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Linux Can't Kill Windows

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the that's-his-opinion-he-could-be-wrong dept.

Microsoft 1054

nberardi writes "Infoworld is running an article in which the author claims 'Linux is established and has a niche that, as various pendulums swing, will grow and shrink. Show me charts and stats and benchmarks that prove Linux superior to Windows in every measure and I'll not argue with you. But no matter how much money and dedication is poured into Linux, it will never put a dent in Windows' mind share or market share because Linux is an operating system, a way -- and probably the best way -- to make system hardware do what it's told. But you can't turn Linux into a platform even if you brand it, box it, and put a pricey sticker on it.'"

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1054 comments

Yeah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232472)

FP!!!!

Re:Yeah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232482)

sp!!!!!!!

I think he's right (2, Insightful)

DenDave (700621) | about 9 years ago | (#12232474)

In the sense that GNU/Linux is not a platform.

Re:I think he's right (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232484)

No...GNU/Linux *is* a platform, Linux is just a kernel.

Re:I think he's right (3, Insightful)

DenDave (700621) | about 9 years ago | (#12232512)

If GNU/Linux was a platform, in the sense that MacOSX or Windows 2003 was a platform then how come you need to recompile software depending on your distro or hardware ?

Re:I think he's right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232578)

If you're a software vendor and you're actually doing that, the reason for it is simply that you don't know what you're doing. Perhaps you should consider employing a developer who understand UNIX and Linux?

Re:I think he's right (5, Insightful)

eturro (804858) | about 9 years ago | (#12232601)

Many GNU/Linux users don't compile their own binaries anymore. There are almost always precompiled binaries for GNU/Linux, that mainly depend on which hardware architecture you use (e.g. SPARC, x86, PPC). This would happen with Windows (x86) and Mac OS X (PPC) also if they supported multiple hardware platforms! It's just that GNU/Linux allows you to choose your own architecture if you so wish. It's an advantage.

Re:I think he's right (5, Interesting)

ssj_195 (827847) | about 9 years ago | (#12232647)

Way back last year, I installed UT04 on my Mandrake 10 (lol) Linux machine (finding the installer hidden away on the first CD was an unexpected delight; finding that it was just as slick as the Windows installer, even more so). I installed it on its own partition, as was the style at the time.

Flash forward to now: I have worked my way through the following distros, by doing a full wipe-and-reinstall each time:

Mandrake 10 (as mentioned);

Mandrake 10.1;

Gentoo(lol)

Each time, as soon as the nVidia binary driver was installed, UT04 would start and run without a single tweak being made to the UT04 install.

The lesson to learn is this: although the majority of open-source Linux software is not self-contained (and this is by conscious design) and has dependencies that need to be tracked-down and installed first, there is no reason at all why a company can't just package up everything it needs in one big self-contained lump, eliminating the need for dependencies or the need to run on a specific distro entirely. As for the comment that you need to recompile for different hardware: I have no idea what you're talking about. Clearly, if you have a x86 app, it will need to be re-compiled to run at full speed on a PPC system - a difficulty not encountered in the Windows world for the sole reason that Windows is only capable of running on x86, and similary for MacOSX.

I suspect I've just been feeding a troll, but oh well - who cares? :)

Re:I think he's right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232652)

Okay, I _guess_ that explains why my old SuSE RPMs work fine on MDK10.1.
Not saying that there are no problems though, but none that can't be fixed. Look up "DLL hell" on google and tell me Windows has no such problems.
As far as "recompiling depending on hardware" goes, well, you're just gonna have to figure that one out on your own.

Re:I think he's right (5, Insightful)

Dr. Evil (3501) | about 9 years ago | (#12232634)

Yeah, a moving platform. With countless widget sets, multiple clipboards, different directory structures, an infinite number of combinations and permutations of shared libraries, and just as many sources of outdated, incorrect, misleading or utterly superb documentation, and crap vendors like Redhat which drop version support in a third the time of Microsoft.

One place where GNU/Linux is relatively stable is in POSIX and a vague semblence of commonly accepted extensions to the standard. That makes it a nice platform for server software, but does nothing on the desktop.

Windows was never an OS. It contains an OS, they changed OSes in the product lifetime, but the product has always been a desktop environment and a consistent, well documented, and long-supported API.

The Penquin Speaks... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232478)

"crap"

Re:The Penquin Speaks... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232493)

I've never ben so early in a thread before, but I agree. There's too little standardization for Linux to become an OS.

Trollbait (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232481)

What a trollbait of an article.

A sure way to get the lunix lunatics to come out of the woodwork.

Excellent Article! (5, Funny)

bigtallmofo (695287) | about 9 years ago | (#12232487)

Let's start with the unsensational headline of "Linux Can't Kill Windows", follow through the article to no rational arguments as to why this is, and ending with a "Stay tuned; I'll tell you all about it."

Seems like a well-thought out article that certainly wasn't created for the purpose of increasing impressions or generating clicks to advertisers on the site.

