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Gartner Says Linux PCs Just Used To Pirate Windows

michael posted about 10 years ago | from the ho-hum dept.

Linux Business 815

LostCluster writes "CNET is reporting results from a Gartner Group report that claims 40% of desktop machines sold with Linux on them are being used to run pirate copies of Windows! The report goes on to say that this stat reaches as high in 80% in 'emerging markets', the same places that the stripped down lite version of Windows is being aimed at. Gartner's making a bold prediction that the number of machines sold as Linux desktops may eclipse the number of machines actually running Linux."

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wow! (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | about 10 years ago | (#10394039)

The consulting firm issued a report on Wednesday stating that about 40 percent of Linux PCs will be modified to run an illegal copy of Windows, a bait-and-switch maneuver that lowers the cost of obtaining a Windows PC.

I wasn't aware that PCs were made by Microsoft. I realize that B. Crew wants every PC to be sold with Windows and makes in very difficult for vendors to do anything but sell them that way, but I am pretty certain it isn't a requirement for Windows to be on every single PC out there.

As a result, the number of desktop Linux PCs that ship will exceed the actual percentage of Linux machines that get installed in the real world. Desktop Linux will account for about 5 percent of desktops shipped in 2004, according to Gartner, with 10.5 percent of the desktops in Asia shipping with Linux this year. However, the installed base of Linux will come to only 1.3 percent.

In 2008, Linux will account for 7.5 percent of PCs shipped, but only 2.6 percent of the installed base, about the same that Apple's installed base will be then.

Star News reports that by 2009 15.29% of the The National Enquirer's stories will be completely false and that their own stories will overtake FoxNews as the most truthful news source on the planet.

My last machine came with XP installed. I didn't even get to have a CD of XP other than the restore CD. The key on the back of the computer was invalid anyway and MSFT had no suggestions for me other than using a valid key... So, we have to buy a computer with Windows on it because MSFT won't be friendly with vendors that don't offer 100% Windows only. We get that computer with Windows but we really can't use the copy on any other machine and we don't get the install CD and it may not even have a working key. Yet we are supposed to believe that this is acceptable and poor MSFT will lose money to piracy.

I paid for my copy of Windows XP and I expect to get my use out of it whether it follows MSFT's rules or not. I would assume the same rings true elsewhere. Who the hell wants to pay 20%+ of their PC cost for Windows if they can't even use it?

Welcome to hell.

Re:wow! (1, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | about 10 years ago | (#10394184)

If the key on the back of the machine was invalid, then you got a pirated copy of Windows. You should return it to where ever you bought it. I sincerely doubt that MS makes it a policy to ship out invalid CD keys. That doesn't make any sense.

Re:wow! (2, Interesting)

MooCows (718367) | about 10 years ago | (#10394251)

This doesn't seem to be an isolated incident.. my brother had the same problem with his new PC.
According to his vendor and the local MS fortress his key was valid .. according to Windows it wasn't. :)

Re:wow! (2, Insightful)

JAgostoni (685117) | about 10 years ago | (#10394296)

It has happened to me a couple of times but that was Dell PC in a corporate world so who knows what's going on there.

However, what if you bought the PC used from someone? Did they keep that key for their own use but not remove it from the back of the PC? I could see that as a problem.

Re:wow! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10394186)

I paid for my copy of Windows XP and I expect to get my use out of it whether it follows MSFT's rules or not.

You paid for a non-transferable, limited use license to run XP on the specific machine that you purchased. If you want a transferable license you can get one at Best Buy.

Re:wow! (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | about 10 years ago | (#10394210)

You paid for a non-transferable, limited use license to run XP on the specific machine that you purchased. If you want a transferable license you can get one at Best Buy.

I paid for a piece of software that I should be able to use at my leisure. When someone ships a computer they shouldn't be tied down to what the vendor of the OS wants. They should be allowed to do what they want with what they got.

Re:wow! (5, Insightful)

gcaseye6677 (694805) | about 10 years ago | (#10394281)

Let me make sure I understand this. When I buy a computer, I am required to pay for a Windows license, whether I want it or not (just try getting a laptop without Windows). If something happens to the machine or I just choose to not use it anymore, the Windows license which I PAID FOR is now worthless. In any business besides software, this would be shut down as the racket that it is. This is the kind of shit that makes people not take software piracy seriously. When piracy is defined as any use that the vendor does not approve of, it's hard to call it a moral issue and to think of the vendor as a victim.

