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Red Hat's CEO Suggests Windows For Home Users

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the self-abnegation dept.

Red Hat Software 1079

Selecter was one of many readers to point out a ZDNet story in which "the CEO of Red Hat now says that Linux is not ready for the desktop, but may be ready in a few more years. Curious - I'm wondering if this is the start of a corporate only retrenchment of Linux, or just a bump in the road to Linux having a wider desktop share?" Apropos that, Gwobl writes "Jim Lynch, over at ExtremeTech, weighs in on the fate of the Linux desktop, now that Red Hat has apparently turned its attention to the enterprise and Novell is buying SUSE (to go with Outlook clone Ximian, which it also owns). Lynch's take: Cheer them on! The Linux world needs these strong champions. And don't overlook Novell's networking roots. Time was, Big Red defined networking."

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Remind me again.. (3, Interesting)

Mrs.Trellis (590263) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391419)

...which company was it that has decided to focus on the enterprise market? They can't make it pay so they're going to muddy the water for all their former competitors, I thought more of RedHat this is more like Redmond FUDish behaviour. With it's new found direction, RedHat seems to have lost its honour.

Re:Remind me again.. (1)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391553)

It is odd, bearing in mind that they purposefully crippled KDE on their distro.


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391420)


grrrr (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391422)


THE MESSAGE IS CLEAR (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391532)

Redhat is abandoning the desktop!

I Agree Totally, My Experience with the Linux (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391431)

I work as a consultant for several fortune 500 companies, and I think
I can shed a little light on the climate of the open source community
at the moment. I believe that part of the reason that open source
based startups are failing left and right is not an issue of marketing
as it's commonly believed but more of an issue of the underlying

I know that that's a strong statement to make, but I have evidence to
back it up! At one of the major corps(5000+ employees) that I consult
for, we wanted to integrate the shareware version of Linux into our
server pool. The allure of not having to pay any restrictive licensing
fees was too great to ignore. I reccomended the installation of
several boxes running the new 2.4.9 kernel, and my hopes were high
that it would perform up to snuff with the Windows 2k boxes which
were(and still are!) doing an AMAZING job at their respective tasks of
serving HTTP requests, DNS, and fileserving.

I consider myself to be very technically inclined having programmed in
VB for the last 8 years doing kernel level programming. I don't
believe in C programming because contrary to popular belief, VB can go
just as low level as C and the newest VB compiler generates code
that's every bit as fast. I took it upon myself to configure the
system from scratch and even used an optimised version of gcc 3.1 to
increase the execution speed of the binaries. I integrated the 3
machines I had configured into the server pool, and I'd have to say
the results were less than impressive... We all know that linux isn't
even close to being ready for the desktop, but I had heard that it was
supposed to perform decently as a "server" based operating system. The
3 machines all went into swap immediately, and it was obvious that
they weren't going to be able to handle the load in this "enterprise"
environment. After running for less than 24 hours, 2 of them had
experienced kernel panics caused by Bind and Apache crashing! Granted,
Apache is a volunteer based project written by weekend hackers in
their spare time while Microsft's IIS has an actual professional full
fledged development team devoted to it. Not to mention the fact that
the Linux kernel itself lacks any support for any type of journaled
filesystem, memory protection, SMP support, etc, but I thought that
since Linux is based on such "old" technology that it would run with
some level of stability. After several days of this type of behaviour,
we decided to reinstall windows 2k on the boxes to make sure it wasn't
a hardware problem that was causing things to go wrong. The machines
instantly shaped up and were seamlessly reintegrated into the server
pool with just one Win2K machine doing more work than all 3 of the
Linux boxes.

Needless to say, I won't be reccomending Linux/FSF to anymore of my
clients. I'm dissappointed that they won't be able to leverege the
free cost of Linux to their advantage, but in this case I suppose the
old adage stands true that, "you get what you pay for." I would have
also liked to have access to the source code of the applications that
we're running on our mission critical systems; however, from the looks
of it, the Microsoft "shared source" program seems to offer all of the
same freedoms as the GPL.

As things stand now, I can understand using Linux in academia to
compile simple "Hello World" style programs and learn C programming,
but I'm afraid that for anything more than a hobby OS, Windows
98/NT/2K are your only choices.

thank you.

Hilarious ... (-1, Offtopic)

Mitch Murray (680637) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391457)

"I consider myself to be very technically inclined having programmed in VB for the last 8 years doing kernel level programming. I don't believe in C programming because contrary to popular belief, VB can go just as low level as C and the newest VB compiler generates code that's every bit as fast." "Kernel" level programming in VB? hahahahaha

Re:Hilarious ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391510)

I bet you fall for lots of things on April 1st too.

Re:Hilarious ... (-1, Offtopic)

Mitch Murray (680637) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391528)

OK, shit, I fell for it, he got me.

Re:I Agree Totally, My Experience with the Linux (-1, Troll)

FatHogByTheAss (257292) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391475)

Well done!

Subtle tones of expertiese color the overall message with a venier of authenticity. You went over the top with the "Consultant for F500 Companies" though. Nobody buys that.

I'll give it a 9.5 for effort, but only a 7 for originality.

