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Novell Expects Vista to Spur Linux Adoption

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the driving-them-into-the-arms-of-the-penguin dept.

Novell 444

It doesn't come easy writes "According to the Register, Novell expects the cost of upgrading to Vista will encourage many companies to turn to Linux instead. From the article: 'Jack Messman, chief executive of networking software vendor Novell says that 2006 will see widespread adoption of Linux on the corporate desktop. According to Messman the catalyst will be the release of Microsoft Windows Vista and the high costs associated with upgrading. Obviously, if they're right Novell hopes that turn will be toward SUSE Linux.'" We touched on this issue late last month, as well.

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Well... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552390)


News? (5, Insightful)

RobertF (892444) | about 9 years ago | (#13552397)

They've been saying this each time Windows releases something. Hasn't come true yet. So you decide, is Linux adoption "10 Years Off" or will it become mainstream with Vista's release? Or are they one in the same? All of this is merely speculation.

Re:News? (4, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 9 years ago | (#13552507)

This time around, from the hardware specs alone, if it doesn't spur widespread adoption of Linux on the business desktop, it will spur widespread adoption of linux among honest poor people that get the business's 6-month old desktops and laptops that won't run Vista.

Re:News? (5, Insightful)

RobertF (892444) | about 9 years ago | (#13552553)

Why would they switch the operating system at all? Not everyone loves technology, they don't all go OMFG ITS A NEW VERSION OF MY SOFTWARE!!!! I MUST HAVE IT NOW!!! Especially when it comes to the operating system, most people just leave it as is. You know how many Windows 95 and 98 computers I've been cleaning up (spyware, adware, viri) these last few years? Many of them could run newer versions of Windows, but why would the people bother when their version works?

People want computers to just work. They don't have to install new Operating Systems for their microwave, why should they buy a new OS, especially when what they have works. Many corporations will sit with what they have until they replace their computers. So unless computer hardware venders start mainstream selling PC's with Linux installed, don't expect massive adoption.

Re:News? (3, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 9 years ago | (#13552729)

Why would they switch the operating system at all?

Primarily to keep the BSA nazis off their backs- when you get a computer free-for-carrying-off-site for your nonprofit or for home use you should ALWAYS reformat the hard drive and install a new OS. To do otherwise opens up your school children to being turned against you in a court of law by the BSA- as some teachers found out not to long ago. NO non-profit should ever be using Microsoft operating systems for that reason- it's just to hard to keep track of the licensing on donated equipment, unless you acutally purchase new copies of the OS. And of course, Microsoft is really pushing people towards Linux- Win2000 and Win98 are already gone from store shelves, and I give XP about 6 months after Vista is released to disappear.

Not everyone loves technology, they don't all go OMFG ITS A NEW VERSION OF MY SOFTWARE!!!! I MUST HAVE IT NOW!!! Especially when it comes to the operating system, most people just leave it as is. You know how many Windows 95 and 98 computers I've been cleaning up (spyware, adware, viri) these last few years? Many of them could run newer versions of Windows, but why would the people bother when their version works?

Different situation though- those are personal use machines that were purchased by people- I'm talking about the castoffs of corporations.

People want computers to just work. They don't have to install new Operating Systems for their microwave, why should they buy a new OS, especially when what they have works.

Because otherwise the BSA nazis invade- and if you don't have that paper license, it's several thousand per machine.

Many corporations will sit with what they have until they replace their computers.

Exactly- but when they do, the people they give the old computers to will go to Linux.

So unless computer hardware venders start mainstream selling PC's with Linux installed

You mean like Fry's does? For $400 less than a compariable Wintel System?

don't expect massive adoption.

Depends on your meaning of the term massive, doesn't it? I see linux growing in two areas on the desktop: Cheap NEW internet terminals with 1/3rd the power of what Vista needs just to run, and people who run organizations that live off of charity (like schools) that need an OS that will run on older hardware and has cheap licensing.

Re:News? (5, Insightful)

flatt (513465) | about 9 years ago | (#13552523)

Previous Windows releases didn't force you to buy a new monitor.

Should be interesting.

Re:News? (2, Interesting)

Attrition_cp (888039) | about 9 years ago | (#13552684)

Most people will just go out and buy a whole new computer with the operating system pre-installed though.

I use linux daily and enjoy it, but is it really ready for your standard mom-and-pop windows users anyways?

Re:News? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552710)

And this release, strangely enough, won't either.

No new monitor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552712)

You don't have to buy a new monitor. What you would get is a less than good version of the media played on your current one. No, I'm not defending MS (nor am I a MS fan) or anything, but we'll have to stick to facts.

Re:No new monitor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552755)

And supposing DVD Jon doesn't come up with a crack for BDA's disc Linux won't be able to play the stuff at all, new monitor or not.

Re:News? (1)

yammosk (861527) | about 9 years ago | (#13552566)

While I agree that the idea that Vista will spur people to switch to linux is far fetched, after all they are geared toward completely different types of users, Vista has spurred me to switch to Mactel when the come out. Perhaps it will have the same effect on others?

what makes vista special? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552400)

What makes him thing that anyone cares about updating? Even after the release of XP, look at all the 2000 and 98 boxes still in use. Why is the release of Vista going to have any more of an effect?

Re:what makes vista special? (0, Troll)

JPriest (547211) | about 9 years ago | (#13552724)

All the agruements are the same as the ones for XP mostly. "Who would want to use that fisher price version of win2k?" I say to myself...

We tried rolling out Linux (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552404)

I have to laugh when I read about all of these countries that are
supposedly leaving Windows and converting to Linux. Do these people
even have a clue as to what they are in for?
Do they even realize the immense amount of retraining required to move
to Linux?
Do they realize that the chances of their vertical in house
applications working is nil?
Do they understand that much of their hardware will not be supported?
Converting to Linux was a disaster for my company.

