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Google's Android To Challenge Windows?

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the depends-how-strong-the-android-is dept.

Operating Systems 269

PL/SQL Guy writes "Search giant Google is set to offer its free Android mobile-phone operating system for computers, opening a new front in its rivalry with Microsoft by challenging the dominance of the company's Windows software. Acer Inc., the world's second-largest laptop maker, will release a low-cost notebook powered by Android next quarter, said Jim Wong, head of information-technology products at the Taipei-based company. Calvin Huang, an analyst at Daiwa Securities Group Inc, says that adoption of Android-based netbooks will likely eat into Windows' share of PC operating systems." Meanwhile, notes reader Barence, Asus is continuing to distance itself from Android, saying it "isn't a priority."

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269 comments

Contradictory Statements! (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197307)

Meanwhile, notes reader Barence, Asus is continuing to distance itself from Android, saying it "isn't a priority."

I think the article you wanted to link there was Asus distances itself from Android netbook [pcpro.co.uk] .

That's odd considering the story we discussed yesterday [slashdot.org] in which Qualcomm showed an eee PC (an Asus product) running Android with an ARM processor. And in the Bloomberg article (which also mentions that), "Asustek said in February its engineers were trying to develop an Android-based netbook this year."

The comments of Jonathan Tsang, vice chairman of Asus, don't convince me. Actions speak louder than words. Hint: When you release an ARM Processor based chipset in a netbook, you're actually distancing yourself from Windows and x86 applications.

What he means to say is "everything's ready, just don't alarm our Redmond masters [slashdot.org] until we're sure the consumer likes Android."

Re:Contradictory Statements! (1, Insightful)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197545)

I think the bigger contradiction here is that a "netbook" OS is going to eat up some of the "PC" OS market share.

That's a bit like saying that my trusty HP calculator is going to eat some of Windows market share because Windows comes with calc.exe.

Nice try.

Re:Contradictory Statements! (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198535)

If most users spent 80+% of their computer time running calc.exe and not much else, your trusty HP calculator would indeed be a threat to Windows marketshare.

I'm not all that sold on the idea of Android as a netbook OS, Moblin or ordinary Linux would be my preference; but it is nevertheless a potentially viable candidate.

Most PCs spend most of their lives doing something very close to the netbook use case, so sure, many could be replaced by netbooks. Hardly 100%, but many.

Re:Contradictory Statements! (0)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197957)

It's easy for this to appear as contradictory statements and here's why.

Asus distances itself from Android netbook.
Don't forget, Acer's an OEM. They build lots of devices. Building a sample laptop for Qualcomm has little to do with what happens with Acer branded products. Does Acer brand similar products to their OEM devices? Sure. Management at Acer will **only** follow Qualcomm, HP, Dell products with an Acer branded version they don't ever take huge leading gambles that would piss off Redmond.

When you release an ARM Processor based chipset in a netbook, you're actually distancing yourself from Windows and x86 applications.
The 'you' in your statement is probably their OEM side building a product for bid. Microsoft knows they have no control over this end. Microsoft/Intel would go to Qualcomm and get the spec changed to suit them, at a cost to Microsoft. But that's how they'd do it.

just don't alarm our Redmond masters
The OEM/ODM side doesn't really fear Microsoft. If it sells more devices with a Microsoft product on-board, then Microsoft it is! The same is true for the Acer-branded stuff. As long as a device with a Microsoft OS moves more product, Microsoft has some influence. At some point Microsoft runs out of resources to crowd out totally Free competitors. Hopefully that happens in my lifetime.

Re:Contradictory Statements! (2, Insightful)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198011)

I think you actually need a s/Acer/Asus/g; in there, read what you quoted.

Re:Contradictory Statements! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28198525)

The ODMs build the devices. Wistron and Compal build for Acer. Asus is currently built by a different ODM that isn't doing so hot, and will likely need to shift their production to a different gropu.

Symbian? (2, Informative)

drolli (522659) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197351)

Right now, Android is more a rival for symbian than for Windows.

Re:Symbian? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28197399)

I agree. Women would never again buy Sybian [wikipedia.org] devices if they could be sexually serviced by a full-sized android a la the Kubrick/Spielberg film A.I..

Oh, wait, you said Symbian. Oops.

Re:Symbian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28197499)

I agree. Women would never again buy Sybian [wikipedia.org] devices if they could be sexually serviced by a full-sized android a la the Kubrick/Spielberg film A.I..

Oh, wait, you said Symbian. Oops.

Hah-hah wow, another lame joke derived from poor reading comprehension. Hilarity ensued!