Great troll!!!

Re:I Agree Totally, My Experience with the Linux (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391574)

Original? do you EVER read /.???? That troll's been around since Apple released the Mac Classic

Re:I Agree Totally, My Experience with the Linux (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391477)

I bow down to your troll. That is amazing work. I am jealous of your skill.

Re:I Agree Totally, My Experience with the Linux (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391555)

oh plz that's the oldest troll in the book

LEt's face it. (4, Insightful)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391432)

Nothing these companiess have done really drives linux.. linux drives itself. Even Redhat, despite their contributions, is just along for the ride.

Linux will succeed regardless of what happens with these companies.

It was a very useful tool before they arrived, and will be equally useful after they are gone.

Re:LEt's face it. (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391539)

I'm wondering if this is the start of a corporate only retrenchment of Linux, or just a bump in the road to Linux having a wider desktop share?

It is not a corporate retrenchment. It is not a bump. It is just too soon. Time will come, don't worry, but let's face it: For Mr Joe Dummy, Linux is not comparable to Windows yet. Not as polished, not as finished.

Re:LEt's face it. (1)

el pedro (697697) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391572)

I'm sorry, but I don't agree. Linux gets promoted by companies, like RedHat, and the small fractions of nerds in the community that will use Linux will never make it popular.

Joe Schmo user doesn't want to have to Google every little problem they have when installing an OS, in fact, they don't even want to install an OS. They want to have Gateway, Dell, Compaq, etc. do it for them. For any of those companies, they are not going to build their own Linux distribution, or even find a remote one, they are going to go with a large, reputable company.

As much as the open source movement has done, it won't survive without companies (like RedHat) behind it.

Re:LEt's face it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391601)

It's true. How often do you see a Red Hat commercial on television? What's that? Never? .. Spreading the word on the Internet in places where Linux is already well known is not innovation. Linux is too often hyped as "it can almost do what Windows does." People do not want to hear this. They leave snickering at the seemingly finatic preacher thinking how rediculous it is to use software that "almost" cuts it in a Windows world. Linux is not Windows. Troll this, but it's the truth.

its true (0)

fuckfuck101 (699067) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391434)

Windows owns the desktop. Linux's home is on the server -for now(after fbsd ;)). The Desktop belongs to Microsoft. dumb kid (1, Troll)

Starve (672909) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391493)

hmmn brilliant, The problem is not that windows "owns" the desktop its a matter of userbase. a lot of people who use computers aren't as knowledgable as most /. readers. Your ignorance to the fact that Linux is a superior operating system in all spectrums of performance, security and above all else stability. Leaves me puzzling why you even commented. I would much rather use a Linux desktop then XP anyday. Now I think XP and 2k are the better of the Windows line of operating systems but like anything from Microsoft its usually half done when you get it SP1 and soon to be SP2 did not and I suspect won't fix half the problems and security issues still to be found. So in one sense by marketshare yes Windows has a higher stake then *nix (including os X in that statement) but in the category of what its worth any *nix distro that has a name for itself is worth 3x the price you paid for your current operating system.

USB drivers & camera support? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391438)

Consumers want USB drivers and digital camera support

Funny, I've been using my USB digital camera with Linux since I bought it over a year ago.

It's all perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391439)

I happen to think that Linux is more than ready for the desktop (I, and many others switched long ago), but unfortunately most users aren't yet ready for's still in the hands of the "elite" and will continue to be that way for a while.

Some MBA dork... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391441)

This guy is not a Redhat founder, he's just some MBA dork they picked up to make the VCs happy. You can see how quickly he's sold out the dream of linux on everything and turned it into the VC dream of 'linux on everything profitable'.

Business has accepted linux--to rape for as much cash as they can milk out of it and Redhat is among the worst of the bunch.

Maybe its time to evaluate Novell/SuSe... a lot of hardware vendors are offering SuSe now. Look at SGI for one....

Linux on the desktop! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391442)

The key is proper desktop takoever is implementation of IPX and getting away from this internet technology. After all, IP has been around forever and desktop penetration will require newer technology.

Szulik sells out. (2, Insightful)

dolo666 (195584) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391444)

This move is surprising to me, but I wouldn't put much faith in what Matthew Szulik has to say about Windows or Linux for home use, considering he's changed the direction of Red Hat's policy regarding sales and distrobution. To me all this means is that Matthew Szulik has changed his company politics (done an about-face). It's in his interest to tell everyone to use Windows at home, because he doesn't want to have to listen to Linux users complain about him selling out, and he doesn't want another vendor to compete directly against him with the corporate guys. A Microsoft partnership at this time is very wise with Red Hat, but I'd bet dollars to donuts, Billygoat Gates slipped him a mickey or something to that effect.

Szulik likely realized that you can make twenty times more money working with big business than you can fielding techsup for home users. To me, this goes against the overall spirit of running Linux, and even the Open Source community, in general.

Thank god Linus doesn't think this way, eh guys?

Re:Szulik sells out. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391505)

It is all in the name: Szulik means cheater, small felon in various slavic languages ...

not ready for the desktop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391445)

linux is fine on my desktop.

it's windows that causes me to puke every time i look at it.