I know I'll be modded 'troll' for this, but its the truth.

I suspect that the answer to all of these questions and many more will
be no because Linux looks like a great alternative, until one looks
closer and sees all of the holes and troublesome problems that Linux

For my company, we would have had to replace over 2000 Brother
Multifunction printers with some model that worked with Linux. The
problem was that we could not find any equivilant.
We tried using the commercial version of Sun Openoffice and found it
buggy and totally incompatabile with Office. We tried sending
documents to our clients and they did not work too well.
It seems that Openoffice, even the pay for version has troubles being
read by Microsoft Office.

Another area that we had massive problems in was with video cards.
We were using ATI cards in our systems and it seems that Linux support
for ATI is pretty poor.

In conclusion, we have decided not to switch to Linux for the simple
reason that Linux does not offer us anything but headaches.
We don't want to downgrade out hardware to use Linux.
We don't wish to look like fools sends documents to clients and
suppliers that they cannot read.

Linux may be fine for some people, but it was a disaster for us.

Maria Quansett

Re:We tried rolling out Linux (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552537)

Hey, a new version of the "As a professional businesswoman" troll!! MS must be financing creative writing classes now.

Of course, as a representative of your "company," "Maria," I would think that little things like grammar and spelling would be of some importance if you wanted to influence anyone on Slashdot, let alone in the business world.

Remember, for a fantasy to be effective, it has to be believeable.

huh? why? (1, Redundant)

swimmar132 (302744) | about 9 years ago | (#13552411)

Assuming microsoft is not discontinuing support for Win2k or XP for some time, why would businesses be inclined to change what currently works for them?

Re:huh? why? (1)

w98 (831730) | about 9 years ago | (#13552477)

Well, since they've abandoned Win98, which is only two years older than Win2k, it makes me wonder if they're going to ditch Win2k at some point in the not-too-distant future (ie: in the two years it takes for Vista to come out, Win2k will be as old as Win98 is today)?

Wasn't there some talk a while back that some patches and fixes to IE were only going to happen to XP and nothing else? Maybe that was their first stage of alientating the Win2k users too in a move to get people in the mood to upgrade to something else?

Just my own speculation of course...

Re:huh? why? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | about 9 years ago | (#13552486)

They'll eventually change what currently works for them when Microsoft stops issuing fixes for new security holes in the software they are using. But in the meantime, yes, they'll continue using their old versions of Windows, just like half the Windows users out there are still using versions older than XP. Since Vista has been designed to suck on current hardware, and upgrading the OS is beyond the capabilities of most computer users, probably 99% of Vista sales will be as a preinstalled OS on new computers sold. (Of course, this preinstalled market is precisely the market the Linux vendors should be going after as well.)

Re:huh? why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552676)

just like half the Windows users out there are still using versions older than XP

Your statement is not true:

Win XP 66.3%
W2000 17.5%
Win 98 3.2%
Linux 3.3%
Mac 2.9%

Those are recent OS statistics from w3schools. So half of all windows users are not using versions older than XP. In fact the obvious majority of people appear to be using Win XP. I am sure that most of it is because of all the Dell, Gateway, eMachines, etc sold with WinXP preinstalled. So anyways I agree with your point about most people using whatever OS comes with their system, I just disagree with thinking that over half of windows users are not using XP.

win2k support (0, Troll)

Dink Paisy (823325) | about 9 years ago | (#13552628)

I agree that the discontinuation of Windows 2000 support is likely to have a much bigger impact on Linux migration. Also note that for most enterprises, the big costs will be installation and retraining, not licensing costs. So depending upon how Windows Vista looks in those departments, it could drive more people to Linux or it could make people who are currently looking at Linux stay with Windows.

If there are significant changes that are seen as positive, Windows Vista could well solidify Microsoft's hold on the corporate desktop. And a quick glance at the Office 12 screenshots ought to disprove the people who think that Microsoft isn't innovative. Although I'll withold judgement on whether this particular innovation is good or bad until I've actually used it. Which is likely what corporations will do when considering Windows Vista versus Linux, as well.

Apple (4, Insightful)

Bruha (412869) | about 9 years ago | (#13552412)

Could of easily been Apple on the receiving end of the influx.

However Apple does not seem interested in corporate clients past the Xserve.

Re:Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552498)

Could of? COULD OF?? What the heck does that mean? I keep seeing it post after post yet I am unable to make sense out of it.

Re:Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552582)

I see it a lot too. I assume these people mean 'could've'.

Re:Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552738)

Why would they choose Apple over Linux? If they're goal is to avoid upgrade costs, doesn't it make sense for them to use existing hardware?

Also (2, Interesting)

DanielNS84 (847393) | about 9 years ago | (#13552420)

With the lack of licensing problems a company can just make thousands of copies of a hard drive to be put in the company's desktops and say goodbye to a 3 week wait to get a crashed computer back up. (Assuming they use a standard computing platform throughout the company.)

Re:Also (1)

servicemaster (903088) | about 9 years ago | (#13552483)

The problem is that for a company big enough to cost-justify licensing, they're also big enough to get a huge discount from Microsoft...
and who wouldn't want to use software supported by a multi-billion dollar company? There's a slim chance they'll be around for a while (sarcasm) unlike their inhouse tech that will support their custom Linux distro....

That's where Novell comes in I guess, but still Microsoft will always have a huge advantage, just in sheer support power.

Re:Also (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552618)

That's where Novell comes in I guess, but still Microsoft will always have a huge advantage, just in sheer support power.