Re:Excellent Article! (2, Funny)

leuk_he (194174) | about 9 years ago | (#12232540)

And /. and even you who read the misses the whole point he tried to make:

"here is only one platform that can stand toe-to-toe with Windows, and that's the combination of OS X and Java."

All the other part is a troll/ Sarcasiscally/flaimbait material to get your attention. In other words, excellent slash front page material.

Re:Excellent Article! (3, Funny)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | about 9 years ago | (#12232607)

All the other part is a troll/ Sarcasiscally/flaimbait material to get your attention. In other words, excellent slash front page material.

Mabye this is why I can't seem to get a submission accepted...I'm just not being inflammatory enough.

Re:Excellent Article! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232645)

Naah...it's just that your submissions are originial.

Haven't you heard? Slashdot only accepts dupes [slashdot.org] anymore.

Re:Excellent Article! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232554)

"Linux Can't Kill Windows"

BLASPHEMY!!! I shall have your first born for this treason!!!

Re:Excellent Article! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232615)

It is a year ago that I lost you.
I hope you still watch over me from the heaven.
You were my first girlfriend in my life.
I was so glad to have such a wonderful girlfriend like you. I was really happy.
But everything changed when you were suddenly diagnosed with leukemia. It was so painful to watch you languishing day by day on the hospital bed.
You sometimes smiled and said, "I didn't know that hospital is such a boring place."
Did you know that I was crying behind your back every time after I saw your weak smile?
I gave you my old laptop so that you could spend your time on surfing the Internet. I vividly remember your happy face at that time.
That way, you started the Internet.
You especially liked the BBS called "2-channel." You accessed to the BBS all the day.
One day, you said with your accustomed smile,
"Look! I got a 2-GET again!"
"You shouldn't access to the Internet all the day. It is bad for your health," I said.
"I know, but look! This 3rd guy says, '2-GET!' But actually he didn't, you know? It's so funny, isn't it?"
I didn't say anything more. I couldn't, because you looked so happy.
"Look! This 3rd guy is now saying, 'Damn!' He is using funny ASCII art! He is a kind of cute, isn't it?"
I was just silent. Seeing your smile, I felt inexpressibly sad.
Then, she sighed, "I hope he will remember..."
"...I hope he will remember that he was snatched his '2' by someone he had never met. I hope he will remember it even after I've gone away...Well, I know it is not likely, but I hope..."

Several months later, you left the world, surrounded by your family and me.

You are not in the world any more.
And now I am clicking the F5 key again and again.
So that the 3rd guy will remember you.
So that he will remember you forever and ever.
Now, together with you in the heaven, I will here engrave:
2 G E T

Re:Excellent Article! (3, Informative)

mallumax (712655) | about 9 years ago | (#12232638)

"Businesses and organizations of all sizes need consistent, predictable, scalable, self-contained platforms for server solutions. Windows wins. Linux doesn't lose, because it can continue the legacy of another nonplatform, namely Unix, that needs to be refreshed and extended."

Linux isn't scalable ? It runs on everything from ARM to huge supercomputer clusters.

Consistent ? I will give it to him that across distributions linux is not consistent but businesses use RHEL or Novell against which all major applications like Oracle are certified.Within these distributions things are largely consistent.

Predictable ? What is unpredictable about Linux ?

What does self-contained mean ?

Doesn't this article give the feeling the author has no clue about what he is talking about and has just put together some buzzwords like scalable, self-contained to create a controversial article?

Long term impact (4, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | about 9 years ago | (#12232490)

I didn't read the article.

But history has shown that the short term impact of most new things tend to be over-estimated, whereas the long term impact tends to be under-estimated.

Who knows where Linux will be in 20 years? I sure as hell don't, but I have a rather optimistic view.

Re:Long term impact (1)

latroM (652152) | about 9 years ago | (#12232519)

Who knows where Linux will be in 20 years? I sure as hell don't, but I have a rather optimistic view.

It will be obsoleted by the Hurd. I would be more interested in the advancement of Free Software.

Re:Long term impact (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232526)

I didn't read the article.

you must be old here.

Re:Long term impact (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232538)

History has also shown that advertising/marketing is key.

This requires a brand, a singular brand.

Will the various distros of Linux actually be its downfall?

Re:Long term impact (1)

bahwi (43111) | about 9 years ago | (#12232556)

Hey, you can't break up Ma Bell, it's just too big of a company! It'll never happen. Impossible.

Oh, wait...

Tipping point. (1)

MisanthropicProgram (763655) | about 9 years ago | (#12232609)

Maybe ...eventually? GNU/Linux will hit a tipping point (see this [amazon.com] ) and catch on like wildfile. After all, a lot of foriegn countries are using it over Windows and a lot of those foreign (non -US) countries are fast growing economies.

You should be optimisitic (5, Interesting)

SerpentMage (13390) | about 9 years ago | (#12232653)

I regularly use three platforms; Windows, Linux (Fedora) and OSX. Conclusion? I cringe at having to use Windows. I find that once you learn UNIX it is faster to get anything done. Albeit you have to learn UNIX.