Are CEOs techincal whizzes? (2, Insightful)

bluethundr (562578) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391451)

the CEO of Red Hat now says that Linux is not ready for the desktop, but may be ready in a few more years.

CEOs are known for their business acumen, but not necessarily for their techincal knowledge or skills. I've even read in one really great Apple history book [] that Apple engineers lambasted Steve Jobs as "non-technical" and considered him unfit to make "technical" decisions. I don't know that much about the RedHat CEO, but this may be a similar case.

Re:Are CEOs techincal whizzes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391525)

CEOs are known for their business acumen, but not necessarily for their techincal knowledge or skills

If the guy were saying "Linux is ready for the desktop and I invite all Windoze users to try it, it's free!" you'd be cheering him and praising his technical acumen. You should stop posting until you understand how stupid and hollow your "opinion" comes across to people who actually understand what's happening.

Business acument (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391570)

From the article, grandad:
...puts a lot of pressure on your support systems...

Unless your market is share is hefty, you can either manufacture the hardware, and keep tight control of the software (Apple), or support a great deal of hardware, such that network effects carry the day (Mr. Softy).
It's a question of audience. Most of the market really doesn't care if their system treats them like they are intelligent; it prefers to be locked in a Registry prison. Sad but true.

Re:Are CEOs techincal whizzes? (3, Insightful)

guest (3772) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391593)

You're right, CEO's aren't known for their technical knowledge, but by "ready for the desktop" I think he means "ready for the average person to use", if that's the case I think he's more qualified than someone with technical knowledge to make that proclamation.

Penguin post mortem (Socre: 4, Funny) (-1)

cerskine (202611) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391453)

Ted and David made their way into the lab where the animal experiments were conducted. A cute, fuzzy penguin had caught their eye...

The evil duo quickly subdued the little lab penguin. They strapped the now helpless animal's head to the sex table with hot leather. David had the urge, and removed his pants, which were now bulging. After slipping off his briefs, David tightly fastened the leather straps and was ready to begin.......

David began to "grease up". Shoving endless amounts of Vaseline and baby oil all around the penguin's ass, he slid his purple head firmly into the penguin's tight asshole. Even though the penguin was slightly unconscious, screams of pain were constantly being emitted. Ted reached for the chain whip and smacked the penguin's soft nose until its face was soaked with blood. Now, with the penguins head drooped over the edge of the table, David continued his sex hunt. His now tingling cock was pushed deeper and deeper through the thick layers of skin which covered the bowel tract. Five, six, seven, then finally all eight and 3/4 inches were plunged deep within the animal's love canal.

David's manhood tingled with every slight movement of the now half alive penguin. He began rhythmically sliding in and out, moaning with pleasure on every thrust. David worked himself into a hot orgasm. The blood, now coming steadily out of the penguin's ass with every thrust of David's pelvis, could be heard dripping on the floor. David's rate increased and with a final push, he spurted creamy white love gel far up into the penguin's bleeding ass.

The blood and cum mixed together on the floor, which had now accumulated a large puddle. Unknown to David, the semen had acted as a powerful enema for the penguin and out ushered the contents of its intestine. The stool was loose and soft. It fell to the ground with a soft thud and broke into small pieces. The obnoxious smell caught David's attention, and no sooner had he fallen to the ground and began licking the large puddle of blood, sperm, and stool. Exited at David's enthusiasm, Ted dropped to his knees and also began to slurp the foul mixture.

After cleaning the floor with their tongues, David and Ted checked on the battered lab penguin. It was barely able to hold its head up, as it had lost control of most of its motor functions. Feeling no pity for this sexually mistreated animal, they unstrapped it and tossed it across the room, only to make a loud and deep thud against the wall. Its blood soaked fur left spatters of red stains everywhere it touched. Its bodily fluids freely surged across the tiled floor.

Then with a look of extreme satisfaction, both David and Ted lit up some smokes, gathered their belongings and quietly left the hospital ground.

Linux is dead (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391454)

Long live FreeBSD!

An open letter. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391458)

Dear Redhat,

Thank you so very much for the lovely knife which you planted in my back this morning. The handle is immaculate and the steel of very good quality.

We realize this is a turbulent time for redhat and i had feared that you would not have time from your friends while you transition to an enterprise-targetted company. It was as such very nice to recieve your little gift and know you still cared. I was talking to Linux, Alan Cox and Mandrake, and they feel the same about the similar gifts you sent them.


Re:An open letter. (5, Funny)

mickwd (196449) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391566)

Dear Redhat,

I've just been talking to SuSE and Mandrake.

Where's our knife ?

Oh hang on, we're volunteers. You want us to do it ourselves, right ?


Business smart? (1)

miknight (642270) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391462)

Is this comment really something that's going to help Red Hat? What if they move to Windows and never come back (even when it IS ready, according to him)?

Re:Business smart? (1)

Geek of Tech (678002) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391517)

Tell me about it. There's times when I still think that Windows isn't quite ready for the desktop (usually when I'm trying to explain to people that they have to install and update the antivirus, that they can't just buy one and forget about it. Not that I'm blaming all viruses on Microsoft.) For several years Windows (and DOS) should have never seen a desktop, but they did. And they improved because of it. Had they have geared more toward the technically savvy, I believe Windows would be much more difficult to use (though I don't think I'd miss people asking how to view attachments.)

