Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

HP May Be Developing Its Own Version of Linux

ScuttleMonkey posted about 6 years ago | from the pay-no-attention-to-that-man-behind-the-curtain dept.

HP 303

vondiggity writes to tell us that HP is working on several different ways to make an end run around Vista. Among the plans is also a supposed rumor that certain factions within HP are developing their own flavor of Linux. Executives at HP deny that any meaningful amount of resources are being directed into plans for a mass-market operating system, stating their main goal is to innovate on top of Vista. "Still, the sources say employees in HP's PC division are exploring the possibility of building a mass-market operating system. HP's software would be based on Linux, the open-source operating system that is already widely available, but it would be simpler and easier for mainstream users, the sources say. The goal may be to make HP less dependent on Windows and to strengthen HP's hand against Apple (AAPL), which has gained market share in recent years by offering easy-to-use computers with its own operating system."

cancel ×

303 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

That would be awesome! (5, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 6 years ago | (#24984683)

They could name it HP-LX!

SLASHDOT WAS DOWN - WHY?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24984765)

Slashdot was down and refusing all connections for about 10 minutes. Now it's back up. WTF happened?

Re:SLASHDOT WAS DOWN - WHY?! (1)

uncle slacky (1125953) | about 6 years ago | (#24984871)

Umm, it got slashdotted?

Re:SLASHDOT WAS DOWN - WHY?! (2, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | about 6 years ago | (#24984929)

thought it was the Greeks

Re:SLASHDOT WAS DOWN - WHY?! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24984939)

Despite the mods' desperation to slap anything they don't like with an Offtopic, whether I can access the site is very much on-topic seeing how no story is going to matter if I cannot. So does anyone know what happened or do the less intelligent mods want to prove they are less intelligent by wasting more scarce mod points on this posting?

Re:SLASHDOT WAS DOWN - WHY?! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24985299)

Apparently they did. That's ok. If we keep posting this type of stuff, they'll keep wasting their points. In the end, it only benefits the community if morons waste their mod points.

Re:That would be awesome! (2, Funny)

DittoBox (978894) | about 6 years ago | (#24985235)

Then we can't call it Hockey-Pux anymore!

Lest we get excited. (3, Insightful)

g0dsp33d (849253) | about 6 years ago | (#24984685)

It occurs to me that they aren't going to do this because they love Linux. They would do it to make money and I'm willing to bet that if they make their own version it would be designed to be difficult to move to other systems. They won't want to develop something at any expense and have someone else under cut their prices.

It might be nice to have the average user know what Linux is though.

Re:Lest we get excited. (5, Insightful)

Narpak (961733) | about 6 years ago | (#24984757)

If HP makes a decent version of Linux for their computers, even if it has system locks, could be an important introduction into the OS for many new users. A growth in the amount of users running Linux, or derivations thereof, could be good for Linux in general. Wider use = wider support. Not to mention that it could help to make porting games for Linux more lucrative.

Re:Lest we get excited. (2, Insightful)

rarel (697734) | about 6 years ago | (#24984899)

Indeed. This would mean official support and official drivers on a wide range of machines, even if they're only HP-branded ones.
Any support from major manufacturers can only lead to increased acceptance of alternative OSes in general. If they're working on one I think it's great.

Re:Lest we get excited. (3, Interesting)

spintriae (958955) | about 6 years ago | (#24984969)

I don't see how HP could do any more for Linux than OSX has done for FreeBSD. I doubt very many Mac users even know what FreeBSD is. HP is building on a Linux because they can, and it's better solution than writing a new OS from scratch. They're probably not doing for the Linux community. The best thing Linux users can hope to come out of this is better driver support, if not open-source drivers, for HP computers. That's good enough for me.

Re:Lest we get excited. (4, Informative)

Narishma (822073) | about 6 years ago | (#24985007)

The difference is the license. With the BSD license, Apple can do whatever they like and aren't required to release their modifications.

Re:Lest we get excited. (1)

jopsen (885607) | about 6 years ago | (#24985241)

You can also build a closesource app onto of linux... There's an exception in the kernel GPL license... So building everything ontop of the linux kernel from scratch is possible... But that would take a long time.. And that's probably not what they're doing... OS X didn't get where it is today from one release... HP maybe just playing around with a simple linux interface for netbooks..

Re:Lest we get excited. (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | about 6 years ago | (#24985381)

Except that Apple does release their modifications... and they've opened up other projects as well.

Re:Lest we get excited. (1, Interesting)

fudoniten (918077) | about 6 years ago | (#24985053)

Well, that's where the GPL trumps the BSD license.... :)

Apple doesn't contribute code back to BSD because it's not required. If they'd built OSX on top of Linux, it would be required, and Linux would have benefited. That's likely why Apple didn't use Linux. But HP cares less about locking down their shit, and more about moving boxes, so Linux would be a logical choice for them.

