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Gartner Says Linux PCs Just Used To Pirate Windows 815

LostCluster writes "CNET is reporting results from a Gartner Group report that claims 40% of desktop machines sold with Linux on them are being used to run pirate copies of Windows! The report goes on to say that this stat reaches as high in 80% in 'emerging markets', the same places that the stripped down lite version of Windows is being aimed at. Gartner's making a bold prediction that the number of machines sold as Linux desktops may eclipse the number of machines actually running Linux."
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Gartner Says Linux PCs Just Used To Pirate Windows

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  • This isnt FUD... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by imsabbel ( 611519 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:20AM (#10394122)
    Its actually quite true. Here in germany many retailers have "ultra-cheap" PCs, in the 200-300 range, without operating system(well, not without, but with dr-dos or linux,ect). Windows XP is a 50 or 100 addon.
    How many people are willing to buy that addon instead of visiting
  • by matt_morgan ( 220418 ) <matt@cncrt. n e t> on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:20AM (#10394125) Homepage
    If this were true, it would only be because you can buy Linux-installed PC's cheaper than Windows-installed PC's. So there should then be a much bigger market for easy-to-buy OS-less PC's. Right? an OS-less PC should cost even less (if only by a little) than Linux PC. That OS-less market doesn't exist; ergo Gartner is wrong.

    (I know you can buy OS-less PC's, but we tend to make it a little bit hard. You know, you have to buy them in part from newegg or whatever. There is not a huge market for buying them all pre-packaged).
  • Re:Bollocks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Doesn't_Comment_Code ( 692510 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:22AM (#10394148)
    Bollocks. All my work machines come with XP on them. The first thing I have to do is purge the damn thing and install Linux.

    Perhaps you should resell your copies of Windows to others who might want them for barebones systems - and split the Microsoft tax 50/50.

    Microsoft says you can't do this. But the courts have indicated that you can.
  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:23AM (#10394166) Homepage Journal
    It's really more than that, everything Gartner says is suspect, whether it has to do with Windows or not. This is the same company that over-hypes offshoring, and just by chance happens to have an offshoring consulting unit. No conflict of interest there......
  • by sammy baby ( 14909 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:24AM (#10394187) Journal
    The zealot faithful are already foaming at the mouth at this report. But what's so surprising about it? All it really says is that of the PCs purchased with Linux pre-installed on them, 40% of them will be modified to run some variant of Windows (possibly in a dual boot configuration) without being within the terms of the EULA. This probably includes transferring OEM licenses to other computers (which, if memory serves, is against the terms of the EULA).

    I can't find the report on Gartner's site [] and therefore can't say anything about its methodology. (And if the report isn't free, I ain't shelling out the bucks for it.) But it strikes me as telling that of the people rending their clothes and screaming here, very few of them are actually arguing with their numbers beyond saying that it's "justified," or "MSFT gets what's coming to them," or "this is offset by," etc.

    Oh, and by the way: the headline is stupid and wrong.
  • by Tony Hoyle ( 11698 ) <> on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:25AM (#10394189) Homepage
    There's also the unwarranted assumption that just because you didn't buy the PC with windows, you're pirating it.

    I have MSDN Universal, which give me 10 XP, win2k, win2003, etc. not to mention the multilingual stuff - if I was mad enough I could buy dozens of machines, all with valid licenses (my last workplace worked entirely like that, although we had on MSDNU for every 3 developers).

  • Re:wow! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MooCows ( 718367 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:29AM (#10394251)
    This doesn't seem to be an isolated incident.. my brother had the same problem with his new PC.
    According to his vendor and the local MS fortress his key was valid .. according to Windows it wasn't. :)
  • by mikael ( 484 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:29AM (#10394262)
    Going by the argument that Microsoft uses to justify the requirement that all PC's to be sold with Windows XX pre-installed, the movie industry could argue that all DVD players/video recorders be sold with a pre-supplied library of movie classics, as owners are more than likely than not to pirate them.
  • Re:Yeah, but... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:31AM (#10394282)
    Especially when you consider laptops...they are quite hard to come by without an OS preinstalled.