Now having said that, what I see more off are peacock articles. All fluff and very little facts because the three operating systems are TOO similar. Compare it to cars. These days all of the cars are good enough! They will last four years without too many problems. So then how do you distinguish yourself? Write articles like a peacock struts its feathers, all emotional.

The easiest way to illustrate this peacock argument is to take a bushman from the jungle and get them to figure out what a computer does. Without helping them. My guess is that the bushman will have a hard time figuring out what the mouse is for. Most likely they will use the mouse as a slingshot and head back into the jungle. I am not saying that bushmen are dumb. I am saying that computers require some upfront learning time regardless of the OS used.

Huh? (1, Insightful)

Quixote (154172) | about 9 years ago | (#12232492)

Show me charts and stats and benchmarks that prove Linux superior to Windows in every measure and I'll not argue with you.

Show me charts and stats and benchmarks that prove Windows superior to Linux in every measure and I'll agree with you.

Not flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232630)

It was what I thought, too. The guy puts an impossible requirement (more user-friendly, yet more secure?) and that's it.

Re:Huh? (1)

Chewbacon (797801) | about 9 years ago | (#12232637)

In every measure? What about the ones that count? I'm a linux user at home, but Microsoft pays the bills at work. You know how often I have to restart Windows Server 2003? At least once every other week for whatever reason. A lot more often than I have to start my linux server at home. I've never had to restart linux for anything other than a new kernel.

Last week:
"Why did you have to restart that server?"
"We were having a lot of problems." Problems being unexplainable slip-ups in Windows Server 2003.

Re:Huh? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232640)

haha.

we have some big fans of http://www.linuxsucks.org/ around here today.

That's ok.

You keep your instable, expensive, virus attracting, worm attracting, spyware attracting, resource-consuming, akward firewall using, system.

And I'll stick to my inferior Debian 'Sid'. I'd rather just get work done rather then looking around on the internet for shareware apps.

Mindset (5, Insightful)

CypherXero (798440) | about 9 years ago | (#12232495)

It's the mindset of most people that keep them from using Linux. They've been using DOS and Windows for YEARS, and they're so familar with how things are, that changing that even slightly is very confusing for most people. If Linux had been in Windows place, and had 90% of the market, people would LOVE Linux and HATE Windows. Simple as that.

For example, my dad is a Windows person, and his SO has a Mac with OS X. He can't seem to understand how OS X works, so he dissmisses it and claims that Windows is better (on the fact that he knows how to use Windows).

It's not that Windows is "special", it's just that that's all most people know. And half those people don't know much, if anything, about Windows anyway, so it's no wonder Linux has a difficult time trying to enter the mainstream market.

Re:Mindset (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232557)

That is funny. I work in technical support. I would argue with your assumption people like windows because they know how to use it. Most people have no clue how to use windows.

Re:Mindset (5, Insightful)

harley_frog (650488) | about 9 years ago | (#12232618)

It's not that Windows is "special", it's just that that's all most people know. And half those people don't know much, if anything, about Windows anyway, so it's no wonder Linux has a difficult time trying to enter the mainstream market.

Excellent point. Any OS is "difficult to learn" to a complete newbie. Someone familiar with only one OS will think that OS is the greatest and everything else is "subpar". While those users who know two or more OSes well can more easily transition from one to another, even to a totally new and unfamiliar OS. Therefore, in order for Linux or OSX to really make a major dent in the desktop arena, users need to be exposed and educated about them. That, of course, requires that the in-fighting between the various Linux distro fanboys needs to be put aside and join forces to make this happen. And that is a huge hurdle to overcome.

Re:Mindset (2, Insightful)

P-Nuts (592605) | about 9 years ago | (#12232644)

It's not that Windows is "special", it's just that that's all most people know. And half those people don't know much, if anything, about Windows anyway, so it's no wonder Linux has a difficult time trying to enter the mainstream market.

Why is everyone so worried about whether Linux gains market share over Windows anyway. The people who do use it find it works for them, and are a large enough base that it will continue to improve.

Regular desktop users (non power users, non programmers) are unlikely to do much in the way of submitting patches, or writing new software.

As long as we can all still use Linux or other open-source software, what does it matter what the rest of the world does?

I'm sorry (4, Interesting)

A beautiful mind (821714) | about 9 years ago | (#12232497)

This is just sensationalism. If you look at for example the server market, or the governments sector, linux is already beating up windows.

My long term projection would be, that Linux will push Windows into a third of the market, something like 1/3 linux, 1/3 windows and 1/3 else.

This article is -1 flamebait (5, Insightful)

Ckwop (707653) | about 9 years ago | (#12232498)

Will the /. editors stop posting flamebait articles?

Simon.

Re:This article is -1 flamebait (1)

Albert Pussyjuice (675113) | about 9 years ago | (#12232566)

Could you stop signing your name to posts? It's fucking queer.

Dad.