Re:Lest we get excited. (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 6 years ago | (#24985283)

Apple doesn't contribute code back to BSD

Yes they do, but since most of their improvements are in the Mach and IOKit layers, there aren't many improvements for them to give back. They give back huge amounts of code to LLVM, which has a similarly permissive license.

That's likely why Apple didn't use Linux

No, they didn't use Linux because it didn't exist in 1986 when they (they being NeXT, at the time) first released the OS that would later be re-branded as OS X. They didn't use Linux in 2000 after the Apple purchase because the internals of Linux and 4BSD are very different, while FreeBSD and NetBSD still retain a lot of overall structure inherited from early BSD releases, making it easier to import their code into the XNU kernel.

Apple released a lot of patches for Linux when they ported it to the PowerPC architecture in 1996 and ran it on top of the Mach microkernel. Apple even shipped a Linux distribution for a while, although it never came close to A/UX, their own UNIX (which only ran on m68k machines) in terms of user friendliness.

Re:Lest we get excited. (0)

2nd Post! (213333) | about 6 years ago | (#24985407)

Excuse me?

What about this [apple.com] ?

Or the fact that Apple regularly contributes back to WebKit, KHTML, GCC, and other various [apple.com] (Apple or not) open source projects?

Re:Lest we get excited. (5, Interesting)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 6 years ago | (#24985229)

I don't see how HP could do any more for Linux than OSX has done for FreeBSD. I doubt very many Mac users even know what FreeBSD is.

Precisely. Users do not care. Windows/Linux/OSX/whatever...they do not care. As long as the UI is relatively easy, it makes no difference.

recently, I had my daughter and her roommate living with us. A couple of 20somethings. I gave them an older VAIO with Ubuntu on it to use. No instruction, no notification, nada. After a few weeks, I asked "how do you like that new operaing system? It's not Windows, ya know"
'Huh, what do you mean?'

They never knew, nor cared, what the underlying susbsystem was. All they saw was a different wallpaper, and slightly different menu location. They found everything they needed to do, and simply got on with it.
of course, without a geek (me) setting it up, they would have been lost. No printer, no network, etc.

Linux needs better 3rd party periph hardware integration (camera/WiFi/printer-scanner, etc), better 'applications', and games. Given that, and no one in userland will notice the difference.

Re:Lest we get excited. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24985421)

I don't see how HP could do any more for Linux than OSX has done for FreeBSD..

*cough*GPL*cough*

Re:Lest we get excited. (4, Interesting)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 6 years ago | (#24984821)

'm willing to bet that if they make their own version it would be designed to be difficult to move to other systems

They have one already (sortof) - HP-UX [wikipedia.org] . Perhaps they're thinking of making their own Linux version to make it easier to move to other systems, like all the x86_64 boxes they currently ship with Windows on. If they stop producing HP-UX and port a lot of the code they have in it to Linux, they get the best of all worlds - fancy stuff for their fancy servers, and fancy stuff for their mass-market servers and workstations.

They can also slap the Linux brand on it, so everyone becomes more comfortable running it.

Re:Lest we get excited. (1)

amirulbahr (1216502) | about 6 years ago | (#24985437)

A bit like Sun running Solaris all the way from their very high end SPARC systems to their lower end x86 based systems.

Re:Lest we get excited. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24984973)

Does that matter? Say they make something that looks and runs like Mandrake but doesn't mention Linux anywhere - full HP branding, and a few proprietary & licensed apps to make it slicker for their users & on their machines. Host their own software repositories. The works.

There's nothing in the GPL that says you have to decorate the OS with penguins and the Linux name is there?

What would we have? A bunch of consumer machines that are very like Linux, and anyone with a clue will know they essentially are Linux. Does that hurt Linux on the Desktop somehow? I don't see how this embrace, however tight, could manage extinguish. Overall it'd be a small help. A dissappointingly small help to fanboys (me) for sure, but a help none the less.

Re:Lest we get excited. (1)

wanderingknight (1103573) | about 6 years ago | (#24985133)

Umm, you know... this little thing called the GPL perhaps, just perhaps, has the key to the hypothetical boost of Linux were IBM to implement their own customized version.

Perhaps.

Re:Lest we get excited. (3, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | about 6 years ago | (#24985295)

HP has the Stallmanesque "freedom" to make and sell any kind of hardware that it likes. If they make hardware Linux-friendly, that is excellent--pure and simple. At least that software will be available to HP users so that they can tinker on their machines AND other users can look at what HP has done to Linux and can build on that.

I see no downside here. Who cares if HP's Linux is difficult to move to other systems? (1) "Generic" Linux will still almost surely be portable to the HP systems; and (2) if HP's Linux fork is better, then the LINUX community will follow it.