Re:Symbian? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28197507)

Ug, don't reference such a terrible film, the geek canon is sufficient

Data : I am fully functional, programmed in multiple techniques

Re:Symbian? (1)

d3matt (864260) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198631)

Umm, you can now turn in your geek badge Mr. Anonymous. A/I wasn't the best movie, but it was excellent Science Fiction.

Re:Symbian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28197827)

The real question is, would Gary still have to wear the bee-keeper's mask while operating the android?

Ba Ba Booey to y'all.

Re:Symbian? (0, Troll)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197561)

Right now, Android is more a rival for symbian than for Windows.

And it's just about as much of a threat to Symbian as it is to Windows: not at all.

Re:Symbian? (1)

rumith (983060) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197723)

Would be funny to see your comment join the ranks of famous quotes like "No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame." and "640kb should be enough for everybody" a few years later, when/if Android beats both Symbian and Windows :-)

Re:Symbian? (1)

initdeep (1073290) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197899)

you forgot to include the oft repeated "it's the year of the Linux desktop" in your list of utter fail.......

Re:Symbian? (0, Troll)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197959)

Would be funny to see your comment join the ranks of famous quotes like "No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame." and "640kb should be enough for everybody" a few years later,

A few years later? That's pretty funny in and of itself. You are telling me that an OS that has barely reached 1% of the smartphone OS market is going to dethrone Symbian and Windows in only a few years? I almost spit up my drink laughing so hard. Yep, I'm sure that day will happen at the same point when Microsoft open sources Windows.

Open vs Closed (2, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197371)

Here we have a very interesting inversion of the typical Open vs Closed debate. Although Windows itself may be a closed source OS, it is actually a very open system. And although Android is built on layers of open source components, it is fundamentally a closed system (like iPhone).

The target audience for Android PCs would be one which needs a dedicated internet browsing device. Anything more would mean that they would be looking at Windows.

This strategy has been tried several times before. And it has failed every time. Linux has already been edged out of the netbook market by Windows, so it's going to be interesting to see how an even more crippled system could possibly compete.

Re:Open vs Closed (4, Informative)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197435)

"Anyone can take the Android platform and add code or download it to create a mobile device without restrictions," Google said in an e-mail. "We look forward to seeing what contributions are made and how an open platform spurs innovation."

Re:Open vs Closed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28197461)

He's talking about Android being open, not the resulting device.

Re:Open vs Closed (1)

edivad (1186799) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197907)

He's talking about Android being open, not the resulting device.

Note that for the end user, it makes no sense having an "open" source, when you (or others) cannot freely install (modulo huge hacks) your mods or apps. That, and the fact that Android is a pseudo-Java-let's-do-something-different-even-though-we-have-no-technical-reason-for-it Java environment. Once you let the smoke pumped by Google and its marketing settle, and you look at it from a technical side, Android is a piss-poor implementation. I expected A WHOLE LOT more from Google, and they failed.

Re:Open vs Closed (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28198123)

I expected A WHOLE LOT more from Google, and they failed.

Why is it Google's fault that your expectations of them are unrealistic?

Re:Open vs Closed (1)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198497)

Why is it Google's fault that your expectations of them are unrealistic?

Because his expectations were fully possible and perfectly understandable given Google's history. Google tends to under-promise and over-deliver. In this case (as in Chrome, IMHO) they've not promised much at all, and still under-delivered.

When I first heard of Android, I pictured a Linux distro with the attractiveness and user-centeredness of Apple, mixed with the openness and security of Linux, and somehow integrated with Google's various apps. The result would destroy Apple on the desktop and relegate MS to business machines. Instead we got a pretty good phone OS that will somehow be shoehorned onto a Netbook -- something along the lines of Ubuntu-lite. Pointless.

Re:Open vs Closed (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197609)

Is this your first time reading a BadAnalogyGuy post? I'd post saying "whoosh" but I think that would be pointing out the obvious.

Re:Open vs Closed (3, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197501)

I think the problem is that you can't produce the hardware cheap enough to make Windows compatibility a non-issue. If you could buy a typical sized netbook that could just do email and browse the internet (including supporting things like flash, like it or not) nobody would care which OS it used.

Oops - forgot to mention the price point (3, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197519)

I forgot the most important part "for $99.95".

Re:Open vs Closed (1)

socketwiz (792252) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197601)

The number of people that want to do only those things is so small its a moot point.

Re:Open vs Closed (1)

paazin (719486) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197721)

The number of people that want to do only those things is so small its a moot point.

Uh, you sure about that?

I know a great deal of people who use their computers only for pretty much just IM, web, and *maybe* at the most extreme, viewing photos from a digital camera or playing music.

Most likely if you switched them from Windows to MacOS/Ubuntu/Solaris/Android/Whatever, they probably wouldn't notice a difference if still mostly everything worked the same in those realms.