Re:wow! (5, Insightful)

KingKire64 (321470) | about 10 years ago | (#10394230)

In other news people who build thier own computers have Linux or a pirated version of windows on it a majority of the time also. Why not attack the ppl who build thier own boxen?
Oh thats right they only attack the machines sold with linux cuz they have linux on them.

Sry MS Publicity machine i forgot the rules.

Tinfoil hat on full power

Re:wow! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10394232)

When I grow up I wanna be a "consultant" for a "Gartender Group" too.

Then I can think up funnay stories and such on my Windows Ex Pee Pee Cee.

Isn't that, like, graet!!!?

Re:wow! (3, Informative)

Kartik3 (590836) | about 10 years ago | (#10394297)

Hey bud, I certainly feel for you....

If you have a legal copy of windows XP you can find out what the key on your machine is by using the "keyfinder" utility found at:
http://www.magicaljellybean.com/

Re:wow! (1)

spiritraveller (641174) | about 10 years ago | (#10394308)

I wasn't aware that PCs were made by Microsoft. I realize that B. Crew wants every PC to be sold with Windows and makes in very difficult for vendors to do anything but sell them that way, but I am pretty certain it isn't a requirement for Windows to be on every single PC out there.

Indeed. every PC I've ever bought (laptops excluded) came with no operating system.

The last desktop computer I had that came with an operating system was a Commodore 64.

Nothing for you to see here. Please move along. (5, Insightful)

gcaseye6677 (694805) | about 10 years ago | (#10394041)

So what's new? Microsoft pays its lapdog, Gartner Group, for another anti-Linux FUD piece. Next story, please.

Gartner ? (1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | about 10 years ago | (#10394042)

Who the fuck is that prick ?
Samzenpus' mother ?

OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10394044)

Look at the OS on most of these PC's

That's preposterous! (0)

dacarr (562277) | about 10 years ago | (#10394045)

The only thing I have that has the Microsoft brand name in my household is a mouse. WTF would I want to run ANY version of Windows at home, if I'm running Linux?

Now go away, Gartner, before I taunt you a second time.

FP?

Re:That's preposterous! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10394083)

FP?

Not even close... garcia [slashdot.org] wins again.

Re:That's preposterous! (4, Insightful)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | about 10 years ago | (#10394111)

WTF would I want to run ANY version of Windows at home, if I'm running Linux?

Because you're not some guy looking to find a sweet deal on a PC at Wal-Mart. These are people buying cheap ass computers and putting the OS of their choice onto it. How is that any different from what the average Slashdotter does?

Re:That's preposterous! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10394124)

WHAT THE FUCK IS INSIGHTFUL ABOUT THIS FANBOY FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT POST?

'ooh ooh me too! Windows is crap!' != Insightful

Fucking hell, people dont call you Linux faggots for nothing, do they?

Re:That's preposterous! (1)

stevey (64018) | about 10 years ago | (#10394267)

I have a couple of mice around with the Microsoft brand, but I'd change them to something else without any problem.

It's the Microsoft Natural keyboards I can't live without - I have three of those and the only way you'd take them from me is if you pried them from my cold dead hands.

I've seen the newer ones which are very big and have lots of 'multimedia' buttons, but I'm lucky enough to have bought a stack of the older, plainer, heavier, and much less flimsy looking models.

I'm fairly sure they're just rebranded keyboards made by other people but I'm very pleased with my Microsoft keyboard!

Bollocks (5, Informative)

TuataraShoes (600303) | about 10 years ago | (#10394051)

Bollocks. All my work machines come with XP on them. The first thing I have to do is purge the damn thing and install Linux.

Re:Bollocks (4, Interesting)

Doesn't_Comment_Code (692510) | about 10 years ago | (#10394148)

Bollocks. All my work machines come with XP on them. The first thing I have to do is purge the damn thing and install Linux.

Perhaps you should resell your copies of Windows to others who might want them for barebones systems - and split the Microsoft tax 50/50.

Microsoft says you can't do this. But the courts have indicated that you can.

Re:Bollocks (1)

djdavetrouble (442175) | about 10 years ago | (#10394154)

Bollocks. All my work machines come with XP on them. The first thing I have to do is purge the damn thing and install Linux.
You should tell your company that they are paying a few hundred extra dollars for a computer that will never run some sofware that they unwittingly puchased along with it.
And write your own operating system, with blackjack..... and hookers.......

Re:Bollocks (1)

pe1rxq (141710) | about 10 years ago | (#10394253)

On second thought.... forget about the operating system....

