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Ulteo Shows Linux-Windows Crossover Potential

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the these-handcuffs-are-delicious dept.

Operating Systems 70

An anonymous reader writes "With Wubi and now the Ulteo Virtual Desktop, we're starting to see examples of the potential 'cross-over' appeal of Linux to Windows users. Ulteo gets a nice look from Channelweb, which writes, 'Considering that this is not even a version 1 beta, we have high hopes for Ulteo Virtual Desktop. It allows Linux novices to dip their toes into the water without any fear, and lets Linux pros use their favorite applications when they are forced to be in a Windows environment.' This also seems to play into comments by Mark Shuttleworth, who has said the Ubuntu community may want to think about how it can start appealing to Windows users."

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Ob (1)

Helen Keller (842669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587211)

Gnnnmeh!

There are better ways (4, Insightful)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587347)

If you put a stable platform on an unstable one, people who are unfamiliar will not realize that the new one is not the problem.

If you put a secure platform on one that is generally more insecure, people will still think it may have gotten a virus through it because they don't understand.

The only thing you are doing is getting people introduced to common applications like Open Office, Firefox and other more commonly used OO applications and there are far better ways to do this than with something that a common consumer will probably never use; if you want them to start using Open Office and Firefox, burn a bunch of Disks and nice labels and start a campaign on 'back to school' periods when everyone is shopping for their kids and college students and stand outside that Mac Store or the BestBuy handing out OpenOffice and Firefox CD's.

Re:There are better ways (4, Insightful)

hansraj (458504) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587399)

While I agree with your comments that this is far from the ideal way of using linux, I disagree with your assessment that it serves little to no purpose. Once a windows user gets used to the KDE task bar, and then eventually with the whole lot of programs that come with it, it would be easier for them to totally abandon Windows. Of course not everyone will switch boats but a good enough chunk should :)

World domination, naturally, is the next step.

Re:There are better ways (1)

aXi (6533) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587435)

there allready is a clone for kde for windows, and it runs native on windows.. so it is bug for bug compatible, while the linux environment being more stable will only seem to amplify the windows bugs... Because of the lack of bug for bug compatibility.

Re:There are better ways (1)

hansraj (458504) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587531)

There is a KDE clone for Windows already? Can you post a link? I tried googling with "kde clone for windows" but did not get much, and I am not aware of such a project. I thought one of the great things about the new QT library was that it made it possible for someone to run it on windows. I might be confused as you are talking about a clone and not running KDE directly. In any case, I would appreciate a link.

Re:There are better ways (3, Informative)

MachoBidniz (1297761) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587831)

There is a KDE clone for Windows already? Can you post a link? .... In any case, I would appreciate a link.
http://windows.kde.org/ [kde.org]

Re:There are better ways (3, Interesting)

hansraj (458504) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587927)

From the linked page:

KDE on Windows is mostly in an alpha state, so not suitable for day to day use yet.
The parent poster made it sound as if it was ready to use. Anyway, thanks for the link. I wasn't aware of it.

Re:There are better ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23595217)

It's waaay "more ready" than Ulteo Virtual Desktop nonetheless...

Re:There are better ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23588029)

How DARE you try to say this isn't an ideal way of using Linux. Linux is FREE AND OPEN SOURCE! I am allowed to use it however I want. I don't like stupid fascists like yourself trying to tell me how I can fun my life. You're probably a stupid American who voted for George (MURDERER) BUSH!

Re:There are better ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23594325)

+1 Funny?

Re:There are better ways (1)

Demolitions (1267514) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596969)

Nobody told you not to do it, he just said "that's isn't the IDEAL way of running Linux". If you want to run it this way, do it, who cares? The fact is that you are running a stable platform on an unstable one, if you are not concerned about this issue, you can use it as long as you want, but it surely is not the ideal way of using Linux, you just miss a huge chunk of its features, however, no one told you not to do so. BTW, you're not very much expressing the spirit of Free and Open Source in your comment...

Re:There are better ways (-1, Troll)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23590455)

Except KDE sucks and GNOME is better-- hence Ubuntu's official endorsement. "KUbuntu" and "XUbuntu" are things a lay person doesn't find, they heard "Ubuntu" is the "best of this linux thing..."