Re:Open vs Closed (1)

93,000 (150453) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198199)

If the price point was low enough I'd buy one just to keep my wife & kids off my main machine. All they do is club penguin and facebook, so their needs are pretty small.

Re:Open vs Closed (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198271)

The number of people that want to do only those things is so small its a moot point.

You might be surprised. If you want to look at what's likely to happen in the tech market, look to Japan. The netbook/internet appliance trend started there way before it came to our shores. The trend toward less expensive appliance type devices has continued to expand over there and I can't see a reason to think the same thing won't happen here.

Re:Open vs Closed (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198431)

I think the fact that Windows netbooks outsell Linux netbooks dramatically says a lot about how Americans feel about their computer. They want a familiar environment. I bought an Acer with Linux as was surprised at how feature full it was. I could do the majority of tasks that I would want to do on a netbook. Other people with less technical skills found it cumbersome though as things didn't work as they expected.

The netbook trend started a long time ago and only recently did it become useful enough for the majority of us to actually want. Coincidentally that was also the time when they became powerful enough to run Windows even though they have been capable of running Linux for years.

Re:Open vs Closed (2, Insightful)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197891)

I'm just going to buy one, and think of it as a high-end Smartphone. It may also function as a PC, but I'm mostly buying it to have a versatile, low-power media hub I can take with me anywhere.

Flash is really slow, and I would really like for it to die before all the hardware catches up.

Re:Open vs Closed (2, Informative)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197553)

How could the Bad Analogy Guy overlook the 'droid vs. Borg comparison?
You're slipping badly there.

Er... what? (5, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197795)

In what way is Android a closed system? Anyone can write Android apps. The API is fully open. Anyone can publish them to the Google ap store. Or you can just install them individually like any application for any OS.

I don't see how you can compare Android to the iPhone as both being closed. The iPhone is closed in every single way. Android in nearly none.

Re:Er... what? (2, Funny)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198467)

I don't see how you can compare Android to the iPhone as both being closed. The iPhone is closed in every single way. Android in nearly none.

Well, his name is "BadAnalogyGuy"...

Re:Er... what? (1)

citizenr (871508) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198521)

In what way is Android a closed system?

can I touch kernel from userspace?

Re:Open vs Closed (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28197943)

Linux has already been edged out of the netbook market by Windows

I agreed with your analysis otherwise, but this battle is just starting... We haven't seen usable preinstalled linux netbooks yet, and if we do get those they are going to be a very hard curve ball for MS: Microsoft wants people to move from XP to Windows 7, which is going to mean a price hike because of hardware demands and another for the more expensive OS.

My guess: If Moblin et al can match or pass Windows 7 in UI design and general usability (something that should be possible in a segment like netbooks), the easily available applications and significantly lower price are going even out the inevitable compatibility problems...

But android on a netbook? That just sounds like they are going to try Qualcomms snapdragon and can't really run proper desktop applications without slowing to a crawl.

Re:Open vs Closed (3, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198399)

Although Windows itself may be a closed source OS, it is actually a very open system. And although Android is built on layers of open source components, it is fundamentally a closed system (like iPhone).

This doesn't make much sense. If we're comparing OSes themselves, then neither one restricts application development or distribution. If we're comparing devices, then, obviously, it's quite possible to lock down Windows just as much as any other OS if the device manufacturer decides to do that - it's just that it's something much more common in phone/handheld market. I doubt that Android-based netbooks, for example, would be similarly locked down - it would fall short of the expectations consumers have of those devices, based on existing models.

Re:Open vs Closed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28198527)

Google should really be pushing the Google App store. There should be a link on the Android netbook 'desktop' to the app store. Or even better, they should build an interface so that free software can be obtained on an Android netbook as easily as it is on Ubuntu.

Probably not (1)

netscan (1028690) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197397)

Windows != Windows Mobile

2010... (1)

digsbo (1292334) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197413)

...will be the year of Linux on the Desktop.

Seriously. With Ubuntu now in a "just works" state on most hardware, and Android tested by commercial entities to work out-of-the-box fro specific hardware, there is real choice. The lower cost of slick Linux devices and PCs compared to OS X premium hardware from Apple will start to take hold this year.

Re:2010... (1)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197437)

Android could finally be the desktop Linux standard we all have been waiting for!

I want Google to maintain control over it, and develop it into a full-fledged Windows replacement for notebooks and desktops.

Re:2010... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28197595)

If this plays out as you suggest it does significant damage to FOSS as a development model, in terms of it being able to produce what people want.

Re:2010... (1)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198099)

Then that means that the FOSS model can't/doesn't cater to people's needs.

Re:2010... (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198073)

I want Google to maintain control over it,

This is human nature in action. Most people are quite happy to follow and do so with all the limitations and abuse that are sure to happen.