Re:This article is -1 flamebait (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232627)

Wow do you feel like a big man now , i bet you do and not in the sence you mean

I disagree (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232499)

"But you can't turn Linux into a platform even if you brand it, box it, and put a pricey sticker on it."

What does branding it, boxing it and putting on a price tag, have to do with a tool doing a job?

Re:I disagree (5, Funny)

paulhar (652995) | about 9 years ago | (#12232550)

> What does branding it, boxing it and putting on a price tag, have to do with a tool doing a job?

Who? The editor?

Re:I disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232604)

Sir, I salute you your excellent play on words. Were I to have modpoints, you would be in possession of a funny one already.

Vaguest article... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232500)

...of all time? I could barely extract a single coherent, definite statement out of that. I'm not even sure why I'm typing out this post; the only justified response would be a post consisting of the single word:

what

Very poor indeed.

I disagree (5, Interesting)

suso (153703) | about 9 years ago | (#12232505)

Last week I gave a class [suso.org] about Linux to 4 people who haven't used it yet. They were blown away because they didn't realize it had a desktop and all the fancy programs that Windows has. I think what really is hurting Linux is just myth. That myth is that Linux is just a text interface for servers or something like that.

Re:I disagree (3, Insightful)

bradhannah (858646) | about 9 years ago | (#12232599)

This problem is that Linux is still largely a text interface if you want to tap into any of its power.

Go a week without using a shell. Easier said than done. I am a Windows/*Nix developer and I assure you Linux may be easier than Solaris, but it still has nothing on usability of Windows.

For example, when I started using Linux back with Mandrake 6.0, I remember how friggin hard it was to change the screen resoltion in my xwindows session. Mandrake 10 is only mildly better.

Apps like KDE should be largely the focus of the believers that Linux "is" the solution for home users. There are assumptions that Windows users make about where they should find widgets and configuration items. Unfortunately KDE (maybe gnome, but it is junk anyway :> ) just doesn't put them where they are used to seeing them.

Brad

Linux can't kill Windows... (1)

Digital Warfare (746982) | about 9 years ago | (#12232511)

But I'm sure we get get Gatesy and his crew pretty good ! ;)
Seriously though, I don't think it will Kill it... yet, all in good time my fellow geeks

Fight network effects (5, Insightful)

zoobab (201383) | about 9 years ago | (#12232515)

A way to fight network effect is to have platform independent applications.

The web is a first step.

XUL and other technologies like thsi is one step is the right direction.

Open and RF standards are also a key in this process.

Wow (2, Insightful)

metlin (258108) | about 9 years ago | (#12232516)

What kinda trollish article is that?

Linux is a very broad platform - in fact, if you looked at Windows, what's common between Windows 3.1, 95/98, ME and XP?

Hell, most programs can't even inter-operate. How the hell is this different from the variety in Linux?

Linux is a VERY broad platform and that will be the reason why it WILL become THE platform, not just A platform.

-2, Troll, Flamebait.

What an asshole. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232517)

Mod me insightful..

If you want to RTFA, but give no ad click bonus... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232518)

Linux Can't Kill Windows
One fundamental difference guarantees that Windows will continue to dominate

By Tom Yager
April 13, 2005

You can quit proclaiming Linux the Windows killer.

ADVERTISEMENT

Linux is established and has a niche that, as various pendulums swing, will grow and shrink. Show me charts and stats and benchmarks that prove Linux superior to Windows in every measure and I'll not argue with you. But no matter how much money and dedication is poured into Linux, it will never put a dent in Windows' mind share or market share because Linux is an operating system, a way -- and probably the best way -- to make system hardware do what it's told. But you can't turn Linux into a platform even if you brand it, box it, and put a pricey sticker on it.

Businesses and organizations of all sizes need consistent, predictable, scalable, self-contained platforms for server solutions. Windows wins. Linux doesn't lose, because it can continue the legacy of another nonplatform, namely Unix, that needs to be refreshed and extended.

The practical need to keep Unix around isn't rooted in nostalgia or misguided conviction. There may be times when you're convinced that the solution you need doesn't exist as a whole. The total solutions that exist might be too confining or expensive, or -- as is sometimes the showstopper for me -- simply closed. Open source Unix, in which category I place Linux, BSD, and Darwin (the OS layer of Apple's OS X), is a 500,000-piece bag of Legos that comes with some drawings and a few models you can use, build on, or tap into as references for your own creations. On paper, an OS is an ideal place to start building, because you get to choose everything that sits above it and presumably you know just what belongs in each of those gaps between your hardware and your application. You see, while developers can write to an operating system's default API, they'll spend most of their time encapsulating and abstracting low-level system calls to create what is, in effect, an application platform.

No one is so foolish as to make what can be acquired cheaply or free; it's wiser to pick one from among hundreds of platforms and modules that fill in the holes between open source Unix and your applications.

In contrast, Windows fills in all the blocks between the hardware and your apps. It does it in ways that you can't alter, but which you can use in different ways. You can code with the tools of your choice and in the programming language of your choice, and unless you stray too far from the rule book, everything you create will interoperate with everything others write for Windows. An operating system is a rack into which device drivers and APIs are inserted. A platform is a rack into which applications are inserted.

