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Who is Going to Buy SkyOS?

Cliff posted more than 7 years ago | from the does-it-pique-your-curiosity dept.

118

An anonymous reader wonders: "With the huge amount of operating systems available (numerous free and non-free Linux distros, Windows, Mac OSX, BSD, etc) who would buy SkyOS? An OS that was once free will now become a commercial operating system with the release of version 5.0. Although 'Porting applications from POSIX operating systems is an easy task', applications will still have to be ported since SkyOS 'isn't based on any other operating system'. This leads me to wonder...is there something about this operating system that I'm missing? Has anyone out there tried SkyOS and why would anyone pay for SkyOS with all of the alternatives out there with tonnes of software easily available?"

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118 comments

Why? (4, Insightful)

spcmastertim (782657) | more than 7 years ago | (#15625565)

People buy windows when there is a free alternative. The reason is simple. SkyOS does something very well, and people who need that one thing done well will buy it. Don't ask me what it is that it does well...

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

bcat24 (914105) | more than 7 years ago | (#15625574)

But that's just the point. People who would use a non-Windows system tend to be a bit smarter (computer-wise). I doubt they'd want to spend money on a system that's incompatable with Windows and Linux.

Re:Why? (1)

spcmastertim (782657) | more than 7 years ago | (#15625592)

So everybody should toss out those AS400 and BeOS boxes? There is no one answer for all the computing problems out there. Granted, I have not torn apart SkyOS, but the question itsself is a simple one. Why purchase something that is free, and may cause you to change the way you work? Because it is worth it. If a company can speed up repeatable task X by a factor of Y, eventually the cost of the conversion and the OS will pay for itsself. That aside, I am not going to be paying for an OS any time soon. I like to roam with the penguins...

Re:Why? (1)

bcat24 (914105) | more than 7 years ago | (#15625608)

OK, maybe I phrased my post incorrectly. If you want to buy a new OS and use it, more power to you! I just don't think SkyOS would have a wide audience (except maybe in the OS dev community).

Re:Why? (2, Informative)

enosys (705759) | more than 7 years ago | (#15625958)

Look at what happened to BeOS. It had various innovative features and some people were quite excited about it but it was a failure in the marketplace. SkyOS doesn't even seem to have such innovative features. It's not that nobody will use it. It's just that it doesn't seem to have any chance in the marketplace.

Re:Why? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#15626141)

BeOS had some issues outside the operating system. When i bought my first computer with a harddrive, the sales man told me I needed a disk operating system. He then recomended D.O.S. by microsoft. Later windows 3.something was all the rave and I bought it. I have heard of OS2 and BeOS but never gave it a though because one needed special hardware and the other didn't work with my disk operating system.

Marketing and the lack of an availible platform killed BeOS. It wasn't untill around 2000 or so i got the chance to play on a BeBox did i realise what i was missing. If SkyOS can keep a platform availible (common hardware) and actualy market it alongside Microsoft's offerings, It has has better odds the BeOS did. What might make It marketable, i don't know.

Re:Why? (1)

dknj (441802) | more than 7 years ago | (#15627605)

BeOS ran on common (read: Apple and Intel) hardware from 1996. And it was marketed as a multimedia OS, but never gained a strong enough hold. Chances are, if you heard of it, you had no use for it. OS/2 was similar because it was marketed for business desktops.

SkyOS sounds like a slower rehash of BeOS complete to the lack of major hardware support (still no wifi support, for instance)

Re:Why? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#15628356)

BeOS actually had very poor hardware support. There were many chipsets it wouldn't work on and peripheral support in general was extremely limited. The simple fact is that there's too much hardware out there for one company to go it alone. This is why I believe that the Linux kernel is going to be the basis of every successful alternative operating system in the immediate future :)

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630728)

IMHO, what ultimately did BeOS in was the lack of full POSIX compatability, in particular with the network code. This ment that BeOS users couldn't use the large and growing library of open source software without first porting it over. Even though porting was fairly easy (assuming the application didn't touch the network), it was a lot of work for the end user and the relatively small developer base.

The nail in the coffin was the lack of a decent Web Browser for the longest time. Even back in 1997 the lack of a good Web Browser was just death for an OS. Linux would not be where it is today if Netscape hadn't been ported over to it. The hardware support issues also ment that it didn't install or work correctly when people just installed it on their home machine to try it out. Granted, Linux wasn't perfect back then either (nor is it now), but it was better than BeOS by a fair margin.

Re:Why? (1)

Slime-dogg (120473) | more than 7 years ago | (#15628892)

I dunno. From the looks of it, SkyOS is going to be cheap. If it isn't cheap, it's a loser. Then again, without a large application base, it doesn't matter how cheap it is. People will pick it up, then wonder why WoW doesn't run on it.

Re:Why? (1)

NewWorldDan (899800) | more than 7 years ago | (#15628583)

Some people are just operating system enthusiasts. I've variously ran versions of DOS, Windows, OS/2, Irix, Solaris, Linux, BSD, AtheOS, FreeDOS, and a few others I can't remember the names of. I'd think about running Sky just to be different. And really, for a small development team, they only need to sell a few thousand hobbyists to stay in business. And who knows, they might even find a nice little niche that that can take ten or twenty thousand copies.

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

CherniyVolk (513591) | more than 7 years ago | (#15625687)

People buy windows when there is a free alternative. The reason is simple. SkyOS does something very well, and people who need that one thing done well will buy it...

Why are people dellusional about what motivates purchases?

People will buy SkyOS becuase there is a cost associated to it. For no other reason, rationale or sentimental, than the fact it has a price tag.

