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Dell Selling Dual-Boot Laptops

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the hey-wait-a-minute dept.

Portables 289

rsmiller510 writes "The EE Times reports this week that Dell has released a hybrid laptop running both Linux and Windows clearly aimed at business travelers. Linux for quick tasks and Windows for more intensive ones, but will such a machine really fly in the business world?"

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Will it fly? (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828543)

NO!

Rebooting is a chore. Once people start up, they don't want to shut down to start up another application. It's not what they are used to. On the other hand, if this were done as a VM where the Linux machine were to boot and they installed Windows XP in a VirtualBox or some other VM, then that might be acceptable. Then they would have their safer, virus-free environment for email and web browsing and then a VM to host the applications they need to run. This stuff works really well.

Re:Will it fly? (5, Funny)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828591)

It will fly, but you have to leave the laptop out of the bag for security check. Have a nice flight sir...

Re:Will it fly? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26828901)

Anyone else getting these annoying-ass automated "your automobile warranty is about to expire" telemarketing nuisance calls? What a bunch of professional parasites. If anyone provides the company name and contact information for these fly-by-night assholes who hang up on you as soon as you ask them any questions (because we all know reputable companies are afraid to tell you the company name) I will gladly file complaints with the Better Business Bureau.

Re:Will it fly? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26829283)

Yes, I've been getting those calls too.

They irritate me so much that I have started a company that provides a service to help reduce the amount of nuisance calls.

We'll be getting in touch over the next few weeks to discuss which of our packages is right for you. Sign up within the next month and we offer free insurance on your garden furniture!

Re:Will it fly? (5, Funny)

kimvette (919543) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829457)

Hmm, a Linux laptop would also fly if it were in Ballmer's presence and he ran out of chairs. . .

Will it blend? (0, Offtopic)

s.bots (1099921) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828651)

More importantly... Will it blend?

Re:Will it blend? (0, Offtopic)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828897)

Yes, son, it'll blend. I hear those install distro DVDs blend real well in one of these [blender.org] . :-)

Cheers.

=Smidge=

Re:Will it fly? (5, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828737)

I agree. And you can even suspend/hibernate/resume and both OSes will retain their state. This is what I did for my wife's laptop. She occasionally needs Windows for a few things (like loading/converting other people's Microsoft Publisher or Visio files), and it works great. Just make sure you buy lots of RAM.

Re:Will it fly? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828837)

Now that many RAM makers have been spanked for price fixing, RAM is cheap again... nicely cheap. Lots of RAM ain't hard to come by unless you are using an older machine. Then again, 4GB RAM (the standard maximum for a lot of machines made in the past 5 years) is starting to feel rather cramped.

Re:Will it fly? (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829181)

That'll change. 64-bit OSes are now mainstream -- and even VMs are becoming mainstream -- so it's only a matter of time before chipset and mobo manufacturers push the limits of more and more of their consumer-grade commodity stuff beyond the previous '4GB barrier'.

Re:Will it fly? (2, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829359)

so it's only a matter of time before chipset and mobo manufacturers push the limits of more and more of their consumer-grade commodity stuff beyond the previous '4GB barrier'.

Yep, but for now multiple active VM's are a non-starter when Windows itself needs 4GB. The only way I can see it is if one had a very lightweight version of Linux that did nothing but host the VMs, and then a VM of Windows and a VM of Linux to alternate between.

Re:Will it fly? What do you mean win needs 4GB? (2, Informative)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829615)

If Win 7 is any indication, win better NOT need more than 1GB. When SMART companies realize that Linux is running in under 1 GB with pretty decent response, and that Vista w/o any SP1 runs "so-so" to "ok" in VirtualBox, in a 2GB max system, then they should begin the next round of PUMMELING the hell out of ms.

For example, my laptop:

Gateway P-6301, 17-inch lappy with TWO HDD slots.
2GB RAM max, with 256 MB going to graphics

Mandriva Linux 2008.0, with use of under 300 MB... because
VBox i assigned 1.5 GB so win can have 128 MB video RAM
Vista runs so-so to ok, and i run AutoCAD 2008 (rarely, but it behaves well), Punch! ViaCAD (mostly), and other graphics intensive CAD software. I NEVER yet touched the Internet with vista, virtualized or natively!

Now,

Same laptop/same hardware

Mandriva 2009.0, with numerous updates.
Same virtual disk of VBox/Vista
Some kinks to work out, but overall, vista is still as fast as on Mdv 2008.

Why should windows require 8 GB, or even 4 GB?