Re:Bollocks (1)

sczimme (603413) | about 10 years ago | (#10394190)


Bollocks, indeed. I have two laptops that originally shipped with Windows (one 98, one 2k) that are now running Linux, one of the BSDs, or Solaris X86 depending on the day. We can add those, yours, and everyone else's to achieve some kind of karmic realignment (i.e. to counter the Gartner position that Linux machines are converted to [unlicensed] Windows).

WINE? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10394055)

Is he talking about WINE?

And vice versa (5, Insightful)

chris_mahan (256577) | about 10 years ago | (#10394057)

That'll just about offset the number of machines that were bought with windows on them that are now running linux. Or do they not care about those?

Re:And vice versa (2, Insightful)

rusty0101 (565565) | about 10 years ago | (#10394280)

Why would Microsoft care about those? Depending upon whether it was just Windows, Windows and Works, or Windows and Office, Microsoft got between $50 and $500 out of you for the purchase of their product. The fact that you will never use it just means that they have no ongoing expenses related to support of that product.

Granted they didn't really have that ongoing expense anyway, as they push ongoing support of products sold with a computer off onto the company that sold you the computer, but that's a different matter.

-Rusty

Oh STFU (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10394059)

Yeah, like it's the fault of the Linux community that people are pirating Windows! Fucking bullshit. Gartner can suck my balls.

Barebone machines (4, Insightful)

stoney27 (36372) | about 10 years ago | (#10394063)

Why go through all the trouble of buying a machine with an OS when you can just get a barebones machine and then load what ever OS you want.

Re:Barebone machines (1)

trilks (794531) | about 10 years ago | (#10394119)

Exactly. What's the point of buying a Linux machine if you are just going to install pirated Windows? Seems like a wasted extra step. And its not like you are tricking anyone by buying a Linux machine first; if you buy a barebones, no one will know what OS you run anyway. So how soon will we find out the "Funded by Microsoft" part?

Re:Barebone machines (1)

ShakuniMama (785662) | about 10 years ago | (#10394155)

That's exactly what I was thinking... this is probably the dumbest article ever posted on /. I'm from India, and I don't remember anyone of my friends actually buying a branded PC, pretty much everyone either buys an assembled one or assembles one themself. And THEN they pirate windows.

Re:Barebone machines (3, Informative)

Shillo (64681) | about 10 years ago | (#10394160)

> Why go through all the trouble of buying a machine with an OS when you can just get a barebones machine and then load what ever OS you want.

Because of the strong Microsoft campaign against selling those machines as 'encouraging piracy', many vendors don't offer them at all. Others only offer this if you buy components and assemble them yourself - this is beyond many users who do want to run Linux.

Which is what the fuss is all about - a nice MS marketing ploy is falling apart and they're taking notice.

--

Because dell doesn't sell those barebones (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 10 years ago | (#10394174)

Sure you could go to the local computer shop with your business needs and put your contract for say 200 machines with that shop who will then bend over backwards to help as your contract is the difference between success and bankruptcy but the suits want dell. Go figure.

Re:Barebone machines (2, Interesting)

pqdave (470411) | about 10 years ago | (#10394287)

1. You want to test and burn in the machine, make sure everything actually works

2. You don't know a trustworthy source of barebones systems. Not all the local whitebox dealers are good.

3. You want a laptop

4. Your boss wants corporate-standard hardware

Re:Barebone machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10394294)

Unless you need a large number of machines, why buy the machine at all? Buy the parts and build it yourself, it's easy, it's much cheaper, you know the quality of components you're getting, and you don't have any software preinstalled.

Yeah, but... (3, Insightful)

zenmojodaddy (754377) | about 10 years ago | (#10394066)

... by the same token, how many machines sold with Windows end up having Linux installed?

Both of mine, for a start.

Re:Yeah, but... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10394282)

Especially when you consider laptops...they are quite hard to come by without an OS preinstalled.

In fact, the last four laptops I've had (two that have been assigned to me at different jobs and two that I've bought and used personally) have had Windows installed on delivery. All four have also had Windows wiped and Linux installed within a week.

The Gartner estimate that the 5% Linux computers shipped had a 40% switching rate would mean that 3% kept Linux.

On the other hand, if 2.3% of the, let's say, 90% of computers sold with Windows pre-installed switch, that would mean that approx 2% flowed back to Linux (status quo).

Now the question is of course, does 2.3% Windows->Linux switchers seem likely? (I would guess it is but of course I have nothing to back that guess up with). And how to account for dual-booters?

