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Linux Making Inroads, But Not At Windows' Expense

Hemos posted more than 12 years ago | from the looking-at-things-differently dept.

Linux 323

zaphod123 writes "According to this article, the stories about Amazon (and others) switching to Linux have been misrepresented. The Linux install has replaced a proprietary Unix system, not a Microsoft Windows product. This is still "A Good Thing" for Linux, but not the downfall of Microsoft that some have foreseen."

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323 comments

This frist p0st (-1)

Anonymous Pancake (458864) | more than 12 years ago | (#2509972)

I blame this first post on my oversized canadian cock

Re:This frist p0st (-1)

sales_worldwide (244279) | more than 12 years ago | (#2511377)

Your circumcised cock, you poor sod.

And slashcode is broken again. Blame Jamie Jewboy

Re:This frist p0st (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2512713)


All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software must display the following acknowledgement:

This product includes software developed by the University of California, Berkeley and its contributors.

*BSD is dying

wtf?? (-1, Offtopic)

Chester K (145560) | more than 12 years ago | (#2510263)

How's this article showing up in my Older Stuff slashbox for the front page with only two posts on it?

Re:wtf?? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2512500)

Did you notice how the article says Nov 2 on the front page, but when you click on it, it changed to a date in October? They seem to have fixed it now though.

Re:wtf?? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2512513)

How's this article showing up in my Older Stuff slashbox for the front page with only two posts on it?


Chester K, say hello to MySQL. MySQL, Chester K.

Makes sense to me (0, Redundant)

The Infamous Grimace (525297) | more than 12 years ago | (#2510300)

Moving from UNIX to an OS based on UNIX sounds easier, and less expensive, than moving from one based on Windows to one based on UNIX.

Just my $0.02

(tig)

who cares! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2510342)

I'm a UNIX lover! not a Windows hater!
I use FreeBSD on my servers and Win2k on my workstations and it's an excellent match.

Re:who cares! (1)

imperator_mundi (527413) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512691)

that's it, Linux don't need to have a big share to keep moving on, moreover ten years of Linux are creating a large base of users with a good basis of knowledge of unix while I don't think that most of the people that used windows during the last decades has an idea about how windows register works ;)

Re:who cares! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2512738)

All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software must display the following acknowledgement:

This product includes software developed by the University of California, Berkeley and its contributors.

*BSD is dying

Cock (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2510415)

In your asshole. You faggot.

Slow Down Cowboy!

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Try it on grandma. (5, Insightful)

OsamaBinLogin (522314) | more than 12 years ago | (#2510510)

>When asked whether the company would ever consider replacing its
>Windows machines with Linux, Busch said absolutely not, noting
>the lack of "robust office packages" on that platform.

I often think that this excuse really is more like "we can't get naive users to use it without being crippled". Linux distros need to test their software on non-Unix people more. Humans. Typical office people who, if you ask them if they have a Mac or a Windows box, say, "Yeah, I think so".

>And Busch threw another wrench into any mass Linux migration by
>noting that the overall cost of Linux and Windows 2000 is almost
>identical after you factor in support and maintenance.

in other words, after you get done with the hassles of Linux, and the hassles of Win2k, the hassles of Linux are a little bit more. time=money, so the cost of that extra hassle is the same as the cost of Windows & its apps.

So much for free-as-in-beer.

This hassle is invisible to the Linux developers cuz they know how to fix or work around glitches when they arise. So it seems "easy to use" for them.

Try it on grandma. then report back.

Re:Try it on grandma. (0)

garcia (6573) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512494)

I have posted this before, and I will say it again... The cost of admining a Linux network is going to end up being the same as admining a Windows network. There is basically no difference.

A admin that is hired to do Windows is going to be paid the same as doing a Linux network (as there are usually both OSs in the place). I don't see the long term costs being anything different.

The short term costs (so the anti-Linux people say) are going to be far less than w/Windows.

Stop arguing about this. Linux is going to cost less no matter how you look at it. It is NOT ready for the desktop, yet it is most certainly a viable alternative to running an NT based net.

Re:Try it on grandma. (4, Insightful)

rw2 (17419) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512601)

The cost of admining a Linux network is going to end up being the same as admining a Windows network. There is basically no difference.

Well the handful of clients I've seen (or switched myself) switch to Linux certainly don't bear that out. Windows installs tend to degrade over time. In no small part because they are much more likely to be run wide open in order to allow people to get their jobs done. Once they can install their own software the registery gets polluted and the machine stops working. What next? Field trip to the workstation because the remote admin on Windows is less common and less capable than Linux.

So there you have two reasons why the cost of ownership on Windows is higher. And I haven't even started talking about resurecting infected machines, making site visits only to tell the user that there is nothing that can be done because the issue is in Microsofts ticket system but they haven't done anything with it or any of the other closed source problems.

Yes, I know that solutions exist, but this was a cost discussion and the solutions cost money. With linux they are an intrinsic property of the OS.

Re:Try it on grandma. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2512661)

Are you honestly gonna tell me that only cost a company incurrs in running an OS is the administrator's paycheck?

Have you checked what a the price of a Microsoft win2k license is nowadays? Not to mention the $$$/minute to call MS support?

And don't forget the viruses, patches etc... (time spent on making the system run the way it was supposed to run out of the box).

I'm sorry if this sounds like a flame, its not supposed to be - all I'm saying is running a server costs a lot more than an admin's paycheck.

Yep. (1)

rebelcool (247749) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512529)

And its exactly why my company (small) uses windows on its networks. It's easier for the developers to spend some of their time admining the windows machines they're VERY familiar with, rather than the linux ones which while we all know how to use linux, administering them responsibly is another story.

We'd have to hire a linux admin, of whom are not cheap...

Re:Try it on grandma. (5, Informative)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512632)

Hmmm....

It is true that the majority of Linux wins are at the expense of UNIX, which explains the support of Sun and IBM (if you can't beat them, join 'em). However, there is a little more to this that meets the eye.

Proprietary UNIX is great in some niche markets, but it does not compete cost-effectively with Linux or Windows. If the migration costs were the issue, why would people be moving both to Windows 2000 and Linux from UNIX, not just Linux? This trend is also evident when one looks at the Netcraft numbers (and actually reads their comments).

The real issue, though, is that adding Linux servers IN PLACE OF Windows 2000 servers for certain tasks may also be happening. If people are already switching from UNIX to NT-based OS's, then Linux's wins are definitely at Windows expense, in denied market share rather than in lost market share (Windows never had the market share to begin with). All of this is on the server.