    In fact, the last four laptops I've had (two that have been assigned to me at different jobs and two that I've bought and used personally) have had Windows installed on delivery. All four have also had Windows wiped and Linux installed within a week.

    The Gartner estimate that the 5% Linux computers shipped had a 40% switching rate would mean that 3% kept Linux.

    On the other hand, if 2.3% of the, let's say, 90% of computers sold with Windows pre-installed switch, that would mean that approx 2% flowed back to Linux (status quo).

    Now the question is of course, does 2.3% Windows->Linux switchers seem likely? (I would guess it is but of course I have nothing to back that guess up with). And how to account for dual-booters?

    For a really fair comparison, I guess you'd have to take into consideration the time each dual-booter spent in each OS as a person who installed the "other" OS, tried it once and then just leaves it on their harddrive wouldn't really count as a convert.
  • Re:Barebone machines (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pqdave ( 470411 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:31AM (#10394287)
    1. You want to test and burn in the machine, make sure everything actually works

    2. You don't know a trustworthy source of barebones systems. Not all the local whitebox dealers are good.

    3. You want a laptop

    4. Your boss wants corporate-standard hardware
  • Duh... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nullvector ( 694435 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:31AM (#10394293)
    I've known this for a long time.

    Even here in the US, what do you think happens with the Wal-Mart linux machines that they sell dirt-cheap. They get turned into 'grandma's-email/XP machine' by some kid that installed a pirate copy of XP.

    I dont see this message from Gartner as Anti-Linux. So many of you people have blinders on so that whenever you see MS and Linux in the same sentence you think "OMG Micro$oft Sux0r5!1!"

    This is the same as buying one of those MP3 players with a huge CF card, and taking the CF card out to use in your camera.

    People just buy cheap crappy PC's that come preloaded with Linux, they wipe the drive, and install XP.

    Its purely economical from their point of view. Cheap PC + Pirated software = WIN.

  • Re:Barebone machines (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bgarcia ( 33222 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:34AM (#10394320) Homepage Journal
    Why go through all the trouble of buying a machine with an OS when you can just get a barebones machine and then load what ever OS you want.
    First, it's no trouble. In fact, it's much easier for me to buy a Dell with WinXP preinstalled than to buy an OS-less machine.

    Second, it's much cheaper. Dell makes price mistakes, and they also have huge sales at the end of their fiscal quarter. Makes for some great bargains!

  • Re:wow! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by big-giant-head ( 148077 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:35AM (#10394336)
    I would'nt get too excited about ANYTHING 'The Gartner Group' has to say. They should rename themselves Bill Gates little Lap dog and kiss a&& group. Thier Bread and butter is windows, loss of the windoze monopoly would spell thier doom. I think in a way this points to Linux getting a larger desktop share, because the 'Garden compost group' is obviously worried enough about it to manufacture a story like this.

    BTW I do folks that pirate windows, but they usually build thier own boxes. My neighbor just built a box for a bit less than 280.

    $94 for a Athlon/Mb from Compgeeks (W vid/snd/ethernet)
    $16 from a local clone shop for an old generic case
    $45 for a refurb 30gig HD
    $45 for a refurb DVD/CD_RW combo drive
    $70 for some DDR 266 512MB

    And some pirated copy of Windows2000 pro that GOK where it came from.

  • El Reg... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by XeRXeS-TCN ( 788834 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:38AM (#10394376)

    The Register [] had a good story about this yesterday, basically stating that they weren't even aware of the story until Gartner sent them out a rather insistent correction to a press release they hadn't actually received. As they say:

    We in the press find recalls and corrections a big help. We get a hell of a lot of junk that we assume is dull and therefore throw away without reading, often without even noticing, but the shrill words RECALL!!" or "CORRECTION!!!!" signify to us that there is something somebody has decided they'd rather not have said, or that they'd rather we didn't read. We dive straight into the trash, and although frequently the original remains very dull indeed and is immediately retrashed, sometimes it isn't.

    What the correction actually said, seemed to be a rather more reserved opinion:

    "More PC vendors are using Linux as an insurance policy against Microsoft license fees in many emerging markets. However, about two-fifths of these PCs will be modified to run a pirated version of the Microsoft's Windows operating system (OS) a few days before they are used. Most of these systems are targeted towards users that aim on save on OS costs, which can account for up to 15 percent of a PC's total cost."