For a really fair comparison, I guess you'd have to take into consideration the time each dual-booter spent in each OS as a person who installed the "other" OS, tried it once and then just leaves it on their harddrive wouldn't really count as a convert.

What? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10394067)

what?

Not enough statistics to go on (2, Insightful)

farnz (625056) | about 10 years ago | (#10394069)

Trouble is that the statistics are too limited; we know how many machines are bought with each OS, but there's no way to accurately estimate how many machines have their original OS removed (whether Linux or Windows).

Therefore, there's no way to tell whether the number of Linux pre-installs that are replaced with pirate Windows are balanced with the number of Windows pre-installs replaced with Linux. Gartner's prediction is that more people replace Linux with Windows than vice-versa, but how do you get to that information without guessing?

Re:Not enough statistics to go on (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10394168)

No the trouble is that Gartner is simply making crap up and pulling it out of their arses this time.

Sorry, but sitting around and guessing this crap is bullcrap, and they know it. I want to see the hard data, the full poll data and other data they used to write the report.

I am betting that either they bought 10 linux pc's and themselves installed windows on 4 of them to make up that tidbit (and when does 40% mean a majority?)

Gartner = a complete joke in the corperate world anyways, the director of Sales here points that out on a weekly basis to everyone.

Windows Starter Edition (1)

tdvaughan (582870) | about 10 years ago | (#10394070)

So how much piracy will the new Starter Edition be 'a vehicle' for, seeing as it's functionally even less capable than Linux?

Re:Windows Starter Edition (1)

Portigui (651730) | about 10 years ago | (#10394123)

So how much piracy will the new Starter Edition be 'a vehicle' for, seeing as it's functionally even less capable than Linux?
The article covers this by saying "It is likely that Microsoft would prefer the initial OS on a new PC to be a Windows variant rather than Linux, even if piracy were to continue". This makes total sense in Microsoft's eyes.

Meow (0, Offtopic)

SYFer (617415) | about 10 years ago | (#10394072)

Would you like a CueCat [google.com] to go with your Linux box, sir?

Less Than Half (1)

djdavetrouble (442175) | about 10 years ago | (#10394073)

Well, thats less than half isn't it? Thats pretty good in my view.
So who exactly paid for the study?

Shhhh! (5, Funny)

m00nun1t (588082) | about 10 years ago | (#10394074)

Don't tell anyone, but I'm using my Windows PC to run a pirate copy of Linux! I downloaded a copy from the internet and didn't pay a cent for it! Suckers...

That's fine by me... (1)

Sunnan (466558) | about 10 years ago | (#10394075)

GNU/Linux is still empowering these people to do something they couldn't do otherwise - use their computer without paying for an operating system. That's great!

Personally, I want source code and other niceties, so I'm sticking with Debian for now. But to each her own.

Re:That's fine by me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10394238)

Personally, I want source code and other niceties, so I'm sticking with Debian for now.

Personally I want an operating system that just works so that I don't need the source code.

Nah! (3, Funny)

laetus (45131) | about 10 years ago | (#10394078)

That would be like buying a Maserati and replacing its engine with that of a Ford Escort.

Re:Nah! (1)

beacher (82033) | about 10 years ago | (#10394207)

A better analogy would be the Pinto that erupted in flames when it crashed......

Re:Nah! (1)

Lusa (153265) | about 10 years ago | (#10394209)

That would be like buying a Maserati and replacing its engine with that of a Ford Escort.

With a full accompliment of barely functional performance extras and a non-optional caravan of bloat to tow.

Big news! (5, Informative)

Donny Smith (567043) | about 10 years ago | (#10394080)

Big deal - that's been known since 2000.

I have heard it first hand from resellers and h/w makers in Asia Pacific - "we bundle Linux just so that MS leaves us alone and it's up to the end users to get their copy of Windows".

In some places shipping systems (assembled computers) without OS is either disallowed or frowned upon by MS and/or anti-piracy watchdogs, so bundling Linux is a nice excuse to avoid pre-installing Windows....

Boy I can't wait... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10394082)

Until all the linux fanboys start crying about bought studies...

WTF? (2, Funny)

Too many errors, bai (815931) | about 10 years ago | (#10394084)

In other news, the Gartner Group is reporting an increase in hallucinogenic substance use among its employees.

Doesn't have anything to do with Linux (5, Insightful)

GreenCrackBaby (203293) | about 10 years ago | (#10394087)

Sure, if you want to install a pirate copy of Windows on a new PC, your only real choice is to order a PC with either no OS or one with a free OS (i.e. Linux). Since none of the big PC makers will even let you order a PC without an OS, guess which one you'll choose.

