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Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit Leaves Desktop Linux Behind 212's Joe Barr has an interesting commentary about the recent Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit and the astounding lack of attention for desktop Linux. Now, a great deal of the monetary support driving Linux these days comes from companies with a vested interest in "big iron" but hopefully this won't completely eclipse the rest of the community. "Before I learned that the press was not welcome in any of the working-meetings at the summit on days 2 and 3, I saw and heard rumblings of discontent from more than one ordinary Linux desktop user. One example: a top-ten list of inhibitors to Linux adoption, created by a committee of foundation members, contained nothing at all relating to desktop usage. Nothing. Everything on the list was about back-room usage. Servers. Big iron."
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Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit Leaves Desktop Linux Behind

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  • by TechyImmigrant ( 175943 ) * on Monday April 14, 2008 @01:44PM (#23066560) Homepage Journal
    TFA is very sniffy about press not being allowed in the technical sessions. As far as I'm concerned they can bloody well stay away for good.

    When engineers get together in technical meetings in standards groups, SIGs and the like, they have deep technical and commercial problems to solve that leads to long, difficult, nuanced discussions, all aimed at getting to a solution that will work, get implemented and be commercially feasible.

    What no one involved needs is the press sticking their noses in and printing these arguments in the press, dressing them up like some narrative in a thriller. Its happened to me several times and every time, the uninvited journalist got it hopelessly wrong, presenting technical work as interpersonal bickering and being clueless on the technical matters.

    Journalists are a pox on standards meetings. They can eff right off.

    When the journalists turn up, propose work items on desktop issues and promise not to run away and write up events in some rag, they will have dragged themselves out of the bottom of the barrel.
  • by Daniel Phillips ( 238627 ) on Monday April 14, 2008 @01:55PM (#23066764)

    When the journalists turn up, propose work items on desktop issues and promise not to run away and write up events in some rag, they will have dragged themselves out of the bottom of the barrel.
    Joe Barr is not just any journalist where Linux is concerned. He is right that this "summit" was non-representative. We are getting a lot of that lately, just look at all the Linux invite-only "summits" going on, with key players not invited.

    This particular "summit" seemed largely useless to me. I don't really know anybody who cares about it or even knew about it other then the participants.
  • by Per Abrahamsen ( 1397 ) on Monday April 14, 2008 @01:56PM (#23066770) Homepage
    The Open Source Development Labs was formed by "big iron" vendors to cooperate on the development Linux for of enterprise computing, so I don't find it surprising that is where their focus is. OSDL later merged with the Free Standards Group to form the the Linux Foundation, but OSDL was the larger part of the merge.

    I don't find that more noteworthy, than focusing on the desktop. Different organization have different focus.

  • Focus on strength! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by quarrel ( 194077 ) on Monday April 14, 2008 @01:58PM (#23066814)
    I don't really see this as a major problem.

    MSFT 'attacks' other pieces of the market because of its near monopoly on the desktop and in Office apps. Linux can do the same.

    Why shouldn't the Linux Foundation focus on Linux's strengths and continue to shore up that area, particularly if the people with the money have those priorities? If Linux is the major player in several segments then it can leverage that strength to gain others.

    Linux on the desktop isn't going to become a winner because a technical committee somewhere listed its strengths or weaknesses. It'll take a nimble, energetic core of developers to drive and make decisions that are innovative and exciting to users. Always playing catchup is probably not the way to go.

    Meanwhile, if Linux dominates at the Big Iron/Appliance/Server areas, then it will become easier for the desktop driven folks to achieve their goals. This is particularly so in a world where the buzz words are virtualisation, "in-the-cloud" etc, that remove many applications from directly being on the desktop, as application adoption and readiness for the desktop is one of the high barriers to Linux becoming a force on the desktop.

  • by Otter ( 3800 ) on Monday April 14, 2008 @02:03PM (#23066898) Journal
    And given this article, you can see why they set the policy they did!

    Anyway, it's not as if the "ordinary Linux desktop user" doesn't have any other opportunities to loudly voice his opinion. (If nothing else, he can just write Linus an email!) It doesn't seem surprising that a meeting focused on high-end servers doesn't want to open the floor to a bunch of Ubuntu fanboys to squabble about WiFi driver configuration.

