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With XP's End of Life, Munich Will Distribute Ubuntu CDs

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the that's-trading-up dept.

Ubuntu 426

SmartAboutThings writes "Windows XP is going to officially die and stop receiving support from Microsoft in April, 2014. After that very moment, it is said to become a gold mine for hackers all over the world who will exploit 'zero-day' vulnerabilities. The municipality of the German city of Munich wants to stop that from happening [and] has decided to distribute free CDs with Ubuntu 12.04 to users of the almost extinct XP. Munich, through its Gasteig Library, will prepare around 2000 CDs with Ubuntu 12.04 to offer to city residents affected by Windows XP's end of support. Previously, it was believed that Munich city's authorities were going to offer Lubuntu 12.04, which would have required lower system requirements with the same support period."

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426 comments

Microsoft will pull back (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44871979)

Migration away from Windows will be the norm for users of XP. Microsoft knows this, and will at some point in the near future announce at least another year of support for it while they work on what will hopefully be Windows 9, bearing no resemblance whatsoever to the Windows 8 abortion.

Re:Microsoft will pull back (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 months ago | (#44872119)

Linux has never been a serious threat to Windows in the desktop area. What will happen is people will pick up the CD's because it is free, and never install them. As for things like loosing your existing programs, and possible your documents is a big deal. Chances are they will just see it as an opportunity to get new hardware. And will get Windows 8, they will complain and then get use to it, and not care anymore.

Re:Microsoft will pull back (5, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 7 months ago | (#44872163)

As for things like loosing your existing programs

Maybe if you tighten the bits your programs will stop being loose?

Re:Microsoft will pull back (4, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 7 months ago | (#44872277)

I doubt that. Most of these people are using XP because it was the last consumer Windows with a volume license key. Just because the patches have stopped doesn't mean they are going to throw away their operating system. You will likely find they are running a bunch of Dell P4 machines that others have thrown out

Re:Microsoft will pull back (3, Insightful)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 7 months ago | (#44872315)

I've had people accidentally install Windows 7 over Windows 7 and lose all their documents due to re-partitioning. So yeah, saying random citizens are qualified to make a full switch over to Linux themselves is ridiculous. Plus, then they end up with a printer that has no drivers or an unsupported or glitchy graphics card driver. Windows 8 is hell on Earth in UI form but at least it functions properly.

Re:Microsoft will pull back (4, Insightful)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 7 months ago | (#44872441)

Windows 8 is hell on Earth in UI form but at least it functions properly.

I don't really consider something as "functions properly" when it's "hell on Earth" to use.

Re:Microsoft will pull back (3, Insightful)

e70838 (976799) | about 7 months ago | (#44872649)

Upgrading a system to install windows 8 instead of windows XP is very difficult for unqualified people and will require almost the same installation time than Ubuntu and will probably have more driver issues than ubuntu (ubuntu works better on old hardware than recent windows).

I must admit that it is difficult to find qualified people on ubuntu.

Re:Microsoft will pull back (3, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 7 months ago | (#44872695)

Windows 8 is hell on Earth in UI form but at least it functions properly.

I'd prefer a glitchy heaven.

Re:Microsoft will pull back (1)

RicktheBrick (588466) | about 7 months ago | (#44872581)

One will lose programs whether one switches to Ubuntu or stays with Windows. I have virtual box where I maintain a windows xp system without any service packs. If a program will not run on service pack 3 of xp, I will try installing it under that one and it usually will run. Recently I found a wireless mouse at a garage sale so I tried it on a Ubuntu computer. Nothing happened but when I put it on a windows xp system the computer responded and loaded the drivers. It was working in a couple of minutes without any hassle. The same goes with pc cameras as they will install without a cd on a windows xp but not at all with Ubuntu. Changing to Ubuntu means losing programs and hardware and since no one advertises their hardware as being compatible with Ubuntu, one has to guess. This is hard when one is looking for a printer since a lot of them will not work with Ubuntu. Than there is the software for Ubuntu. I can very easily find out how much hard drive space I have left under windows but it is a pain to find out under Ubuntu. When someone writes a Ubuntu program that does the same thing that windows explorer does than I would be happier with Ubuntu. I still have a computer running widows xp and until Microsoft guarantees that their new operating system will run all of my programs and hardware, I will not consider upgrading.