Linux and Windows don't compete. Sun Microsystems (Profile, Products, Articles) sees this as an opportunity and has struggled mightily to position the combination of Solaris and Java as a platform. It almost makes it. I'd choose J2EE and Solaris over Linux for nonuser-facing server applications in shops that have expert administrators. But, similar to Linux and other flavors of Unix, Solaris is a nonstarter on clients, and that's enough to hurt its capability of competing with Windows. There is only one platform that can stand toe-to-toe with Windows, and that's the combination of OS X and Java.

Stay tuned; I'll tell you all about it.

Re:If you want to RTFA, but give no ad click bonus (1, Funny)

Cronky (541988) | about 9 years ago | (#12232651)

Nice one.... Well nice bit of copyright infringement (??) anyway ;-)

it's not about killng (5, Interesting)

Jearil (154455) | about 9 years ago | (#12232522)

Linux isn't really about killing Windows off.. whoever thought that the primary idea behind Linux when it was created was to make MS go bankrupt and for no one in the world to ever use Windows is a bit dilusional. Linux is an alternative. It's a choice. The same thing could be said in reverse: Windows Can't Kill Linux.

There's too many people who are interested with tinkering.. with having something being totally customizable if they take their time. With being free and able to run their computer the way they want. Is this the majority of people? Not even close! But it's enough that Linux will sustain itself in spite of any FUD MS and crew would throw at it.

Who cares if Linux never overtakes Windows? I know before I discovered it in '98, I thought I was doomed to the endless update/virus/adware world that everyone else was in (except those crazy mac people.. which now due to the mac mini I am one as well.. side tracking....)

Anyway, the point being.. Linux is strong due to it's following, and has great potential to do quite a few things Windows has troubles with. The choice is there for anyone to pick up that option if they so choose. What's the big deal?

Lets troll! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232523)

TROLL!

Easy reply (1)

elgatozorbas (783538) | about 9 years ago | (#12232528)

Show me charts and stats and benchmarks that prove Windows superior to Linux in every measure and I'll not argue with you.

Unfortunately, on short term the guy is probably right.

Wrong wrong wrong (4, Interesting)

Weaselmancer (533834) | about 9 years ago | (#12232529)

From the article:

Businesses and organizations of all sizes need consistent, predictable, scalable, self-contained platforms for server solutions.

I thought Windows was winning on the desktop? Isn't that what we're always hearing?

Linux and Windows don't compete.

Ok, so the whole "Get The Facts" campaign was done just for grins?

Open source Unix, in which category I place Linux, BSD, and Darwin (the OS layer of Apple's OS X), is a 500,000-piece bag of Legos that comes with some drawings and a few models you can use, build on, or tap into as references for your own creations.

Also wrong. There are distros that are like that, but there are distros that aren't. Linux offers choice, and not just the "bag of Legos" kind.

And, just in case the article author reads this...ever hear of Wine? As soon as Wine gets DCOM working correctly and Installshield working right, it won't matter to Joe User if the OS is Linux or Windows, just so long as he can install TurboTax and Doom3. Check back in a few years, and we'll see if you're singing a different tune.

I agree (1)

PhreakinPenguin (454482) | about 9 years ago | (#12232535)

before I read the article I agreed with the statements. And yes, I did read it. I think that people are finally starting to realise, at least in the OSS community that linux will never overtake Windows in the desktop market. Why? Because people, IE the general public, associate computers with Windows. If it says made for Windows XP on a new workstation, the average Joe is going to feel comfortable. If it says, made for Linux, people aren't going to feel as comfortable. Just ask Redhat how well packaging up linux for the desktop worked out for them. It worked so well that they abandoned it in favor of the server/enterprise market. A place where they already had a huge share. Trust me, if anyone could have swung the desktop momentum it was Redhat and you see how that turned out.

It's a "distribution" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232536)

Linux itself may be simply an operating system, but since you find it packaged with such a plethora of applications all bundled together in various distributions, I think it is safe to say that Linux can hold its own. Further, some distributions might better server an enterprise's needs thereby making a more desirable choice.

Only windows can kill windows (2, Interesting)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | about 9 years ago | (#12232537)

Linux has a geekey feeling to it. Probably, Joe sixpack will never have means to replace his PC with a Dell packaged linux, either due to his lack of geek-ness, or due to penetration of windows in his (and everybody else's) mind (unknowinlgy).

Its upto Windows now to kill itself - by exposing itself to hacks, viruses, trojans. If the situation reaches to a point where windows is *completely* f*cked-up, then may be linux will see more and more interest - being the only cheap alternate to ship somehting to Joe.

Typical (1)

dasOp (781405) | about 9 years ago | (#12232539)

Writing that article in the first place is sure to feed the flame before the average /. crowd even reads it.

But posting it on /., now thats pouring gallons of kerosine on it.