It never ceases to amaze me that everyone has access to many viable alternative operating systems, applications and platforms why they don't just drop Microsoft products and remember them as things they used when they were a whole lot less savvy.

Yawn (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28198523)

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Why not just stick with Windows and save yourself the hassle?

Re:2010... (5, Insightful)

Random2 (1412773) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197475)

It's not that the thing's 'ready to go', the problem still remains that the majority people currently using windows are use to windows and don't want to spend another 5 years learning a new operating system with new software. We really need to target the younger audiences and schools if we want to make progress. It's something that windows did early on, and something that worked very well.

Re:2010... (1)

zefrer (729860) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197763)

This whole 'used to windows' thing really bugs me. What difference does it make what OS your browser is running on? You telling me people don't know how to use firefox on mac os x/eee's linux distro but do know how to use it on windows? That's absolutely ridiculous.

Asus themselves proved this with the first release of the Eee which didn't run windows, people were still buying it and I never heard anyone one of them complain that it wasn't windows so they didn't know how to use it. It just has 4 huge buttons named 'browser', 'email' and etc. Please explain how anyone can not know how to use that.

Re:2010... (0)

Random2 (1412773) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198025)

Yes, but you're assuming that people are willing to take the time to learn a new system. Windows is tailored for lazy people, just open it and go. And, because it's the first thing so many people were introduced too, it's what they're use to seeing and know how to work with. It's analogous to changing how a car works. Windows would be the basic set-up: stick-shift, steering wheel, gas and break petals, and so on. With Linux, the car would have things like: buttons for stop and go, virtual steering and navigating, and so on. It's not that these things wouldn't work better and be cooler, it's just that they're so different most people don't want to learn how to use them. Also OS is very different from a browser. Although the browsers may be a bit different, they really only deal with one thing in one way. I don't really need to pay much attention to what browser I'm using to surf the internet. But with an OS, I have to use it for everything. They basic menu layout is different across every browser, I can only use certain programs and on certain os's, the functionality of those programs also differs vastly, and so on. Because of these differences, we make it hard for the lazy people to switch over. This is why things like WINE are so important, they allow us to give those lazy people a 'familiar ground' to latch onto while we introduce them to new, better things. Basically, I'm saying most people are too lazy to learn another operating system unless they're involved in a technical field. But, it's those same lazy people that we need to target if we want to take down M$. The way M$ gets those people is 1) introducing them to M$ early on, and 2) making everything work in M$, thus blocking out everyone else. That's what we need to fight if we want to see anything effectively take on M$.

Re:2010... (1)

zefrer (729860) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198143)

Again, that does not make sense.

Asus eee screenshots: http://www.featuredsystems.com/asus-eee-pc-screenshots/ [featuredsystems.com]

Please explain how anyone can not know how to use it. And no more car analogies please.

Re:2010... (1)

Random2 (1412773) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198231)

Let me try the approach that has been given to me: Ok, so why should I use it? Windows does exactly what I need it to when I need it to, why should I switch to another operating system? Will it run all the programs that I need it to? I like Microsoft, and don't think they're a monopoly nor that they're evil.

Re:2010... (1, Flamebait)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198493)

Sir, I think you overestimate people, completely. There are people who, if you run updates on their computer, lose the ability to figure out what to do, even if literally nothing about the machine changed.

Those screenshots? The icons are completely different. The people that need to be targeted don't read labels. They're the ones that go "I deleted the internet! My E is missing!" The reason they only use IM and email is because they just don't know how to do more. Remember: The majority of people are fucking dumbasses. If it's even the slightest bit different, they are going to panic and assume they have no idea what to do, freeze up in fear, and trade it in for what they know.

And look! Not a single car analogy!

Re:2010... (1)

zefrer (729860) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198603)

You are probably right. I do understand what you're saying, most people get completely confused with even the slightest change but the point is, you're not buying an OS, you are buying a device.

The same people that get extremely confused by icon choices couldn't care less what OS their netbook is running, they will use what ever it came with. Vista is proof enough of that.

My point is it is not unthinkable for a vendor like Asus to create an environment that is simple enough for people with no prior experience with it to learn how to use. Obviously they might look at it and go 'wtf' cause it's not what they're used to but a show and tell and simple clear instructions should be enough right? Remember we are only talking about email, web, messenger. That is it. That's all most people use. As long as flash works, as long as you can click 'gmail' and up pops up your gmail account and so on then I can not see how it is simpler to instead use windows.