Also, the data in the article was out of date (about 2 yerars old). Linux currently has about 2% desktop market share in the corporate environment accordign to the IDC as of last Feb. (I assume that most of these are technical workstations). But again, this may deny the 64-bit XP some market share as time goes on.

Now for the ease-of-use question:
in other words, after you get done with the hassles of Linux, and the hassles of Win2k, the hassles of Linux are a little bit more. time=money, so the cost of that extra hassle is the same as the cost of Windows & its apps.

On a corporate level, yes. On an individual level, not so sure. I have watched people who are not computer gurus struggle endlessly with the insanity of WIndows. So it is not really newbie friendly either. In fact the only newbie friendly OS is arguably Mac OS!

However, I have found that newbies that get started with Linux learn much more rapidly about their computer because it is more transparent. A good example of this is my parents, who went from being lost on Windows 95 to being lost on Red Hat 6.1. Funny thing, if I set up the desktop with their use in mind, they had fewer problems than they did with Windows 95. They started using their computer more, and now (even though they no longer use Windows) are able to help all their friends use Windows. So I think that Windows is "user friendly" because that is what people have struggled with and put a lot of effort into learning. Not that it is innately so. Expect Linux to take more of the desktop in the next few years...

Re:Try it on grandma. (2)

MrResistor (120588) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512694)

Try it on grandma. then report back.

Sadly, my grandma passed away before I got to introduce here to Linux, but my mom didn't have any trouble when she finally upgraded to the digital age (her previous word processing platform was a typewriter, 1920s Royale as I recall). The next least technical people I know (my wife and sister) also didn't had any problems. My sister actually thinks it's easier to use than Windows, although she was working the front desk at VA so she didn't have to worry about her printer not working (that's been my only headache with Linux).

Having recently migrated to Win2k at work and SuSE 7.1 at home, I have to say that the windows migration was much more of a hassle. Strangely, most of the problems I had with Win2k were due to lack of drivers. (I still haven't been able to get our plotter working, but at least our CAD software doesn't crash 5 times a day anymore).

Re:Try it on grandma. (3, Insightful)

biostatman (105993) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512725)

Tbe way that I see it, there are two kinds of newbies: those who know they know nothing and are comfortable with it, and those who know knothing but nonetheless pretend they are power users. The first group are no problem - I could have just as easily gotten my mother (in the former category) using linux+kde2 as I did using Windows 98. (She, and most types like her, are not going to want to change the default font of the title bar once it has been set up for her; she just wants basic functionality) Also, trust me, it would be far easier explaining the subtleties of a Linux Desktop Environment to her than it has been trying to explain the numerous bugs she has encountered in win98.

Unfortunately folks in the latter category abound (posing power users), and the only reason for their proficiency w/ Windows is sheer repitition and reading the "Windows Tips" in the back of PC magazines. Not once do they have to think their way out of a problem, as there are many aspects of Windows that frankly defy logic. Once they are confronted with a situation which is a little bit different than Windows that requires a little bit of thought, it is very easy for them to throw up their hands and call it difficult to use and too UNIX-y.

I use both Win2k and Linux, and honestly Win2k is fine for what I need it for (it is not bulletproof, tho, in my experience), but I made a (not too time-consuming, btw) commitment to learning how to use Linux, and I'll never go back. However, I think that I am not in the majority, as most people don't want to give up what is familiar.

(BTW, for people that use the argument that "abc is too hard, as I don't want to know how xyz works, I just need it to get my work done!" I say, if you are working on a computer 80% of your working time, doesn't it behoove you to seriously consider alternatives that may (or may not, certainly) allow you to get your work done in a more efficient way? Ever heard of the concept one step backward, 10 steps forward?)

Re:Try it on grandma. (1)

inkjet2 (533792) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512744)

Further.... If Linux begins to erode and destroy Sun.... How long will Star office or FREE Star Office be available?

Re:Try it on grandma. (1)

MrFredBloggs (529276) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512760)

"How long will Star office or FREE Star Office be available?"

Any free software will always be available. You cannot rescind it once its been released. Whoosh! There it goes, into the wild - source and all.

however (3, Insightful)

djdead (135363) | more than 12 years ago | (#2511002)

it still is good news in that they decided not to change to a m$ based solution. they went for linux.

Re:however (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2512490)

why? because you're 13 and posting on big-boy slashdot? let's post something meaningless yet positive about linux.

Re:however (4, Insightful)

spudnic (32107) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512546)

This is the point. They went shopping for a more cost effective:stable solution and they came up with Linux.

They could have possibly opted for Windows. So we can say that we are stealing potential sales from Microsoft and slowing it's widespread acceptance as a server OS.

But is that the whole story? Would they have even had to make a decesion like this if there hadn't been a $free alternative? Could the switch to Linux be argued if it cost the same as Solaris? What if Linux and Solaris where expensive, but Windows was free? What would the decision have been then?

Well, it doesn't matter because Linux is $free, Windows isn't, and they obviously had enough trust in it to move many systems over to it before the Christmas rush. That's really saying something.

*sigh* (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2511473)

'Damn, we didn't hit Microsoft! Oh well, I guess we'll just have to ask Osama then ..'

What is up with the Anti-Microsoft attitude? Are all Linux freaks nothing more than a bunch of crybabies who hate Microsoft? Pathetic!

Yet another reason to skip Linux and head on immediately to *BSD, Solaris or SunOS for instance...

Re:*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2512752)

All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software must display the following acknowledgement:

This product includes software developed by the University of California, Berkeley and its contributors.

*BSD is dying

From the thank-you-capt-obvious department.... (5, Insightful)

stiggystiggy (266085) | more than 12 years ago | (#2511509)

How is this news? Netcraft [netcraft.com] said this way back in their June Report [netcraft.com] :
"Linux is the second most commonly used operating system. Linux has been consistently gaining share since this survey started, but interestingly not significantly to Windows detriment. Operating systems which have lost share have been Solaris and other proprietary operating systems, and to a small degree BSD."
Also, why didn't the article spell out the loser? It's Sun, Sun, Sun, Sun, SUN! Sun is getting clobbered on all fronts. Their hardware is nice, but not so nice that is it needed for 90% of the applications on which it is used.

Solaris, their operating system, has few advantages over Linux, nowadays. Frankly, without adding the GNU tools, Solaris is virtually unusable! (And, who's gonna pay $10k for their compiler when GCC does the job?)

Sun is about to hit a brick wall. Unless they change direction dramatically, Linux is going to gobble them up, just as SGI consumed Cray. Cray was meaningful for a long time, until the capabilities of "Minis" (as Supercomputer folk like to refer to UNIX machines) silently approched the power of super computers at a fraction of the cost.