    "Until recently, Microsoft preferred users to employ a pirated version of Windows until the company was able to combat piracy in emerging markets effectively."

    El Reg themselves then add:

    [It] suggests that Microsoft's recent introduction of Starter Editions of XP is a sign that it intends to switch from this, which is effectively using piracy to its own advantage in order to maintain its dominant position, to trying to win the revenue for itself. Given that that as far as we can see there's no earthly reason why Starter Edition should work, the main effort for this sales drive is surely going to go into lobbying governments to crack down hard on piracy.
  • Did you know... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kalislashdot ( 229144 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:41AM (#10394403) Homepage
    47% of statistics are made up on the fly. I would have to agree with some others that and OEM copy of windows adds like $30 to the cost of a computer, if you can even get it without Windows.

    At my comapny we have 2 mail servers that came with Windows 2000 Server and they ran bad, the same mail server vendor make a Linux Appliance. Pop in the CD, it formats the drive and installed a stripped down RedHat install. It runs 4 times faster. We simply ate it on the Windows licenses. More free money to Microsoft.
  • by reporter ( 666905 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:41AM (#10394408) Homepage
    According to various reputable sources [], the rate of software piracy in China (which includes Taiwan province and Hong Kong) exceeds 90%. In other words, the Chinese simply stole 90% of all software used in China.

    Since all software is essentially free in China, Linux will have serious trouble in gaining market share in China and other emerging markets. Microsoft Windows is "free", and Linux is free.

    That 80% of Linux desktops sold in China is running Windows merely confirms the above analysis.

    The problem will not be resolved any time soon. The Chinese have almost no respect for human rights (e.g. brutal occupation of Tibet []) or property rights (e.g. theft of software, blueprints for microprocessors, "Star Wars" before its American debut, ...).

  • by tbannist ( 230135 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:43AM (#10394440)
    That's circular logic there. If you define the average computer user as someone who uses Windows, then of course, you will find that 100% of average users use Windows.

    On the other hand, I've seen Open Office handle Word documents more reliably than Office. The only reasons I have Windows at home are I'm lazy and don't want to install a new operating system, and the games.

    However your parent post has a point, I don't want to run Windows, I'd rather not actually. My next computer will not have Windows on it, and I have no intention of ever installing Windows on it.
  • by motown ( 178312 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:53AM (#10394575)
    Of course, not only Microsoft is unhappy with this phenomenon. The Linux community is not amused either, since of course we would have preferred to see the customers continuing the use of Linux instead of wiping it from the drive and replacing it with Windows, pirated or not.

    But perhaps there is a solution that could kill two bird with one stone: make Linux-systems deliberately incompatible with Windows by supplying them with a legacy-free OpenFirmware-implementation, such as OpenBIOS, which could be optimised specifically for Linux.

    Many experienced UNIX and Linux users have been desiring OpenFirmware/OpenBIOS acceptance in the x86-market anyway, and this may be just the chance to make it happen!

    It's a perfect solution: On the one hand, Microsoft can no longer complain about Linux-systems being a merely a method to use pirated copies of Windows. On the other hand, selling Linux systems solely with OpenBIOS firmwares (and making some modification to make the motherboards imcompatible with pirated legacy BIOS-versions) guarantees that buyers will be running Linux (or other open-source/free-software OS'es) instead of Windows on it.

    And of course, as we all know, an Openfirmware-based BIOS would provide additional technical advantages and features over legacy BIOS implementations.

    And finally: true OpenBIOS-enabled Linux-systems would be free from any DRM-crap.

    Take the problem, and turn it in to an opportunity Wonderful! :)
  • +1 Insightful (Score:5, Interesting)

    by swillden ( 191260 ) * <> on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:53AM (#10394577) Homepage Journal

    When piracy is defined as any use that the vendor does not approve of, it's hard to call it a moral issue and to think of the vendor as a victim.

    Exactly. This is another variant of the problem that the entertainment content industry has created for itself: By making copyright terms so long that most people don't realize they ever expire, people no longer see copyright as a good trade -- or as any kind of trade at all -- and therefore have no compunction about violating the hell out of it.