Lastly, any kind of good open source operating system is one more bit of competitive pressure to push Microsoft to develop a leaner, cheaper, and friendlier operating system.

Re:Lest we get excited. (1)

davidsyes (765062) | about 6 years ago | (#24985329)

Well, look at some of their latest laptops. Maybe if they \can\ do an end run around vista, they can take a page out of Apple's book: "The HP Store", and showcase some of their shiny black-shell gray-wrist-area laptops... Hopefully, they're "remember where they came from" and allow some Linux on the showroom floor, though.

Weak (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24984689)

If anyone can kill Linux its HP

Re:Weak (1)

moose_hp (179683) | about 6 years ago | (#24984741)

If it runs with GNU tools (as most, if not all, non-embedded Linux distributions run with) then it won't be much diferent that what we already have.

Maybe a custom installer, packager, device discovered, etc. But I expect the cores (gcc, bash, X, etc.) to be like all the GNULinux distros out there.

Epic lulz to be had. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24984695)

Christian Weston Chandler shows off his Sonichu character on his dick: http://lulz.net/furi/res/330616.html [lulz.net]

This is what happens when you give high-functioning autistics with too much testosterone too much freedom to color their dicks with marker and send it to people online.

Server Division Uses Linux (4, Interesting)

mpapet (761907) | about 6 years ago | (#24984699)

For their quick start CD, firmware update CD's etc. System Insight manager and their other management tools are full of GPL software.

It's not rocket science at this point and I'm sure they have enough market data at this point to see that it's a viable niche. After all, a low price is always a viable niche.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24984701)

I've never heard of HP having its own unix-based OS.

Oh... wait: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP-UX

Old news.

Re:Really? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 6 years ago | (#24984991)

And via DEC via Compaq: Tru64/Digital Unix/OSF

Re:Really? (4, Funny)

xSauronx (608805) | about 6 years ago | (#24985071)

right, but if they want to compete on the desktop, it'll need a snazzy look and a new name. They can call it OS Eleven

It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be working with OS X. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your computer. Where can you go from there? Where?

Year of the Linux Desktop (4, Interesting)

Iberian (533067) | about 6 years ago | (#24984707)

If Linux is going to make it on the desktop this is the way it will happen. Now there is a concentrated effort of programmers (paid ones at that) with a large amount of financial support from a major player in the desktop market.

HP wins because they can now ship a desktop for less and they have more control over the quality of the product which they ship. Win-Win for them unless MS decides this won't do and threaten to increase prices. It will be a long time before a corporate provider of desktops/servers can say no to MS.

Re:Year of the Linux Desktop (4, Interesting)

rickb928 (945187) | about 6 years ago | (#24984867)

The real question is, does HP need Microsoft more than Microsoft needs HP?

The answer is not entirely obvious to me.

Easy to say that Microsoft could make HP very uncomfortable with abusive pricing, support terms, and general sabotage.

HP could, however, deprive Microsoft of easy revenue.

Or this could be the first step towards a serious anti-trust case, with Microsoft being charged with monopolistic practices, punishing hardware vendors for even tolerating competitive operating systems. Which they are pretty much avoiding right now, since Linux is such a small fraction of the OEM pre-installed market.

But let a HP-Linux get 10% of the home market, and maybe Microsoft decides it needs to spank HP and teach it a lesson? And HP has almost as many lawyers as Microsoft. I;m counting the DOJ. Though they aren't very motivated most of the time, if the DOJ gets fired up, they will win.

Interesting. Match this up with Ubuntu's new emphasis on being useable, and this could be pretty cool.

Re:Year of the Linux Desktop (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 6 years ago | (#24985003)

That is the main question and recent research and polling is showing that most people don't actually care about the OS they are running. They may find it difficult or frustrating when they find they can't run "setup.exe} and especially infuriating when they clearly have a virus and can't install Antivirus XP 2009 to clean the infection.

I once set up a linux desktop for an older family member and it had been running well for more than a couple of years... (It has been years since I checked on it) and he was just fine... browsing the web, checking email, chatting online... last time I checked, though, he had a few setup.exe files and similar on his desktop. But other than that, when you set up a desktop and it has an answer to every need or want they would have, then they will be happy.

And these features are all readily available for the majority of these users. This excludes gamers and people who "work" using their PCs, but still... once there is a tipping point on the mass of desktop linus users, the commercial apps will come. Because aside from people like me or you, most people actually will buy software off the shelf.

Re:Year of the Linux Desktop (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | about 6 years ago | (#24985109)

The moment that major manufacturers stop preinstalling Windows is the day Windows officially starts dying.

Microsoft needs HP more.

Re:Year of the Linux Desktop (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 6 years ago | (#24985281)

The moment that major manufacturers stop preinstalling Windows is the day Windows officially starts dying.

Wishful thinking.