For instance, take a look at a typical edition of Cosmopolitan magazine. Go ahead, flip through it. Don't worry, the chick next to you in line might think it's hot. There are so many advertisements in that magazine, you'll be hard pressed to actually find "content". The publishing house makes so much money off the advertisements, that they could pay people just to accept the magazine yet, it still has a price tag; so much money infact, they really don't need "content" and much of it is "fluff" to appear as if there's something of value other than the advertisements. Why? The Advertisement Firms insist they maintain a cover price, becuase they feel people will not take the publication seriously (including holding any value to the advertisements within) if the work was was for free. Now, to emphasize how much of that magazine is content, rip out every page that has the smallest blatant advertisement on it. Or, at your whim, hold all pages that have any "content" thereon. Doesn't matter, either way it will be pathetic I garruntee it.

It's not much talked about, or doesn't seem so, that one of the largest milestones the Open Source community has is convincing someone there is "value" in a "free" product. Especially, if that individual has been raised in such a capitalistic driven society; they literally can not conclude the possibility anyone could produce a valuable product for free without monetary or material compensation. It's out of their grasp, it does not compute. They default to a conclusion that something must be wrong or lacking if someone is willing to just hand it off on someone else.

Someone will buy SkyOS. Will they be the next Microsoft? I doubt it. But, I know for certain, someone will buy it in high regard and expectation of "quality" becuase sense they purchased the product... that makes the people making it, "professionals". To a Capitalist, ability and capability is soley determined by price.

Re:Why? (5, Interesting)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#15625861)


Especially, if that individual has been raised in such a capitalistic driven society; they literally can not conclude the possibility anyone could produce a valuable product for free without monetary or material compensation. It's out of their grasp, it does not compute


There's this thing that became quite popular more than 50 years ago, and it was given away free! No price whatsoever. It was called television, and a lot of people saw value in it. It had so much value that many people use this service far too much. About 50 years before that the scientists invented something we now radio. It was also, and continues to be free, and many people seem to love it and see value in it. Something like 400 years ago there was a thing called Public Education that was offered for free. People seem to continue to see value in it despite its free status even today! More recently we've invented internet websites, which are largely free.

People readily accept products that are free as having value, and have for literally hundreds of years. The problem that open source faces isn't that the software has no cost, it's simply that the current software is in an entrenched position. For the majority of people, the costs really isn't about the actual software itself. That's fairly trivial. The costs come in learning how to use new software, OS, etc. For a business that means retraining employees, or re-writing software. For individuals that means wasting your time re-learning to do something you already know how to do.

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 7 years ago | (#15626010)

And of course, free-to-air television is valued more than pay-per-view, public education is considered superior to expensive private colleges, free radio is hotter than pay-per-song iTunes and nobody ever thought of charging for web content, like, with a two-tiered Internet or anything.

You, my dear naieve friend, need to realize that until the Open Source movement, few things remained free after a) its value was recognised by business and b) a viable model to charge for it was developed. The Open Source community better watch its back, business is scheming right now how to hijack it and charge for it and as impossible as it may seem, they'll try.

Re:Why? (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 7 years ago | (#15626326)

Public Education that was offered for free

I don't think I want to go into the other ones, but do you really think public education is for free ? Do you think internet websites are for free ?

For individuals that means wasting your time re-learning to do something you already know how to do.

No, they don't. They only know how to do it one way on one OS, with one software. And it's not re-learning, it simply learning. And yes, today's people - most of them - are just too lazy to learn, they don't want to hear about anything that needs any bit of effort to achieve.

And what they might call the need to re-learn, I just call stupidity. If they were willing to rely totally on one and single software and one and single OS, etc. then this re-learning is the price you have to pay. MS won't be here forever, you know. No company will be here forever. Eventually people will have to adapt, even if they don't want to.

In my world, intelligence is closely related to this kind of adaptivity, the will and ability to learn and to be open towards new ways of doing things. Be that software, be it anything else.

Re:Why? (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#15626843)


I don't think I want to go into the other ones, but do you really think public education is for free ? Do you think internet websites are for free ?

They're free in the same way software is free, that is "I didn't pay anything for it". That's what we're talking about here, so that's the operative definition of free. If you're trying to argue the "there's no such thing as free lunch" point, I think that makes a good speech to grade school kids but everyone else knows that, thanks.

And yes, today's people - most of them - are just too lazy to learn, they don't want to hear about anything that needs any bit of effort to achieve.

It's got nothing to do with being lazy, it's about efficiency. Face it, software is just a tool and once you know how to do something efficiently with one tool it sucks to have to re-learn how to do it all over again. That's not laziness, it's time management.

In my world, intelligence is closely related to this kind of adaptivity, the will and ability to learn and to be open towards new ways of doing things.

In your world you'd spend $5000 on re-tooling a carpenter to use a free hammer instead of a $5 hammer that has the same level of productivity. The only thing you'd achieve would be having 4995 less dollars in your pocket at the end of the day. Businesses (and really everyone) cares about costs, be it time spent learning some new tool, or money. Maybe you think learning a new interface is fun, but the rest of us don't.

OSS needs to demonstrate that the benefits are worth the costs. That's really no different than any other competitor. There's many benefits to OSS, but for the most part the "free as in beer" part isn't really important.

Television isn't free in the UK (3, Interesting)

rklrkl (554527) | more than 7 years ago | (#15626565)

Ever since I've been alive, television in the UK has *never* been free and I'm not talking about the "obvious" case of advertisements funding the media. In the UK, every household with a television has to pay an annual television license (and several other European countries are similar). This funds the BBC and allows it to run with no advertisements across all its properties (hence why the BBC Website is ad-free for example, though that's about to change with the "international version" I believe).

For a long time, the UK TV license also covered radio as well, but I'm not sure that's the case now (i.e. if you have a radio, but no TV, you no longer need a license). So that's not always been free either. If you really must go on about "free television and radio", please qualify it with the country you're talking about and, of course, feel free to ignore how they aren't actually free anyway (advertisements/sponsors fund them, which ultimate comes out of the public's pocket).