Re:There are better ways (1)

Demolitions (1267514) | more than 6 years ago | (#23597001)

I think you missed the point, just because Ubuntu chose GNOME as its default DE, it does not mean that it is "better", if we want to, i'd like to read YOUR definition of "better", i tried a lot of DEs for linux, and really can't decide which one is better than the other, there are too much differences between them that a comparation is useless and meaningless, just use which one you prefer, and don't go around slapping "GNOME is better" comments.

Re:There are better ways (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23603125)

A while back KDE had 65% and GNOME had about 35% market share (some 1-2% discrepancy with other WMs) based on some polls on the Internet. Then it was KDE 55% GNOME 45%. then GNOME 55% KDE 45%. Now GNOME has a much wider installation base than before thanks to Ubuntu's sudden popularity a few years ago, along with Gentoo's massive user base just before that (KDE takes too long to build, there was a large favor to GNOME in 17 hours vs KDE in 5 days).

KDE loses market dominance. I would call that "GNOME is better."

If you REALLY want to help (2, Informative)

russlar (1122455) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587653)

if you want them to start using Open Office and Firefox, burn a bunch of Disks and nice labels and start a campaign on 'back to school' periods when everyone is shopping for their kids and college students and stand outside that Mac Store or the BestBuy handing out OpenOffice and Firefox CD's.
Outstanding idea!

But if you really want to help open-source projects, do this with CD's purchased from Mozilla and OpenOffice.org. That way, the products get the public awareness, and the developers of the products get the funding they need to continue developing them.

Re:If you REALLY want to help (1)

Krigl (1025293) | more than 6 years ago | (#23589493)

"Hello, may I interest you in the gospel and source code of our Lord, the Penguin Almighty and Linus Torvalds his only son?"

Linking Linux with Jehova's Witnesses in the minds of non-geek crowd doesn't seem as a way to go. After all, this has been already tested on the geek crowd.
Also this has been here before, the guy called it Linux social experiment (I'd link his article but the domain has expired, so here's [uloz.to] a "mirror"), read it, it's really enlightening.
If you want to get all "must get Linux to the masses", try maybe along these lines [anamazingmind.com] , even if you don't like it. I know, I know, you'll probably scream and cry that your little world won't...no wait, that's different delusion, this is about "Linux is great and able to win by it's own virtues". I'm not denying it but that works for serious gentlemen in suits who count TCO and pragmatically decide to use Linux or something else but if you're swinging banana for Bloody Fuckin' User, you'll need different approach. Maybe it's not this but it surely ain't standing in front of subway with Watchpenguin. Any small retailer, offering polished preinstalled Linux desktop significantly cheaper than Windows, without making it big thing, just "yeah, 'tis cheaper, sure there's manual inside, for $$$ you can have our tech set up network for you but it's quite automatic, yeah, support's free first month", makes more evangelical work than hundred annoying people in the streets.

Bottom line: Wanna really spread free soft, open source, open formats, whatever? Whenever you buy CD or DVD, or dump TV stream, encode it to .ogg, .mkv, .flac and share it on the net/upload to RapidShare, download some user friendly Linux distros and seed them on torrents under names ending with Enterprise, commercial or some price tag ($300 and more, after all, you do value Linux more than Vista, don't you?). And when you find someone selling preinstalled Linux, buy it, or divert someone that direction.

Re:If you REALLY want to help (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23590491)

TheOpenCD ?

Re:There are better ways (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587657)

I know it isn't the norm to compliment Windows, but Windows has been solid since 2k (minus Vista). And by solid, the only blue screen I've seen is a driver behaving badly. The only lockups I've seen is almost always trying to read an unreadable disk (hard drive bad sector, huge scratch in a DVD). It isn't the 90's anymore. Windows is no longer synonymous with the 9x line. The digs and pokes at it crashing and locking up just don't stick anymore.

Re:There are better ways (3, Insightful)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587953)

I use Windows too and agree it has been MORE solid but I also use Mac and Debian Linux as well and in comparison, side-by-side... it's buggy, unstable, virus ridden and hackable. Sure props are due in them coming a long way in improving but they have a fundamentally flawed underlying design and need to fix that, the file system and several other core problems before they can stabilize the entire system.

Speaking as someone who uses all three platforms, there's a reason why Mac and Linux people make these complaints when talking about Windows. It's because it's fairly true.