Being a OS X / Linux person myself, I still have to admit that:

Windows will remain the dominant operating system as long as the majority of the mainstream software (productivity, games, etc) requires Windows.

HP needs Microsoft more.

Of course Gateway/E-Machines and Dell would love HP to leave the low-cost windows machine market, and HP knows this. I don't see HP having much leverage against Microsoft at the moment.

Re:Year of the Linux Desktop (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 6 years ago | (#24985307)

Having posted the parent.

I do see a future where Microsoft Windows will become weaken due to web-centric applications. Regardless of my opinion on web apps...

Re:Year of the Linux Desktop (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | about 6 years ago | (#24985433)

That already happened once 10 years ago. Look up DOJ, IBM, OS/2, and Microsoft.

They held IBM hostage by withholding Windows licenses until IBM stopped developing OS/2 (they found another agreement with higher prices, I believe).

Re:Year of the Linux Desktop (5, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | about 6 years ago | (#24985145)

When the lease to the space the company I worked for was about two years away from expiring, there was a huge and fairly public campaign launched to 'find a new location'. The company wasn't the only in the building, but they did lease about 15% of the floors.

There was much excitement, employees were given surveys and polls. There were even a few... disagreements between people who were for locations closer to home that ended in one or the other no longer working for the company. The Business Journal even ran stories about it.

The company sold the idea heavy for almost the entire year, to the point where everyone was excited to find out where we would be moving to.

A year away from the date the lease was going to expire, the company announced that after exhausive study, it was determined that our current location was the best suited site, and that we had signed a new lease with the building. In consideration for signing the lease early, the building announced that our company's logo would be on the building and the upper management would have reserved parking spaces near the garage elevators.

Take this for what you will.

Re:Year of the Linux Desktop (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 6 years ago | (#24985327)

Yep. An oldie but goodie tactic...

Maybe this is (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24984711)

Year of the desktop Linux [infoslash.net]

Nothing to see here. Move along. (4, Interesting)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | about 6 years ago | (#24984727)

I didn't see anything concrete in the 'article'.

Here's my take: it's a press release to put the fear of Jebus in MS. That's all. There's nothing concrete. There's no explicit description of what exactly they're going to do - all HP would need to do is just ship with [insert your favorite distro here]. But instead they make this BIG announcement of how they're going to have their 'own Linux flavor' to 'replace' Windows.

Yawn. Negotiating strategy and they're bluffing.

Re:Nothing to see here. Move along. (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 6 years ago | (#24984959)

If HP is making a version of Linux, I'd put more bets on it being in the vein of HP-UX than as a replacement for windows.

I'm for all for it (1)

eclectro (227083) | about 6 years ago | (#24984729)

If it would help any, they can reduce the amount of ink in my printer cartridges by 1/8th.

Re:I'm for all for it (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24985131)

That presumes they are more than 1/8 filled now.

Worst euphamism ever (4, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | about 6 years ago | (#24984743)

...stating their main goal is to innovate on top of Vista.

Could we please stop referring to programming as "innovating"? Not every single piece of code anyone writes is a breakthrough.

Re:Worst euphamism ever (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | about 6 years ago | (#24984783)

---Could we please stop referring to programming as "innovating"? Not every single piece of code anyone writes is a breakthrough.

Bittorrent is. I still have the first torrent from my rusty python script.

100MB porn vid.

Re:Worst euphamism ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24984841)

Not every single piece of code anyone writes is a breakthrough.

Of course it's not. But they want it to sound that way so people will buy their crap.

So, no, they will not stop referring to programming as "innovating."

Re:Worst euphamism ever (4, Funny)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | about 6 years ago | (#24984881)

...stating their main goal is to innovate on top of Vista.

Could we please stop referring to programming as "innovating"? Not every single piece of code anyone writes is a breakthrough.

I'm the exception. I wrote 'Bon jour World!'.That's innovation - at least according to most marketing professionals who sell software.

Build upon debian? (3, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | about 6 years ago | (#24984767)

I think the smartest route would be to build on debian in this case. While they could cram whatever they like ontop the OS would still both benefit from and contribute back to the community.

Whatever they build upon i hold my thumbs its something new because if one thing is needed today its more OS out there. More diversity demands more standards and interoperations and that would be very good for IT as a whole.

Re:Build upon debian? (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | about 6 years ago | (#24984987)

While I generally believe that new forks are good things, I think that HP should work with Dell on Ubuntu. Hardware manufacturers would have to support Ubuntu if they want to get Dell and HP business, which I would have to guess is a lot of money. We would have better hardware support.

Re:Build upon debian? (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | about 6 years ago | (#24985061)

I'm an ubuntu user for three years, but I think it would be smart for any company that large to go with Red Hat for the better corporate penetration.

Re:Build upon debian? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 years ago | (#24985043)

The smartest thing to do would be build upon FreeBSD, then they wont have that pesky GPL getting in the way of their work.