Irrelevant to the argument. (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#15626867)

The original argument was about whether people saw value in free things, not whether all television was free in every country. You're right that nothing is "free" in terms of cost, but we all know that, and it's also irrelevant to the discussion.

Re:Television isn't free in the UK (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#15631152)

"feel free to ignore how they aren't actually free anyway (advertisements/sponsors fund them, which ultimate comes out of the public's pocket)."
Well there is always NPR and PBS which are closer to free by your definition the do get some tax money but if you are poor enough or young enough to not pay federal taxes then it is free.
Dude Slashdot is owned by a US company, run buy US citizens, and is in English. The vast majority of people on this board are from the US.
Getting bent of Slashdot posts being US centric is like getting upset because a website owned by a French company and in French has some posts that assume that everyone on the board is from France!

Of for my friend to get upset that when he posted a question about his Westfield kit Car on a Westfield owners board about a part he needed they told him that it was easy to find. It is the same part that they use on a model of Ford that was never sold in the US. He later found out that a Mercury that was sold here used the same part.

The majority shouldn't be expected to specify things for the minority.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

1iar_parad0x (676662) | more than 7 years ago | (#15626863)

Television isn't free -- they sell commercials
Radio isn't free -- they also sell commercials
Public education isn't free -- they use our tax money to support it
Even PBS and NPR require donations.

OSS is actually free. The programmers may get a bit of extra experience that they can leverage into a job. Some even spin their software into a business. However, OSS is essentially free. Truthfully, most of the internet is free because it has deep roots in academia. Scientists and engineers (to a lesser extent) have always valued knowledge for its own sake. Is OSS as user friendly as commercial software. No. Is it as polished. No, but some of the most reliable products are OSS (Apache, Sendmail, the Linux OS itself).

Re:Why? (1)

RevAaron (125240) | more than 7 years ago | (#15628691)

PBS and NPR "require donations" about as much as a lot of OSS projects do. That is, they don't require it, but ask you for donations and generally use a rhetoric of "if you use the service or software that you should pay something for it."

Re:Why? (1)

Wakk013 (922235) | more than 7 years ago | (#15627478)

Nice try, but extremely flawed thinking.
In the US; TV, Radio, and Education has never been free. Each product is funded through every person in the form of taxes.

You may not be supporting the local TV or Radio stations with the latest music, but your federal tax money is being used to support these products. Even the main stream TV and Radio is paid for through advertising. Is it free to joe bloe public? Not really, because if you didn't buy the items being advertised, then that funding would go away and then the stations wouldn't have any money to operate on. Its a very vicious cycle, even if its not directly apparent to you.

Public Education is typically paid for through your city, county, federal, and state taxes.

Do you see an upfront cost when using these products? Typically, no. Though I know quite a few "public" schools that will charge for admittance and books.

Re:Why? (1)

Bent Mind (853241) | more than 7 years ago | (#15629788)

There's this thing that became quite popular more than 50 years ago, and it was given away free! No price whatsoever. It was called television, and a lot of people saw value in it. It had so much value that many people use this service far too much. About 50 years before that the scientists invented something we now radio. It was also, and continues to be free, and many people seem to love it and see value in it.

I've read the replies below your message. They point out things like taxes, advertising, paid TV/radio (cable/satellite), etc. However, one thing I don't see is the fact that television and radio also require that you purchase a receiver. It's common to judge the value of television and radio on the quality of picture and/or sound presented. Quality receivers are not free.

Kind of wrong... (1)

PaulBu (473180) | more than 7 years ago | (#15625947)

To a Capitalist, ability and capability is soley determined by price.

I am not sure if Vogue readers are hardened Capitalists, but I doubt that -- for the real ones, "ability and capability" is determined by profit, which is related to price in an (almost) linear way, but with a negative-sign coefficient... ;-)

Paul B.

The A is the C (2, Interesting)

Judge_Fire (411911) | more than 7 years ago | (#15626398)

There are so many advertisements in that magazine, you'll be hard pressed to actually find "content".

In lifestyle magazines, the ads are often the content. The odd column or feature are nice extras, but fluff.

J

[OT] Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15626632)

> For instance, take a look at a typical edition of Cosmopolitan magazine.
> Go ahead, flip through it. Don't worry, the chick next to you in line might think it's hot.

MEOW! You actually know girls who *like* men who read such things? :-P

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 7 years ago | (#15627624)

For instance, take a look at a typical edition of Cosmopolitan magazine . . . The publishing house makes so much money off the advertisements, that they could pay people just to accept the magazine yet, it still has a price tag . . . The Advertisement Firms insist they maintain a cover price, becuase they feel people will not take the publication seriously

There is a counter-example, though.

Many metro areas have a free newspaper. In Rochester, NY, it's City; in Albany, NY, it's Metroland; in Toronto, Ont, it's Eye (IIRC); you get the idea. While not as revered (and certainly not as frequent) as the daily papers, they do get picked up and read, and the advertisements get seen. It doesn't take a cover price to accomplish this.

Back to the matter at hand, I won't buy it. I never even heard of it until this posting on Slashdot. Linux has name recognition. BSD has less so, but it has it. Windows has mad name recognition. Even DOS has a better chance of selling, by virtue of having name recognition. I don't think SkyOS will sell.

Re:Why? (3, Informative)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 7 years ago | (#15628142)

For instance, take a look at a typical edition of Cosmopolitan magazine. Go ahead, flip through it. Don't worry, the chick next to you in line might think it's hot.

I totally agree, I absolutely love Cosmo for these reasons.