    It's a slashdot cliche, but it really is true: The more you tighten your grasp, the more copies will slip through your fingers, as the majority simply stops paying attention to your restrictions.

  • Re:Bollocks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by magefile ( 776388 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:58AM (#10394661)
    True. But if you call MS and say you lost the key (1-800-RU-LEGIT, I think), they'll give you a new one, no questions asked. At least, they have for me several times. They also did it when I said I wanted to move the OS to a different mfg'r's PC.

    One could, theoretically, use this for pirating. Or one could use this with a legit copy.
  • Re:Bollocks (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:59AM (#10394678)
    Which can be an advantage. Dell reinstall discs will reinstall to any dell. No hassles with activations. I'm just suprised MS allows Dell to sell OS-less computer systems with these magic discs so common.
  • gartner is on drugs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by swschrad ( 312009 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:01AM (#10394716) Homepage Journal
    but they can't make music like brian wilson did.

    you need a written order from God to get a branded computer without the windows virus on it. you can also buy a box full of random parts anyplace, and build a kickass computer with no OS any time you want.

    where gartner is pulling this "data" from, I don't know, and I am not about to spend hundreds of dollars to find out. it is so bogus on its face that I can't see how gartner is staying in business.
  • validity of EULA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by belmolis ( 702863 ) <billposer.alum@mit@edu> on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:04AM (#10394750) Homepage

    I have never entered into a contract with Microsoft. Indeed, the last few machines I have bought had MS Windows pre-installed, so I never even had to click on "I accept" to install it. Under the doctrine of First Sale, in the absence of a contract I can do what I please with the goods that I purchase. Can someone explain to me how Microsoft's wishes could possibly be binding on me?

    For me this is a purely hypothetical question since I have no interest in running MS Windows, but I am perplexed by the idea that Microsoft's EULA's can be binding on people who either never saw them until after they purchased the software or on people who have never even looked at the EULA. Haven't the courts ruled that such "shrinkwrap licenses" are invalid?

  • Re:wow! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:06AM (#10394781)
    Oh yeah? But did it come with the option of not coming with OS X? Tell me where I can buy a new Mac without an OS so I can install Yellow Dog?

    I'm sorry but Apple fanboys should just stay out of this conversation. Apple keeps far tighter control over hardware and OS than Microsoft.
  • How Dare ! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by polyp2000 ( 444682 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:15AM (#10394923) Homepage Journal
    I must say i dont think I have ever heard anything more infurating than this. Of course it doesnt need to be said who funded this study..

    But to say this when it is so difficult to find any high street store or OEM that will sell you a computer without Windows -- because of the penalties imposed by Redmond... Man this fires me up badly.

    Is it so difficult to swallow that some people actually prefer an operating system that doesnt have all the flaws that Windows has ? Is it so bad that OEM's and other companies are starting to notice this? what next ? It really amazes me who dreams up these new and wonderful FUD stories to try and blacken Linux, whos very existance is borne from love?

    The increasing trend of OEM's selling PC's with linux pre-installed is because there is a certain amout of demand for it - in the server space and increasingly as an alternative desktop for developers and in some cases just ordinary folk.

    Once again this simply emphasizes how worried they are in Redmond about the linux trend that they dont seem to be able to do anything about except generate lies and FUD which is usually ill informed - made up - or just twisted statistics. If these people are failing to see the merits of Linux and the community of people behind it creating software- well then there is no hope for Windows getting any better.
  • Re:Big news! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by sicking ( 589500 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:16AM (#10394938)
    I wonder how many of the people buying those mashines are saying 'hey this linux thing is pretty cool, I think I'll stick to it rather then get windows'. Especially once these countries start cracking down harder on piracy.

    Imagine that, MS anti-piracy strategies backfiring on them, who would've thought...

    / Sicking
  • by mikael ( 484 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:16AM (#10394951)
    Cassette tapes were VERY easy to pirate. And the practice was much more common. Once DVDs become easy and cheap to copy, then you're statement might be correct.