Re:Build upon debian? (1)

witherstaff (713820) | about 6 years ago | (#24985223)

That wouldn't be surprising as it worked so well for Apple.

Re:Build upon debian? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 years ago | (#24985445)

And i wasn't slamming the GPL, it has its place. But in a corporation that wants to make lots of $, it isn't there.

HP, Debian, Software in the Public Interest (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | about 6 years ago | (#24985267)

Wasn't HP a major sponsor of Software in the Public Interest [spi-inc.org] , Debian's parent organization, a couple years back? If they backed it substantially (they seemed to have featured prominently on SPI's sponsorship pages), would anyone here know if that was part of their strategy to eventually build a distro on top of Debian? Having both Ubuntu and HP contribute packaging fixes upstream to Debian would be great.

Re:HP, Debian, Software in the Public Interest (1)

Jorophose (1062218) | about 6 years ago | (#24985401)

Yes, and I think they released a whole bunch of drivers for debian, or work closely with it, or something.

Maybe even preinstalled distro of choice on their servers?

HP and Debian have always been close. If Ubuntu hasn't drifted too far, I wouldn't doubt seeing Ubuntu preinstalls on HP stuff. It would be a serious spit-in-the-face move to MS.

Wowee (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24984779)

Wow, everyone knows how hard it is to create a new Linux distro!

Re:Wowee (1, Insightful)

xSauronx (608805) | about 6 years ago | (#24985185)

no kidding. its a lot of work to take ubuntu, change 17 of the packages, 2 of the default backgrounds and the default theme. its like...3 hours of work, and you dont get paid for it. :(

Obligitory Yoda Quote (1)

MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) | about 6 years ago | (#24984789)

And so begin, the Linux wars...

Re:Obligitory Yoda Quote (2, Informative)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | about 6 years ago | (#24984877)

But in the Linux wars, we all win.

The bazaar is selling the steeple from the cathedral on eBay

Funny, they've had Unix for years with HP-UX... (3, Interesting)

Assmasher (456699) | about 6 years ago | (#24984801)

...and I've got it right next to me on an Intel machine. I guess they aren't having too hard a time 'getting around Vista.'

Re:Funny, they've had Unix for years with HP-UX... (1)

Trashman (3003) | about 6 years ago | (#24985083)

Intel Yes, but Itanium HW w/ EFI is not quite the same.

good! (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 6 years ago | (#24984803)

I hope HP has lots of success in this venture in developing a Linux for their PCs...

honest competition is good, maybe it will cause other OEMs to raise their eyebrows and pay attention. IBM are you listening? you should have done this with the Thinkpad laptops and desktop PCs (alternatives are good)...

HP Double speak (1, Insightful)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | about 6 years ago | (#24984807)

Executives at HP deny that any meaningful amount of resources are being directed into plans for a mass-market operating system

Translated, a bunch of guys are working on this by themselves and if they ever get something marketable, HP will steal it from them claiming that since they (the employees) already work for HP, that HP owns anything they might tend to create and thusly, will market it to its fullest potential.

That translated means that HP really means Hefty Profit!

Applications are the key. (3, Insightful)

xzvf (924443) | about 6 years ago | (#24984811)

For both Dell and HP the allure of Linux is no need to be dependent on another company to innovate the OS to drive Laptop and Desktop sales. If they are willing to take a short term loss supporting two operating systems (Don't fool yourselves, OEM's support Windows for end users, not Microsoft) then they get to keep another $30-$100 bucks to add to their profits. Until the promise of cloud computing materializes, it will be difficult to sell consumer Linux without setting expectations that you will be using free versions of software or provide the software and support like Apple does. Plus be willing to stick out the growing process until you get 2-3% of the market. By the way, the model has worked for the big three of servers (IBM, HP and Dell) and now Linux is decent, higher margin revenue driver for all three companies.

Re:Applications are the key. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 years ago | (#24985063)

I disagree. At this phase usability and guaranteed support is the key.

*sigh* what a waste (1)

DeepCerulean (741098) | about 6 years ago | (#24984847)

It would be nice if more companies would spend their resources improving linux projects as a whole rather than trying to roll their own distributions. I see HP spending a lot of time reinventing several wheels here when their developers' time could be put to much better use in the community.

Re:*sigh* what a waste (1)

DaveWick79 (939388) | about 6 years ago | (#24985045)

Just where has companies spending their resources improving linux projects as a whole gotten us? We have barely improved linux desktop adoption over the past several years, as millions of PC's are sold with windows.
Ubuntu has been by far the most successful approach to desktop linux in the past 2 years, and they are doing it by rolling their own distro and concentrating on making it work for the desktop. If only a company with the financial resources to do so would make it a goal to make a linux distro with a top of the line GUI - a viable OS that could directly compete with Windows, for a profit, at a price in the $50-$100 range. Lack of profit is squeezing innovation, or at least catch-up, for linux. Apple managed to do it with OSX, somebody needs to do it with mainstream linux to make an OS that can be widely used on PC. The ultimate prize would be a linux distro that seamlessly integrated windows app compatibility - but I'm sure MS would never really allow this to happen.

