installed it once. I just use their web version. Used to be cheaper, but now the price is the same.
    • I think the issue with open source tax software is not so much that it is difficult to write, but that it changes, requiring annual updates and relatively specialized knowledge in two fields (tax law) and programming. Anyone with enough knowledge probably already works for Intuit or H&R Block (you might try them sometimes the second place guy is more interested in working with odd requests), and doesn't what to give away for free the things they get paid to create.
    • There's also giFT [] - basically a daemon that provides a "framework for bridging multiple backend peer-to-peer protocols" using plugins that connect to several p2p networks.
      e.g. FastTrack (the Kazaa network), OpenFT (Open FastTrack), OpenNap (Open Napster) and Gnutella.

      Couple that with clients like apollon in KDE, giFToxic in GNOME and even KCEasy for Windows and you have pretty promising p2p connectivity in Linux.
  • Baby steps please! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BCW2 ( 168187 ) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:19PM (#8433688) Journal
    A step at a time, first networks, then the desktop. The domination by Linux will not happen overnight. How long did it take M$ to get where it is? Look at where they are now, with all the mistakes(Win 3.0, 95, Me, Bob), that get repeated, over and over and ...... and they are still the biggest gorilla on the planet. Don't think the Linux world won't make a few, but we are (hopefully) smarter and have learned from the mistakes of others and won't repeat them.
    • Let's ask a different question. What has been done first on the linux platform? All of the network services implemented came after another platform introduced them and made them popular. When their is a Linux based service that is unique that actually requires someone to install and configure a Linux server then you will see a change. In the meantime you're right for the most part. The mistakes are remade because of the above policy of acting second not first.

      Whether that's good or bad I leave to you. I th

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Man, they'll be able to sell linux to everyone. Then an hour later, they can come back and sell it again!
  • It's 2004... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TeaEarlGreyHot ( 756865 ) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:31PM (#8433805) Journal
    Do you know where your Linux desktop is?

    The headline to this story should read "what took so long?" I consider the fact that Linux HASN'T made a major entry into the enterprise OR consumer desktop to be a MAJOR failing. Linux should, by now, be on 15-20% of desktops. What's the problem? Consider:

    -Hardware isn't a problem. Linux pretty much supports just as much hardware as Windows does. And, if you are a desktop vendor, it really isn't a problem to write your own drivers.
    -Applications aren't a problem. Linux has perfectly functional word processors, spreadsheets, web browsers, instant messengers, and email/calendar/groupware. Plus, they're free!
    -File exchange isn't a problem. Any major file format that Windows/Mac users read/write and be read/written in Linux.
    -With the proliferation of sub-$500 computers, Windows and 3rd party software becomes a major portion of the price tag. Linux makes economic sense here.

    And this has been the case for AT LEAST FOUR YEARS! I think by now we have to start asking hard questions about who's to blame for this. I can think of a few. I would start with the desktop environments, KDE and GNOME. They continue to present an environment that is far too complicated for the computer novice, and fail to cover up the weirdness of X. I would also blame the distributions, who could have, in turn, covered up the weirdness of KDE and GNOME. Application install/uninstall is still a nightmare for users who are skiddish of a command line. I should be able to download a program installer, open up a file browser and browse to where I put it, double click to do a graphical installation, and then find the program in an add/remove programs system contol, and click delete to get rid of it.

    Finally, I blame the elitism of the Linux community, who continue to regard the OS as belonging to computing guru, and would much rather bring the user to Linux than Linux to the user. Making easy tasks easy does not "dumb down" Linux.

    Sorry, mod me down if you want, but every so often I feel the need to rant about this. It's 2004, and there should be thousands of grandmas out there emailing and IMing on Linux. The fact that there aren't is a really sad thing.
    • Re:It's 2004... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Welsh Dwarf ( 743630 ) <d DOT mills-slashdot AT guesny DOT net> on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:59PM (#8434098) Homepage
      Where have you been these last 2 years?
      To refute your posts, I will use examples from Mandrake 9.2 (some say there is a lot better, but it's always worked for my computer illiterate friends).

      KDE? weird? I, and none of the above mentioned friends, have any trouble or any quirks. A lot of my friends actually appreciate stuff like the audio cd device that allows you to rip like you'd copy, and if there were a few bugs in 3.1.4, try out 3.2, the formula spell checker is bliss, no slashdotter should be without!!!

      Application install/uninstall. hummmm, what's so hard about going to configuration, uninstall-software, and typing in what your program does to find it and remove it? got an rpm? just double click, enter root password and your done. One point I will admit defeat on though is package maintainers refusal to put icons in the menus though, which is a general UI sin in this day and age.