  • Cosmo is full of pictures of beautiful, glamourous and often scantily clothed women.
  • Cosmo is full of really filthy articles about doing the nasty.
  • Cosmo is full of really filthy articles about female masterbation.
  • Cosmo is full of interesting information about women.
  • Almost every second week cosmo features an article on women's anatomy, with pictures of exposed breasts and other facinating bits.
  • Cosmo is just like a men's "stroke mag" in most ways I can imagine.
  • Cosmo can be read by a man in broad daylight, in mixed company and women will admire him for emersing himself in female culture and female perspective, completely oblivious to his motivations, as long as he hides his erection well enough. Wives, girlfriends, mothers, sisters, daughters and every other type of woman in a man's life just seem to not see it. Sure, men might look at you funny, until you show them the double page feature on breast implants, giving you 30 exposed real, large breasts and 10 fake ones to tell apart complete with answers and close ups on the next page (real article, I kid you not).
Cosmo is HOT HOT HOT and women don't get why enlightened men love it so much. Occasionally it has a male glamour shot for the target demographic to admire, which isn't my cup of tea, but it seems to be always tastefully done and never demeaning to the man involved. Cosmo, though obviously female biased in its outlook doesn't have as much latent misandry as other womens publications either, so I can feel good about myself while reading it.

I am so tempted to go out and get a subscription.

Re:Why? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630650)

I don't know about your female aquantences, but all of mine consider Cosmo something of a smut mag, for precisely the reasons you mentioned. If you're a guy and reading it, they assume it's because you're looking for the smut, not because you're really interested in women. That said, it's the only smut magazine many 13 year olds have access too (right in the supermarket checkout!), although that doesn't matter nearly as much as it did before everyone had internet access.

If you really wanted to impress women, you'd have to read one of their dreadfully dull magazines like Redbook, that would show some real dedication.

Re:Why? (1)

Dr.EvilBetty (985966) | more than 7 years ago | (#15633676)

Well, this capitalist has a little something to say. My expirience is that if I pay for something, someone has some responsibility for whatever it is I bought. Can I download some linux distro for free? Sure but, do I have someone I know I can hold accountable if I have problems with it? No Way! Oh there's forums galore and books but, nothing that says "if you need help, call here:". When I purchase software, which I do often for my job, I have somewhere I can bitch when I have a problem (which always happens). I may have to wait on the phone for an hour or wait for tech to call me back but, either they help me or they don't get my business anymore. Where's the incentive for a free distro to help someone who has problems? There is none. Check most open source program sites and see how much support they have if any. A FAQ is about all you can expect. Here's the break down on support for the different OSs that I use every day: Windows (03/XP) - pretty reliable support and fast solutions to problems with the OS and software from vendors; MacOS-X - OK support... in every species of OS-X they change something and what ever you did to make something work last time won't work the next, third party hardware problems? Good luck Sailor! ; Solaris/Unix - Pretty good support for the OS but, poor support for software from vendors especially when using a client for something that's Windows server based; Linux - For gedda bout it!! I don't have time to search the net for the arcane rituals that are used in this techno church of an OS in order to get my mouse wheel to work right.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15625696)

Don't ask me what it is that it does well...

Too late, he already did!

Re:Why? (4, Informative)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#15625943)

People buy windows when there is a free alternative.
There's a free alternative to Windows? But it [reactos.org]'s only in alpha.

Re:Why? (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 7 years ago | (#15626469)

SkyOS does something very well, and people who need that one thing done well will buy it. Don't ask me what it is that it does well


No one seems to know what it is that it does so well.


I have been reading through the SkyOS website and various other SkyOS related sites, and I have yet to find what its killer features are. The closest I could find was automatic indexing of file metadata in a SQL database. Very neat, but surely that functionality could be added to established OSes?

A couple of nice ideas: (2, Informative)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 7 years ago | (#15628479)

None of them new though, but well integrated and there by default.

1) An automatic media playback/manipulation framework. Nothing new here (see DirectShow, gstreamer, Quicktime) but it's more transparent, easier to configure they way you want to, it's an OS-level service, and it comes with lots of filters and encoders/decoders out of the box.

2) SQL metabase for your files. Very similar to WinFS or beagle/inotify in style. You write plugins to extract metadata and it indexes it when you make FS changes. And standard widgets to search/query for file dialogs, file browser, etc. Which is important...

3) A decent security context system that seems to be a blend between NT's model and SELinux's model. It uses the ideas of contexts for users, files and processes from SELinux, but it doesn't burden you with complex transformation rules (instead you have trusted right sources (typically the logon manager), inheritance and voluntary dropping of rights). It offers far more numerous rights than NT or SELinux, and you can add your own.

Files and directories can carry security context identifiers, and the system matches them from the least to most specific user identifier that matches for allow or deny (all users, group member, specific user). The default for filesystems that support security contexts is deny, for those that don't (IE VFAT on flash drives), the default is allow.

Again, you can find examples of all of this implemented elsewhere. These guys are trying to take a lot of good ideas and put them all together in a single baseline that is relatively easy to operate and get your head around. Which I have to support.

Would I buy it? Probably not. Not enough hardware support to bother with a new OS. Better to add these features to existing ones.

Re:Why? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#15626694)

What is it's unique selling point anyway?
The tour showed some nice functionality, but nothing you can already find on other OS's.
This OS has very few productivity applications with the only excuse sounding like "You can do some work and port applications which already work perfectly fine on Linux".

Interesting, anyone have experience? (1)

identity0 (77976) | more than 7 years ago | (#15625575)

I looked through it quickly, and saw that although it was "free as in beer", it was apparently not "free as in speech" - neither GPLed nor open-source in any way. And now it is going fully commercial. Which is too bad, but I am still interested in if this is still a good OS.

It says the it's not a *nix, which is interesting. Nowadays you only have *nix or Windows for desktop OSes, you hardly see any other types. Does anyone with experience on the OS care to tell just how the system design and philosophy is different from *nix?

Steven King dead at 55 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15625585)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Steven King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Re:Steven King dead at 55 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15625593)

Jesus, again? I haven't seen one of these in months.

