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Stopping Linux Desktop Adoption Sabotage

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the fair-play-is-for-the-birds dept.

Microsoft 616

Mark Brunelli, News Editor writes "Outspoken IT consultant John H. Terpstra believes that Microsoft and electronics manufacturers are working together to hinder the adoption of Linux on the desktop. In a three part series, he tells a story about how two guys trying to buy Linux desktops found they were overpriced, and lacked certain tools. He then describes how Microsoft uses its considerable resources and the law to create such roadblocks. (Part 2, Part 3)"

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first post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13821168)

first post :D

Not Forever (4, Insightful)

gregbains (890793) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821172)

Theres only so much you can push people. Windows XP did not deliver what people thought it would and Vista won't achieve what it set out to do, and updates take too long coming. Many people I know are or will switch to Linux in the near future because it makes more sense in the long run. Keep pushing people and they will try something else, look at Firefox or Opera. All it takes is a little piece of information to hit the public and people will begin to learn more about it, and adopt it.

Re:Not Forever (2, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821341)

... but I kid you not there will be folks waiting at midnight at the local compusa for WIndows Vista assuming it will be the os to fix their problems.

MS won and is a monopolist and will do everything to keep people in. Until people leave software developers will only target windows. People dont care about oses and use whatever comes with their computer.

This is how ms won.

Re:Not Forever (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821427)

And where google will win ;)

Web services are the future so this OS importance issue will be less and less of an issue as the technologies mature.

RE: Not Forever (1)

I'm Don Giovanni (598558) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821459)

Keep pushing people and they will try something else, look at Firefox

Firefox's userbase has declined each month since May, while IE has risen. sp []

Mozilla and Netscape also declined during the same time period. (Opera remains unchanged, just people switching from Opera7 to Opera 8).

Re: Not Forever (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821510)

You can't say that for sure. Since this is just one site, for all we know there are automated hits against it originating from Microsoft-affiliated sites... You might find the ups and downs of Apache on Netcraft to be informative of how Microsoft tries to make the marketing figures fit the message (for a while, IIS went through a big spike as they paid people to migrate to their products. When the insentives wore off, they migrated back).

I know more of *my* customers use Firefox than did in May...

Re: Not Forever (3, Funny)

Ice Station Zebra (18124) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821515)

the odd thing is I've noticed that Firefox has started to randomly crash on my Windows XP desktop at work. It worked great up until they started rolling out every freaking Microsoft patch under the sun. Makes you wonder if this isn't DRDOS all over again.

Sorry bud but Firefox ain't what it used to be (-1, Flamebait)

Work Account (900793) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821576)

It's had more security bugs in this past year than IE and probably Opera combined.

Note: I still USE Firefox on all my machines but it's because I don't mind wasting time patching it every few weeks when another vulnerability comes out.

Don't get me wrong, I love the features of Firefox but from a security standpoint I realize I'm taking a risk by using it.

Not ready yet. Sources and Patents. (0)

Eagle-Y (891220) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821617)

I think Linux is not ready yet for the mainstream desktop market. Lets face it and be honest here, every OS needs to be tweaked every now and then and people often install all sorts of programs. Unless you're a programmer who is comfortable with frequently tweaking and familiar with the uncommon Bash commands, the process of installing any application is not an easy one. I don't think my less tech savvy brother can install anything on Linux without my help. Allot of applications require building from sources. A second thing is patents, you can't use proprietary codecs for example to play common media files like avi, wma or even mp3 ! Of-course you can download these codecs and install them but that would be patent infringement in the USA and to the courts its the same as copyright infringement so you're better off stealing a copy of windows XP ! just my 2 GBpence

Sure, blame someone else - typical zealots (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13821177)

Linux is *not* user friendly, and until it is linux will stay with >1% marketshare.

Take installation. Linux zealots are now saying "oh installing is so easy, just do apt-get install package or emerge package": Yes, because typing in "apt-get" or "emerge" makes so much more sense to new users than double-clicking an icon that says "setup".

Linux zealots are far too forgiving when judging the difficultly of Linux configuration issues and far too harsh when judging the difficulty of Windows configuration issues. Example comments:

User: "How do I get Quake 3 to run in Linux?"
Zealot: "Oh that's easy! If you have Redhat, you have to download quake_3_rh_8_i686_010203_glibc.bin, then do chmod +x on the file. Then you have to su to root, make sure you type export LD_ASSUME_KERNEL=2.2.5 but ONLY if you have that latest libc6 installed. If you don't, don't set that environment variable or the installer will dump core. Before you run the installer, make sure you have the GL drivers for X installed. Get them at [some obscure web address], chmod +x the binary, then run it, but make sure you have at least 10MB free in /tmp or the installer will dump core. After the installer is done, edit /etc/X11/XF86Config and add a section called "GL" and put "driver nv" in it. Make sure you have the latest version of X and Linux kernel 2.6 or else X will segfault when you start. OK, run the Quake 3 installer and make sure you set the proper group and setuid permissions on quake3.bin. If you want sound, look here [link to another obscure web site], which is a short HOWTO on how to get sound in Quake 3. That's all there is to it!"

User: "How do I get Quake 3 to run in Windows?"
Zealot: "Oh God, I had to install Quake 3 in Windoze for some lamer friend of mine! God, what a fucking mess! I put in the CD and it took about 3 minutes to copy everything, and then I had to reboot the fucking computer! Jesus Christ! What a retarded operating system!"

So, I guess the point I'm trying to make is that what seems easy and natural to Linux geeks is definitely not what regular people consider easy and natural. Hence, the preference towards Windows.

Needs update (2, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821234)

TODO: Update Slashdot Eezi Post [] .

[X] Copy/Paste "How do I get Quake 3 to run in Linux"

Re:Sure, blame someone else - typical zealots (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13821261)

Would F**cking morons please stop modding this copy/paste Troll up .

Re:Sure, blame someone else - typical zealots (1, Offtopic)

lightspawn (155347) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821295)

This [] is what happens when joe sixpack (or, in this case, sixsubs) tries to use Linux. Check out the "Linux" entry near the bottom of the page.

Warning: Before visiting the link, disable image loading. Trust me.

Re:Sure, blame someone else - typical zealots (1)

dustinc20 (573679) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821374)

AHHHHHH! MY EYES!!!! I liked the comment how he doesn't have time to compile code, yet he has enough time to rant about how he doesn't have enough time..

p.s. that was just mean, you know most of use won't turn off images!

Re:Sure, blame someone else - typical zealots (1)

Toba82 (871257) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821516)

Like somebody in this discussion already said, it's the state of software installation which is holding Linux back. Drivers and user software installers both vary from one-click-executables, to RPM's, to DEB's, to plain old source with no makefile. What we need for Linux to work for Joe Sixpack is a unified installer system that works on most distros and only requires a few clicks.