Re:Microsoft will pull back (1)

johanw (1001493) | about 7 months ago | (#44872373)

Migration away from XP can also go the other way - if the hardware is too slow for windows 7, it might run windows 2000 fine - a version currently too obscure for hackers to attack.

Re:Microsoft will pull back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872681)

Why would they want to do that? If they can't monetize that group now, what makes you think they will be able to do so with windows 9?

Besides, the problem is not as large as some might think: http://gs.statcounter.com/#os-ww-monthly-201001-201308

I'm not sure how I feel about this (3, Interesting)

techprophet (1281752) | about 7 months ago | (#44871989)

On the upside, Linux is being given away by a government as the successor to Windows xp. On the downside, how many kids/grandkids are there that will know how to fix their parents/grandparents Linux machines? I guess you could say I'm cautiously optimistic

Re:I'm not sure how I feel about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872077)

Considering kids/grandkids just use google to fix most things anyway, I'd say not much will change.

Re:I'm not sure how I feel about this (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 7 months ago | (#44872079)

On the downside, how many kids/grandkids are there that will know how to fix their parents/grandparents Linux machines?

If not, this gives them a great learning opportunity.

Re:I'm not sure how I feel about this (3, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 7 months ago | (#44872665)

How are you going to google for instructions when your network card is a cheap belkin that won't work?

Re:I'm not sure how I feel about this (2)

inking (2869053) | about 7 months ago | (#44872141)

They could learn to fix Ubuntu the same way we learnt how to fix Windows. Necessity is the cause of invention.

Re:I'm not sure how I feel about this (1, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 months ago | (#44872145)

We are from the government! We want you to have this OS, we guarantee it is better then your old one, because we are the government.

Perhaps I am just being a skeptical American. But anything with the Government Seal of Approval, makes me feel a bit scared. Not that I am a big fan of Microsoft or the Corporate entities are to be trusted. But at least with Corporations you know they are in it to make money. But Government and other organizations often have a lot of agenda's. Not always to your favor.

Re:I'm not sure how I feel about this (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872529)

In some countries in Europe, I live in the Netherlands, we see the government as a service organisation.
We know we pay taxes because in return we get good quality roads, social security (which keeps crime rate low), police to help us (we and the police are still on friendly terms), schooling (increases profit and reduces crime). And although we might bitch a bit about our taxes, most of us gladly pay it.

Re:I'm not sure how I feel about this (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 7 months ago | (#44872643)

But at least with Corporations you know they are in it to make money. But Government and other organizations often have a lot of agenda's.

If you don't believe corporations have "a lot of agendas" I would suggest that you go look at a list of the sponsors of the American Legislative Exchange Council and then take a look at some of the laws ALEC is pushing in state legislatures around the country.

The notion that Corporations=Good and Government=Bad is pretty naive.

Re:I'm not sure how I feel about this (1)

somersault (912633) | about 7 months ago | (#44872693)

It's not like it's locking them in, or even costing them anything. Most people just need a secure platform to run a web browser.

I think you're right to be scared of your government, and have been saying for a long time that the PATRIOT act was bad news. I actually don't have that much of a problem with governments trying to collect data, etc, but the PATRIOT act was very obviously unconstitutional, and therefore there should have been a HUGE shitstorm surrounding it, until it was rejected/repealed/whatever..

Re:I'm not sure how I feel about this (5, Insightful)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 7 months ago | (#44872153)

On the downside, how many kids/grandkids are there that will know how to fix their parents/grandparents Linux machines?

Probably close to the same amount that will know how to fix their Windows 8 machine.

Re:I'm not sure how I feel about this (2)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about 7 months ago | (#44872155)

At least it is posslble to fix Linux. Windows is not fixable (IME).

Re:I'm not sure how I feel about this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872543)

Its totally fixable. Here [ubuntu.com] is a blog on how to fix it.

Too bad ubuntu sucks (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872003)

just saying..

Re:Too bad ubuntu sucks (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 7 months ago | (#44872059)

You put the CD in .. it loads up a bit ... the internet comes on and thats all people who don't use/like computers use a computer for. When the HDD breaks they point to the monitor and say the CPU is broken and ask if they need more RAMS.
and oh bollox I've answered an AC. lunch break over soon.

Re:Too bad ubuntu sucks (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 7 months ago | (#44872179)

When the HDD breaks they point to the monitor and say the CPU is broken and ask if they need more RAMS.

This is the average user summarized in once sentence, no matter which OS they use.