  • by moderatorrater ( 1095745 ) on Monday April 14, 2008 @02:06PM (#23066942)

    It looks like Big Business is about ten years behind the industry curve
    How so? The article never adequately addresses the fact that the Linux Foundation is populated by people who use linux on servers. Why should he be surprised that these people are focusing on server issues?

    The author worries about the developers ignoring the linux desktop without seeming to realize that the kernel hackers use linux as their desktop. He doesn't mention the scheduler changes to make it more friendly to the desktop. In fact, he comes across as a pouting child who wants their desktop worked on before the servers.

    Is it that hard to realize that the linux foundation is about servers and keeping market share in the area of servers while ubuntu and the kernel hackers focus on making the desktop faster? Right now server linux is a business, desktop linux is a side note. Asking them to focus on the desktop at the expense of their big platforms is dumb and short sighted.
  • Re:Uh Oh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs AT ajs DOT com> on Monday April 14, 2008 @02:07PM (#23066964) Homepage Journal
    The year of Linux on the desktop was probably 2004 or 2005.

    If you're waiting for Linux to wipe out the competition, it's not going to happen. It's just going to be a long, slow growth curve as both MacOS and Linux suck up increasingly large chunks of Microsoft's market share.

  • by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Monday April 14, 2008 @02:11PM (#23067030)
    Lots of projects exist that extend and/or fork the Linux kernel for specific needs. We have SELinux for heightened security, RTLinux for realtime processing, uCLinux for embedded machines, and so forth. These forks, if they can be properly called that, seem to get on more or less harmoniously with the core Linux kernel group.

    Perhaps it is time for a "DeskLinux" project along similar lines, specifically to cater to the needs of desktop users. This would allow the core Linux kernel to keep its ostensible neutrality toward what systems it runs on, while still letting those who favor desktops to resolve what many people see as some very real issues. It even opens the way for a "BigLinux" later on, to bring enhancements specific to big iron that do not need to be in the core.
  • by east coast ( 590680 ) on Monday April 14, 2008 @02:19PM (#23067130)
    They still made the headway with such vendor lock-in? Even more reason to see what they did right because they're obviously against the grain of everything everyone around here said about why the Linux revolution would happen. They obviously did something so right that all the things that people claim were going to be the death of MS appears to be working out fine for Apple and even under harsher conditions.
  • by asc99c ( 938635 ) on Monday April 14, 2008 @02:20PM (#23067150)
    The Linux open-source model is fundamentally open and this sort of thing is a consequence. A group of interested parties have got together to discuss the problems getting Linux adopted in an area they are interested in. Hopefully they will decide what they can improve and go away and do it. With companies like IBM involved, there isn't great need for the community to implement the stuff. They aren't breaking Linux on the desktop - just improving it on big-iron servers. There's no need for it to be 'representative'. It's quite valid for a few companies to hold a closed meeting and do what they want without outside interruption. The source code will make its way into the world and if the key players who weren't invited / represented think it's doing something useful it will get further modified and brought into distros like Ubuntu.
  • Re:Uh Oh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Qwerpafw ( 315600 ) on Monday April 14, 2008 @02:23PM (#23067188) Homepage
    Linux on the desktop shouldn't be the goal anymore - 2008 is the year of linux on the laptop.

    Vista won't run well on the increasingly popular lightweight and low end laptops like the eepc, olpc xo, and what are sure to be many imitators. People have demonstrated they're willing to use linux on these machines, and Microsoft has demonstrated they Don't Get It.
  • by nawcom ( 941663 ) on Monday April 14, 2008 @02:36PM (#23067350) Homepage
    I sortof agree with you. One thing I don't like about the current stats of linux is what runs off of as you know, is for all unix operating systems that it can be compiled for, so the same ubuntu themed desktop can run just fine on freebsd, by building from source.

