Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Linux to Become #2 on the Desktop?

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the tell-me-something-i-don't-know dept.

Linux 778

DiZASTiX writes "An article from Zdnet says Linux on the desktop has become a reality. It is now possible, for example, to buy a Linux-based PC (running LindowsOS) from Evesham. In the United States, Wal-Mart sells machines based on Lindows, Mandrake Linux and others. But though Linux may have its foot in the door, taking the next step to becoming a mainstream success is proving a more difficult proposition."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

It's a good start though ... (5, Interesting)

airrage (514164) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011228)

I'm not a huge advocate of Linux on the desktop (yet), but the server side, while HP-UX rules my world currently, a SIMILAR product without the cost is attractive. Of corporation's want 24-7 support framed like HP, EDS, or IBM.

Re:It's a good start though ... (5, Insightful)

RazzleDazzle (442937) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011278)

Are people (besides the Distros) actually pushing for Linux on the desktop? I know if it becomes mainstream the distros will have huge revenue streams but does everyone else think it is so critical? I am just saying that I have noticed a lot of media attention bringing this up, not so much by regular people though. I should mention I don't use windows on any of the machines I own; I use Linux and OpenBSD.

Careless aggression of marketing put Microsoft where there are today.

Re:It's a good start though ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011297)

Sur la mouche!

Re:It's a good start though ... (5, Informative)

Surak (18578) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011325)

Both EDS and IBM provide 24x7 support for Linux machines sold by them. When are people going to get a clue about this?

Yeah, but not for free. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011487)

They want money, moolah, cash, the greenbacks, dinero, Benjamins. And they want a lot of it. The Zealots(TM) have a hard time springing for wash day money, as it is. What makes you think they'll want to make Big Blue even richer?

Re:It's a good start though ... (-1)

Bitter Old Man (572131) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011396)

I'm really horny at the moment. Would somebody be kind enough to provide some good porn links? Oral/anal/masturbation preferred. Thanks

I dont think I ever heard somebody so happy to say (0, Funny)

rock_climbing_guy (630276) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011234)

Look at me! Look at me! I'm #2

woot 2nd post for you :-) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011256)

Man, aren't you glad you got that second post. Now I want a second post t-shirt!

I got your post, RIGHT HERE!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011427)

SUCK IT, BIOTCH!!!!!

Re:I dont think I ever heard somebody so happy to (1, Troll)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011449)

Look at me! Look at me! I'm #2

...and with good reason.

Welcome to 5 hours ago!!! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011237)

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=49665&cid=5008 291

Yawn. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011246)

*YAWN*...

really.

In Soviet Russia (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011252)

Desktop is #2 on Linux!!!

too late (5, Insightful)

The Glory of Witty (636939) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011254)

There already is a Unix variant in the number two slot, and its called Mac OS.

Re:too late (1)

dmp123 (547038) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011275)

Yes, and why does this fact stop another Unix-based OS replacing it?

Not all Unixes are all the same you know!
It's like saying "Guess what, there is a POSIX compliant OS in No1 place too - it's called Windows (NT,2K etc ;))

David

Re:too late (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011319)

shut up biatch. like you have any fucking idea what you are talking about.

It's like the time your grandmother caught you masturbating out in the back yard. There she stood, there you stood. "Hi Grandma" you said. Like I said earlier: no idea what you are talking about. You should have said, "Hi prune-tits! Want some man chowder? Come and get me!"

Had you done that, you might have gotten laid for once in your pathetic life (and no, your dog does not count). Sure, she is related, but hey, you will never be able to make sweet love to any other woman.

Bitch and moan, but you know it is true. You are a OSS luzer. You post comments on Slapbutt in your parent's basement. You are 42 years old.

GET A FUCKING LIFE.

Hugs and kisses,

Juan Epstein

Re:too late (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011426)

oooh yeah, and you're just a gem representing all the knowledge of society...man some people shouldnt be allowed to leave their cages

Re:too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011282)

The Mac will soon be passed on the desktop by Linux, particularly in businesses, but maybe in the home as well. Who the hell wants to pay for hardware and an operating system that are both proprietary? Vendor lock-in that's worse than Microsoft.

Re:too late (1)

fuzdout (585374) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011307)

Actually, seems to me that there has been enough strong negative opinions towards Windows AND Mac that it wouldn't surprise me to see Linux become number 1 even if simply it becomes a "trendy" thing to have amoungst the mainstream non-geeks simply because the "geeks" are always babbling about how wonderful it is.

Re:too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011355)

Ya and it's a crappy closed source expensive bloated peice of commercial doodoo.

GNU/Linux is about more than just unix. Unix already dominated the server room for decades...

Isn't this title silly? (3, Insightful)

saskboy (600063) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011266)

What else would be number 2 on the desktop? It is hard to install OS X on "desktop" computers, and we already know what is number 1.

Right. (4)

kaosrain (543532) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011311)

What else would be number 2 on the desktop? It is hard to install OS X on "desktop" computers, and we already know what is number 1.

Riiight..because Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X are the only Operating Systems in existance [google.com] .

Re:Right. (2)

saskboy (600063) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011331)

Well did you think BeOS, or FreeDOS is the next big thing?

Re:Right. (3, Funny)

ThrasherTT (87841) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011456)

I think he meant the big AmigaOS comeback...

Re:Right. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011332)

Uhhhh no. Linux and Windows run on desktop computers, but you need to buy a macintosh to run MacOS. Think about it.

There are a multitude of options for desktops machines, but Windows first, Linux second, and perhaps OS/2 or something way down the list.

Re:Right. (3, Informative)

kaosrain (543532) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011459)

Uhhhh no. Linux and Windows run on desktop computers, but you need to buy a macintosh to run MacOS. Think about it. There are a multitude of options for desktops machines, but Windows first, Linux second, and perhaps OS/2 or something way down the list. Geeks, such as you and I, read desktop computer and immediately come up with an image of what this could and could not include. However, ZDnet is not written for geeks, it is written for (perhaps the geekier side) of the general public. Hence, when they use the term desktop computer, they are referencing a simpler definition [computeruser.com] , that includes Macintoshes. The main idea in the article is that Linux is surpassing Mac OS in popularity, which is still important, even if they don't use terms the way we would like to hear them. Think about it.

Re:Right. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011481)

Good for them they can redefine and 'include' all they like, but it still does not make a mac run an x86 CPU

Re:Isn't this title silly? (2)

SoCalChris (573049) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011316)

What else would be number 2 on the desktop? It is hard to install OS X on "desktop" computers, and we already know what is number 1.

Am I the only one who read the title and initially thought they were saying Linux on the desktop is crap now?

X-Windows ... eww, smelly (0, Insightful)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011267)

As long as people consider XWindows (XFree86) to be a viable desktop interface, I think Linux will stand no chance of dethroning Windows or even OS X. I think #2 is a pipe dream, in short. Number 3 could be attainable. As an OS, Linux is fine. I'd use it on a server. I just happen to prefer Windows XP on my desktop.

Re:X-Windows ... eww, smelly (5, Interesting)

zulux (112259) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011300)


As long as people consider XWindows (XFree86) to be a viable desktop interface, I think Linux will stand no chance of dethroning Windows or even OS X.


'XWindows' isn't a desktop interface, it's a networkable cliet-server graphical display and input technology. KDE and Gnome (amung others) build upon the X Windows System to proveide a GUI.

I just happen to prefer Windows XP on my desktop.

Me too, I happen to prefer Windows XP on your desktop.

Re:X-Windows ... eww, smelly (3, Interesting)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011340)

Alright then. I find that all of the standard elements of a linux install (refering to Debian Woody here right now) collaborate to provide an ugly, uninteresting, and unproductive working environment.

The only thing I can stand about Linux's GUI interface is Mozilla. And I can run that on Windows. Everything else - widgets and window managers combined - they just don't blow my skirt up.

For the record, my server runs FreeBSD. I considered Linux, but the variety of non-standard places to look for configuration files baffled me into choosing differently. I've got a handle on it now, but ... from my experiences with RedHat and Debian and FreeBSD, I prefer FreeBSD more.

Re:X-Windows ... eww, smelly (4, Interesting)

zulux (112259) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011410)


Just an idea:

In about six months or so, give the next version of FreeBSD a try as a destop OS. By then, KDE 3.1 should be nice and stable. KDE 3.0 is passable for a desktop GUI from a Windows standard. I'd place it at the level of Windows 95. KDE 3.1 is quie a bit nicer, and I would place it at the Windows 2000 level - if not close to XP in style and well thoughout icons/placement.

If you want a peek, goto kde.org and look at the screen shots.

FreeBSD kicks ass as a server. I love it as well.

OpenBSD for firewalls though...

Re:X-Windows ... eww, smelly (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011469)

hahah, you're going to kick me ...

... I use a linksys router as my firewall. :)

Anyway - yeah, I've seen some spectacular screenshots of KDE and stuff lately. Of course, my particular monitor/video card ensemble might not be fully condusive to running XWindows on my desktop. Last time I did it (RedHat 6.2), I had to hand-code modelines. I swore I would _never_ do that again.

Once I got it working, I detested all the ugly default widgets and stuff. I was using GNome/Enlightenment. Once I enabled GNome's "Marble 3D" look, I was moderately OK with it.

Then BeOS came along. I didn't like Red Hat after that. :)

Re:X-Windows ... eww, smelly (1)

Dthoma (593797) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011452)

Alright then. I find that all of the standard elements of a windows install (refering to Windows XP here right now) collaborate to provide an ugly, uninteresting, and unproductive working environment.

The only thing I can stand about Windows' GUI interface is Mozilla. And I can run that on Linux. Everything else - widgets and window managers combined - they just don't blow my skirt up.

For the record, my server runs Linux. I considered FreeBSD, but the variety of non-standard places to look for configuration files baffled me into choosing differently. I've got a handle on it now, but ... from my experiences with RedHat and Debian and FreeBSD, I prefer RedHat more.

Re:X-Windows ... eww, smelly (4, Interesting)

bergeron76 (176351) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011346)

I tend to think that with the advent of picoGUI [picogui.org] and GTKfb (potentially), X-Windows could (stress on could; I love X-Windows) be phased out. These systems offer a new way to access video hardware and framebuffers, etc. directly and as a direct result, they could offer a much more responsive, faster and enhanced GUI.

