Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Linux Software Businesses Apple

No Threat to Linux with Apple and Intel Deal 534

LnxPhreak writes "Gundeep Hora of CoolTechZone.com has a new editorial up that discusses why Apple and Intel's partnership is not a threat to Linux. The column weighs in on different points equally. From the article: 'However, that doesn't mean it's the end of Linux. In fact, it shouldn't even threaten Linux by any means. Linux has more than a few things that go in its favor, at least for the time being. The idea of open-source software is an amazing one. The fact that Linux isn't much of a commercialized operating system, and you can accomplish day-to-day tasks without too many hassles is an advantage in itself. The idea of running a system that costs absolutely nothing on the software side is a powerful one, and Windows and Mac OS X would have a difficult time competing against that.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

No Threat to Linux with Apple and Intel Deal

Comments Filter:
  • by gorim ( 700913 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @02:49PM (#12815907)

    The only way anything can be a threat to Linux is if it is better.

    There can only be fear if one does not think Linux is up to it. In which case, surely the Linux community has strength to solve such problems ?

    Or not ?

    If there was ever a real threat to Linux, it would be any legal challenges to licenses or intellectual property issues squeezing out such good and useful ideas a breathing oxygen or using a keyboard to type a useful program.
  • agreed... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bad_outlook ( 868902 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @02:49PM (#12815919) Homepage
    and let's not forget when OS X was announced, since it was 'based' on FreeBSD everyone was saying THAT was the end of Linux on the desktop, and if anything it's gotten stronger. DISCLAIMER: I own two macs; one runs Linux, and 3 linux boxes; one is my main workstation - So in the end, we all win! ;)

  • Free software (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theurge14 ( 820596 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @02:51PM (#12815949)
    The idea of running a system that costs absolutely nothing on the software side is a powerful one, and Windows and Mac OS X would have a difficult time competing against that.'" Actually, they don't, because the majority of the computer public truly believe that Microsoft Windows and Office comes free with the PC. Most new Macs come with OS X and iLife free. Despite being true or not true, this is the perception out there.
  • by blake3737 ( 839993 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @02:51PM (#12815950)
    IT seems to me unless you have hardcore certified geeks in your company, linux will cost you a lot in consultants. A lot of people can easily set up a windows or Mac box, but as for linux, it requires a more savvy end user. a LOT more savy.
  • by bodester17 ( 892112 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @02:52PM (#12815957)
    The real threat to Linux is harware manufactorers purposely making devices that only work on windows and not supporting linux at all.
  • by Sv-Manowar ( 772313 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @02:52PM (#12815963) Homepage Journal
    I would have thought this was pretty obvious by looking at the approaches of the two camps. Linux goes out of its way to support as much hardware as possible, even obscure and lesser-used devices. Apple support their own specifically designed & built platforms. There's a total polarity on the two approaches to the underlying platform, and of course the two can co-exist well, as there are needs/uses for both these approaches in today's computing environment.
  • What? Logic? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ygorl ( 688307 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @02:54PM (#12815987)
    "The second point of interest is the driver support that currently favors Linux." ...because some companies are starting to think about fooling around with Linux support? That's supposed to be better than the current support for Windows or Mac?
  • Hard to tell (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Hyksos ( 595814 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @02:57PM (#12816024)
    I really think that Apple's move to x86 is such a bold move that it really is hard to tell what exactly is going to happen on the market. I think I've heard "experts" cover every possible scenario, and one of them has to be right, I guess! But really, we just have to lean back and watch Jobs' handywork as it unfolds.
  • by prgrmr ( 568806 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @03:00PM (#12816070) Journal
    The idea of running a system that costs absolutely nothing on the software side is a powerful one

    Everytime some Linux zealot repeats the myth that Linux is without cost, it's another blow to the collective credibilty of the Open Source Software movement.

    While Linux may have a zero or near-zero cost of admission, the continued ownership is not without cost. Either a company is going to pay maintenance fees to someone like RedHat to be able to keep their systems patched, or they are going to be paying for talent in-house or renting talent via consultants to keep their systems patched. Or they are going to run unpatched and venture the risks (knowningly, or not) present in the forms of the bugs and security exploits and eventual incompatibilities that present themselves down the line and have to deal with those costs.

    We run not quite a dozen boxes with Linux on them at my employer, and we are paying for maintenance for all but 2 of them. And those two are test/development platforms that management would chose to live without if it came to that. Not because the OS weren't on maintenance, but because they were free and running on semi-obsolete hardware.
  • by parvenu74 ( 310712 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @03:04PM (#12816131)
    The Linux community gauges everything in terms of fear and threat. "Microsoft is a threat." "Mac OS is not a threat." "Don't fear the Penguins."