Licensing could be an issue. (1)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829781)

I don't know exactly how it works, but COA/OEM licenses of Windows may not be allowed to be installed in a VM.

VLK licenses of XP, for example, can only be installed on computers that came with an XP OEM license.

Re:Will it fly? (4, Informative)

chaim79 (898507) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829381)

The new 17inch Macbook Pro's have an 8gb limit [apple.com] .

Dell XPS line of laptops also have an 8gb limit [dell.com] .

It may take a while for that standard to trickle down to the lower end laptops, but the trend at least has started.

Re:Will it fly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26829425)

Yeah, but it runs 64 bit Vista home.

The list of apps that won't run is a hell of a lot larger than the ones it will.

Problem with "Dual-Hibernate" (5, Interesting)

yet-another-lobbyist (1276848) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829827)

I once thought this "Dual-Hibernate" (suspend-to-disk) was a great idea. However, I ran into real trouble as soon as I wanted to exchange data between the two partitions. Trying to mount an NTFS partition in Linux that was left hibernated by Windows can create a real mess. More generally, think of file systems in which you do not really have control at what time the data is actually physically written onto the disk. Having all the data on a third partition that is unmounted before hibernating in either of the two OSs could work, though.

I have no idea how a "Dual-Suspend" would work if you mean "suspend-to-RAM"! How can you even start the other OS while one is in suspend? How do you tell each OS to only use a part of the memory?

Re:Will it fly? (3, Interesting)

jandersen (462034) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828823)

What they should do - what I am sure someone will do at some point - is to make an "LPARable" PC/laptop after the same general principle as IBM's newest pSeries servers. The system would come with a VM hypervisor in NVRAM, as the "BIOS", and all other systems would run under that, concurrently.

Re:Will it fly? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26829209)

What they should do - what I am sure someone will do at some point - is to make an "LPARable" PC/laptop after the same general principle as IBM's newest pSeries servers. The system would come with a VM hypervisor in NVRAM, as the "BIOS", and all other systems would run under that, concurrently.

I'd rather they just get rid of Windows myself, though in my personal opinion I consider Windows to be a generally lower-quality and less-secure solution that is better avoided if possible. That people so often take the "all viewpoints are equal" or "I'll ignore overwhelming evidence and pretend this is a matter of taste" cop-out when discussing Windows or comparing it to anything else amazes me. About the only things that Windows can do that another OS may have difficulty achieving is driver support for rather unusual hardware and availability of proprietary software such as Adobe Photoshop or various CAD solutions. Of course, both of those are market decisions and neither are inherent properties of the OS.

I just don't know any technically knowledgable person who is familiar with and skilled with multiple operating systems who still prefers Windows. I'm sure this mythic beast exists someplace and I'm sure lots of people will pipe up with their anecdotal answer to my anecdotal observation, but I have never seen such a person and outside of a few examples of Slashdot hearsay, I've never heard of such a person either. Granted, there are businesspeople who prefer Windows because it's not the Linux users who are spending $50-75 a pop to have a virus removed, but I'm talking now about a genuine non-financial preference.

Perhaps the same effort it would take to write a hypervisor and place it in NVRAM could be put towards asking their users why they still need Windows. Dell is a large vendor with at least some industry clout. Maybe they could remedy some of the reasons why their users still need Windows. Whether that would mean pressuring proprietary software companies to go multiplatform or whether it would mean contributing to the WINE project is unknown to me but I wonder if they have considered the option.

Re:Will it fly? (1)

TreyGeek (1391679) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829365)

Ummmm... LPARs have been part of the System z line of IBM Mainframes for some time now. So the ability to run multiple operating systems concurrently on a single piece of hardware is not new.

Re:Will it fly? (2, Informative)

nickruiz (1185947) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828849)

Okay, I'm going to admit my ignorance in the hopes that someone else will learn. I've been a bit removed from Linux, so my question was going to be "Does Linux support the NTFS file system?" Because VMs running on FAT-based file systems suck. The last Linux-based OS I had used was Ubuntu 6.04 (Hardy Heron), which, to my knowledge didn't support NTFS.

Then, with 30 seconds of research, I came across NTFS-3G [wikipedia.org] implementation.

All of that to say, I agree with the Windows VM idea. But Dell had better set up the VM, because most business people wouldn't have a clue.

Re:Will it fly? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828935)

Why would you care if Linux had NTFS support if you're running windows in a VM?

Re:Will it fly? (1)

nickruiz (1185947) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829009)

Why would you care if Linux had NTFS support if you're running windows in a VM?