The lack of car analogies is much appreciated :)

Re:2010... (1)

Narpak (961733) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198163)

Friend of mine got one of them Asus EEE with Linux. As you said it just had some very nice friendly buttons that said what they did and did just that. However it was also possible to go out of that menu system and access a proper desktop; which was again very familiar and user-friendly. Anyone needing easy portable access to a browser, email reader, word processor, calendar or such (like say students, teachers, and a range of business people) then they should be able to pick up a netbook running whatever OS is available and use it without any inconvenience.

Building a user-friendly system for providing the basic functions desired by the majority of people wanting a netbook is at this point rapidly becoming a non-issue.

Re:2010... (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198249)

You telling me people don't know how to use firefox on mac os x/eee's linux distro but do know how to use it on windows? That's absolutely ridiculous.

Not even a little ridiculous. Even things as simple as having the [x]close button on the left side rather than the right side is enough to confuse people. Yet alone the crappiest thing I think OSX does, puts all the menus at the top of the screen rather than attached to the window I'm using. When I have my MBP connected to my dual monitor setup I have to literally move my mouse pointer 22 inches to get from an app running on my secondary monitor to a menu item. Sure keyboard shortcuts are nice for the standard things, but some apps I don't run every day and am never going to learn every keyboard shortcut for every function it has.

Re:2010... (1)

squallbsr (826163) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197929)

This is something that is currently being exploited by Apple. Walking around the college campuses lately I have been noticing that Macs are about 50% of the "I brought it to class to take notes" crowd.

Re:2010... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28198663)

I agree. Use Ubuntu as a standard in schools, and whole generations of people will grow accustomed to it. Put them on Windows later, and many of them will give it up on their first virus infection, because Ubuntu "just doesn't do that".

Re:2010... (4, Interesting)

paazin (719486) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197503)

With Ubuntu now in a "just works" state on most hardware

Not really true, unfortunately. I know this is just anecdotal but I've a few friends who were just getting into linux and they had nothing but trouble with installing on recent laptops.
They're pretty smart folks and somewhat tech-savvy, so I can't imagine someone's mom or grandmother trying to do the same.

Re:2010... (5, Insightful)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197667)

Why is everyone obsessed with the idea that Mother/Grandmother needs to be able to install Ubuntu? Seriously, my mother-in-law can't manage to navigate to a web page without help, I've had to put a link on the desktop to Google Mail. The one, only, big problem with Linux-based operating systems is commercial application and driver support. People want to be able to walk into a shop and buy something. They want to put the CD that came with their new digital camera into the drive and install the stuff that came with it because they think they got something free (even if it's rubbish). The early adopters of OS X had this problem, but now almost any device comes with OS X support and most of the important packages have OS X ports. Linux just isn't there yet in that department. One commercially-supported platform for developers to target, supported by a number of the bigger hardware companies, might just achieve that.

Re:2010... (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198295)

Not just early adopters of OS X, it's still that way. I have to look at everything in detail before I know if it will work. I have a windows box that I keep around just so I can do things like relyably sync and/or update my blackberry. Update maps on my GPS. etc...

Re:2010... (2, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198347)

People want to be able to walk into a shop and buy something.

This is completely different than 'commercial application and driver support.' There is no value to be had in aggressively promoting Linux compatibility at the average retailer. There simply aren't enough customers/money to be made yet.

commercial application and driver support
I am dog tired of hearing this bit of disinformation. Many distros provide excellent support. And I don't mean forums. I mean talking to a warm body on the phone that can actually help.

Singling out Linux as having weak driver support is another red herring. Perhaps you are wise and wait many years before switching to a new Microsoft OS. I promise you, those early Microsoft adopters go through a world of hurt with buggy drivers. Mac users do too, only to a lesser extent.

Re:2010... (1)

digsbo (1292334) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197677)

Ok, legitimate anecdotal evidence...but my coworker and I just bought the same new HP laptop (G70t). He tried for weeks to install XP alongside Vista, and couldn't. I had no problem w/ a dual boot Ubuntu 9.04 install (are they trying to install 9.04 or something older?). Furthermore, we've both had bluescreens from Vista updates. I haven't done anything remotely unusual on my Vista partition, and it blue screened on me from regular MS updates, on a factory installed, plain-vanilla configuration. My coworker's has blue screened multiple times. Ubuntu has been rock-solid. So it can happen to MS, too.

Re:2010... (1)

initdeep (1073290) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197971)

if it's blue screening on updates, you have a bad video driver most likely.

they have this thing called the reliability and performance report center.

try using it if you really are having these problems.

it will TELL you what is causing the blue screen.

most likely it isn't vista but a driver or bad component.

i personally can count on one hand the number of blue screens i've seen on 300 vista computers.

all of them were related to nvidia drivers.
all have been rock solid for over a year now.

Re:2010... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28198131)

Sounds like you and your coworker are idiots if you can't get XP installed. Seriously, you guys need some real experience...