Support? What support? If I find a bug in Microsoft Office, do you think they will fix it and send me a new version? BS

At least I can pay an open source developer to fix bugs.

Re:Also (3, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 9 years ago | (#13552634)

That's where Novell comes in I guess, but still Microsoft will always have a huge advantage, just in sheer support power.

Spoken like someone who has never needed to use Microsoft's "sheer support power". That's one area where using Novell could end up being a big plus.

I agree with this... (3, Interesting)

Praedon (707326) | about 9 years ago | (#13552431)

Its not like Linux has a billion versions for each distro of Linux, they have versions that make sense, and fit the needs of the end user. What if Red Hat had: Red Hat Home Users, Red Hat Professional Home Users, Red Hat For Porn Users, yada yada... People wont know what the hell they are getting!! But besides all that, Im happy to say that the Linux community has made some major breakthroughs lately with such vast compatibility ports to many commercial products used today for those who are "stuck" on Windows Desktops.

Re:I agree with this... (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | about 9 years ago | (#13552451)

Unlike Fedora Core, (Redhat Free)Redhat WS, Redhat AS server, Redhat ES Server??

Re:I agree with this... (2, Interesting)

Loconut1389 (455297) | about 9 years ago | (#13552501)

Yeah, instead there's Mandrake, SuSE, Gentoo, Debian, Slackware, Fedora, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Mandriva, Knoppix, Lindows, Caldera, Ubuntu, Xandros, aLinux, Arch Linux, Beehive Linux, Black Cat Linux, Symphony OS, BSD, Open Solaris, and many many others [] ..

So much more simple ;o)

Re:I agree with this... (1)

Loconut1389 (455297) | about 9 years ago | (#13552529)

I just realized you said 'for each distro'.. oh well..

i guess my point was, there may not be 7 versions for each distro, but its still just as confusing to get into linux ;o)

Re:I agree with this... (1)

Praedon (707326) | about 9 years ago | (#13552544)

Ok, so theres a billion distributions... The fact remains, that Linux still won't cost as much, to deploy in a work force, compared to Vista.... Putting homework to the test, the Administrators obviously need to find the right distro thats right for his company, and go from there...

Re:I agree with this... (2, Informative)

MsGeek (162936) | about 9 years ago | (#13552691)

To be fair, there *are* a hell of a lot of Linux distros out there, and not every one of them interoperate. Red Hat split their development version, Fedora, off from the main trunk of their "Red Hat Enterprise," and there is a "CentOS" repackaging of "Red Hat Enterprise" because Red Hat will not allow people to use their brand name on a Free release of their product. There are other forks of Red Hat, most famous being Mandriva which was originally called Mandrake.

At least the Debian people are trying to bring together all the distros based on Debian and using apt/dpkg in one way or another. The Debian Common Core Alliance [] (DCCA [] )consists of just about every Debian-based distro out there save for Ubuntu. (Ubuntu is quite conspicuous in its absence in the DCCA, in my opinion!)

The idea is not to pull together a single Uber-distro, but make sure that apps packaged for one Debian-based distro will work on all others. Some people like plain old Debian. (like me.) Some people like GNU/LinEx because it's so pure. (like Richard Stallman.) Some people, like MEPIS because it's so easy and because SimplyMEPIS fits on one CD. (like my buddy in SFVLUG, Kurt.) And some people, Goddess help them, like Linspire. It takes all kinds.

It's too bad that Ubuntu won't join the DCCA. Ubuntu right now is pretty hot, they have a big fan base, and Kubuntu allows KDE people to join the fun too. I suppose the reason is that Ubuntu seems bent on forking Debian almost to where it's unrecognizable as Debian. To each their own, I suppose. It would be nice for all the "biggie" Debian-based distros to be able to work together.

However, there is a reason why Mandrake forked from Red Hat, and it wasn't entirely because of Red Hat's insistence on its trademark rights. Mandrake, if I remember correctly, forked over a desire for Pentium-optimized binaries. There is probably a very good reason for Ubuntu to stay out of this. I can't think of one. Only Mark Shuttleworth knows for sure, and I don't think he's made a public comment on his reasons.

Goodbye C#, Hello C++ and GTK? (3, Funny)

Loconut1389 (455297) | about 9 years ago | (#13552436)

I guess it's time for me to learn how to do gui programming C++ and GTK? I've been spoiled with C# and VB for so long... I know unix based C++ and C, but not gui programming. This should be fun!?

Re:Goodbye C#, Hello C++ and GTK? (2, Informative)

Matimus (598096) | about 9 years ago | (#13552514)

see mono [] , it's .NET for Linux. There is always java [] too.

Re:Goodbye C#, Hello C++ and GTK? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552558)

see mono, it's .NET for Linux

Don't listen to this guy.

For an exceptional C++ GUI toolkit, check out QT [] . It is well designed, has a broad range of supported platforms, and is free-software-friendly (you can write GPL software using QT).

As for the learning process for C++ toolkits, once you've learned one, the rest are very easy to learn. I started on MFC (yucky), then learned FLTK, wxWindows/wxWidgets and QT very easily, because the software paradigm is very similar.

Anyway, go for it, GUI programming is a very useful skill to have!

Self-fullfilling Prophecy (2, Insightful)

pnatural (59329) | about 9 years ago | (#13552437)

self fullfilling prophecy

This could easily turn into a self fullfilling prophecy. The more the meme is repeated now, two years before Vista launch, the more it will grow in peoples minds. The more it grows there, the more thinking and the more planning.

IOW, keep repeating this! Windows Vista will make business switch to Linux. Say it enough and it becomes truth.

It won't work (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | about 9 years ago | (#13552577)

Microsoft will deftly dodge this attack by changing the name and throwing in an additional API. We can't compete with that.