I suppose it depends on how you're setting up your container. If it's file-based, you would have a 4GB size limit.

Re:Will it fly? (2, Informative)

LDoggg_ (659725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829105)

The Filesystem of the guest machine is irrelevant to the host.

The host can use small(2GB) chunks and tell the guest that it is one big drive. The guest OS can then format that into NTFS or whatever and store large files.

Re:Will it fly? (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829157)

For one file. Nothing says your "image" can't be multiple files. VMWare has supported this since the beginning. It is such a no-brainer, I don't see why any alternatives wouldn't either.

Re:Will it fly? (2, Insightful)

chebucto (992517) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829131)

Why would you care if Linux had NTFS support if you're running windows in a VM?

It's helpful to be able to access the files on your virtual disk from your main OS. Being able to mount your virtual disk in GNU would be sweet.

Re:Will it fly? (2, Informative)

columbus (444812) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829109)

Yes, Linux supports NTFS. You've referenced the right module NTFS-3G.
Ubuntu has had this module included by default since version 7.10: gutsy gibbon. Prior to that, it had to be manually installed.

I run a windows XP / Ubuntu 7.10 dual boot setup at home & the NTFS support is great. Ubuntu can read and write to both windows & linux partitions flawlessly. All of your windows files are accessible in the linux mode. I think that there is a slight performance hit (10% or so) for using linux rather than windows to write to the ntfs partition.

Re:Will it fly? (5, Interesting)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829841)

Yes, Linux supports NTFS. You've referenced the right module NTFS-3G. Ubuntu has had this module included by default since version 7.10: gutsy gibbon. Prior to that, it had to be manually installed.

I run a windows XP / Ubuntu 7.10 dual boot setup at home & the NTFS support is great. Ubuntu can read and write to both windows & linux partitions flawlessly. All of your windows files are accessible in the linux mode. I think that there is a slight performance hit (10% or so) for using linux rather than windows to write to the ntfs partition.

The sole downside to that arrangement is that it does not provide any facility for fsck-type maintainance of the NTFS filesystem. The NTFS-3G userspace driver unfortunately does not come bundled with anything of the sort and I've had difficulty trying to find a standalone fsck.ntfs type of program. You can find good programs to read, write, and resize an NTFS filesystem but no Open Source software seems able to repair one. I'd love to find out I'm wrong about this. A friend of mine used a setup like this and eventually experienced a small amount of data loss after unexpected shutdowns (power failures) that were not immediately repaired like Windows would have done on bootup.

If anyone does know a reliable way to repair NTFS filesystems under Linux without actually running Windows, please let me know. Otherwise I'd recommend staying away from NTFS filesystems if at all possible or considering an alternative like FAT32 (as terrible as that may be). If you don't mind Windows having read-only access to your data, you may want to try the EXT2/3 driver for Windows as an alternative.

Re:Will it fly? (3, Insightful)

dokebi (624663) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828857)

If the ARM side has access to the hard disk and wireless, I'll definitely be running it in ARM mode for 10x the battery life.

Re:Will it fly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26829221)

Q: why do you need 10x the battery life?

A: because under arm applications are 10x slower

it's called negotiation R-tards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26828863)

This thing will soon cost exorbitantly more than a single-boot Windows version with higher specs. Why?

Maybe because that's Dell's reach-around after fucking Microsoft - which will end up selling Dell Windows licenses at 5 or 10 dollars a copy. Still better than losing its monopoly.

Re:Will it fly? (1)

Povno (1460131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828923)

I agree.

My XP guest is actually less hardware intensive than if I were to run it native.

Generally most people accept an OS for what it is, if they are curious about other possiblities that are open to them they will find other options that best suit them and end at either conclusion (dual boot or VM) anyway.

Unless they were packaging a Windows disk in with the Linux at a percentage of retail cost then maybe i can see something in it. Then the buyer would save money on Windows for the VM.

Will it fly? Sure It Will (1, Interesting)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828943)

I've been doing this for years and through at least four laptops. It isn't that you reboot to change tasks, I pick which OS to boot depending on where I am and what I intend to do. Connect to internet through hotel or airport network: Linux. Quick review of stuff and make some notes for meeting on airplane: Linux. Connect to secure network either at work or at travel location: Windows. End of the day gaming session in hotel room: Windows. Data files are kept in the Windows partition, because Linux can mount that a whole lot easier than the other way 'round.

Re:Will it fly? (1)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829143)

I agree with the virtualization bit. If this were 2002, or even 2005 I could see them thinking dual boot was the best way to go about putting Windows and Linux on the same box. Nowadays, though, using virtual machines is the clearly superior answer.