Re:Steven King dead at 55 (-1, Offtopic)

kesuki (321456) | more than 7 years ago | (#15625734)

answering in lieu of jesus, i'd just like to say that this is a side effect of a tear in the time space continum the size of a large spiral galaxy :)

Don't panic :) there is nowhere left to run. if there was something you really really wanted to do, go fucking do it man, the universe is infected with a virus that launches every 2 minutes, and fully restores every system in the universe. :) no shit, it's fucking crazy, worse still is a virus that grants every user complete protection from the only angel who didn't get infected (satan) who right now is bound to only use female bodies :)

this is too crazy for me to be making this shit up dude. :)

OS is nothing without Apps (4, Insightful)

Hoolala (976766) | more than 7 years ago | (#15625613)

Without app support, an OS, if it comes in reinforced box and a heavy manual, is at best a doorstopper. The success of a computing platform depends on the success of its OS which in turns depend on the available apps.

Re:OS is nothing without Apps (1)

SCPRedMage (838040) | more than 7 years ago | (#15626072)

So, what you're telling me is that an Operating System that lacks the ability to "operate" is worthless?

Wow. You sir, have blown my mind. Kuddos.

Re:OS is nothing without Apps (1)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 7 years ago | (#15627283)

Depends on how much is built in. It looks like SkyOS will be great for my grandparents.

On the other hand, Ubuntu would be as well, provided I set it up beforehand.

Re:OS is nothing without Apps (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 7 years ago | (#15628086)

Which is why we need an OS independant API/ABI... A neutral abstraction above the OS layer, that can allow applications to be written/compiled once and then executed unmodified on any OS running on compatible hardware.
Like java, but with native x86 code running at full speed on the hardware.

There is a project underway called X86ABI [x86abi.org], but it's in a very early stage.

What for? (4, Interesting)

VGfort (963346) | more than 7 years ago | (#15625619)

I used to periodically checking up on SkyOS until about 2yrs ago or so when it they announced they were going to be a commercial OS. I dont have anything wrong with them being commericial, it just lost my interest, cuz I'm not going to pay to check something out. I think most people that are into tinkering around with computers or OSes might be into it, just to see what ideas others are up to. I personally think Syllable, ReactOS and Symphony are more likely to take off than SkyOS.

From a Sky OS Beta user... (4, Interesting)

cgenman (325138) | more than 7 years ago | (#15625620)

I'm actually rather fond of Sky OS. The interface is great, and the OS hasn't acquired the kruft of a mainstream OS like Windows, Linux, or OSX.

That having been said, it doesn't run on a lot of hardware, and it doesn't run a lot of applications. Their best bet is either selling it En masse to computer manufacturers as an alternative to linux, or putting it on well-designed hardware as an elite os. Maybe work their way in with specialized hardware makers, like Car manufacturers, to build up a following.

I'd also recommend pre-loading it on USB thumb drives, for those who can boot from a USB thumb, to help people get experience with the OS.

Re:From a Sky OS Beta user... (5, Funny)

OmegaBlac (752432) | more than 7 years ago | (#15625693)

Their best bet is either selling it En masse to computer manufacturers as an alternative to linux
I dunno, there this little company up in Redmond, Washington that also sells an alternative to Linux and they have been having a tough time breaking the Torvalds/Tux monopoly on the PC desktop. ;)

Re:From a Sky OS Beta user... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15625719)

as an alternative to linux

Before that happens, more manufacturers need to offer Linux as an alternative to Windows. Until then, SkyOS is at the back of the line.

Re:From a Sky OS Beta user... (4, Insightful)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 7 years ago | (#15625800)

That having been said, it doesn't run on a lot of hardware [...]
Yeah. A little note to the guys who run the website: Before you expect me to pony up 30 dollars, do me a favor and tell me what hardware is necessary for this thing to run. I was pretty sure it wouldn't run on my PowerMac G5, but I couldn't find any hardware specs to give me an idea as to what it would run on.

Re:From a Sky OS Beta user... (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 7 years ago | (#15626831)

I was pretty sure it wouldn't run on my PowerMac G5, but I couldn't find any hardware specs to give me an idea as to what it would run on.

Then RTFF(FAQ) [skyos.org]!

  • The Sky Operating System, or SkyOS, is an operating system written for x86-based personal computers.


While you're correct that there are no easy links to detailed hardware compatibility, this alone should tell you that your G5 can't run it, unless you have Bochs or do they still make Virtual PC?

LK

Re:From a Sky OS Beta user... (2, Informative)

bjb (3050) | more than 7 years ago | (#15627019)

I believe the parent was referring to the idea that he has no idea if his x86-based machine will work with SkyOS. Not all x86 machines are created equal; before the operating system has a chance to abstract away everything into a single API, it has to know the differences between the GPUs, sound cards, network interfaces, IDE interfaces, SCSI interfaces, etc. That is why you have to install drivers for everything you plug into your computer.

If you want an idea of why the parent's question is valid, download a Linux kernel source and look at all the subdirectories for drivers. It isn't trivial to make an operating system that appears to work on anything you throw at it!

Why who else but the... (0, Offtopic)

Pao|o (92817) | more than 7 years ago | (#15625641)

... Sky people! Look up the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane! It's Superman!

Your mom (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15625645)

n/t

Maybe someone will buy OUT SkyOS (2, Insightful)

NiteMair (309303) | more than 7 years ago | (#15625664)

If you change your point of view - maybe the develop of SkyOS is hoping that another corporation will buy out SkyOS and use the source for their own product(s)... embedded OS maybe?

Right... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15625665)

$30 for a bebeta OS with limited application and hardware support, with expectations of a "community" rising en masse to do the necessary work to make it usable? I wish Robert and Kelly all the luck in the world, while saying that anyone who freely gives away their work to this for-profit enterprise needs to come to work for me.

