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The True Challenges of Desktop Linux

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the editing-video-would-be-nice dept.

GUI 505

olau writes "Hot on the heels on the opinion piece on how Mac OS X killed Linux on the desktop is a more levelheaded analysis by another GNOME old-timer Christian Schaller who doesn't think Mac OS X killed anything. In fact, in spite of the hype surrounding Mac OS X, it seems to barely have made a dent in the overall market, he argues. Instead he points to a much longer list of thorny issues that Linux historically has faced as a contender to Microsoft's double-monopoly on the OS and the Office suite."

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POTUS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41195829)

Alright Jimmy, can I call you Jimmy? Great. OK then Jimmy, here's what you have to do.

Go into your kitchen, and set your oven to exactly 450 degrees, turn on all of the back burners of your stove and go to your garage. You will find a shovel, you may or may not recognize it, thats ok. Take the shovel and head over to your neighbors yard. Dig a hole to the specifications of 3 feet wide, 6 feet long, and 2 feet deep. Now search your pockets, you will find a single match and a needle. Prick your finger and place a single drop on the head of the match, stick the match into the ground head up. Now the preparations are complete for the summoning. You will kneel at the west side of the hole, at the foot of the hole, draw a circle. You will then place your pricked hand in the circle, look down at the ground, and chant .

I shall you tell with plain declaration
Where, how, and what is my generation
Omogeni is my Father
And Magnesia is my Mother
And Azot truly is my Sister
And Kibrick forsooth is my Brother
The Serpent of Arabia is my name
The which is leader of all this game

Then he will rise from your portal, do NOT make a single sound, nor should you move even your head to look at him, lest you be consumed. After some time, He will begin to question you, only then may you move only your head to slightly nod yes or no. If he is satisfied with your answers, all will be made known to thee.

Mod this shits up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196121)


 

mac is linux (0, Troll)

noh8rz8 (2716593) | more than 2 years ago | (#41195865)

you know, I'm surprised by the argument in the article? everybody on /. says that linux isn't an OS, it's an umbrella with plenty of related OSs in there. i include OSX under that umbrella. it's all about the kernel, amirite?

Re:mac is linux (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41195877)

No, UNIX is the umbrella. Linux is a kernel under that umbrella. OSX is an OS under the umbrella. Stop trying to rewrite computing history.

Re:mac is linux (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41195973)

OSX is the same a Ubuntu. Its a apple window manager sitting onto of a linux kernel or BSD deriverd kernel i think

Um....no. (5, Informative)

mschaffer (97223) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196039)

Linux is not BSD. BSD is not Linux.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_Software_Distribution [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux [wikipedia.org]

Re:Um....no. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196201)

the point he was trying to make is they are both unix derivatives. apple fanboys forget that and think they have their own special thing going we in fact its really no different to what the linux fanbiys have. they both have unix like kernels with window managers sitting on top.
They both include gnu software. Maybe they are both GNU O/S 's
lol

Re:Um....no. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196315)

Except that Mac OS X doesn't use GNU software.

Re:Um....no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196401)

Yes, it does.

Re:Um....no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196365)

No, he was trying to claim that Linux is "the umbrella" that covers OSX and a number of other OSs. It's plainly wrong and you trying to defend him is also wrong.
 
There are a number of Linux fanbois out there who don't understand what they're dealing with. The same kinds of folks who think that POSIX is Linux code and that everything UNIX got it's start with Linux. I have seen too many of these people to let their bullshit go by the wayside anymore.
 
In your case, FreeBSD doesn't use the GNU license. So STFU.

Re:mac is linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196103)

its BSD based but considered to be UNIX like.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix-like
http://www.opengroup.org/openbrand/register/

so basically is unix-like

Maybe SCO can sue apple, that would be fun...

Re:mac is linux (5, Informative)

LodCrappo (705968) | more than 2 years ago | (#41195951)

If it's "all about the kernel", then why would you include OS X (which does not use a linux kernel) with the things we call "Linux", which do?
here's a thought: educate yourself on a topic before speaking about it.

Re:mac is linux (-1, Troll)

noh8rz8 (2716593) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196115)

Ad hominem much? You know, it really takes away from the power of your argument... So do typos/grammos.

Re:mac is linux (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196147)

At least he's not a computer geek wanna-be like you, dick smoker.

Re:mac is linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196185)

Except it doesn't affect it at all, because, factually speaking, he is right and you are wrong.

Re:mac is linux (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196187)

dumbass

Re:mac is linux (3, Informative)

LodCrappo (705968) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196217)

There is no argument, you are simply wrong. OS X does not use a Linux kernel.

Re:mac is linux (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196361)

Umm, have you ever used lunix before? It's like OSx, but it uses the command line. They both end in x.

Re:mac is linux (3, Informative)

Denogh (2024280) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196337)

Ad hominem much? You know, it really takes away from the power of your argument... So do typos/grammos.

No. What he said is pretty much true. Mac OS-X uses a heavily modified BSD kernel. It is 100% not Linux. Also, I don't see anything wrong with suggesting somebody check their facts before posting. Saying something is ad hominem doesn't make it so.

Attempting to discredit somebody's point by criticizing their grammatical and spelling errors is, however, ad hominem. [wikipedia.org]

Re:mac is linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41195953)

FreeBSD doesn't run on the Linux kernel.

Re:mac is linux (5, Informative)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196111)

OSX is not Linux. It is a UNIX (i.e. BSD-derived in this case), while Linux is UNIX-like, i.e. a clean (sort of) room re-implementation.

Re:mac is linux (0)

stox (131684) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196249)

Wrong, OSX is not BSD derived, per se. It is a Mach microkernel that presents a BSD API, which in turn, allows BSD userland code to be used with it. The BSD kernel, is directly decended from the original UNIX kernel. Structurally, Linux is closer to UNIX than OSX is.