I've been saying this for years... (4, Insightful)

not already in use (972294) | about 6 years ago | (#24984849)

I don't know if this is what HP is speculated to be doing, but if Linux were to ever be successful as a desktop OS, they would need to do the following:
  • Determine which components are going to be part of the system.
  • Fork every single one of them.
  • Tightly integrate them
  • Do not call it a "distro" but rather a "linux based desktop OS."
  • Brand it without the word "linux"

If desktop linux is ever to be successful, there needs to be a standard and tightly integrated stack. The choice and openness that makes linux so great in the eyes of some is it's bane in the desktop market, and for software support as well.

Re:I've been saying this for years... (1)

wigaloo (897600) | about 6 years ago | (#24985123)

  • Tightly integrate them
  • Do not call it a "distro" but rather a "linux based desktop OS."

libidOS, the "linux-based integrated desktop OS". Does it come with the milfs filesystem?

Re:I've been saying this for years... (4, Informative)

nine-times (778537) | about 6 years ago | (#24985353)

Why would they have to do that? It seems like they'd gain more fans and get continued community support by not-forking.

I agree that it might be to their benefit to go their own way and optimize for their own purposes, but if they start from Linux, they're going to have release the source code anyway. Purposefully making it hard to patch those improvements back into the vanilla code is going to piss off a bunch of potential customers, and make it harder to port community improvements over to their version.

Linux will be a successful desktop OS if someone can put enough pressure on major desktop app developers to release their software to on it. Or, depending on your criteria, Linux is already a successful desktop OS.

Re:I've been saying this for years... (1)

DogDude (805747) | about 6 years ago | (#24985403)

If desktop linux is ever to be successful, there needs to be a standard and tightly integrated stack.

You mean like Microsoft....? I'm not saying it's good or bad, but that's part of why MS is so successful. It's easy for developers and users to integrate everything.

Ubuntu (3, Insightful)

spandex_panda (1168381) | about 6 years ago | (#24984873)

Since there is already a great effort to make one linux distro 'easy' why would HP want to reproduce all the same efforts? They should at least take Ubuntu and build upon it, but really... Why bother? They may as well just work on developing hardware drivers for all their hardware and support Ubuntu as an install option (like Dell does). I think Linux is bloody good! The only holding it back now is aplications, wine is a good start, ensuring many existing windows apps will work on Linux, but a beautiful movie maker, photo manipulation, music maker et.al like Apple's iDVD, iPhoto and Garageband are something that Linux could do with. Maybe HP could sponsor one of these?

Re:Ubuntu (4, Interesting)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | about 6 years ago | (#24984909)

Simple enough.

repository.ubuntu.hp.com With all the required drivers for hardware along with setup scripts. Just aim HPuntu at HP's repository and it does the rest. They could even provoide the i386 and 64 binaries on a DVD for a apt-cd repo.

Dont repeat what Ubuntu does. Add to it.

HPUX (1)

ireallylovelinux (589360) | about 6 years ago | (#24984883)

Could we see more HPUX computers soon?

Market differentiation (5, Interesting)

fishthegeek (943099) | about 6 years ago | (#24984905)

HP needs what most all of the other OEMs need and that is some market differentiation that isn't based on price. No one wants a perfectly commodotized market to compete in. Windows for all of it's possible benefits carries a huge burden in that when you wish to sell a product built around it your product ends up looking an awful lot like everyone else's product. Leaving price (and profit) as the only real difference

In the end I think that this is survival for HP because I think MS has jumped the shark.

Hpix. or Hippix ? Hippix would be a killer (2, Funny)

unity100 (970058) | about 6 years ago | (#24984915)

i think im liking this idea.

[OT] Linux newbie question (-1, Offtopic)

Alaska Jack (679307) | about 6 years ago | (#24984927)

I just installed Ubuntu for the first time, on an 5- or 6-year old Toshiba Laptop. I was surprised. I takes a LONG time to boot up -- longer than Windows XP -- and it's not super snappy, either.

I thought Linux was supposed to a be fast, lightweight OS good for older machines. I'm assuming I just picked the wrong distro. What's the best distro for breathing life into this old but still perfectly good laptop? Xubuntu?

Just trying to learn ...

    - Alaska Jack

Re:[OT] Linux newbie question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24985105)

What's the best distro for breathing life into this old but still perfectly good laptop? Xubuntu?

There are better places to ask this question than here.

Having said that, xubuntu would be a good choice, if the laptop is really underpowered try http://fluxbuntu.org/ instead as it is even more lightweight.