Re:There are better ways (4, Informative)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588021)

I know it isn't the norm to compliment Windows, but Windows has been solid since 2k (minus Vista).

Well, I spent 20 years as a network administrator, and while the NT-derived Windows has been pretty solid, it's never reached the point where I can say the only time I've had to reboot is to upgrade software, nor have I been able to treat the Windows desktops I've supported as cavalierly as UNIX. And, too, the deep security issues in Win32 haven't been seriously addressed yet.

In my new job attempting to remove Outlook and downgrade it to something that wasn't infested with the Vista cult broke my computer so badly I had to get it reimaged. Not only shouldn't this be rocket science, but I'm metaphorically a rocket scientist and it's still too hard.

I've seen this at home, too: my daughter's Windows 2000 desktop had to be reinstalled every six months because she broke something. She's gone about 3 years on her Mac mini without incident.

Re:There are better ways (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#23590727)

Either you've been unlucky, or I've been exceptionally lucky, because I can honestly say the only time I reboot my (Windows) machine is for a) Windows updates, b) driver installs, or c) software installation/uninstallation (occasionally). This has been true for years, in my personal use... across two different machines with three different hardware loadouts.

Re:There are better ways (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23591517)

I've been the network admin for 150-400 software developers, 10-20 secretaries, and a couple of dozne each sales, marketing, executive, and general administrative bods, and maybe a couple hundred consultants, contractors, and customers. Oh, and a teenaged girl.

Bigger sample size, perhaps?

The biggest problems aren't the software developers, by the way, they're the secretaries and other non-technical types, followed by the consultants and contractors. The former are great at doing things that nobody would imagine you might do, like removing folders from C:\Program Files because they never use anything in there. I discovered that part of my daughter's problems had been something similar when I logged in to her Mac one day and found /Applications decimated, and when I asked her she explained that she never used /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app... and on further questioning she had been doing the same thing on Windows.

Re:There are better ways (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#23591875)

And I've done desktop support for 200ish clueless university faculty for about 3-4 years, and for 600 equally clueless call center employees for the past couple of years. My sample size is limited to myself, because I know that I can be counted on not to do stupid things. As you correctly recognize, clueless users will wreck anything you let them touch. I've seen clueless faculty wreck OS X just as badly as they've wrecked Windows. The mark of a good/bad OS is how it performs when someone knowledgeable is using it, not a layman.

Re:There are better ways (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23592313)

As you correctly recognize, clueless users will wreck anything you let them touch.

I have yet to have a clueless user wreck a Mac (and, yes, I've done Mac support) or a UNIX box (Xenix 286, System V, SunOS 4, Solaris, Tru64, etc) just messing around as a normal user (even on OS 9, and that doesn't HAVE abnormal users). I've cleaned up some really amazing messes caused by someone who's stepped over the line into root-land.

The easiest way to put a Windows box into a state where it's an inch from blowing its foot off, by the way, is to install security software.

Re:There are better ways (1)

bishiraver (707931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588033)

Why should a huge scratch in a DVD cause your entire system to lock up?

Why should a bad sector cause your entire system to lock up?

I could see giving you a, "Bad disk error. Abort, Retry, Fail?" type message. But locking up the entire system is something that should not happen in a properly modularized operating system. There's such a thing as try {} catch() {} after all.

Re:There are better ways (2, Informative)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588175)

It shouldn't. I agree. But I couldn't say Windows never locked up... I listed the only things that I knew to do so.

Prioritizing IO context is pretty tricky stuff. Even linux has recently had drama with the scheduler being replaced and augmented to no end.

Also, try/catch is to catch something that is throw()'n. A hardware exception requires SEH, which is expensive.

Re:There are better ways (1)

bishiraver (707931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23590117)

Thanks for enlightening; I'm a business software developer and not an OS developer. Sometime I need to go back and get my full degree...

Re:There are better ways (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588351)

Why should a huge scratch in a DVD cause your entire system to lock up?

Why should a bad sector cause your entire system to lock up?


I don't know, but this problem appeared for me on Linux as well. Not as much, but that's because most of the discs giving me issues were games that wouldn't run under Linux anyway.