    These days people are arguing over what distro is better because it uses kde or gnome or uses an easy frontend for this or that. I think it's dumb.

    maybe i'm just some old classic copylefter, but people seem to forget about the gnu part of linux distributions. these days it's "with distro is better". People assume I have linux on my laptop, but i have to take time and show them that i'm running fluxbox on openbsd, not linux.

    well what does this have to do with the parent? i guess i'm saying that somehow directly linking the desktop to linux might help out and show people that even if they are using their special distribution for themselves, that no matter what it all comes down to the fact that they are running linux.

    on a side note, i don't think linux will "make it" until hardware providers really start helping out with giving source code for driver development. also, no matter how easy of a distribution you have, some people have to pull up the terminal at one point to fix a problem. this scares people away. many many many windows users have never run cmd.exe and will call up some tech support guy if they do have to run some command line apps. when it comes to linux, i am a slackware user, so that sorta shows im a friend of building from source, and doing command line work. I just hope we can fix this link that seems to be breaking apart with linux users, and the state of mind of seeing linux as a desktop os.

  • Not Likely (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JeremyGNJ ( 1102465 ) on Monday April 14, 2008 @02:43PM (#23067464)
    There's a breaking point when it comes to adoption of both Linux and MacOS (though Mac has more potential)

    Linux will slowly bring over the technical crowd, though most of the ones who are going to switch already have. You just have some niches left and the "less technical techies" who will still convert.

    MacOS has made great strides in woo'ing the "stylish elite", and the "wealthy cool kids"....but they still lack a wide selection of applications, and the price-point that would convert the "average web surfer".
  • by mpapet ( 761907 ) on Monday April 14, 2008 @02:47PM (#23067530) Homepage
    1. The computer desktop is not a major source of revenue for anyone. Don't whip out Microsoft on me here because their desktop business is through resellers like DELL and HP. Their retail product is costly as hell compared to a reseller like HP or Dell. Compare Vista sales through Dell versus how many retail licenses were purchased at Worst Buy.

    2. Backend/Big Iron is where the most dollar opportunity are with Linux.

    3. The desktop problems are much more difficult to solve and the payoff in dollars is worth maybe a nice dinner.

    There are *still* new and interesting things happening on the server side in storage, virtual machines, memory, you name it. Desktops? Not so much. What's the last legitimately different desktop environment you, or anyone else has tried?
  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Monday April 14, 2008 @02:48PM (#23067538)

    And why exactly shouldn't Apple count? Don't get me wrong, I'm not fanboi and I've never been tempted to "swing on that side" except for my iPod, but Apple should be counted.

    I don't know what the previous poster was intending. OS X and Linux are both being used on the desktop. In the US they count together as something nearing 10%. They count even more if you're counting all the new devices, like smart phones, that are starting to take over some of the tasks traditionally reserved for the desktop (Web browsing).

    On the other hand, if you're looking at things in terms of markets, neither OS X nor Linux counts as part of the "desktop OS" market the EU is referring to in their antitrust actions against MS. The main customers for desktop OS's are large organizations (business and government) and even larger PC OEMs. Apple refuses to sell their OS into this market because it monopolized and there is no business case. Linux is licensed such that it is not salable. Most Linux development shops do so because they are users and use it to sell other products, in many cases support and services using Linux or (like Apple) hardware that ships with Linux pre-installed.

    So considering the latter perspective, no Linux and OS X do not count in terms of whether the desktop OS market is monopolized, but they certainly do count if you're just trying to figure out install base for other reasons.

    Granted, it's a different business model and a different product offering from Linux but if anything Apple should show that the mythical Windows stranglehold on the desktop is just that, mythical.

    It is true that MS is slowly losing install share to Apple and for that matter to Linux on the desktop, although that is really just getting started in the mainstream. This should not, however, dissuade one from understanding that it is a poor investment to try to compete in the desktop OS market. The ROI is terrible because unlike healthy markets your investment is partly wasted chasing MS's intentional un-interoperability. Further, since MS has multiple monopolies you have to commit to investing in all the markets they influence or finding partners to do so. This includes server OS's, hardware, end user applications, some services, media downloads, gaming systems, etc.

    If anything the target users that Linux was suppose to rope in went Apple. I think that it's important for the Linux community to understand why and how.