This doesn't have anything to do with Linux.

Re:Doesn't have anything to do with Linux (5, Interesting)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | about 10 years ago | (#10394189)

There's also the unwarranted assumption that just because you didn't buy the PC with windows, you're pirating it.

I have MSDN Universal, which give me 10 XP, win2k, win2003, etc. not to mention the multilingual stuff - if I was mad enough I could buy dozens of machines, all with valid licenses (my last workplace worked entirely like that, although we had on MSDNU for every 3 developers).

Obligitory Windows Putdown. (5, Funny)

FalconZero (607567) | about 10 years ago | (#10394088)

"...Gartner's making a bold prediction that the number of machines sold as
Linux desktops may eclipse the number of machines actually running Linux."


Funny that. Its a bit like Windows if you take into account crashes - The
number of machines sold as Windows desktops is far greater than the number
of machines actually RUNNING Windows.

What about retail hard drives ? (2, Insightful)

draxredd (661953) | about 10 years ago | (#10394098)

What about people who actually lego their boxes ? with an empty hard drive ? are they pirates to ? or linux users ?
what about dual booters ? what about CD distros ?
generalization is always wrong.

Opposite (1)

redhog (15207) | about 10 years ago | (#10394105)

Have they ever counted the numbers of machines sold with windows on them, just to be scratched right away and reinstalled with Linux? Happens all the time around here...

Perfectly Legal (2, Informative)

Doesn't_Comment_Code (692510) | about 10 years ago | (#10394107)

I somewhat regularly upgrade computers or rebuild systems for family and friends. When that happens, I end up with a lot of unused copies of Windows. These are bought and payed for - 100% legitimate. So when my friends want a new Windows computer, I'm not going to re-buy a copy of windows when they already own the rights to a copy!

But I bet they would count this as a hit for their study.

RIAA Logic (5, Insightful)

solitarian (398175) | about 10 years ago | (#10394112)

If we were to use the logic that the RIAA and MPAA use, then we should ban all Linux Distributions because they are used to pirate software. Then Microsoft will truly rule the world!

In other news (5, Funny)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | about 10 years ago | (#10394117)

100% of PC's sold with Windows ME, run Pirated copie s of Windows 2000

This isnt FUD... (4, Interesting)

imsabbel (611519) | about 10 years ago | (#10394122)

Its actually quite true. Here in germany many retailers have "ultra-cheap" PCs, in the 200-300 range, without operating system(well, not without, but with dr-dos or linux,ect). Windows XP is a 50 or 100 addon.
How many people are willing to buy that addon instead of visiting suprnova.org?

Re:This isnt FUD... (1)

John Harrison (223649) | about 10 years ago | (#10394303)

I am shocked, just SHOCKED that this would happen! Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that people buying a Linux machine from Walmart might just go home and put a copy of Windows on it! This is a truely interesting and previously unknown development!

So where's the market for OS-less PC's? (2, Interesting)

matt_morgan (220418) | about 10 years ago | (#10394125)

If this were true, it would only be because you can buy Linux-installed PC's cheaper than Windows-installed PC's. So there should then be a much bigger market for easy-to-buy OS-less PC's. Right? an OS-less PC should cost even less (if only by a little) than Linux PC. That OS-less market doesn't exist; ergo Gartner is wrong.

(I know you can buy OS-less PC's, but we tend to make it a little bit hard. You know, you have to buy them in part from newegg or whatever. There is not a huge market for buying them all pre-packaged).

where's the beef? (1)

dwgranth (578126) | about 10 years ago | (#10394126)

It's nice that Gartner poked its little head out again, but what my question to them would be.. where'd you get your data from? (and no, i wont pay 300 bucks for your stupid report).. my bet is that MSFT gave them some figures on winders update and then compared them to sales figures... so those that didnt match up MUST be PC's sold w/ linux on them (not even considering whiteboxes, home built, etc)

OSless (1)

tommeke100 (755660) | about 10 years ago | (#10394135)

> 40% of desktop machines sold with Linux on them are being used to run pirate copies of Windows 95% of pc's without OS are used to run pirate copies of windows

Wow (1)

hendersj (720767) | about 10 years ago | (#10394136)

Gartner used to be a respectible organization - but now they seem to be towing the "Windows Uber Alles" line, similar to CapGemini. I wonder how much Microsoft paid to get this report....