Good idea but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872013)

I can certainly understand wanting to protect the Internet from hackers by eliminating potential botnet hosts, but really they should be telling their citizens it's time to buy a newer used computer or a new computer with Linux, Windows 7, or OSX. Most machines still chugging along on Windows XP are not only vulnerable to attacks, they're going to be power hungry and inefficient. Pretty much anything you could do on a Windows XP machine you could accomplish with a tablet or a Chromebook fo r that matter.

Re:Good idea but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872377)

But how efficient is it to get rid of a working machine?

Re:Good idea but... (1)

don (3029853) | about 7 months ago | (#44872481)

Pretty much anything you could do on a Windows XP machine you could accomplish with a tablet or a Chromebook fo r that matter.

With the added bonus of a much smaller screen

Well... (3, Insightful)

larpon (974081) | about 7 months ago | (#44872023)

Ubuntu can be kept up to date and the latest with an internet connection - that's easier than buying a new version and re-install every time a new OS comes out. Question is if people know what it is and what to do with it.

Re:Well... (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 7 months ago | (#44872165)

Question is if people know what it is and what to do with it.

It's not the end of the world if some don't. The XP will be EOL'd anyway and their computers become an unsupported can of malware, which would be even worse. Let's bravely just hand the installation DVD and see what happens. It's a good challenge for Ubuntu.

Re:Well... (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | about 7 months ago | (#44872609)

re-install every time a new OS comes out

XP released more than 12 years ago. Upgrading from XP to a newer version of Windows cannot be called 'reinstall every time a new OS comes out'.

Just windows XP? (1)

schneidafunk (795759) | about 7 months ago | (#44872031)

Why not offer it to everyone, regardless of their current OS, if they want it?

Re: Just windows XP? (1)

techprophet (1281752) | about 7 months ago | (#44872051)

Baby steps. Offering it to everyone is more expensive than offering just to those upgrading. While the OS itself is free, the CDs are not.

Re:Just windows XP? (1)

cbope (130292) | about 7 months ago | (#44872085)

Ever heard of the internet? I hear you can search for things and actually download them! /sarcasm off

Totally agree, they should mass produce these and make them available at multiple touch points for anyone to pick up, train stations, kiosks, shops, etc.

Re:Just windows XP? (1)

leonbev (111395) | about 7 months ago | (#44872109)

You are assuming that most people still using XP at this point actually know how to burn a DVD from an .ISO image or make a bootable USB thumb drive to install Ubuntu themselves. That's kind of a dangerous thing to assume.

Re:Just windows XP? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 7 months ago | (#44872207)

And you think someone who uses Windows 7 will know any better? They're only users, not "experts"*.

* yes, I once had someone tell me I was an "expert in computers" for knowing how to burn an ISO file to a DVD.

Re:Just windows XP? (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 7 months ago | (#44872505)

I had someone tell me I was an expert with computers because I discovered their USB mouse wasn't plugged in. It's funny what people consider an expert these days. I certainly wouldn't want a doctor doing surgery on me because I know he can pick up a scalpel.

Re:Just windows XP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872185)

Because most people don't want it. Butthurt Linux zealots disagree of course, but a huge majority of people don't want to use Linux on their desktop computers. Despite their technical ineptitude, people know a step backwards when they see it.

Re:Just windows XP? (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 7 months ago | (#44872557)

I've seen what the "majority of people" want and two words come to mind, Reality TV.

The fact that Jersey Shore was even aired for one episode makes me believe the best thing to do when the "majority of people" decide the like/don't like something is to run the other way.

SubjectsInCommentsAreUseless (1, Troll)

lesincompetent (2836253) | about 7 months ago | (#44872049)

Mint would have been better.

Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreUseless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872167)

Why? Unqualified assertions aren't really useful now are they? QNX would have been better.

Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreUseless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872339)

While QNX clearly would have been better, there were unfortunate licensing hurdles that could not be overcome to allow distribution in this manner.

Hmm... (-1, Offtopic)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 7 months ago | (#44872061)

to users of the almost extinct XP.

If by "almost extinct" you mean "Still installed on over half the computer in Asia," then sure. Bonus: It's still installed on over a third of machines worldwide [wikipedia.org] I'm sure China will appreciate yet another American trying to meddle in their developing economy by giving them an operating system that no other major country would be expected to use as a replacement desktop, simply because we were nice enough to provide it free of charge. There's no possible way this do-good attempt to "save" the good people of another country... because as we all know, Western culture never tries to force other cultures to do what they want "for their own good".