Re:Sure, blame someone else - typical zealots (1)

colenski (552404) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821588)

I don't know if that dude is for real or if his site is carefully crafted troll (some of his comments seem TOO stupid) but, damn, that 'guy' must DIE. What a useless piece of shit.

If he IS for real, I feel sorry for his parents and anyone that is forced to physically be in his presence.

Re:Sure, blame someone else - typical zealots (1)

Vario (120611) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821352)

Instead of pasting your Q3-installation-is-so-hard troll into almost every linux article maybe you could look at the state of installations in current distributions.

After reading about port knocking I did a quick search on for example and an "emerge knock" was all I had to do to download, compile and install the port knocking daemon onto my firewall. A few days ago Ubuntu released a new version and updating was easy and simple. Basically a "apt-get update", "apt-get dist-upgrade" and after two hours about 600 software packages where updated without a flaw.

Windows Update is nice but try to update your whole system automatically in two hours with XP, Office, Browser, Games, IDEs, SDKs,...

Re:Sure, blame someone else - typical zealots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13821535)

shit man compile most computer users are morons and would go oh shit wtf now now. Same with typing all these commands. there all so used to there shiny double click to inste exe's

Has made it? O.o (0, Flamebait)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821179)

From TFA:
Many IT professionals ask me when Linux will finally "make it" on the desktop. How will they know when Linux has made it? What's holding it back?

I don't know about him, but the last time I checked, software installation in Linux was still a mess.

Re:Has made it? O.o (1)

Niffux (824706) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821222)

Imo the different package managers far outweighs the Windows method of distribution programs. Sure, it's nice to be able to download one single file and install it, but doing a pacman -Syu (or whatever), and getting a 100% updated system is a lot smarter.

Re:Has made it? O.o (5, Insightful)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821244)

Then it must've been some time since you last checked... check out this rather glowing Ubuntu review [] in the Inquirer, for example. Yeah, I know, not exactly the greatest news outlet in the world, but they're probably as non-geeky as you get, so the fact that they found Ubuntu so easy and comfortable to use says a lot, IMO. :)

Re:Has made it? O.o (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13821431)

check out this rather glowing Ubuntu review in the Inquirer, for example. Yeah, I know, not exactly the greatest news outlet in the world, but they're probably as non-geeky as you get, so the fact that they found Ubuntu so easy and comfortable to use says a lot, IMO. :)

Great, so that's one out of how many distros? So a end user has to be savvy enough to know all the ins and outs of each distro to find one that's easy to use, uses the same mechanism to get and install packages, etc? And then hope that the hardware they wish to purchase just happens to come with that disto installed?

People want solutions, not choices.

Re:Has made it? O.o (2, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821469)

Linux's biggest problem is that it requires any "package management" at all. Because of the scattered directory structure, files are littered all over the place, so you have to run a program to install the program, and run a program to remove the program.

If people were really serious about desktop Linux, they would have long ago standardized a bundled package format like NeXTStep's .app bundles that allows you to install a program simply by copying to your programs folder. Remove it by deleting it.

These kinds of things, along with the lack of true standardized API foundations (see Cocoa, .NET, which cover everything from installation/uninstallation to networking to sound to graphics) with instead a reliance on QT on top of KDE on top of X11, are what hold desktop Linux back.

The mantra of "choice" that people use to justify the incredible fragmentation in the OSS world doesn't justify the lack of a standardized, vertical solution--there should be a desktop environment with its own sound and graphics engine and APIs (built using OpenGL and OpenAL), not relying on X11 and various extensions after the fact. It should provide its own APIs that tie into its internal engines. And most importantly, it should be designed with actual aesthetics and creativity in mind--no more of this amateurish K-this and K-that crap.

Just my opinion. I think many people gave up hope for desktop Linux and moved to OS X. Seriously, some of us have been waiting for almost ten years. Windows is more dominant than ever.

Re:Has made it? O.o (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821315)

I don't know about him, but the last time I checked, software installation in Linux was still a mess.

It's probably been a while... At least two distros that I have personally tried offer no-hassle package management and online upgrades: Suse and Ubuntu.

I invite you to try either one and say it's still a mess. If you still think it's a mess, you probably have other axes to grind.

Re:Has made it? O.o (1)

keltor (99721) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821316)

I can say in the corporate world the "ease" of installing software is a complete and total mess. There so many applications that refuse to work without the user having like 15000 user rights, namely the ability to install software (strange that you need this right AFTER the application is installed)

Re:Has made it? O.o (1)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821523)

Well, if you WANT every user you have installing software, set up sudo or a similar permissioning system, and give every user on the system that right. On the other hand, most administrators would rather they control (and have veto power over) the installation of software on their machines, and generally for good reason-the administrators keep up with technical bulletins, etc., that might indicate a vulnerability in a given program. The users normally don't.

As for installation itself? I use Gentoo, Ubuntu, and Debian (on various systems), and I use them for the specific reason that the installation of software is ridiculously easy. How much easier can you get then "sudo (emerge|apt-get) package", and watch the system install it for you?

Re:Has made it? O.o (4, Informative)

Soko (17987) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821343)

This is not true. In fact, the distros are each trying to beat the others silly by making package management such a breeze.

All Debian derived systems (like ubuntu [] ) use apt/dpkg, Fedora/RedHat uses yum (or apt4rpm), Suse uses YaST and Gentoo uses portage. All of these will find dependancies for you and generally do the right thing - if the package is available, it will be installed and configured properly.

The only place where this is not true is when there are legal roadblocks (like DVD playback) to using the software in a free OS. Most commercial distros are able to bypass this however, since they pay a fee to the IP rights holder for the use of that IP.

In any event, you can't have checked software installation very recently. Today it's easier on linux than it's ever been on Windows.


Re:Has made it? O.o (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13821457)

Easier on Linux than Windows? What crack pipe are you hitting?

Software installation on Linux is often times a long, painstaking arduous task that seems to go on forever, and then - nothing happens. When it goes right, it's not too bad, but when it goes bad it goes bad in a big way. Nothing like spending hours trying to resolve dependencies, versioning, etc to get something to install - and then to find out that updating existing packages has now broken existing programs.

I'm sure it's all quite simple for the experienced Linux jockeys, but don't expect J6P to be able to jump through all those hoops and command-line gyrations just to get a program to install.

