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Open Source Operating Systems Windows Linux

Desktop Linux Is Dead 1348

digitaldc writes with this quote from PCWorld: "It kills me to say this: The dream of Linux as a major desktop OS is now pretty much dead. Despite phenomenal security and stability — and amazing strides in usability, performance, and compatibility — Linux simply isn't catching on with desktop users. And if there ever was a chance for desktop Linux to succeed, that ship has long since sunk. ... Ultimately, Linux is doomed on the desktop because of a critical lack of content. And that lack of content owes its existence to two key factors: the fragmentation of the Linux platform, and the fierce ideology of the open-source community at large."
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Desktop Linux Is Dead

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  • three million (Score:5, Informative)

    by xzvf ( 924443 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:34AM (#33931708)
    A 1-2% usage rate equals ~three million desktop users in the United States.
  • Huh? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:40AM (#33931828)

    Who the fuck writes this garbage, and even better, why the fuck is it showing up on slashdot?

    Repeat after me: Linux exists BECAUSE of the fierce ideology of the FREE SOFTWARE COMMUNITY. Open source has no ideology, fierce or otherwise.

    Taco, you should know better.

  • So.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by ctrl-alt-canc ( 977108 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:43AM (#33931874)
    Linux is dead
    Microsoft is seriously ill []
    But Linux is going to succeed, at least in the enterprise battlefield []
    Time to stop reading Slashdot, and moving to do something better.
  • Re:wrong OS? (Score:5, Informative)

    by skids ( 119237 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:59AM (#33932130) Homepage

    In the trollish counting system, there are only three numbers.

    Troll means "one." Trolltroll means "two." Trolltrolltroll means "definitely two."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 18, 2010 @10:11AM (#33932320)

    There aren't any business databases available for either OS.

    There's nothing wrong with PostgreSQL, and even then: Oracle, Sybase, DB2 & Informix run fine on Linux.

  • Re:Fuck (Score:2, Informative)

    by xtracto ( 837672 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @10:14AM (#33932378) Journal

    It was Dead on Arrival...

    Really, each Ubuntu upgrade is shittier than the previous one.

    They should extend their "beta" period in 2 months (or call it "gamma" period) so that they have the chance to fix all the bugs they supply in the release CD.

    Seriously, for each new upgrade I have to download like 300MB of patches just a month after it is released. WTF

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 18, 2010 @10:31AM (#33932662)

    Disclaimer: I'm not replying as a zealot or anything, but many of your points are contrived.

    Confusing distros. Just thinking about all the different distros and configurations still gives me a headache.

    Then just pick one. Go with the masses and pick Ubuntu. Go for the support route and pick Red Hat or SuSE. It doesn't matter, and for "the average person" (which is really your argument) they've probably only heard of one or two anyway, and it's probably not an obscure distro to begin with.

    Heck, I've had people get confused trying to decide between WIndows XP, Windows 7 32-bit, and Windows 7 64-bit. Same issue.

    Ubuntu has blunted this somewhat, but even with that you have to get into the Gnome vs. KDE thing, which is damned confusing to a layperson.

    Why do you have to get into Gnome vs. KDE at all? Ubuntu comes with Gnome by default. Stick with the defaults. That's what the layperson would do.

    The worst part of this is trying to download software for Linux off of some website and running into multiple versions with odd notations regarding different distros.

    If you use some form of repository, that's not an issue. And I still see planty of Windows applications that have separate versions for 32-bit, 64-bit, Win9x, etc.

    Poor documentation. Again, Ubuntu helps. But even that is spotty compared to Windows. And the "documentation" website of many distros (and Linux software apps) is little more than a bugfix list.

    Fairly accurate. But a good number of Windows applications are commercial software, so you're paying for the documentation with the purchase. Also, much FOSS is available for both Windows and Linux (e.g. OpenOffice, Firefox). The same documentation applies to these products, rendering the whole Windows-vs.-Linux documentation point moot in these cases.

    Software, Software, Software. This is the biggest problem, and not so easily dismissed as some fans would pretend. My mom, for example, uses special software to interface with her high-end sewing machine. Is it available for Linux? Probably not. Can I just direct her to a clone of equal quality? Probably not.

    Indeed, some instances require Windows. Linux is not for 100% of the population, just as Windows is also not for 100% of the population. Nobody is suggesting there has to be one OS to rule them all. Clearly your mom needs Windows. Does that mean my mother needs Windows? Absolutely not.