Justification (1, Insightful)

CrayHill (703411) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391465)

"the CEO of Red Hat now says that Linux is not ready for the desktop, but may be ready in a few more years."

This sounds like him attempting a justification for RedHat's actions of dropping desktop support and focusing on the Enterprise Edition.

Re:Justification (1)

Aurix (610383) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391565)

The comment of RedHat not being ready for the desktop, if justification for dropping the consumer Redhat line, is very poor. The only reason given was:
"I would argue that from the device-driver standpoint and perhaps some of the other traditional functionality"

Sure, device drivers in Linux have some way to go, but Matthew Szulik fails to give a reasonable example of why a consumer could not use Linux on a pre-installed computer (for example).

Re:Justification (1)

Menthos (25332) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391568)

Red Hat is not dropping desktop support. Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS [] is clearly aimed for the (corporate) desktop. What Red Hat is dropping is selling products to home users, as RHEL, the only product that Red Hat will be selling from now on, clearly isn't really targetted at those.

Big Red (1)

MAPA3M (718897) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391467)

Time was, Big Red defined networking.

Yeah, we're still cleaning up the remainders of this "definition"

Home Users Are Idiots (1)

wud (709053) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391469)

Linux is not ready for most home users. I work tech support for an ISP, I know for a fact that most home users have no idea how a computer works. Most of my calls can be fixed by restarting the computer, and if its not that then its checking/unchecking a box somewhere.

I'm fairly new to linux myself, but I wouldnt let any of the people I talk to touch it.

Re:Home Users Are Idiots (1)

Geek of Tech (678002) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391552)

I believe the people who end up calling would be confused whether they were using Windows, Apple, Linux or even pen and paper.

Re:Home Users Are Idiots (1)

wud (709053) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391594)

yeah, I suppose you're right.. I was talking to someone who *REALLY* didn't need to own a computer as I posted that.

Red Hat CEO is not correct (1)

SmilingBoy (686281) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391470)

I am not an ubergeek and I use it on my Desktop. Hey, even my mom uses it on her desktop - and she is no geek whatsoever.

Linux on the desktop is ready now. And it will soon be a better choice than Windows for most users.

Makes me wonder why Red Hat is saying this now, right after they are withdrawing their home user distribution?

Golden Opportunity (1)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391472)

Now I can see Lindows or Mandrake stepping in.

"Unlike the folks at RedHat, we believe that Linux is ready for the desktop .. and in fact, we've got the perfect distribution for you rigth here!"

wasn't RedHat kind of l"inux for the rest of us" (2, Interesting)

SignificantBit (677809) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391482)

From the article:
There are plenty of other distros that can cover the desktop for home users, there really isn't much of a need for Red Hat to be in that space.
I thought RedHat was the one who almost build and create that space...

Re:wasn't RedHat kind of l"inux for the rest of us (1)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391547)

Yeah, but Mandrake et al have been cleaning RH's clock on the desktop now for a while.

Re:wasn't RedHat kind of l"inux for the rest of us (1)

DeltaSigma (583342) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391611)

Seriously, RH got me all excited about Linux on the desktop, but now that I've used it for a while I'm just going to go to Debian testing when Sarge comes out (this december I hope).

Fsck You RedHat! (0, Interesting)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391483)

Burn my karma, but I mean it. I was luke-warm on the whole Fedora distro idea, but now I don't even care. I'll install Suse or something else next time.

I've been a RedHat user since 5.1. No more.

There are other Linuxes in the sea.

Re:Fsck You RedHat! (0, Insightful)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391543)

I've been a RedHat user since 5.1. No more.

And the amount of money you paid for your Red Hat distributions was probably not enough to cover a box of pencils for the company. Which is why they don't care that they're dropping the desktop. They don't want you, and you don't want them. It's a match made in heaven.

Oh yeah, and it's "Fuck you Red Hat". I don't think that "Fsck" is a word.

Re:Fsck You RedHat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391548)

How many times since 5.1 have you bought their distro? If 1, they couldn't care less. Fewer home users that don't pay for it == lower bandwidth costs for them.

Re:Fsck You RedHat! (1)

Aero Leviathan (698882) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391616)

That's 'Linuxii.'

dadburnit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391484)

my desktop gets forty rods to the hogshead and thats how i like it.

Maybe not ready for the mainstream, but it has been ready for me since 6.2.

Here's why they are right ... (1, Insightful)

Mitch Murray (680637) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391486)

The home desktop crowd is support intensive and aren't willing to pay for support, period. What RedHat is saying is "Please, these customers we can never make money on, go buy Windows, bitch to BillG and friends, and by that you do us a favor".

My kudos to these funny guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391488)

'Big Red defined networking' -this has to be the quote of the century. Anyway, funny quotes like that just make your day. There was another funny one from Linus himself, then one about the potentially IP-infringing code. As Linus recently said, ironically it [the said code] has been removed from 2.6 because it was ugly -go figure.