      As for the Linux community elitisme, I'll accept that alt.os.linux.slackware is no place to ask how to mount, but OTOH alt.os.linux.mandrake is fine for newbe's, and really helpfull in general. Otherwise there's the mandrake forums.

      Just to get the facts streight

    • Re:It's 2004... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Most people don't buy quality products, period. They don't buy quality cars, quality clothes, quality groceries, etc. etc. etc.

      Why? Mostly willful ignorance. I know a bunch of people who bought Dodge Neons late in the game despite the fact the Lemon Aid guide has been panning them for years. Guess what happened? The cars were always in the shop, I had to give a boost to another one, and another person resold their Neon pretty quickly. That's a BIG purchase.

      Look in the grocery baskets at the grocery store.
      • I'm not talking about people who use Linux, or even people who evangelize Linux. I'm in both of those categories. I'm talking about the people who develop and maintain Linux and the software that Linux is dependent on. From the Kernel team to the major distributers to the desktop environments, down to the foot soldier coders, Linux has always been "by code-monks, for gurus." The culture has always been one that values tinkering with the guts of a system over a pleasant user experience.

        I will admit I kn
    • Re:It's 2004... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You certainly bring up some valid concerns or areas where Free Software can improve. However, you completely ignore the biggest reason more people are not using Linux. The Microsoft monopoly and people's adversion to change.

      Microsoft is a convicted, largely unregulated monopoly. They use this power to force computer makers to put Windows on every system they ship. Then, when "grandma" or "Joe Average" buys the computer, they have no desire to replace what came on it with something else. This perpetuat
    • -Hardware isn't a problem.
      hee hee.
      -Applications aren't a problem.
      -File exchange isn't a problem. Any major file format that Windows/Mac users read/write and be read/written in Linux.
      Oh my. Good one.
      -With the proliferation of sub-$500 computers, Windows and 3rd party software becomes a major portion of the price tag. Linux makes economic sense here.
      Yes! I wonder why everyone doesn't use it given all the advantages you stated above.

      Could it be because you are caught in a reality distortion field?
      • by Anonymous Coward
        hee hee.
        Oh my. Good one.
        Yes! I wonder why everyone doesn't use it given all the advantages you stated above.
        Could it be because you are caught in a reality distortion field?

        Wow, that's some argument. You must of been head of the debate team in school.
    • It's called... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Azureflare ( 645778 ) on Monday March 01, 2004 @07:03PM (#8434649)
      Inertia. Also, in terms of learning, people are familiar with windows, and it's what has always been around. It takes a lot of effort to change that.

      I think the major failure is getting the word out to people that linux is just like windows in terms of usability with environments like KDE and Gnome; now we just need the application and driver vendors supporting linux like they support windows.

      It's all in the marketing man. Marketing is key. It has nothing to do with this supposed "elitism" you speak of. Elitism is a thing of the 90s. I don't see vendors like Mandrake, Xandros, Lin---s, etc. being "elitist" towards their users.

      We need someone with a lot of money, and we need to get the word out in as many places as possible.

      Aye, there's the rub! We need money to advertise, and yet, money is only made once the operating system is quite popular (i.e. on support, etc.). So, someone is going to have to invest in it; and with the recent bursting of the bubble, investment has gone wayyy down, RIGHT when linux became really viable on the desktop!

      Just great, eh? Oh well, I'm hopeful that with IBM's efforts and others, things will come around eventually.

      It's ok man, and remember, market dominance isn't everything.

    • You are aware that a home version of Windows is pretty cheap for a Dell or HP to place on a sub $500 desktop. I'd guess that their price is less than $50 per seat. It's not pocket change, but not outrageous for them. It also keeps upstart competitors out of the way, since the prices are set on number of desktops sold.
    • Hi, It is 2004 and this grannie IS using Linux. Why don't we have a poll and find out if there are a thousand of us.
    • Reasons to be thankful (Count them, one by one):

      1) A million lemmings cant be wrong.
      2) We asked 1,000 Windows users whether they would prefer to pay $299 for a used Lada, or have a new Bentley. 999 chose the Lada. We watched as the other one put a "My other computer runs BSD" sticker in his new Bentley.
      3) I think you will find the 100% of users chose VHS, despite the fact that even a dead fish was better.

  • Home also... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by moberry ( 756963 )
    Employees of these company's would also be prone to use linux at there own homes, because they use it at work. This is like fresh university students using unix at the work place, because they used it in college.
  • going down (Score:2, Funny)

    by aled ( 228417 )
    "companies that have embraced Linux and are going down that path"

    Bad choice of words? :-)
  • Not Linux in Asia! You KNOW they'll pirate it!
    God, I can see it know, bootleg copies of Linux on every street corner for 99 cents a CD...

    Oh the humanity of it!

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...