Re:mac is linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196281)

It is a Mach microkernel that presents a BSD API, which in turn, allows BSD userland code to be used with it.

This is wrong. It is not in anyway a micro kernel. It is a Mach-FreeBSD hybrid in to a single monolithic kernel called XNU [wikipedia.org] .

Re:mac is linux (1, Informative)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196279)

Linux is a kernel. Nothing more, nothing less. What makes it usable are 3rd parties that bundle it with other required components.

OSX is a complete system as shipped from one vendor. If you want to talk kernels, there a Mach kernel in OSX.

Same for BSD, its a complete system shipped from one 'organization', not just a ( important ) core component.

How about linux targetting the guru market? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41195867)

All the other OS's are catering to the lowest common denominator.

Fuck Firefox 14. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41195871)

It had been a few weeks since I last used Firefox because it sucks so fucking hard. Instead, I've been using Safari. With my recent upgrade to Mountain Lion I checked out Safari 6 and wondered what Firefox 14 was like in comparison. I decided to approach it with an open mind and did the old launch-check-install-relaunch routine that I've done over a dozen times in the last year or so.

Let me tell you, nothing has changed. At least, not that I'm aware of. I sat there wondering what was different from Firefox 13 except the new blank tab page. I mean, really, I did try. It wasn't snappier, it wasn't prettier, it didn't render web pages noticeably faster. It was the same as before. I seriously think that Mozilla developers are just updating a graphic here or there, slapping a new version number on, and releasing.

I release something like that every once in a while, and it's called a turd. Maybe that should earn me a spot on the Firefox development team.

I expect Firefox 15 to earn its whole version number upgrade with Retina display support or something equally peripheral. Where are the JavaScript improvements? Where is the comprehensive HTML5 support? This is stuff that Apple did with Safari 6 and that Microsoft is doing with Internet Explorer 10 because it matters.

Even Google Chrome, which only really works well with Google products and web pages, usually has some benchmarks to go with new releases. Firefox has nary a bell or whistle—because there's nothing to make noise about.

The memory test page for Firefox scares me, and I killed top after viewing its bloat for few seconds. Almost 800 MB just to render a page with a simple PNG, some text, and a translucent background. I mean, it doesn't get simpler than that. There weren't any plug-ins, or JavaScript, or Java. What in the flying fuck?

Now get this: after throwing Firefox 14 in the Trash, noticed that it was almost a gigabyte in size! What gives? A fresh version straight from the website weighs in about 80 MB. Does this mean that Firefox has been keeping old versions of itself in the its app package? Apparently. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't surprise me that its update feature is broken, but I didn't know it was that bad. At least it's 2012 and a gig here or there is no big deal. But the developer laziness at this point is kind of frightening.

So, after a few minutes of being underwhelmed by this flaming piece of bloated junk, I deleted it and am back into Safari 6. I didn't think I was going to be wowed by Firefox 14, but I figured I'd be better-served by checking out the latest version. Well even that was a waste of time. It doesn't even deserve a place on my hard drive anymore, and I doubt that I'll try Firefox 15.

Fuck Firefox 14.

Re:Fuck Firefox 14. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41195921)

I know you are trolling, but in case you are not, and you *are* that stupid, you need to learn to look up the changes page. In the time taken to write this rant, you could have looked by what was changed between v13 & v14, v14 & v15 and v15 & v16 beta.

Re:Fuck Firefox 14. (4, Funny)

Killall -9 Bash (622952) | more than 2 years ago | (#41195997)

14?! holy fuck, im still using 3.5.11

Re:Fuck Firefox 14. (5, Funny)

BigBunion (2578693) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196277)

That is SO last month!

Re:Fuck Firefox 14. (1, Insightful)

otuz (85014) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196363)

I don't think the parent is trolling. This is practically the sorry state of Firefox, which would probably be something like version 4.6.7 using the old versioning system. WebKit has left Mozilla in the dust, maybe they should switch bandwagons and just release a Firefox-y application wrapper built on WebKit?

Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatability? (4, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#41195893)

FTA:

The core of his argument seems to be that the lack of ABI stability was the main reason we didnâ(TM)t get a significant market share in the desktop market. Personally I think this argument doesnâ(TM)t hold water at all...

This is one argument I really don't get, and yet the FOSS library maintainers seem to be adamant that they must be able to break their ABIs whenever they want.

Yes, I know keeping a stable ABI is hard. But here's the deal: as a maintainer, it's your job.

Let's not forget that the point of libraries is to develop software on top of them. If the library ABIs are shifting all the time, then those libraries have failed at their most fundamental task.

There's absolutely zero excuses for why an app written three years ago shouldn't run fine today. None. If MS and Apple can do it, then so can you.

But it's worse than that. Writing a GUI application that runs just on the past two or three versions of Ubuntu requires writing your own compatability layers, or at least peppering your code with #defines. Why on earth would we want to put this burden on application developers?

Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (4, Insightful)

cynyr (703126) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196005)

but does the binary have to run or just work if you configure; make; make install again? right the OSS world assumes that software can be recompiled, and most only needs that. Sometimes it needs a simple patch, but yes breaking ABI isn't really an issue. Breaking an API is much more of one.

Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (3, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196037)

but does the binary have to run or just work if you configure; make; make install again?

First of all, if you do that it's no longer the same binary.

Secondly, why would you place that burden on the user? The whole point of software is to solve problems for users, not to create new ones.

Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (4, Insightful)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196301)

but does the binary have to run or just work if you configure; make; make install again?

First of all, if you do that it's no longer the same binary.

So? If most of your software is FOSS and can be recompiled, why do you care if it's the same binary or not?

Secondly, why would you place that burden on the user? The whole point of software is to solve problems for users, not to create new ones.