Re:Self-fullfilling Prophecy (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 9 years ago | (#13552703)

I've already made the decision to switch to Linux as my main OS -- but not until I get a CPU with virtualization, because I hate the idea of rebooting just for a game. The only non-game app that I have and use that is not significantly duplicated on Linux is YIM7 -- I do use some of the features on it that are specific to it and have not been duplicated in GAIM or other packages. I rather wish Yahoo would make a full version available for Linux users.

Re:Self-fullfilling Prophecy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552739)

That trick didn't work for the Y2K bug, so why would it work here? It wasn't until Jan 1, 2000 actually came to pass, that people finally shut up about the world ending. If just having people repeat it over and over were enough to make it happen, the Y2K bug would have been enough to "cause global destruction."

Never used SUSE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552441)

But I read a review of SUSE 9.3 in Linux User the other day. I seem to recall the words "bloat" and "tedious" appearing a number of times in the two page review.

Re:Never used SUSE (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552513)

It runs fast on my 500 mhz 128 mb ram laptop. Much faster then Windows XP did.

That may be true (4, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | about 9 years ago | (#13552448)

But a lot will depend on how Novell can package desktop management. If it's a slick system that's easy to administer, they might have a chance to take some corporate desktop share from MSFT.

And there still has to be substantial per seat savings up front and integrated migration tools.

If they can pull off that package, yeah, they might a shot.

Re:That may be true (0, Troll)

FlamingLaird (245347) | about 9 years ago | (#13552672)

What killed Novell in the first place was it's inability to intigrate with PCs running Windows. Everyone wanted an Exchange server - so they installed a domain controller - And once they had an NT domain in place there wasn't a whole lot of reason to keep the extra network login box around.

NDS is to this day a better network managment system than Active Directory despite being basically abandoned what, five years ago?

What I keep waiting to see from Novell is a linux based desktop solution given away for free... and a competativly priced server product (Novell on a linux core instead of dos? Yum) and network management system based around NDS.

The only thing that would hold them back then is the same thing that killed them in the first place - You have to have an NT domain in place to effectivly use Exchange (at least for larger installations) - Perhaps it's time to bring Groupwise back with a Thunderbird front end? What's the status of the calandar app in the Mozilla suite anyway?

Re:That may be true (3, Informative)

cpthowdy (609034) | about 9 years ago | (#13552682)

You have no idea how good it is already. ZENworks for Desktops has been doing this for Windows for years now. And when Novell bought up Ximian, they got Red Carpet. That involved into ZENworks Linux Management [] , which has a web interface for management, VNC remote control to the managed machines, Linux imaging (ext2 and ext3 currently, ReiserFS support in the works), etc.

The cool thing is that you can demo pretty much anything Novell has to offer for 90 days, so give it all a whirl. The documentation is top notch, as is the knowledgebase and the user communities. If you get stuck, you can certainly find help.

I don't get it. (2, Insightful)

bluesoul88 (609555) | about 9 years ago | (#13552455)

This'll spur movement towards Linux? Why wouldn't users just keep the OS they already have? If the point is to avoid retraining, migrating to Linux is one of the more ironic moves a man could make.

Re:I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552516)

It depends on Windows 2000 support. Win2k is regarded as one of the better OSes that MS has put out (if not the best). If Microsoft decides to drop support for Win2k at the same tine that Vista is released, I think a lot of companies will jump ship.

The best thing Microsoft can do is introduce Vista, and give corporate users about 18 months to get used to it, then drop support for Win2k. There will still be defections, but the delay will soften the blow.

Re:I don't get it. (1)

bluesoul88 (609555) | about 9 years ago | (#13552610)

3 Windows 2000. Again with the I don't get it, why would they cut support for Win2k? Surely the knowledgebase and whatnot doesn't take up too much room on some server, and how many people call in Win2k problems, honestly? It's a pretty complex OS in relative terms, and it never really caught on amongst end users.

Momentum (1)

ReVeL75 (913761) | about 9 years ago | (#13552457)

It might be that Novell has got a point. All the other options (linux, thinclient, windows desktop, webbased) are evaluated by now. And for big corporate networks the license costs could be the key factor. And in the end al Microsoft development, marketing and support had to be paid for and for Linux the major part has been done by a generous but still very clever 'programming society'.

That doesn't make sense (5, Funny)

Trailer Trash (60756) | about 9 years ago | (#13552464)

You can read *any* TCO study sponsored by Microsoft and you'll find that the upgrade to Windows Vista won't cost anything. There are *never* upgrade costs if you stick with Windows. Sheesh.

Also, there won't be any retraining costs if you stick with Windows.

Microsoft buys a lot of good research, you folks should read it more often.

Re:That doesn't make sense (1)

psyclo (321060) | about 9 years ago | (#13552555)

You are kidding, right?

1) Vista is significantly different than XP. Office 12 is different too. We had to have a lot of training just to go from Win2K to WinXP.

2) MS buys research. That doesn't make the research valid.

The argument about "staying with what you've got" is more likely. People will have XP for years to come. They will be dragged kicking and screaming to Vista. They won't go to Linux unless there is something to compel them.

Re:That doesn't make sense (1)

merreborn (853723) | about 9 years ago | (#13552689)


You are kidding, right?


From TFA... (3, Interesting)

SlashChick (544252) | about 9 years ago | (#13552465)

"Jack Messman, chief executive of networking software vendor Novell says that 2006 will see widespread adoption of Linux on the corporate desktop."

Just like 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001...