    I remember :) Just about every high-street electrical store back in the late 80's was selling dual cassette deck stereos, with features like synchro-copy, turbo-copy; which would play tape #1 at double/triple speed, but not start recording onto tape #2 until audio was heard on tape #1.

  • Re:wow! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AviLazar ( 741826 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:17AM (#10394955) Journal
    Civil Laws can be superseded by contracts, unless the contract violates criminal laws.
    For example, in PA there is the "Employment At Will" law which means that an employee can quit anytime s/he desires, and a company can fire an employee anytime s/he desires. Neither party needs to give a reason, and they cannot be held accountable for terminating the employment.
    HOWEVER, companies make contracts all the time in PA regarding employment terms of services. These contracts supersede the "Employment at will" law.
    Same thing - as long as the MS EULA does not create an illegal action then it is perfectly suitable to superseded other laws.
  • by pair-a-noyd ( 594371 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:27AM (#10395137)
    A friend of mine, that never, never listens to me until it's way to late and I hate to sit him down and tell him "I told you so, I told you so, it's a POS.." just went and bought a Gateway PC.
    Basics, P4-2.6ghz, 512m, 120m, Nvidia, CRT & MF PSCF, and, Winbloz XP home.

    He ordered the machine, $1,500 (about $800 more than I could have built one from scratch)

    He brings the whole thing, brand new in the box to me and says, "Install Suse 9.1 Pro on it please." and takes off.

    Guess what? This Gateway machine will NOT BOOT AT ALL if it detects a Linux formated hard disc (0x83) plugged into it via ANY means. IDE, IDE on a card, even a USB drive formated for Linux stops the boot from happening. It won't boot Linux from CD or DVD, it won't touch Linux at all. It is coded into the bios to NO BOOT if it detects a non windows drive connected to it.
    It won't boot with XP as the OS on the primary drive and a Linux formated drive connected as a secondary drive. I spent a week verifying this. I tried dozens of different drives, CD's, DVD's, distros, and combos thereof. I had to re-install XP back on it and tell my friend, "You screwed the pooch, take it back." He won't, he claims he signed a contract to make payments on it. Screw that, I say it's broken and should be at the very least replaced with a usable machine. So my dumb friend is going to keep it, pay for it and give it to his daughter.

    So, Gateway and M$ have found a way to prevent anyone from using anything but M$.

    Oh, and one last comment, these so called XP pirates that would use Linux to pirate XP? Nope. They are too stupid to figure out how to use Linux just to get free winbloz. To do this they would have to spend way to much time figuring out how to setup their PPPOE, then finding using GTK-Gnutella or BitTorrent & Python and finally K3b to burn it to disc. Right.
    I've seen these low end PC's that have Linux pre-installed, ThizLinux. Total, unusable GARBAGE. Trust me, they will never accomplish the task. Just go to any of the alt.os.distro.linux groups and read any of the multitude of "Linux sux!" posts....

    These retards will just get a copy from a buddy that's already online. XP is easier to find than crack or meth. Something they need to quit smoking. Oh, and if Linux is such an easy to use pirating tool, why is it that M$ is the number one delivery system for pirated warez?

    Someone should sue these morons for slander and liable.

  • Re:wow! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BrokenHalo ( 565198 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:31AM (#10395192)
    Here in Australia, it's pretty easy to get a laptop without Winbloze. You just have to be prepared to talk tough. You get the lowest quote from the shop, then tell them that you want them to remove Windows and any related sticky labels, and that you'll pay them that amount less the Microsoft tax.

    Turns out that most of them, even if they do claim to be contractually obliged etc, will oblige for the simple reason that it's a sale they wouldn't otherwise get.