Ubuntu fanboys...gotta love em

Re:2010... (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198329)

Sounds like you and your coworker are idiots if you can't get XP installed.

Sheesh. With that kind of attitude, no wonder Windows isn't getting anywhere.

Re:2010... (1)

SBFCOblivion (1041418) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198509)

But at the same time I can't imagine anyone's mom or grandmother installing windows either. Most systems come preloaded so a lot of people who do use windows don't actually know anything about installing it.

Re:2010... (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197537)

I'm just leaving a note here so I can Google (or Bing) this next year and get an even bigger laugh out of it than just now.

rofl_yolotd

Re:2010... (4, Insightful)

rumith (983060) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197881)

With Ubuntu now in a "just works" state on some hardware

There. Fixed that for you. Unfortunately, my own stats (and I have installed Ubuntu on lots of different hardware configurations) indicate that in only about 30% cases it just works with all the hardware that an average user will immediately notice to fail. Wireless, sound cards, video cards (missing 3d support and more), ACPI quirks... I think that the year of Linux on Desktop will never come, until we realize that we must not go the Microsoft Way - we must go the Apple Way, no matter how absurd as it may sound at first! And maybe Google is trying to do just that - make sure there are several distinct hardware configurations 100% supported by Android, instead of writing software to support everything invented by the mankind.

Re:2010... (1)

16384 (21672) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198365)

until we realize that we must not go the Microsoft Way - we must go the Apple Way,

Supporting only a narrowly defined set of hardware? Although that would be much easier in terms of support, linux only has a few percent of the market, so it's not like we can impose any rules on anyone... on the other hand one of linux biggest assets is its flexibility, running in small gadgets and supercomputers.

Re:2010... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28198645)

Many times beaten horse...

Don't freeze hardware.
Just freeze API/ABI and commercial developers will come in droves (assuming the Linux community really wants commercial developers' support).

I currently do an embedded Linux project for Atom-based board.
It is a nightmare to select a kernel that supports all features of my board.
The drivers appear and disappear between kernel releases.
Their names and placements change between releases.
Because of API changes, they are often uncompilable between releases without major hacking.

With frozen API/ABI I would grub a driver from a different release and be done.

I am contemplating an idea to port our project to a different OS from Linux staring from the next release.

Re:2010... (2, Informative)

nxtw (866177) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198587)

Seriously. With Ubuntu now in a "just works" state on most hardware, and Android tested by commercial entities to work out-of-the-box fro specific hardware, there is real choice. The lower cost of slick Linux devices and PCs compared to OS X premium hardware from Apple will start to take hold this year.

Ubuntu 9.04 had a serious regression on Intel integrated graphics [workswithu.com] , as did Fedora 10. The sad part is this used to "just work" - Intel's drivers are fully open source.

Intel holds nearly 50% of the PC graphics market share [edn.com] . It's tough to say that it "just works" when nearly half of the latest hardware has broken graphics support - including the nearly all of the netbooks that Linux is supposed to be so great for. I find it troubling that they shipped an OS that broke graphics performance on so many systems - why did this happen now, and what prevents it from happening again?

If anything deserves a GoodLuckWithThat tag... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28197477)

This article CERTAINLY deserves a GoodLuckWithThat Slashdot article tag! :)

Not just Android vs. Windows (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28197577)

There is a growing willingness to attack the Windows+Intel+Dell+Apple cartel. Well, Dell is already history. Intel did well with Atom but it's a temporary victory that in fact opened a market segment where ARM-based CPUs can significantly beat Intel ones. And the winning combination is Android + ARM, with long battery lives, Google's guarantee of world-class applications, and massive funding into the open source platforms needed to make it work.

Of course ASUS will produce Android smartbooks when the time comes, but for now they're getting fat discounts on Windows for their loyalty.

Very exciting times, I feel that thin cheap netbooks / smartbooks, and thin cheap VESA-mounted nettops already handle about 80% of the use cases I see. Only a few people need a multicore machine with huge disks.

I wonder how Intel is going to respond to this, but my guess is they will embrace Android and buy ARM.

How exactly? (3, Insightful)

iampiti (1059688) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197585)

What does android has that linux doesn't?
Linux has more software than android and if we're talking about familiarity the linux desktop is closer to windows than android.
The android netbooks will be cheaper than the windows ones but, again, if that hasn't helped linux I don't see how it's going to help android.
I'd like to see the microsoft dominance in the os market broken as much as anyone but I don't have much hope this is going to do it.

Re:How exactly? (5, Insightful)

Random2 (1412773) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197645)

What does android has that linux doesn't?