What gets me about it... (3, Insightful)

martinultima (832468) | more than 7 years ago | (#15625759)

As a lot of other posters have said, there's not very much software for it other than what they themselves provide, but there's another side of it, too – hardware. If I remember right, last time I saw anything about SkyOS (I will admit it was a while ago) there was very little hardware or software support. Couple that with the high price tag – i.e., any price tag – and lack of publically-available source code, and I honestly just don't see any reason other than the hell of it.

Personally, if there's any "alternative" OS I hope takes off, it would have to be either Linux [insert obligatory reference to Ultima [ultimalinux.com] here], or one of my favorite "pet" projects, ReactOS [reactos.org]. The nice thing about the latter is that it (will eventually) support the same software running on Windows, so if not the most ideal system – obviously, if it runs the same software, a lot of vendors may not see any reason for an open-source, Linux-compatible, etc. version of their product – at least it (will be) a somewhat practical one than a Linux system. And OpenBSD [openbsd.org] is totally kick-ass, although honestly I'd say it's probably in exactly the right place right now; those who can understand it can use it, and everyone else can stick with something better suited for them.

DISCLAIMER: I will admit I'm a Linux dev / distro maintainer and there may be some bias here...

Re:What gets me about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15626350)

Hey finish that amd64 release, and I'll give it a whirl. I just tried getting permissions on a hard drive in Ubuntu and am ditching it so I don't have to use the console.

Real Person

Re:What gets me about it... (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#15626950)

"if it runs the same software, a lot of vendors may not see any reason for an open-source, Linux-compatible, etc. version of their product"

I'm getting tired of this argument. There's not a lot of Linux-compatible, open-source, etc. versions of most software now. Do you really think there's about to be this massive amount of previously windows-only commercial software GPLd as long that darn ReactOS doesn't come around and screw things up?

Re:What gets me about it... (1)

martinultima (832468) | more than 7 years ago | (#15628776)

As I said earlier, it's kind of both a good and a bad thing that ReactOS exists. It's definitely not going to help get very much Linux software available, which probably isn't a good thing for people like us. But the point I was trying to make is that creating an alternative operating system compatible with existing software would at least be a bit more practical in the long run, if not very ideal, because the existing software applications could continue to run (eventually) without problems, and there wouldn't be any licensing stuff to muck around with.

That said, I think that there's actually quite a bit of good ReactOS could do as well. Because it's an open-source effort, once it's finally at a stable release, it might be possible to, say, mix and match ReactOS code with Linux, possibly even adding "native" support for Windows software and drivers into Linux – something far lower-level, more integrated, and more capable than, say, Wine [winehq.org] or NdisWrapper [sf.net] would be able to do.

And honestly, there are still a lot of things Linux/UNIX will always be able to do better than any Windows-ish system, and a lot of die-hards who would never use anything else. So for all we know, things may just continue the way they are today: The proprietary software companies will still be there, but for those who want a choice, a better system, or a cute penguin mascot, there are alternatives. Only time will tell.

Re:What gets me about it... (1)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 7 years ago | (#15627312)

Perhaps SkyOS would benefit from adopting the BSD driver model. Then they'd be able to support a lot of hardware for little work, and continue to support new hardware without any added effort.

I would have suggested using the Linux driver model, but the viral licensing issue would kill the company.

Sky-what? (5, Funny)

(pvb)charon (685001) | more than 7 years ago | (#15625919)

Once they add decent NETworking capabilities (and rename their product accordingly), I'm sure there's quite a number of people who just can't resist.
charon

I don't think so - at least for now. (2, Insightful)

abelikoff (412709) | more than 7 years ago | (#15625932)

Taking a casual look at screenshots immediately reveals [skyos.org] icons "borrowed" from KDE. Hmm... I don't think those were in public domain. Gods of GPL won't be pleased with it, for sure. With this attitude, I wonder if the entire OS is truly written from scratch and not a single file from any other project covered by GPL was "incorporated." Because if it was, that would be a shame. And it would create significant issues for the SkyOS developers if they try to sell the product.

As for the viability of the project (assuming that it's legally clean) - no, it is not viable. As simple as that. ISVs will not develop software for it and people are confused enough with Windows vs OS X vs Linux - the market is saturated. I'm sure SkyOS will have it's share of dedicated followers and users (all 23 of them) but that's pretty much it's niche.

Re:I don't think so - at least for now. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15626016)

from the web-site:

"...This is the Crystal icon pack created by the very talented Everaldo, used in SkyOS with his blessing. This icon set is also used by KDE for Linux, which is why the icon sets look similar."

Re:I don't think so - at least for now. (4, Informative)

Phil John (576633) | more than 7 years ago | (#15626114)

As another posted pointed out it was with the creators blessing, however even that wasn't needed.

The Crystal Icon Set is licensed under the LGPL, so basically, as long as the SkyOS team supply you with a copy of the LGPL license and a written offer of the "source" (e.g. original pngs) they can use them in a commercial application.

There is a common misconception with some people that (L)GPL=no commercial usage. If it's GPL you can still charge (however your clients can turn around and distribute your app for free, so you'll get further charging for support). If it's LGPL you can distribute the rest of your app as closed source, as long as you provide the LGPL license and provide the source of the LGPL'd component(s) in some way for at least three years (you're even allowed to charge a reasonable fee for providing it under the terms of the license).

Re:I don't think so - at least for now. (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#15626794)

If it's LGPL you can distribute the rest of your app as closed source, as long as you provide the LGPL license and provide the source of the LGPL'd component(s) in some way for at least three years (you're even allowed to charge a reasonable fee for providing it under the terms of the license).

And you have to make it possible to link your commercial app to modified versions of the LGPL'd library. A dynamic linker usually takes care of that, although you have to be more careful in embedded systems where there is no such thing.