The same is happening with Linux-Sun. For a small fraction of the cost, Linux on commodity hardware (Intel) is approching the power of Sun's products. It's inevitable, without some sigificant change.

Re:From the thank-you-capt-obvious department.... (4, Flamebait)

nion (19898) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512539)

For a small fraction of the cost, Linux on commodity hardware (Intel) is approching the power of Sun's products. It's inevitable, without some sigificant change.

I disagree, and it's not because I work at Sun. Commodity hardware is not nearly on a par regarding uptime and reliability as Commercial hardware. People don't buy Sun because it's cheap. People buy Sun because it WORKS. If you think I'm biased, replace Sun with IBM or SGI or Compaq or any other corporate entity that builds server hardware. You don't base your $$$ infrastructure on a $2k LinTel machine.

Sure, you can build a rather good system [google.com] with commodity hardware. The PHB's MAY allow the techies to install Linux around the network. But when it comes to making a mission-critical application, they're not going to allow them to run down to PC Joe's, pick up a $2k box, install a $30 OS and believe it will run 24/7 without failure.

Re:From the thank-you-capt-obvious department.... (2)

GrenDel Fuego (2558) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512631)

I'm not quite sure what you're against here. Are you saying Solaris is much better than Linux when it comes to stability, or that Sun hardware is much better than commodity intel hardware?

How would you rate Solaris on commodity hardware or Linux on Sun hardware?

Re:From the thank-you-capt-obvious department.... (4, Insightful)

Ami Ganguli (921) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512644)

Ok, it's definately true that you don't buy a cheapo clone and use it for a mission critical server. But on real hardware (high-end Intel, RS/6000) Linux is every bit as reliable as commercial Unix. The only thing that's missing is "hot-swap anything" features that are only available on really high-end hardware.

It's true that Linux can't go up against Sun in every market yet, but I think the original poster is correct in saying that Sun needs to do something before they lose their edge. McNealy said recently that Linux was no threat since anything new developed for Linux could be incorporated into Solaris, but that's stupid. If you're selling a higher-price product you can't compete by matching the lower priced product, you have to be better.

Re:From the thank-you-capt-obvious department.... (2, Informative)

seth_hartbecke (27500) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512652)

People don't buy Sun because it's cheap. People buy Sun because it WORKS.

I work in a Sun based datacenter. Just yesterday I got in a Ultra 10 that would not boot because they had the jumpers configured wrong on the HD's (two internal IDE's). A few months ago we purchased a E250 that arrived with a dead motherboard. We also have had a A5200 disk enclusure that the sun hardware reps had to totally tear down and replace every board in it to make it work, and it sill only works if you remove the A interface board (which means we don't have the redundent IO paths).

I could go on and on with the hardware failures that we've had at our small datacenter (we only have about 30 machines). Surfice it to say, Sun's hardware sucks these days.

Re:From the thank-you-capt-obvious department.... (1)

shani (1674) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512653)

Why, I do think you're biased, and our Dell boxes work very nicely once Captain Linux (not his real name) here has installed Linux on them, thank you.

Now that Sun boxes have PCI buses and run (optionally) IDE hard disks, they really aren't anything more than slow, expensive PC's for most applications.

If you don't need 64-bit processing or lots of CPU's, server PC's are just as reliable as Sun boxes, do the same work, and cost a lot less. Plus, if you run Linux, you never have the joy that I did of spending two days tracking down a bug and having Sun tell me they already knew about it. *grumble*

Don't believe the hype.

From-the-no-duh-department... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2512696)

"You don't base your $$$ infrastructure on a $2k LinTel machine."

If you did base your infrastructure on a two thousand dollar linux box, it wouldn't be $$$.

You can say what you want about Solaris being more reliable. I have not experienced that at all. We had a Packard Bell(yes, I know, the creme of the crap) running Linuux as our DNS server, a mSQL Database server, and SMB file services for 2 years and it only went down when we were updating packages.

Compare that to our Oracle Database running under Solaris on a 420. Damned thing crashed every couple of months. In addition, we had to replace cpu boards twice in that same two year period. Not that that is bad, or that this "proves" anything, only that my experience is that Sun is not more reliable than Linux. If you have some hard evidence to the contrary I'd love to hear it. Feel free to share your anecdotes as I have, but just remember that proves nothing more than mine do.

I don't hate sun either, certainly as many problems as we had with it, it certainly could not even compare to the hell that was administering our Windows PDC and Backup system(went down more often than a 10 dollar whore). I love how you meet with these doze professional consultants and they'd tell you, "Oh, you just don't have it configured right." They would then spend weeks reinstalling, "tweaking", and trying everything under the sun to get the damn thing to stop crashing. We went through 3 of these "MCSE"'s before we just accpeted that doze is an unstable, untested, unreliable piece of garbage. I'm not prejudiced, I reached this conclusion after adminstering NT, Linux, and Solaris for 5 years. Therefore, there is no "pre-judging" going on here, but rather, judging after the fact of being hosed too many times by that damned platform.

it comes with gnu tools! (-1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512586)

Uhhh solaris 8 comes with all the GNU tools so thats fud right there. Whats so difficult about going to sunfreeware.com and downloading the packages? You have to download patches anyhow right?

A cluster of linux boxes isn't even approaching the bandwidth of a 128 proc server. You expect them to run on 100mbit switched ethernet? Linux/Intel is not the end all solution for everything. Ask pixar why they render with a group of Ultra's.

Sun? Nice hardware? Bwahahahaha (0, Flamebait)

nosferatu-man (13652) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512625)

Almost totally correct, except for the "nice hardware" bit. Sun kit has been crap for years, and is getting crappier. Underperformant, overpriced garbage. Sure, it's can be more reliable than most x86 stuff (albeit nowhere near as powerful), but that's not saying much when the systems can cost upwards of a half-million dollars, is it?

Sun is getting their nuts squeezed, by the rampaging horde of micros at the bottom and by IBM at the top. As the farcical mistakes mount (no ECC on the US3 caches? Ha ha ha ha ha!), Sun will hopefully slip into irrelevance. Good riddance!

Peace,
(jfb)

Re:From the thank-you-capt-obvious department.... (4, Interesting)

Arethan (223197) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512741)

Small applications are the only areas that Linux will ever beat Solaris on Sun hardware. I'd like to see a Linux cluster beat SunFire15k or even an older E10k in a performance vs. total cost of ownership chart.