    This fixation on fear could be explained though. Do you really think Linux Zealots were jocks in high school? It's more likely they were geeky moma's boys for whom interaction with the outside world was all about fear. Fear of getting physicallly beaten. Fear of having their lunch money stolen. Fear of still being a virgin when they turn 30. Fear of someone undermining what they thought was a brilliant post on /.

    Some have come to grips with this fear but other have not. Instead, these latter types act out against their fear through aggression in the form of first-person-shooter video games and flame wars. They engage in anti-social activites like reading books about fantasy and magic, dreaming of worlds and cosmologies where they can be wizards, powerful warriors, magicians, and other important people. Occassionally they commune with other Linux zealots for a game of D&D but this form of real human interaction is rare.

    Linux zealots need to realize that there is no reason for their fragile psyche. They are people with many wonderful qualities. They are good enough, smart enough, and darnit, (some) people like them. Why can't we all just get along without worrying about what threatens us? Hmmm?
  • by leereyno ( 32197 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @03:06PM (#12816165) Homepage Journal
    Whether something is a theat to Linux or not will only matter to those whose preference for it is based upon something other than the objective merits of the system.

    If something better than Linux comes along and Linux takes the back seat, how is that a bad thing?

    Now I'm not saying that OS-X is better, or that it is worse. I'm just saying that it doesn't matter.

    I think that a lot of people are afraid that something will happen to Linux akin to the things that have happened to superior products in the past that were defeated by inferior alternatives.

    Luckily the market segment in which Linux dominates is one where technical merit really does matter most. The only way that something can displace Linux is if it is truly better, and if that happens, how is it a bad thing?

  • Re:My thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fbg111 ( 529550 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @03:07PM (#12816183)
    But, there is always the potential that OS X adoption could slow Linux adoption in the desktop arena.

    No it won't. If anything slows Linux's desktop adoption, it's Linux, not OS X. In general, people who buy Macs are not the same ones who install Linux, Jamie Zawinski [slashdot.org] and /. OS hackers not withstanding. OS X has the easiest most user-friendly interface and driver support and it "just works". Linux is like the Millenium Falcon and requires owners to actually enjoy hacking it. There is not much overlap between markets for these two products, on the desktop.
  • by deinol ( 210478 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @03:09PM (#12816214) Homepage
    People don't use Mac OS because they happen to have a Mac Computer sitting around. They use it because they choose to. Someone has to specifically go out and buy a Mac. Even if that Mac ends up having an intel processor, it's not going to be just any old PC that can run Mac OS.

    Different operating systems serve the needs and preferences of different people. What hardware it runs on is really secondary. Certainly one of the appeals of Linux is that if that toaster has a processor in it, someone will port linux to it. Just because they can. Mac or Windows are never going to be that kind of OS.

    I like what they've done with OS X. It's a nice tool. I like using debian for certain types of servers. I like mandrake for certain kinds of workstations. I still use windows for other types of workstations. They all serve different functions. But when I build a machine, I hardly worry about the specific hardware involved unless that is a requirement for the machine (like needing that hot nvidia graphics card for... um, computational fluid dynamics.. yeah.)

    Life goes on, let's go live it.
  • by tktk ( 540564 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @03:15PM (#12816265)
    Did it miss something? Not to troll, but I can only think of a few hardware companies that even try to support linux.
  • by linguae ( 763922 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @03:16PM (#12816281)

    ...because Linux and OS X serves two completely different markets. Linux is a hacker's (in the ESR definition) operating system. The source for everything is readily available, and all of the changes you want to make is just a compile away. You can learn just about everything about how the operating system, the utilities, the compiler, the graphical environment, and the applications work. Want to learn the architecture of the Linux kernel? It's all in your source directory. Developer tools are also freely available (thanks to the GNU toolchain), and anyone with programming knowledge can make their own programs as well. Linux is great for developers and hackers, but Linux's usability still needs some work. Some distributions are better than others, but sometimes setting up exotic hardware or laptops can be a PITA.

    Mac OS X is the type of operating system that you use when you finished a long day, and you don't feel like struggling to get your printer or sound to work. Mac OS X is very easy to use and has a wide selection of very great applications (MS Office, Photoshop) that aren't available for Linux. Mac OS X inherited all of that NeXT goodness (which I still lust after), and made it even better. Mac OS X isn't as "hackable" as Linux/BSD is, but it is very easy to use and very pretty, and is very stable and is Unix-compatible whenever needed.