Bill Gates (2, Funny)

jptechnical (644454) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391490)

Was reported to say that 'Longhorn wasn't ready for the desktop either'

Oh well, perhaps in another couple years.

Consumers... (2, Insightful)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391491)

His statement is that "consumers" ought to be using Windows rather than Linux. Fortunately, as somebody who uses rather than consumes my computer, I'm just fine with my Linux desktop.

The point is that he's right, in the sense that he's using: from a standpoint of people doing the marketing, they would rather have people using Windows than Linux. Of course, that's really pretty much irrelevant to us who actually use the computers.

I personally am upset with RH (0)

tmroyster (309750) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391497)

I'm upset with RH... Here I am
trying to sell, sell, sell
Linux to my company.
I have some sort of success but I
suck it up and we standardize on
what is NOT my first choice, namely
RedHat. Now they pull the rug out from
under me.

Smack! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391500)

This is good news to me. Now all you linux advocates(mostly made up of 15-19 year olds) can face the facts that linux isn't as wonderful as you think/wish it was for average desktop use.

Re:Smack! (0)

ArCaNe50 (587961) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391614)

Sorry your too retarded to to use it anyway it is people like you that make it un usable on the desktop. You use your virus infected windoze and I will snort your wireless network while you are sleeping. ;-)

Linux isn't ready for the desktop. (5, Insightful)

metatruk (315048) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391503)

and until there is a Linux distro that "just works" it won't be.

The lack of good font support in X. But it's not just X. It's applications too. There's no unified way to use fonts, or to use the "right" fonts.

Lack of good clipboard support in X: Perhaps it isn't X that's the problem. But most applications cannot agree on what clipboard format they are using. Forget about copying an image in Konqueror or Mozilla and pasting it into OpenOffice. Or even formatted text for that matter. Sheesh!

Number of Linux distributions: There's no way to
make a good installer that will install a commercial app on Linux and have everything work. There are too many dependencies for specific versions of libraries and things that would make this sort of thing worse than any kind of Windows DLL hell.

Drivers: Linux intentionally makes it difficult for people to release binary-only drivers. Of course, Binary only drivers are a bad idea anyway, some vendors will insist on it such as NVidia.

Games: Linux would make an ideal game platform IF games were released for it. Now I realize this is a chicken/egg problem of course, but you have to factor it in when thinking about if Linux is really ready for the Desktop...

All of this being said, I do use Linux as a desktop. I feel comfortable with its limitations. I'm not an average user though, and I wouldn't expect any average user to figure out how to make Linux do what it can do.

Now, where I disagree with Red Hat is that you should _not_ use Windows. Use Mac OS X. It's way better than windows in design, and just works.

Re:Linux isn't ready for the desktop. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391605)


The lack of good font support in X. But it's not just X. It's applications too. There's no unified way to use fonts, or to use the "right" fonts.

Yep, I keep hearing the same thing. "Linux lacks this support in X. Linux doesn't support Y. Linux doesn't support Z."

This is ominous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391504)

First Caldera succumbs to the lure of the darkside.
Now this.

The desktop is the key to the server market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391508)

If you don't have a desktop product then you can't have a server product. Just ask Novell. They don't appear to be making this mistake twice and have indicated that they will contine to push the Ximian desktop.

Microsoft used its desktop product to gain access to the server market. They sure as hell didn't do it by having a good server OS. Anyone remember back when you walk into any computer room and you would see a couple of Win3.1/95/98 boxes sitting next to the Novell servers?

By focusing on the server, Redhat has changed their strategy from sneaking in through the back door via admins who run Red Hat at home to a strategy of comming in through the front door. Whatever money they save on killing the desktop product will be spent twice by increased marketing costs.

Windows Has Many of The Same Faults (4, Insightful)

namespan (225296) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391516)

Szulik gave an example of his 90-year-old father going to a local retailer in order to purchase a computer with Linux: "We know painfully well what happens. He will try to get it installed and either doesn't have a positive experience or puts a lot of pressure on your support systems," he said.

Thing is, lots of consumers have exactly the same sort of experience with Windows. But with Window's they're the market leader, not some minority emergin alternative. People are far more likely to think there's something wrong with them when they can't make Windows work as they expect, and the reverse is true for Linux.

Re:Windows Has Many of The Same Faults (1)

Geek of Tech (678002) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391612)

"We know painfully well what happens. He will try to get it installed and either doesn't have a positive experience or puts a lot of pressure on your support systems," he said.


My 90-year-old father tried to get me to install Linux, but I had no idea what I was doing.

Ahoy! FreeBSD, BetBSD, OpenBSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391519)

I think that Linux is too mormon owned for me now. First the IP was up in the air with Mormon-owned SCO, now SuSE with Mormon-owned Novell. So, in addition to stockpiling guns and souls, the Mormons need to add IT to their list of things to "own" as they advance their cult even further. I'm looking forward to the LDS naked girl screensavers and the free temple recommend with every boxed purchase.

yeah (-1)

Moloko_Plus (704889) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391522)


and when they get to asked to select their mouse.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391523)

Does any one really think that the average person can even begin to install it? (let alone configure it to do anything)

I can hear it now: "Please select the type of mouse:" ... i dont see purple in the list what should i do..