It's not often that burden is placed on the user; package maintainers for each Linux distribution generally take care of compiling and making sure the relevant libraries are in place. With every distribution upgrade I do there's been less and less reason to compile anything myself. In fact, IIRC, I've not compiled a single piece of third-party software for my use for at least a year or two.

A moving ABI really isn't a problem at all for the vast majority of Linux users, especially if most of the software we use is FOSS and available from a distribution's repositories. Now, that's not to say it doesn't cause a few headaches for package maintainers...

Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196269)

Whichever. But, if a recompile is needed, either you make it idiot-proof (ideally, one-click, with a 99% success rate), or you lose 95% of PC users.

If the configure, make.. steps are always the same, why aren't they scripted once and for all ? Is there a GUI to do it ?

Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (4, Informative)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196367)

Whichever. But, if a recompile is needed, either you make it idiot-proof (ideally, one-click, with a 99% success rate), or you lose 95% of PC users.

That idiot-proof method you wish for is already there. It's called a package manager and every major distribution has one. Ok, so it's not recompiling the software for you on the fly (in most cases) but that's because someone else has done that for you so you don't even need to think about it. It really couldn't be easier, either by GUI or CLI.

Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (2)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196377)

but does the binary have to run or just work if you configure; make; make install again? right the OSS world assumes that software can be recompiled, and most only needs that. Sometimes it needs a simple patch, but yes breaking ABI isn't really an issue. Breaking an API is much more of one.

How many of the ABI breakages about which people compile are the result of API breakage, and how many are the result of changing the sizes or layout of data types in ways that don't break the API?

Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196019)

That's just the logical result of a botched development process. There are no architects, no designers, no "consultants" looking at the other side of the fence.... there's just a bunch of programmers..

Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196253)

Same goes for *BSD but they seem to mostly manage things. In fact I'd go so far as to say every sane OS freezes the core userland so that there's a certain set of libraries that you can depend upon remaining stable between releases.

Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (3, Informative)

Tester (591) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196045)

It's funny you say that.. The important Linux Desktop APIs have been stable for over a decade. Look at GLib 2.x and indeed the entire GNOME 2.x stack, it hasn't been broken. You can still run an application compiled against GTK+ 2.0 on any modern distribution.. Obviously, it will have the same functionalities that it had 10 years ago, but the same can be said of Windows or OSX.

And well, GTK+ 3 has a slightly different API, etc, but so is WinRT or many of the newer OSX APIs. And Well, GTK+ 2.x is parallel installable, so you can keep using it more or less forever.

Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196053)

Actually, I think code should be distributed in an ABI-independent manner.

So distribute some form of intermediate code. Put a version number in there. And then let the OS process it into something the CPU can understand.

I have one. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196069)

There's absolutely zero excuses for why an app written three years ago shouldn't run fine today.

You sound like you're a paying customer or their boss. If said maintainers are volunteers and doing this in their spare time and juggling work and family and just having a life, I think they have an excuse.

If it were me and I heard horseshit like your post, I'd say, "Here's the code. Knock yourself out. I'm taking my kid to the movies like I promised him three releases ago."

Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196093)

The only way to ship closed apps in Linux is to ship them along with all their dependencies, maybe aside libc. If you feel adventerous, you may want to not ship the libstc++ either.

But aside from that, it's a crapshoot.

And if you need a 10 year old X app running, well, good luck with that!! 10 year old Win32 app? Should work.

Mac, on the other hand, is like Linux. Always changing.. So in a way, OS X is like Linux ;)

Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (3, Informative)

Misagon (1135) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196105)

I think that you are thinking of "API": Application Programming Interface. I don't think that is what Christian Schaller is referring to programming interface compatibility but to binary compatibility of software packages between Linux distributions.

Let's say that you have a Fedora RPM for an app, and you wish to run that under Ubuntu.
While you can convert the raw RPM to DEB format, you can not auto-convert the binary files within the package.
The binary programs in the RPM have most likely been configured at compile time in a way that it has dependencies on libraries that are different on Ubuntu.
On Windows and MacOS, respectively, there is only one distribution, and therefore they do not have this problem.

But yes, API compatibility between versions of a library is also a problem.

Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196173)

no, you fucking idiot. Can't you read? He is clearly talking about ABIs.

I can run Office 97 on my Windows 7 install. Lunix is programmed either by geeks, or by companies who make their money on support (and easy to use software = no support income). Neither party cares about quality.

Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196107)

Forget about ABI stability. I can work around that.

I'd be happy if we could maintain a stable API. That's a pain.

Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (4, Insightful)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196133)

You'd probably have a point there if every single Windows app didn't ship with 42 DLLs that only work with/for that particular app, providing a shim between the app and the OS. In contrast, Linux apps are actually expected to interface with shared libraries not directly under the particular app developers control.

Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (2, Insightful)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196411)

Hard drive space is cheap.
My time isn't.

I know which situation has caused me more heartache.

Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (2, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196431)

Hard drive space is cheap.
My time isn't.

I know which situation has caused me more heartache.

You mean, finding all seventy five copies of zlib.dll strewn through random directories on your system which have exploitable security holes so you can individually replace them all with a patched version?

Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196169)

Much better to let the ABIs be changed at will. Linux didn't get to the point of running on such a wide variety of (constrained) hardware by piling on years of cruft or by having a montrous and never-ending compatibility layer.

Users pick a distro and so don't have to think about ABI changes. Developers should be able to figure out how to "configure", "make", and "make install".

Anyway, it's not like MS or Apple have never depreceated APIs and/or ABIs. LInux just does it routinely in quest for ultimate efficiency.

Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196321)

That's why FreeBSD has a compatibility library that redirects applications to suitable versions of the library and with each major release they'll release a special set that can be installed if needed. It works quite well and allows people to only install the older versions if they need it.

Casual User Here (5, Insightful)

Iskender (1040286) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196183)

As a single-booting but casual Linux user I don't really know if these libraries are what makes distributing software such a pain, but whatever the reason is something needs to change, and the point about software distribution was spot on.