The real problem is (still) lack of applications and games. My home PC can't switch until Dreamweaver and Photoshop run on Linux. My office PC can't switch until Quickbooks and VersaCheck run on Linux. Honestly, I've seen more Windows->Mac and Linux->Mac migrations than anything else these past few years... and little to no evidence that shows that Linux is gaining popularity on desktop PCs, other than these "wishful thinking" articles from Linux company CEOs.

Something else to think about: The upgrade cost to Vista, for most companies, is effectively $0 because it comes with new PCs. Contrast this with yearly application updates for Photoshop, Quickbooks, anti-virus, anti-spyware, et al. which can run thousands of dollars. Microsoft isn't the only cost center on a typical PC; in fact, I'd say they're one of the smallest costs involved with a typical office PC.

Maybe it's time to switch at home then. (1)

oliverthered (187439) | about 9 years ago | (#13552622)

My home PC can't switch until Dreamweaver (Wine APP ID 183) [] and Photoshop (Wine App ID 17) [] run on Linux.

The upgrade cost to Vista, for most companies, is effectively $0 because it comes with new PCs.

Most of the companies I've worked for don't buy mass software licenses that way, the upgrade cost may be the same as their annual windows license costs + time to upgrade.

Re:From TFA... (1)

nominruil (910876) | about 9 years ago | (#13552642)

>> The real problem is (still) lack of applications and games. My home PC can't switch until Dreamweaver and Photoshop run on Linux

      Lack of Apps? You must not have looked very hard. The GIMP = photoshop, and there are many HTML editors out there....

>> The upgrade cost to Vista, for most companies, is effectively $0 because it comes with new PCs.

          So your saying buy entire new computers every time a new version of windows comes out? And you still have to pay for Windoze, they don't go throwing it around free....

The truth is that Linux is an excellent operating system built by programmers FOR programmers... We don't need every home in the world running Linux... Lets concentrate on making it the best and most full featured operating system we can. Having it integrated in every home is just a side effect. After all, it's beutifully designed operating system (And it's not like Windoze is that bad either, I mean C'mon, give em a break!)

Re:From TFA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552644)

Well of course, it should be noted that if you can find open source alternatives to the programs you use then the licensing costs (and the expense of audits etc.) of applications disappears. e.g. GnuCash, GIMP, clamav gives you the functionality of QuickBooks, Photoshop, and an antivirus (not that you need an anitvirus under linux at the moment, or anti-spyware software for that matter). Since opensource apps are more supported on Linux than Windows this makes Linux a better choice of platform from the point of view of avoiding licensing costs!

Re:From TFA... (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 9 years ago | (#13552753)

Contrast this with yearly application updates for Photoshop, Quickbooks, anti-virus, anti-spyware, et al. which can run thousands of dollars. Microsoft isn't the only cost center on a typical PC; in fact, I'd say they're one of the smallest costs involved with a typical office PC.

Antivirus/antispyware apps.

Hmm. True. It's a pity I don't have to run those on my Linux PC. I miss doing that.

The real problem is (still) lack of applications and games. My home PC can't switch until Dreamweaver and Photoshop run on Linux.

To be anal, not a lack of applications (gnu/unix has a ridiculous amount of apps available for various applications in virtually every area) - just lacking the two apps you deem you need.

Not quite the same thing and put that way, makes the problem more surmountable.

Not likely... (1)

Afecks (899057) | about 9 years ago | (#13552466)

According to the Register, Novell expects the cost of upgrading to Vista will encourage many companies to turn to Linux instead.

More like "wishful thinking". More than likely companies will do 1 of the following 3 things.

1) Stick with what they have.
2) Wait until Vista comes bundled with their new hardware.
3) Consider Linux and then take the super-saver deal that M$ will suddenly offer.

but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552469)

where i work they're still like a year away from switching to XP. whats going to make them rush to Vista?

Real world vs. fanboy fantasies (0, Troll)

Mike Bourna (748040) | about 9 years ago | (#13552473)

The Register is smoking crack, and has probably misunderstood or deliberately misinterpreted Novell. The licence costs per se of upgrading to Vista (or any new version of most other proprietary operator systems) are neglible. If you're already running a Windows operation, it's absurd to consider switching to an inferior LinuxOS infrastructure instead of upgrading to Vista, or simply keeping the old Windows version you're already running.

I am what most people would consider a highly trained technical professional. Unlike most people who spout off at this site, I have the certificates to prove this, and furthermore they're issued by the biggest software company in existence.

I know how to tell facts from marketing fluff. Now, here are the facts as they're found by SEVERAL INDEPENDENT RESEARCH INSTITUTES:

Expenses for file-server workloads under Windows, compared to LinuxOS:
  • Staffing expenses were 33.5% better.
  • Training costs were 32.3% better.

They compared Microsofts IIS to the Linux 7.0 webserver. For Windows, the cost was only:
  • $40.25 per megabit of throughput per second.
  • $1.79 per peak request per second.

Application development and support costs for Windows compared to an opensores solution like J2EE:
  • 28.2% less for large enterprises.
  • 25.0% less for medium organizations.

A full Windows installation, compared to installing Linux, on an Enterprise Server boxen:
  • Is nearly three hours faster.
  • Requires 77% fewer steps.

Compared to the best known opensores webserver "Red Hat", Microsoft IIS:
  • Has 276% better peak performance for static transactions.
  • Has 63% better peak performance for dynamic content.

These are hard numbers and 100% FACTS! There are several more where these came from.

Who do you think we professionals trust more?
Reliable companies with tried and tested products, or that bedroom coder Thorwaldes who publicly admits that he is in fact A HACKER???

Copyright (c) 2004 Mike Bouma, MCSE, MCDST, MS Office Specialist, widely respected Amigan

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover
Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU
Free Documentation License".