Re:Wow (4, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 10 years ago | (#10394166)

It's really more than that, everything Gartner says is suspect, whether it has to do with Windows or not. This is the same company that over-hypes offshoring, and just by chance happens to have an offshoring consulting unit. No conflict of interest there......

Re:Wow (2, Funny)

argent (18001) | about 10 years ago | (#10394302)

Gartner used to be a respectible organization

When was this?

That's not what they mean... (3, Insightful)

Claw919 (604849) | about 10 years ago | (#10394141)

Guys, they're talking about people buying machines from OEMs (like Dell) for less money that are sold "with Linux" and then installing Windows on them to get around paying the Windows Tax on all the new machines. It's not about Linux users wanting to pirate Windows.

Seems pretty transparent to me. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10394149)

They've created this "so that just because you're in an area where people can't afford windows doesn't mean you don't have to pay microsoft a tithing!" broken windows distribution.

Now they're trying to create pressure on OEMs to sell this instead of competing products by implying that competing products are inherently invalid.

This is probably just the first of a number of similar attacks...

Didn't they also say that FAT patent would 0wn lnx (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10394159)

A consulting report can mean anything. (1)

ancice (817863) | about 10 years ago | (#10394163)

A consulting firm's report can be taken to mean anything. Those numbers don't mean anything until the details of how the report was done is revealed. But the firm is unliley to do that.

Statistics can be used to justify anything.

The problem with Starter Editions is that they still cost $MEGA-BUCKS more than a pirated copy. So, if the prime motivation is cost, the intro of Starter Edn is unliley to change much.

In other news... (5, Funny)

upside (574799) | about 10 years ago | (#10394165)

Gartner finds Linux is not only a dangerous tool actively being used by terrorists to avoid detection, but a psychotrophic drug that causes terrorism, delinquency, malaria and AIDS.

Linux is also subverting good, honest children to criminal behaviour, communism and encouraging them to move to harder drugs such as Heavy Metal music. Not to mention occultism and role playing games.

Linux on an IBM mainframe is also less cost effective than Windows on a dual Xeon! Quick, in the Holy name of Redmond, call a priest and bring out the holy water!

Not suprising at all (1, Insightful)

Frobozz0 (247160) | about 10 years ago | (#10394169)

I know there are a lot of Linux zealots on Slashdot, but does this really suprise anyone? Certainly not me. There are a couple of things to consider here.

1. The only replacement for Windows on the desktop is Mac OS X. Linux is not that replacement.
2. A lot of people are unwilling to pay for what they want, or have a feeling of entitlement that they don't actually have.

You end up with the people who are willing to switch, and willing to pay, switching to Mac OS X. These are real people using their own computers, not terminals at a travel agency that end up accounting for the vast majority of Windows licenses (commercial terminals.) People who are unwilling to pay for a Win XP software license will buy a cheap PC and not a Mac anyway. Since they don't care about licenseing either, you end up with pirated copies of Windows software run on Linux-shipped PC's.

It makes logical sense to me. It may be a sad state of affairs from a plethora of angles, but it's certainly not a surprise!

seems like a lot of trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10394170)

I'm confused. Why buy a linux pc just to remove linux and install a pirated Windows? Why not just get a pc without OS. That way the vendor can't charge any money for time spent installing linux either.

In Other News... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10394173)

80% of machines sold with Microsoft Windows get used to pirate Linux. (At least my machine did.)

Why is this so surprising? (2, Interesting)

sammy baby (14909) | about 10 years ago | (#10394187)

The zealot faithful are already foaming at the mouth at this report. But what's so surprising about it? All it really says is that of the PCs purchased with Linux pre-installed on them, 40% of them will be modified to run some variant of Windows (possibly in a dual boot configuration) without being within the terms of the EULA. This probably includes transferring OEM licenses to other computers (which, if memory serves, is against the terms of the EULA).

I can't find the report on Gartner's site [gartner.com] and therefore can't say anything about its methodology. (And if the report isn't free, I ain't shelling out the bucks for it.) But it strikes me as telling that of the people rending their clothes and screaming here, very few of them are actually arguing with their numbers beyond saying that it's "justified," or "MSFT gets what's coming to them," or "this is offset by," etc.

Oh, and by the way: the headline is stupid and wrong.

It's true!! (1)

dfiguero (324827) | about 10 years ago | (#10394192)

I'm burning Win XP right now under my Linux machine! You can't trust the burner shipped with XP to burn itself!

I wonder how many XP PCs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10394195)

...are used to run pirate copies of Windows 2003 which is MS's first decent desktop OS (even though they say it's for servers)?