So What? (1)

echucker (570962) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391526)

It's just one person's opinion. I'd be much more interested in the context in which it was said.

If I had a dime... (4, Insightful)

festers (106163) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391527)

..for everytime someone said "Linux isn't ready for the desktop", I'd be paying these people to STFU. I was a big supporter of Red Hat in the past (been using it since 6.0), but with the recent changes to their support, and boneheaded comments from their execs, I've pretty much had it with them. Look, if Linux isn't ready for your desktop, fine, I won't beat you over the head. But it's been ready for my desktop for the past 3 years, and lots of other "non-techie" types as well.

I'm appalled (with two p's) (1)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391530)

While I'm a bit appalled at the RH CEO's statements, I can at least understand them - he can't really point to a Linux competitor at this time for the desktop, since anyone with a good chance (like Novell/Ximian/SuSe) is likely a server competitor as well.

And he did *not* say Linux was not ready for the desktop. He suggested Windows for *home users*, not the business desktop. There's quite a difference!

OTOH, regardless of what he says, Linux is growing and will continue to grow for some time. Where will it stop? Nobody knows. I know where I *hope* it stops (the end of the universe). But in the meantime, RedHat hasn't been the favorite of a lot of users, anyway. Yet Linux questions are constantly asked wverywhere I go.

And in the meantime, yes, for at least a year or so, Windows probably is the best choice for the vast majority of home users. But I think it starts having to really compete around that time frame.

Meanwhile, we will continue to run Linux (RedHat for now) on every system possible in my domain. That's currently around 250 desktops and servers. I won't be paying RH per seat license costs, but that's another story!

hooray? (5, Insightful)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391536)

if linux goes back to the popularity it had in 1999ish, all the "1337 5cr1pt k1d5" will be happy again because their personal identity, defined through their computer's operating system, will be closer to unique once again! (speaking as someone who was one of these people back in 1999, and had a wise unix guru tell me why i was being a dumb kid, and helped me grow up by losing that attitude and demonstrating linux advocacy where appropriate, and avoiding it where not)

Re:hooray? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391598)

i can't believe you used the word, "guru". back to school, you fucking dork.

Initial reaction (5, Insightful)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391537)

Maybe he's just being realistic? Don't get me wrong, I've used RH daily since 5.2. I've also supported Win9.x and XP for friends, family, and co-workers. When a linux distro has that slick of an install ("Just click "next""...), along with *all* the device drivers, it'll really take off on the desktop.

And that's the catch-22, IMHO. I believe that the truly successful desktop linux company/distro will pay most all of their attention to simplifying and integrating things in the GUI, and 3/4 of their devel's will be device driver people. Why do I say this? because, people buy computers for its devices. Device manufacturers won't be arsed to write linux drivers until it has a much larger market. It won't have that larger market until you can plug XYZ into a USB port without thinking, cuz it had a penguin sticker on the box.

Slashdot does, too (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391542)

Anyone else noticed the big ads on the right hand side of the screen, sometimes replacing the user boxes? They're pushing XP for tablets.

I'm expecting Slashdot pop-ups (or unders) any day now.

I predict... (1)

Kickstart70 (531316) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391544)

Serious Microsoft investment in RedHat by the third quarter of next year. I hate to be a conspiracy theorist (ok, that's a lie), but really this whole rush job smells like the visible front to a backroom deal.

Re:I predict... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391580)

MS invested in SCO. How can they invest in Linux in general? That would be counter to their mission.

tacky (3, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391545)

I agree that linux as a whole isn't ready for the desktop, unless you have a nearby linux geek who doesn't mind do the occasional difficult administrative things that a normal user can't.

On the other hand this announcement seems a little tactless. "We have decided to get out of the home desktop market, so no one should use linux on the desktop any more. Use windows, not those other linux distro's. I mean if we don't think this is a good market for linux than no one should market linux there." Now he was probably just explaining why they got out of the market but this is how it came acrossed to me.

Home Users Suggest New Job for CEO (1)

Nathan Ramella (629875) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391546)

It had to be said? .. :(


Larry the Cow was right! (0, Offtopic)

PenguinX (18932) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391551)

I sure am glad I switched to Gentoo....

What's next? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391556)

I think it goes nicely with Bill Gates recommending windows for servers. :)

Political progression (1, Interesting)

Empiric (675968) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391559)

Well, this isn't really that surprising. Unfortunate, but unsurprising.

It's the basic political pattern of the formation of an oligarchy. A new force enters the scene, propelled by fortunate environmental circumstances, such as Microsoft's extremely high margins and overbearing market control coupled with the idealism of Open Source development. Typically, they are strident in their "freedom" and/or "anti-monopoly" stance. Once the force finds itself established, though, the things that got it there in the first place start to look a lot less desirable. "May the best man win" becomes "may I and my friends win".

Red Hat is discontinuing all but their "Enterprise" versions of Linux (as was previously mentioned here), because of a lack of profitability. So, from this perspective, the desktop is irrelevant. Supporting Linux for the desktop doesn't translate into more money, while supporting Microsoft for this role potentially does, either via overlapping stock portfolios or joint business ventures.