Get a little international perspective, Slashdot. It's not like Microsoft practically gave away XP [eetimes.com] to developing countries to lock them in, and then jacked the price up for the upgrade, while giggling maniacally like some evil overlord. Jeez... why does the rest of the world hate imperialism so much? It's not like it ever enviously eyed their booming [bloomberg.com] economy and thought; What can we do to cash in on this without looking like total dicks? Oh! I know... how about we pull support for their dominant operating system and force them to spend hundreds of millions on upgrade fees!

Snark aside, this disproportionately targets developing economies and non-western countries. Anywhere else, this would incite comments about racism, cultural warfare, etc., but since it's just an innocent tech giant all I've heard is crickets. Put yourself in the shoes of the rest of the world though; They have aging computers that can't run Windows 7 because of the significantly higher hardware requirements, and while they produce most of that hardware, they can't buy it because their workers all make pennies on the dollar. Are these people just going to drop off the internet, crawl down a dark hole, and die as a service to the rest of us, who hate the poor in the third world? Probably not: Instead, they'll form the backbone of supermassive new botnets, without any way to secure those systems, it'll become a cesspool of all manner of digital evil.

But at least Microsoft's profit margins will be up, so there is that.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872149)

I didn't know Munich was in Asia.

Munich, Not Manchuria (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872183)

I'm sure China will appreciate yet another American trying to meddle in their developing economy by giving them an operating system that no other major country would be expected to use as a replacement desktop, simply because we were nice enough to provide it free of charge.

So Munich is in China now?

Re:Munich, Not Manchuria (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872495)

Me, I'm curious who the "yet another American" in Munich is.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872225)

I can't tell if this is trolling or not.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | about 7 months ago | (#44872241)

First, TFA is about a relatively small giveaway by the city of Munich, Germany. Nobody offered to provide free Ubuntu DVDs to large parts of Asia.

Second, Canonical is a British company, owned by Mark Shuttleworth who is a South African.

Third, locking people in with a version of Linux would be a lot harder than with Windows. Because you can get most, if not all, of the system from another distributor. Legally too (if you don't care about that, Windows is also available from "other distributors", at a very low price ;-)

Re:Hmm... (2)

argStyopa (232550) | about 7 months ago | (#44872247)

It's not just China.
I'm a rather cutting-edge tech person, but even I have left XP on my work laptop and a couple of our home systems simply because they simply can't run Win7, nor do I see any compelling reason to upgrade - they function perfectly fine for the limited uses they serve (ie one's a minecraft server for a dozen friends, the other is a guest-internet machine for my kids' friends that come over).

Not to mention, the HUGE bulk of computers that I support - ie my extended family - are all XP.

Further, isn't about the 34th time "XP end of life" has been announced? I was told they would NEVER be patching xp again, and I just GOT another patch last week.

Re:Hmm... (2)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | about 7 months ago | (#44872283)

Further, isn't about the 34th time "XP end of life" has been announced? I was told they would NEVER be patching xp again, and I just GOT another patch last week.

End of XP support is announced for April 2014. And yes, it has been extended before. If Microsoft is serious this time or if they will give in with another support extension is anyone's guess.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872287)

...so, if these Asian Germans are tired of being yanked around by American corporate imperialists, they will ...upgrade their hardward and stick with Windows? I don't quite follow your logic.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872311)

No, the GP poster is saying that Microsoft should continue pay developers to provide updates to Windows XP, free of charge, until the sun transitions into the red giant stage.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Mashdar (876825) | about 7 months ago | (#44872365)

Microsoft is not breaking the OS, they are ceasing support. You make it sound like they are the boogie man killing babies for profit. They are not spending any more money on a 12-year-old product which generates 0 revenue.

Sorry; Should M$ produce products out of the good of their hearts? Or perhaps they should enslave those 1st world programmers so maintaining the OS doesn't cost so much? Or maybe you would rather everyone everywhere stayed on XP forever?

Re:Hmm... (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 7 months ago | (#44872455)

>They are not spending any more money on a 12-year-old product which generates 0 revenue.
I bet it does make them some money. Where I work, we still had a lot of NT4 servers until about 2-3 years ago. MS wanted GBP 3m to support them (with patches) the current year, then 6m then 12m. Needless to say, that focussed people a bit and the systems were migrated/replaced.