  • Re:Bollocks (Score:2, Interesting)

    by noscule ( 703970 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:39AM (#10395330)
    This is true in Europe as well. The 1991 Software Directive explicitly states that once a copy of a piece of software has been sold with the right-owner's consent within the EU, the right-owner has no further right to restrict the onward sale of that copy to any third party. There is also something called the restraint of trade doctrine which prohibits restrictions which are greater than those reasonably necessary to protect a party's legitimate interests, and something called article 82 of the Treaty of Rome which prevents an entity from abusing a dominant position in the marketplace. I would argue that trying to place this unreasonable restriction on onward sale is an abuse of Microsoft's dominant position. - Andrew
  • by NiceGuyUK ( 801305 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:41AM (#10395373)
    ...personally I use Windows PCs to download Linux ISOs and burn them.
  • Re:wow! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LinuxGuyFriend ( 756285 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:41AM (#10395375) Homepage
    Let me tell you a little story. Last year, my appartment was broken into and my computers stolen. Of two Windows copies, the insurance company agreed to reimburse only one. Apparently they have problem with paying for software...

    Since I keep all my CD keys seperately, I ended up calling MS to get a new key because the old one refused to install on the new computer.

    Guess what, they refused to cancel the old one and give me a new one because the license is tied to the stolen hard drive. Great.
  • by jusdisgi ( 617863 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:20PM (#10395616)

    But perhaps there is a solution that could kill two bird with one stone: make Linux-systems deliberately incompatible with Windows by supplying them with a legacy-free OpenFirmware-implementation, such as OpenBIOS

    Well, it's an interesting idea. I would be worried about hardware compatibility with the OpenBIOS, and of course you couldn't expect MS to keep Windows incompatible with that standard if anyone actually started using it. Don't forget, while they'd like to see all these users pay for the OS, they would much rather have them running pirate Windows than Linux.

  • by deinol ( 210478 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:32PM (#10395765) Homepage
    This is a huge logical fallacy to imply that Linux has anything to do with these people's intentions. They are trying to save money and so they buy very cheap pre-built computers and pirate Windows.

    This is the real point. I used to work at a local computer store, and they started selling machines pre-loaded with windows. Why? Because of the overwhelming demand for linux? No. Because if they make a cheap box they can put in their big color ad, they can drop a hundred bucks off the price with a little blurb in fine printing saying pre-loaded with linux. It gets people in the store, and most of the time when you explain to the grandmother who is buying a machine for their grandchild who is starting college, they pay the extra for windows. Or get talked into a more expensive system.

    So yes, often the people who buy a machine 'pre-loaded' with linux are really the people buying a machine with no OS, and install windows on their own. It just looks like a 'linux' machine because the option is there, and there's no reason (cost) for the customer to ask them to remove it, and takes too much paperwork for the employee to care. I'd say about 50% of those machines got a pirated copy of windows, and 50% got a legitimate copy from a previous computer that is now defunct.

    Maybe 1 in a dozen I sold I could say was going to a person who wanted to try linux out. I know they did, cause they kept coming back and asking questions.

    To some up, stores advertise linux machines to look competative with dell and everyone else. What people do with them once they leave the store has nothing to do with the store's intentions, or whether or not the machine had linux to begin with.
  • Re:wow! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by chris_mahan ( 256577 ) <> on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:35PM (#10395805) Homepage
    the machine went from 325 to 300. That was 4 years ago.
  • ROM Windows (Score:3, Interesting)

    by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:47PM (#10395934) Homepage Journal
    They should just put NT kernel in ROM and make it so it can't run anything else. Then you really wouldn't be able to run anything but windows on a PC.

    Of course that's what these DRM compliant bioses are all about too. This issue will be going away shortly if the new bioses become the standard.

  • Re:+1 Insightful (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fitten ( 521191 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @01:53PM (#10396862)
    I doubt even limiting copyrights to 1 year would change anything. People copy stuff because they want it *now* and they can get it *now*. They won't simply wait a year when they want it *now*. In the USA, many folks have grown up basically spoiled. Folks just simply don't know how to do without stuff they want that they can't afford when it is easy to get it for free, even if not legal. It doesn't have so much to do with right vs. wrong or "getting back at the establishment" as much as it does satisfying their desires. Most couldn't care less about the morality of it or using it as a form of protest.
  • by saur2004 ( 801688 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @02:31PM (#10397281)
    IANAL but isnt this a bit over the line?

    Basically, they are saying that if you buy a machine preinstalled with linux, there is a 40% chance you are a criminal.

    I would think that some enterprising land shark out there might just want to start a class action libel suit about that statement, against gartner and cnet, if such a suit is even possible.