Opinions (3, Insightful)

lemnik (835774) | about 9 years ago | (#12232541)

Linux cannot make a dent??? I'd say it already has, else why is M$ running "Get the facts"?

That said, there is an important point here: Linux probably won't "kill" windows, it will be RedHat, or Mandrake, or Debian, or even Linspire :/

Linux at it's heart is nothing more than a Kernel, it's a GNU/Linux distro that people ultimatly install (mostly anyway).

Re:Opinions (1)

Xarius (691264) | about 9 years ago | (#12232574)

That said, there is an important point here: Linux probably won't "kill" windows, it will be RedHat, or Mandrake, or Debian, or even Linspire :/

Linux at it's heart is nothing more than a Kernel, it's a GNU/Linux distro that people ultimatly install (mostly anyway).


Someone mod this guy +1, pedantic

True, but for the wrong reasons (4, Insightful)

ites (600337) | about 9 years ago | (#12232542)

Linux as a brand cannot compete with Windows, because Linux is not a brand, not a product. There is not even a single definition of what "Linux" is, except a bunch of software running on top of a specific kernel.

Even the concept of "competition" is a straw man.

Linux represents a total, brutal, and unstoppable commoditization of technology that follows the same rules which drive "Moore's Law". When you remove the costs of improving a technology, its marginal cost will fall to zero as people compete to be the key suppliers.

Software is basically becoming free, and this is what will kill Windows, whether or not it's something called "Linux" that takes over.

Most likely, "Linux" will never become more than a niche OS, excellent for servers but rare for desktops. But what it represents - unlimited and perfect software at no cost - will, inevitably, rule the desktop as it will rule every single computing platform, for the simple reason that no amount of lock-in or marketing is going to get people to keep paying more than the going rate for a commodity.

Apple's strategy - where the OS and a bunch of software is basically thrown in for free - is the trend of the future.

I hate to say it, because I truly love using Microsoft's well-engineered products, but between the commoditization of their core markets and the parasites eating their way in from the internets, they are dead, Linux or no Linux.

Re:True, but for the wrong reasons (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232631)

But what it represents - unlimited and perfect software at no cost - will, inevitably, rule the desktop as it will rule every single computing platform

Ahhh, you mean BSD.

Yes, BSD will eventually run over every other insecure OS.

Before everyone flames him (4, Interesting)

Raul654 (453029) | about 9 years ago | (#12232543)

His first sentence is right on the money - "Linux is established and has a niche". So the question is - what is holding it back? And here, he misses the bleeding obvious - every single one of his points (from TFA - the reasons to keep unix or windows around, the cost analysis, etc) is flatly wrong or misses the mark. The answer is, I think, obvious --- Linux is the OS designed by geeks, for geeks. It's the classic example of overengineering the wheel. The problem is, I have yet to see an interface for *nix that does as good as job as windows does of 'packing everything under the hood' and making an operating system that (as a friend of mine, the chief sysadmin for Connectiv would say) "protects users from their own stupidity". When someone can come up with an interface that is as intuitive and user-friendly as windows, then (and only then) can linux hope to compete in the desktop market.

Finally! (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 9 years ago | (#12232544)

Someone speaks the truth! Now, can we get on with life? And if you want to make a serious dent in MS Windows, let's develop a better OS targeted directly for the desktop user. That is if someone [yellowtab.com] hasn't beaten us too it.

Mod Article Down? (-1, Offtopic)

n0dalus (807994) | about 9 years ago | (#12232548)

If someone posted anything like this as a reply, they'd get modded down. Why should we care what this guy thinks?
In 5 years time Linux will be so different that making statements like this now is completely stupid.

Muddled thinking ahoy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232558)

What exactly is this "Platform" he keeps talking about? The author doesn't even touch on the idea. How is Windows a "platform" and Linux not? Apparantly it's because "Windows fills in all the blocks between the hardware and your apps. It does it in ways that you can't alter, but which you can use in different ways." Oh, well that's clear then.

"You can code with the tools of your choice and in the programming language of your choice, and unless you stray too far from the rule book, everything you create will interoperate with everything others write for Windows." which as we all know, is nothing at all exactly like Linux and UNIX oh-no!

According to the author "An operating system is a rack into which device drivers and APIs are inserted. A platform is a rack into which applications are inserted." Yes, and a toaster is a beige fish into which sunbeams are rotated. Pass me the acid, Tom Yager!

Well... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232559)

It won't kill Windows. But it certainly will kill BSD. BSD is dying.

The author's lack of insight is apparent (1)

bersl2 (689221) | about 9 years ago | (#12232560)

The point never has been to obliterate Windows.

At best, the "Linux on the desktop" goal is to have enough users so that everyone sees it as a primary platform. There needs to be enough users that it becomes economically viable to always consider a native Linux port for any application.

But of course, people like the author don't understand the concept of coexistence.

What is he using? (1)

xtracto (837672) | about 9 years ago | (#12232569)

You don't use an OS that you don't like, and if that's not true (e.g. you're forced to use a pre-installed OS), then you probably wouldn't know any better alternative if you've been using only one OS.