Dodgy figures (3, Funny)

lukestuts (731515) | about 10 years ago | (#10394198)

I'm a bit sceptical about that 40% figure - I'd say it was closer to 2 in 5.

More FUD (1)

lachlan76 (770870) | about 10 years ago | (#10394201)

In 2008, Linux will account for 7.5 percent of PCs shipped, but only 2.6 percent of the installed base, about the same that Apple's installed base will be then.

A comparable lack of drivers, training costs and migration headaches will also retard desktop Linux growth.


So what they're saying is, in 4 years:
  • No hardware manufacturers will make linux drivers
  • It won't be as hard to learn Linux as Windows
  • New sysadmins who know Linux won't be able to migrate
I just think it's a bit pointless to say that Linux will have the same problems in 4 years as it does today.

Slashdotters working for Gartner? (2, Funny)

Bull999999 (652264) | about 10 years ago | (#10394213)

In emerging markets, where desktop Linux enjoys wider popularity, the trend is even starker. Around 80 percent of the time, Linux will be removed for a pirated copy of Windows

Making wild accusations without backing it up with a solid proof because of remote possibilities... When did slashdotters start working for Gartner?

Standard operating procedure for Gartner. (4, Insightful)

argent (18001) | about 10 years ago | (#10394265)

Making wild accusations without backing it up with a solid proof because of remote possibilities

Standard operating procedure for Gartner. The supporting data is an asset, they're not going to give it away.

5 Minutes Later (0, Troll)

Vampyre_Dark (630787) | about 10 years ago | (#10394221)


Gartner: Hahaha, I'm so full of shit, I just want to troll on Slashdot!

just BS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10394222)

Gartner's making a bold prediction that the number of machines sold as Linux desktops ...

Do these idiots know how hard it is to buy a computer with Linux preinstalled?

M$'s, not Linux's, problem (3, Insightful)

trilks (794531) | about 10 years ago | (#10394229)

I agree with a reply to the article on CNet, which basically said that the piracy of Windows is Microsoft's problem, not Linux's problem. It's not Linux's problem that it's free, it's not Linux's problem that Windows is being pirated world-wide, and it's not Linux's problem that people are choosing Linux PCs instead of Win machines. This just amounts to FUD, trying to make Linux look like it has some involvement with piracy. It's the people who pirate, not the software.

Windows sales are artificially inflated, too... (5, Insightful)

laird (2705) | about 10 years ago | (#10394235)

"Gartner's making a bold prediction that the number of machines sold as Linux desktops may eclipse the number of machines actually running Linux."

While I'm would expect that somewhere there are plenty PC's being sold with Linux pre-installed that get wiped and have a pirated copy of Windows installed, my personal experience is the opposite -- I have run hundreds of Linux machines (server farms, at home,at work, etc.), and aside from rack-mounted servers the only practical option is to purchase a PC with Windows, then wipe it and install Linux. In theory you can buy a PC in the US with Linux installed, but in practice, nobody stocks them, and it's easier to get a Windows PC now than to special order a Linux PC to arrive eventually, and do the install yourself.

So, while some percentage of the small number of PC's sold with Linux on them may be converted to run Windows, certainly a percentage of the very large number of PC's sold with Windows on them are converted to run Linux, and in my experience the numbers lean strongly towards the latter case.

On top of this, I would argue that the number of copies of Windows sold (irrespective of Linux) is artificially inflated by the pre-installed copies in other ways:

With consumer PC's you almost always need to buy a "real" copy of Windows, because the pre-installed copies don't come with install CD's, or even the right to make your install CD's. So if you buy a cheap PC and _anything_ happens to it that would cause you to need to reinstall (like, say, owning the PC for six months), the only (legal) option is to run a "restore" that wipes your hard drive and restores it to factory state.

On corporate desktops, if you by PC's with Windows installed, and then wipe the drive and install a standard disk image (which most companies do, to simplify management) MS insists that you need to buy a new Windows license, because the copy in the disk image is a new copy.

If you donate a used Windows PC to a school or church, MS tells them that it's illegal to use the copy of Windows on the PC unless it's accompanies by the original certificate of authenticity, and that otherwise they must by a new copy of Windows (which would often cost more than the PC itself is worth, and wouldn't run on older PC's in any case), and that without that, they must trash the PC's.

So if Gartner is trying to correct for artificial distortions on the sales numbers to determine true numbers of users, I think that they have some more work to do.

OMG MY MAC is loaded with windows! (1)

sydtsai (318342) | about 10 years ago | (#10394236)

Oh no, I have been using YDL for a while, I dunno that i have a pirated windows there!