Your mileage might vary, but I'm very interested in these projects...

Re:X-Windows ... eww, smelly (2, Insightful)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011442)

I've taken a look at those projects, and they do look interesting - if a bit ugly, still. That can always be fixed later, though :) My gripe with X-Windows is just my own personal crusade against XWindows - it does, incredibly enough, have some uses. Particularly in the networking aspects. But those are of little benefit on a desktop, right?

To me, "desktop" signifies a tightly-integrated set of design concepts, executed in mostly-stable code, creating a fully-graphical computing experience that enhances your work. I've only ever seen one OS pull that off - BeOS. Windows XP comes close, but on Slashdot that might not be a valid opinion :)

Re:X-Windows ... eww, smelly (4, Insightful)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011394)

KDE and Gnome (amung others) build upon the X Windows System to proveide a GUI.

You are correct, and they would be much better off if they didn't. For a networkable client-server GDI XWindow System works wonderfully. For a a desktop system it's farking horrible, relatively speaking. Many of it's "FEEL" issues, the least of which have to do with performance and usability, carry over into the "upper layers" and are noticable in KDE and GNome. That is to say, the flaws that are easily felt in XWindows alone still peek through KDE and Gnome, leaving me to believe the problem is with X, not the other way around.

The way Mac went with OS X would be a great way for a free alternative clone (of OS X) to go. X just has too much support(...well...) for people to give up on it no matter how much it sucks for a personal computer desktop environment. Linux will never have the share of users it deserves until everyone can collectively break the mindset that X is the Unix desktop. Unfortunately, for the moment X -IS- the Unix desktop and that's why Linux holds 2nd place in a one horse race.

Re:X-Windows ... eww, smelly (5, Insightful)

zulux (112259) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011441)


You are correct, and they would be much better off if they didn't.


I humbly disagree - the three things that suck about the free X Windows System, in my dumb opinion, are: sucky mouse cursors, screwy anti-aliasing, shitty fonts and buggy alpha channels.

Fortunalty, all these problems with the X Windows System are being fixed as we speek. The trauma of removing X11 and replacing it with somthing else (somthing else that probably has suckyness of it's own) is probably more than just fixing X11.

MOD PARENT DOWN! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011313)

The parent post dares to speak the truth about the lack of quality about X Windows! The Linux community cannot have anything but gushing praise for even the most second-rate applications. As such, I demand this parent post to be modded down immediately, and the poster think about his heinous crime!

Re:X-Windows ... eww, smelly (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011336)

Your post has little credibility since you can't even call the X Window System by its proper name. And it's not a desktop interface, it's more like a MS Windows video driver that lets applications talk to the hardware. I think Linux is already #3 on the desktop, and I think there's nothing that will stop it from blowing right past the Mac.

Re:X-Windows ... eww, smelly (2, Interesting)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011369)

And I've used it extensively. If I can't understand it well, how are endusers expected to "get it"? Imagine trying to provide support for them if something borks tbe Linux install? The majority don't even know how to send email in Outlook Express.

If you want Linux on a desktop, why do you need a GUI? Linux is not a GUI. XWindows/X11R6/XFree86, that is the graphical shell system for Linux, and it blows goats.

My stance is that until Linux has a decent GUI, it won't be a decent contender for Number 2 or Number 1.

Re:X-Windows ... eww, smelly!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011432)

Single-threaded Xfree86 is horribly slow because it was designed back in the 80's for ancient technology. Its high latency cripples any chance of GNOME or KDE becoming a viable desktop environment because people don't like waiting for a screen to refresh. Microsoft has known this for years.

Linux on the desktop is a total pipe dream because virtually all the window manager developers are building cruft upon kludge upon hack.

Ditch Xfree and I'll come running.. until then, Linux stays in my server room where it belongs.

Re:X-Windows ... eww, smelly (1)

diamondc (241058) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011490)

XFree86 runs about the same as the Windows 2000 GUI on my computer (a cheapy 750 Duron and onboard video card). I honestly can't see the difference in video performance. Maybe if you're a gamer and fight for every FPS with a Geoforce card, but even there NVIDIA has drivers that give the same performance as the Windows drivers do.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011271)

Someone took a number 2 on the desktop?

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011315)

When it comes to desktops, Linux is the equivalent of a number 2.

I believe it (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011283)

I have been comparing Linux to #2 for years.

Linux as No. 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011285)

Maybe this news will make Apple seriously consider releasing OS X for the x86 platform.

Re:Linux as No. 2 (1)

craigtay (638170) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011322)

do you think an Apple fan would really want to install their OS on a x86 system, though?

Re:Linux as No. 2 (5, Funny)

RobertTaylor (444958) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011334)

Maybe this news will make Apple seriously consider releasing OS X for the x86 platform.

Yeah, as apple.com base major decisions on 'oooh look what I read on slashdot'.

Yes.. you're right.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011437)

Steve Jobs tried to hire Linus Torvalds back in the old days but Linus said NO. So, Steve had to use crippled BSD core...

uh huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011287)

linsux has got a looooong way to go before mainstream takes it even partially seriously.