If a Linux-only user said Windows is better, or vice versa, what does that mean? How does he come to this conclusion? The most credible answers should be from Multi-OS users.

OS X and Java (-1, Flamebait)

bmw (115903) | about 9 years ago | (#12232570)

There is only one platform that can stand toe-to-toe with Windows, and that's the combination of OS X and Java.

Please... Please... For the love of God... Not Java.

Is there anything more bloated and slow? This p4 loads firefox in about 2 seconds yet most Java apps still bring it to its knees without even doing anything special! It's truly incredible.

What content? (1)

Martz (861209) | about 9 years ago | (#12232571)

TFA has more advertisements, navigation and extra widgets around it that content. It's certainly not conclusive, it's someones opinion based on what appears to be very little fact and lots of speculation. However, like others say - for me as a linux desktop user and server administrator - it doesn't matter to me what the market share of linux is. The only people it matters too are the corporations and I very much doubt we'll see them saying "Yes, it's happened.. our product has slipped from 95% to 20%. We lost out to the better product". Hrm!

Not possible to kill Windows (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232579)


Linux can't kill Windows...Windows is already dead!!!

GggrrrrrrrararraaaaBRAINSrrrargggh!

FPLOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232580)

linux might stand a chance if all the various desktops didn't look like crap

There is No Compedition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232582)

Linux and Windows, in my personal opinion, isn't suppost to be compeditive. Windows is more user friendly but Linux is safer to use.

People use Windows because that's what they were taught in school (like I am now). I'm in high school in my technology essentials class. We're runnings Windows XP Professional.

If Linux was suppost to be capible, then there wouldn't been any hard working programmers to work on creating software... why bother with something that's already perfect?

But think about it, would you but a normal home Windows XP computer on the internet for your business? You'd have to be out of your mind, that's why's there's Linux... to power everthing else that Windows can't.

Linux OS (1)

IEEEMonkey (669772) | about 9 years ago | (#12232584)

It really is too bad that he is right. I have used Linux since 1994 and I have always thought of it as my tool. I have had consulting jobs where I did not even consider installing Linux, plain and simply because the customer would never have been able to support it. The IT staff was two people, one who knew how to turn on the computers and servers and one who knew how to crash them. Not being one of those people who builds in repeat work I really had no choice in OSes. I might disagree that the Apple OS cannot replace Windows, theoretically, but practically it cannot. Bill Gates was smart early on by staying focused on DOS, licenses, and getting his OS on as many machines as possible. It is the sheer quantity that worked in Bill's favor and he is the, hands down, winner.

*pop* (0)

dlasley (221447) | about 9 years ago | (#12232586)

*fss...*

My bubble shielding me from reality just burst! OMG! Linux will not rule the world?!?!?

Seriously, two points:
- an opinion on InfoWorld is not exactly gospel;
- even though the Linux kernel and all the associated applications make for a nice developer platform, they don't all mesh into something that every PC manufacturer wants to preload on their systems, nor something that a majority of the public wants to rush out and buy every time a version update is released. But why is that a bad thing? Linux and the rest of GNU are wonderful for those of us who want to develop on, maintain, or simply enjoy the use of a stable and flexible "platform". SFW - it never gets a huge market share, winds up directed by market-droids and Executive Vice Presidents in search of ridiculous yearly bonuses. I don't see the downside, as long as there are still folks who buy it for certain uses and license it for even more (not to mention those of us who test and contribute whenever time allows). Wasn't that a key tenet of GNU from the beginning ... ?

My $0.02, adjusted for inflation

Linux can't kill windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232587)

Yeah right.
sudo cat /dev/urandom > /dev/hda1

Let it run for a while :o)

-r

Devoid of content? (1)

Alioth (221270) | about 9 years ago | (#12232588)

I agree that Linux isn't going to kill Windows - even if Linux suddenly becomes a huge runaway success, there will still be Windows.

However, the article's reasoning is devoid of content. It goes on about how Linux 'isn't a platform' [for servers], just an OS. Of course, Linux is just a kernel. But he's saying that as if there aren't things that run on the Linux kernel (like, say, Apache, PHP, PostgreSQL/MySQL, Perl etc. for large values of etc.) that come with any distribution that you are actually going to end up using which in my book (and any sane person's book) DOES make a platform and addresses all the things he reckons Linux doesn't have.

The article isn't comparing like with like - it's comparing the full Windows server distribution with the Linux kernel alone (or perhaps just Linux + the GNU tools and C compiler), but completely ignoring all the stuff that comes with a server-oriented distro.

The article was either written by someone who has never used a recent (within the last 6 years or so) Linux distro, or someone who is trolling.

Nothing to see here. Move along. (1)

petrus4 (213815) | about 9 years ago | (#12232591)

Just another pundit trying to secure his livelihood by promoting the status quo. I've commented on that particular syndrome before. The way that I know that that is what he is doing is because he says he can't refute Linux's technical superiority...but then goes on to claim that Windows is better overall, which they all do. By initially making the technical concession first, and then making their second claim, they try to have their cake and eat it...appear to have journalistic integrity while still maintaining the status quo.