    I have personally seen a big move to OS X on the desktop from former Linux on the desktop users. In the security industry it has been a revolution. I can think of several reasons why this seems to be including:

    • - Most pertinent to this article, the main use of Linux has been on the server and Linux on the desktop has been unable to make revolutionary changes that might cause any disadvantage for Linux's use as a server (often this is simply in the name of preventing "bloat" and instability).
    • - Linux development is dispersed among many companies with less organization and much, much less hierarchy. There is no Steve Jobs of Linux to make a decision and make everyone go along. (This can be good and bad.) It is good because you have more choices and customizability, KDE or Gnome, RPMs or .debs, and so on. It is also a disadvantage in that developers and users don't focus on just one thing so there is duplicated effort and incompatibility problems.
    • - The development cultures are very different and I'd argue that at this point Linux on the Desktop is less open to borrowing from other cultures or even technologies. I can think of a dozen features Apple has more or less copied from Linux, Solaris, *BSD, and even Windows. I can't really think of any of the new features Apple has introduced that have been successfully copied and made part of default Linux distros. There are plenty of projects designed to clone OS X features, but very few if any that are incorporated and turned on
  • Re:Uh Oh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tawnos ( 1030370 ) on Monday April 14, 2008 @02:51PM (#23067604)
    Because there's a lot of user time spent looking at each individual file for viruses, and everyone who runs Windows must have spyware. Obviously, that half a second to click "allow" is eating up years of our lives, and we must reboot daily or things never work. To top it all off, we have to keep doing things to make the "NTFS filesystem (NT filesystem filesystem...)" work.

    You know, compared to all the time spent running apt-get to check for software updates, running netstat to check for ports that shouldn't be open to the world but for some reason are, deleting and reinstalling 50 libraries to fix a dependency hell broken by the aforementioned apt-get update, and trying to defragment reiserfs only to realize you can't, so going back to ext3, which isn't much better (or worse) than NTFS.

    Both systems have their upsides. Both have their downsides. Let's at least try for a little intellectual honesty when comparing them, instead of using hyperbole and strawmen to say why OS 1 sucks but OS 2 should run the world.
  • Re:Uh Oh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kdemetter ( 965669 ) on Monday April 14, 2008 @02:51PM (#23067606)
    Actually , the linux desktop is doing quite nice on some distro's . If you take the most recent Ubuntu for example , you can easily the advancements they made , compared a few years ago. Properietary drivers are easier to install on linux than on windows , at the moment . But as always , linux isn't windows . So if by 'the perfect linux desktop' you expect a perfect windows clone , that's just not going to happen .
  • by nicklott ( 533496 ) on Monday April 14, 2008 @02:58PM (#23067722)

    With Vista out there ... desktop linux is about to get really popular really fast

    They said that a year ago and it didn't happen.

    I'm no MS apologist, but I think you should actually try using Vista before making statements like that. Despite what you might read on slashdot, there is nothing fundamentally broken in it and most "average" users find it a step up from XP. Frankly I've had less trouble with Vista than I've had with Ubunutu on the same machine.

    Plus if people use Linux at work, even if it's on a server, they're going to come home and want to use it too since it's free and they're familiar with it.

    I don't really understand how using it on a server makes you familiar with an OS? To most people the "server" is that folder with funny icon on it, or, for the more technical, where their web pages come from.

    I run CentOS or RHEL on all my public servers and would never dream of using anything else, but I ain't about to get all my staff to install ubuntu; for one they couldn't get the software to do their jobs. I still think that if linux wants to make headway on the desktop someone needs to come up with a distro to go after the gaming market. That's the only demograph that hardware manufacturers really pay attention to and what is cutting edge now will be standard in 12 months. Unfortunately you can't even get recent games that run on linux yet, so it's no wonder the hardware guys are a bit behind.

  • Re:no surprise (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Shados ( 741919 ) on Monday April 14, 2008 @03:01PM (#23067768)

    but Linux is highly specialized. There's no standardization for interaction

    Thats why I feel that the future of Linux in user's hands is in the form of "appliance" type machines. Things like the EeePC, cellphones, Tivos-type things... we already have, and it works quite well. Now push it a notch further... a desktop machine with everything a user need, but locked down. Can't install or remove anything, except for the SD card or USB stick to store your data. Different models with different software for different people (and maybe like the EeePC, let people hack it up, but not by default).

    Linux is -really- good at that kindda stuff. Linux desktops work great when they're preconfigured and you don't change em too much (which is when, for a regular user, all hell breaks loose).