#2 don't mean nothing... (3, Insightful)

BadlandZ (1725) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011288)

Look, Linux being number 2 is nothing.

Number 1 is everything, there IS NO SECOND PLACE. Just ask Mac Users. It has to be MS Word, Excel spread sheets, etc.

The fact is #2 is a far distant second, and any user of a PC doesn't want "second rate" suite" on his desktop.

You have to give FULL COMPATABLE options, and until people want something other than .doc or .xls like .a general format that is open, there is no second.

The ONLY chance you have is to make pdf (yet another commercial format, not acceptable) or .rtf, or something... Until that gets to be number 1, there is no second place.

You have to win the generic formats before you can win freedom from Microsoft.

Re:#2 don't mean nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011377)

And you also need a spell checker. If you are going to put something is ALL CAPS, spell it correctly...

Re:#2 don't mean nothing... (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011382)

Depends on what ones goals are. Being somewhat close to number 2 is getting the only PC game in years I've cared about ported to Linux. Well, it's neverwinter nights, so I should add an "mostly, and in theory" to that I suppose. Just having second and third place with enough percent of the market to ensure that what I personally care about gets ported means a lot to me!

Re:#2 don't mean nothing... (5, Insightful)

Arcturax (454188) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011428)

You're kidding right? Most of us Mac users really don't care too badly about being second, or I guess now it's third depending on who ran the poll.

But seriously, we are pretty well off, fast machines, better OS, Mac versions of Office and the like are better than on the PC.

As for office formats, I have two open source office progs downloaded here which read .doc's and .xls with no problems.

So yeah, my machine could be Microsoft free right this instant. Office Mac is that only thing I have right now from M$ (ditched IE for Chimera months ago).

Plenty of Games on the Mac, I think more big titles have come out in the last two years than in the history of the Mac itself. So no trouble there either.

For everything else, there is some software that can handle it on the Mac and most of it is better than equivalent PC software and with OS X, a lot of great open source projects have come into the Mac world as well.

So yeah, you can be M$ free and more than happy with it. You can also be #2 or even #3 and happy as well. The bottom line is, it matters what you do with your machine, not how popular it is.

Re:#2 don't mean nothing... (1, Troll)

MalleusEBHC (597600) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011438)

Number 1 is everything, there IS NO SECOND PLACE. Just ask Mac Users. It has to be MS Word, Excel spread sheets, etc.

I'm a Mac user, and I could care less that all the sheep use Windows. In my mind and the minds of most of my fellow mac users, we are in first place because we have OS X and a company that innovates. Sure, there are some times that being a Mac user in a Windows world can be a pain, but not for one second have I ever contemplated a move to the dark side.

And no, it doesn't have to be MS Word, Excel, IE, or whatever. My Mac is 100% free of MS apps, and I don't have any problems. Why contribute hundreds of dollars to a monopoly for Office when I bought Appleworks for 40 bucks and I have the OpenOffice beta for free. Why use the bug known as IE when I can have Chimera and Mozilla for the few sites Chimera has problems with.

So in the end, I miss out on a few of the "latest and greatest" games, but I'll buy a console if it is really that important to me. So go ahead, keep worrying about the ever important first place. You don't need generic formats to win freedom from Microsoft; you just need to think for yourself.

Re:#2 don't mean nothing... (1)

Snospar (638389) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011445)

"Number 1 is everything, there IS NO SECOND PLACE"
Surely some resistance is worthwhile?
Your point is that we should just bow to the current monopoly because they're number one? Shame on you.
OpenOffice is as COMPATIBLE with MS Office as I need and I can even convert my old Office documents without breaking a sweat.
Microsoft are about to change all their "formats" (again)... surely this is the perfect time for other Applications/OS/whatever to take a bite of the cherry?

BSD on the Desktop (4, Insightful)

intrico (100334) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011291)

Apple successfully brought BSD to the desktop, therefore proving that it is indeed feasible to base a mainstream OS on an open-source *NIX distribution as they have done with OS X.

Re:BSD on the Desktop (3, Insightful)

glenstar (569572) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011388)

Apple successfully brought BSD to the desktop

Caveat: Apple brought a BSD-core, with a pretty Aqua GUI on top to the desktop. Not to be pedantic (although I am going to be), but OS X's desktop has little to do with BSD.

AQUA RUNS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011417)

On top of Darwin which runs ON TOP OF Mach microkernel. So, would you please shut up before you know any better, huh???

OS warp (1)

craigtay (638170) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011295)

This will pave the way for OS warp to FINALLY be sold at Wall-Mart too! I've been waiting since the 90's for this moment..

Evesham? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011305)

Who is Eve and what kind of sham did she pull?

linux as #2?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011324)

No matter what happens server side, linux will not go anywhere on the desktop until you can go to bestbuy/compusa/software etc - pick up any game on the shelf, take it home and run it no questions. I dont mean through WINE either.
Games push the upgrade market along with everything else computerwise for Joe Sixpack.