Re:Has made it? O.o (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13821416)

Firstly, why is it relevant when Linux "makes it" on the desktop? How will this impact your, my or anyone else's desktop experience? Who are these people IT professional people and why do they care? They just need figure out what makes most sense for them and act accordingly. If Linux makes sense for people to use, then they should use it and not get their panties wadded about what their neighbor is doing.

Secondly, there are numerous reviews claiming that Ubuntu is, in fact, ready for prime time (can't be screwed digging them up, sorry.) The install is exceedingly simple (almost as easy as the "install" disks provided by Compaq, Dell etc), hardware detection is excellent and the entire desktop package is ready to go right out of the box. Apparently there are occasional issues with some of the more obscure hardware items, but IMO the an average non-technical user who is unable to find online assistance probably wouldn't be attempting to operate his USB can-opener through his PC.

In my mind, the only HUGE issue for Linux desktop systems is gaming. Sure you can get many to work, but it usually isn't a matter of insert-new-game-cd-and-get-your-frag-on.

Re:Has made it? O.o (1)

Karaman (873136) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821454)

Well, at least programs work after they are installed and dont crash now and then.

Re:Has made it? O.o (1)

SmellTheCoffee (808375) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821497)

What you call mess is what I call flexibility and freedom of choice...By the way, try have you tried apt-get or yast?

Genius (5, Funny)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821181)

"Outspoken IT consultant John H. Terpstra believes that Microsoft and electronics manufacturers are working together to hinder the adoption of Linux on the desktop

Wow, this guy is a genius for his insight. I really should read what he has to say now.

Re:Genius? Who knows. Smart experienced guy? Yes. (5, Informative)

UnderScan (470605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821308)

That opening line was written by the editor of the piece. John Terpstra [] is a good author and more importantly, a long time contributor to FOSS, namely samba. See "Samba-3 by Example: Practical Exercises to Successful Deployment" [] .

So your company is being overcharged to fail? (2, Interesting)

gelfling (6534) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821185)

Bottom line if this is true then your company is being price gouged and being offered inferior goods and services ON purpose so that WilliamSoft can play out his personal Passion Play against imaginary enemies.

This would be worthy of Federal Prosecution.

Re:So your company is being overcharged to fail? (2, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821382)

Yet you can't prove it.

The doj tried that and no pc manufactor dared go up agaisnt MS out of fears they would be priced out of windows and office. The only thing they could go on was an email from balmer talking about cutting off netscapes air supply.

This is just business as usual.

We saw this for a while (1)

Kjuib (584451) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821189)

Dell PCs with Windows cost less then the same PC with a Free OS. How can this be you ask... Well... sit down my friend and let me tell you the story of Big Brother...

Read the rest of this comment...

ya sounds about right (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821196)

I'm surprised that MS hasn't gotten either the GPL (or the concept of Open Source) legislated out of practice yet. After all, supposedly what's good for Business (and to most legislators MS==IT) is what's supposed to be good for america.

Come on, fellas. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13821200)

That's just tinfoil-hat conspiracy theory crackpottery.

Re:Come on, fellas. (1)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821448)

It's "tinfoil-hat conspiracy theory crackpottery" to be suspicious that a convicted criminal might commit another crime?

Microsoft has been CONVICTED (not just suspected, not just accused, convicted) of antitrust violations already. Keeping a close eye on them in case they reoffend isn't "crackpottery"-it's common sense.

It's just 2 guys but.. (2, Insightful)

js3 (319268) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821212)

I guess he can apply it to the rest of the world

HP Website not all that linux-friendly (5, Interesting)

KiltedKnight (171132) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821223)

When I recently went to purchase a laptop from HP Shopping, because I wanted a 64-bit laptop and they were one of the few actually offering it at lower prices, I ended up having all kinds of grief, having an old-fashioned "fuck you" fight with the customer service desk.

It went something like this...

I started customizing the zv6000 laptop, choosing XP Home, knowing that I probably wouldn't get reasonable tech support without having it installed (never mind that there wasn't an option to not get it). As I got to the end, I looked around for a way to request custom partitioning of the hard drive. No dice. So I cancelled the order and wrote to HP Shopping and asked if they could do a custom partitioning job because I wanted to create a dual-boot system.

The response I got was that they couldn't do it and that they were sorry the web site didn't suit my needs.

I responded by asking if they could sell me a blank laptop and provide the installation media on the side, since it was included, and I didn't feel like trying to reinstall the recovery partition for Windows. This is why you don't get installation media... they put it all on a partition on the hard drive that only the Windows installer can use.

Their reply was that they were contractually obligated to sell the laptop with the latest version of Windows installed.

So I told them that they just lost a sale because of their contractual obligations, and that I would take my money elsewhere.

So they replied again with how they were sorry that the website didn't suit my needs and that they would notify the appropriate people.

Now they've pushed my buttons... so I tell them that this is not about a web site, it's about a person sitting there running an FDISK command and watching the install take place instead of just using a ghosting program. I also tell them that I would've been willing to wait an extra couple of weeks, knowing I was asking for a truly customized job.

In the end, I did get an HP laptop, but got it from CompUSA. I got the HP L2000, and for about $40, the tech desk people there were able to do the customized partitioning job for me, reinstall the version of Windows that came with it, and leave me with blank, unformatted partitions to use for Fedora Core 4 x86_64. The tech guys there knew exactly what I wanted to do, understood it, and thought it was really cool. Yes, I need ndiswrappers to get the wireless card to work, and I have to download a driver for the ATI graphics card in there (both are available via a yum archive at

Now if only we could get Macromedia to release a 64-bit version of the flash player and Sun to do a 64-bit verison of Java... (yes, I know about the OSS alternatives... doesn't change the fact that they need to do it).

Re:HP Website not all that linux-friendly (4, Interesting)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821404)

You have to understand that for HP to hire a guy that is knowledgable enough (not that it takes much) costs HP money in both the position as well as training costs. Look, I like Linux as much as the next guy, but is it worth the extra money to HP for doing your custom partitioning?? No it isn't. Is it worth HP's money and time to do a custom job on your laptop? No, they can't do thatas they would be bombarded with many requests to do the same thing.

Is HP right for not including REAL Windows install disks?? NO. HP should realize....hard disks fail. To a regular AOL/Joe Sixpack type of user, mailing the laptop back to HP or taking it to a service center is perfectly acceptable when replacing a hard disk. To us, we look on it as a opportunity to upgrade the feeble disk it came with. In any case, HP and many other manufacturers SHOULD ship REAL install media....not this crap that accesses a windows recovery partition. They should also stop shipping SPYWARE with there machine as well.