    I don't think that Apple's switch to x86 is going to hurt Linux at all. Remember, just because Apple is using x86 computers with the same architecture as a PC (cough x86 cough BIOS cough) doesn't mean that you'll be able to run to the Apple store, buy the latest Mac OS X, and run it on your newest Dell or your beefed up Opteron. Mac OS X isn't an option for these people; the closest they'll ever get to Mac OS X for a "white box" is NeXTSTEP/OPENSTEP/Rhapsody (which are still capable operating systems; I look forward to buying a copy for my old laptop), or OS X under PearPC. And even if there is a way to "crack" Mac OS X in order to get it to run on a regular x86, it would probably be very difficult.

    If you're interested in computers and want to find out how an operating system work and do your computer science homework, then you'd use Linux, BSD, Plan 9, or GNU Hurd. If you want to sit down, type some essays, surf the Internet, listen to your latest music, and edit your photos hassle free, your best bet is Mac OS X. I have a FreeBSD machine for the former purpose and plan on getting NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP/Rhapsody (yes, I still lust after these OSes) or a brand new shiny Mac for the latter purpose.

  • by kollivier ( 449524 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @03:16PM (#12816287)
    Apple changing its hardware has no direct impact on Linux, and it most certainly isn't a threat to Linux. I don't see why anyone is worried about this, much less refuting those worries.

    If anything, Apple's switch to Intel means that along with the ability to run Windows easily alongside Mac, now you'll be able to run Linux distros easily alongside Mac too. Gee, that sounds like a kickass machine for cross-platform developers, doesn't it? One box that runs Win, Linux distros, and Mac. I'm also fairly certain someone (if not VMWare themselves) will devise software along the lines of VMWare for OS X which will make this virtualization pretty fast and seamless. (Yes, there's Virtual PC, but that didn't work well with Linux distros last I checked.)

    In fact, one thing I realized about this transition is that it's companies like Dell that have to be worried. Once you can install Mac, Win, and Linux in one box - and they'll probably have hardware that is competitive with other PC boxes - the only reason to buy one of those other PC boxes is the cost advantage. And if you're a pro software developer, or a home user or small business sick of viruses and spyware, that cost advantage doesn't look too appealing when weighed against your additional time and effort messing with the machine(s). People can now say "well, I'll try Mac - if I don't like it, I can always throw Linux or Win on this thing..."

    I myself have been thinking about getting a faster PC box, but after the Intel news I thought - why not wait a year? VMWare is alreaday pretty responsive on my existing PC, and if it runs on my Mac box (which I use for my day-to-day work), I can have the best of all worlds and a significant speed-up at the same time.

    Lastly, because of the above issues, I think Mac on Intel is only going to cause pressure on PC vendors to look at Linux more seriously, if only to squeeze another $50 off their PC prices.

    Anyways, personally, I'm tired of all the off-the-wall and sometimes bizarre speculation and rumor-mongering going on. (piracy as Apple's strategy???) Since when is everyone and their cousin weighing in on the 'switch' actually news?
  • by ArielMT ( 757715 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @03:17PM (#12816291) Homepage Journal
    Try SimplyMEPIS [mepis.org], then. I installed it on my Dell Inspiron 600m notebook and not only was it a completely effortless install and completely effortless to use, but I didn't have to touch a CLI or text file at all. Not even to run updates, install new packages, and uninstall packages no longer wanted. Linux is free of hassles already; just choose the right distro for the right job.
  • by ARRRLovin ( 807926 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @03:17PM (#12816296)
    Does linux have such a huge self esteem issue that it needs this much press?

    "You're not fat, Cartman. You're just big-boned."
  • by Coming soon! ( 767296 ) <nye@NospaM.speakeasy.net> on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @03:19PM (#12816311)
    Which one's the iceberg?
  • by ImaLamer ( 260199 ) <john,lamar&gmail,com> on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @03:24PM (#12816364) Homepage Journal
    I've been [slashdot.org] saying [blogspot.com] that this move will only help Linux. Over [slashdot.org] and over [slashdot.org]...

    But once again, let me point out why: Because Apple wants to sell pretty, uncrackable, all-in-one, gold standard computers. They've been doing that since the 1970's and they will continue to do so. As we see with OSX and the ability to easily install Linux on a "Macintosh" that the software is just another layer.