Package management is nice, but if something isn't available through it I won't install it. Why not? Because:
* I have to compile it myself. This often results in errors which I can't handle.
* I have to edit config files. Might be xorg.conf, might be something else. All I know is someone failed to make it work out of the box properly. Things will break.
* I have to find the application. Yes, that's right: often applications leave no trace after installing, especially when using a manager. They're buried in the complex-just-cause Unixey filesystem. Typing the name into the CLI fails too of course.

Now all of these problems can be solved, some seemingly trivially. This doesn't matter - the fact that I can edit xorg.conf means I'm probably in the top 3-5% of all computer users as far as Linux goes, meaning it could just as well be impossible for a normal user.

Users are used to the Windows XP interface and Linux is frequently more like it than Windows 7 is, so the exterior isn't a problem. The ACTUAL usability problem is installing software - it needs to work universally so people can actually do things and therefore be interested in and dependent on the OS.

Re:Casual User Here (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196341)

Something is changing but it's getting worse. The current problem is the design of gnome3 is bringing DLL hell to linux for anyone that wants to run things based on portions of gnome2. This appears to be by design to kill off what is left of gnome2 (which I think is a stupid reason, but it's still a reason) and it's creating a variety of library problems.

Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196283)

It's their job, eh? Do you think Microsoft and Apple would put any kind of effort into backward compatibility if it didn't pay off for them in some way?

There's absolutely zero excuses for why an app written three years ago shouldn't run fine today

There's a great 'excuse', it's called evolution and it's the reason Linux caught up to, and surpassed, other mainstream operating systems in less then a few generations. I agree there's some impact on developers and it can be a pain sometimes but it's not insurmountable. Tweak & recompile, or run a different OS.

We won't miss you.

Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (2)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196331)

It is not that FOSS developers hate ABI compatibility. It is that the value of such compatibility for important projects (FOSS ones) is very near zero, thus why should they have extra work to achieve it?

Yeah, there is a bias here. Linux developers don't think closed source drivers are important. If you think they are wrong, the burden is on you to convince them.

About TFA, well, I've not read it yet, but if that is its best argument, it just doesn't fly. The lack of ABI compatibility only impacts drivers developers, and hardware selection. Linux runs on nearly everything you can find people selling, lack of hardware selection* is not the problem stopping its adoption.

* Except, of course, for GPUs. But those do use binary drivers, so the argument is moot. Oh, and if you take a look at the quality of the binary drivers available for them you'll see why Linux developers aren't looking for more proprietary Linux drivers.

Re:Why do FOSS library folks hate ABI compatabilit (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196375)

About TFA, well, I've not read it yet, but if that is its best argument, it just doesn't fly.

Yep, now that I've RTFA, it agrees with me.

Let me summarize this blog post (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41195895)

There are lots of challenges, most you're probably familiar with if you've ever helped a family member setup Ubuntu on their own computer. Yeah, sucks, some people say we will never be better than Apple. But you know what, Apple *really* didn't succeed, they only went from 5% market share to 7.5% market share, according to my memory and what I read today on Wikipedia. My conclusion? We have some challenges to overcome. Oh yeah, and, O'Doyle rules!

Re:Let me summarize this blog post (3, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196297)

As for Linux's share of the desktop, well, everyone knows as long as you continue to count all dual boots as windows and all OS free hardware as nothing, then Linux will continue with a far smaller market share in mass media fantasy than in actual reality.

Both Apple and M$ wet their pants in fear of Android and Android is Linux.

Re:Let me summarize this blog post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196387)

You didn't summarize the blog post at all.

Linux/unix is to blame (1)

Eredhel (1804132) | more than 2 years ago | (#41195937)

It's nobody's fault but unix/Linux. It has the same problems now that it did in the mid '90s. For one thing, although it has good ideas, there isn't enough singular direction. It will always be a small percentage of splintered users.

As long as there are people (3, Interesting)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#41195939)

who think that when they buy something it belongs to them to do with as they wish, there will always be Linux. As it is seems that WIndows 8 MS is taking that away and so is Apple.

As a non developer or programmer seems to me Linux is stronger than ever.

OSX may not have killed Linux, but it's winning (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#41195949)

At my company, out of 500 computer users, we have around 60% Windows and 40% OSX, Linux users (including me) don't even account for 1% of our desktops (but factor heavily in our servers - we're around 50% Windows, 40% Linux and 10% OSX (which will be moved to Linux before the end of the year). Most of the OSX users are normal business users (finance, IT, etc) not graphic designers or other users that traditionally have preferred OSX.

There's little reason for anyone here to run Linux to do their work - Office 2011 runs well on OSX and gives users an Office Suite and Outlook that's compatible with the rest of the corporation. And there's the whole Apple Ecosystem that some people like to be inside of.

Even though I run Linux, I still do most of my work on a Win 7 virtual machine because some apps just don't run well (or at all) on Linux. I tried Crossover Office/Wine for a while to run Office, but it wasn't worth dealing with the quirks, it runs much better on Windows. Plus, some of our corporate tools and infrastructure management tools run only on Windows (or require MSIE for full functionality). We run a terminal server for OSX users that need to run Windows apps.

OSX may not have killed Linux, but it sure has kicked it into the corner.

Wordperfect could have done it (3, Interesting)

execthis (537150) | more than 2 years ago | (#41195993)

Wordperfect was already being used extensively by legal offices. It would not have been a huge jump to get legal offices to switch to Linux running Wordperfect. But after version 8 Wordperfect was not a native Linux port but this convoluted thing that ran through an emulator layer which was insane. Then, not long after it died. That was the end of the chance for Linux to make an advance to the corporate/business desktop.
I'm sure some other things didn't help as well. I still think one major issue is that package managers do not have a way to screen out crusty projects. There should be a way to ignore all software which hasn't been developed or changed in X amount of time, with X=6 months, 9, months, whatever, but some value that cuts out the immense amount of crust.
I also think Linux should have done more to entice hardware and software makers to use it. In fact, it should have done everything absolutely possible to make life easy for hardware and software makers, including more flexible licenses. I don't think people were realistic enough to realize that, without the needed support of hardware and software makers, everything else is almost a moot point.