HP's website itself works FINE in Firefox. The website itself is Linux friendly. Not being able to ship you a custom solution should not be a judgement of thier site. Face it....Windows DOES have the marketshare. If you don't like the website that they make you use, then you are free to go to a dealer that IS able to satisfy you. Being mad at them because they won't do your custom job is stupid. Finding a manufacturer that will do whaty you want and supporting them rather then HP is the sure fire way to get HP to change thier ways. What you did by buying from them anyway is VALIDATE thier planning! If a company can't do what I want, I tell them to pound sand.

Re:HP Website not all that linux-friendly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13821415)

If they had filled YOUR custom order, they'd have to fill EVERYBODY's custom order. I'd chalk this up to unrealistic expectation (although not unreasonable). As it seems you concluded, your specific needs may be better-served by a local shop.

BTW, what's the problem with doing the disk formatting and partitioning yourself?

Re:HP Website not all that linux-friendly (1)

KiltedKnight (171132) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821542)

BTW, what's the problem with doing the disk formatting and partitioning yourself?

Reread my original post... it has to do with the Windows installation media/recovery partition, having to burn recovery disks, etc. Besides, my time is valuable too. I don't want to sit there and wait for every stupid prompt the Windows installation will put up in front of me throughtout the installation process, trying to figure out what network configuration I want, how I want to configure a specific program because it can't be configured until it installs, etc. With a Linux install (at least through my experiences with Fedora and RedHat), they ask you all the pertinent questions up front. You spend about 15-20 minutes, then just let it go all by itself (if you're doing DVD or network-based, anyway).

Re:HP Website not all that linux-friendly (2, Informative)

NatteringNabob (829042) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821438)

[ ...Sun to do a 64-bit verison of Java]

There is a 64 bit Linux version of Java available at the bottom of this URL.;js essionid=DA5B35C261DED503304CFE10857DC842 []

I couldn't get the installer to run on FC4 when I tried but the package clearly does exist.

Re:HP Website not all that linux-friendly (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821443)

Its more profitable for HP to lose a sale then it is to lose 10 sales because the price of their laptop went up to pay the increase in the MS tax.

Until more people demand for unix this will not change.

HP is just doing what is more profitable.

Re:HP Website not all that linux-friendly (1)

jshaped (899227) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821467)

sorry, but i got to say: duh.
none of the major computer manufacturers are going to go out of their way to help you install a product they haven't approved.
they're all under some sort of contract with MS.
this has been discussed numerous times here before.
this is just all a part of the linux experience.... you gotta do it yourself.
you can't rely on HP or dell or even the compusa tech people.

Re:HP Website not all that linux-friendly (2, Interesting)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821574)

I bought a ze4610 back in Feb '04, on the strength of it running Knoppix nice in the store (Circuit City)... and mine came with a real XP Home installation CD, not a restore disk. I also got, separately in the package, a disk with all of HP's utilities and drivers and assorted bundled software, AND a student edition of Office 2003 for some reason, even though I wasn't a student, which I never bothered to install because I don't care for the product activation.

I promptly ditched XP Home and installed XP Pro, and then wrote to HP support asking them if it was possible to resize the partitions on the disk to dual boot with Linux, and while they told me they don't support it, they did give me instructions for how to do it, with the caveat that I would be on my own if I ran such a configuration, which was fine, and doing this didn't affect my warranty in any way.

Given that they don't provide Linux, I don't expect them to support it, although I wish it were an option and that they would offer it along with support for whatever version of Linux they decide to provide. On the whole, it was a positive experience and I was happy with the purchase decision.

And this just in (1)

Eugene Webby (891781) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821225)

Microsoft was responsible for the Area51 coverup, more at 11.

Holy shit! (0, Troll)

Karma_fucker_sucker (898393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821226)

All those guys wearing those tin-foil hats were right!

Fuck, I'm not using phones, internet, or think bad thoughts anymore! They are out to get us!

Not fair (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821598)

I think that Terpstra's main point is that people are comfortable with the status quo and have very little incentive to try to change it. They are mostly afraid of floating inventory (which is a killer due to Moore's Law) appearing to be out of touch with their customers, etc. That and they don't know how to support it.

A few things that Terpstra doesn't mention:
1) Linux is doing *really well* in the embedded market including wireless.
2) Linux desktop adoption overseas is being driven by enforcing copyright restrictions, especially in South-East Asia (this was the case when I lived in Indonesia).

#1 is mostly due to stealth factor. I.e. if it is hidden, nobody gets scared.

#2 is a biggie and is likely to cause a lot of sudden adoption overseas.

Re:Holy shit! (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821611)

They are out to get us!

No, you have it all wrong.

They're just out to get you.

There's sabotage alright (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821230)

I find that some computers just don't want to run a linux distribution reliably. I think it's often linked to something like an ATI video card, but it wouldn't be hard for HP or another manufacturer to introduce some kind of DRM that only works with Windows or other "sanctioned" Operating System.

I tried on my HP Evos and dx2000s at work, and they don't boot at all, when it works fine on most other computers I try. Why can't a brand new HP run a new linux distribution every time?

Re:There's sabotage alright (1)

KiltedKnight (171132) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821340)

You're probably talking about the ATI Radeon Xpress 200M (or other cards in Radeon Xpress series).

Check [] . They've got a lot of good utilities, including video players, pre-compiled kernel drivers, etc.

HP has a history of making so-so boxes (1)

HBI (604924) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821368)

Their desktop models in particular have been very flaky over the years. I have a ton of old Vectras here of various versions, and another company I worked for used them as a standard desktop. They were always weird...strange issues with video or certain expansion boards, and they aren't the best choice in the world for Linux.

We waste more time with 20 Vectras than we would with 100 Dells in terms of hardware-related support.

I was really sad when Compaq was bought out. Their higher end x86 compatible machines were very nice indeed, and haven't gotten better since the 'merger'.

Desktop Linux (1)

sedyn (880034) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821232)

Linux is on my desktop, and on the desktop of my family.

As for manufacturer support, if they don't want to support linux then they also don't want my money.

I hate seeing windows on a PC as much as the next /.er, but let the use of windows be the penalty in and of itself.

Re:Desktop Linux (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821325)


My home is Linux/Mac.

Re:Desktop Linux (1)

Leiterfluid (876193) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821607)

Your money isn't significant enough to matter.
What matters is the deployment and support benefits that OEMs get from Microsoft to deliver Microsoft software on the vendor's hardware.
What also matters is that Microsoft has set up their own testing lab to test hardware from a variety of manufacturers and certify the hardware and the drivers as being designed and optimzed for a particular operating system. This "seal of approval," which may not mean anything to you or me, means a lot to vendors that can sell their wares with Microsoft's blessing. And it means a lot to n00bs buying their first desktop or laptop.