Naturally, I have no way of knowing if Suzlik's intent is along these lines in this particular instance. It is, however, the direction that the econonomic considerations will drive companies in Red Hat's position toward, and if Red Hat isn't advocating Microsoft wherever it can't turn a profit now, I expect it will be soon.

Amen to that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391560)

Glad somebody had guts to say it. Even Linux T. admits that Linux as a server is an easy thing to do because server can do only number of N thing, while desktop's are more complex.

Its not just a question of Linux no being ready for desktop. Linux desktop will get fukked up completely if you do 3-4 months worth of apt-get updates (aka up2date in RH).

Because any teen can write a code and with some luck get it included in a distro Linux will have no future as desktop OS. Patches break things and when you get Joe Blow writing code... without any quality control... well, what do you expect. Look at the copy/paste fiasco we have in Linux. There is no reliable copy/paste simply because server don't need it.

Business Model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391562)

Well first of all, I think he's right. They're probably losing money providing support to a lot of newbies who can't get their working.

But it might also be a smart move to keep investors encouraged. If he says "Linux is definitely ready for the desktop" while their company cuts off their desktop market, I'd be very suspicious as to why they would do such a thing (if it is indeed profitable).

This sounds like he's covering his ass saying "yes, we're out of the desktop market - but only because there's no market yet". He also hints that they may return there when he thinks Linux is mature enough for the desktop market.

So what ? (1)

FarnstromS (671490) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391564)

Go SuSE anyways ... Simple

Buy Windows? (1)

thirty2bit (685528) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391578)

Sounds like reverse psychology to me.

'Buy Windows for your desktop. You don't need the power of Linux.'

Some it feels like they're just saying that to quantify RH's Enterprise product, and/or justify dropping RH 9.0.

WHAT THE FUCK!? (0, Troll)

greymond (539980) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391581)

Redhat was one of the biggest Linux companies actually allowing the average consumer to switch from Windows to Redhat with their easy windowish install of linux and an install that actually would find and setup all my hardware for thos eof us not inclined to use a command line. Red Hat had an even better desktop chance now that the big Macromedia apps were running on linux. The time is now, and yet they are shrinking back into a corner where they should be coming out strong....

90 year old father (2, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391582)

Szulik gave an example of his 90-year-old father going to a local retailer in order to purchase a computer with Linux: "We know painfully well what happens. He will try to get it installed and either doesn't have a positive experience or puts a lot of pressure on your support systems," he said.

Yes, and I bet 10000000 rubles that your 90 year old father would put extreme pressure on Microsoft's support system if he installed Windows instead of RedHat Linux.

In short : Szulik's father is like mine : he still prefers typewriters (or, in his case, pen and paper probably).

Us vs. Them ... Again (4, Insightful)

Dareth (47614) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391585)

This isn't about all of "us" who already have linux on our desktops. This is about all of "them" who do not know if they have Windows XP or Windows 95.

There is a digital divide, but it isn't about race, religion, or economic status. It is all about knowledge, skill, and the desire to actually understand what you are doing. Many of "them" will never understand anything about computers. And probably most of "us" will never understand why they don't feel the same as we do.

Use what works for you. If I want to use a hammer for any mechanical work, so be it. If you don't agree with me, you might just start to look like a nail. *wink*

IBM announced desktop management today (2, Interesting)

LinuxHam (52232) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391586) ourcing/story/0,10801,86826,00.html

IBM announced a new offering today, extending the outsourcing to include the desktop.. I thought this was a great step in the right direction since basically no one really follows all the way through with desktop management. If IBM owns the hardware and bills flat rate per desktop, it behooves them to minimize TCO.

Paired up with ebusiness initiatives (i.e. "webifying" apps and streamlining business processes), this could lead to some IBM-sponsored Linux desktops.

Linux is ready for the desktop (2, Interesting)

pjack76 (682382) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391587)

Or, at least, the corporate desktop, at least in environments where one doesn't necessarily want one's users installing all kinds of crap on their PCs.

Secretaries, for instance, can probably live quite well with OpenOffice, one of the nicer scheduling tool (Ximian maybe, never used it). And if all the users in my organization who just needed that setup actually had that setup, my job as administrator would be so much simpler. </whine>

I think... (1)

Aeiri (713218) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391588)

...that the reason the RedHat CEO is saying this is because he doesn't make any money on the Home versions of RHL. RH is way to commercialized now, that's why you should go with other distros.

Windows is no better for a 90 year old. (4, Interesting)

nevets (39138) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391589)

Szulik gave an example of his 90-year-old father going to a local retailer in order to purchase a computer with Linux: "We know painfully well what happens. He will try to get it installed and either doesn't have a positive experience or puts a lot of pressure on your support systems," he said.

I'm sorry, but I tried to get my 75 year old father-in-law to use the internet. I got him a Windows box with a simple dial up connection and set everything up for him. But he has yet to use it by himself. It would have been easier for me if I set him up a Linux box, because I know it better and could write scripts to help him log on automatically. I know it is also possible to do that with Windows but I didn't have the time to learn it for him.