    Apple isn't concerned with those who want to run Linux, or even Windows on their computers. Doesn't matter because you bought their high priced, well worth it, hardware and likely paid for OSX twice in the process. And think about how open source friendly Apple has become over the past few years. Really, the only reason they went with BSD is because they can keep their version closed (right?). Apple knows that there is competition out there, they don't ignore it like other companies (guess which one I mean for extra points). Apple realizes that there are other options out there and looking at OSX you can see that they have made their product better to compete with those options. For once proprietary software is looking more and more like open source hardware (look at their widget campaigns [apple.com]).

    Apple wants you to run whatever software you want, on their PC's.

    Don't you think linux development and customer support is going to skyrocket when there is just a few configurations to develop for? Maybe Apple will be the first large computer manufacturer to offer a choice of Fedora, Mandrake, Suse, FreeBSD, OSX, Zeta, Windows, whatever. Maybe you buy Linux from Apple because that price includes Apple's own Linux support. Maybe that isn't feasible, but the point still remains: Apple can grab a giant amount of marketshare by telling buyers that they have a choice. Wouldn't you rush out to buy an Apple knowing there is no politics in what software you use.

    So Jobs: Lock OSX to your machines, but leave your machines open to other operating systems. The world will thank you.
  • No threat (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jafac ( 1449 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @03:26PM (#12816383) Homepage
    The one thing that the PPC->x86 move shows is that Apple Is Not Serious About The Server Market.

    For servers, anyone could just as easily run Darwin, or Linux, or BSD, on their favorite x86 server platform. The xServe was pretty cool, but there's really nothing compelling there from an OS X standpoint.

    The x86 move was aimed at portables, and low end desktop machines. Bringing (or continuing to bring) the OS X user-experience to that market. A market where Linux has traditionally not made even a minor ding.

    The only folks who will suffer are the Mac OS X users on high-end desktops. And it's the ISV's who will determine what happens with that market. I have no clue where that's going to go, but without hardware as a big differentiator there, it really depends on whether ISV's abandon the Mac platform, or how well they transition Alitvec code to SSE3, and how well they handle the transition by supporting legacy hardware, and at the same time also support new hardware without cutting either segment of the market out. It's going to be a tough, tricky game for the Adobe's of the world.
    For Microsoft though - my guess is that if Office OS X is too hard for them, they'll just bundle VPC with Windows office and be done with it.
  • paying is better (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @03:26PM (#12816384)
    Do you prefer a hooker to your wife?
    Do you breathe bottled air?
    Do you drink only bottled water from the store?
    Do you get your tans from sunbeds?
    Do you keep your "friends" with expensive gifts?
    Do you have all your meals made for you?
    Do you have all your cleaning done by maids?
    Do you have someone raise your children and pat your pets?

    If you run out of money, do you run out of life?
  • Time = Money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shannon Love ( 705240 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @03:28PM (#12816408) Homepage
    "The idea of running a system that costs absolutely nothing on the software side is a powerful one, and Windows and Mac OS X would have a difficult time competing against that."

    Linux is free only if you value your time at zero. Of the three OS's I think it safe to say that most spend more time configuring Linux than the others. If you are technically proficient you may not notice this cost but if you had to pay somebody else to do it you definitely would.

    The price advantage of Linux can evaporate in a hurry when you have to pay $40 dollars an hour for a tech to set the system up. Such a cost is trivial when configuring a server but for a personal machine it could easily reach the cost of a copy of OS X or Windows. Time lost to unexpected problems when installing Linux on diverse hardware or when installing new software also translates into cost for many people.

    I have been very impressed by the gains made by many Linux distros in ease of installs but there is no way that in the desktop and laptop areas that Linux compares to the other two OSs when it comes to time spent configuring the systems. Basic installs work well but wander away from the pre-installed software and nightmare tangles often ensue.

    I think that the Linux community to often holds the time of the end user to be a worthless. Until that attitude changes the spread of Linux to the general population will continue to be slow.
  • by kuzb ( 724081 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @03:28PM (#12816413)
    The only threat Apple poses is to itself.

    This move is likely to cost them a lot of followers, because they are switching platforms yet again. It's not going to get windows users to come over, because those users are unlikely to buy all new computers and software just for OS X. And linux users? I think they'll just laugh at Apple's folley and continue to enjoy the best of FOSS.

    The only way Apple could be a threat to anyone is if they allowed OS X to run on any x86 PC. Which, of course, they won't do.

    So, choose your fate: Microsoft software lock-in, Apple hardware lock-in, or Linux freedom. I know Jobs isn't getting any of *my* hard earned money.
  • by reallocate ( 142797 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @03:28PM (#12816414)
    I agree that Apple's embrace of Intel poses no threat to Linux, but not for the reasons outlined in the article.