    I remember at my fiancee's college, most of the computer clusters were like that. Locked down desktop linux installs. It worked amazingly well. Since you couldn't screw it up, everything just worked, Mac-style. Very clean, all your files were saved on a network drive (as opposed to USB as I said above, but still), and you could install a limited amount of non-disruptive things.. if you messed up, you could just re-init it like you would a router.

    There's nothing special about that...nothing that can't be done with Ubuntu and a few minutes/hours of tweaking. But if you sell that directly to users, you'll have a winner.
  • Re:Uh Oh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gmack ( 197796 ) <> on Monday April 14, 2008 @03:11PM (#23067904) Homepage Journal

    You know, compared to all the time spent running apt-get to check for software updates,

    Strange that's done automatically for me

    running netstat to check for ports that shouldn't be open to the world but for some reason are


    This was fixed two years ago AFIK

    deleting and reinstalling 50 libraries to fix a dependency hell broken by the aforementioned apt-get update,

    This only happens in debian unstable. Complaining about it is like complaining about bugs in a Beta windows release

    and trying to defragment reiserfs only to realize you can't, so going back to ext3, which isn't much better (or worse) than NTFS.

    Reiserfs doesn't defrag because it's designed not to need to defrag.. same goes for XFS and the other more modern filesystems

    I'm amazed this is the list you came up with when questioning other people's intellectual honesty

  • by the_rev_matt ( 239420 ) <slashbot&revmatt,com> on Monday April 14, 2008 @03:32PM (#23068156) Homepage
    I used linux as my full time desktop both at work and at home for 4 years. And I enjoyed it mostly. I was able to do most of what I wanted to. But multimedia production (video editing, multitrack music production) was a huge pain in the ass to do and from what I've seen hasn't improved much.

    Thing is, back when I used linux full time (99-2003) I didn't own a house. I didn't have kids. I enjoyed building my own computers and futzing around with configuration and getting packages to build for hours or days at a time. Now I've got kids, a house to maintain, and little or no free time.

    If I have to spend a half hour on administration a month on my computer then I simply won't even turn it on, it's not worth the hassle. There's way more important things I can be doing. I can either spend the next two hours trying to figure out why an upgrade to a kde or gnome core library broke Totem or I can play with my kids. Easy decision to make.

    I switched to OS X for all my multimedia production needs in 2002, and shut down my linux box permanently in 2003 as the birth of my first child approached. It does everything I wanted linux to do and I don't have to *do* anything to keep it running. My priorities are obviously going to be different from that of a lot of linux fans, but those fans need to realize that most non-fans will have no interest in linux on the desktop until it becomes less of a pain to use than Windows is.
  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Monday April 14, 2008 @03:38PM (#23068248)
    I think you have cause and effect mixed up. Linux desktops will start replacing windows when Big Business starts paying attention.

    someday, perhaps, the geek may realize that the PC market splintered into distinct segments a long time ago.

    that placement on the enterprise desktop doesn't give you anything more than placement on the enterprise desktop.

    but I am not holding my breath.

  • Re:Not Likely (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs AT ajs DOT com> on Monday April 14, 2008 @04:10PM (#23068676) Homepage Journal

    There's a breaking point when it comes to adoption of both Linux and MacOS (though Mac has more potential)
    No, no there isn't. There, that was as easy to say as the reverse. Let's look at your points in more detail and see why you think that:

    Linux will slowly bring over the technical crowd,
    That was last decade's news. The news today is that an increasingly large number of younger folks are finding that their friends are using "the latest thing" under Linux, and there's a certain chic in using it. Ubuntu and the various "social apps" have really pushed this envelope.

    The next wave has begun, and that's the push to create highly market-specific Linux desktop offerings. You've already seen this in the "just mail, IM and Web" boxes that have been sold recently by large corporations. There are already offerings in the digital film-making arena, and then there's the mobile world which you may or may not conflate with the desktop world, depending on how you see things merging or not.