My point is that computers in general are not easy for an old fashioned 75 year old who rather write snail mail letters than to use email. So that excuse is not a good one.

Linux is partially ready for those willing to learn. It is not Linux's fault for not being ready, but it wont be ready until all software vendors port there products to linux. I won't be Windows free until I have a reliable tax program for linux. I still use quicken since I don't believe that gnucash is there yet. Also it helps since it works with my tax programs.

Also the GNU/Linux system needs a standard that all non-free software vendors can write code for. This includes games. Once it gets that far, and Linux gets the software vendors to treat Linux equal to Windows, then Linux will be a fine alternative to the average user. I don't care about 70 year olds learning about computers just because their children want them to (well I do care about my father-in-law ;-). I really care is when the average 30 year old business person can use it without out any more complaints then they have with Windows.

Oh come on. (2, Interesting)

chronus22 (645600) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391590)

Redhat failed to profit off the desktop market, decided to quit supporting their desktop version, and now, purely by coincidence, decide to announce that linux "isn't ready" for the home desktop market. We have a company that has been unsuccessful in a certain area, and who is now blaming its lack of success on the product. I just find it disappointing that they had to tear down linux (and all the other companies who market linux to the home desktop) with them.

It's a CEO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391603)

CEO's don't care about if linux is ready for the desktop, or if it is all ready there. THEY CARE if it is profitable.

What is not profitable for them is not worth thier the effort. So this is just spin put on their own business failure in marketing linux for the desktop.

**Installing**: Linux is much easier than Windows (1, Interesting)

darnok (650458) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391606)

From the article, it seems that he's making a fairly common misconception: he's saying it's difficult to install Linux.

How many "normal" people out there have ever installed Windows? You buy a PC; it has Windows pre-installed on it; the end. I'm not sure, but I suspect MS sales figures would support this; the vast majority of Windows sales are bundled with new hardware.

If he thinks installing Linux for home use is hard, try installing Windows for home use. First you install from the XP CD, then you'd better call MS to get it activated. Then you start installing all those patches from Windows Update. Then you start installing your apps - one at a time, and you'd better have all those code numbers and activation keys at your fingertips. Don't forget to call Symantec to register their products, and Quicken too. Don't forget to track down the driver CDs for those obscure bits of hardware - in this sense, "obscure" can mean things like digital cameras, scanners, etc. that are actually pretty common in home PCs.

In my experience, the typical home user installing a Windows PC from scratch takes 1-2 *days* to get it done, and that's 1-2 days of dedicated time spent largely sitting in front of the computer. Remember we're talking typical home users here, not corporate desktops or home machines owned by techos.

Now look at the Linux way of doing things. You get a Linux distribution from somewhere, and this may be a challenge if you don't know where to start looking. You power up the PC, put in the first distribution CD, and off you go. The installers for all the major Linux distributions are now pretty well comparable with Windows in terms of ease-of-use, although driver support is a bit more challenging.

You pick what sorts of apps you want (e.g. word processor, spreadsheet, ...) then say "Go". After a while, you'll be prompted to put in the next CD (unless you're installing off DVD), then the next one. Once that's done, you reboot and you're done - there's very little need for a home user to install patches to things like Mozilla, KDE because they simply don't need them.

Unlike Windows Update patches, most patches to "Linux software" is to add functionality or protect against obscure buffer overflows - again I'm talking about "typical home user" stuff. Most of it just isn't needed.

I just can't see how installing Linux is even remotely as difficult as installing Windows these days. Typical time to install Linux, from scratch, for a new home user is a few hours - admittedly most of that time is head-scratching time, but it's still a whole lot less than 1-2 days of typing in codewords and swapping CDs on the Windows platform.

Hell, if you want to really reduce the time just get the home user to boot up Knoppix. Plug in a USB memory card and they can back up everything to it. There's your install done, in a couple of minutes (and that includes the trip to the shop to buy the memory stick).

-1 Troll (1)

BogWart (654802) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391615)

I've just this minute installed KDE 3.2 and I can tell you this guy couldn't be any more WRONG.

How 'bout my $40?! (3, Insightful)

mariox19 (632969) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391617)

Let me see if I get this straight. The company from which I paid $40 to buy a box set of Red Hat Linux 9 is now saying their product is "not ready for the desktop"?

This is the same Linux with the swell GUI, Bluecurve; which, to quote the press release [] offers a "[c]onveniently organized, user-friendly desktop with numerous graphical enhancements and icons."

How about refunding me my $40 for no other reason that shame on you! -- hmmm?

Digital cameras (2, Interesting)

phliar (87116) | more than 10 years ago | (#7391618)

Who is this guy? The "success" of Linux may in fact depend on third-parties and device drivers for strange hardware, but Windows gets a free ride here, since MS doesn't have to worry about all that. When hardware manufacturers include Linux device drivers, and app makers automatically release Linux versions, it will kick Windows' ass. Any Unix could do this, not just Linux.

Since that's not going to happen, we should keep doing what we have been. Linux or any other free software project didn't get to where it is because of some damn MBA suits. Why do we care about some suit's judgment?

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