Re:Will it fly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26829161)

I've got to agree.... My Macbook runs OSX. Technically I could reboot to start up Windows, but it is just so much easier to install a Mac compatible program to do Windows stuff that I haven't bothered seeing XP on the screen in almost 3 months now...

Re:Will it fly? (2, Insightful)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829243)

Worse than rebooting is maintaining two separate configurations. For example, if you use an email client, you configure it on both sides. Browser, same thing. And so on.

Re:Will it fly? (1)

beyondkaoru (1008447) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829339)

Personally, I didn't switch over to Linux until I had a computer that was purely Linux. I had a dual boot machine for a while, but simply never ended up using the Linux partition, except the first time it was installed. Rather than the dual boot helping me learn, it just sat there. The better learning experience was probably doing things for school on the command line over ssh (via putty).

I eventually simply had to make the plunge, and have been very happy with Linux since.

Why? (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829399)

Any linux distro able to do that would take around as long to boot as windows (depending on startup aps) which eliminates the point of having this kind of setup. Then you'd have to deal with the added drain on resources running a VM on top of another OS would have, both in terms of CPU and ram usage and in terms of battery life.

Re:Will it fly? (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829475)

I wouldn't write this one off too soon. This isn't a simple dual boot which, I admit, is largely pointless in this context. This is a setup where you can either run Linux on an embedded ARM core, or Windows on the main x86. The Linux option won't just be for a slightly shorter boot time, it will be for vastly longer runtime, which could well be interesting to a fair few people under many circumstances.

Re:Will it fly? (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829567)

Thanks to virtualisation you can run Windows and boot up Linux in a virtual machine when you need to.

Summary is bad (as usual) (4, Interesting)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829741)

The Linux install is actually running out of a little embedded ARM card, not the main system. Dell call it Latitude ON, and it's activated by a dedicated button near the power button.

Since suspending/hibernating (rather than sleeping) a Windows laptop usually means you got through much of the boot process anyway (where this thing can kick in), it *might* have some practical value.

Unfortunately I got my E4300 before Latitude ON was available, but I was under the impression that when it was finalised, I'd get the necessary upgrade for free.

Might have to give my Dell rep a call...

Re:Will it fly? (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829773)

I agree. I decided to give Vista (another) try and didn't mind doing menial tasks like surfing, coding, and email. I left my XP partition for gaming. However, I found myself just booting straight into XP because it seemed bothersome to go somewhere that gave me less functionality and endure a reboot just to game.

rebooting is a chore .. (1)

viralMeme (1461143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829865)

Rebooting is a chore. Once people start up, they don't want to shut down to start up another application

They why do I have to reboot my Windows machine after a few hours of browsing or playing a video without getting 'windows is running low on virtual memory' messages, never mind letting it switched on over night ..

This is new? (1, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828549)

My boss at FEI has been doing the exact same thing with VMWare for years. It is already flying in the business world; the only difference now is Dell is pre-installing it.

Re:This is new? (4, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828893)

This is different because the Linux install does not run on the relatively power-hungry x86 chip.

I could see this making sense (2, Interesting)

muppetman462 (867367) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828573)

I can see this from a business aspect, but I would think that people would be thinking, "why do I want to boot into Linux when I have windows right here?" Oh well, at least dell is trying.

Re:I could see this making sense (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26828599)

Once they innevitably complete botch their windows partition: I could imagine some people trying linux.

Re:I could see this making sense (5, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828755)

Wooo! Now That is a perspective that had not entered my mind! Suddenly Windows becomes "broken-slow" mode and Linux becomes "Reliable Backup" mode.

A Linux "spare tire" might well be a good way to prove its reliability to the average user/consumer.

Re:I could see this making sense (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26829307)

This is my only condition for fixing someone's computer for free; they get the newest version of Ubuntu booted alongside their nice clean Windows partition, just in case that Winpartition should get sick again. Not a single complaint, though most people still want their Windows fixed even when their Ubuntu works for gaming reasons.

Honestly (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828587)

As a Linux user I'd have to say that this is a really shitty solution. The only people that dual boot are those that really, and I mean fucking really, need to (and unless they are bound by hardware compability these often use a VM solution instead) and those that have Linux installed for the "cool hacker" factor.