Took Microsoft 8 years to own the desktop (5, Interesting)

mikep.maine (585648) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011330)

Microsoft copied Mac's GUI in 1984, but it wasn't until Windows 3.1 (in 1992 ?) that it was able to move users to it and own teh desktop. Back then, Lotus essentially owned it -- although they blew their strategic lead. Microsoft captured the desktop my making GUI, desktop manager, and desktop apps MSWord, Excel, ...

Re:Took Microsoft 8 years to own the desktop (2)

RobertTaylor (444958) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011358)

Took Microsoft 8 years to own the desktop

Whats your point? I wouldnt care if it took linux 20 years to 'rule the desktop' as long as it does it ;)

Re:Took Microsoft 8 years to own the desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011386)

Both Microsoft and Mac copied the GUI from someone else.. (from Xerox's STAR system)

Re:Took Microsoft 8 years to own the desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011403)

So what? and Apple stole the GUI from Amiga which if you remember was the first with a GUI and the first OS with a complete multitasking ability. The baton passes from one to another continously and will continue to do so

AMIGA BACK FOR THE FUTRE

Re:Took Microsoft 8 years to own the desktop (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011494)

Revisionist history, much as how Java fanatics claim that C# rips of Java (hint: Both Java and C# derive from C++, and both rip off significantly from object pascal. Indeed C# is more legitimate as one of the authors of object pascal worked on C#).

It is interesting that no one has mentioned this tidbit about the survey:

"Linux's share of paid shipments of the worldwide client operating-system market rose from 1.5 percent in 2000 to 1.7 in 2001, while Microsoft Windows grew from 92 to 94 percent in the same period."

Linux' gain isn't at the cost of Windows.

Mac OS X rules! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011345)

The linux desktop is too litle too late. And Mr Tennenbaum can take comfort in an off -the-shelf microkernel *nix. Move over penguines, its time for BSD on the desktop.

Tiny change (3, Interesting)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011349)

Wal-Mart sells machines based on Lindows, Mandrake Linux and others.

I havn't much kept up with the current situation, but don't they still only sell them on their website? This make it sound like you'll walk into any walmart and see them lined up right next to the windows machines. I think it's nonetheless a big step, but not as big as if they were being sold in store.

You're wrong.. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011400)

You can find Linux PCs if you visit their stores.. Haven't you ever visited Southern states????

Ofcourse, it works like a charm on the desktop. (4, Interesting)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011361)

i will reflect my own comletely honest experiences. I use linux and nothing else at home as the OS of choice for our 3 computers. It takes about as long time to learn as Windows did for someone who jumped into computers from 95 and forward. There arent one single app that i lack in linux. This is from someone who does everything on his computer. Tv, video, bills,music, drawing, developing, chatting, surfing, burning cds, and all the normal tasks to. If i can use it after having learned it so can everyone else with half a brain. I dont consider myself a genious on computers but still i havent any difficulties using linux. And i use a "hard" dist as gentoo. With Mandrake, Redhat and Lindows etc i dont even have to think, they makes most things by themselves.

Linux is most definately ready to bay the power users and people with more IQ than your average white trash this very moment. The clueless ones that holds their paper infront of the monitor and searches the [fax] button are nothing to sthrive for at this moment since they demand to much and returns nothing.

Re:Ofcourse, it works like a charm on the desktop. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011401)

Well it's great that it works for you,
but majority of people need mainstream software like photoshop, office, outlook etc. And decent gui to work with it. If you want to get Linux mainstream, there needs to be one standardized UI, one toolkit and some kind of guidelines so developers wont do whatever they want. Oh and PLEASE ditch X11 in the process...

Once you have one standardized interface, you can roll out the commercial software and uses will be happy because everything looks alike and its easy to work with. Untill then i'll stick to to XP and my ibook

My Humble Opinion... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011363)

I tried Linux, and I have to say, it SUCKS

Re:My Humble Opinion... (1)

posternutbaguk (637765) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011398)

In Soviet Russia, Linux trys you!

A Long Way To Go (3, Interesting)

MalleusEBHC (597600) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011365)

Linux has big strides to take before you can think about it surpassing Macs as the #2 desktop OS. I don't want to disparage Linux because if I weren't using a Mac I would most likely run Linux, but I see no way Linux will compete as a mass desktop OS until it becomes far easier for the average user. For a geek who loves to mess with his system it is great, but for Joe Blow who wants to check his email, browse the web, an do a little word processing, it is not a very interesting offering. Why spend time in emacs messing with config files just to make stuff work. Instead, you can have all the power of unix and the ease of use of a Mac with OS X.

Linux is great for some people, but OS X has something for pretty much everyone. I'll take my Mac any day of the week.

Wal-mart? (1)

Angry Black Man (533969) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011367)

The only people who would buy a computer at Wal-mart won't notice the difference between Windows and Linux anyway.

Been running Linux on my desktop.. (2, Interesting)

DrunkenPenguin (553473) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011370)

..since 1998. So, I may ask - is this really any news? I personally feel that Enlightenment (be it 16.5 or E17) fits me perfectly. Something between a regular desktop and a shell. I don't need anything else. Why should I?
---

More hardware (1)

christurkel (520220) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011378)

Just by shear volume, Linux could become #2 simply because it can run just about anything. A major PC vendor shipping and supporting Linux on the desktop would be cool.