Let's see, so we hire 10 people at 80k a piece to manage our 500 machine cluster, which will need to be replaced every 4 years at a minimum, just so that we can utilize a free OS?

Or, do we shell out some bucks up front, and get fault tolerant hardware, running an OS in a 5th generation VM environment, that will only require 2 people to manage, and will not need to be replaced for at least 10-15 years. (Upgrades not being considered replacements)

I'll stick with Sun, thanks. I'd much rather deal with a single machine, using extremely fault-tolerant tech than having to deal with 500 commodity pc's that are going to go through the usual 4 year replacement cycle.

Linux and Sun both have their place. Linux is a nice server, and a moderate desktop OS for the tech-savvy (at least I use it as a desktop). It's good for ftp servers, web servers, even small to mid database servers. Sun, on the other hand, is great for extremely high availability situations, where the 0.001% of down time in a 99.999% uptime plan could cost the company a few million in revenue.

Linux is saturating the low end market. Good! The low end market could use some low-cost & stable server software that runs on inexpensive hardware. But Sun caters more to the high end market where uptime is critical and data-sets are unbelievably large.

And no, Intel is no where near doing what Sun can already do. Go shoot your precious linux server with a .44, and see if it's still up. I'd guess the answer is no. Doing the same with a properly configured SunFire 15k would result in a high replacement cost, but an up and running system nonetheless. Processing power? Single cpu vs single cpu is getting closer. But for fault tolerance, full hotswap upgrades (as in lets pop a few more cpus into this machine...while it's running), high end SMP (way more than 8-way, try 72-way), and high end memory size (as in my server as 200GB of ram, what do you have under the hood?), Intel isn't even close. Sun, OTOH, has been doing it for a few years now.

So...how was linux going to kill Sun again?

Still a hit to Microsoft (1)

AnamanFan (314677) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512519)

In the point of view of MS, anyone who's not using a MS product is concidered a failure. In other words, since Amazon (and et all) are not using MS, it is still a hit to MS.

Re:Still a hit to Microsoft (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512577)

> In the point of view of MS, anyone who's not using a MS product is concidered a failure.

Yep. The biggest problem with MSFT for the past few years is that MS has saturated the desktop and stalled out in its grab for server space. MS needs growth to keep those inflated share prices up.

Also, even though Linux is "competing" mostly with Sun these days, every time an organization adopts Linux for any reason Linux becomes more visible and more credible.

Those who wish to view the history of the universe as a struggle between Linux and Microsoft can still see this as Linux moving to consolidate its base by rallying the rebels and independents throughout {the galaxy, Middle Earth} before going over to the offensive against the strongholds of the {Empire, Dark Lord}.

Go Linux! (1)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512521)

I work at a webhosting compnay (Very small). And the other day one of my customers (a bank), asked me what OS I was running. When I replied 'Linux', he totally amazed me with what he said next. 'You trust linux?'. This really offended me at first. Then he went on to say, 'Why not a more practical OS, like BSD, HP-UX, or Solaris?'. Not to bash BSD, but when did it become as 'practicle' as Solaris or HP-UX?

On top of that, what is wrong with a well hardened linux box that is going to be solved with a BSD, HP, or Solaris system?

Regardless, I'm VERY happy to see Amazon move from a *caugh* 'practical' *caugh* OS to an 'obviously working' Linux solution. GO TUX!

Re:Go Linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2512595)

> Not to bash BSD, but when did it become as 'practicle' as Solaris or HP-UX?

Probably around the time the 4BSD line became stable... so early 80's.
> On top of that, what is wrong with a well hardened linux box that is going to be solved with a BSD, HP, or Solaris system?

For the most part, it's the better support and more worked over code base. Solaris also has better concurrency under high IO loads and, of course, is pretty much your only choice when using high-end Sun hardware.

Re:Go Linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2512643)

Haven't you heard? BSD is more reliable than Windows. Where do you think Windows gets its source code? Linux?

GO BSD!

Much as I like Linux, (4, Insightful)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512662)

I have to admit-- Linux for community documentation, support, and features.

But-- FreeBSD is STABLE (check longest uptimes at Netcraft when you get a chance). If I could go for 4 years without rebooting with Linux... They have even dethroned Irix when it comes to stability.

So yes, they are a very practical alternative to Linux. It is really that Solaris and HP-UX are not so practical or cost effective in the small ISP market.

I actually now believe that Linux will form a shield which will allow BSD to grow into certain niche markets, such as high-availability web servers (currently MS and Sun).

Yes, it IS at MS's expense!!! (3, Interesting)

turbine216 (458014) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512523)

As MS still holds a great deal of market share in server installs, this IS a blow to MS, as they failed to sell Amazon on their own product!

Besides that fact, it's still a VERY good thing for Linux, as Amazon is a HUGE online retail operation that serves as a model for many other businesses. That's how Linux is becoming successful - word of mouth and trial by fire. Linux proves itself in a very fast and competitive market, and more people jump on. Of course *NIX and BSD systems will be the first to be replaced, because the people who maintain them aren't as afraid to make the jump to Linux (they're already somewhat familiar with it). Give it time, though, and you'll see quite a few former MS boxen turning over to linux.

I mean, honestly, two years ago, did you ever think linux would have about 24% of the server market? No! So of course it seems impossible that it might steal an even bigger share - and thus there will always be those who doubt that it will ever happen. But slowly, it WILL happen. It's already happening.

Re:Yes, it IS at MS's expense!!! (2, Interesting)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512585)

You make a point, but its rather weak.

Imagine the cost to port over a bunch of stuff already created in a UNIX environment to Windows. It wasn't necessarily the cost of the windows boxen as much as it was the porting.

Going from Sun to Linux is much easier than *NIX to Windows.

Re:Yes, it IS at MS's expense!!! (2)

turbine216 (458014) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512616)

You're right, and maybe i was a bit amgiguous in that area. The way i envision it, Linux isn't going to win the server market by "taking over" MS boxes. Rather, it's going to win when companies start replacing those boxes with Linux boxes. As technology improves, the companies that have been running NT servers for the past 5 or 6 years will want something new. And when they upgrade, there's a good chance that the "word of mouth" advertising of Linux will sell them on a nice Linux server farm instead of a Win2000 (or whatever) setup. That's exactly what is happening with Sun and BSD right now. New linux boxes are replacing old *nix boxes and Sun boxes because it's cheaper to introduce, and cheaper to maintain. Eventually, once Linux reaches a certain point of maturity, the same thin will happen to MS boxes. They'll be replaced.