Re:Honestly (2, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828931)

I dual boot for one simple reason: The machine I bought had XP on it, it's a legal copy, and having it provides some level of compatibility with Windows only software for now. I don't use Windows, but keep that drive installed and updated should I ever need a Windows machine. I boot to Windows about twice a month just to upgrade and run anti-virus software and make sure it still works. Other than that it just sits there. It's cheaper and more resource respectful to use the dual boot option and leave Windows on its own drive rather than VM options. I don't have to test/reconfigure things every time I upgrade Linux, just like two machines that I cannot use at the same time. It works for me.

Re:Honestly (3, Insightful)

Falstius (963333) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829111)

You can run your installed windows partition under a VM and avoid having to reboot at all.

Re:Honestly (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829225)

Please re-read my post. I don't use Windows. I keep it running so I can use it if I have to for some compatibility reason or other. I give it 10 minutes of maintenance about twice a month... then go to bed while it runs the anti-virus etc. It would take much more than that to set up VM and fiddle with that every time I upgrade.. meh, I'll reboot if I ever have to use Windows for something, which is looking less and less likely thank you very much.

Good Idea but (2, Insightful)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828627)

it won't work. People will boot to the 1st OS (as they don't want to select one and they will get annoyed if the 1st OS in the boot menu is not windows because they won't be able to leave the computer unattended to boot.

Sadly it's human nature to be lazy. The computer would need to select the correct OS by reading the user's thoughts before it would be viable.

Re:Good Idea but (1)

TheGreatOrangePeel (618581) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829197)

Why is this mod'd insightful? It's a pretty trivial matter to set grub to automatically boot you to windows and I'd be willing to bet that Dell is going to do for us by default.

Re:Good Idea but (1)

ForrestFire439 (1458475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829269)

Maybe they could put two power buttons on it: one to boot to linux and one to boot to Windows. Or they could put a little toggle switch on it and boot according to the user's preference by default.

Isn't this a dupe? Not just dual boot... (3, Informative)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828631)

Hasn't this already been seen, a couple months ago when Dell announced it?

It's not just dual boot, the Linux boot is on a low power ARM CPU, so not only does it boot fast you should get significantly more battery life when running Linux.

Dupe? (5, Informative)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828637)

It's not dual-booting really, you either run Linux on an ARM, or Windows on a Core2.

Link at end to the original EE article, rather than gushy blog.

Did we not cover this earlier this week?

http://www.eetimes.com/news/latest/showArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=3TF41VYEZTQY0QSNDLRSKHSCJUNN2JVN?articleID=213402554&printable=true&printable=true [eetimes.com]

Re:Dupe? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828915)

I'm sorry for not RTFA, but if their Linux runs on an ARM and Windows on a core2, could you partition some RAM and have _both_ OSes running concurrently without virtualization? That would be interesting.

Re:Dupe? (1)

Cillian (1003268) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829069)

Er, no. At least, not with this system. Nice idea, though.

Re:Dupe? (1)

rpmayhem (1244360) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829053)

Well, we talked about the same technology on Tuesday.
http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/02/10/146201 [slashdot.org]

We also talked about it back in October.
http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/02/10/146201 [slashdot.org]

Re:Dupe? (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829377)

So was last Tuesday in October then ?

Either I just lost 3 months of my life, or you posted the same link twice !

Breaking News (-1, Flamebait)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828653)

Airbus landed on Hudson river in New York earlier today, after two flying chairs hit both engines.

Disagree with summary (1, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828661)

>>>Linux for quick tasks and Windows for more intensive ones

This implies that Linux can't do intensive work, as if it's not a real OS. That's not true, is it? Besides the real benefit of abandoning Windows is you can lower your retail price by ~$100, since Linux is free. With this dual boot configuration there's no price savings.

Well whatever. Bottom line is: If I could buy a Windows Vista machine with a Linux at no additional charge, then sure I'd go for it. I enjoy free extras.

Re:Disagree with summary (2, Interesting)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828745)

Retail price won't go down, may go up. Dell, et al, get $$ from application vendors for including trialware w/ icons on the desktop. AOL, McAffee, etc. all pay for "product placement". Ever wonder why a new in box machine has all sorts of icons, etc. on the desktop when a clean install of Windows doesn't?

Re:Disagree with summary (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829223)

Ever wonder why a new in box machine has all sorts of icons, etc. on the desktop when a clean install of Windows doesn't?

I always thought it was because Dell hated me...

Re:Disagree with summary (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829255)

I hate all the crapware they install on new computers. The very first thing I do is wipe the disk. Companies are going to have to come to terms with the fact that marketing your product in every possible way will not lead to increased profitability if your actual Customer hates it. I would go so far to say that I would pick a vendor that does not put all this crapware on the computer just so I don't need to re-install to get it off.