    MacOS has made great strides in woo'ing the "stylish elite", and the "wealthy cool kids".
    More and more, the people I see using Mac laptops are the young and upwardly mobile that fall pretty much smack in the middle of the demographic space. They're not wealthy, but they've had their first taste of financial success. This is where Mac laptop purchasing has been exploding, at least in the social circles I've been observing.

    but they still lack a wide selection of applications
    EH?! You haven't used a Linux or MacOS system recently have you? It's not the selection that limits their adoption. There's a gigantic selection, and in some domains (e.g. digital media for Mac) the selection is broader than other platforms. The limiting factor is and always has been Microsoft's proprietary application suite. If you've ever tried to get Office for Mac to read a file from Office for Windows and been thwarted, you know exactly how Microsoft keeps their market share.

    People don't want "selection," they want the apps that "everyone else uses."

    the price-point that would convert the "average web surfer".
    No one avoids Linux for the price-point. There are $200, fairly nice boxes at your local WalMart running Linux.

    Macs are more expensive, but they have a brand loyalty that's hard to contend with.

  • Re:no surprise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <> on Monday April 14, 2008 @04:58PM (#23069332) Journal

    Either you have no idea what you're talking about, or you're not communicating very well...

    There's no standardization for interaction. You have different shells, different window managers, different distros.
    Interaction between what?

    There are many standards. POSIX provides standards for shells -- a shell must support a certain set of features to be POSIX-compliant, and a POSIX-compliant shell script can run with #!/bin/sh on any remotely POSIX-compliant system.

    Without it much of the web wouldn't exist as it now does, and I see Linux as having been crucial in making it better, as well as sadly making it worse.

    I don't really get how Linux is responsible for either of these things. All I see is cheap, commodity webservers, which made it easier for a startup to get somewhere. Remember, even Google was a startup not very long ago.

    Given the powerfulness of the kernel to tackle complicated tasks, but usually is best fitted for single-mission services.


    What do you mean by a "complicated task"? And what do you mean by "single-mission services"?

    Compared with a mature GUI model

    X was released in 1984. Nineteen eighty-fucking-four. If you are less than 25 years old, Linux's GUI system is more mature than you.

    with a tight integration with the kernel

    Why is this a good thing?

    Performance? Depending on the drivers, Linux has frequently beat Windows at raw 3D performance for awhile now.

    Other than that, what is the point? Why would I want all that GUI crap in my kernel? Seems like even Microsoft has started to figure out that this is a Bad Idea, and newer versions of Windows are splitting more and more drivers away from the kernel -- the next version of Windows Server should be able to boot without a GUI.

    a highly sophisticated, and highly extensible threading model

    What does that even mean?

    Linux has threads. Linux also has lightweight fork()s. Linux can spawn new, whole processes faster than Windows or OS X -- or any other OS I know of.

    as well as other modular subsystems

    I'm sorry, "tight integration with the kernel" is the opposite of modular. Tight integration is the opposite of modularity, full stop.

    I wouldn't even dare hosting a critical web service on Windows, regardless of version.

    Many people do, now. Windows is now a viable server platform. There are still many good reasons for preferring Linux, or any Unix, but to say you wouldn't "dare" suggests that you see some security risk that just isn't relevant anymore -- Windows can be locked down as tightly as any Linux, and the more dangerous vulnerabilities are usually in the application, now.

    Let me ask you this: When was the last time was 0wned?

  • by ThePhilips ( 752041 ) on Monday April 14, 2008 @05:34PM (#23069902) Homepage Journal

    Anybody surprised?

    Did anybody actually tried to sell a new desktop system? Does anybody even make money on desktop software??

    Servers. Big iron.

    Because that's where you can sell pure technology. That's where most people are engineers - the people who are not biased by subjective perception: they buy what does work best for them.

    That doesn't work for desktop software. Take a look at top two desktop OSs - Windows and MacOS - and try to recall how long it took for them to be where they are now. Inertness of desktop market is ridiculous: some people are still dreaming of Amiga OS...

  • Re:Uh Oh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by barius ( 1224526 ) on Monday April 14, 2008 @06:19PM (#23070564)

    Vista is eating XP share, but it is not *growing* the Windows market. The desktop market as a whole has been growing at something like 8% per year since 2005. So, at best the Windows brand as a whole can only grow about 8%/yr. However, the growth of OSX is almost entirely at the expense of Windows (and, interestingly greatest in the laptop segment). The result is that Windows isn't really growing at all, it's practically stagnant.