Re:There are better ways (1)

bishiraver (707931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23590151)

Wasn't saying Linux was any better at it :)

You'd think hardware designers would build some sort of fault tolerance into the firmware (I'm sure they do already, but it still obviously breaks from time to time. And I don't even want to think about how difficult it is to build firmware..)

A bad sector in your swap file (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23591315)

Why should a bad sector cause your entire system to lock up? [...] There's such a thing as try {} catch() {} after all.
What should go in the catch(IOException e) block of your kernel's page file code?

Re:There are better ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23591971)

Why should a bad sector cause your entire system to lock up?

If the registry is located on that sector, your fucked. I've see it happen twice now with some bad WD drives. Unless the kernel is located on the bad sector, Linux throws and error and keeps on going.

Enjoy,

Re:There are better ways (2, Interesting)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588531)

Windows is no longer synonymous with the 9x line. The digs and pokes at it crashing and locking up just don't stick anymore.


O Rly? Last week I finally got my best friend switched over from XP to xubuntu. What made her switch after 11+ years of using Windows? Stability issues. XP was acting up for her on a semi-daily basis -- blue screens, freezes, crashes. She believes MS has "downgraded" XP via updates on purpose because they want to force Vista down everyone's throats, and I'm sure she's right. Until last month, she was perfectly happy with XP, and was not at all anti-MS. I don't know if you've simply been lucky or if you're astroturfing, but I can assure you if your experience was the norm then the memes would reflect that, rather than the polar opposite of that. :)

Re:There are better ways (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 6 years ago | (#23590075)

You are wrong. It appears most slashdotters have a rabid and unreasoning hatred of all things Microsoft. MS could replace the NT kernel with Linux or BSD and the same people here would still complain that it was unstable.

Re:There are better ways (2, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#23590179)

You are wrong. It appears most slashdotters have a rabid and unreasoning hatred of all things Microsoft.


It is you who is in error. Some may be rabid, but "unreasoning"? We got no end of reasons. Functionality/lack thereof, economics, politics...

Ever heard the expresson "where there is smoke there is fire"?

Re:There are better ways (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#23590783)

No, you're just exceptionally unlucky (or rather, your friend is). Windows XP is almost rock-solid (from a stability standpoint)... this has been the general consensus for years.

Also, the other poster had every right to call you rabid and unreasoning, considering you said:

She believes MS has "downgraded" XP via updates on purpose because they want to force Vista down everyone's throats, and I'm sure she's right.
There is no evidence whatsoever of this, other than paranoia and MS-hate. Furthermore, even if they WERE trying to do that, they're doing a piss-poor job, because as far as I'm aware, the vast majority of XP machines are working just fine.

Re:There are better ways (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#23591417)

Windows XP is almost rock-solid (from a stability standpoint)... this has been the general consensus for years.


Erm, hardly. I have plenty of experience with XP, Linux, BSD, and OS X. The general consensus among geeks is that XP is a turd compared to the others. Furthermore, this is not at all a new thing. But I suppose those who've only ever used Windows wouldn't really know better. All they really know is that XP beats 98.

Also, the other poster had every right to call you rabid and unreasoning


Sorry, you lose. I said what my friend told me, and I said I thought she was probably right. Since when is it "rabid" or "unreasoning" to expect MS to use evil means to push their products? It's SOP for them, has been from the very beginning. That is why MS has a monopoly. It certainly isn't due to the merits of Windows.

Re:There are better ways (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#23591801)

Sorry, you lose. I said what my friend told me, and I said I thought she was probably right. Since when is it "rabid" or "unreasoning" to expect MS to use evil means to push their products? It's SOP for them, has been from the very beginning. That is why MS has a monopoly. It certainly isn't due to the merits of Windows.
Making such a judgement with no evidence to support it (and no, past behavior is NOT evidence) is quite unreasonable.

Re:There are better ways (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#23591983)

Making such a judgement


"Judgement"? I merely expressed my opinion.

past behavior is NOT evidence


Yes, it is. At least it is among thinking people. And just recently MS was exposed for tampering with the ISO and they are still in violation of multiple anti-trust laws in Europe as well as the US. Whole books could be written about the criminal behavior of MS. But I guess by your reasoning it would be okay if your daughter started dating a convicted rapist, because you don't believe that past behavior is an indicator of present/future behavior.