Re:Real world vs. fanboy fantasies (1)

Shut the fuck up! (572058) | about 9 years ago | (#13552505)

Where can I get a copy of this Linux 7.0?

Won't happen until... (1)

Teeja (701014) | about 9 years ago | (#13552480)

Won't happen on corporate desktops until installing packages becomes something my mother can do. There just isn't any distro right now that compares to Windows' ease of use for installing software and getting updates. Linux is getting a lot better (my debian-based Mepis is pretty cool), but I'd never let it near my boss for mission-critical daily use.

So true (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | about 9 years ago | (#13552616)

Absolutely true. And this is an issue that is falling on deaf ears because developers, by and large, do not want to compromise from their individual opinions on how to handle dependencies, and other package handling issues, in favor of a more unified front. Basically, for an enterprise level group to migrate they have to have "vender lock-in" anyway, just to make sure that they have some unified way to install apps. This, by the way, is why many enterprises that have migrated have chosen Red Hat or SuSE (Novell).

Re:So true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552718)

In Debian or Ubuntu it's just a matter of firing up the package manager and selecting the software to install then click. (this downloads AND installs), much easier than on windows where you have to buy the software, have it shipped to you (or download it), then run an installer that may not work. Admittedly this only works if your software is in the 15000 supported packages by your distribution, otherwise it can be trickier (but not that much).
I've developed installers for windows and it's not that easy when you need to install on all the different "distributions" of windows either, e.g. windows 98 through to windows XP, and then there's always that piece of software that doesn't install properly and overwrites important dependencies.

Re:So true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552756)

Come on, I run Debian and although I'm not a super linux guru, I AM fairly familiar with linux and it's fine to install most packages, but I've run in to "dependancy hell" more times that I care to remember. Never had that problem with Windows aps.

Re:Won't happen until... (2, Informative)

oliverthered (187439) | about 9 years ago | (#13552698)

Won't happen on corporate desktops until installing packages becomes something my mother can do.

Most corporate desktops are locked down to 1: prevent installation of pirated/unlicensed software, 2: prevent installation of software not audited by the company, 3: prevent security threats from user operations.

Linux is fine for a locked down, centrally updated system.

It's fairy easy to setup an cron job on a gentoo system that runs emerge -u world and have all the updates as binaries, managed by the centrally by the company. That's just the kind of thing business wants.

The main problem I can see it that all of the office suites I've tried for linux aren't up to scratch yet, and many companies run bespoke software, often written in VB.

why? (1)

QunaLop (861366) | about 9 years ago | (#13552485)

linux will always be 10 years off as long as the majority of linux developers stay the way they are... software elegance in C and/or the commandline is fine and dandy, but it is pretty much the anti-thesis of the business world.

Why Microsoft Wins... (4, Interesting)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | about 9 years ago | (#13552491)

The problem with this view is that with big deployments, the Microsoft "price per seat" is always negotiable, especially when you bring a possible Linux migration into the equation. In fact we have seen this: XYZ government or company makes noise about moving to Linux, and Microsoft simply negotiates a lower price. When migration cost is the key issue, Microsoft has the upper hand. However, when other issues such as "open standards" are the issues, Microsoft can't compete. The problem is not selling lower TOC, it'' selling the benefits of "open standards". It's too bad that many Linux "evangelists" frame Linux migration arguments in the context of ideology, because governments and companies are rarely interested in these things, they have budgets to meet and people to serve.

Less Functionality? (2, Informative)

rolfwind (528248) | about 9 years ago | (#13552499)

From TFA:
Messman argued that Linux, having somewhat less desktop functionality, is a bonus for businesses as it discourages staff from wasting time engaging in non-productive activities, such as web browsing.

What is exactly less functional? I agree that removing the browser can increase productivity, but the fact that it can be removed doesn't mean linux has inherent less functional, but quite the opposite.

Re:Less Functionality? (1)

Maxhrk (680390) | about 9 years ago | (#13552557)

they think linux is inferior to superior microsoft software.

Re:Less Functionality? (1)

dmaxwell (43234) | about 9 years ago | (#13552663)

It is a bad choice of words. Messman is talking about locked down machines that you can't download J. Random Shareware Screensaver for.

Kiss of death... (1)

newswilson (622844) | about 9 years ago | (#13552509)

So i should believe Novell because they are alway right... I need to call my Broker and buy M$ now! With this latest declaration from Novell Vista will probably increase M$ lead over Linux and OSX. Just saying, who would you bet on?

Breaking News (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552510)

Company that Sells Linux thinks Linux will Succeed

Oh well. At least it's good to hear the company that owns the copyright to UNIX is so gung ho about Linux.

Linux migration already huge (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552518)

Novell is right but even before any Vista release we are seeing a huge migration to Linux. Our company and most of our partners and clients have switched to Linux already on both, servers and desktops.

We've hesitated about Linux for the longest time but we simply can't afford to take the risks associated with Windows anymore e.g. someone breaking into our systems or a virus infestation that wipes out our data. Linux is just a better platform in terms of security, cost efficiency, etc. It is working great for us and we are highly satisfied with it.

Novell??? (5, Insightful)

RapmasterT (787426) | about 9 years ago | (#13552520)

Yes, Novell is EXACTLY who I'd go to about predictions for the future of the computer industry. They sat on their asses and let MS chip away a virtual monopoly in networking technologies to the point where when people hear the name "Novell" these days they say "they're still around?".

This reads like one of those "Hey, just reminding you we're still here" press releases.

First sighting (5, Insightful)

Shishberg (819760) | about 9 years ago | (#13552527)

Could this be the first sighting of "2006 will be the year of the Linux desktop?"