The other side of that coin is that vendors need to see a significant return on investment when developing drivers that will work on a Linux platform. If they feel their customer base is primarily Windows users, what benefit would there be for them to create drivers to appease the relatively small percentage of Linux users that might buy their product.

I've been tooling around with Linux since I bought a Plug & Play Linux distro from a local computer shop in 1995, and quite frankly, I haven't seen anything that would make me want to install any distro on anything other than a VMWare image. If I had a couple extra machines to spare, then maybe... but right now, I'll stick with what works.

Although I did install Red Hat on some Dell laptops

Why do we still post this garbage? (4, Interesting)

eison (56778) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821245)

"Part 2", the "what MS is doing to stop Linux" part, points out obvious facts (can't buy Linux computers in major retailers), asks why, and then postulates no decent answers. We should all ask, why does it suggest no decent answers? Is it perhaps because the most likely answer, that retail stores would lose money selling Linux systems due to higher difficulty of making the sale, higher support costs, higher return rates, and lower volume? Or is it perhaps because there is a global conspiracy that stores take against profitable actions?

The author says we should believe: "Obviously, there are forces at work in the IT industry that cause retailers to choose not to participate in being more profitable." Right. Global conspiracy, obvious. Try again. The only thing that is really obvious is that the course of action he is suggesting (selling Linux systems in mass market brick and mortar retailers) is deemed unprofitable for these stores.

Sure, Walmart sells Linux. But only online, not brick and mortar.

Re:Why do we still post this garbage? (5, Insightful)

clodney (778910) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821437)

The article was sensationalist and attributed to malice and conspiracy what is best explained by profit motive.

The major electronic retailers function as gatekeepers. There are thousands of products out there that they don't put on their shelves, so much so that simply getting a product on the shelf at Best Buy is a huge accomplishment for a small hardware or software vendor.

The primary issue is one of space and inventory turns. Best Buy expects that every foot of shelf space bring in some amount of revenue, and they stock products that will maximize that revenue. A product that only moves 5 copies a month will always lose out to one that moves 5 a day.

Computers with preloaded software take up a lot of space. I suspect that most models don't even give you a choice of XP Home or XP Pro, and XP Pro is far more popular than Linux. But every different SKU to stock means additional inventory headaches, so only the most popular choices are going to be in stock.

Now consider some of the secondary factors. People buying a PC with Linux are going to be less likely to buy additional software. They arguably don't need things like Spyware or Virus products, and much of what they want is OSS and available for free anyway. So the chances for upsell are greatly reduced, and follow on sales are going to be less.

Retailers will offer Linux boxes if the numbers justify it. Show them a way to make a buck and they will be all over it. But at the moment they don't feel it is profitable to do so. No grand conspiracy, just economics.

Re:Why do we still post this garbage? (2, Insightful)

grcumb (781340) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821472)

"Is it perhaps because the most likely answer, that retail stores would lose money selling Linux systems due to higher difficulty of making the sale, higher support costs, higher return rates, and lower volume?"

Not to get all empirical on you or anything, but if history is any guide, it's likely because their OEM sales and partnership agreements require that they push MS into a place of such prominence that all other alternatives remain hopelessly unattractive.

Don't feel compelled to pay any attention to this hugely speculative hypothesis; it's only backed by legal investigators from the DoJ and signficant anecdotal evidence from commentary all over the media. Feel free to hold tight to your faith in the invisible hand as it works its wonders on the flock, sparing us from excellence at every turn.


Re:Why do we still post this garbage? (0, Troll)

shmlco (594907) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821568)

Probably because said retailer can count with the fingers of his left foot the number of commercial shrink wrapped software packages available to sell with it.

Customer: A Linux box? I've heard of those. And a $200 cheaper? Cool. Oh, I use MS Office at work, let's add that too.

Salesman: Well, MS doesn't make Office for it, but there's a...

Customer: No Office? Huh. I take pictures, how about Photoshop? Can I get that?

Salesman: No, but there's this thing you can download called...

Customer: How about Quicken?

Salesman: No.

Customer: No productivity software? Okay... How about games? I really like Half Life.

Salesman: Not available. But some people can get...

Customer: No games?

Salesman, resigned: No.

Customer: Well! I can see why it's so cheap. It doesn't run any of my programs!

Re:Why do we still post this garbage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13821577)

All of these articles and rants begin with the assumption that there's some huge demand for Linux that is unmet by the retail channel.

But the fact is Linux is a totally unpopular and complete sales failure on the desktop. It's Loser OS for Loser customers. You would have to pay normal well-adjusted people to use it.

let the bashing begin (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13821259)

when all else fails blame someone else for your failings

linux fails because of the fanatics who make up crap like this

Short version of this story (4, Insightful)

glomph (2644) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821268)

1. Forced sale of MS stuff still exists. Wow, what a surprise.
2. Before buying hardware, especially laptops, spend an hour googling or otherwise studying what IS supported. The morons in the story buy stuff and then find out compatibility. Fuckin' DUH!

Re:Short version of this story (5, Insightful)

kashani (2011) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821389)

Fucking duh is the entire point of the story. Why as a Linux user do I have to Google for an hour and then hope I can do the proper chicken sacrifice to make the drivers work? The OSS world has shown it can make kickass databases, web servers, kernels, mail servers, languages, etc, but we still can't get drivers installed. I'm likely to agree with the author that there are roadblocks not of our making that is causing this.


Re:Short version of this story (1)

glomph (2644) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821461)

You miss the point. The point is to -verify- that the hardware has mainline drivers in the kernel. The support list is PLENTY LONG. The kernel is what matters, not whether you get SUSE 14.g or whatever distro. If anything, the gakked-up distros make all of this worse.

If you are the type that buys stuff in retail stores, just bring a KNOPPIX boot CD with you. If that finds all your hardware, you are assured of success. If not, buy something else.

Re:Short version of this story (0, Troll)

black mariah (654971) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821493)

Why as a Linux user do I have to Google for an hour and then hope I can do the proper chicken sacrifice to make the drivers work?
Umm... because Linux sucks?

Re:Short version of this story (1)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821551)

The OSS world has shown it can make kickass databases

No, the "OSS world" has made no such thing. The two actually performant, enterprise-ready databases available under a free license are derived from commercial products that were open sourced by corporations (Postgres - CA Ingres | Firebird - Borland/Inprise Interbase).

The only "pure" from scratch free database server (MySQL) is just now coming of age (welcome to 2005!) by adding niceties like stored procedures and triggers.

If you judge OSS by its track record in producing database servers they tend to look really bad, so I'd avoid it if possible.