    The growth of Linux on the desktop is somewhat at the expense of Windows, but not so much as Apple. Most Linux converts are tech-savvy or early-adopter types that don't really figure into MS's bottom line. Most Linux adopters will likely have a copy Windows around 'just in case', so their impact on the market is practically nil. Where we might start to see Linux eat into MS share is on the entry-level products like the gPC and the EeePC. However, it is still too early to tell if these 'almost-appliance' products will have sustained demand in the market.

  • Re:Uh Oh (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 14, 2008 @06:43PM (#23070858)
    0.43% to 0.61% in less than a year is quite a good growth rate. The fact that it's not visible when you calibrate the graph to the 9x% of Windows is unsurprising.
  • Re:Uh Oh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gmack ( 197796 ) <> on Monday April 14, 2008 @06:47PM (#23070906) Homepage Journal

    Bullshit... I've been trying to straighten out a library/dependency versioning problem in CentOS for a week caused by a package updater.

    He said apt-get and that's not normally used on CentOS. RPM is it's own special form of evil.

    I've used RHEL, CentOS, Debian and Ubuntu depending on my clients demands and I can tell you I would never willingly use and RPM based distro.

  • Re:no surprise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <> on Monday April 14, 2008 @10:08PM (#23072644) Journal

    not really a standard for GUI

    Which is where X comes in.

    Who wants to use a shell when using a desktop?

    I fully admit to being in the minority who enjoys it. But I do think it's useful to know, because then you get to do shell scripts. GUIs are not really scriptable.

    You think the internet boom would of been such a big pop if people weren't so backed by cheap hosting provided by Linux-power?

    There are many things that contributed to the Internet being a big deal. Linux is only part of it. (And if it wasn't Linux, it would have been BSD...)

    But I would say that it would have been about as big, anyway. There was an insane amount of money coming from venture cap firms, etc -- everyone had a dotcom, and they all had Underpants Gnomes business models. Cheap Linux may have accelerated it, but requiring expensive Windows (or Solaris) really just means more money.

    But that's what these are, single-mission set-ups! There's a service to be provided, a task to be performed, and it can do this great.

    Yes. So can most OSes now -- we're past the memory leak, bluescreen every five hours BS.

    Not general purpose, do everything, run a bunch of crap that this guy who knows nothing about what a command prompt is...

    Which has nothing to do with running more than one task, and doing it well. I think you've got multitasking and user-friendliness confused, and I have no idea how you got them confused.

    Trivial example: Xen virtualization. Amazon EC2 does this now, as does Slicehost. It means that a single physical Linux machine may be running some 30 virtual machines, each of which, if its admin is particularly unimaginative, is only doing one thing.

    And for that matter, Amazon EC2 is establishing itself as a general-purpose, do-anything, CPU-on-demand solution.

    and barely feels confident about clicking all those 'Next' buttons when installing an app.

    That should be a point for Linux, not against it. True, some apps are going to require manual installs that are far worse than anything Windows has...

    And others are going to be packages, which can be installed in a few clicks from the package manager, or a very simple command on the command-line. No "next" buttons in sight. It may be more complex, the first time -- but so was a next-next-next wizard, until users figured out they could ignore everything and just keep hitting next until it was done. And once the user knows it, they can confidently install or uninstall anything in the repository.

    Most end-users do not have a single mission or purpose.

    Again: Neither do all Linux servers.

    Windows was coded from the ground-up for multitasking business work...

    Windows wasn't even coded from the ground up; large chunks of it were stolen from Apple, originally.

    And it's also not entirely accurate -- it took long enough for businesspeople to quite grasp the concept of multitasking on Windows.

    I didn't mean to convey GUI-code is inside the Windows kernel (I don't know). Simply that Windows integrates the modular NT structure very seamlessly, resulting in the product called Windows.

    Funny you should say that. I find that Kubuntu/KDE integrates a ton of projects, made by completely different people, fairly seamlessly, into one product.

    It's also not why people use Windows. Ironically, desktop users continue to use Windows largely because of third-party software, which is not necessarily integrated very well. Linux may not be as "tightly integrated", whatever the hell that means (I think you mean consistent, navigateable GUIs), but the things it does integrate, it integrates pretty much as if they were third-parties.

    Trivial example: Anyone can create a Debian

VMS must die!