Re:[OT] Linux newbie question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24985141)

"I thought Linux was supposed to a be fast, lightweight OS good for older machines. "

You need to run a lighter desktop manager than Gnome for slower hardware. And KDE won't fair any better. You can choose which desktop manager you want to run. But lighter ones will lack "bells and whistles". There was a time when Gnome was pretty light and snappy on older boxes.

Re:[OT] Linux newbie question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24985197)

Retarded mods at it again. Parent is not a troll, he's offtopic. FFS, how difficult can it be to mod properly?
Anyway, DamnSmallLinux (DSL) would be something, PuppyLinux, Slackware (not the easiest, but solid), possibly ArkLinux etc...
Ask at linuxquestions.org and check out distrowatch.
You'll find your answers and a lot more help there.

Re:[OT] Linux newbie question (1)

scrum_hp (1238938) | about 6 years ago | (#24985207)

Odd place to ask but look at Arch or Vector those distros are pretty, lightweight, and modern. http://www.archlinux.org/ [archlinux.org] http://vectorlinux.com/ [vectorlinux.com] And in my experience a fresh carefully done fresh XP install will feel pretty quick. But once I have used it for a bit it always slows down.

Last hurdle for adoption (1)

Amuro-Ray (955558) | about 6 years ago | (#24984941)

I don't know what to think of this. On the one side, I wonder if HP would be able to overcome some limitations that Linux has out of the box. From my experience, the things that push people away from Linux are generally summed up as: Driver support (Wireless, usually), Software support (fixed with VMware), and most importantly of all, issues involving web browsing (flash and java). The problem will be that if HP wants to give the user the ability to listen to mp3's / watch movies / browse youtube right out of the box, you can almost bet there will be some conflicts with some of the Linux purists out there not wanting tainted distros. I'm all for it though. :)

Re:Last hurdle for adoption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24985383)

>Driver support (Wireless, usually),

Pro audio is a far worse situation than wireless drivers.

>Software support (fixed with VMware),

VMWare only "fixes" software support to the extent that you can run Windows software.
What software is out there for Windows that anyone cares about anymore?

> and most importantly of all,
>issues involving web browsing (flash and java).

When has Java ever been a problem?

The Geek In Fantasyland (1)

westlake (615356) | about 6 years ago | (#24985021)

vondiggity writes to tell us that HP is working on several different ways to make an end run around Vista
.

Vista doesn't seem to be hurting HP's bottom line:

After the bell, Hewlett-Packard reported a 14.0% increase in third-quarter profits on strong laptop sales and growth in its international markets.

Investors have been worried HP was losing market share to rivals Dell and Apple but so far that has not happened. The company has been helped by cost cuts and strong sales outside the United States.

But nothing in the company's numbers speaks of a downturn. HP reported fiscal third-quarter net earnings of $2.0 billion, or 80 cents a share, up 14% from $1.8 billion, or 66 cents a share, in the prior year. HP Holds Its Own [forbes.com] {August 19]

HP seems to showing more interest in European styling:

Instead of building workhorse machines in utilitarian cases, Hewlett-Packard strives to create sleeker, more stylish PCs by looking to the fabrics and shapes in Italy's furniture showrooms, said Stacy Wolff, director of notebook-computer design.

Putting form and function before component costs mirrors a strategy by Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs, whose aluminum-clad desktops and notebooks have propelled the company to its highest PC market share in at least a decade.

Hewlett-Packard had 19 percent of worldwide PC shipments in the second quarter, compared with Dell's 16 percent, according to technology researcher IDC in Framingham, Massachusetts. Hewlett- Packard has increased its share every quarter since taking the lead from Dell in 2006. Apple had 3.6 percent. Hewlett-Packard's Cues From Milan Lift PC Profit [bloomberg.com] [Updated August 19]

When it comes to HP, I bite! (1)

bogaboga (793279) | about 6 years ago | (#24985035)

First off, I must say I love HP and its products. I have never been disappointed by any of HP's printers, scanners or complete computer systems both desktop and notebook.

So it's my hope that a Linux OS from HP will continue to "deliver" on my part.

HP will find most of the "infrastructure" in Linux already in place. What is required is to add some polish and sensible [meaningful] defaults to GNOME or KDE for desktop environments. The areas in which I find these environments still wanting are the following:

1: Let's be able to configure shares easily. Right now its a mess and as a matter of fact, KDE does not seem to have something to represent Microsoft's "Add network places."

2: Fonts still terrible on Linux. I will jump with joy the day fonts on a Linux machine will look beautiful bey default. Right now, one has to install Microsoft's TT fonts and/or do some compilation. This is a non starter.

3: Software installation is still a mess. The other day, I tried to get Adobe's Flash player installed on a Debian system and I was not that successful till I installed from source. I do not see Joe Six Pack going through this.