Re:OSX may not have killed Linux, but it's winning (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196017)

does the OSX office allow VBA? Yes this is a serious question, the engineering world seems to depend on excel and VBA to make things go 'round.

Re:OSX may not have killed Linux, but it's winning (3, Insightful)

Tester (591) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196073)

Basically you're argument is that it's all about Microsoft Office? I agree with you, then it has nothing to do with how Good or Bad GNOME vs OSX are. The Linux Desktop will not happen on any serious scale until the corporate world stops revolving around Office and there isn't a damn thing we can do about it.

Linux users just *nix users, not into politics (4, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196245)

No Mac OS X has not killed desktop Linux. However it has halted Linux's advance into the desktop market. Much like Linux did not kill MS Windows Server, it halted the advance of Windows Server into what had been traditional *nix server territory.

That said ...

So he argues that Mac OS X has not displaced Linux because its overall marketshare has only gone from 5 to 7.5%?

That seems to be an odd conclusion. That growth is nearly twice the entire Linux marketshare according to his cited numbers. If he wanted to argue Mac OS X is not displacing Windows he would have a point. As for Linux he really offers no evidence.

Yet the number of Mac laptops seen at Linux specific conferences, and the number long term Linux users confessing they moved to Mac OS X, are so common as to be far more than mere anecdotes.

The truth is that a bunch of people out there wanted a *nix environment. Workstations were beyond their reach and Linux filled an empty niche by delivering *nix on PC hardware. Many historic Linux users just want an affordable *nix and didn't care about the politics and drama of the FSF and the "free software" movement. So when Mac OS X delivered another affordable *nix implementation that runs side by side with a nice consumer GUI environment that has support from many commercial software publishers they switched. It also helped that the Mac hardware delivers the "holy grail" of running Mac OS X, Windows and Linux. Sure you can emulate but for things like games you are probably better off booting into Windows. Something many Linux users do too.

STOP SPREADING THAT BULLSHIT! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196025)

Nobody killed anything!

Linux and OS X have two completely different target groups.

OS X targets the retarded appliance user that an actual computing environment is a waste to give to. One can easily argue, that it transforms a computer into something that isn't a computer anymore, but a information and entertainment appliance.

Linux targets people who actually use their computer as a *computer*. People who automate their work away, by writing shell scripts, and calling them from udev, cron and keyboary shortcuts, etc. People who adapt the system to their needs, and gain the vast amount of power resulting from really using a universal programmable computing machine. The greatest machine ever invented. The holy grail of information processing.

Nobody of the latter group could even use the former system, since it would be completely crippling and basically useless.

And nobody of the former group even remotely realized the usefulness and power of the latter system.

So stop that nonsensical propaganda!

Re:STOP SPREADING THAT BULLSHIT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196135)

Nobody got killed. However, that might change when those appliances become so common that their price goes down to the point where even my dog can afford one, while general purpose computers become such specialized equipment that they become unaffordable.

Re:STOP SPREADING THAT BULLSHIT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196339)

Man, you're really pretty stupid aren't you? Do you realize OS X is BSD UNIX? No, I guess you don't realize that because you're a fucking noob who doesn't know dick. Get a clue [wikimedia.org] retard.

Re:STOP SPREADING THAT BULLSHIT! (2)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196425)

OS X targets the retarded appliance user that an actual computing environment is a waste to give to. One can easily argue, that it transforms a computer into something that isn't a computer anymore, but a information and entertainment appliance.

Linux targets people who actually use their computer as a *computer*. People who automate their work away, by writing shell scripts, and calling them from udev, cron and keyboary shortcuts, etc. People who adapt the system to their needs, and gain the vast amount of power resulting from really using a universal programmable computing machine. The greatest machine ever invented. The holy grail of information processing.

Nobody of the latter group could even use the former system, since it would be completely crippling and basically useless.

Gee, I use the former system and I'm a member of the latter group. The devices on my "desktop" (really laptop) machine don't change often enough that the absence of something as general as udev doesn't matter, and there aren't that many tasks that need to be done periodically for me to bother firing up crontab, and the other shell-script stuff I just do directly from a terminal window rather than binding it to keyboard shortcuts in the GUI (I assume those are the "keyboard shortcuts" to which you're referring). Then again, a lot of the scripts I whip up on the spot to perform a task that I'm unlikely ever to need again, so I just stuff it in /tmp and run it from there, e.g. in a find ... -exec command.

So stop that nonsensical propaganda!

Yes, please do.

Hi, my name is Anecdotal Evidence. (4, Informative)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196063)

I was a Linux user beginning with Redhat 3. I went through Redhat, Mandrake, Fedora, Gentoo and Ubuntu. I've also used Solaris for a daily workstation.

Then I was assigned a Mac at a new job (running Tiger), and have never used anything else for a desktop since. I've had no reason to. I still keep an Ubuntu box in the house, but it's a server.

My name is Anecdotal Evidence, it's true, but whatever. I went Mac, and never looked back.

Re:Hi, my name is Anecdotal Evidence. (4, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196295)

I was a Linux user beginning with Redhat 3. I went through Redhat, Mandrake, Fedora, Gentoo and Ubuntu. I've also used Solaris for a daily workstation.

Then I was assigned a Mac at a new job (running Tiger), and have never used anything else for a desktop since. I've had no reason to. I still keep an Ubuntu box in the house, but it's a server.

My name is Anecdotal Evidence, it's true, but whatever. I went Mac, and never looked back.