Interesting... (1)

hencethus (750090) | about 10 years ago | (#10394237)

I run Slackware as my primary operating system and have a barely used (pirated) copy of WinXP sitting on a 20GB hdd that I rarely use (for games when I do).

So... I can see how many Linux desktops sold would be used to run pirated copies of WinXP, but not as the primary operating system. If you're going to do that, why not just buy a PC with no OS installed?

Re:Interesting... (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | about 10 years ago | (#10394248)

I believe because many places won't allow that option.

This is nuts... (1)

LnxAddct (679316) | about 10 years ago | (#10394258)

In other news 7% of all Windows PCs have their operating system replaced with Linux... Yep 73% of all statistics are made up on the fly. Now seriously... I have never bought a Linux PC, but I do have 5 Windows PCs whose operating system was replaced with Linux upon first boot. All using the same media, that same media was used to install it on at least 3 other friend's computers as well. Lets see... that's 5 Windows PCs , one download of a distro's iso, and 8 more Linux PCs in the end. Although this may not be true for *everyone*, it does happen often. This would go to show that if you measured the Linux install base by downloads, it'd be 1/8 of what it really is, where as in my case its actually 1.375 times larger then the reported Windows install base, which is in reality a non-existant base. This would be reported as 5 Windows PCs and 1 Linux download, obviously its not accurate. I know that many places, especially universities, download once and install about 200 times. Gartner, go away.
Regards,
Steve

The RIAA have really missed out on this argument.. (3, Interesting)

mikael (484) | about 10 years ago | (#10394262)

Going by the argument that Microsoft uses to justify the requirement that all PC's to be sold with Windows XX pre-installed, the movie industry could argue that all DVD players/video recorders be sold with a pre-supplied library of movie classics, as owners are more than likely than not to pirate them.

So is this the attack plan? (0, Redundant)

Aceto3for5 (806224) | about 10 years ago | (#10394263)

Is this some sort of way for redmond to put in people's minds that Linux=Piracy? People are so scared of being hauled of to jail by the RIAA nowadays it might work.

There are some negative effects of software piracy though, I mean how do you think we got Windows 95?

So, will Microsoft end up enforcing Linux installs (4, Insightful)

davejenkins (99111) | about 10 years ago | (#10394268)

So, would this mean that Microsoft is left with the dilemna:
a) try to stamp out this piracy by discouraging "after-market" installs (hey! don't install windows! You had better leave that Linux on there, buster!)
b) tacitly allow the after-market piracy, thus maintaining their marketshare but sacrificing revenue

It would seem that the obvious choice for them would be b), because so much of the MS revenue stream depends on a Windows OS on the machine.

To some degree, I have set up a false dichotomy, but I do know that these cheap Linux machines will only grow in number here in Asia. MS is stuck in a very tricky position, and will be forced to retreat from the OS to their apps and "higher functionality" for value-add. Good luck with that in China...

So what... (1)

gspr (602968) | about 10 years ago | (#10394275)

So what they're saying is that users are actually stupid enough to spend money on getting Lindows (or whatever these bundles come with nowadays) on their computer, just to remove it? Wouldn't it be a bit more economical to get the PC blank?

laptops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10394285)

Well for me it was the other way around. I had to pay for a WinXP OEM license with my laptop, but my laptop has never booted Windows. The first time I booted it was under Mandrake 10.0, and that's all it has installed.

And I can't sell that XP to anyone else, because it's an OEM version and won't work on another system, AFAIK.

Fair? You decide....

Duh... (4, Interesting)

nullvector (694435) | about 10 years ago | (#10394293)

I've known this for a long time.

Even here in the US, what do you think happens with the Wal-Mart linux machines that they sell dirt-cheap. They get turned into 'grandma's-email/XP machine' by some kid that installed a pirate copy of XP.

I dont see this message from Gartner as Anti-Linux. So many of you people have blinders on so that whenever you see MS and Linux in the same sentence you think "OMG Micro$oft Sux0r5!1!"

This is the same as buying one of those MP3 players with a huge CF card, and taking the CF card out to use in your camera.

People just buy cheap crappy PC's that come preloaded with Linux, they wipe the drive, and install XP.

Its purely economical from their point of view. Cheap PC + Pirated software = WIN.

Adrian Says .... (1)

adriantam (566025) | about 10 years ago | (#10394299)

Adrian Says His Windows PCs Just Used to Pirate Linux
Wait a minute.....we have to pirate Linux??
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