Re:Hmm... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#44872705)

What can we do to cash in on this without looking like total dicks? Oh! I know... how about we pull support for their dominant operating system and force them to spend hundreds of millions on upgrade fees!

That would require that they license properly to begin with. But it's common knowledge that this isn't the case.

XP rules! (2, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 7 months ago | (#44872063)

Going from a Windows 7 to an XP system is like night and day. Everything just works and works more smoothly. No hunting and having to search (why the fuck should I have to search for something on my own system?) for what I need. No buried menus to turn crap off.

With XP I never have to wait for the system to tell me, a minute or so later, that I mistyped a network resource, the whole time preventing me from retyping the correct path.

To use the tired phrase, "You can have my XP when you pry it from cold, dead hands."

Re:XP rules! (3, Insightful)

cbope (130292) | about 7 months ago | (#44872151)

Sounds to me like you're just lazy. XP is missing all of the usability improvement that came in later versions (not necessarily counting 8). How do you snap two windows side by side in XP? Oh wait, you can't. How do you utilize more than 3GB of your memory in XP? You don't, unless you use the bastard child that was XP 64-bit, which almost nobody supports by the way. For me, 8GB is a good starting point for RAM for what I use a PC for.

There are LOTS of usability tweaks in later versions. Please, just let XP die, it's had a good run but it's time to bury it. It's also ugly as hell next to a modern OS.

I won't hesitate to guess that a majority of people are hanging on to XP only because they've got a cracked copy and don't want to buy a legitimate newer version.

Re:XP rules! (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 7 months ago | (#44872449)

How do you snap two windows side by side in XP?

I move them side-by-side. How hard is that?

How do you utilize more than 3GB of your memory in XP?

XP supports up to 4GB of memory

There are LOTS of usability tweaks in later versions.

I'm still waiting to find them. I did multiple tests comparing how easy it is to get to places in XP or make configuration changes and the extra steps involved in W7. In some cases it takes twice as many steps to accomplish the same thing.

Then there are the visual issues such as not being able to completely turn off all effects. In XP I could turn them all off. In W7 you can sort of turn them off but the system will still use them when it feels like.

The only reason people believe 7 is good is because it's the Service Pack for Vista which was so horrible. Of course 7 looks good when you use that comparison.

Re:XP rules! (3, Interesting)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | about 7 months ago | (#44872537)

After using Win7 for almost two years, I find it a marginal improvement.

Good:
-UAC is a good feature for those who understand the concept of "administrator" vs. "normal user".
-A lot of minor things (like "ejecting" USB sticks) that I found unreliable in XP work well now.
-64 bit support that deserves the name (Windows XP 64 never really took off).

Bad:
-Low level system settings are hidden deeper than in any previous version. You can still find them with a bit of Google help, but for people who are need to manage stuff like IP addresses and subnet masks directly I find Win7 actually harder to use. BTW that trend started with XP if not earlier...

Overall, I see the technology improving but Microsoft trying harder to keep the user from tweaking the system, often to the effect of annoying people who need special configurations. On the bottom line I consider Windows 7 an improvement, but one that could have been greater.

Re:XP rules! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872193)

You don't HAVE to search, they're not forcing you. But if you do you'll finish the task 10x faster if you know what to search for(HIINT: search for the same thing you'd click in the menus). NOT rocket science. Windows 7 came out 4 years ago and I don't understand how normal everyday users haven't got it yet let alone tech users like yourself.

Myself, I LOVED it. I could open stuff without taking my fingers off the keyboard. Hit the windows key and type what you want. I do the same thing in Unity in Ubuntu now. People seem to hate that too. I don't get it, I'm 90% more efficient because of it.

Re:XP rules! (1)

Arker (91948) | about 7 months ago | (#44872445)

The search is a minor timesaver but really doesnt change much. Sometimes instead of using alt-tab to reach the cmd window and type a command, I hit the win key and type it instead, which may save one or two keystrokes. But some commands, you still have to open the command window anyway, so what it saves in keystrokes it risks losing again in having to think about whether the new method will work or not on a particular command.

Re:XP rules! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872197)

Ah yes, the luddite argument. You are aware your refusal to embrace new things exposes you to unpatchable vulnerabilities right?

Re:XP rules! (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 7 months ago | (#44872313)

It's kind of hilarious to read people singing the praises of XP, which most geeks regarded as a bloated "Fisher Price" version of 2000.