    Linux is increasingly driven by ideology and the fact that it can be obtained at no cost. It's merits as a desktop system have improved, but, by and large, it isn't good enough to attract large numbers of people already using Windows or a Mac. It is good enough to not be a dealbreaker for people who are atracted to Linux because they support its underlying ideology or simply don't want to pay for their software.

    Could the Linux desktop become to good that it, alone, attracts users? Sure, but it isn't there yet.
  • The Dad Factor (Score:2, Insightful)

    by moderators_are_w*nke ( 571920 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @03:30PM (#12816443) Journal
    There's one think that people haven't figured out. For the average family PC, Linux probably costs more than Windows. This is due to the owner (lets call him dad) feeling the buy things.

    1. First, dad will go out and buy a redhat cd, in a box in the hope that he might get a manual. This will probably cost him £40

    2. On finding that he's just spent £40 on a box with a cd and a quickstart guid if he's lucky, dad will hit amazon. He will buy at least two linux box, probably 'Complete idiots guide to Linux' and something link 'Linux unleashed'. We'll call those two £45. Dad will not read these books, but they reassure him that he'll be able to stay one step ahead of the kids.

    So, that £85 down already, on an operating system he doesn't know how to use, and doesn't have time to learn. Most dads would stick with the Windows that came with their PC. Besides, the kids can play games on that and it seems to keep them quiet.
  • by SocietyoftheFist ( 316444 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @03:30PM (#12816445)
    Mac OS X, imho, is the best UNIX desktop out there. Linux still isn't there, especially with regards to laptops. I've been using it since I first got Slack 3.x and remember running a 1.2.13 kernel. Currently, that I know of, not one distro ships that will put all ACPI notebooks into hibernation(or even one for that matter). I purchased a Cardbus 802.11g card and the kernel didn't have support for it, I had to grab the MADWIFI drivers. There is no 3D accelleration for ATI IGP 320M yet. The driver for the sound card apparently doesn't support mixing as when one process is generating sounds, all others get a device busy message.

    Apple moving to x86 isn't a threat to Linux servers, and I don't see it as a threat to Linux on the desktop/laptop either. Mac OS X is already better and in more widespread use than Linux on the laptop/desktop. I do see iBooks and PowerBooks in use at libraries and coffeeshops but inevitably when I see an x86 laptop, it's running a variant of Windows. Just once I wish I'd see somebody else running Linux on their laptop like me but it has yet to happen. For those about to pounce with the "I see it all the time", what is the context? A Computer Science Lab/University library? At your place of work that deals with Linux? I'm talking about laptops I see owned by the unwashed and filthy masses, not in selective environments.
  • Oh, for heaven's sake. Apple going to Intel changes things a bit, but change is a constant process. Change needn't mean Linux is going away, anymore than Apple or BSD has withered under the stream of "[Insert OS here] is dying!" FUD forever flooding Slashdot.

    MacTel means almost nothing to Linux unless Apple eventually releases OS X to beige boxes. Cupertino so far shows no concrete signs of doing so. Even if it happens, OS X for PC wouldn't be taps for the Penguin.

    Linux and Mac are approaching the market from different directions. Linux' greatest growth potential is in governmental and corporate workplaces, and in the developing world where its cost makes it attractive.

    Apple has a small portion of the installed desktop market -- nobody agreees how much -- and very little penetration in Linux' core market. While Apple's switch to Intel makes them somewhat more competitive in the short-term battle for desktop share, they have a LONG way to go back in the server room, in government offices, and anywhere plopping $140 down for an OS that may only run on premium-priced hardware is a financial burden.

    I'm a huge Apple fan, but MacTel's supposed killer feature, dual-booting Windows, isn't even likely to be supported by Apple. That'll be a tough sell in the boardroom.

    Meanwhile, the so-called developing world is starting to make the US and Europe look like Slow Company. This is likely where Linux will flourish in coming years.

    Who will buy MacTel? Fairly well-heeled Westerners. Everyone else will use Linux and unlicensed copies of Windows.

    Something else: there will be Mac hardcore abandoning the platform. They feel as if they're sleeping with the enemy when it comes to Intel. Many of them are furious that their rather substantial investment in PPC hardware won't run cutting-edge Mac software much longer, Universal Binaries be damned. Mac software developers won't optimize for Power very long. It's over.

    I'll stay with Mac. I really enjoy OS X, and I need several commercial applications not likely to run on Linux anytime soon. I don't wish to own a Windows box or even dual-boot.