This is what I hope HP will consider...

Put more resources to help the KDE folks with their product. It looks very very promising.

My 2 cents.

Re:When it comes to HP, I bite! (1)

AndyCR (1091663) | about 6 years ago | (#24985277)

1: Let's be able to configure shares easily. Right now its a mess and as a matter of fact, KDE does not seem to have something to represent Microsoft's "Add network places."

This seems to work fine under Ubuntu.

2: Fonts still terrible on Linux. I will jump with joy the day fonts on a Linux machine will look beautiful bey default. Right now, one has to install Microsoft's TT fonts and/or do some compilation. This is a non starter.

I agree fully. Installing msttcorefonts is one of the first things I do before I get a headache trying to read text. This needs serious work. Surely someone in the Linux community can draw fonts?

3: Software installation is still a mess. The other day, I tried to get Adobe's Flash player installed on a Debian system and I was not that successful till I installed from source. I do not see Joe Six Pack going through this.

Software installation works perfectly for me. apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree. I don't know how you installed Flash from source, since it's not Open Source - I assume you mean you had to run their installer.

Re:When it comes to HP, I bite! (1)

bmcage (785177) | about 6 years ago | (#24985279)

. The areas in which I find these environments still wanting are the following:

1: Let's be able to configure shares easily. Right now its a mess and as a matter of fact, KDE does not seem to have something to represent Microsoft's "Add network places."

Euh, Places --> remote places ? Never had problems, all is available as far as I see.

2: Fonts still terrible on Linux. I will jump with joy the day fonts on a Linux machine will look beautiful bey default. Right now, one has to install Microsoft's TT fonts and/or do some compilation. This is a non starter.

Euh, compile fonts?? You download them, just as in windows, and install them in the appropriate place. If too difficult, check http://www.linux.com/feature/133559 [linux.com]

3: Software installation is still a mess. The other day, I tried to get Adobe's Flash player installed on a Debian system and I was not that successful till I installed from source. I do not see Joe Six Pack going through this.

Install Adobe flash from source?? It is a closed source program! You download it and run whatever they say in the documentation to extract it and move it to the correct folders. Anyway, Ubuntu has a package for that.

Flash from source, give me a copy... (1)

jopsen (885607) | about 6 years ago | (#24985409)

3: Software installation is still a mess. The other day, I tried to get Adobe's Flash player installed on a Debian system and I was not that successful till I installed from source. I do not see Joe Six Pack going through this.

You got flash from source... Please give me a copy... don't blame the community for that one... That's adobes error... And software installation sucks on windows... Really have a package manager is a killer app. It provides automatic system wide update, where else do you find that?

HP treads lightly (1)

PPH (736903) | about 6 years ago | (#24985051)

Executives at HP deny that any meaningful amount of resources are being directed into plans for a mass-market operating system

HP is proceeding with the same trepidation that Iran is while trying to build a nuclear plant within range of the 5th Fleet.

I can't wait... (1)

spywhere (824072) | about 6 years ago | (#24985081)

How will Yahoo sell these computers without all the crapware kickbacks they accept?
Will all those companies create open-source crapware to clutter up the desktop?

Will the Firefox title bar say "provided by Yahoo!"?

Punchline (1)

Pinback (80041) | about 6 years ago | (#24985101)

The bad news is that the new HP Linux will only run on PA-RISC.

THE DAY OF THE ROPE!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24985151)

i hear that hp is doing this to put the names of anyone who orders one on a list of people to be dealt with on the day of the rope. fucking linux faggots.

Here's the key phrase... (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | about 6 years ago | (#24985233)

Executives at HP deny that any meaningful amount of resources are being directed into plans for a mass-market operating system...

A meaningful amount of money for a big corporation is very different than a meaningful amount of money for an individual. HP could easily invest several million in Linux without batting an eye (and without making the above statement false).

why does this surprise anyone? (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | about 6 years ago | (#24985257)

HP has had a lion's share of the market in servers by merging with the compaq company. Proliant servers sometimes ran hpux. This only makes sense now with the adoption of linux.

Just think of the new service contracts they'll be able to secure?

HP already has good Linux driver support (1)

dave562 (969951) | about 6 years ago | (#24985339)

Take a look at the available operating systems that you can get drivers for if you're running a Proliant.

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/DriverDownload.jsp?prodNameId=3279719&lang=en&cc=us&prodTypeId=15351&prodSeriesId=1121474&taskId=135

Why would HP get into the business of building their own operating system? They already make good servers that run every popular OS out there, including Linux. What's the point of throwing a whole bunch of R&D into making ANOTHER operating system?

HP is irrelevant (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 6 years ago | (#24985425)

The only reason you'd buy Linux systems from HP is if you are already an HP shop and need the badges to line up.

 

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>