Re:More hardware (1)

inteller (599544) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011392)

well, just because it can run on anything doesn't mean that people will notice it. Deskyop numbers are the most visible. Most people aren't going to know or care that Linux is the most used OS on toilets and toasters.

Huh? (1)

Dthoma (593797) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011425)

Won't corporate numbers be more important, due to the fact that most companies by machines in greater bulk than home users?

There's a good reason why Linux isn't #1 or #2. (5, Interesting)

Dthoma (593797) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011387)

As has been said many times before, Linux is not easier to use than Windows (I don't care what you say, it isn't), it doesn't run all of the latest games, and it's not compatible with as much hardware as Windows XP. It really is that simple.

I don't mean for this to come across as trollish; it's just that so many people here seem to want to dance around the issue of Linux's usability. I love Linux and it has many advantages over Windows, but its ease of use does leave a bit to be desired.

Re:There's a good reason why Linux isn't #1 or #2. (2)

baryon351 (626717) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011465)

Hooray for sense!

It's unfortunate, but true. I also use linux - and love it. I use it enough to know very well I could (with minor sacrifices) dump my Mac and use nothing but Linux.

I also know that I'm not in the majority, and the people who are not into using-computers-for-the-sake-of-using-computers have a completely different set of priorities than I do. My clients, relatives, friends who aren't geeks, workmates - don't want to "use an OSS system" or "use a free OS" or "use an elegant solution" or "use what is technically brilliant". They want to click and type and send emails. They want to press a button and have their digital pics up. they want to "download the internet".

Any OS can do that, but only one has the absolute mass to continuously carry itself through mindshare of people who spend 99.99% of their lives NOT computing.

Re:There's a good reason why Linux isn't #1 or #2. (0, Flamebait)

Lussarn (105276) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011488)


and it's not compatible with as much hardware as Windows XP


Oh.. You run WinXP on your Enterprise 450... Not compatible you say.. Not on Ibook either..

So as long as you choose the right hardware WinXP is more compatible. Not really that simple anymore.

ALL YOUR BASE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011395)

IN SOVIET RUSSIA, 3.) CowboyNeal 2.) ??? 1.) Old Kike
Linux is vastly inferior to Windows in terms of power, maturity, and stability.
Recursive acronyms are stupid.

macs (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011409)

Shut the fuck up with the macs you sorry victims of marketing.

Macs are overpriced peices of commercial bullshit.

Apple is just a failed Microsoft, do you actually think they are any better just because they don't have much market shit?

Wake up, they are the same fucking shit.

Just because the advertisments tell you that hip people use mac doens't mean macs are more than an overpriced peice of shit.

Unrealized Potential (4, Interesting)

core plexus (599119) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011414)

There is something, obviously neither I nor the corporate Linux companies, are getting, and that is why Linux is not more prevalent on the desktop. Yes, we all know the same old arguments about lack of compatible apps, user fear, etc. etc. which are countered by those organizations (including governments) that have switched to linux from microsoft. It's something else. Linux is relatively new, and many people haven't even heard of it (I know-I worked as an instructor for introductory users of computers), but that's not it either. I use linux and love it, and people have used my machines and didn't notice that they weren't using microsoft until I pointed it out.

So what is it? Microsoft knows it's coming. What's missing?

Mac OS X (1, Informative)

NewAccount (633131) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011418)

I can use Aqua and have the old Mac OS desktop and also use X11 (thanks Fink!) at the same time. No contest.

This is an exciting time (5, Interesting)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011419)

Not just for LINUX advocates and users, but I think for the tech community in general.

Seeing those Lindows boxes at WaLMart kinda reminds me of the computing scene in the 80's. There were all kinds of different technologies coming out, and competing with each other. You could walk into any electronics store and find some brand of computer, peripherals and software for sale.

IMO It was a period of excitement and innovation. It felt good to me personally. There were so many choices to be made.

Open source, has that feeling of goodness about it. Change, innovation, choice.

What I'm trying to say is that this is the first time since the late 80's/early 90's that I feel good about consumer options for software.

It's only 1 OS on sale at 1 store, but it is a start. Hopefully other vendors will be brave enough to put together solutions, and stores will be brave enough to put them on the shelves.

I think it's time everyone stands up to the evil empire.

Sure, standardization was good. But monopolistic practices, forced licenses, security holes, bloated OS code, and applications is starting to suck. It's time to shake up the industry a little folks.

"...and applications is starting to suck...." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011443)

Yeah, I too am getting tired of all the wonderful and varied choices for software available on the Windows platform. I prefer the simplicity of Linux, where there is NOTHING to choose from.

a real setback for the Industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011431)

It would be a real setback for the computer industry if linux were to become any more popular than it already has become more than it deserves. linux has set back the state of computer science by 10 years with its NIH re-implementation of basic OS modules such as the scheduler, vm system, filesystem, Unix(tm) api, and TCP networking stack, just to name a few of the many modules which are already freely available and done much better in FreeBSD.

not enough apps? (3, Interesting)

zogger (617870) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011433)

--man, I just don't get zdnet saying this about the apps. Tell ya, first time I installed a linux distro I was blown away by all the stuff came with it. Just sitting there medium mesmerised watching the progress seeing app after app getting installed from the cds. It's WAY more than you get from a full install from borg or artsy OS. I'm still finding "new stuff" in my last kitchen sink RH install and I'm still only using ONE of the two major sets of apps, ie, gnome and kde, so I still got more than 50% of the way to go to even play with all the jazz on here. I mean, sheesh orama what d'ya want?.