Re:Yes, it IS at MS's expense!!! (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512637)

Another thing, which I failed to mention in my previous reply is: although its hard to go from *NIX to Windows, it is *not* difficult to go from Window to Linux, and that, too, could be a breaking point of helping linux take MS' share of the server market.

The only big issue is the number of windows admin's vs *NIX admins. Theres...so...many...of...them... ;-)

Re:Yes, it IS at MS's expense!!! (2)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512678)

Imagine the cost to port over a bunch of stuff already created in a UNIX environment to Windows. It wasn't necessarily the cost of the windows boxen as much as it was the porting.

But people like DomainZero are migrating from Solaris to Windows 2000. The real problem is that proprietary UNIX is hurt by economy-of-scale issues and is too expensive. Migrating to Linux OR Windows is an immense savings.

Re:Yes, it IS at MS's expense!!! (2)

FatRatBastard (7583) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512724)

It's a blow to MS's revenue growth. Remember, NT was to be a Unix killer. It was cheaper than any Unix at the time and it wouldn't be a forked mess (which was MS's take on the Unix world at the time) and companies would be able to leverage their Win32 knowledge to counter the problems of porting from Unix to NT. And MS were making pretty good inroads at the very low end (admittedly it was mostly Novell they were creaming, not Unix). The IT press had all but organized a wake for Unix in the mid 90's. NT was the heir apparent and was going to eventually march its way up to mainframe type status.

Linux has killed that DEAD. Now the shoe is on the other foot. Microsoft's licensing structure is more like the Unix vendors of old -- i.e. the customers hate it -- and Linux has become the "works just as well for much less money" alternative to MS's server products where MS is strongest: file and print serving.

This is why Microsoft is pushing services. They've found that their old plan for growth, high end servers, isn't going to be the homerun they thought it would be. Look at their datacenter product. It doesn't have the advantages that they used with the desktop / low end server market. You can't just bung it on any hardware, and you can't afford ANYTHING that brings your system down (the OS has to be rock solid). And that cost's $$$. So thier datacenter OS is limited to only approved hardware and from what I understand ain't exactly cheaper than any comparible Unix offering. If you can't beat 'em on features and/or price you're not going to dominate the market.

If services don't take hold the way MS wants them too they could be in a world of hurt. They've got nowhere to grow. The desktop is saturated, and Linux is going to keep them in check on the low end of the server market.

Maybe one particular case misrepresented, not all. (2, Informative)

jordan (17131) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512531)

I happen to know of one organization that has decided to convert almost all their desktop systems to Gnome+StarOffice, wherever possible. I think the plan is to have one or two Win* boxen, to act as conversion stations when having to send electronic documents to the outside world, but the overall plan is to dump Windows because of licensing cost issues.

Regardless of what that article says, the costs are very real and companies are definitely considering it. Perhaps one or two cases may have been misinterpreted, but by and large the case for converting to Linux has not been mispresented.

--jordan

WE MUST OBEY (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2512532)

LORD gates commands that you obey switch xp ...you will be much happier

Linux will never be a.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2512533)

desktop Os while the 'GUI sux0rs, CLI r0x0rs' attitude prevails.

Fight the right battle (5, Insightful)

TommyAquinas (231046) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512536)

Because of its robustness, modularity and stability, Linux is highly able to replace Solaris, HP-UX and AIX type licensed OS's in the enterprise. The people who buy these systems buy them to get the best technical solution to their problems and consider cost of ownership, which is high in any OS choice given the task, secondarily.

Trying to get Linux to beat Windows on the desktop is fighting yesterday's battle. Want to kill Microsoft? Sap it's growth, which is in server OS's and embedded systems (XBox, Pocket PC, etc.)

The amount of energy spent by the development community in trying to be the next Microsoft is astounding, but very few vocal developers seem to even focus on what Microsoft is trying to become.

To borrow a phrase from the Old West, "Cut 'em off at the pass" and focus on making an OS that runs devices better than Windows ever will, an OS that runs DB2 and Oracle better than any other and an OS that can be extended and integrated with server side applications at compile time with more ease.

If you take away Microsoft's revenue growth, you take away their stock price. Take away their stock price and you take away their monopoly.

Can't Linux be both? (1)

DahGhostfacedFiddlah (470393) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512594)

Linux works as a 486 in someone's closet or a cluster of database servers. There's a huge difference in the administration and usage of each of these. Probably more so than in many cases than a server vs. desktop comparasin. A large advantage of Linux is the modularity, so that it can be any computing system you want. That makes it ideal for any environment. Developers should continue to "itch the scratch" on any itches they have, be it networking, GUI, or gaming. The "right fight" is just trying to create the best desktop in the world using the only form of communism that's ever worked.

Had this same kind of discussion with a co-worker. (2)

mystery_bowler (472698) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512542)

We had come to the opinion that IT/IS departments that had gotten used to UNIX systems feel more comfortable about moving to Linux than IT/IS departments that had gotten comfortable with Windows. There still seems to be a strong feeling of uncertainty when it comes to planning for migration headaches (which are inevitable).

It's still awfully hard to penetrate into markets where the people involved are only aware of doing things a certain way. I can recall having a job in college where I became responsible for a file server running a quite old version of NetWare. I wasn't thrilled about it and the company that sold the box to my employer wasn't around anymore to support it. But it ran and I prayed that the box wouldn't conk out, because I feared having to convince my boss to migrate to another OS.

Obviously there's truth to that. (1)

JeremyYoung (226040) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512547)

But if Amazon saved some $20+ million switching from Unix to Linux, I would imagine even more could be saved switching from Windows to Linux. Besides, there are many many other stories of small businesses switching to linux and gaining added capabilities, as well as saving money. Most of these stories originate from stuff that IBM or RedHat does, but they are no less meaningful.

Re:Obviously there's truth to that. (2, Informative)

NineNine (235196) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512573)

Um, nope. They SAVED money because they already had the *nix expertise inhouse for running their web servers, and they already had their entire app written to run on *nix boxes. Switching from Windows to *nix is a 100% change in platform. That's VERY VERY expensive to do, which is why you'll find almost nobody doing it.

Re:Obviously there's truth to that. (1)

JeremyYoung (226040) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512588)

Amazon mentioned their switch was mostly in their server department. Switching the platform on which a server runs only necessitates that you train your admins on the new software. Doesn't sound that expensive to me.

Re:Obviously there's truth to that. (2, Informative)

NineNine (235196) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512610)

A. Training is VERY expensive.

B. Screw application. What about the CODE?? If Amazon was written in ASP with heavy use of COM objects, you'd have to do a multi-million dollar re-write to make it into a CGI/C application. Administrators are by-and-large button pushers. It's the application that's expensive, not the administration.