Come up with some real reasons... (2, Insightful)

No Salvation (914727) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821271)

So Linux desktop computers cost more than Microsoft Windows PCs do, and it's hard to find devices and drivers for Linux.
Linux works better with most hardware out of the box in my experience. Windows XP won't even recognize my SATA controller, and most of the other drivers don't work very well until I update them.

Oh, and buy a system without ANY operating system, if it still is costing you more find someone with a 3 digit IQ to find a cheaper computer for you. Besides this is mostly Microsoft's fault because they won't give special discounts to dealers that sell computers with no OS/Linux.

The guy running SuSE 9.3 sounded like he tried Linux for a grand total of 10 minutes, of course you aren't going to know how everything works in that time frame. Sheesh.

Yes and No (1)

irenaeous (898337) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821464)

The guy running SuSE 9.3 sounded like he tried Linux for a grand total of 10 minutes, of course you aren't going to know how everything works in that time frame. Sheesh.

I have done both -- installed 9.3 and recently 10.0. 9.3 has lots of issues -- the audio is turned off by default and works only for one user, and numerous drivers do not install correctly, even when they are available through Yast. I installed 9.3 three different times and always had to do some extra work to get everything working correctly. In one case (to get the NVIDIA 3-D graphics working driver working correctly), I had to recompile the kernel.

Now OpenSuse 10.0 was a completely different story. I installed it recently and everything worked flawlessly -- much to my surprise. It is more polished, and a much better experience. It is an excellent product.

So, regarding that guy, Yes -- he could have gotten it working with some work, and maybe some help, but No -- 9.3 can be a pain, but if he had used 10.00, he likely would have had a good experience. So, far OpenSuse looks like a great step forward in the right direction for the Linux desktop.

3...2...1....bashing (-1, Troll)

dustinc20 (573679) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821288)

linux: when you fail, you can blame someone else for your shortcomings!

Please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13821292)

Linux doesn't need outside forces to stop it's adoption on the desktop. How many years now has it been the year of Linux on the desktop? Linux on the desktop will always be a niche product. Just get over it and get on with your life.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13821305)


Of couse... (0)

jamesgamble (917138) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821322)

...Microsoft is trying to hinder Linux. It's the biggest threat Microsoft has ever had. Microsoft knows that if they do not do anything to discredit Linux or prove that it isn't viable in the marketplace/business world, they won't be around much longer. It's a natural reaction to the Monopoly Microsoft has held for years.

Complaints (4, Informative)

Tribbin (565963) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821350)

People for who I installed linux, say the following is missing:

Good MSN with all smileys, filetransfer, videochat.
Support for all streaming media in your webbrowser.
All multimedia files supported (without having to add (unofficial) repositories to have support for win32codecs and such).

Oh yeah, for the transition, full NTFS writing support.

Apart from that, my friends, mother, sister and girlfriend really like linux.

Re:Complaints (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13821517)

Not sure if you are trolling or not, but here goes.....

>Good MSN with all smileys, filetransfer, videochat.
You are not seriously using MSN are you? Can you say GAIM?

>Support for all streaming media in your webbrowser.
Since when is a browser an optimal vehicle for streaming media? But thats a different argument. Install the VLC browser plugin, and STFU

>All multimedia files supported (without having to add (unofficial) repositories to have support for win32codecs and such).
Please inform us where you bought your copy of Windows which supports DIVX (the most traded movie codec encoding) straight out the box.

Then again, I should have known better, you probably are a troll.

well .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13821392)

I think Linux still does a bang up job of putting off desktop users with any asstiance from microsoft.

Most people just want something easy that just works ... Linux does not fit that bill yet ( allthough it has come along way )

More a fault of the limited userbase (2)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821403)

It's probably more to do with the long term installed userbase. There really has never been a popular competitor to Windows on the x86 architecture. Even a company as vast as IBM gave in.

Many electronics companies don't see why they should devote developer time or make technical resources available when it's such a miniscule market.

Over time things will improve.

Now, an OT discussion of Word Processors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13821414)

Hey guys! I have a question. I've been using Microsoft Word For Windows version two for some time, and it's great. However, a friend of mine has been trying to sell me on buying an upgrade for it, and I'm not really sure I can afford it. Now I know that there's been a rush of freeware programs lately and I'm wondering if there are any freeware (more 'free' than warez, plz) programs which can handle word processing and can work with my files. I'd like to not lose any of the current functionality I have, so whatever you endorse has to have at least the features of what I'm using now -and preferably also have something unique that will make it worth my while to 'make the switch'.

Thanks in advance for all of your ideas and suggestions!

FUD alert! BullShit! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13821422)

It's fud fud fud fud. Consperiacy bullshit, I figure.

I LOVE Linux. Long time Debian user, I know that I simply couldn't use computers and be as happy with them if I was stuck with only choosing Windows and propriatory applications.

I am a GNU, Free Software, ra-ra-ra type of guy. I probably seem like a nut to many people.

But I don't beleive that it's a consperiacy against Linux. I beleive it's just complacency, laziness, apathy, and other crap like that.

It's not that they care and conspire, it's that they don't give a shit and MS nudges here and there very rarely.

Hardware manufacturers work their asses off making sure the everything works with Windows well. They generally dont' do jack shit about Linux because it doesn't contribute to their bottom line. (it could if they felt like it. No linux support = no Linux-related money = no reason to support linux = no linux support, etc etc etc.)

This is why it's important to support hardware manufacturers that support Linux. Stuff like Ralink-using Wifi cards that use the rt2500 and related chipsets. _Page []

And specificly requesting Linux support is the only way to go. Seriously. Buying random hardware and expecting it to work in Linux or expecting that your Dell laptop will work 'just because' is foolish.

This guy is spreading fud. There are certainly hardware companies that dislike the idea of free software. They dislike having to tell end-users how to use the hardware or releasing minimal REAL documentation on the hardware. Well then, fuck them. Don't buy their shit and if you do don't cry when you can't get it to work with ndiswrapper.

PS. Don't buy wifi cards with Conextent, Broadcom, Texas Instruments using chipsets. Avoid them like the plague. Modern 802.11g that work in Linux well are Intel Wifi setups and Ralink rt2x00 based chipsets. Intel 'Sonoma' platform with Intel Video and Intel wifi should work well in a modern Linux setup. Avoid ATI and Nvidia if you can, and if you can't and need the 3d horsepower always choose Nvidia.

What Linux needs for the 'average' user however is pre-installed support from a major manufacturer. The most likely canidate would be HP right now, but it seems to me that it's going to take a relative unkown to realy break through and start making buckets of money from this sort of thing. Maybe a successfull company that produces hardware specialized for Linux clustering or server work can step up to the bat and do it. (not talking about IBM.)