Linux just needs ONE major box shipper like dell to even offer it as an option-that's it, it'll "take" just swell. Have the same exact box, one has borg, the other has a penguin, with 100$ (whatever) cheaper price tag for the penguin, see what happens. Walmart is "cute" but it's not on the shelf, it's only on their website,and people shopping for computers on the web just ain't that likely to think of "walmart", nor is 100 buck a year lindows gonna cut it for noobs seeking a deal. At 20 or 30$ a year for a version "update" folks will goto AFTER they get it first right on their new shiny box and get to take it home and play with it. The command line is there for the 10% power users and geeks, and for 90% of the people it just ain't needed anymore, the gui works perfectly allright and there's tons of computing 'stuff' to do. Can't beat it with a stick, just need for one of them big guys to try it again in the mass produced boxes. The borg lawsuit is settled, they can "do this" now with little risk. the borg got warned off, if they try it again, they can get sued right outta their 40 billion in the bank, just needs one of those big companies to give it a whack again. The linux omellette is DONE now, you can take it outta the pan. From now on it's just "spice to taste".

Accurately measuring linux usage (5, Interesting)

hillct (230132) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011462)

The article mentions in it's simplistic way that the 1.7% of machines sold with Linux preinstalled is not representitive of the true number of desktop computers running Linux, but there must be a reasonable method for determining the number of desktops running Linux in a non-invasive way.

Microsoft is able to at least count if not gather demographics for every desktop machine running Windows95 or above, regardless of whether it is licensed or not, through WindowsUpdate. Redhat is able to track usage of their distribution through their UpToDate software (which is becoming more invasive with every release) and other distributions include similar mechanisms, but there must be a reasonable way to gather overall usage statistics for Linux based desktops. It would be a worthwhile endevour, from a PR standpoint similar to the automobile manufacturers who take a loss on every sale of certain models in an effort to have that model garner the title of "Most popular car" of a certain class, for the simple PR benefit of being able to say that toy are the manufacturer of the most popular product in the marketplace.

Likewise, for Linuux, it is important to demonstrate increases in marketshare quarter over quarter in order to firmly demonstrate that the product (such as it is) remains a force to be reconed with.

For this reason it is important to be able to accurately measure the Linux desktop userbase. Systems like that of redhat, which require registration in order for the user to gain some other benefit (in this case convenient updates) seems somewhat draconiaf for the Linux crowd, but a system must be devised to allow for reasonable, varibiable notification of installation of a linux system (regardless of distribution) so that centralized statistics can be maintained for the simple purpose of combating the massive Microsoft PR juggernaut.

--CTH

#1, #2, and "everybody else". (5, Insightful)

landley (9786) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011463)

Linux won't get widespread third part software support (games, educational software, bundled device drivers, turbotax, etc) until it becomes #2. Why? Simple: There's Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and everybody else. Name the #3 cola. Anybody?

Most people look at the computer world the same way. You support the #1 platform, and maybe the #2 "to be diverse", and everybody else can go hang. It's _hard_ to make a business case to support anybody else, it's a case of diminishing returns with each new platform and the slope is STEEP.

The macintosh has been #2 since the mid 80's. Platforms like the amiga and OS/2 learned this. Pure java only got attention because it ran on Windows too. Even when the macintosh wasn't particularly significant (just before Steve Jobs came back), people were used to THINKING of it as #2, and targetting their retail software developent and hardware driver support that way. It will come as a surprise to a lot of people when it loses that spot. Confirming it will be news, and not just in the geek world but magazine covers and television evening news.

Now these days, the macintosh is a unix platform. If the mac loses its #2 position on the desktop, Jobs will just claim "we're unix, #2 is unix and that's us". Okay. Jobs does NOT want to give up the marketing advantage of being the "designated alternative", but WHEN the macintosh loses the #2 spot, he may be graceful about it since he does have a fallback marketing position. (You may have notice that on the tech side, he's trying to diversify into the server space.)

But right now, porting to linux without first porting to the macintosh is a really hard sell in a corporate environment, and after the mac port you have to sell linux AGAIN. (P.S. Try doing that sort of thing in the gaming environment, where windows as #2 to the playstation.)

Rob

(P.S. The "desktop" niche is dying, the laptop niche is what everybody should be worrying about. And apple's still doing REALLY nicely there...)

Linux Has Always Been #2 On The Desktop (2)

istartedi (132515) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011464)

Slashdot--straight lines for scatological humor, stuff that splatters.

Why, just the other night I fired up Mozilla, X froze, and waddya know--Linux did #2 on my desktop.

Come on, join in. It's easy.

Hexley the Platypus (0)

NewAccount (633131) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011466)

The Platypus will overtake the Penguin on the desktop. When Darwin OS really matures on x86, linux's shortcomings will become painfully obvious. Linux is for people who hate Windows. People who love *nix use BSD.