Re:Obviously there's truth to that. (1)

DahGhostfacedFiddlah (470393) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512628)

When you're trying to maintain a couple of nines of uptime, I imagine that it would cost a bit. You'd have to make sure that the admins knew the system inside out. It's not like when Amazon first started, and they were able to make a few mistakes learning the system. Nowadays, being such a big name, they want admins who won't let anything go wrong on their end - ever. It would probably require more than a MCSE certificate :-)

Re:Obviously there's truth to that. (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512626)


> Switching from Windows to *nix is a 100% change in platform. That's VERY VERY expensive to do, which is why you'll find almost nobody doing it.

Yeah, and companies never have to retrain their staffs or rework their software when they upgrade Windows, do they?

As usual, the people you describe are pinching pennies for the short run and costing themselves dearly over the long run, by sticking with a system owned by a robber baron and changed at his whims, rather than moving to a system based on open standards.

Re:Obviously there's truth to that. (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512649)

system owned by a robber baron and changed at his whims

Good Troll.

Again, you're missing the point. We're not talkign about secretaries who have to click a different button to format a Word document. We're talking about an entire highly-paid IT staff that would have to be gutted, or completely retrained with different technology. That's why this rarely happens. I've never seen a wholesale switch in a company from *nix to Windows or back. It's probably the most major decision any IT company can make, and it's generally made at the inception of the company.

windose? eXPense? not us (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2512553)

We're [scaredcity.com] making all of our inroads without expensing a dime for billy's liesense filled bugwear.

Having seen these face scans [opensourcenews.com] of the felonious softwar gangsters from the kingdumb, we could never contribute anything, save for eXPosure, to that type of 'kill thy neighbor' FraUD.

fud is dead, at leased as far as we're concerned.

Winformant? (4, Funny)

rw2 (17419) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512555)

I think I trust winformant to tell me about Linux about as much as I trust slashdot to tell me about Windows... :-)

Re:Winformant? (2)

Christianfreak (100697) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512683)

Hehe, yeah while the article is true (and surprisingly less anti-linux that I expected it to be when I saw the 'winformant' banner) it had a very subtle FUD tone to it. Sort of frightening :) it was almost like you could feel Bill's evil pulsing through the website.

Re:Winformant? (2)

Col. Panic (90528) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512754)

FUD

I was looking for someone to say those three little letters before I did and it was you. I particularly liked this little piece of propaganda.

Another point these Linux adoption stories fail to mention is the cost of transitioning from Windows to Linux; this cost is the reason so few companies are undertaking such an action.

and

Busch threw another wrench into any mass Linux migration by noting that the overall cost of Linux and Windows 2000 is almost identical after you factor in support and maintenance.

Sounds like it came straight out of Redmond.

Re:Winformant? (1)

wizkid (13692) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512707)


I Would believe that winformant would skew there article to Microsoft's point of view.

Linux is making it into the server market with a "grass Roots" effort. They are not spending billions on slamming the competition to do it.

Linux Advocates have a tendency to slam $M products, but then on the other hand, they've had to support them for years. Supporting $M products is finally getting easier, cause the product is getting more stable. At this point, $M is slitting there own throat, by there new Licensing scheme. If they continue, Linux will make inroads to there server market!

Much like Linux made it into the server market with a "Grass Roots" effort, they are starting to get into the workstation market with the same methodology. Small companies, that we don't hear much news from are starting to switch. They have smaller budgets, and less corporate bureaucracy to fight with. Linux now has desktops, and tools to compete with $M. StarOffice, KDEOffice suites don't have as much feature bloat, but still work well. What they need to fight is $M's propaganda machine. There's a reason the $M Propaganda Gun is pointed at Linux. Billy's analysists see that the threat to there core business, which is office WorkStations is threatened.

Being a Linux Bigot, I hope they make some inroads. I'm not a $M Hater, but I've been annoyed with many of there products over the years, and I like to be able to debug stuff without making a $125.00 incident call. I like open source software, because I can figure out what broke, and fix it.
W.Kid

Still Important (2, Interesting)

Troller Durden (253387) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512556)

Sure, this isn't a case of Linux replacing Windows, but it is a case of Free replacing Proprietary, and that's just as important, if not moreso. Microsoft's Ministry of FUD has been working overtime trying to scare people away from Free Software solutions, using "arguements" that are little more than "Free Software Is Communism!".

Free Software / Linux advocates should be glad that: 1) the best a multi-billion dollar corporation can do is mimic some of the very unoriginal trolls around here; and 2) companies are not being trolled.

True, but... (1)

riggwelter (84180) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512567)

The saving in question was made by choosing to switch to Linux rather than an NT derived alternative, demonstrating the saving that [in this case] Linux brings over Windows.

No surprise (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2512570)

I've talked to a LOT of companies that have been evaluating Linux for their mission critical systems, and this result is no surprise at all. The businesses habve figured it out: Linux is an excellent server OS for those companies that have a serious commitment to support. But for desktop use there are still far too many barriers to conversion for a Windows-only shop.

Linux will never make serious inroads into the mainstream desktop market until some big entity, like IBM, puts a huge amount of money into a focused effort to remove those barriers. And there's no sign that IBM or anyone else has any economic incentive to spend that much money to convert customer desktops from one OS to another. In other words, we're approaching an equilibrium state in the vast majority of the OS market: Windows and Mac OS on the desktop, Linux and UNIX on the servers.

Nonsense. (2)

Ami Ganguli (921) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512575)

Linux (for now) competes on low end (mostly Intel) hardware. The biggest player on the low-end by far is Microsoft, so that's who's most affected. Users who switch from proprietary Unix to Linux do so because they see a cost benefit from switching to low-end hardware. If Linux weren't there then they would be forced to go to MS.

It is true that Linux has clobbered the main lown-end Unix: SCO. Good riddence :-).

One thing that does surprise me is that Windows is still so popular on basic file & print servers. These machines don't run any special software, so they should be simple to replace with Linux boxen. We just got a Cobalt cube in our office and it's really neat. Setup is fast (like 3 minutes!) and painless, and it does everything you need from a small office server. Why aren't these things more popular?

Linux in '05 (2)

maniac11 (88495) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512576)


The numbers corroborate this statement. According to research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), Linux owns 24 percent of the server market, whereas Windows own about 38 percent of the server market. And Linux will continue in the number-two position at least through 2005

2005?! Like, in 3 years, right? This is said as if it's bad. Linux overtaking NT in the server market by 2005 sounds like one of the first realistic goals I've heard for the OS community.