Re:Disagree with summary (2, Interesting)

Windows_NT (1353809) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828761)

I think be intensive tasks, they just mean things you cant do in linux. eg: Use linux for web browsing, checking email etc .. use windows for gaming, Powerpoint, MS office. basically what you need windows for. I use Windows for my intensive programming, because monodevelop [monodevelop.com] doesnt support Code completion for VB, and Squirrel-sql [squirrelsql.org] doesnt have the drag and drop for views with big joins.

Re:Disagree with summary (2, Funny)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828833)

Where intensive == booting windows and running Norton AV

Re:Disagree with summary (1, Redundant)

Falstius (963333) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829151)

That's because the TFS left out a very important detail. The laptop will have two processors.

It runs with two chips, one from ARM and one from Intel. The ARM chip, provides instant on booting and is much more power efficient, while the Intel chip provides the juice to run apps that require more computing power.

So Linux can do heavy lifting, but the ARM chipping running it can't.

Re:Disagree with summary (2, Insightful)

coolsnowmen (695297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829601)

You have to keep reading...
The the different OS's run on different processors.

Linux, running on the power efficient ARM on a flash drive is for quick tasks.

Windows, running on the more power hungry yet more powerful cpu, is for more cpu intensive things.

The only thing it implies (to me) is that windows is less suited to small & quick applications.

Bassk askwards (4, Funny)

LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828695)

Should read Linux for intensive tasks and Windows for Powerpoint.

Re:Bassk askwards (0, Troll)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829083)

You're currently marked funny. Really mods? Powerpoint and Outlook/Exchange are the last reasons to keep a windows box (when the rest of your company is using Windows). If your customers are using Windows, then Powerpoint is the sole reason.

Re:Bassk askwards (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829317)

No, it's correct. Since Windows is so bloated, all task on windows (including the calculator) are hugely CPU intensive. Whereas if you want to run "intensive" tasks like encoding video or real number crunching, linux is your best bet.

Re:Bassk askwards (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829743)

No, it's correct. Since Windows is so bloated, all task on windows (including the calculator) are hugely CPU intensive. Whereas if you want to run "intensive" tasks like encoding video or real number crunching, linux is your best bet.

Except openoffice's calc is a lot slower than excel at the 10 minute (on excel, 20 minute on calc) simple simulations I had to run in grad school. And no, the Windows Calculator is incredibly resource light and feels literally instantly responsive, just like Notepad and a million other little Windows tools.

Just because you want it to be different doesn't make it so.

Another reason it won't fly is the price.. (1)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828719)

Will it fly? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26828731)

The real question is, will it blend?

Nothing new really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26828767)

This reminds me of the latest sony vaio p series. They got windows and dual boot with the play station operating system for quick tasks.
Linux would be a nice alternative, but I'm afraid they won't make it slim enough to boot as fast..

F11 [OT] (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828781)

My laptop came with some sort of diagnostic boot system which was launched by pressing F11 during the system startup process. Since converting to dual boot, that diagnostic system has disappeared. Is there a way to set up my system so that starting normally boots one OS, and starting with F11 boots another?

Re:F11 [OT] (1)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829237)

In my experience with Lenovo/IBM the "F11" button directs machine to a hidden partition on your disk. When you "converted to dual boot" you likely removed that partition. As to why the F11 prompt disappeared that is strange as that should be a part of your BIOS...unless your manufacturer placed something in the root of your drive...

Bad for Linux (5, Interesting)

Jahf (21968) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828885)

The author seems to think that exposure to Linux here might convince people to leave Windows. I strongly disagree.

I used to be in technical marketing for a desktop Linux distro. People listen to the marketing message especially when it is negative. What does that mean? Well lets look at the implied marketing message that is given by this system:

"Linux is good enough for your quick tasks like firing off an email but you need Windows to do your heavy hitting."

ANY corporate non-techie is going to see that if they have to boot Windows to get their big tasks done they obviously don't want Linux on their main system.

Now let us think about the actual environment you get with each:

Linux - Arm processor ... limited applications. The non-techie won't know that they've been artificially limited by the laptop manufacturer. They're just going to know that "Linux is slow" and "I can't download new apps in Linux".

Windows - Intel processor ... full applications and no limit on downloading new software.

Seriously ... things like this are the WORST thing possible for getting the idea of Linux as a desktop replacement out to the mass market. They not only have to fight the current battles regarding custom apps not being written for them but they add artificial misperceptions about the limitations of Linux.