Why it will never be Number One. (5, Insightful)

RatBastard (949) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011471)

Kinux has come a long way since I first used it in 1993. But it still has a long way to go before it can be considered more than an also-ran in the desktop arena. There are a lot of things that need to be done. Some things the Open Source/Linux Community are going to be loathe to do:
  • Move Away From X-Windows.
    The simple fact is that X-Windows was never intended to do what we expect it to do these days. It was not designed to be an end-user desktop. While it does have neat abilities, like being able to access workstations across a network, end users don't care about those. End users care about the desktop being fast and responsive. Two things that X-Windows is not. X-Windows also knocks the claim that Linux needs less processor power and RAM than MS Windows right into the dirt.
  • The Adoption Of A Single, Standardized Interface Design.
    Before Joe Sixpack will use Linux there needs to be a standardization of the UI. A standard that ALL graphical programs adhere to. No if ands or buts. One standard. While the myriad of widgets and environments give power users and geeks the freedom to tweak their systems or programs enay way they want, all of this "choice" just confuses the hell out of the end user. While MS Windows might not be completely consistant, it is enough that the average user can get used to it. Almost every Windows program (save for those nightmares with skins) look and act like Windows, in a manner that most users expect.

    Yes, this means that either KDE or Gnome will have to die. End users don't want to have to chose what UI they use. They want one interface they can learn and be done with it.
  • Make Graphical Setup "Wizards" For Everything.
    No end user wants to edit text files. Nor should they EVER have to. This is 2003, not 1975. The days of rooting through a confusing mess of directories for boot scripts is (or should be) over.
  • Binary Distributions For Everything.
    No end user wants to compile anything. Ever. Sure, power users and old-hand Linux users might enjoy it, but they are not the people we are concerned with. Until a MS Windows user can effortlessly install ANY program with just a few mouse clicks they are going to stay away.
  • Workstation Configurations With Dangerous Deamons (ftpd, httpd, etc...) Turned Off By Default.
    End Users do not care about running FTP servers and web serves from their desktops. Why bog down a system with all these useless processes they are not ever going to use, and that leave these system more vulnerable than a Windows 2000 system?
  • Linux Evangelists Stop Insulting MS And Its Users.
    Nothing, but nothing turns off a potential Linux convert than having to dig through piles of posts, to Usenet or forums like /., calling them M$ Luzors! If all they see is a comunity filled with abrasive and insulting children they are going to stay away.

Good enough for me (5, Interesting)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011472)

I've always felt uncomfortable about the reports of Linux' demise on the desktop. At this moment I'm typing this on a RedHat 8.0 machine, using Mozilla. Three days ago I wrote a bunch of holiday letters in OpenOffice and read my mail in Evolution (though I normally use pine). Though I have no problems using a shell for any task, I was surprised to see that I rarely needed an Xterm.

The counter-argument is that I'm aware of the console utilities and don't represent the typical desktop user. OK, but I have my senior citizen parents, non-technical wife, and lots of kids using Linux without a second thought. For the most part, all of their computing needs for school and work are fulfilled by the RedHat system. The other thing that cannot be ignored is the price of this machine: ECS K7S5A MB + Athlon 1800XP, 40G HD, DVDROM, case, 256M memory all came to less than $400. This cost wouldn't be possible with a $190 Microsoft XP Home license.

DVDs play fine after a visit to freshrpms.net. MP3's work wonderfully and they sure seem to sound better than under Windows (largely because there are no pauses under Linux when the system does other stuff). OpenOffice's speed was an issue on my AMD K62/500. It's not noticeable on this 1.53g Athlon. The typical computer user spends the majority of their time on the web, checking email, and word processing. Secondary uses are usually games, and music (burning and listening). Hmm.. Except for the games, this system does all that perfectly well.

linux on the desktop - whopee do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5011477)

Why is there an objective to have linux plastered all over the desktop? I think this is the aim of redhat to expand their market for increased profits. It works well with the free software crowd because of the Microsoft sentiment. What does this mean for the ppl who have been using linux for the past 5> years ? In my experience it means a totally dumbened down desktop with annoying windows features. Linux on the desktop seems like a worthy goal but whopee do. I could not care less if some windows users of 10 years decides to start using linux/redhat.

wild guesses (5, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 11 years ago | (#5011479)

The predictions and data in the article seem like a lot of wild guesses to me. How in the world can they predict what Linux's market share will be in the future?

I also don't see any good way to determine Linux's market share.

  • IDC says that Linux's share of paid shipments of the worldwide client operating-system market rose from 1.5 percent in 2000 to 1.7 in 2001,

But paid shipments tell us absolutely nothing. It's possible that Linux's share of the desktop is much higher, because it's still pretty hard to find intel boxes without Windows on them, so people buy Windows boxes, erase Windows, and install Linux. It's possible that Linux's share is much lower, as well; some people probably buy a low-end intel machine with Linux preinstalled from Walmart or Fry's, then erase Linux and put a bootleg copy of Windows on it (or install a copy of Windows they bought before for a different machine).

And finally, we don't know what's the percentage of dual-boot users. That means Windows' market share plus Linux's market share could easily add up to more than 100%

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?