Google

Re:How exactly? (3, Insightful)

digsbo (1292334) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197693)

Branding. Everybody knows Google. Not everybody knows Fedora/Ubuntu/Debian/Suse/Mandriva/should I continue?

Unity, name recognition, money. (2, Insightful)

guidryp (702488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198649)

"What does android has that linux doesn't?"

Unity: as opposed to the fragmentation of Linux. Linux has ~1% of the desktop market and that is divided into a hundred fragments. I say this as someone who uses RH at work and Ubuntu at home (secondary boot to windows). I am not going to get into a back and forth over the benefit of the freedom to fork new things. Yep thats nice, but with the utter fragmentation reducing Linux to the ghetto forever, it has IMO relegated it to the backwaters forever.

Name recognition: To stand out from the Linux rabble.

Money: to advertise/fix issue/build whatever they need to make it work...

From all of the above you get buy in, trust, investment.

I'd love to replace my Ubuntu boot with Android if it ever heads in that direction.

Troll (0, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197603)

Yes, Android is going to make it the year of the Linux desktop. Just because you sell a few copies to some geeks doesn't mean you're going to take over the world, it'll be good when you finally get it into your head.

Re:Troll (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28198017)

Predicting being classified "Troll". win.

Funny (1)

mlscdi (1046868) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198681)

If only all commenters were so considerate.

Windows' biggest challenge is its size (5, Insightful)

HonkyLips (654494) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197617)

The biggest challenge facing Windows is its size and hardware requirements - as phones get smarter and netbooks become more popular then people will become accustomed to having a 'proper' computer on them at all time- for many people with an iPhone this is already happening. Even Miyamoto (the Nintendo guy) was talking today about broadening the range of applications available for the DS so that gamers begin to take them everywhere and use them for everything. It doesn't really matter whether it's a Nintendo DS, an Apple iPhone, a Palm Pre, a Blackberry or a netbook running Android- the key is portability. Portability is The Next Big Thing and in this market Windows does not seem to have a very attractive offering - Windows Mobile only makes headlines when it's market share is overtaken by something else.
So personally I don't see Android as a specific challenge to Windows, I see Windows being challenged by a fundamental shift in computing - from the desktop to personal - and Windows biggest challenge in this area is probably itself and it's own bloated history.

Re:Windows' biggest challenge is its size (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198033)

The DS doesn't have enough battery life to handle that kind of usage, so it's foolish to try to sell those things for it. PSP is in the same boat, as are most notebooks, netbooks, etc.

Hell, my Android phone -barely- has enough power to get through work, let alone a whole day. I've taken to carrying a rechargeable usb battery recharger with me when I won't be home all day. (Which, other than being heavy in your pocket, works quite well.)

Re:Windows' biggest challenge is its size (1)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198051)

I completely agree with your point, but I completely disagree with your signature.

Adding hazelnut syrup to my coffee is delicious and creamy in my mouth.

Re:Windows' biggest challenge is its size (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28198579)

Adding hazelnut syrup to my coffee is delicious and creamy in my mouth.

You just gave me a boner.

Re:Windows' biggest challenge is its size (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198501)

The biggest challenge facing Windows is its size and hardware requirements

Well, most people would say its reliability and security issues. But I guess those are also effects of feature bloat, driven by a desire to please lots of diverse customers.

Nobody seems immune from this. Apple people I know blame it for the meltdown in OS 8 development. I work at Sun, and I noticed that our latest crop of Sun Ray thin clients [sun.com] come with RS-232 ports — this at a time when such ports are disappearing from most products, including previous Sun Rays. When I asked about it, I was told that it was to accommodate a big customer deploying point-of-sale systems. (Bar code scanners, card swipers, etc., still haven't migrated to USB.)

Famous Last Words (2, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197623)

Asus is continuing to distance itself from Android, saying it "isn't a priority."

They're probably also thinking that those long-haired young guys calling themselves the "Beatles" aren't worth the investment in signing up with their company, either.

Re:Famous Last Words (1)

CompMD (522020) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198537)

ORLY? [computerworld.com]

Nice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28197787)

A version of Linux that people can pronounce! I'm sure that has been the only thing holding Ubuntu (sp?) back.

Speaking of distance (0)

likuidkewl (634006) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197863)

Hopefully users will distance themselves from Asus too.

Re:Speaking of distance (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198585)

I'd rather distance myself from Acer. Guys make shit desktops, I'm not about to trust them on anything else. I had a desktop from them for 6 months, had to replace almost every component in it. Think I kept the HDD, and that's about it.

Not fair! (0)

Maavin (598439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197989)

I think windows is challenged enough... ^____^;

Challenge Windows, or changing the Game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28198173)

When you start looking at the browser based applications that Google is producing/pushing, does the host OS really matter?