Sometimes no exposure -is- better than bad exposure. If you look only at the bullet points it is cool that a laptop is shipping Linux. And if you can keep your bosses from ever reading the parts about using Linux in a limited way (and NEVER let them touch one of these) then it would be good. But you can't. And you can't control the perception that Linux is limited once they start using it in a stunted environment like this.

Re:Bad for Linux (1)

what about (730877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829027)

It can also mean that Linux can do things that Windows cannot do, after all why putting Linux on a PC if you could do all of it with Windows ?
Maybe as you say, Microsoft has paid to have this gizmo produced to show Linux in bad light, it kind of make sense, but I would wait to see how things actually perform before killing it.
Anybody actually tryed it ?

Re:Bad for Linux (2, Insightful)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829145)

And if you can keep your bosses from ever reading the parts about using Linux in a limited way (and NEVER let them touch one of these) then it would be good. But you can't. And you can't control the perception that Linux is limited once they start using it in a stunted environment like this.

No doubt--it seems to me that most people rarely forget a bad experience with new things. Let them see Linux for their first time on this wacky machine, and they'll be telling their friends for the next 5 years that they "tried Linux and Windows on the same machine and Linux was slow as hell."

I suppose there's some awesome technical issue beyond my comprehension that would explain why I can't just run either OS on either processor. If anybody knows what it is, I'd love to hear about it.

Re:Bad for Linux (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829483)

1- windows only runs on x86 systems nowadays
2- the linux in question is a ROM-based, ARM version, so it won't run on an x86. You can still install another , x86 linux, like on any PC.

Re:Bad for Linux (1)

Espinas217 (677297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829227)

Now let us think about the actual environment you get with each:

Linux - Arm processor ... limited applications. The non-techie won't know that they've been artificially limited by the laptop manufacturer. They're just going to know that "Linux is slow" and "I can't download new apps in Linux".

I think the point of putting Linux to do quick tasks is that it can let you do those tasks faster, not slower. So even if they see Linux as the limited choice it should be the faster way of doing those tasks. Besides if people start actually using Linux they may discover two important things: the Windows way is not the only one nor the easiest one; and Linux is a usable OS for them.

Re:Bad for Linux (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829305)

I'm a non-corporate techie and I don't have Linux on my main system. Once I decided that I had to have Windows directly on the metal at any time, I had to jettison Linux. Why? Because pretty much anything I can do in Linux, I can do in Windows, and this way I don't have to multi-boot. Sure, Linux does many things BETTER than Windows, and if I need to attack a device with dd or something, I'm not running dd.exe. I'm plugging into one of my Linux systems. But for day to day use Windows will do everything, and if I need a bash shell or something there's cygwin. (I haven't figured out powershell yet and I hope never to have to.)

The simple fact is that multi-booting is annoying. Windows has a hard time reading Linux filesystems and Linux has a slow time reading NTFS, so you end up with files that you can't conveniently access from one OS or the other (or both) and having to bounce back and forth to move files around, et cetera. Every so often you add or remove some big waste of disk space and then you have to repartition and the most entertaining Linux filesystems can't necessarily be moved around conveniently, so you have to shuttle Linux off to another disk, repartition and resize Windows, then bring it back.

With all that said, a quick-booting mini-Linux distribution that booted into XBMC and with a couple of programs under the programs launch menu (like firefox, skype, etc) could be a great additional feature for a laptop, especially if it loaded from flash. Granted, I can do this myself by leaving something in my SD slot, but then I can't view photos from my camera in XBMC with autorun on insert. It could be a strong selling point on consumer-grade laptops which are marketed as a media player (glossy screen at. al.) I could also see a teensy linux web-only boot on a netbook that has windows installed - sometimes you just want to browse the damned web. And again, probably it should also have a SIP client and Skype.

You should be able to accomplish this in a pretty small footprint, tucked off in a corner of a flash drive. It could be a standard feature on 12GB and 16GB models which would never even notice the lack, and an optional install for others.

attack a device with dd or something .. (1)

viralMeme (1461143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829737)

"if I need to attack a device with dd or something, I'm not running dd.exe"

you're kidding, I can't remember when I last needed to DD to read a device, unless you mean a floppy that Windows can't access ..