    But I know that means I'll be buying new hardware in the near future -- an Intel-based Mac laptop first, and then a replacement for my PowerMac.

    In the meantime, I'm uninstalling OS X on my older Mac gear. Tiger left two of my machines behind. They'll be converted to PPC Linux. There's already an Ubuntu Live CD in my Bluberry iBook.

    The moment Steve Jobs showed the Intel logo, I knew that my dual G5 would one day be running Linux. In three years, I'll have more Linux machines than boxes running OS X.

    MacTel's impact on Linux is a lot more complex than most pundits are giving credit. And far less drastic.

  • by Buelldozer ( 713671 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @03:40PM (#12816561)
    I have no idea who modded you "insightful" because your comment is the exact opposite of that. It should be modded "doubleplusmoronic" or perhaps "flamebait".

    In response to your post though, most fools can probably get a desktop PC running, but that doesn't mean they _should_.

    Most users cannot CORRECTLY setup OR EVEN MAINTAIN a windows box, which is why there are approximately 15 Billion private computer companies (consultants) making good money doing it for them.

    So your mythical corporation saved $100 on the install by doing it themselves, but spent $300, or more, on having a consultant come back later and recover data from their spyware, worm, trojan and root kit infested machine and then re-install the OS and reconnect it to the network.

    Then they clean the rest of the network from the same spyware, trojans, worms and rootkits.

    While they are there someone mentions that their Exchange server get's a lot of bounced messages. After an exhaustive 3 hour search turns up an employee who knows the, undocumented, administrator password, they check and the Exchange server that some looney CPA setup "good enough" has now been blacklisted as an open relay.

    When they are done with the Exchange server they look at the file server and discover that it hasn't done a backup in 12 months because the drive failed and no one noticed...the secretary just keep changing tapes as normal.

    When they get that fixed they find out that backup won't fit on a tape ANYWAY because someone's 50 Gig porn/mp3/funny video/funny pictures collection is sitting on the server.

    Then it's on to the roughly fifty drive shares that have full permissions assigned to "everyone", including the "accounting" share that has the company financials and payroll data.

    Then they shut off IIS since it was pwned about 8 months ago due to someone plugging the network DIRECTLY into their "high speed internet" with no firewall in place and assigning a second IP address to the Server NIC to "make it work".

    While they are in there they notice the mirror drive failed sometime last fall and the single running hard drive is throwing I/O errors, which no one noticed because checking the event logs "takes too much time.".

    The whole network has statically assigned IP addresses, with no documentation, because when the server was setup no one could figure out how to correctly configure DHCP. ...and the list goes on and on and on and on...

    If you think I'm exaggerating you better check yourself, I've seen every one of these scenarios in the last 12 month and so has every other consultant in the country.

    Lots of people seem to think that they "know" I.T., most of them barely know how to wipe their ass. Most of them have opinions just like the one you posted...until their server gets it's nuts crushed by some random script kiddie. Then I come in and bill them 10 grand, or more, for cleaning up the mess that they created with their "I know how to do this!" attitude.

    Businesses should concentrate on what they do best, and leave the rest to people who know what they are doing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @03:55PM (#12816735)
    How did this bigoted, stereotyped load of crud get modded up? It's pretty much the same as saying Windows Zealots are all best-buy employees fresh out of highschool with delusions of grandeur , or Mac zealots are all homosexual interpretive dancing graphic-artists.
  • Linux has more than a few things that go in its favor, at least for the time being. The idea of open-source software is an amazing one. The fact that Linux isn't much of a commercialized operating system, and you can accomplish day-to-day tasks without too many hassles is an advantage in itself.

    Um, dude, Mac OS X has a proprietary GUI... but it's ALSO running on an open source operating system. It runs the same amazing open source software as Linux, including the compiler and your X11 and Gnome and KDE desktop apps (if you want tham). It's got some shortcomings on the server, because of the overhead of Mach messages and threads, but that's not its focus. On the desktop it's got every advantage that Linux has, as well as having all the proprietary and commercial software that came along from the classic Mac OS.

    And no matter what Linux does between now and 2007, no matter what new cool things are created for it, those things will also be options for Mac OS X.

    And Mac OS X is well past questions like "can it replace Windows": the real debate now is "can Windows catch up".
  • by rsheridan6 ( 600425 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @04:11PM (#12816900)
    It's a threat to Linux because quite a few Linux users have switched to Macs, and those are people who won't be contributing to Linux anymore. Case in point, Slashdot ran a story a few days ago about jwz's defection - he had written a mp3 jukebox, and more importantly, xscreensaver, which I've been using myself for 3 years or so. So those are now probably orphaned projects, because he will probably just use the software that comes with his Mac. Jwz's defection, by itself, is not that big of a deal, but if a lot of people switch, it could add up to a big deal.
  • No sense rushing if I'll have to buy new software anyway.