At least it's much more realistic than the standard"Tonight? Tonight we take over the world" refrain.

Look closer (2, Insightful)

ajuda (124386) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512583)

I know you all read the article, but did anyone read the web address? http://www.wininformant.com. It's part of the Windows 2000 Magazine Network. Their motto is Windows news and information. Does anyone here see any potential bias when the website says that Windows will rule for the foreseeable future?

Re:Look closer (0, Interesting)

Swift Kick (240510) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512719)

You mean, kinda like SlashDot being part of the OSDN network, whose motto is Linux news and information? Do you see any potential bias when SlashDot posts up articles saying that Linux will rule in the server market?

Masses & Classes - minority rights (3, Insightful)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512596)

One fellow used to cast things in terms of products for the mass market, and products for the elite class of users. Sure, there's going to be a huge market for the 'computers grandma can use', just like 'billions & billions served' - but there's also going to be a small but vocal and powerful minority of very experienced users who just don't want a computer with the training wheels bolted on and whizzards to hold your hand thru all common tasts. In the democracy of 'market choice' it will become increasingly important to ensure that the rights of the minority users who know what they want and already know how to do it don't get trampled on.

Yes, I do it the difficult way because it's more educational and I want to know what's going on and be in control. Notice how every time your super-automatic wiz-bang box craps out *I* have to come over and fix it or figure it out for you??

Windows is the current "standard" (2)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512598)


Of course - most anyone skilled enough at general PC operation enough to use Linux is going to be aware of the massive ammount of software that assumes you are running in a Windows environment. Therefore, they are going to have some copy of Windows for the sake of convenience to be able to use that software if the need arises.

Note though that this only means that Linux owners are going to have SOME copy of Windows. Not necissarily the latest.

Re:Windows is the current "standard" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2512675)

Note though that this only means that Linux owners are going to have SOME copy of Windows. Not necissarily the latest.

Of course, my copy of windows is version 1.15

Two heads better than one? (2)

n-baxley (103975) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512617)

An interesting question is how the other *nix versions affect Linux. Is it better for "the community" to have several *nix variants out there competing against MS, or better to have just one, be it Linux or some other variant? Put aside your religiousish tendancies for your favorite OS, and lets discuss a wider benefit.

Having more than one version available gives more options to people and allows for several niche distros of *nix. It also presents several targets for MS instead of allowing them to focus their sights on one "problem".

With a single *nix front, we would be able to address concerns across more installs, and consolidate the knowledge from more sources to improve the overall product.

I'm not sure which way is best, and more than likely a hybrid will be the end result, and for the better. What's the feeling here about all of this?

Why do you care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2512623)

Why does anyone give a crap where linux stands relative to windows? You still think you're making money here? What's wrong with running linux simply because you personally prefer it, and letting others make their own choices? Real mature, this need to take over the world or seek revenge for your blue screens or whatever the hell all of this is about. LINUS HIMSELF DOESNT SEE LINUX AS A DESKTOP REPLACEMENT, LINUS HIMSELF LIKES WINDOWS, HELLOOOOO

Biased story pulls a bait-and-switch (2)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512647)

Paul Thurrott, who's carer is clearly wrapped up in the success of MS products, pulls a nasty bait-and-switch in this story.

He talks about how Amazon and Intel switched some servers from $$IX to Linux, and says that the "anti-Microsoft" press has been mis-representing these moves.

Then he quotes an Intel executive saying that they haven't even considered switching their MS based systems to Linux. The implication being that NT is doing a great job in their back office. But the reason given for not making the switch is "lack of 'robust office packages'"!

So, the story, apparently, is that neither Amazon nor Intel dare run NT in the FIRST PLACE.

Or, to put my own bias on the shelf for a moment, Amazon and Intel see Linux a preferable alternative to NT/Win2k as a server platform.

How is this a win for MS?

-Peter

PS: This post was generated on a Linux desktop.

au contraire, they're running scared (2)

Karmageddon (186836) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512654)

high market capitalization, high price earnings ratio, high return on equity, etc., these things all come from growth opportunities, and not from already profitable product lines. Linux's growth in the server market, an area that Microsoft has long targeted, comes very much at the expense of Microsoft. It tears at the heart of Microsoft's future strategy.

Microsoft is already a monopoly on the desktop, and all they are left with is clinging to that with challenges from all sides.

Re:au contraire, they're running scared (3, Interesting)

Squirrel Killer (23450) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512742)

Why am I reminded of the saying:
  • First they ignore you
  • Then they laugh at you
  • Then they fight you
  • Then you win.
Seems we're at #3...

Not Making inroads my ass... (0, Flamebait)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512655)

I'll have you know I personally ripped out a Microshit network and replaced it with Linux. Of course, I run a pretty ghetto shop, so we have the new rackmounts shipped blank.

The worst part is that management was behind me all the way.

What is seen and What is not seen. (1)

random coward (527722) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512664)

"There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: The bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen."

This is a quote from French Economist Frederic Bastiat.

What we have in this case is the seen: Linux taking market share from other Unixes.
The unseen: Microsoft loosing those sales. This is in fact hurting Microsoft.

What they fail to mention is... (1)

MasteroftheVoxel (162902) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512667)

In Microsoft eyes, any box not running Windows is a sale that they've lost. They are very serious about dominating the home market, the business market, the server market, ok, well, they leave the minis and mainframes for IBM.

So a web server running Linux is a loss for Microsoft's IIS. Just because Microsoft didn't have much share of that market in the past, it doesn't mean they don't expect to in the future. For example, when Netscape first started Microsoft didn't have any precense in the "internet realm". Now we talk about how IE dominates the browser world.

When you take this into account, you realize how pointless that article is...

Microsoft not going away (2)

M_Talon (135587) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512671)

Things are going pretty much the way I figured they would. Linux is making progress in the areas it shines in. If it keeps up, I see the following happening in 5-10 years:

The market will split into 3 basic genres. You'll still have the Apple/Macintosh vanguard, as those diehards won't disappear. Apple's done a good job of keeping that core audience, and they'll still have them. Microsoft will become less of a business solution and more of a home system. People still want an easy to set up system, and Microsoft gives them that. However, companies are already getting sick of MS licsensing and bugs. That leads to the major change, Linux will become the system of choice for businesses. Given 5-10 years, install and administration of Linux distros will be as simple as Microsoft's are now. Look at how far the last 5 years has brought Linux if you don't believe me. Businesses will go with the low cost implementation that Linux provides over the headaches that come with MS. Programs like StarOffice will make the transition of the business side less painful. Companies like Sun will find themselves having to shift priorities away from the OS in order to survive.