It is certainly possible to get a very nice computer for inexpensive that will work in Linux without having to resort to e-crappo hardware to make it cheap.

Taken from Murphy's (3, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821434)

"Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity"

Revolution 7.1 Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13821444)

Take a look at rs []

"Release Notes Linux/UNIX

M-Audio uses a 3rd Party Vendor for Unix support. 4Front Technologies
develops and supports UNIX drivers for the Revolution and Delta Series of Products. The software is available for free evaluation and non-profit use but 4Front charges a fee for technical support and commercial use. They can be found at the following web address: [] "

What a joke.

I am trying to port my company's engine to Linux running on the latest Mandrake 2006 just released. The damn master volume does nothing and the Envy24Control just crashes when run. Searching all over the Net trying to come up to speed with Linux sound drivers is not a productive way to port game code.

It is frustrating enough that I am ready to just go back to WinXP.

Update Gate's Mugshot Icon for his 50th! (0, Offtopic)

nukenerd (172703) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821451)

A bit OT, but isn't it about time? That mugshot looks like taken in his student days. The man is 50 on Oct 28th! Let Slashdot give him a treat - an up-to-date shot and many happy returns!

Bad desktop performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13821486)

Too bad Ubuntu (or more specifically, GNOME) is completely unusable on a PII-450Mhz with 256mb ram, the performance is awful.
Windows XP on the same machine ran flawlessly (apart from minor disk swapping sometimes).
I would've thought it was the other way around.
I convinced my coworkers that GNU/Linux would run way more snappy than windows on that box, and I had to swallow my own words.

Granted I could have installed a performance solution consisting of Window Maker coupled with the ROX filemanager, but the office consisted of non-technical users who needed a complete, friendly desktop environment, and appearantly, on GNU/Linux you cannot have both at the same time.

I wish someone made a desktop environment using the Fast Light ToolKit instead of GTK or some other pile of bloat.
The only one in existence that I'm aware of right now is the Equinox Desktop Environment, but it's Yet Another Cheap Windows Clone.

He misses the most important point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13821491)

Retailers will sell anything - provided - (a) it is reasonably profitable, and (b) it is not a hassel to mess with. Retailers want the consumer to have a good experience. Happy customers are good customers. Happy customers are repeat customers. Happy customers make you profitable.

If a customer does not like something - they will return it to the store. The store has little choice but to accept the return. Why? Or did you forget? In the USA most purchases are via credit cards. You call the card company and dispute the charge.
It is that simple.

Retailers have a choice either (A) - product with little hassel, and little returns, or (B) product with hassels and returns,
which would you pick? Retailers do not want a hassel. Don't be stupid.

Sadly, in the case of Linux - it is some what of an up hill battle.

If your product has too many returns - the store will *FORCE* you to eat the cost, you sell the computer for $300 to the store, they sell it for $500. If they must take it back - they charge you 20% to 50% - PLUS - you have to pay to have it shipped back to you. Sure, cheap products are destroyed in the store.... but not expensive products.

You keep this up, you'll go out of business quick.

No conspiracy theory (1)

xswl0931 (562013) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821502)

I have a theory, and it don't involve Microsoft (directly). Support costs. If the laptop in the article was sold with Linux but with no support whatsoever, then I wouldn't understand why it costs more, it should cost less. But if it included the same level of support as Windows, then I can see why it costs more. Now the hardware manufacturer has to test every piece of their hardware against Linux whereas in the Windows world, they would just pick and choose hardware pieces that were already deemed Windows compliant (logo certified) and perform minimal interop testing. Assuming that 95% of their sales is for Windows, they would have to hire a small number of people to take Linux support calls. And this applies to each individual hardware manufacturer (NICs, vid cards, etc...). If only a small subset of their sales is Linux, why spend the extra money to support it?

Cheaper with Windows pre-installed because... (2, Insightful)

rmpotter (177221) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821518)

It comes down to development and support. In order to ship a PC, Dell has to package and certify a boat load of drivers and asssorted software. It has to be more cost-effective to do this and cater to Windows -- the OS that 95% of the world uses. More to the point -- Dell -- and other vendors -- have to do the best they can to make drivers reliable, easy to re-install, configure and troubleshoot in order to maintain their reputations and keep support costs down.

Now consider support. If you are a Windows user -- preferably an XP user -- and you call Dell or HP for support, theoretically all of the drivers have been tested, most issues have been noted and posted to a knowledge base and chances are good that the tech at the other end of the line will have reasonable experience in helping you solve the problem.

Conversely, if you buy a barebones systems and run into problems, Dell will have fewer Linux techs who can help, these techs will be more expensive to retain and _your_ level of competency will have a huge impact on the length and outcome of the support call than if you were a lowly Windows user.

Perhaps if you could purchase with an iron-clad zero-support option, then Dell could justify dropping the price. But probably not. Dell is probably just as greedy and unwilling to pass the savings on to the customer (if they don't have to) as most other companies. This is also true of many open source vendors. Whether it's Dell, RedHat or IBM, they'll work hard to extract money out of us one way or another.

Here's another reason that the author overlooks (3, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821519)

I just happen to know the manager of a big-box retailer in a near-by major city (I live in the sticks). This retailer thinks they offer the Best prices to Buy things at (hint hint). Up until a couple of years ago, this retailer stocked a selection of Linux software, mainly Suse, RedHat, and Mandrake. It wasn't a lot (5 shelves on one display section about 6 feet wide), but hey, at least it was there.

Every time a new release of Mandrake (now least this week) came out, I went and bought the pro package, even though I could download it for free. I figured it was necessary to show support so they would maybe expand the selection.

Then it slowly disappeared. It has now been replaced by racks of more Windows stuff.

Not long after it disappeared, I asked him why. The basic answer was because aside from me and 4 or 5 other geeks, no one else was buying it. In fact, many people straight-up asked him "why should I buy this from you when I can get it legally and still for free on the internet?"

Stores are in business for one thing, and one thing make their owners (stock holders) money. Any product that doesn't turn a certain level of sales disappears. Quickly.

To get the big box retailers to carry Linux, they are going to have to be shown there is a market there AND THEY CAN MAKE MONEY DOING IT. Thousands of people can talk the talk about wanting Linux, but in the grand scheme of actually spending money on it, its a very tiny segment of us that does so.

The moral of this story is that if you want more retailers to carry more Linux, then people need to step up with their wallets and actually buy some of the stuff that is already out there.