    Little support (if not openly hostile) There aren't a lot of places to call for Linux support. And a lot of the places you can go for support on the net are filled with Linuix fanatics who are openly hostile to Windows switchers and newbies. The level of "you don't belong here" attitude towards newbies in Linux circles makes Apple fans look civil.

    If you want support, there are numerous popular distros (Red Hat, SuSE) that provide paid support, just as Microsoft does. If you're looking for free support, then yes you need to weed through the trolls and gurus alike. But try taking a closer look at many of the Windows-support forums out there -- many of them are filled with clueless people and hostile "my way or the highway" types as well. They many not be Theo de Raadt, but they can deal out their share of verbal assault.

    Ways of doing things that are confusing to a Windows user. With windows, I can go to a website, download an installer and install my software. with Linux I can install it via the built-in installer. but that only works if said software is in the repository.

    I take it you've never had a "can't find SOMETHING.DLL" error before? Try explaining that to a Windows user.

    Also, there are numerous pieces of software that run with their own installer, and have no reliance on a repository. The other day, I installed some software t

  • by Pinball Wizard ( 161942 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @10:39AM (#33932784) Homepage Journal

    Open Office Base does have a form builder. It's not as slick as MS Access, but it does work. The main issue I had with Base the last time I used it was that the query designer only supported select queries - no inserts, updates, or deletes. So you could use the form builder, but you'd still have to hand code the SQL for most of the work you'd be using forms for. Not particularly a big deal to me, but if you're used to the Microsoft drag and drop sort of programming, I guess it could be an issue.

  • by yyxx ( 1812612 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @10:45AM (#33932880)

    On an Ubuntu 10.4 system, I plug in my iPod Touch and it just shows up in Rhythmbox, allowing music to be transferred both ways. It works both on my laptop and my desktop; I didn't do anything special.

    Have you tried starting up Rhythmbox?

  • Re:wrong OS? (Score:3, Informative)

    by DJRumpy ( 1345787 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:14AM (#33933302)

    Stray from the party line? In what way? An OS does what it does. The fact that you can add 3rd party addons to expand or tweak it goes counter to your first statement. I equate the OS X GUI to Gnome. Minimal configuration for less hastle. Are you going to imply that you can't tweak Gnome because it's not very configurable out of the box?

    MacOS is only easy to use if you don't stray from the party line. Otherwise it can quickly become more difficult to deal with than either Windows or Linux.

    I support multiple households across 3 families with various flavors of Ubuntu, Windows, and OS X. OS X by far takes literally zero support hours. Linux takes second, and Windows is a weekly call from someone. For the average user, the GUI is perfect for 'the party line' because that's where the mainstream uses it.

  • Re:wrong OS? (Score:3, Informative)

    by rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:44AM (#33933724)

    funny slashdotters always talk about gaming when complaining about desktop Linux. most people I know don't even use their PC for games, they have dedicated game appliances. Some of the most popular game appliances in the world don't even run windows, imagine that. A WII, for example, uses customized Linux kernel....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 18, 2010 @12:27PM (#33934352)

    But Linux has its problems. But it is like that cute redhead girl who loves you so much. Sure, she has a temper and her hair springs every which way when it is wet and she freckles like mad at even a hint of sunshine and... but you will NEVER ever replace her for the blond bimbo that everyone else has had because despite all her quirks, deep down she is right for you.

    Not to mention, the sex is fucking amazing!

    Posted by the happy (and tired) husband of a redhead.

  • by Vancorps ( 746090 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @12:53PM (#33934666)

    As someone that is current in the process of deploying virtual desktops I beg to differ.

    Client terminals had to become powerful enough to connect modern peripherals and device pass-through means that a virtual desktop has no need to compromise. I can plugin my USB camera to my thin client and it'll appear in the VM. I can watch full-screen flash inside the VM on the thin-client with no jittering playback. Hell, even Autocad and Photoshop work marvelously especially through desktop streaming. With remote desktop applications you're usually limited by the precision of your mouse, compression makes detailed work almost impossible, a virtual desktop does not have these limitations.

    I don't think workstations are going anywhere anytime soon though. I do however think that Apple is screwing themselves royally by not allowing OS X to be in a virtual environment as many of my Mac users are getting sick of hardware failures leading to their downtime when their Windows and Linux coworkers can just swap machines and reconnect to their VM and be up and running in as long as it takes to plugin the new hardware. Apple has always been weak in the enterprise market. I'm finally seeing pushback much to my delight as a few of my Photoshop jockies are switching to Windows so they can enjoy all the benefits including SSL VPN driven access from offsite without compromising performance.