In short, Microsoft will stay a dominant player in the home PC field, with Apple being the secondary choice. However, businesses will tend to go with the cheaper and less bug prone Linux for their own installs. Of course, that's just my viewpoint on things. Your mileage may vary.

REALLY tired of the "proprietary UNIX" oxymoron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2512672)

UNIX is a standard, it is NOT proprietary. Windows is proprietary, UNIX vendors are not. Sure they may have large pieces to them that are proprietary but they still implement the UNIX standards.

Disjointed mumblings on POSIX (1)

mcc (14761) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512676)

From the article:

Making the conversion from UNIX to Linux is relatively straightforward; you can easily recompile most versions of UNIX software to run under Linux. But Windows is based on an entirely different technology, and moving between the two environments isn't that straightforward.

This is an excellent point. However, it would seem to me that it is a problem that can be, to some extent, fixed.

First off, it should probably be noted here that POSIX is now, more or less, a universal standard. Microsoft has a POSIX compatibility layer in NT making up the remnants of what used to be that Internix thing they bought out, right? (Or was their main purpose in buying Internix to sit on it? I never quite figured out which.) Well, no matter; there's still Cygwin and a number of other things that will let you run POSIX software in NT. Anyway, my thought is that it would be really neat if a drive were made to convince people to write all new server software as POSIX command-line apps, and let the Windows NT version simply have some kind of GUI wrapper program added. From the developer's perspective, this would mean they could write one program that would run on all available platforms at once. (From my self-serving perspective as a mac user, this would rock because writing a GUI frontend to a UNIX command line app is damn near effortless if you do it in Cocoa [apple.com] . So best case scenario, people port their server software to OS X just because rewriting the GUI in OS X is something that takes no more than a couple days, and worst case scenario people like me can buy server software and write Cocoa GUIs ourselves. HEE HEE..) Would this be something, um, feasable? Would it be something developers would want to do, would it have any negative repurcussions for the performance of the program under windows NT?

And if convincing the NT developers to all move to UNIX isn't feasable, then how possible would it be to write some kind of VMS compatibility layer that would let windows nt server software run on UNIX once you stripped out or rewrote the GUI? Would that be worth the bother, and did such a compatibility layer exist would any vendors take advantage of it to port their NT software to UNIX?

Would either of these approaches help the problem to be solved? Do developers still *care* about cross-platform-ness?

And my final question: From a raw developer's standpoint, if you're going to just write command-line apps and then tack on GUI frontends later then which would you rather be writing for-- POSIX, or the vms-y internals of windows nt? Is POSIX really any better, or do we just all like it because the kernels that run the software we all like are POSIX? If POSIX ran on WinNT/XP and low-level WinNT/XP software ran on UNIX, which would be [[fingerquotes]] "better"?

Re:Disjointed mumblings on POSIX (1)

mmacdona86 (524915) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512755)

The problem with this approach is that nobody writes "applications" for Windows, command-line, GUI, or otherwise. They write modules that fit into MS (or third-party vendor) supplied applications. These modules of course are not cross-platform unless the application incorporating them is, and the enclosing applications of course will never be ported. The POSIX layer in NT is an unused appendix. Partially this is the result of Windows having a working component-software model; partially it is the result of everything about the Windows architecture quite intentionally discouraging cross-platform development.

World domination doesn't mean ousting Microsoft (2)

defile (1059) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512680)

Linux will dominate the world with or without displacing existing Microsoft systems. Simply put, the potential future installed base of information systems is probably less than a percent of a percent today.

Microsoft will certainly be involved in many of the future ones, but Linux offers so many more advantages that its use will far exceed any benefits to be found in a Microsoft offering.

Won't win the desktop? Who cares! Why try to beat the McDonalds of the computing industry when there are plenty of kosher delis, sushi bars, trattorias, cafes, gyro places, hot dog stands, russian tea rooms, and so many other styles and qualities of restaurants that haven't been built yet?

Linux sucks in apps for Internet/Desktop, Stop ! (2, Interesting)

chicobaud (311755) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512689)

That is why they don't even think of changing windows machines to Linux machines !
There is no internet browser that could be found as a decent one - and VERY far from good -, and about decent office apps only StarOffice could do the job badly if compared to Office2000/XP, etc...

Plus there is the problem of nothing is working on the desktop - end of the question! Everything is crippled, except KDE!

Everything is beta software when they release the "new/improved whatsoever" to make Linux users buy a new distro release; I speak from my own experience. They want (the distributions) to make money with the desktop, that's all.

I love and use Linux/FreeBSD only in text mode and for servers with grafical tools, NOT on day-to-day desktop/office computers. For me this is very sad, believe me on this one, because I feel Linux is superior but lacks a general strategy for the desktop, there is no master ideia, each Linux person/develloper/distribution have its own master ideia and its own standard, nobody is united by a common way of thinking about desktop usage. very sad like I said.

Like someone said above: "I am (was more on the past) a Linux desktop lover, not a windows hater", too.

Maby there isn't a war (3, Insightful)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512698)

The point of Linux isn't to wipe out Windows, or even to compete with it. Linux is about creating a free operating system that people will choose if it's the right tool for the job. Linux doesn't have to hurt Windows to be sucsesfull, it just has to keep improving. Just because Microsoft wasn't hurt by this doesn't mean that it isn't a victory for linux.

This misses the point (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2512703)

According to the article I read, Amazon is replacing their Sun machines (which probably run Solaris) with HP machines, which I assume can run any of Linux, HP-UX, or Windows NT. The article I saw said Amazon would use Linux on most of the machines, and HP-UX for some core systems. So, given three choices, Amazon chose to go with the two that aren't Windows.

Now, this is obviously good for HP, not so good for Sun, and not a big deal either way for Microsoft. But if Amazon determines that Linux works well for them and saves them a lot of money, other corporations may also start to realize that there's a lot of money to be saved by switching over to Linux and/or other free and open-source software. A trend in that direction could do some serious damage to Microsoft's long-term prospects in the enterprise market just when MS is looking to increase sales in that area. (Remember all the TV ads for MS enterprise servers that ran a few months ago? And MS has been trying to squeeze corporations by limiting the period during which they're allowed to upgrade to XP.)

Yes, this was not a Linux vs. Windows showdown. All the same, Amazon is a high profile operation that will surely serve as a model for other corporations.
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