I still get every new release of Mandriva, but now I do it via the Mandriva Club since I can't find a retailer that carries it locally. And my club membership costs me almost as much yearly as a Windows XP Home license (and I don't have to have a new license every year). So Linux does cost me money, but I want to show support so that's okay. More people need to be showing their support with pictures of dead presidents (or what ever is on the currency in your country for non-US readers). Only then will Linux offerings and support increase.

How much do Slashdot ADS cost these days, huh? (1)

Work Account (900793) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821534)

Tell us how much this Slashdot link submitted by "Mark Brunell, News Editor of TechTarget" to "TechTarget" costs.

Hardware Makers (3, Insightful)

borgasm (547139) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821545)

OK so 98% of my userbase uses Windows.
2 % use Linux.

I can write Windows drivers for my device and keep 98% of my userbase happy.

I can write Linux drivers for my device, and keep 2% of my userbase happy.

If the cost of writing that Linux driver is more than I would make back in profits, why would I ever do it?

Business decisions......

All smoke, no fire (2, Insightful)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821558)

"He then describes how Microsoft uses its considerable resources and the law to create such roadblocks."

Where? I couldn't find that anywhere in the article.

Generally, support for Linux sucks in hardware retailing. There are at least three possible reasons for this:
1 There are good commercial reasons why it isn't profitable to support Linux.
2 It would be profitable, but companies lack the vision to see this
3 Big bad Microsoft is conspiring to keep it this way.

I was hoping to see evidence for number 3, but all I saw was the article questioning whether 1 could be true (but without in-depth analysis - how much would Linux support cost, and how many sales would it gain?), and the /. summary alleging 3 without evidence.

less Linux retailers... (1)

SmellTheCoffee (808375) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821565)

I hardly shop at BestBuy or CircuitCity these days. BestBuy to me is lot of microsoftish. Bulk of my purchases come from Fry's and what I've seen is that Fry's is pretty good at carrying stuff that works in Linux. I recently bought Airlink101 wireless PCI card and got it to work with MadWIFI in 10 minutes...better that windows, where i had to install the gui frontend, drivers, reboot...reboot again.

Bad economics (1)

airrage (514164) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821570)

First it is the applications, just like it is the quality of the movies, just like it is the quality of the television shows. It is the application.

Secondly, the reason the laptop costs more is because it is carrying more burden of the costs associated with fewer sales, thus more cost per unit. This holds true even for identical units. To sell a Linux laptop requires potentially Linux technical support, sales support (knowledge), adding another product line to the web site, etc. While probably all incremental, it has to be shared by the number of units sold. As units increased, this cost would potentially decrease.

Windows on the other hand is massive in market share so everyone who makes cards, controllers, plug-ins etc want to be viable for this market. It's not a great crime to follow the market leader.

Secondly, one quick puruse on would have answered which cards offered Linux support instead of trial by error. Stupidity is not an excuse.

It's not some great crime that Linux isn't adopted on the DT. Believe me, once Linux is REALLY ready, we will all switch. Till then, please stop the reverse FUD.

Peace Out.

Never attribute to malice... (1)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821589)

...what can be adequately explained by stupidity.

It's -entirely- possible that the "big boys" treat Linux as a redheaded stepchild, and throw their laziest, stupidest employees at setting it up. "Jim! You're responsible for setting up Linux on these machines!" "But boss, I don't even know how to open the CD drive..."

Still, it's a problem that needs addressing. Granted, I've never gotten a (Dell|Gateway|Compaq|insert other big brand here), I purchase only from a couple of local shops or build my own. However, if adoption is going to take off, it's going to take -decent- preinstallation to work. (And who knows, someone who can build their own may take Dell up on their next $200 CheapPOS 510C with Linux preinstalled for a cheap filewall box or something.)

So what? (1)

Toadius (886709) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821595)

Where are the actual facts? BFD .. if I want to install Linux I'll get the box with the best deal - regardless of the pre-installed OS. When the free market demands Linux pre-installed with all the goodies, then the manufacturers will supply it. Until then, for good or for bad, Linux is still in the minority. The fact is that not *all* companies are going to support Linux. ~Caveat Emptor~ I don't want to read a three part article about a few glitches installing Linux and/or another OS along with some theories about conspiracy. Give me cold hard facts.

Another bit of FUD here... (3, Interesting)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821599)

Windows desktops are less expensive than Linux? How can that be when the Windows desktop costs not one cent extra to put a FREE copy of Linux on and you get a Windows license left over.

Micrsoft is hindering Linux on the desktop? Excuse me while I laugh myself into an asthma fit.

The regular slew of updates to KDE ALONE will screw up the average KDE installation bad enough and quick enough to make you want to strangle everyone who works on it. Gnome which is supposed to be so much less cool than KDE is five times more stable in my experience and two times less useful. Of course so is a hammer by comparison to a vertical knee mill but at least the hammer does what it is designed to.

I use Fedora Core 3 as my regular desktop and only log into XP when I have an absolute need. I've made Quake run with sound in less than an hour USING the idiotically bad and largely conflicting and contradictory documentation on the net (woot! I can translate geekoid!). I got SSH working with public keys in ten minutes. I regularly customize my FC3 boxes and rework them rather than the lazier nuke and pave method. So... I am not a Windows newbie-to-Linux here.

The ONLY thing killing Linux on the desktop is Linux. XOrg and XFree86 and their ongoing back and forth pecadillos, KDE's zealot army of moronic children screaming the leetness of their preference, Gnome's less than stellar array of boosters, and both desktops' having little to no clue towards stability and regularity are merely the tip of the iceberg. The neverending foreverwar over what goes in the kernel, the endless bs of how drivers and hardware abstraction should work, the "ooh isn't this cool" phenomenon of distros spreading like mold based on their purveyors' egotistical desire to have some note in the history of Linux... All of this and more is what is killing Linux on the desktop.

It's like the movie Braveheart. The penguin sallies forth to do battle with the incredible menace and its own supporters backstabbing, squabbling, infighting, and inability to arrive at a common vision and stick with it do it in. Penguin meat anyone?

I can understand Microsoft... (2)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 8 years ago | (#13821618)

But why do the electronics manufacturers want to see Linux dead? That doesn't make sense

If I was an electronics manufacturer, the thing I'd want is as many operating systems as possible using my hardware to reduce the possibility of control being with one who could set the standards that I'd be forced to follow.

Hardware manufacturers, it seems to me are starting to open up to Linux. They know there's a market out there, and that if you are the only one in there, it's a good income.

stupid people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13821619)

Ok here is what is wrong with most of you..


Just because something isn't GPL doesn't mean it can't be open source. I dislike the GPL, esp GPL3. So I refuse to release any code under it. I can't wait for Solaris to come further with open source. It is a really good operating system, and now that it is free I am so happy!!!

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