    Couldnt the argument go something like, "such an article could indeed make such individuals feel persecuted by the law in the future with out cause, possibly even seeking councle that they wouldnt even need otherwise?"

    Again IANAL and Im just speculating.

  • where the f**k? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ender Ryan ( 79406 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @03:16PM (#10397777) Journal
    Where the fuck do you live that there is a local shop that custom builds laptops? Where can you get a custom built laptop online even? I've been a Linux user for nearly a decade, and I have never found a decent place to get laptops without 'doze. There are some places, but the options are sorely lacking. Of course, getting parts and assembling desktops has always been easy, but laptops... I've asked and asked, everywhere, without ever getting an answer.

    I recently got an HP zd7000 for work and occasional gaming. Since the only GPU that works(with Linux) really well for newer games is NVIDIA Geforce, the zd7000 was pretty much the only thing I could find that was suitable for me. Of course, getting it without 'doze was not an option.

  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @03:27PM (#10397871) Homepage Journal
    Appears to me that the Gartner Group got bought out under the table, and now will be used to propagate incorrect facts to the 'masses', influencing everything from marketing to legislation.

    What is next, a report from them on 'pirate-2-pirate'.

    Truth often gets lost when the other side has control of the media/marketing machine.

  • by gnuman99 ( 746007 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @04:19PM (#10398402)
    Guess what, they refused to cancel the old one and give me a new one because the license is tied to the stolen hard drive. Great.

    So what happens when the HD dies? I guess this is how MS will be selling a new version of XP to the same customer every few years.

  • Re:wow! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by yuri benjamin ( 222127 ) <> on Thursday September 30, 2004 @06:39PM (#10399658) Journal
    If Microsoft made a PC, would you expect it to come with anything but Windows?

    Good point, considering the lengths Microsoft goes to keep linux off its customers' xboxes, while Sony, otoh, even brought out a linux kit for its gaming console.
  • by ianfs ( 236640 ) <`ian' `at' `'> on Thursday September 30, 2004 @08:12PM (#10400321) Homepage
    I dont' understand why Microsoft wastes time pushing Windows when it's Office which is what really locks people in.

    Office is the MS cash cow and if they wanted to expand their sales they'd just port it to Unix/Linux or at least supply a version with really good emulation under it, a la Wine.

    Then they wouldn't need to worry about how much market share Windows had and could concentrate on their real money maker.
  • by acz ( 120227 ) < minus math_god> on Thursday September 30, 2004 @08:15PM (#10400339) Homepage
    I live in Jakarta and have been married for 3 years already.

    Once I was making a joke about Gnome (a french one, Mennen [shaving cream] pour nous les gnomes [original advert says pour nous les hommes {men in french}]) and my wife goes hey Gnome that's the name of my desktop at work.

    "You use Linux at work?!?", I was really surprise, my wife was working as a consultant for Indonesia Ministry of Coop and Small Business and for Ministry of Industry and Trade; she was telling me that everyone in government is using Linux.

    When I told this story to my expat collegue Marek from Poland, he told me it is the same in Poland.

    I wish I wrote an article about this at the time (2001) maybe we would not see major FUD/BS from Gartner and other lame IDC.

    I think Linux users should sue Gartner for libel!

  • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Friday October 01, 2004 @08:48AM (#10403325) Journal
    In the few linux pc's i sold, it seems that the person that bought it was perfectly fine with running linux on the computer (mandrake 9.x thru 10.x) The problem is when some reletive with a degree in computer rocket science comes over and decides it isn't good enough for them. Usualy the result is a corupted boot sector because they don't know how to f disk or format a drive. Sometimes i find pirated versions of windows on them when they come back for service.

    I had one lady that was running mandrake9.2 for around 9 months trouble free. Her step son/son in law something decided she needed the latest windows XP. After it crashing withing the first month and i being the one having to fix it, an update or something unlocked the pirated code and it needed reactivated. She finally had me replace mandrake on it and hasn't had a problem since. Of course all she does is surf the web and ckeck email. ocasionaly listen to some cd's. maybe play a couple simple games like solitare of majhong. She had no desire to move from linux to windows. It was someone else that told here she got riped off and did the moving.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen