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Linux on the Desktop

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the amor dept.

Linux Business 444

webmaven writes "Mitch Kapor's Open Source Application Foundation just released a 34 page report on the Desktop Linux market, written by Bart Decrem, who has discussed desktop Linux previously. The OSAF is working on Chandler, which the press have generally described as an 'Outlook Killer', but it's really intended to be in a completely new application category, more similar to Lotus Agenda in some ways than what currently consider a PIM (email + contacts + appointments). The report goes into some detail about the current state of desktop Linux, trends, and various limiting factors, and concludes that while a revolution is not immediately in the wings, a trend can definitely already be discerned, and they expect adoption of desktop Linux to increase over the next few years, and identifies leverage points to accelerate the process."

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444 comments

Know why Linux will fail on the desktop? (5, Insightful)

Frothy Walrus (534163) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409328)

Look at workalike apps that run on Windows. They can't even make it. You expect users to adopt a new OS *AND* utilities? Get real.

SP (2, Insightful)

usotsuki (530037) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409336)

Unfortunately you're right.

We need a revolution in usability.

-uso.

Re:SP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409365)

yes, but also we have to stop competeing with each others (gnome/kde, all linux distros (need only two desktop/server damnit!!).. everyone gonna bash me about this but it is the thruth! 1. Start by making a competeting product (the whole package.. not only 1 app = read apache) ... 2. ??? 3. profit!

Re:SP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409402)

Which one is best:

a) KDE
b) Gnome

OR...

c) Sex with a mare?

Re:SP (2, Funny)

BWJones (18351) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409375)

Unfortunately you're right.

We need a revolution in usability.


Hmmm. Like OS X?

Ducks

You gave the wrong link to OSAF (4, Informative)

smitty45 (657682) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409339)

here's the real link: http://www.osafoundation.org/

Re:You gave the wrong link to OSAF (5, Funny)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409414)

Fate worse than death: Slashdotting by mistake.

Of course this just bounces to a non-existent Yahoo group, so...

It's a michael story... you expect editing? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409439)

He doesn't have time, what with dreaming up snide comments to attach to story intros and being treacherous to his former censorware partners.

He really needs an assistant. We shall call him... mini-michael!

aaieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Hey, it's Phriday Phunnies! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409343)

Q. How many Linux users does it take to change a light bulb?
A. Eleven: One to change the bulb, the other ten to jerk each other off whilst debating the relative merits of Gnome vs. KDE.

Q. What do you call a 300-pound Linux user who never shaves, showers, or wears deodorant?
A. Above average.

Q. What is every gay couple's worst nightmare?
A. That their adopted son will come out of the closet to say he's a Linux user.

Q. What do you call a guy who runs Redhat Linux on a P-133 with 8 Mb RAM and a 20 Meg HD?
A. A fucking faggot dicklicker (Alternately: Rob Malda).

Well, that's all for now. Have a great day everybody!

Third or fourth post (-1, Offtopic)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409344)

One Perfect Troll

A single image he sent me, since we met.
All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented bung still wet-
One perfect troll.

I knew the language of the internet;
"The anus spreads," it said, "ASCII art enclosed."
Manhood, long, hanging like an amulet
One perfect troll.

Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect hole, do you suppose?
Ah no, it's always just my luck to get
One perfect troll.

GAY FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409348)

* Are you gay?
* Are you a nigger?
* Are you a GAY NIGGER?

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Join GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) today, and enjoy all the benefits of being a full-time GNAA member.

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If you have mod points and would like to support GNAA, please moderate this post up.

P.S. To keep this post on-topic, the GNAA is proud to support the Seti program in the hopes that someday, they may find some other Gay Niggers in Outer Space [imdb.com] [imdb.com]

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Re:GAY FP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409523)

What about cross-dressing Gay Niggers who are transvestites, blind and missing 1 or more limbs? Do we count?

yes, but.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409350)

can i do it in the ass?

CONSPIRACY UPDATE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409353)

Following my work researching The Linux Gay Conspiracy, I am saddened to announced that I have discovered yet another orgy of perverted heterophobic values. My claim lies with the Slashdot mangement.

First, what kind of name is Slashdot? This is obviously a code word in the homosexual community for something perverted.
Slashdot is an anagram of LAD SHOTS, which refers to Slashdot's pedophile agenda and T ASS HOLD, which refers to some gay sexual posistion that Michael and CmdrTaco enjoy.

The 'editors' of Slashdot, as they call themselves, are homosexual swingers with cleverly disguised nicknames.

CmdrTaco [tacobell.com] (aka "Rob" Malda) is the "head" honcho of Slashdot. Cmdr obviously refers to his desire to dominate over his gay partners, and Taco is obviously a sly reference to his colon. Update: It is well known that Taco claims to be married to Kate Fent. No one really believes that 'she' is actually his wife. We have proof that this 'she' is actually a he. It turns out that Kathleen Fent is an anagram of KAHN FELT EN ET. So this Kate of his is really Kahn who "felt in it". I will not describe what that means as I am sure you can imagine yourself.

Michael Sims [izzy.net], who goes as 'michael' on Slashdot, is a well known thug [spectacle.org] and advancer of homosexual agenda. His name is an anagram of ASS CHIME MIL which obviously refers to his desire to flaunt his lower organ.

Father Randy "Pudge" O'Day [urbandictionary.com] is Slashdot's Mac propagandist. Macintosh computers are well known as the Gay computer due to their homosexual colors and stylings. An email exchange between 'Pudge' and Apple HQ have been leaked by a former Apple employee who converted to heterosexuality. These two emails (here [slashdot.org] and here [slashdot.org]) have been repeatedly posted on Slashdot, but are quickly censored by Slashdot moderators who do not want the public to know about its agenda.Update form Subject Line Troll [slashdot.org] - it appears the O'Day is just a few letter changes away from I'm Gay and rhymes with O'Day. Is anyone surprised that Mr. Pudge is a fudge packing Mac hippie?

Simoniker [goatse.cx], a recent addition to Slashdot has been uncovered as Mr. Goatse [goatse.cx] himself. Simoniker is a frequent poster to the Games section of Slashdot, obviously because he enjoies modded versions of Quake 3 and UT2K3 as a homosexual warrior who likes to 'overcome' his opponents with his exagerated sized love member. In addition, Simoniker is an anagram of KEN I RIM SO (Ken is probably his current boyfriend) and MEN I IRK SO (which refers to his frustratingly troubled gay relationships, probably due to his rather large asshole).

This is only a rough draft and perliminary report. Please reply with additional information, contributions, and corrections. I will include any additional information and credit you with it in my further releases of this report.

Re:CONSPIRACY UPDATE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409430)

Thanks for the update. I was thinking simoniker meant I'M ON KISER who must be his boyfriend.

Clippie (3, Funny)

whitelabrat (469237) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409357)

Forget "Outlook Killer". Just get rid of the damn clippy guy!

+3 Funny? WTF ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409415)

Yeah another Clippy joke, that shit is tight!

Re:Clippie (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409438)

Why are people still going on about Clippy? I haven't seen him for *years*. He's not hard to avoid. I don't even know if it's an option anymore, although if it is, I must have deselected last time I installed Office XP.

Re:Clippie (5, Insightful)

Osty (16825) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409457)

I don't even know if it's an option anymore, although if it is, I must have deselected last time I installed Office XP.

You can still choose to install the Office Assistants, but you've always been able to choose not to install them. I've never had to deal with Clippy, from Office 97 through Office XP. Of course, most people prefer to just bitch and moan rather than do something about the problem, so it's not surprising that people are still complaining about Office Assistants.

Re:Clippie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409447)

Clippy sucks, but I like the kitty.

It's sort of... comforting.

Re:Clippie (3, Insightful)

Khakionion (544166) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409490)

I am forced to agree with you. As much as the clip annoys me, the cat makes working easier.

I think it's his personality. Instead of just doing a stoopid "trick" animation every now and then, he just goes to sleep. Or something else less invasive than "I'M A CLIP!!!1 IT'S SO COOL!!!1"

PDF? (-1, Redundant)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409371)

Good plan. Publish the report in a format for which there are precious few good viewers available on Linux. What's wrong with good old HTML?

Re:PDF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409448)

Huh? use the SAME DAMN viewer that the windows and mac people have to use...

It's called adobe pdf reader...

if you want to use the opensource stuff that dfoesnt render good ,that's your prob...

I use adobe's version for linux and and VERY HAPPY.

Re:PDF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409470)

I guess they must use 8x11 monitors or something.

Huh? (1)

octothorpe (34673) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409481)

What's wrong with xpdf or Acrobat Reader for Linux?

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409516)

What's wrong with publishing things meant to be read on the web in a web format? Pdf looks great on paper, not on a monitor.

Re:PDF? (4, Insightful)

Thoguth (203384) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409489)

If people are already using Linux on the desktop, they don't need to read a report about Linux on the desktop, do they?

(not to mention that every "desktop" distro in the past two or three years has come with a pdf viewer by default ...)

Re:PDF? (1)

(startx) (37027) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409504)

precious few viewers? are acroread, xpdf, and ggv not enough for you? Windows users only get the first choice....

Re:PDF? (1)

forgetmenot (467513) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409506)

Since when? There's several and most distros include at least one. You can get a free Adobe PDF reader for linux no problem. If you don't like Adobe then there's Xpdf. Ghostview can also reads/write pdfs I believe.

Re:PDF? (1)

berzerke (319205) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409520)

...Publish the report in a format for which there are precious few good viewers available on Linux...



It only takes one good viewer to view the file. xpdf worked find for me. Also, the only good viewer I can think of (off the top of my head; I know there are others out there somewhere) for windows is acrobat. For Linux, I know of xpdf, acrobat, and ghostview off the top of my head.



...What's wrong with good old HTML?...



Nothing if you want to only view it on a screen. YMMV, but I've found pdf's print out more consisently across printers than html does. PDF also prints nicer IMHO.

Are you high? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409530)

I can use about four different programs to read pdfs under linux, including the one from Adobe themselves. Get a clue. And that goes double for the asshats that modded you.

I like.... (0, Troll)

rayamor (245814) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409372)

Windows as a desktop. I like linux too. I don't see what's so bad about having windows as my primary OS. Cost? Yeah, right... like I've ever paid for any verion of windows I've ever had. Just as free as linux to me. Performance/Stability?... I never have problems with win 2k or XP. Never had problems with linux either.

SCORE ... -1, Boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409567)

Try to have an opinion next time.

NEXT!!!

The next few years.. (1, Interesting)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409373)


...they expect adoption of desktop Linux to increase over the next few years

At first glance that sounds terrible, almost like a death knell to Linux on the desktop. Virtually every person who will have a computer in a "few years" will already has one today. They won't be bringing in many new users, they'll be converting existing Windows users. That must keep Bill up at night.

Re:The next few years.. (2, Insightful)

npietraniec (519210) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409444)

The biggest converts will be businesses who can save mucho bucks on a few hundred workstations. Joe homeuser won't switch for the helluvit.

Re:The next few years.. (3, Insightful)

AnyoneEB (574727) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409451)

True, homeusers will probably switch to Linux for the same reason they use Windows now: it's what they use at work.

Linux poised for desktop failure: Gartner (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409374)

Despite a recent surge in interest in Linux, it will fail to make much of an impression on the desktop, claims a Gartner analyst.

Linux will be deployed on no more than five percent of desktops over the next two to three years because of a lack of viable applications, claimed Gartner research director Phil Sargeant on Thursday evening at the Gartner Symposium and ITXpo.

"There's quite a lack of tools in that particular space," said Sargeant. "We are going to need to see more tools if it's to make any inroads." He cited StarOffice and Open Office as examples of the few good tools available.

"The other [operating systems] are not standing still," added Sargeant. "The real question is the application portfolio for Linux. If that increases out of sight [Linux' market share] may be larger, but if it stays where it is, as we expect it to, it will be about five percent."

Lindows, which targets the budget-desktop market in the US, offers hundreds of programs for a single fee through its Click-N-Run Web site, but Sargeant does not see this as being a serious threat to Microsoft. "Lindows is a player, but not a big player," he told ZDNet Australia . "We don't see a mass migration from Windows to something else."

Sargeant disagrees with industry speculation that Microsoft will eventually offer the Windows operating system free to continue selling its high-profit application software.

"They will make some concessions over and above the shared source concessions already made, but will not offer Windows free," he said. Microsoft is beginning to take Linux seriously as a threat, however, with senior executives until recently deriding it at every opportunity.

Microsoft has even offered third-party developers access to its code, albeit under strict conditions. "It's not quite open source, but shared source is a mechanism to address some of the threats [Microsoft] see," said Sargeant. Despite the analysts' predictions, a leaked document allegedly from Microsoft suggests the strategies appear to be failing.

However, the Linux community is not focussing on the desktop, but directing its efforts to the server market, according to Sargeant. "Most Linux distributors, for example Red Hat, are focussed on the UNIX sphere, there's no desire to move into desktops," he said.

"Linux is the fastest growing of the operating systems, it will account for around 18 percent of revenue from servers [in the next five years]," said Sargeant. However, he claimed Linux still had a number of hurdles to jump over. He sees Linux becoming more scalable in the next 24 months, while providing the same performance, and believes eight-way servers will be "doable".

"Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is a really big topic with everybody I speak to because there is a perception that everything is free," said Sargeant. However, there are lots of components to a business's IT budget, including the operating system, hardware, applications and maintenance costs.

"They will probably be deploying a number of licensed products on a Linux base. So they have to ask themselves if, at the end of the day, they will save money."

At the low end of town TCO could be a factor in implementing Linux, according to Sargeant. "As you move into high-end, heterogenous mission-critical areas it will be much harder to see TCO advantages," he said.

"Distributors are going through a lot of turmoil as they change their business model to make money out of Linux," added Sargeant. Red Hat, for example, has recently released a reasonably expensive server. The extra money buys support and services contracts.

"Support and services really become the key to the strategy of any vendor moving forward," said Sargeant.

Of the Linux vendors, Sargeant believes Red Hat will remain the dominant player. "Red Hat is by far the biggest distributor of Linux. It's the only one to make money and the only one to be financially viable," he said. "Red Hat will maintain a market share of 50-60 percent as we move forward over the next five years."





on a side note could someone help me insert this hampster with a belt sander into my anus? [sun.com]

way to RTFP, mod (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409418)

morons.

34 pages? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409379)

I only need 1 page to say "Linux on Desktop: LOL HAHAHAHAHAAAA LOLOL OMG"

Leverage (0, Insightful)

poptones (653660) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409386)

Innovation like this would be fantastic, but if "they" really want to leverage linux into the desktop they need to come up with a fucking desktop that doesn't feel like a clunky imitation of a real computer. Even the goddamn 33MHz IRIX workstation I used nearly ten years ago had a better desktop than any linux distro I have tried.

I'd love to fully embrace linux, but when the only way to do that is by accepting yet another proprietary OS along with it just to get a desktop that doesn't feel like I'm driving a fucking Edsel, I might as well stay with windows.

Re:Leverage (3, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409420)

Stop trolling.

Linux isn't ready for the desktop but there are people out there willing to attempt to get it as close as they can.

"An Outlook Killer" is something that apparently people feel is necessary but what I feel is necessary is an IE browser (no, no matter what anyone says Mozilla doesn't perform anything close to how IE does, and yes, I have used both (Mozilla in Windows and Linux, and IE on Windows)).

No IRIX workstation was ready for the desktop as what we consider it today, believe me.

Windows and apparently MacOSX are ruling the desktop and will most likely continue to do so.

We are seeing movement towards Linux on the desktop but it's still got a LONG way to go. I guess as people become more and more concerned with getting it there, the timeframe will continue to shrink.

Just my worthless .02

Re:Leverage (3, Insightful)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409443)

umm.....dude....People Don't give a shit about the browser they have. they use the one that came with the damn system.

if you mean a single browser then yes...Mozilla 1.5 will be that....it is called firebird.

Re:Leverage (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409456)

they don't? So you are saying that no one wanting to use Linux won't be concerned that they don't have MS Office and no "little blue E"? You're wrong.

That's what people interested in a "desktop" for Joe blow are going to be looking for. Their comfort apps.

Get real.

Re:Leverage (3, Funny)

repetty (260322) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409556)

"no, no matter what anyone says Mozilla doesn't perform anything close to how IE does..."

And that's a bad thing?

Re:Leverage (4, Insightful)

The Night Watchman (170430) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409432)

I don't know, I find the latest versions of KDE and Gnome to be quite nice to use, and very pleasing to the eye. Granted, their actual functionality is very close to that of Windows, but as a standard desktop environment is concerned, KDE/Gnome are pretty nice. Of course, if you're talking about revolutionizing the Windows, Icons, Mouse, and Pointer model of desktop use, that's another story. I'm all for using a gesture-based system like in Minority Report, myself...

Re:Leverage (1)

Zelet (515452) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409479)

It isn't just the desktop that needs polishing. Each app in Linux just doesn't look polished and integrated well with the rest of the system. I think more care needs to be taken to standardize the look of the OS and the apps that people use. I use Linux on my desktop at home but I am thinking of moving back to Windows not because Linux doesn't do something but because Linux is still ugly.

Re:Leverage (1)

WTFmonkey (652603) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409529)

SOmething like a minority report system might help some computer-bound slobs burn a calorie here and there.

Seriously, though, what would a gesture-based system be like for disabled people? Surely more diffucult than a mouse (which can be hooked up to a mouth-based control or something like that). ??

Re:Leverage (1)

ctid (449118) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409449)

Could you be more specific as to what you see as the big differences between the best Linux desktop you've tried and Windows?

Re:Leverage (2, Insightful)

slux (632202) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409498)

Would you mind also telling us what exactly makes GNOME/KDE feel like "a fucking Edsel"? And why exactly was whatever was on that IRIX (maybe CDE?) so much better?

For me it's the exact opposite. WinXP seems like an utter mess that is coated with "eyecandy" that I can't imagine anyone enjoying or tolerating longer than a week willingly. Mac OS X with aqua looks nice for a while but no thanks, I just want a nice and clean desktop. I think GNOME does a very good job at this and KDE ain't bad either.

Seems to me like you're just trolling.

Re:Leverage (1)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409508)

i second this. No it is not a troll to say linux desktops suck becasue they do. the kde gnome feud doesnt help. I switched to OSX 1 month back and im not looking back. people shoudl seriously look at OSX and not windows as aguide. Look at panther, with native QT and X11 modes, there is seriously NO need for linux on the desktop

I'm just wondering... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409391)

...if most geeks here would rather than Linux on their desktop, or the gorgeous Jennifer Connelly [yahoo.com] lying naked on their desktop? 'Cause Linux is neat and all, but you really can't match Connelly's breasts for pure enjoyment!

Allow me to ask.. (5, Insightful)

xtermz (234073) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409392)

...a question which sounds like "flamebait", but it seriously isnt.

Are there any real objective 3rd parties who investigate and report on the different aspects of linux ( ie TOC, benchmarks, etc ) who truly are impartial to either OS. It seems that anybody writing 'reports' are either slanted towards windows, or linux. I dont think i've ever read a report that says "well, linux sucks at x, and windows sucks at y as well. in summary, they both suck ( or they both rock, or whatever, etc. ) . "

Where does one find unbiased reviews and benchmarks of OS's ?

Re:Allow me to ask.. (2, Insightful)

nagora (177841) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409492)

Are there any real objective 3rd parties

You'd have to find people that don't use computers but then, of course, their opinions probably won't be insightful.

The next best thing is to stick to people with an open bias and compare their arguments. It's a bit like reading newspapers.

TWW

Re:Allow me to ask.. (2, Informative)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409521)

This guy [commercialventvac.com] did a comparison of some popular operating systems and it seems to be somewhat fair in what he notes certain advantages and disadvantages.

Re:Allow me to ask.. (1)

MatthewB79 (47875) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409538)

I think one reason why you don't see many 100% impartial reports is that most people can't help but have some personal view to whatever report they are working on. Even a professional, being paid to be impartial must have some opinion. That's bound to come across somehow.
Pretend you're a real objective 3rd party who has been commissioned to generate a virgin, clean-room style report. Pretend you've never heard of Linux. Now when it comes time to set up TCO research and benchmark testing where are you going to go to get information about how to benchmark? Linux has lots of avaliable support through the web, books, HOWTO's etc. but all of those usually come bundled with a boatload of angst toward MS and Windows. (I'm not commenting on whether this is a good or bad thing) Now how do you manage to be 100% unaffected by the FUD or the "David vs Goliath" story when it's all part of the atmosphere? I don't think you can.

What ever happened to the last "Outlook-killer"? (2, Troll)

badfish2 (316297) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409394)

Whatever happened to Ximian, or Evolution, or whatever it was called? I thought *it* was going to be the Outlook killer. How many Limux apps does it take to kill MS Outlook?

Re:What ever happened to the last "Outlook-killer" (4, Funny)

jason0000042 (656126) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409500)

Just take Mozilla Thunderbird and Calendar, integrate them into the kernel. Then put in a feature that allows an arbitrary host on the network run arbitrary code on your machine in the interest of letting other people invite you to meetings automatically.

That should infuse some of the old MS flavor into the dish. Should really get the punters switching to linux in droves.

Re:What ever happened to the last "Outlook-killer" (1)

smartin (942) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409534)

The one single Linux app that would kill outhouse would be a proxy or a plugin that would allow other email readers such as mozilla or evolution to access an exchange server running in MAPI only mode. (No i don't mean the Ximian connector).

Outlook (0, Offtopic)

nother_nix_hacker (596961) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409396)

generally described as an 'Outlook Killer'
I have recently graduated from Uni and landed my self a job in the realworld where to my distgust I have discovered the most horrible application _ever_ written..Outlook. It slow bloated and buggy. It encourages the most aweful looking emails and when you view plain mails
it wraps
the text like this which makes any
mails
horrible to read. Outlook should be banashed.

Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409400)

Linux on tha desktop- whodda thunk it? I may have something insightful to add if Galeon stops segfaulting long enough for me to actually read the article.

Sure... (4, Informative)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409404)

Recently, I initiated a project on behalf of OSAF to take a careful look at the state of Linux on the desktop, and asked Bart Decrem to spearhead a short-term research project to assess the current situation and trends.

Of course, the last time we heard from this guy, he was explaining [linuxandmain.com], "My big gripe about KDE is I think it's butt-ugly. The main reason I keep using GNOME is that the icons on KDE are aesthetically offensive to me. And the letter K is kind of offensive, it's not very elegant." The new report is Slashdotted, but I'm curious to see what other letters are slowing Linux adoption on the desktop.

At any rate, at least this story should generate some life on Slashdot. I'm trying to avoid doing work, and the last five stories are still in single digits for comments, including FP! trolls.

Re:Sure... (5, Insightful)

el-spectre (668104) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409495)

It would be nice, however, if someone would put out a goddamn program that isn't called 'kApp', 'kBrowser' or 'kCoolgame'.

Cuteness has its place, but it's a real pain finding the right app most of the time.

So..? (2, Insightful)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409406)

Predicting that Linux trend will continue to grow doesn't exactly take a genious , does it ?
I mean even windows is continuing to grow ? So what's the point here ?
If linux is replacing the desktop *nix market, albeit very small (solaris, irix etc.) whats the big deal in that ?
How much M$ boxes are being replaced by linux ?
Currently linux and windows on desktop are growing at their own pace, as they don't share a common user base. And what ever common userbase they have , use dual-boot option.

Linux Customizations (1)

dlosey (688472) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409407)

How many Windoze users do you see that have wierd (and ugly) color schemes once they figure out its possible. In linux you can modify much more. It fits the advanced user's needs as well as the everyday user. Simpson Quote: Oooo.. Pretty Colors

Windoze? Hilarious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409454)

Windoze, wow that's hilarious! I just love how it makes fun of everyone using Windows in such a subtle way. This silly boring codgers playing the latest WinDOZE game are just actually sleeping! Too funny! Hahaha poor dumb bastards!

Linux on the desktop... (5, Informative)

TWX (665546) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409408)

I don't run Windows anymore unless I want to play Carmageddon II at home, and at work I only get into Windows if I need to use the custom workorder system that ties into Novell and MS Access. I can watch movies, play a few games, listen to music, surf, do email, and the like all without Bill and his Evil Empire.

We need to start new-to-computers people with non-MS operating systems. They'll be much more inclined to use anything handed to them, and they'll dislike the crashing problems, popups, and weird behaviour of Microsoft's OSes. I repair Windows machines at work for my job, and every time something goes awry, I don't think of it as normal anymore, I think of it as bloody annoying.

Being nearly Windows-free for the last three years or so has been really awesome. These things are tools, not cheap toys that break a lot.

Re:Linux on the desktop... (1)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409505)

True, one big problem that I often encounter is that people are scared of change. You can explain to somebody that OpenOffice offers the same features as MS Word but the fact the the menus and shortcuts are different scares the crap out of people. The more people I convert to Linux, the more I see a need to emulate the Windows "workflow". This is especially true for older computer users who have an aversion to computers to begin with. Personally, I don't want a windows "look alike" desktop but if the goal is really to extend the Linux desktop beyond the hardcore techies, it's going to have to be done that way. In fact, this is the route Xandros is taking if I'm not mistaken.

Lindows has a live distribution (2, Informative)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409425)

Article [com.com] in news.com about Lindows just came out with LindowsCD, so that people can try Lindows Linux without having to install it. They're not the first, but since they're selling easy of use and ease of transition, this seems an especially smart way to show people they can function in a non-Windows world.

When a linux company will have M$ money ... (0)

gsergiu (585096) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409427)

and when it will use M$ marketing tactics thats when we'll ever see linux on all desktops. But ... I don't want that to happen. Linux forum are already bloated with stupid suckers, I can only imagine what is happening on windows forums. Oh no .... I like my linux just as it is now.

I only want Chandler on my desktop if.. (5, Funny)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409440)

Clippy looks like he's meant to snapped into the butt of an automatic pistol and says things like this.

"I'm an occational drinker, the kind of guy who goes out for a beer and wakes up in Singapore with a full beard."

"The kid's face had as much expression as a cut of round steak and was about the same color."

"She opened a mouth like a firebucket and laughed. That terminated my interest in her. I couldn't hear the laugh but the hole in her face when she unzippered her teeth was all I needed."

What do you mean Chandler wasn't named after Raymond?

Of Linux and Betamax... (3, Interesting)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409450)

Having just browsed through the 34 page long PDF article for now, I found the conclusion very insightful: " Desktop Linux is no longer a technical challenge - it's a marketing challenge"

Moreso, when the competitor is a monopolistic giant of a corporation, entrenched in a significant portion of the desktop market for about 10 years now.

Let's just hope that desktop Linux doesn't suffer the same fate as Betamax in the disastrous Betamax/VHS battle. That's atleast one instance that I can recall, in which a superior product failed before a better marketed product.

Linux is still waiting in the wings (3, Insightful)

curtlewis (662976) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409453)

"they expect adoption of desktop Linux to increase over the next few years"

That's what they said a few years ago. And that's probably what they'll be saying a few years from now. Don't get me wrong, I like Linux. But it's just not for mom and pop and I doubt it ever will be given who is working on it and what they've been doing.

Linux innovates very little except in technological areas. It's GUIs even today fall short of Windows and Mac GUIs, and several years from now I don't expect Linux will catch up. I don't see MS or Apple kicking back sipping pina coladas at the poolside.

I think alot of great work has been done in Linux and I'm a Linux user myself, but not as my primary desktop. Linux is an OS made for geeks by geeks that love to push the geek envelope. That's great stuff in and of itself, but it's not going to put Linux in the mainstream.

And does it want to be mainstream? Do Linux users want it to be mainstream? For the most part, I think not. When asking a technical question in Linux circles, the responses you get range from apathetic to offensive. RTFM! NEWB! It's pretty rare you actually get someone with a little compassion that has felt your pain and is willing to help you out.

Everything about Linux (and Unix in general) seems to be as if it is some kind of rite of passage. You must fight the bear without weapons, then you must walk the fire barefooted and then you must master Unix! It is that final task at which the brave warrior often stumbles...

My beef (5, Insightful)

Stalus (646102) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409455)

Really my main beef with linux is how hard it is to set the thing up when you haven't gone through the process in the last six months. I generally forget what the config file is named that I'm interested in, or where it happens to be located. Frankly, any setting that most users will have to change at some point in their life should be easily accessible through the GUI menu system.

I will admit that it is a heck of a lot better than it used to be, but I still have to do a bit of googling to get my linux system usable. Windows on the other hand, you can go to the control panel and what you want to change will likely be in there somewhere, unless it's application specific, and you don't have to read any manuals or docs to figure out how to configure your system - it's intuitive.

What about SCO? (1)

Homology (639438) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409466)

For some reason, SCO is not mentioned as competitor to Red Hat on page 18 chapter 6.1, even though the other partners of UnitedLinux is listed.

That SCO is dead and buried in the Linux market is pretty clear, but UnitedLinux was established in part to counter Red Hat dominance.

Would be interesting to know why the individual Linux distributers making up UnitedLinux is listed, while UnitiedLinux is not mentioned at all.

Photoshop on Linux? (3, Interesting)

ignoramus (544216) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409469)

The pdf states that "...one of the studios commissioned an open source company to make Adome Photoshop run under Linux. Thanks to the open source development process, all Linux users can now run Photoshop on their desktop"

Anyone have any info on this? Photoshop is one of the last things keeping our web designer under the giant Windows thumb so I'd love to get more details. The Adobe site only mentions Linux in relation to the PDF reader, all other references I could find were about the crossover plugin.

And no, please don't extol the virtues of the Gimp - I've tried that...

Linux will always have problems on the desktop. (-1, Troll)

Krapangor (533950) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409473)

Simple reason: pornography
Most porn sites are very JScript/ActiveX loaded and mainly optimized for IE 6.
However, on Linux you are stuck with Mozilla which makes problems. Yes, you can get Kazaa & co. to get fresh porn, but this is very difficult for computer illiterate users who just manage to type "www.sex.com" and hit return.
And don't think this has no effect on desktop adaption. International studies have shown that the adaption of internet connections for desktop computers both in business and private environments are highly correlated to the rise of the internet pornography industry. Even AOL did have major trouble as long as they restricted porn access, their success story really began with the fall of these filters.

So, to get real desktop adaption the OSS community must take these problems into their agenda. I would recommend 3 things:

  1. Convince pornography providers to create sites which can be easily viewed with OSS browsers like Mozilla, Konquerer or Lynx.
  2. Add links to OSS viewable sites in the browsers default bookmark files.
  3. Make sure that most age check applets work with OSS browsers.

Here we go again... (1)

KillerHamster (645942) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409491)

Linux will never be "ready" for the desktop. Neither will Solaris, AIX, IRIX, *BSD, or HP-UX. *nix is for servers and hackers, not Joe Sixpack and his PC. To succeed on the desktop, you need a UI designed for the LEAST computer-literate people out there, it has to support ANY hardware they can throw at it, installing/removing software has to be easy, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

Besides, if Linux did gain wide acceptance as a desktop OS, we would all lose our elite status and have to go back to VMS.

Re:Here we go again... (3, Insightful)

cbowland (205263) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409532)

Mac OS X certainly refutes your claim that "*nix is for servers and hackers, not Joe Sixpack...."

I do agree with your analysis of the state of the Linux UI, but Apple has demostrated that you can put an effective and attractive GUI on a unix machine.

But who's desktop do you want Linux on? (3, Interesting)

MROD (101561) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409497)

Having seen a great deal of hype and discussion about how Linux is going to push Windows off the desktop I see a problem with the whole subject...

No-one's actually defined who's desktop they want to aim at.

Now, if it's the corporate desktop then distributions should concentrate on a small number of bullet-proof applications included on the CD's. They should be set up so that they're designed to be "plug-and-play" when it comes to setting them up for a specific task and they should only allow the admin to change the look and feel etc. After all, it's an interchangeable office tool like a desklamp. Or it should be.

If it's the desktop of Aunty May then they should target with a few, easily used and bullet proof set of applications and a desktop which is very simple to use and only does a few things but does them extremely well.

If the desktop is for the computer hobbyist then they need a core set of programs which are bullet proof and a desktop which is customisable etc. In addition to this a lot of optional toys should be available.

Now, which of these "desktops" do you want to conquer?

In my opinion, for the last two, Apple have got the right mix with MacOS X, so Linux distributions could do worse than following Apple's ideas on combing novice usability with UNIX nutter complexity.

No operating system I've seen does the "desklamp" type interchangable desktop system all that well other than maybe Sun's SunRays and other thin clients, but they rely upon server CPU to run the applications.

what happen with /. (1)

trnsfer (687963) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409507)

it's a routine. SCO news, linux in the desktop, Wireless, but in fact they arent news, just opinions about the same topics, in fact these opinions should be in comments, not in the main page. where are the news?.

Re:what happen with /. (1)

Homology (639438) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409545)

Lighten up man! It's summer time; the season for stories about abnormally large and strange looking potatoes.