Well, you are entitled to your belief system, no matter how irrational...

Re:There are better ways (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#23593845)

An indicator an entirely different thing. An indicator is not evidence. If I said, "I'm suspicious that this guy might rape my daughter", that's one thing. If I flat-out state, as a fact, "This guy is raping my daughter", that's not allowed unless I have actual evidence to back it up.

You're missing a key distinction here.

Re:There are better ways (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#23594531)

That's just weasel speak. But hey it's okay, maybe win7 will finally give you something to crow about. Stranger things have happened.

Re:There are better ways (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#23594723)

No it isn't, it's the exact fucking opposite of weasel speak: using precisely defined terms to ensure clear communication. But hey, it's okay, maybe one day you'll grow beyond setting up strawmen and knocking them down.

Re:There are better ways (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595651)

Contextually challenged, aintcha? :)

Re:There are better ways (1)

cobaltnova (1188515) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588779)

Let me present an anecdote: Installing a sound card driver update from Windows Update has rendered my Windows install unbootable.

If I ever get around to fixing this install, it will only happen through using the installation media. No dropping into a root shell and repairing the file, though I can do this through NTFS-3g. But, to no avail! There is no documentation to begin to explain what might have gone wrong; and worse, no community to support it. Forget even trying to call up the support drones to ask for help, they'll just say to reinstall from the CD.

Windows is not "solid," it's brittle.

Re:There are better ways (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 6 years ago | (#23589473)

You didn't really dispute what I said. Your issue is a driver issue. Maybe a bad driver. Maybe the way that windows update installed it. Either way, you can't blame windows itself for your issue. You can blame the shitty product that updated your Windows install, or you can blame the OEM that wrote the driver.

And to just finish this out, everyone who has replied to my original post, saying I am wrong... they are in the same boat as you... driver issues (or for one guy, bad hardware).

Re:There are better ways (1)

cobaltnova (1188515) | more than 6 years ago | (#23590061)

Although I would tend to judge an OS by its overall experience, I do understand your point that Microsoft's poor support of Windows doesn't make Windows bad. Don't forget that this problem came about from my use of Microsoft tools. It is Microsoft's fault for releasing this buggy driver.

However, my example of bad hardware was just to give an example of how brittle Windows is, and why documentation and community are important. The fact that a driver precipitated a problem is not so big. It is the ensuing catastrophic failure of the OS that so besmirches my view of Windows.

Re:There are better ways (1)

Demolitions (1267514) | more than 6 years ago | (#23597185)

The bad thing isn't about Windows itself, it's just about its USERS, i'm a Linux addict since 17 years ago, and continued using windows beside, what i have experienced is that while i formatted and reinstalled linux whenever i wanted to try a new distribution, i had to format and reinstall windows once a month, sometimes twice, because of the garbage it creates during its day use, but it seldom crashes, it is almost as stable as linux, if i manage to do a fresh install once a month. Windows is bad only because it is so easy to use that you don't require even to know how to type on the keyboard... Windows creates users, Windows users "just click", because it's easy and it does not do anything bad to them, and you software developer receive millions of spam messages, complaints from your customers because IE caches pages that don't exist anymore, because the last update of the .NET framework had broken something in the backward compatibility and your program does not work anymore. Windows does not require from its users to actually know how to USE a computer, why should you want them to actually know what's good and what's not?

Re:There are better ways (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 6 years ago | (#23590091)

You must have gone through extraordinary measures to disable both of Windows' recovery mechanisms. Seems silly to complain in that case.

Re:There are better ways (1)

cobaltnova (1188515) | more than 6 years ago | (#23593219)

So, your post prompted me to try a little harder. I actually can boot up through "Last known-good configuration" so it's not nearly as dire as I had suggested. But, the system is in an inconsistent state (is the new driver installed? it mustn't, since the computer starts; but, it doesn't appear in Windows Update anymore). On the other hand, I guess I should be happy not to have the option to shoot myself in the foot again.

Anyway, that's good enough for me, since I just wanted the volume to be unmarked as "dirty" so it's stops showing up every time I boot. The whole ordeal is still hardly "stable."

Re:There are better ways (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#23590645)

No, Vista is solid too. It's far better than anyone gives it credit for, really. And I say this from first-hand experience.