More than expected, probably (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15626362)

I believe it will be the same people giving their money to the FSF and/or the Debian project and/or some kind of BSD, too, or buying their favorite Linux distribution instead of just downloading it. I mean, there are people supporting alternative OSes just in the effort of counterbalancing the market trends they don't like, and paying back the advantages they got from the software they use. If they have money to do that, why shouldn't they? One day, given time, I probably will, too.

Other people will believe a brand new OS used by just a few geeks to be less exploitable on the security side; which in a way is true.

Others will simply want to buy their way into the elite without spending lots of money in a Mac or studying a lot of Linux and BSD and getting something even more rare. :-)

Others will just look for more stability without trusting enough free (as in beer) or free (as in free speech) softwares yet.

Others will be just curious and will pay the price nicely.

Others... ad libitum, I guess. :-)

Re:More than expected, probably (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#15626802)

Other people will believe a brand new OS used by just a few geeks to be less exploitable on the security side; which in a way is true.

Less exploited? Perhaps. Less exploitable? Not likely, unless it was designed by competent people to be that way. Security holes can exist and be exploitable whether or not people are aware of them.

Re:More than expected, probably (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 7 years ago | (#15628102)

I have bought boxed linux distributions before, but i would never do so on blind faith.
I've always tried each given distribution (via a free download) before i've given any money to them, and the same would apply to SkyOS... I`m not forking out any money on the off-chance it will be worth it.
What if it's useless, or incompatible with my hardware? I don't want to waste my money on something that's useless to me.

BeOS was a superior O/S... (2, Interesting)

master_p (608214) | more than 7 years ago | (#15626392)

...at a time that Windows was not established like it is today, yet it failed to grab an important market share. SkyOS would have to be a truly superior O/S in order to have any success...but that is highly unlikely, because both Microsoft and Apple have tremendous horsepower to back their O/Ses up.

I have no idea how SkyOS operates, but it seems like another O/S based on processes/scheduling/filesystem. Isn't it time to move beyond those? todays needs are much more dynamic than the current 40-year-old O/S model offers.

Re:BeOS was a superior O/S... (1)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 7 years ago | (#15627394)

What would you suggest to replace processes, scheduling, and a filesystem?

The process/scheduling/filesystem paradigm is essentially a conversion of the problem of running an arbitrary number of virtual Turing machines on a single Turing machine. It's a straightforward reduction from the simplest abstraction of a general computer. If you can come up with a better system, you'll get a PhD and a Turing prize pretty much immediately.

But let's look at this in more detail.

We have processes: that's what is currently trying to get access to the CPU. In order for you to run anything on your computer, you need some list of entities that will access the CPU.
We have a scheduler: that determines what currently has access to the CPU. If you don't include this, you can only run one process at a time. That means every application has to include an operating system.
We have a filesystem: that's all the data you have. How the hell can you replace this? You can create a different form, but it'd still be a data repository of some sort. Perhaps you object to the files/folders abstraction? The only possible replacement is files/metadata, or just files. The latter is disorganized and thus undesirable--you don't want to sift through all your OS files to find the document you were just editing. And the files/metadata system taking over requires very fast searching, which we simply don't have yet.

So, this 70-year-old system (Turing machines were first discussed in 1936) is still the best fit for our current hardware. That's partly because we have the model, so we develop OSes that abstract hardware to the model, so we get hardware that makes it easier to abstract to that model; it's also because the model works extremely well in general. I don't think we'll replace it any time soon.

Re:BeOS was a superior O/S... (2, Informative)

master_p (608214) | more than 7 years ago | (#15627554)

The Turing machine may be 70 years old, but the model of processes/scheduler/filesystem is not that old.

Anyway, my proposal is:

1) replace processes with components.
2) replace the scheduler with parallelizing operators.
3) replace the filesystem with collections.

What are components? components are computational units that are maybe composed from other components and that accept an input and produce an output. The difference with processes is that components can be combined at run-time as the result of computation.

What is a parallelizing operator? a parallelizing operator is an operator that defines a) splitting of computations into parallel tasks and b) rendezvous points.

What is a collection? a collection is a set of data. A datum may itself be a collection. The difference with filesystem is that a) data are typed, b) since data can be collections, they can have triggers that notify the environment about changes. An arbitrary number of components can be attached to triggers. Data in collections can be marked as 'persistent'. Indices can be attached on collections for fast data retrieval. Persistence jobs can be modelled as transactions.

What are be the advantages of this proposed model the current model? they are:

1) program creation becomes much more flexible. There are no barriers between co-operation of components like a separate memory space, unless it is really needed.

2) extending applications becomes a trivial task.

3) code is separated from data.

4) the data persistence problem is solved.

5) programs can have database facilities available without cost.

6) software is componentized. Replacing faulty parts does not require replacing whole programs.

7) reacting to data changes becomes trivial.

8) better security since security can be defined at component level.

I would really like to see a pioneer O/S that utilizes some of the above ideas (which exist for a long time) instead of a repetition of the same stuff.
 

Re:BeOS was a superior O/S... (2, Interesting)

Christopher B. Brown (1267) | more than 7 years ago | (#15628489)

"Anyway, my proposal is:
  1. replace processes with components.
  2. replace the scheduler with parallelizing operators.
  3. replace the filesystem with collections."

Sounds a lot like a Lisp environment to me... That means that the "components" are actually function references, which can do fairly much anything. The environment then consists of a set of object references, which is definitely like your notion of "collections."

I'm not so sure about the notion of "parallelizing operators;" concurrent programming has always been hard, fundamentally because it's harder to understand nondeterministic processes than those that are deterministic.

I certainly would agree that this is a different approach from the present tendancy towards "Unix everywhere."