Pointless Link (3, Informative)

CompMD (522020) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198301)

"Asus is continuing to distance itself from Android, saying it "isn't a priority.""

If you follow the link from that quote in the summary, the word "Asus" isn't anywhere on the page.

Explain to me why Android is good for Netbooks... (1)

BUL2294 (1081735) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198395)

(This is not intended to be a knock on Linux). Linux netbooks, after enjoying a brief marketshare spike when there was no alternative, are not popular with the majority of end-users. So what makes Google think that Android will do any better than Linux did? There's way more software for Linux than Android--and way more for Windows than Linux...

Even if you add a way to connect to the Internet, why would Android be any better for Netbooks than Linux was? At least with Linux, and especially with Windows, I'm not stuck with a useless dumb terminal when I'm not able to connect to the Internet.

Sorry, but if Linux isn't doing too hot on Netbooks, I really don't see how Android wouldn't be worse... Android is a cell phone OS and that's it...

Re:Explain to me why Android is good for Netbooks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28198607)

Most people don't want that many pieces of software, what they want is a simple interface with predictable behaviour. A full blown Linux OS just can't offer that yet. Having something like Android where it's tailored to a specific market/product type should prove to be quite popular IMHO. Just look at the iPhone, cool factor aside it's main selling point is that it's easy to find, install and use the applications on it.

Wont Happen Unless (1)

jrspur2003 (1002028) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198469)

Android wont challenge windows Unless A. Business Apps work a lot more seemlessly with a linux based OS which Android is and B. Games work better on the platform. Only two areas Android will challenge Windows and that would be Mobile Windows and netbook.

Next Wave (3, Insightful)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198505)

It seems to me that this is all part of the next wave of computing devices. The iPhone showed that portable computing device could be easy to use and fulfill a number of functions including cell phone, internet browser, applications platform and media player. It's not so much a smart phone as it is a computer. Google followed with Android. Nokia and RIM are now inspired to try to make their smartphone operating systems work the same way. They won't. They are going to have to adopt Android or develop new operating systems (Linux-based most likely) if they want to compete for the long term.

The next step (this new wave) is to use the operating system developed for iPhone type devices on larger form factors better suited for more general purpose computing. The rumored Apple tablet and what is being announced here are just that. The approach of trying to fit a full desktop operating system on crapped-down hardware that conforms to a common PC form factor yielded netbooks. If you are used to a full blown laptop netbooks are very unsatisfying. Yet the need for a less expensive, useful and durable device with excellent battery life remains. I think that is what these new devices are trying to address and it makes sense to me that they are more likely to be successful.

Microsoft, watch out. The growth in the computing market will be devices like these, not general purpose computers - desktops and laptops. These devices will be more reliant on browser based RIA apps (e.g. Javascript & HTML5) and web services than on native applications. General purpose PCs will still be around in large but stagnant numbers. If I'm making these more specialized devices, why would I pay for an operating system when I can get one for free? If the browser I put on my device meets all the requisite standards, you can no longer offer me the advantage of lot's of applications.

But Microsoft is not stupid. The new Zune HD shows me that at least they are thinking about this market and how to compete in it.

You dont need big market share to win here (4, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198539)

The Android based hand held device does not pose a direct threat to MSFT. But all it needs is just large enough market share to force MSFT to be standards compliant. MSFT cant keep changing internal file formats, APIs and other tricks to be eternally non standards compliant. If enough people use Android to check email, it will force MSExchange to be more open.

Remember Firefox? Once it reached a 10% market share most websites started abandoning MSFT's walled garden and adopt standards. Same way if enough people migrate to Google docs, Open Office, Android etc etc, it will nail MSFT's underhanded tactics. If 10% of the people are using OpenOffice, they will interact with some 20% of the MsOffice market, and start demanding smooth file transfers. If 10% of the people use Android net book to take a quick look at MsOffice powerpoint it will force MSFT to at least allow a standard compliant export or standard compliant view only mode.

That is all it takes to start shaking the monopoly. Once MSFT market share in Office and OS starts to dip below 80% it will get into a avalanche mode and drop to 40% in just 4 or 5 years.

This won't work on netbooks, but... (3, Insightful)

alispguru (72689) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198661)

If it looks like a portable computer (laptop/netbook), people will expect to see Windows on it, and the vast majority of them will run away if it doesn't have it.

Alternative OSs have a chance on things that have the same compute power as a portable computer, but don't look like them.

Android/Linux/OS X on smartphones or similar things will sell.

I predict that whatever Apple does with all those 10" screens it it rumored to be buying, it won't look like a netbook.

Conventions (1)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 5 years ago | (#28198683)

The appropriate title for this should have been: "Is Android a Windows-Killer?"

Come on, stick with the proper conventions.
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