Re:There are better ways (1)

PuckSR (1073464) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587793)

Are you insane?
You have the free time to stand outside of a store and handout CDs?
Hey, I love linux, firefox, and openoffice...but I also love for people to think that I am sane and rational.

All standing outside a Mac Store or Best Buy will accomplish is to have the police called because some crazy idiot is handing out suspected pornography.

Hey, some people may be dumb enough to click on the attachment in an email from a person that they do not know, but wouldn't it be far stupider to take a burned CD from a complete stranger and put it in your computer?

There are several better ways (2, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 6 years ago | (#23589419)

Yea, I see no good reason for this. It's trying to be Linux, but warns you against installing what you want or need for fear of breaking it and wants you to just use the set of applications that they have picked. Many of them are already available compiled to run directly under Windows, so there's not much point in monkeying around with an extra Linux layer and the restrictions of this "special distro" just to run a preselected set of applications. If there is really a reason to support Xp and (ugh) Vista, then the effort may have been better spent by porting more OS apps to the Windows platform rather than doing this.

If you do want Linux and not apps ported to Windows, and want to run both Linux and Windows at once, far better would be to install the free VMware player and install Debian (or your personal choice of the many Linux religions to pick from) and then you really can install and run whatever Linux apps that you want. And, of course, the choice to run Windows under Linux rather than Linux under windows ramains an option for many, although I doubt it would be acceptable to many of the Gamers out there.

Re:There are better ways (1)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23593093)

if you want them to start using Open Office and Firefox, burn a bunch of Disks and nice labels and start a campaign on 'back to school' periods when everyone is shopping for their kids and college students
As part of my business, we do this at the local college during orientation. Seems popular, but we've run into the problem of figuring out how many people actually use the software, and of course the fact that costs begin to spiral when you start talking about professionally made CDs. Any suggestions would be welcome.

Re:There are better ways (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#23602327)

Work with the Mozilla foundation (for Firefox), Sun (for Open Office) and the actually vendors. Often they will supply CD's if you tell them about the event and your group. Also try to work with a group, announce it on a website, publicize the event so it is well received and publicized so the foundations and organizations realize you are motivated and plan on following through. They are more likely to support you with materials so you don't have to do all the work yourself.

Also, contact local groups via Meetup.com like your PHP, Ruby,JAVA, Perl and Linux groups in the area and see if they want to help out. Make it one big fest outside Bestbuy, Walmart and the Apple store on a saturday.

cygwin (2, Insightful)

aXi (6533) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587361)

running open source apps on windows, just port and compile with cygwin or equivalent. Why all these pseudo solutions exist is a riddle to me.

Re:cygwin (2, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587551)

Because this is a relatively painless way for "mom & pop" to try Linux. There's no way my dad could "just port and compile with cygwin".

Re:cygwin (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587773)

I kinda concur (though it looks like you incurred the wrath of the moderators there).

Linux as an OS is not at all hard to use. Most people who don't figure it out probably aren't doing any better on their current Windows system. The apps are where people run into issues. If someone is already using Firefox on Windows, then that's one less thing to get used to if they "convert". It helps if you can do this a little at a time.

If you'd look at my desktop (a Windows machine) at work I've got it setup with Firefox, Thunderbird, GIMP, MySQL (with HeidiSQL GUI), PostgreSQL (with pgAdmin III GUI), 7-zip, Pan, Songbird, Filezilla, etc. There are a few proprietary apps that we use here that aren't available for Linux that I use too, but for the most part, all of the "everyday use" stuff is open source.

Get people used to using Windows machines like that and it'll be cake moving them over to a Linux machine running the same stuff. No need on wasting time on OS's running on top of each other , which BTW, confuses the living HELL out of your average user. Having recently setup some users with RDP sessions that they could use to work with machines off-site, I can say that the whole concept of them working on different systems but on the same keyboard and display just boggles their poor little minds.