I agree with one of the earlier comments that the editors need to start screening articles of this nature more carefully. They don't tell us anything we don't know, or that hasn't been said before.

The author of this article is right in one respect, though...Strictly speaking, Linux won't kill Windows...Microsoft are going to be responsible for their own demise, to a large degree.

nonarticle (1)

lliquidcamel (859338) | about 9 years ago | (#12232594)


I'd just like to say that this article is a hedgehog, a way, and probably th best way -- to obfuscate and confuse -- but you can't turn this article into truth. You can put a picture of a guy, and a title - and even put it on a wed site - but you can't turn this drool into a another nonarticle - it already is one. ... Stay tuned; I'll tell you about it.

Who cares? (1)

R.Caley (126968) | about 9 years ago | (#12232603)

Real beer will never kill Budweiser and Tennants Export. Doesn't make a bit of difference to anyone sane. The important issue is to have the option to drink beer, not that you don't have the option to drink what you wouldn't want to drink anyway.

*Somebody's* going to kill Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232606)

And in this horse race, Linux is the favorite.

But in any horse race, even the favorite will probably lose. He may be the single horse most likely to win, but I'd bet "field" and take all the rest any time I could.

Horseshit. (1)

torpor (458) | about 9 years ago | (#12232616)

You can so turn Linux into a platform.

The way you do that is wrap hardware around it.

Enough said.

Should it? (1)

bcmm (768152) | about 9 years ago | (#12232621)

I for one don't want "Linux to kill Windows" any more than I want "Firefox to kill IE".

Ideally, Windows should die and everyone should be free to run the same programs on anything POSIXish they have around: Linux, BSD, OS X, Solaris, etc., just as IE should die and everyone should be able to use and W3C compliant browser.

When all the apps/web pages are compatible with all the OSs/browsers, people will use what is best because there will be nothing to make it hard to switch.

wont happen that way (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 9 years ago | (#12232622)

Linux wont kill Windows, microsoft will commit corporate suiscide, (from shooting itself in the foot too many times)

Yes and No (1)

brontus3927 (865730) | about 9 years ago | (#12232623)

One the one hand, I can see where the author is coming from. I'd think if Apple was going to grab a considerable marketshare of the desktop marketshare (Techwhack reports it at 2.9% right now [techwhack.com] ). However, the Mac Mini seems to be a popular box and could help to take another bite out of the market.

On the other hand, I think the single biggest reason (beyond that users have "grown up" with Windows) that Linux is such a minor player in the desktop market is lack of applications, a problem plauging the Apple platform. I read an article a few months back (no link sorry) where the author claimed that 5% marketshare would be the tipping point for linux, where it would snowball. Once linux gets enough marketshare, software manufacturers have to release linux ports or risk alienating a strong userbase. Once there are major applications for linux, more users will use it. More users mean more applications, which mean more users.

Ouch,....but that never was the REAL point. (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | about 9 years ago | (#12232629)

Where I work I would NEVER replace the Windows desktops with Linux ones. People are too familiar with Windows and it IS a standard at least in that regard.

What I advocate, and do, is use Linux where it counts, the servers. Being a Perl developer I am always creating great apps that the MS people can't match in my establishment and I do it with the LAMP methodology (Linux/Apache/MySQL/Perl). Doing it cheaper and better is what keeps Linux there AND growing. Right now I am using Open Source to run a survey app collecting data via PDFs and backing it into the MySQL db. The alternative? Spending 60K to another contractor that wanted to use a MS solution.

I only see Linux growing where I am, especially now thatwe've started on a campaign to replace Solaris with Linux.

As long as we are having budget problems like every other agency we're going to up the Linux usage especially when we can do things like save 60K in one pop like this.

Evidence one way or the other (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232641)

Can anyone point to empirical evidence one way or another that Linux has gained any significant desktop traction in the last five years? I see nothing of any note. The only thing I can find is 1% of all Google users, as of June 2004, and it hadn't altered from that since I remember Zeitgeist starting.

Platform is the new buzzword (2, Interesting)

ehack (115197) | about 9 years ago | (#12232643)

Platform is the new brand buzzword. Windows is a Platform. Anything that does not have rock-firm foundations is a platform - ie what used to be called middleware before. By that standard, the GNU utilities are a platform, Linux is not.

Well that was a load of nonsense (1)

pjc50 (161200) | about 9 years ago | (#12232648)

The article claims that Windows is a "platform" for application development, and that UNIX of all kinds is a "non-platform". He then goes on to say that OSX+Java is a platform. Huh?

Clearly he's not heard of the LAMP way of building applications, which could just as easily be called a "platform".

Anyone care to define "platform" sensibly?

Yep, just like strawberries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12232655)

will never knock banannas out of the produce market...

and don't forget
apple
sun
and allthose exotic fruits
HPUX appears headed toward extinction though

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