The trouble is that bootstrapping becomes problematic. If you build something that is more or less like Unix, then you've got compilers, file utilities, program editors, SCM tools, and all such, "for free." If you build something that is different enough, then there are two choices:

  • Your system is built using Unix-like sets of tools, and is target-compiled for the desired environment. You're forever dependent on Unix.
  • Alternatively, if you're trying to self-host, then you've got a five year project to build compilers, code management tools, graphical environment tools, and hardware drivers, pretty much all before you get to the real project of building the OS. And you're left chasing hardware compatibility, because the hardware that's cheap and available today will be replaced by new models that won't be 100% compatible a year from now.

That's a tough road to go down...

Re:BeOS was a superior O/S... (1)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 7 years ago | (#15627750)

"seems like another O/S based on processes/scheduling/filesystem. Isn't it time to move beyond those? todays needs are much more dynamic than the current 40-year-old O/S model offers."

Running on von Neuman architecture hardware, which is 70 years old (based on Konrad Zuse's work).

Running a graphic interface with a mouse that is 38 years old (1968 was the mother of all demos year), developed by Douglas Engelbart.

Unix showed up in 1970, making it 36 years old. But it was modelled on Multics, which in turn was modelled on older concepts -- I would put the conceptual roots to 1960 (for OS 360), and 1957, when Fritz-Rudolf Güntsch described automatic memory (virtual memory), which makes it 49 years old.

Ok, let's just scrap it all. We need a more dynamic model. And, while we are at it, let's scap 4 wheel cars.

Ratboy

Answer: Nobody! (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#15626636)

It does not appear to come with Source Code, and that's going to be the big show-stopper.

If you don't know what Source Code is, and why it's so important that you should have access to it, then you probably will just use Windows and wallow in your own ignorance until you drown. If, on the other hand, you do know what Source Code is, then you almost certainly will want to be running an Operating System that includes the Source Code. If you buy an operating system knowing full well that you cannot repair any faults you may find in it, nor adapt it to meet your specific requirements then, not to put too fine a point on it, you're an idiot.

I really think they will have a very hard job selling an operating system without the source code. Harder at any rate than selling it with the source code {so at least savvy people can tweak it} but without distribution rights {so as to protect their profits}. Just because something doesn't come with Source Code, never stopped anyone pirating it ..... except people who specifically wanted the Source Code, and they wouldn't even have bought it if it didn't come with it.

Re:Answer: Nobody! (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#15626810)

No kidding. I might buy an obscure proprietary operating system for $30 if it came with source code. But without source code, why bother?

Of course, it wouldn't surprise me if they had someone in management who didn't understand the differences between "source-available" and "open-source" (since they seem to have confused "proprietary" vs. "commercial")

Re:Answer: Nobody! (1)

s31523 (926314) | more than 7 years ago | (#15627017)

It does not appear to come with Source Code, and that's going to be the big show-stopper.
No... The show-stopper is that the OS can't do the things that most users want to do. As others have pointed out, it is not a question of source code, it is a question of supporting hardware and running applications that people want and can get easily.

If you don't know what Source Code is, and why it's so important that you should have access to it, then you probably will just use Windows and wallow in your own ignorance until you drown
Don't be such an elitist, acting like you are all special because you know what source code is. Many people out there who know what source code is could give a rat's ass about "having it". Most people, yes, even the smart ones, just want things "to just work" without dicking around rebuild the OS kernel and fixing some bug. If we are talking Linux, many people would rather just cycle through various distros to find one that just works. Besides, knowing what source code is, and being able to decipher and fix someone elses code are very different things.

I really think they will have a very hard job selling an operating system without the source code
Now who is being the idiot? As much as I hate M$, they make a pretty nice living doing just this...

Re:Answer: Nobody! (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 7 years ago | (#15627320)

If you buy an operating system knowing full well that you cannot repair any faults you may find in it, nor adapt it to meet your specific requirements then, not to put too fine a point on it, you're an idiot.

OSX?

It's pretty easy to adapt an operating system to meet your needs without source. You don't want to go around forking things every time you need a design tweaked. 99.99% of users will never edit anything. And the ones that do will suddenly find themselves with a maintenence headache.

Re:Answer: Nobody! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15628242)

darwin?

steampowered.com?? BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15626668)

I personally find it kind of lame that in the "BROWSING" section of the screenshots http://www.skyos.org/images/browsing.png [skyos.org] they've got a window open to steampowered.com. I'm pretty sure there's no way in hell that valve is going to port their stuff to a beta OS that almost nobody is going to use so why even show this page? It's borderline implying that Valve software will run on it and that's BS.

is there something about this operating system ? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15626673)

It does have the befs. The Haiku project recreated the file system of BeOS, and SkyOS beta testers voted to use it, although it hade to be modified to be able to boot it with grub.

It has live queries, and meta data journaling. It also come with an mp3 by Kelly Rush.

Last time I checked it was Say It Ain't So as written by Weezer. I doubt they're paying the ASCAP performance fee.

We of haiku are happy to have SkyOS use our stuff.

This is a joke, right? (4, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 7 years ago | (#15626712)

From the "System Requirements" FAQ:

USB Devices/Hosts are currently not supported.
Wireless Networking is currently not supported.
SATA drives are currently not supported (if you have such an option in BIOS, try using SATA->PATA emulation).
Printers, scanners, digital cameras and webcams are currently not supported.

Re:This is a joke, right? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#15631062)

The lack of SATA support is a bit of a surprise since the chipsets work just about the same for PATA and SATA devices. It's not hard to support if you already have PATA support. ATAPI is much harder to deal with.

I wish them luck (1)

DukeLinux (644551) | more than 7 years ago | (#15626935)

This is better than Fedora Core 5 in what way? The current Linux distro's do a nice job of detecting hardware and simply "working." I will be watching to see how they "truly" differentiate themselves.

Hurd? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 7 years ago | (#15628119)

Sounds like the Hurd to me. Nothing is supported, but its all new and cool, so you must like it, else you're not a geek.

Wake me when it supports my USB mouse. Yes, I know, I'm picky.
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