    Let's see...

    Apple has typically supported old hardware and operating systems for five years after a transition (68000-68020, 68k-PPC, Nubus-PCI, OS9-OSX, and hardware abandoned by OS X has generally been that far behind the curve). There's really no good reason for them to drop PPC software support this time, because they're using an OS that makes old platform support easy. There's less reason than ever for software vendors to drop the old hardware, with the single exception of game software, because by the time Leopard comes out they'll have had to become portable ... and there's an awful lot of recently purchased Powermac G5s that are still going to represent potential customers 5 years from now given the way Moore's Law has hit the wall in the last two years (remember, IBM didn't hit 3 GHz but Intel's speed improvement over the same period was even less).

    And most companies are likely to provide "Intel-compatibility" upgrades fairly cheaply to avoid losing their customer base.

    So if you buy a Mac now, it's going to be 7 years before Apple drops PPC, and at least 5 before your apps are unavailable for PPC... so what's the new software you're worried about having to buy?
  • by sfgoth ( 102423 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @05:13PM (#12817557) Homepage Journal
    I'd have purchased a Powerbook this year. Gets pushed off until Intel is inside.

    "I was going to buy a computer this year, but I heard there will be a better one in two years, so I'm going to wait."

    Am I the only one who think that's the silliest decision ever?

  • by GlassHeart ( 579618 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @05:32PM (#12817798) Journal
    First of all, you forgot about Carbon. A lot of apps are still using it.

    Secondly, just because GNUstep apps run in OS X doesn't mean that the reverse is true. From the GNUstep developer FAQs:

    It's easier from GNUstep to Cocoa than Cocoa to GNUstep. Cocoa is constantly changing, much faster than GNUstep could hope to keep up. They have added extensions and new classes that aren't available in GNUstep yet.

    MacOS X also has various frameworks for audio, video, disc burning, etc. So no, it will definitely be a non-trivial task, along the lines of WINE.

  • by TampaDeveloper ( 834876 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @06:06PM (#12818164)

    Linux isn't going away because there is always going to be kids and misers in the world. But when I got busy with my job and with life, I had to simplify. That extra $100 to remove extra hassle from my life was well worth it.

    Recently I went through the process of re-deciding what to buy. Linux is still the same old story. The only company that seems to champion Linux is IBM. That doesn't give me warm fuzzies. I almost bought a think pad until I realized that the T43 is not on the list of laptops that support Linux. The rest of them are only offered with low resolution LCDs. I spent quite a bit of time looking for a laptop that would run Linux flawlessly. But they ALL seem to have one problem or another. This one doesn't hibernate. That one has trouble with the video card. These don't have the right sound drivers. I bought a Dell about 5 years back on the premise that it would run Linux well. Well, somebody made a minor "tweak" between revs that ended my dream.

    I got excited for a moment when I read the above article because it mentioned that HP has a new laptop which officially supports Linux. But alas, it was all smoke and mirrors. I looked at all the laptops offered by HP, but none are offered with Linux. So I typed "Ubuntu" in the search window and got no hits. Where is this corporate embrace everybody in the Linux community is always talking about? I don't see it. I see some also-ran's selling Linux on their 7.5lb brick-books, but nothing that tells me corporates are beginning to take Linux serious.

    I think most technology companies see Linux as a hassle that they secretly wish would go away. Think I'm off base? Most people are perfectly satisfied with Windows. Companies consist of owners and employee. Since owners and employees are people, it stands to reason that most owners and employees are satisfied with Windows. If they are satisfied with Windows, that means they think Linux is a waste of time. If they think that, then they view anything they have to do to support it as additional work. Nobody likes additional work.

    No, most corporations are just playing the game. They say, "Yeah yeah yeah, we like Linux." But when it comes time to put their money where there mouth is, the Linux support never seems to materialize, or its short lived if it does.

    Meanwhile, I plunk down an extra few hundred and I get the best customer satisfaction in the industry, noticeably better service (Dell versus Apple), more durrable and reliable hardware (Go to CompUSA and do the flex test on the laptops. The PC laptops feel like they are made out of sponge. The motherboard is mounted to the casing. How durrable can they be? On the Apple side; even the iBooks are rigid as heck. Not only are they made of a thicker plastic, but they are LEXAN; Pretty much indestructable.), and an operating system that just works.