Seconded... (1)

DietPepsiAddict (894710) | more than 6 years ago | (#23604435)

I'm the "Go-To Guy" for computer support as far as friends, family, & some of my coworkers are concerned.
In the last few years, I've convinced many of them to start using Firefox, Thunderbird, OOo, Gimp, and others, instead of their Microsoft counterparts.
In the past few months, I've set up many of them with dual-boot systems so they could give Ubuntu a try.
Putting all their now-familiar-with applications as prominent icons on their desktop, I've had only two complaints in the entire time.
One was "Why don't the [computer companies like Dell & HP] put this on their systems [instead of Windows]?", and "Why didn't you get me to switch sooner?"
If you get them used to using Firefox, Thunderbird, OOo & the rest on Windows, showing them how easy Linux can be is a piece of cake.
My goal is to (hopefully) get ALL of my family, friends, & coworkers using Linux - either full time, or at least as the majority of their computer time, using Windows only when they absolutely MUST do so.
Just what I've managed to do so-far has lessened my support calls down from multiple times a week, to one or two a month, just from the antivirus/scumware issues alone.
=)

Re:cygwin (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588961)

I tried cygwin on my old laptop once. The program was massive. I didn't even have any programs installed on it and it took up at least a gig. My machine only had a 20 gig HD. I ended up removing it because running Linux software on Windows wasn't worth that much space at the time.

Been done (2, Informative)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587981)

It's always handy to have a DSL install on your USB stick. Linux on windows has been done, it's just much more preferable to use wine on linux and never look back.

This will not boost linux kernel adoption (3, Insightful)

Pausanias (681077) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588339)

The linux-on-windows solutions (cygwin was the first, now the more user-friendly ones) present an interesting dilemma. Most windows users I know hate the windows interface. If given an easy way to try gnome/KDE, they may just like it so much that they'd decide to ditch Windows altogether and move all the way to Linux. These installers allow them to reassure themselves that everything they need to do in Windows can be easily done in Linux as well.

However, my feeling is that these people are outnumbered by the people who will not give up Windows. They will not give up Windows because it runs their games, or because it runs their proprietary applications, or simply because complex Microsoft Office files still look wrong in OpenOffice. These people, I think, are in the majority. Even if they like GNOME/KDE, they will still stick with Windows to get the best of both worlds. This is especially true if they can run GNOME/KDE within Windows without rebooting.

That is both good news and bad news. Many free software applications will get a boost out of this, but the Linux kernel unfortunately will not.

Linux to run cross-platform apps? (3, Informative)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588341)

While I think this is sorta cool, I find their choice of applications a little odd. Here's the list from their web page:

  • Firefox (Flash & Java): runs on Windows
  • OpenOffice.org: runs on Windows
  • KPdf: Probably will run on Windows when KDE4 is out?
  • Kopete: Same as above?
  • Skype: Runs on Windows
  • Thunderbird + Enigmail: runs on Windows
  • Gimp and Digikam: Gimp runs on Windows
  • Inkscape: runs on Windows
  • Scribus: runs on Windows


So.. granted, I personally think many of these applications run better and more naturally on Linux, but still it's kind of funny to see this list. (Not sure what will happen with the KDE applications.)

If they wanted to show off Linux applications that don't have Windows ports they might have chosen maybe "KOffice", or "Gnumeric", or "Evolution". I dunno.

Those run on Windows, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23589265)

If they wanted to show off Linux applications that don't have Windows ports they might have chosen maybe "KOffice", or "Gnumeric", or "Evolution". I dunno.

Gnumeric runs fine on Windows. It is MUCH better than Open Office's spreadsheet. Evolution on Windows is HORRIBLE, though. There is an alpha quality version of KOffice for Windows. [kde.org]

Re:Those run on Windows, too (1)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 6 years ago | (#23589605)

Thanks for the KOffice link, I've been looking for something like that. I personally don't like Evolution much anyways. It's actually quite hard to find quality application-level software that runs on Linux but not on Windows, isn't it?

And yet, as someone who's done quite a bit of cross-platform programming, I know that it's still a TOTAL PAIN IN THE ASS to keep in mind all the broken Windows behaviour while programming. Ah, to live in a world where we can depend on POSIX behaviour completely.

FontForge (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23591455)

If they wanted to show off Linux applications that don't have Windows ports they might have chosen maybe "KOffice", or "Gnumeric", or "Evolution". I dunno.
What about FontForge without having to install tens or hundreds of megabytes of Cygwin cruft?