Nothing new (4, Funny)

ZoneGray (168419) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409525)

Nothing new. I've had Linux on my desktop for years.

One of these days maybe I'll open the box and install it.

Chandler (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6409537)

Chandler is a great application, but it crashes whenever I'm playing Duke Nukem Forever

Linux on the Desktop (3, Informative)

Silwenae (514138) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409541)

I've switched to Linux as my full time desktop.

It is *ready*. It is usable. Even my wife gets it when she sits down at my machine. The only caveat is minor installations for the browser (Flash mainly).

I'm an avid Gnome user - but applications such as K3B for burning, Gaim, even Grip are easy enough to use for an average user.

The article did a fantastic job by going into details by category, and then summing up the good and the bad, and I like the smilies.

Works for me... (1)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409543)

Linux on the desktop scratches my itch. I can do everything I want to (even games) and if I can't do something I can usually knock up a script or a bit of C to bend it to my will.

Sure, if Linux was no longer 'sexy' I might have to give up playing some new releases (UT2k3 for example, or NWN) but I could live with that - the Quake engines were opened up way before Linux was a buzzword and they are still fun to play. There might have been more GPL game development too that way.

So in the long run all of the troll bitching about OSS desktops being 'not ready' or 'unsexy' means nothing. It'll carry on being used by the people who it is ready for, and the reast can join up gradually as it gets more mature or gains a feature they want. Doesn't mean much to me - and it's not like it's all going to stop working with vendor support yanked thanks to the GPL.

If you like it, use it. If you don't fix your problem or use something else. If everyone took that attitude towards Linux specifically and OSS in general the world would be a less irritating place :o)

I stopped using Outlook + all the others (1)

mlg9000 (515199) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409548)

After I discovered squirrelmail I stopped using email clients all together. Of course you need a IMAP server.. or access to one. In a corporate environment that's not a problem though. Neither is it one for the tech savvy Linux/Unix/BSD home users out there. So why create an Outlook clone aimed at these people? Why even use Outlook in these places?

Added bonus... if you run your own IMAP server you can also use amavis-new and spamassassin.

It's the gtk file dialog stupid! (0)

anonymous coword (615639) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409554)

Dig up an old copy of windows 3.1, run a program, look at the file dialog. Then load look at a gtk notice any thing similar?

KDE on the other hand has a wonderful file dialog which is an enchanced version of the windows XP one, but with loads more flexibillity.

I know that gtk 2.6 will imporve their widgets, but both KDE and gnome need to unify the look & feel of their widgets, such as file dialog, colour dialog, standardized colour and font configuration (geramik was the closest that could do that)

Do that, and granny won't complain why the gimp looks like windows 3.1 paint.exe

Devils advocate (1, Troll)

geek (5680) | more than 10 years ago | (#6409558)

Ok so I started on linux back in 1996 with some old version of Red Hat, can't remember what release it was. I remember the 2 months it took me to initially figure everything out. Back then I was constantly on IRC and got a lot of help from OctobrX who was also sorta new at the time. I was 19 then and had nothing but time on my hands to sit and learn this stuff. Windows was just coming into Win95 and the nightmare blue screen of death was a twice hourly occurrence.

Fast forward to 2003. WinXP is plenty stable, much more so than any windows OS thusfar. MacOSX offers all of the benefits a UNIX systems can plsu a stable non-beta interface with standards and a lot of really great off the shelf software. I don't see the appeal of Linux on the desktop and I don't think most others do either who aren't visiting this site.

Linux is ok in servers, i use FreeBSD personally but to each their own. Linux makes a semi adequate desktop if you look past the old, antiquated install processes, weak package management, lack of uninstall options, the nightmare library system that's almost impossible to keep under control without spending more time on it than you do actual work. The GUI's are sorry to say, horribly old and overly complex. There is no standard GUI for developers to code too without pissing off one side or the other (KDE or GNOME). Commercial developers are treated like dirt when they actually want to charge for software and/or wont release their hard work to everyone open source.

For the geeks Linux is ok. It's even fun to tinker with. Consider however most people could care less, and when I say most I mean MOST, I don't see any gains being made. My mom has enough trouble with MacOSX I can't imagine giving her Red Hat 9 and telling her how to use GNOME. "Here mom just compile this program with 'make install &' and then run it at the terminal". This is far far far from user friendly and as far as I can tell NO ONE is working to change this at all.

Linux is doomed to niche status until people in the OSS community start caring about ALL users and not just people who know what man pages are. This is the same with Apple and their closed hardware and stupid advertising. I don't know a single person that understands apples commercials enough to research them and figure out what they hell they are trying to sell.

Ok, so ending this rant I will say that Linux on the desktop is fine for some, even preferable. But don't even think that Linux in it's current state will be making any major headway into the desktop market. Servers and some business and scientific apps sure, but never the consumer desktop market.
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