Your experience is so common it goes beyond anecdotal. Many Linux users just wanted a *nix environment. They did not care about the FSF, the GPL, the free software movement, etc. They just wanted to run some *nix applications and tools. Linux was originally their only affordable option to workstations back in the day. Mac OS X comes along and they have another affordable *nix option. One that also gives them a consumer oriented desktop and off-the-shelf consumer and business productivity software. Mac OS X basically offers a superset of the software they can run under Linux.

Better than the first but still off target. (4, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196071)

I think the real root of the difference is that Linux serves a different market. Apple Mac OS X is a consumer product pitched for people who want their computers to "just work." Windows is a consumer/business product geared to people who want (and are convinced they need) a high level of support. Linux is not either of those and never will be. It's a system made by and for programmers and other techies who want to be free of the monopolistic practices and have full control of their own machines from top to bottom.

I think Linux may in fact be close to saturating that market. It may make inroads into the business and consumer user spaces. I think it will and should because businesses shouldn't be using things that are very expensive and promote lock-in when there are good-enough alternatives that meet most of their needs. Corporate customers are very conservative about risk, and they perceive that buying a professionally supported commercial product is a lower-risk option. And they've drunk the Kool-Aid regarding how efficient their office applications are.

In reality, Windows customers probably pay the steepest price for their OS choice. It requires tons of support in a corporate environment and exposes you to a much higher risk of malware infections and security breaches. Maybe you need Windows on a few of your machines -- those of people who need to establish an appearance of "Corporate" credibility. And maybe you need some Macs for certain applications where the Mac apps give you enough of a productivity improvement to pay for the expensive system. But most of the worker bees can do as well or better on Linux at much less cost. But it will never come with support. Support will be either hire-your-own or contracted separately.

minimalist (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196075)

Perhaps Linux needs a minimalist leader. Throw everything out. Then step by step, bring back features and see what works, and what doesn't. In the process make sure that everything has a consistent look and feel.

The minimalist Linux PC has been done. (2)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196163)

Perhaps Linux needs a minimalist leader. Throw everything out. Then step by step, bring back features and see what works, and what doesn't. In the process make sure that everything has a consistent look and feel.

EEEpc 2G Surf [asus.com] , from 2007. The first "netbook".

It wasn't a huge success, but it panicked Microsoft. For a brief moment, the future of mobile computing was Linux. Windows Vista wouldn't fit on the thing. Microsoft had to re-animate Windows XP to compete.

(It also had a terrible variant of Linux. I have two of the things. The WiFi code is unreliable, and the "union file system" which makes one read-only and one read-write file system appear to be in the same namespace leaks inodes. The hardware is solid, though.)

Re:The minimalist Linux PC has been done. (1)

otuz (85014) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196427)

Yep, products like that are bad for Linux. They made the general population see Linux as the cheapo toy operatiing system, that doesn't really work and doesn't really have any software.

Re:minimalist (2)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196233)

Perhaps Linux needs a minimalist leader. Throw everything out. Then step by step, bring back features and see what works, and what doesn't. In the process make sure that everything has a consistent look and feel.

Linux on the desktop hasn't happened for one reason, and one reason only: Linux is fractured. There are several desktops, window managers, package systems, even kernels. This isn't the case with OS X or Windows, where you have a single API and standard to develop for. No commercial developer is going to write software for a chameleon operating system with a half dozen desktop packages.The same thing that caused Linux to take off with hobbyists and adapt so well to the server room is the same thing that will prevent it from ever being a major desktop OS: choice to the extent of almost chaotic proportions. Apple in particular succeeded because they in fact limited choices in some spheres for the sake of consistency and unity. And it worked for them.

Everytime the Unix community... Linux included... has tried to bring things together into a single standard of some kind, the result has either been something that looks like it was put together by committee *cough*CDE*cough* or lots of end users went "Nope, I'm gonna fork it", and produced so many variants that one standard never catches on.

There will never be a "Year of the Linux Desktop" because there will never be a single Linux.

Linux fails itself (1, Interesting)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196109)

Let me tell you a little story about a recent experience I've had with Linux (Ubuntu to be specific) that should give you an idea on why, I think, Linux is something of a failure on the desktop.

I've been using Ubuntu 10.04 LTS for a long time. Well, 3 years. You see, Ubuntu only supports (as in, will fix security bugs) a version of their distro for a maximum of three years--and even then, you have to use a Long Term Service release to see that. Compare that to XP, which shows a much longer period of support. Oh, you say, but an upgrade is free. Well, let's talk about that upgrade to 12.04 LTS.

On my system, I had to d/l ~6GB of package updates for Ubuntu itself and then another ~3GB for "Third Party Sources"--let's ignore those "Third Party Sources" for the moment since that's its own thing. Most of that comes down to the point that, as another poster pointed out, libraries go through regular ABI breakage. Hence, a LTS version can't readily upgrade a library progressively, indefinitely. Instead, a break, in the form of a new distro version, or some heavily-lifting constant backporting (what Debian does) has to be done--the latter of which merely delays the inevitable--which is a very arduous process. Why? Well, the biggest reasons are as follows:

The Installation, once started, can't really be aborted. Because of the interconnected nature of Linux distros, which package managers help manage, there's no way to do a clean break to pause and resume progress. It helps none that Linux itself does a piss poor job of supporting things like hibernation, replay ability, or the general framework of supporting containers so one could, given enough disk space, simply have the older and newer distro installed at the same time and it be almost trivial to support resuming. Instead, one is left with an installation that could take a day or more--more so because changed config replacement/keeping isn't grouped so the installation will repeatedly stall unless you're willing to nurse a 5+ hour install. And that doesn't even get into the obvious stuff--ndiswrapper either moved packages or something which resulted in a lack of wireless support on my newly installed distro version which rather hampers finding out where it moved to online and downloading the new ndiswrapper package. Thankfully, due to a "feature" of older kernel images not being removed when their package is removed--which violates the concept of a package manager managing things (which further brings up the subject of configuration files, but I digress)--I was able to resolve the issue. Meanwhile, umount still segfaults on hal-based mounts. :/

Now, I'm sure people could argue "well, that's just an issue with Ubuntu" or "I've never had problems with upgrading my distro". But, the point is, the underlying architecture isn't robust for dealing with the sort of issues endemic to the FOSS world of library upgrades or even drivers moving/disappearing. And the argument that "well, Windows/Mac OS X is no better/is worse" does nothing about showing why Linux is better and something people should want to choose. And I do agree Linux is better. It's just marginally better in a lot of areas and those better areas are aggravating at times and, at least in short bursts, worse than the alternatives.