Still needs some work... (1)

nurbles (801091) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588423)

When I first read about Ulteo, I thought it sounded great. And the few "reviews" I could find were all glowing. When I installed on on my XPMCE/SP2 system at home, it did something to my network configuration that made the physical network adapter disappear, so I had no networking what-so-ever in Windows. I cannot comment on Ulteo because it never would start up. Luckily, the uninstall even fixed whatever it had broken, because networking was back as soon as Ulteo was gone.

Personally, I'll be waiting until something much closer to a 1.0 release before recommending this one to any linux neophytes...

Re:Still needs some work... (1)

nickos (91443) | more than 6 years ago | (#23589349)

I had the same networking issue (with andLinux, another coLinux "distro") and am not sure I will be able to fix it given the level of paranoia of my company's IT department.

I wonder if one way of fixing this issue would be to use DirectFB [directfb.org] instead of Xming (an X server)...

Based on colinux, similar to andLinux (4, Informative)

josath (460165) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588819)

I've been using andLinux for a while now, it's great for running linux apps under windows. Essentially it's a patched linux kernel that actually runs at the same time as the windows kernel, with a small manager which gives time to both windows and linux. Since it's not virtualized, performance is great. Display is done by running Xming, a win32 X11 server in rootless mode, which then connects over the virtual network to the linux host.

colinux itself is very user-unfriendly, but andLinux has a nice simple installer and launcher that lets you launch linux apps as if they were native windows ones. It's based off of an Ubuntu distro, so you can use apt-get and run pretty much any linux app. A few things don't work that well such as fast paced games, playing videos with mplayer etc, due to running over X11 over sockets with zero acceleration. But any standard desktop app should work fine.

From their site, Ulteo is also based on colinux, and it appears they go even further than andLinux in making it very userfriendly. But with userfriendlyness often comes with a lack of control, so if you are a linux power-user I'd highly recommend andLinux. It's great to be able to pull up a Konsole instead of having to use the lame windows command prompt (or the sucky cygwin stuff). The only thing that's really missing is being able to launch windows apps from a linux script, but that doesn't come up too often.

Its the YOTLDA... (2, Funny)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23590737)

Year Of The Linux Desktop ... Again!

Ulteo. Spyware. No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23596373)

Ulteo installs spyware (a Firefox toolbar that tracks every page you visit) and changes the Google icon in Firefox search to go to their site.

I probably won't try them again.

Best of both worlds? (1)

dvs01 (1192659) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596621)

I've actually been hoping things like this come along for quite some time. For me, it all started with Samba, Synergy, VNC, NX, Cygwin and Wine. Some Thinstall was thrown in for application portability, but it wasn't until I saw VMware Fusion that I began to get really excited. I'm not a Mac user, so while I definitely liked it, it didn't do me much good.

After discovering VirtualBox's seamless mode and the new cross-platform Unity feature of the latest VMware Workstation Beta (Putting Windows apps into Linux) and coLinux/andLinux/Ulteo (Putting Linux apps into Windows), I am finally seeing what I've wanted to see for quite some time. Integrating OSes with each other can have some very interesting results.

After using Linux and Windows together for several years, I actually began to like both OSes more than before. Yes, I even began to appreciate Windows more. I guess it's because I have less reliance in Windows on the things Windows does wrong. It works the other way around too.

One of the things I did was find a way to keep Windows more safe and secure than it is on its own. While putting a Windows box behind NAT is a pretty nice way, I looked at it from another angle. While incoming connections to possibly insecure and exploitable services is one path to destruction, I noticed that another big one is through the browser. This is where coLinux (and its relatives) came in.

(Linux->Windows)
To me, the web browser is among biggest sources of malware infestation in Windows. What if I don't use a web browser in Windows? What if it runs on Linux, but displays in Windows? I've done this before using NX, but it was VERY inconvenient. Now with things like andLinux, I can use what looks like a native Firefox, with a negligible risk of it being able to harm my Windows machine. This plugs up quite a large security hole, not to mention making my Windows machine feel like some sort of hybrid freak of nature. :)

(Windows->Linux)
An example of it working the other way around is at work. My work laptop runs Ubuntu. However, some software and services that we use only runs in Windows or has an MSIE-only web interface. Having that Windows-only (Wine can't handle all of them) app open up on my Linux desktop running perfectly in its native environment (behind the scenes) is definitely a plus.

I'm sure others will come up with multitudes of purposes that will keep this thing going.
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