    In short, latency is no longer a problem for 99% of cases. Server virtualization isn't so cut and dry, but desktop virtualization is definitely going to take over as it solves many common corporate problems such as data leaving the building, ensuring regular backups, maintaining a consistent work environment, storage consolidation, and many other problems are non-issues with a virtual desktop. If a particular user needs more disk space I don't need to replace a hard drive, I just allocate more storage to them. With thin-provisioning I don't even have to care if they're using it provided I don't overprovision and run out of disk space but adding another shelf to my tier 1 NetApp storage is easy and takes all of ten minutes to do.

  • Re:three million (Score:2, Informative)

    by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @02:26PM (#33935938)

    The poster went for a 2500 dollar PC, so I found a 2500 Mac.

    You could do a Nehalem for $800 total? The CPU is $1300 for a retail box CPU []
    Intel Xeon X5560 Nehalem 2.8GHz LGA 1366 95W Quad-Core Server Processor - $1372

  • by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Monday October 18, 2010 @02:48PM (#33936266)

    2.9GB of patches and 6 reboots on a brand new machine from Apple? Bullshit.

    I'll take a single, or perhaps two reboots if there has been a firmware update for the machine in question (some of the firmware updates for the iMac require two reboots) but normal software updates really don't require 6 reboots. If you get way behind on updates, the software updater goes for the combo pack, which rolls them together precisely so you don't have to reboot multiple times. The updater also doesn't "surprise" you by hiding updates that have dependencies on ones you have installed previously - it puts them alongside those updates (and will grey them out if you deselect a dependency) and installs them all at the same time (if you choose) when you click "install".

    Six reboots? PEBKAC error I think.

    Or hyperbole.

    The only thing not "fully configured" about OS X on a new box is your name, address and username. Do you expect that all to be set up for you by Apple before the machine ships? The only thing you need to do is tell it who you are (optional) set up an admin account (mandatory) and click "ok" (and just tell them you're *sure* you don;t want to try Mobile.Me for free, since it asks you again if you skip over it). That is the sum total of the setup required. Perhaps you're talking about pairing the BT keyboard and mouse if you have them. It prompts you as soon as it boots for the first time if it doesn't detect a USB kb and/or mouse.

    I have set up more than enough Macs in my time, since the dawn of 10.0 beta (and before) to know that setting them up for people is a question of asking "what username and password do you want, and what is the password for your wireless network (again, Apple does not know this information in advance - you do have to provide it yourself, so I guess more evidence of 'not configured').

  • by oakbox ( 414095 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @03:04PM (#33936586) Homepage

    I prefer Linux to Windows and OS X. Everything I plug into my computer just works or the software to make it work is just a few clicks away. The interface is pretty and both my new laptop and older desktop are still snappy and reactive after years of service (Windows just tends to get slower and slower, even with a reinstall). The whole mac needs to be replaced seemingly every 6 months because Apple came out with a new whiz-bang piece of hardeware. I need to reboot the windows computers in my office often because they are constantly losing the thread and locking up or forgetting where the USB mouse is or flipping the keyboard layout setting to 'UK' for no apparent reason whenever a user's back is turned. The Macs do strange and mysterious things with files and are (I'll say it out loud) NOT intuitive at all.
    In the last month in a relatively hertergenous environment, I have spent roughly 95% of my user support time on windows and mac issues. It's not because my users don't know what they are doing, it's just that the os they are using is failing them.
    Even esoteric and weird things I plug into my laptop are recognized by Ubuntu. This isn't 'It just works'. This is 'It works really well and intuitively'.
    The prospect of programming on an Ipad is laughable and while toting a netbook to a user convention is more reasonable that lugging around a laptop, I would go blind in a week and develop severe spinal injuries if I was forced to do actual work on one of them.
    Laptops and desktops will go away when computers can read our minds. Until that happens, I will keep using and recommending Ubuntu, because it works really well and intuitively.

    - oakbox

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 18, 2010 @03:59PM (#33937574)

    What bizarro world of DSLRs are you looking at? All of the major systems (Canon, Nikon, Sony, and if you're looking at high-quality DSLRs you should be looking at those) use lenses with a manual focus switch and manual focus rings. It's not surprising you can't find manual focus specs listed for camera bodies tho - that's a feature of the lens not the body. And I've never heard of a first-party lens that had a 'dummy' focus ring; in fact, I can't think of one lens that *doesn't* have a focus ring. Really, this is on the level of not finding specs about the presence order of the pedals on cars - they don't mention them because every car has pedals, and in the same order.

Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.