Re:Linux fails itself (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196207)

Wow.

The stupid is strong in this one.

Do us all a favour and shoot your self. Do it now before you procreate. You are a stain on the species.

Re:Linux fails itself (0)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196211)

That does pretty well outline the feeling in Linux that it's designed for someone willing to put up with a lot of technical, non-user friendly except to the elite expert stuff. That's why I can't believe some repair shops are pushing Ubuntu on customers like it's the savior to the human race when it's so unbelievably technical and unfriendly, even me (a software programmer, web designer, hardware expert, and head IT manager at a company) didn't think it was worth all the absurdity. I think grandma agrees.

The worst part is, there have been many studies and opinion pieces that summarize the Linux online community as extremely elitist, talking down to new people, and lording their alleged advanced knowledge while at the same time absolutely refusing to share it with anyone else. Now that's a great way to promote the OS. I don't need some hand-holdy Dell/AT&T bullshit support but not being a dick if I ask a question about something significantly different from Windows in Ubuntu might be helpful.

Re:Linux fails itself (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196239)

The basic mistake you made, IMHO, is that you fixed something that wasn't broken. You were largely up to date. I'll agree that things aren't easily interchangeable, and they should be. Canonical or any other distro maker could socketize their distribution for just this purpose, but the nature of upgrades is that people usually buy something new in a system, then do an initial install, then don't change it. We're taught to do this as hardware got much faster each few calendar quarters, but these days, that's not true. We get at best, small incremental changes then get hardening of the arteries by too many daemons running.

My argument against Apple is that you sacrifice too much to deal with iTunes as a delivery vehicle, and using MS Office is really no better for most than LibreOffice, which suits 99% of most people's document tasks-- and is largely interoperable with the formerly proprietary MS OCX format.

People are really seduced by "it just works". Several distros now fit in that category, but it's taking time for adoption. The herd likes similarity.

Re:Linux fails itself (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196391)

So some guy is saying a package manager I've never used is shit and thus all linux based systems are shit whether they have that or not? That's a lot of extrapolating there.
Hibernation is a valid point - perfect on the right hardware for years and still not working at all on some other hardware - win7 has problems there too but not as much. Older wireless hardware sucks in general but since it's no longer such a moving target (some stuff even had completely different chipsets within the same model number - you'd be hosed on any OS without the driver disk), the newer stuff is pretty well supported on all operating systems.

Developers Leaving Linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196125)

Remember fellow Slashdoters , This story and the posts it links to are about why developers are leaving Linux, not users.

Thank you. Carry On.

polish? (2)

brucek2 (208676) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196127)

The reasons listed make good sense to me and most could help explain why a comparable or even a better desktop experience could still fail to get adoption, especially in the enterprise.

But is it really the case that the desktop linux experience really is as polished as the windows or Mac? Please understand I am not trying to start a flame war, I like all these platforms, I use Windows mostly for my personal desktop use and Linux mostly for my servers.

I have not spent time recently trying to configure the best possible Linux desktop experience, but I have at times in the past, and while its plenty functional it has never felt as mature to me. The font rendering looks like mid-90s technology. The GUI looks three generations behind too, both as to static elements and to animations. It doesn’t seem like hardware graphics acceleration is active.

The linux desktop may get the job done but to me it feels like the computing equivalent of choosing to live in a factory or office building instead of a nice house. And for personal use, I’d just rather live in the nice house.

It's official (0)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196131)

After reading the posts here, I declare Slashdot is now Reddit.

well i switched from linux to os x (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196137)

and i don't think i'm the only one. i just got sick of constantly having to fight my operating system to get anything done. also the autistic yet macho people in the open source community who try to blame every problem on the user got old fast. after hearing "if you don't like it don't use it!" from some egomaniac on irc or a mailing list for the 1000th time something in my brain just clicked and i realized "you know what? i won't use it!" switched to os x and haven't looked back.

It is a lot simpler... (0)

sudden.zero (981475) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196145)

...than all of this. One of the biggest reasons that Linux hasn't made it on the desktop is poor Video Game Support! Period. Most people that would use Linux as their main OS, but don't, do so because their favorite game is not supported. If most of the major video game makers would get on board with Linux we would see a lot more conversions. The only reason why I dual boot is because a lot of the RPG games I play do not work under wine or Linux natively. Make the games work and they will come!

Re:It is a lot simpler... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196299)

This exposes the bogusness of the "free software movement". What is the point of running a "free operating system" if you're just going to use it to run closed source software? Might as well just get a Mac.

obviously, polar opposites (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196179)

That isn't surprising considering they're polar opposites! I'm not talking about design and function and style, I mean that Apple is all about psychotic levels of control, MONEY MONEY MONEY, and locking everything down into their pretty little walled garden. Linux is exactly, perfectly the opposite. It's designed for anyone to use without some company controlling it or paying a ton of money or not being able to modify it, etc. They aren't even targeting remotely the same market other than "people who don't want to use Windows."