    I run my Unix apps. I run my digital multitrack recording apps. I've got XCode and a whole host of other development IDEs to choose from. I've got Microsoft Office, in case I need to read one of the devil's files. In fact I've never found a problem domain in which there wasn't EXCELLENT software available for the Mac. And as a bonus, I don't have to buy the hardware to find out whether or not hibernate will work on it. If I buy a Mac, I know it will.

  • by Edmund Blackadder ( 559735 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @06:43PM (#12818530)
    "Linux isn't going away because there is always going to be kids and misers in the world. "

    I guess it is cool for apple people to repeat 5 year old MS FUD nowadays, but keep this in mind -- you'd better hope Linux and open source continue to live because the "OS that just works" you love so much is mostly copied from open source projects after Apple tried and could not for the life of them create a real multitasking OS.

    Apple was damn lucky that the "kids and misers" that created BSD and the Mach microkernel were generous enough to offer their code under the unrestrictive BSD license, so Apple could finally offer their clients a modern OS. That was not very miserly of them was it?

    BTW the reason why you canot get one of those HP Linux laptops is that they are not being released in the US.
  • by ignatz72 ( 891623 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @10:14PM (#12820056)
    Oh, wait, it's pretty tricky to build a car even if you had ALL the parts and instructions in front of you. That's why I bought a Honda - they did all the work, I get to drive.

    Totally separate markets segments here... Car nutz like to build cars, super geeks like to build their OS. I'm no dummy, but I've tried about 8 diff. flavors of Linux on my Intel box over the years, and when I was done, I felt like I'd been through the wash. The "freeness" of the OS was overshadowed by the ridiculous amount of work that I, an above average computer user, had to do to even get it running.

    Linux will continue to have trouble on the desktop in the consumer market, because consumers consume, not compile. Apple:Honda as Linux:kit car, so yeah, Linux you're safe. Thhpt! :)
  • Apple vs. Linux (Score:1, Insightful)

    by geekp0wer ( 516841 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @04:08PM (#12826547) Homepage
    Its my opinion that Apple's decision to switch to Intel processors may be good for their business provided they make an important strategic decision. Apple is going to have allowed people to run OS X on any Intel based PC. They can do this one of two ways. They can officially support OS X on any hardware or they can do it unofficially. I think they will take the unofficial route. If Apple makes it simple for the hacker community to circumvent any security measures that force users to run OS X on MAC hardware only then people will run it on other hardware without support from Apple. This will increase the adoption rate of OS X and when users need a high end OS X PC then they will buy the supported MAC hardware. A couple of years down the road when OS X adoption has grown sufficiently then Apple will begin to officially support OS X on other manufactures PCs.

    If this happens the UNIX based desktop market will no longer be up for grabs. Apple will have won and there will be three tiers to UNIX desktops. At the top will be OS X running on MAC hardware. Second will be OS X on unsupported hardware. Coming in a distant third will be Linux.

    Why will Linux come in third? This is due to the fact that it is still a difficult operating system to administer. Even the most advanced RPM based distributions are difficult to manage once you go beyond what is included with the installation CDs. Device drivers are also an issue. Vendors have not developed drivers on a large scale. It's not likely to happen either because the key people in the Linux community will not embrace closed source drivers and hardware manufactures can not afford to release the intellectual property due to the competitive nature of their businesses. Finally, open source drivers remain too difficult for the average user to configure and install.

    I am not the only one with this opinion. OS X is on the minds of other Linux users as well. I was at my local LUG meeting recently only to see several Linux enthusiasts running MACs and OS X instead. I was a little embarrassed by this because I have considered running OS X too.

    There is still hope for Linux. It could come out on top but that would take a couple of smart moves by influential Linux companies and some big miracles. The main Linux distribution makers need to partner with some major hardware vendors and come up with Linux certified hardware for the desktop and notebook market and compete head to head with Apple's supported Mac/OS X products. Second, the device driver issues with Linux will need to be resolved. Some how the open source community will have to find a way to accept close source device drivers. Finally, major vendors who currently write software for the Microsoft and Apple platforms will have to be convinced to also publish their software for Linux.

    Thanks for taking the time to ready my rant. One more thing......I also forgot to mention that all of this is a battle for second place. None of this will displace Microsoft's dominance in the desktop market. At least in the foreseeable future.

We gave you an atomic bomb, what do you want, mermaids? -- I. I. Rabi to the Atomic Energy Commission