Re:XP rules! (2)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 7 months ago | (#44872349)

version of 2000.

I still have a system running 2000. :)

Re:XP rules! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872591)

Wait, now. I may not know everything, but I've been on Slashdot for a long time. And if there's one thing I've learned here, it's that it's wholly impossible to be running a version of Windows that hasn't been patched in the last three days and not have a machine that is just chock full of viruses, malware, and spyware. OH, and don't forget you must be running the latest version of McAfee with the DAT file updated yesterday, or your machine is 100% for sure Pwnzred,haxxored and part of an e-vile botnet distributing illegal pornography, running TOR exit nodes for the Silk Road, or serving up bomb-making plans to terrorists.

Seeing as W2K has been out of support for what, 8 years now, I know that you are just telling tall tales you fibber!

Re:XP rules! (2)

Shompol (1690084) | about 7 months ago | (#44872549)

Needed to start XP in virtualbox yesterday... Ah, green meadow, blue sky. Suddenly, a series of alerts:

"Your computer might be at risk"

"You need to get latest Java"

"You need to get latest flash"

"You computer is still might be at risk?"

"You Must Construct Additional Pylons!"

Welcome to Unity! (3, Interesting)

RDW (41497) | about 7 months ago | (#44872081)

Nice idea, but Ubuntu is, by default, about the least XP-like common Linux distro they could have chosen. Mint-MATE or something would be less of a culture shock.

Re:Welcome to Unity! (5, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 7 months ago | (#44872129)

That's not necessarily a bad thing. The problem with work-alikes is that people are prone to think that they actually work alike. The fact that something is different and actually looks it is really not such a bad thing.

The whole problem with the GNOME3 interfaces was never so much that those interfaces suck but that they sabotaged the GNOME2 one in the process.

Re:Welcome to Unity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872595)

Today was the first time I used gnome 3 on some red hat derivative it is like Windows 8: no task bar, no start-like menu, programs start full screen.
I thought ubuntu's version of gnome 3 was the big problem, but ubuntu's version is just a mellowed version of that abomination.

Why does gnome and other window manager run after what Microsoft makes? If you have to choose an example, please pick Apple.

12.04 is almost obsolete, even for a LTS version (4, Insightful)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | about 7 months ago | (#44872095)

By April 2014, Ubuntu 14.04 should arrive as the next LTS version.

I would certainly want that (or a derived distribution) rather than Ubuntu 12.04, especially in a PC with AMD graphics. The open source drivers for ATI/AMD are still catching up in features and performance, and 14.04 vs. 12.04 should make a significant difference.

Re:12.04 is almost obsolete, even for a LTS versio (2)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 7 months ago | (#44872219)

I believe the idea is to get people off XP before EOL, and that means 12.04. Once 14.04 drops, they'll as likely as not start handing that out instead.

Re:12.04 is almost obsolete, even for a LTS versio (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872323)

Because they are Windows XP machines and probably old, I'd think someone who could afford a new machine would buy it.

I'd think Xubuntu, Lubuntu or Linux Mint Mate would be good choices.

Ubuntu 12.04 -> 14 really aren't designed to work with older hardware. Trust me, I've experienced it since Unity was introduced.

Re:12.04 is almost obsolete, even for a LTS versio (1)

Grand Facade (35180) | about 7 months ago | (#44872599)

I don't know if U/12 is as bloated as some of the other releases but I'm betting it will bring a P4 to it's knees.

I have tried test installs on older equipment and been far from pleased with performance,
I suppose if you are used to dial up speeds this may not be a big issue.
If my attention span has moved on before it can boot up I'm going to be looking for some other solution.

nice (-1, Troll)

amoeba1911 (978485) | about 7 months ago | (#44872115)

but they should do everyone a favor and give Ubuntu CDs to everyone. There are less and less reasons to use Windows. Goodbye Microsoft, and good riddance.

This reminds me of (4, Funny)

Virtucon (127420) | about 7 months ago | (#44872217)

AOL CDs and Floppy Disks. Great for leveling that kitchen table that has one leg shorter than the rest.

Re:This reminds me of (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872489)

AOL floppies were great stress relievers.

timing is everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872265)

quote:
After that very moment, it is said to become a gold mine for hackers all over the world who will exploit 'zero-day' vulnerabilities.

OK, right.
Because any criminal worth their salt would wait until then to exploit a zero-day instead of say using it RIGHT NOW!