Havent we heard this enough times ?? (5, Insightful)

vmaxxxed (734128) | about 9 years ago | (#13552541)


"The requirements for Windows 9.x will make people turn to OS/2"
- Result, OS/2 is dead.

"The ridiculous requirements for Windows NT will increase adoption of NetWare"
- Result, NetWare died soon after.

"Novell expects the cost of upgrading to Vista will encourage many companies to turn to Linux instead."
-Result ?

It's been more than 10 years of these? Haven't we had enough?

Linux has its own niche; it is not meant to replace windoz boxes, and it will not replace them in the near future. So, who cares ?

Re:Havent we heard this enough times ?? (1)

nominruil (910876) | about 9 years ago | (#13552719)

Well Said. Linux is a tinkerers and advanced users Operating system. The fact is that no matter what OS you use, the work still needs to get done and as cheaply as possible. With Linux, the tasks are mostly done in the command line(and i'll tell ya, Sometimes I can get more done in the console than in the GUI) which is so beutifully simple that a GUI just overcomplicates some things (not all the time, but some times). Why do we have to replace windoze at alL? Maybe it's just nerd pride.....

sounds familiar (1, Insightful)

Eil (82413) | about 9 years ago | (#13552546)

Then again, they said the same thing about Windows XP. We saw heaps of pundits insisting that the combined force of considerable hardware requirements and draconian product activation scheme would push Linux head-first into the desktop arena.

Obviously, that didn't happen.

While Linux has made great strides since the launch of XP, it hasn't even come close to putting any kind of dent in the prevalence of Microsoft on the business desktop. As much as I hate to say it, I don't see the situation changing much with Vista. When Microsoft says jump, most of the I.T. departments in the world start bouncing around like buffoons.

I hate to say it, but... (4, Insightful)

ChiralSoftware (743411) | about 9 years ago | (#13552556)

I hate to say it, but if Novell's Suse distros don't get more stable, this isn't going to happen. I'm running Suse 9.3 and have experienced so many bugs and problems. Flash doesn't work at all within Konqueror. Sound doesn't work with Flash within Firefox or Mozilla. Things crash. Even Vim crashes when I try to use it with SVN. There are performance problems. It ships with a beta version of which is not stable. This is all with a stock installation of 9.3. I've been using Suse since version 9.0 and 9.3 is the least stable I have ever used. Anyone who tries this out is going to be disappointed.

I have just now downloaded OpenSuse 10. I'll install it and hope to see some improvements.

If Novell / Suse wants to get real desktop adoption, these are the things they need to do:

  1. The system needs to be more stable. Take a deep breath, slow down on the new features, and make it stable.
  2. THERE SHOULD BE ONLY ONE APPLICATION FOR EVERY TASK! This is so obvious and people have been saying it for years. On my Suse 9.3, if I want to control the volume, I go to Multimedia -> Volume control and I see NINE DIFFERENT VOLUME CONTROL APPLICATIONS, all of which work or don't work to varying degrees, and none of which are simple and easy to use and understand. That's crazy. That's on drugs. That's lame. Say whatever you want about how great Linux is but if my desktop has NINE DIFFERENT VOLUME CONTROL APPLICATIONS that is horrific. I bring up volume control, but the same problem exists in all the other application categories, but volume control is by far the worst offender. If users want to go crazy and install a dozen different word processors, fine, let them do it, but the default installation should have ONE and exactly ONE application in every category.
  3. There needs to be a good media player that is well-integrated and WORKS. I should be able to pop in a DVD which I got from Blockbuster and play it, with GUI controls, subtitles, everything, with no messing around. I should be able to go to and look at video, with no messing around.
The first two items are not rocket science. They're not technology problems. They are management problems. Someone who is a technical manager high up in Novell should lay down the law on these two issues and make them happen. Say to the dev team, "If you think that such-and-such should be the ONE application for such-and-such task, make your case, and we'll have a decision process and at the end we'll pick one, and go with it."

The media player part is more difficult because it's wrapped up in all kinds of legal licensing problems. They need to solve these problems. They are solvable with money, lawyers and time. Guess what, time to do it Novell!

Time to drag out this old chestnut: (4, Funny)

This Old Chestnut (759273) | about 9 years ago | (#13552635)

More is less.

Re:I hate to say it, but... (4, Insightful)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | about 9 years ago | (#13552721)

I'm running Suse 9.3 and have experienced so many bugs and problems.

I feel your pain. However, there is a difference between the stability of the leading edge SUSE 9.3 (and SUSE 10) and the corporate oriented Novell Linux Desktop and SUSE Linux Enterprise System.

I agree with you about the confusion of different applications. This, though, is an issue for the home user (not Novell's target market) rather than the corporate desktop.

Like others, I do not see Windows Vista precipitating an immediate avalanche of Linux adoptions. However, I do see it causing CIOs to review their long-term desktop strategies: do they start installing Windows Vista on new machines or try to start the move to open source. Their decision could have a huge impact over a five year timeframe.

I agree 100% (3, Insightful)

mfearby (1653) | about 9 years ago | (#13552725)

I've tried recent versions of SuSE, Mandrake, and Xandros, and I have to say that Xandros is the closest thing yet to a usable, decent, Linux distribution. In the past I've been a little more willing to overlook the blemishes in free distributions, but they're basically a re-badged copy of all the software that has floated to the top of the open source world. I expect a little more from an operating system, and efficiency, expediency, and stability are foremost among my list of requirements.

If Windows Vista comes with an improved ability to make it look just like Windows 98/2000 insofar as file browsing, etc, goes then the chances of me sticking with it are greatly improved. The last time I tried Vista, file browsing was a complete abomination. They've candified it to such an extent that only the dumbest moron would feel at home using it.