Open office (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196229)

was never an office killer. Calc is missing a tonne of stuff people use Excel for (e.g. as a poor man's application database). Writer has several nasty document eater bugs that haven't been fixed to this day. There's also nothing that competes with Outlook for Enterprise grade messaging. The fact is that stuff is expensive and above all boring to write. Large gov't grants could do it, but good luck getting that done between Microsoft's lobbying and the cries of 'Socialism!'.

Re:Open office (1)

lsolano (398432) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196311)

That's it.

I'd love to use linux in my Desktop and apart from the Office Suite, in my case, I know I could use linux the whole day at work. But with Libre/Open Office is impossible.

The very simple reason that the documents you receive does not even still look the same as the original, it's something a manager of a company can not tolerate.

I'm not at all an Apple lover, I'm even one of those that for any reason would use an iPhone and I've sticked to Andorid, but I have to admit that my life is easier since I've got a Macbook pro. I'd love to use a Linux instead, I mean it, but at work I simply can not.

Re:Open office (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196319)

Evolution is a viable Outlook replacement, if configured right. Trust me, I have experience with eGroupware and Evolution. It works.

Re:Open office (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196409)

Nice joke. You had me thinking you were serious until you mentioned Outlook.

Someone needs to tell the Linux distro creators... (3, Insightful)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196305)

No more "New Distros". No more new package managers, If you have applications, make meta-packages. What really needs to happen is, DEB and RPM need to talk to each other. Stop making "New Distro that changes everything needlessly again."

Make applications that solve problems, make meta-packages for large suites of applications, make it so RPM distros can talk to DEB databases and vice versa. Agree on a system. And give the "I'm going to make a new distro where the Wallpaper is blue rather than brown" a big glass of shut-up juice. There needs to be one overlording Linux.

Linux: by nerds, for nerds (3, Insightful)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196329)

I think the basic issue is that Linux is an OS by nerds, for nerds. Which is fine, as long as they don't pretend they're something else.

- While using a preinstalled Linux system can be OK (if the system is vanilla, well installed, and you don't want to change anything), installing/admin-ing a Linux system requires the CLI within 10 minutes
- the code might be good, the documentation is horrendous. Codenames are fun except when you don't care about them and have to keep a post-it note to remember if Carmic Crap is 8.10 or 9.14; once you know that, you got to try and find relevant info (MAN pages are often out of sync and/or a bit unclear; forum posts rarely states which versions they apply to or not...). I think this is both accidental (writing doc is boring and unglamorous) and by design (if only a few people can make head or tail of something, their market value increases)
- the feature set is chosen to impress your programmer peers, not to seduce/help non-techies.
- many distros, GUIs... are *released* in what is barely a beta state (early Unity, KDE4...). People howl at MS putting out crap v1s... Linux does worse with v4s...

Engineers often wonder what the world would be like without marketing- nor business-men. The answer is: Desktop Linux.

LINUX is growing in countries outside of the U.S. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196343)

LINUX is growing in countries outside of the U.S. at a much faster rate. China for one will have masses of Linux users soon as now AMD will be assisting in their project to equip the population with Computers.

Apple didn't kill linux, as Android is a linux-based OS that is outnumbering OSX and iOS in users.

When linux becomes a more complete and tweaked, eventually a few crispy clean distros will become mainstream to run as a solid alternative to windows and OSX. From what I'v used and my friend has used, Mint and Ubuntu are both buggy and not ready for serious use. Linux needs a solid GUI that is simple and consistently stable that appeals to the mainstream users of PC's. Terminal needs to be updated into the new generation. I know many people like that old terminal dos feel, but really, let go of your nostalgia and move on to innovate. The biggest problem with the linux community is their stubbornness to change that blocks innovation and new creation. I understand many want linux to be "different" but it already is, in the guts. Now make it feel comfortable and smooth at the GUI Level intertwined with it's OS. ;D

It's because Windows is so bad. (1)

darkonc (47285) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196355)

All that the Microsoft support geeks have to say to someone is

If you think that WIndows is bad, you should try these also-ran operating systems. They're second-rate for a reason. Install this crap on your systems, and your keyboards will curl and your mouse will stop working .... And I can't promise you support when you try to switch back.

It's enough to stop a Windows-only support geek in his tracks.

HUGE Security Resource+ *New Version* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196371)

HUGE Security Resource+ - version 6000 - 08/31/2012
http://cryptome.org/2012/08/huge-sec-v6000.txt [cryptome.org]
http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=f3Z4fQvK [pastebin.com]
http://pastebin.com/f3Z4fQvK [pastebin.com]

Thank you Cryptome for posting it at the top of the page today!

Linux never was a desktop contender (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196381)

Mac OS X did not kill the Linux desktop; the Cocoa GUI killed GNOME and KDE as they were too arcane for the average desktop user. But Linux was never a desktop contender for the simple reason that desktop users want much more than the standard software stack that comes with most Linux distros. They have kids, they want video games, and MSN, and Microsoft Office, and specialty software that is only available for the mainstream platform. Or so it was in those times when the line was drawn in the sand. If this was not enough, factor in the fragmentation of the "Linux operating system" to understand why all hope was lost. Linux evangelists have never understood that the freedom to develop and modify software is very different from the freedom to use software what everybody else likes and wants. This is what Apple did understand but their premium pricing policy and arrogance kept most users away from their platform. This is how Windows won in the end, and this is the path that Android is following in.

The elephant in the room (2)

Balial (39889) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196415)

Why does it have to be someone else's fault? Why's it Mac OS X's fault? Or Microsoft's monopoly? Or even ABI compatibility? Where's the analysis of whether the bulk of average-joe users actually like using Linux desktops?

Seriously, it's the first explanation that needs to be looked it. Yes, many of people love their Linux desktops, and they're very vocal here on slashdot. But is there any Linux desktop that is there today, or has been, that could be loved by the masses?

I switched from Linux desktops about years ago and there's nothing about it I miss.

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