Support? (1)

jamesl (106902) | about 7 months ago | (#44872305)

And who's going to support the people who are being introduced to an entirely new operating system and applications installed on an ancient computer? Assuming they can get it installed.

Re:Support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872533)

People don't use an operating system and applications. People use Facebook.

Ubuntu? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872321)

Apparently Amazon is funding this endeavour.

But...14.04 will be out.... (1)

Aaron H (2820425) | about 7 months ago | (#44872391)

I guess I understand them not wanting to do last-minute dispatches, since 14.04 is scheduled to come out in the same month they're releasing these CDs... but they're just going to have to upgrade the 12.04 systems almost immediately since 14.04 (the next LTS) will be released that same month.

Re:But...14.04 will be out.... (1)

RDW (41497) | about 7 months ago | (#44872687)

12.04 is maintained until 2017. There won't be new hardware support for 12.04 after 14.04 is out, but this initiative is targeted at old PCs anyway.

System requirements (2)

rvw (755107) | about 7 months ago | (#44872425)

Previously, it was believed that Munich city's authorities were going to offer Lubuntu 12.04, which would have required lower system requirements with the same support period.

I have Ubuntu 12.04 LTS running on a nine year old P4. I won't say it's fast, but it works and is usable and probably works as fast as XP. I would only recommend using Gnome Classic (Gnome 2 like) as standard desktop, as it's much more intuitive than Unity. If Munich really wants this to work, they should create some kind of social work project that employs a bunch of people who can help Munich citizens to migrate. Just putting that CD in your computer will definitely result in data loss for many people I'm afraid.

Ubuntu 12 on old XP machines - 32bit problem. (4, Informative)

luckytroll (68214) | about 7 months ago | (#44872437)

This is a nice sentiment by Munich, but the many of the folks who are running XP and try and install Ubuntu 12 will be in for a nasty surprise -

32 bit machines without PAE will not load with most newer Linuxes. Most, including Ubuntu, no longer include 32 bit non-PAE kernels in their installers.

I found this out when I tried putting a modern albeit tiny Linux onto my FitPC 1 and an older EPIA motherboard - XP runs fine on these, but finding a linux is probably beyond the skill of most XP users. Jury rigging a different kernel in is definitely out.

A lot of older XP installs are also running on older hardware. Just giving away an OS will not magically fix this. And if these folks upgrade the hardware, it probably comes with a newer windows anyway.

Re:Ubuntu 12 on old XP machines - 32bit problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872565)

yes because 14 (nearly 15) year old AMDs and 18 year old Intels (with the exception of the pentium M) are soooo common ...

hackers. will exploit 'zero-day' vulnerabilities. (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 7 months ago | (#44872473)

Zero day?
How old is XP ?
If hackers haven't found holes in Win XP by now, they never will

And theres also 3rd party antivirus and firewall software, I presume that the commercial security software will be continue for subscribers.

Ask someone why they are still running XP and yo9u will probably get the answer that they have legacy software that doesn't work on newer versions of the OS, or they like the old interface. They are not likely to want to go to a completely different OS that looks different and won't run the old software.

I'm willing to pay for ongoing XP patches (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872561)

I'm sure many others would too.

This could be a significant revenue stream for Microsoft.

I wonder if there will be legal consequences (2)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 7 months ago | (#44872563)

I wonder if there will be legal consequences when some people inevitably wipe their hard drive clean of 10 years of data they never bothered backing up. I can imagine a lot of people who simply have absolutely no idea what they are doing with a computer in this fashion may brave it anyway only find themselves in this position after thinking it is some sort of direct upgrade. I can see a mindset of 'Well, the city endorses it!'

it makes sense (1)

morgauxo (974071) | about 7 months ago | (#44872617)

It makes sense. Cannonical has been working for years to make Linux just as bad as Windows. By now Ubuntu should be pretty good as a drop in replacement for Microsoft products.

Not a Apple's to Apple's choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872699)

I have nothing against Linux, but its not exactly setting the world on fire and never has on a desktop. I guess its a nice token option but what happens when these people who don't understand that Linux and Windows are not the same? When they realize Office does not run on Linux or iTunes or any other program not designed for Linux. I think a better option and I am sure many XP users will eventually make is buying a new PC. Microsoft could easily garner the rest who prefer a upgrade by offering Windows 8 cheap. I just don't see a lot of users being happy with Linux.

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