Linux needs a little more polish and better integration. No more klipper workarounds for different clipboard standards. One volume control. Configurable file browsers that aren't big and chunky and as slow as an old jaloppy, either!

somewhere in between (2, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | about 9 years ago | (#13552562)

In reading the posts I'm seeing extremes of the continuum: those who say yes, this is finally the straw that bows the camel's back; and those who say, yeah, like they said last year, and the year before, blah, blah, blah.

I think reality is somewhere in between. Yes, Microsoft continues to hold sway in their dominance and yes, every time they make a new release (less and less often, by the way) the silence of people rushing to linux is deafening.

But there is ample evidence of chinks in Microsoft's armor and a soft underbelly starts to show. Consider the high profile of large customers lately deciding to at least pressure Microsoft by making public their decision or pseudo-decision to go with open source alternatives (consider MA, and some foreign countries).

Historically no company can dominate forever, and eventually I think critical mass will be achieved and linux will gain the foothold and purchase it probably deserves. At least I hope so. I used to be gungho in my knowing linux would waltz over Microsoft but I know better now. It's more complicated, and Microsoft is a juggernaut and will be difficult to knock from the top of the hill.

Be patient, be faithful, Linux has legs and is learning to walk.

Windows 95 versus OS/2 (2)

ewg (158266) | about 9 years ago | (#13552565)

I'll bet they said the same thing about OS/2 when Windows 95 came out.

I think they're probably right (4, Insightful)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 9 years ago | (#13552571)

you have to remember the system requirements and the drag to replace things, that plus the world market for the OS.

It's like Ford/GM/etc pushing bigger SUVs on a market that is dealing with gas prices doubling in months, while someone else (Toyota/Honda) is selling cheaper faster hybrids that are mass-manufactured.

At some point, the OS price and the total price point goes beyond what the consumer is willing to pay - nowadays it's all about the Net bandwidth and you're frequently better off buying a cheap laptop or PC or just using the PS3 or Nintento whatever instead.

When PCs and laptops cost $2000 for entry and $4000 for premium, the OS cost was only a fraction, and you could raise the OS price and people would eat it up. But now that the PC retails for around $300 and a laptop comes in around $1000, the OS cost becomes noticeable.

A Bumpy Road lies ahead (2, Informative)

Namronorman (901664) | about 9 years ago | (#13552587)

As great as this may seem, some companies may find this difficult. There would be a lot of proprietary software that would need to be ported.

I know, I know.. There's WINE and other similar software packages, but I highly doubt companies would want to resort to that.

One good example I can tell you of is an enviromental software package that my dad has to use at Eli Lilly, it's written in FoxPRO, and already they're having problems porting it to WinXP.

Linux on the desktop (0, Offtopic)

Saiyine (689367) | about 9 years ago | (#13552588)

I think it's not a problem of Vista "per se", but the outrageous hardware requirements it seems Vista will need.

Microsoft better add a Low Spec Machines (with "low" meaning in fact meaning "normal") to the miriad of versions they have announced.

Superb hosting [] 4800MB Storage, 120GB bandwidth, ssh, $7,95.
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consumers don't even realize they have a choice (2, Insightful)

tehwebguy (860335) | about 9 years ago | (#13552594)

there won't be a shift away from windows as long as Best Buy and Dell sell windows machines. if they started selling linux machines, they would sell. loads of consumers don't even know that their computer is running (and they don't care either).

as long as these companies start selling vista machines, consumers will buy them. when vista comes out, typical consumers aren't going to rush out and buy it. they will get it when they get a new computer.

That's not what history shows us (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 9 years ago | (#13552596)

Even when there's a better alternative, people don't always choose it.

It's more likely that they will stay with WinXP for as long as they possibly can. Linux is still too far out there.

interesting but have you considered this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552605)

cameo wood

No way in hell (1)

superflytnt (105865) | about 9 years ago | (#13552645)

People fear change, especially rapid, drastic change, and especially dumb IT managers and CIOs....and we all know there's no shortage of them. Adoption of Vista may be slow at first, but eventually they'll pony up and fork out the dough.

and when (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552679)

...the users find out that the open office is a the counter part of ms office the companies say the heck with it we'll spend the extra money.....

then the linux guy says hey wait a minute did u see desk top pager..

sorry bud too late.....

More like: (1, Interesting)

poofyhairguy82 (635386) | about 9 years ago | (#13552695)

This sounds like a marketing fabrication. Everybody knows that the release of Vista will not increase Linux adoption. The release of the first Vista virus is what will do that.

Novell Linux Desktop anyone? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552705)

Its more the corprate desktop than suse linux, plus its easier to update and manage.

uhm... (1)

tehsoul (844435) | about 9 years ago | (#13552707)

who says companies WANT to use another os? heaps of big corporations still use win2k, without any problems... vista is designed for the home market, not corporate life

Sheesh. Another one of these prognostications. (0, Redundant)

dmaxwell (43234) | about 9 years ago | (#13552717)

If Novell plays their cards right then they can eke some minor wins out of Vista. I suppose RH and other Linux vendors can get some small but tasty slices of pie of it too. I think Novell's management knows this but are just hyping their wares same as any other business.

Yearh Right? (1)

nberardi (199555) | about 9 years ago | (#13552730)

Did we hear this same statement from NT -> 2000 from 2000 -> XP and now from XP -> Vista? You guys just don't get the hint.

OpenSuSE? Office "12"? NetBSD+OOo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13552763)

With "Vista" and esp. M$ turning their Office "12" upside down userinterface-wise, people will be forced to re-learn everything from scratch (and I'm not talking about those smart IT persons we are here). So I think that's another reason to switch to a stable OpenSource operating system with a decent set of functionality and!

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