The simple fact is that multi-booting is annoying. Windows has a hard time reading Linux filesystems and Linux has a slow time reading NTFS, so you end up with files that you can't conveniently access from one OS or the other (or both) and having to bounce back and forth to move files around, et cetera

If multi-booting is annoying then why not stick to the one OS. Most any version of Linux can read NTFS [ntfs-3g.org] straight out of the box and there are a number of solutions [linux-ntfs.org]

Every so often you add or remove some big waste of disk space and then you have to repartition and the most entertaining Linux filesystems can't necessarily be moved around conveniently, so you have to shuttle Linux off to another disk, repartition and resize Windows, then bring it back

You're kidding, if you run out of space, then add a second harddrive and map that into /home and you've doubled your storage, all without having to 'shuttle Linux off to another disk'

"I can't view photos from my camera in XBMC with autorun on insert"

You're still kidding, inserting a camera and a dialog box pops up ..

Re:Bad for Linux (1)

viralMeme (1461143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829817)

"ANY corporate non-techie is going to see that if they have to boot Windows to get their big tasks done they obviously don't want Linux on their main system"

"heavier duty [daniweb.com] " computing like running Microsoft Office applications"

Would Portable Office [portableapps.com] (86.4MB) run on such a system?

Re:Bad for Linux (1)

cL0h (624108) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829837)

Technical marketing? What distro was that for? If you know anything about using a laptop on the go then you will know that by far the greatest limiting factor is battery life and this laptop offers the ability to type and do email on a full size keyboard with "ten times the battery life". There is no negative "implied marketing message" just because it is not full featured Linux. I see nothing but positives in the extra features offered on this laptop and any travelling business exec used to making do with a Blackberry until he can find a socket to recharge will appreciate this.

Yes, yes they will... (2, Funny)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 5 years ago | (#26828929)

"but will such a machine really fly in the business world?"

Yes, yes they will along with the chairs as soon as Balmer gets his hands on them.

question (1)

Sam36 (1065410) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829133)

Is this that stupid splashtop stuff? That ain't linux, that is broken linux.

rather have.... (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829233)

...just the arm chip and linux on the laptop and skip the whole x86 and windows deal...for a hundred to two hundred bucks tops..and the os boots from a ssd and then runs from RAM.

Easily enhanced (5, Interesting)

johnw (3725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829253)

Surely the obvious thing to do with this is to scrub Windows and install Linux on the other processor too. Then you can have low-power instant-on Linux for long battery life and quick tasks, then a fairly transparent transition to high power Linux when you want to do something requiring more grunt. It would be interesting to see whether you can have both running at the same time and communicating with each other.

Re:Easily enhanced (4, Interesting)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829533)

Interesting... share your home directory (diff partition) between the 2 oses, and you wouldn't even need to move settings around... Boot the ARM version for long battery life, boot the x86 side when you want lots of speed.

I Was A Dual-Booter (1)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829511)

But now I run Ubuntu 8.0.4 in a VMWare server on top of Vista Home Edition (this all powered by an AMD-64 with 4GB RAM).

Works for my meager needs. I have access to the very few Windows-only apps I like (Quicken, iTunes) but I can use Linux for development and testing - at the same time. No more booting back and forth.

And with the NoMachine [nomachine.com] server and client, I can access the Linux desktop from the cube-farm.

Maybe not elegant, but it's cheaper than a Mac.

Linux is ready for business - Why use Windows? (3, Interesting)

doodlebumm (915920) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829557)

My Dell Latitude D820 is loaded up with Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex. My co-workers use Windows. Yesterday I got our department Sprint data card. They told me it would probably take me a bit to get it working on the laptop (because it took them a while to get the driver installed and setup to run). So I took the card and inserted it into the PCMCIA slot. In about 20 seconds (without my doing ANYTHING else) it was connected to Sprint's network and I was using it like the laptop was born to use it.

I use it for doing every task that I have to do for work. There are over ten thousand windows users here at work. We went through a big change from Groupwise to Exchange and Outlook. I use Evolution, and I get complete access to everything I need - scheduling, email, the works.

When people say that Linux is not ready for business use, they smoking somethin' that making them see the world in a false and distorted way. I'll never go back to Windows.

Everyone's gettng the wrong idea here (1)

rlgura (1201135) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829653)

This is not both operating systems pre-installed. Dell is selling this as an "instant on" function that quickly boots to an embedded Linux desktop where you can access your local Outlook PST mailfile, some simple applications, and browse the web. I have a few of these already, but we're not licensed for the option, so it's limited and since we're not an Outlook/Exchange shop, not too useful for us....

I've only been using Linux for... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26829863)

I've only been using Linux exclusively for 9 years, or so. I am really glad someone finally pointed out that I can't actually get any work done in it and that in order to do any work I need Windows.

Now, who is going to break this to the fortune 500 companies, governments, schools and thousands of other organizations using Linux and FOSS?

Oblig. (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26829895)

I, for one, welcome our ariborne dual-booting overlords.

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