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The War Is Over, and Linux Has Won

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the victory dept.

593

xtaski writes "Dana Blankenhorn bluntly states a reality that many have known: 'The war is over and Linux won'. With Oracle and Microsoft putting Linux in the spotlight and positioning themselves to grow with Linux. 'A new report shows that 83% of companies expect to support new workloads on Linux against 23% for Windows. ... Over two-thirds of the respondents said they will increase their use of Linux in the next year, and almost no one said the opposite.'"

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Don't forget... (-1, Flamebait)

SCO$699FeeTroll (695565) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801240)

...to pay your $699 licensing fee you cock-smoking teabaggers.

Re:Don't forget... (5, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801416)

"Don't forget to pay your $699 licensing fee you cock-smoking teabaggers."

Man, you had me confused for a minute. I sat here for a minute wondering what the Playstation 3 had to do with this!

Pearl Harbor (5, Insightful)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801258)

The battle is over and Linux has won it. The desktop is the major war.

At best, Linux has won an opening skirmish. For most people, the internet is what runs on their desktop ( or laptop ). They have no more concern about the particulars of the server that their router connects to than they do about the particulars of the powerplant that their power cord connects to. They neither know nor care about server software

At worst, it is like the Japanese general ( admiral? ) who is alleged to have said after Pearl Harbor: "I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant." MS is obviously taking Linux seriously now, but most people still don't know what it is. Expect MS to engage in serious Linux FUD.


Anyway, congratulations to all the Linux coders.

Re: (5, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801378)

At worst, it is like the Japanese general ( admiral? ) who is alleged to have said after Pearl Harbor: "I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant."

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto [wikipedia.org] . He spent a significant amount of time in the US before the Japanese attacked. He felt that the pre-emptive strike was a mistake, and that it would only buy them about 6 months reprieve before the American war machine was fully geared up and ready. Thus his "I fear I have awakened a sleeping giant" comment.

He was right. Six months later, the U.S. turned the tide at the Battle of Miday. The Japanese Navy was nowhere near as resilient as the U.S. Navy, and their losses hurt them deeply. Combined with the incredible number of carriers the U.S. began to manufacture, the six month turning point was a deadly one for Japan.

Re: (2)

TeleoMan (529859) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801494)

It's cool how Google, et. al., can raise your perceived Internet IQ by about 30 points....hmmm? Not hacking on you....just sayin' ;-)

Re: (1)

Darthmalt (775250) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801890)

Not really off topic. If Linux = Japan and MS = America then expect MS to ramp up it's competition against Linux. Look at what ie is starting to do against Firefox. Like America in WW1 ie defeated Netscape (germany) then rested on the laurels and stopped innovating. (When WW2 started America's army was nowhere near ready) Then when attacked by Japan (firefox) America (ie) immediately began working to defeat their enemy. Nearly everyone who has used firefox prefers it over ie. However that doesn't matter. As long as ie is good enough the general public will not adopt it. Same with Linux. Unless Linux can become as easy to install and use PLUS come up with some superior features most users will never switch. Being free is not good enough as for most users as for them Windows is essentially free being that it comes on their computers. And don't start in on me about how linux is ready for the desktop. I tried to switch an still desperately want to. But I can't get SUSE nor Ubuntu to recognize my Linksys wireless card that windows picks up and installs automatically, Without the need to spend four days fighting with ndiswrappers.

Wars are fought in the DND, MOD, DOD and Pentagon (5, Informative)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801380)

and there, Linux hasn't so much won, as it is simply accepted as a fait accompli. The networks run by government departments are enormous beasts, with tens/hundreds of thousands of desktop PCs running Windows XP and thousands of servers running Irix, Solaris, OpenBSD, Linux and Windows 2003 server. The interesting thing is that all new server installations are either Linux or Windows 2003, other versions of UNIX have pretty much fizzled out and Linux (specifically Red Hat and Novell) is used for critical servers, firewalls and data-diodes, while Windows is mainly used for Active Directory and Exchange, protected behind an army of penguins.

There will be multiple "wars". Pearl Harbor (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801394)

First off, "war" is a stupid metaphor for OS marketshare.

Secondly, there are multiple market segments.
#1. The server segment. Linux looks to have this market locked up.

#2. The corporate/government desktop market. Pay attention to how Munich progresses. This is the next big market for Linux.

#3. The home (non-gamer) market. This isn't going to happen until you can buy Linux pre-loaded from the major OEM's. And that's not going to happen until Linux has the marketshare with the corporations/governments.

#4. Finally, the gamer market. This depends almost entirely upon the support of the hardware OEM's and game ISV's. If the newest video card doesn't come with Linux drivers, the gamers will buy the video card and run the OS that does have drivers. Look for this market to be the very, very last one that Linux will gain marketshare in.

Don't worry about whether Linux is taking over the gamer machines yet. Focus on getting Linux into corporation/government desktops. That will get the OEM's to start pre-loading it which will set the stage for the home user migration.

Re:There will be multiple "wars". (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16801554)

#1. The server segment. Linux looks to have this market locked up.

I'm not sure what the hell people are looking at when they say things like this. Take a look at Microsoft quarterly results. Their revenue and profits in their server OS and SQL products has been skyrocketing every quarter.

Re:There will be multiple "wars". (5, Insightful)

killjoe (766577) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801754)

This is due to the collapse of unix and novell on the server marketplace. It's a well documented phenomenon. As the market for unix and netware collapse people either move to linux or windows. Studies show that the vast majority of migrations move to linux but a certain percentage moves to windows. This is why linux on the server is growing faster then windows on the server and both are growing. Once all that migration is done they will have to fight over new customers.

Linux is winning this war, and will continue to win it.

Re:There will be multiple "wars". (2, Informative)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801626)

#2. The corporate/government desktop market. Pay attention to how Munich progresses. This is the next big market for Linux.

You would think that government would be the first to jump on open source. Very few things seem as ridiculous to me as closed-source voting machines.

But then again, since money elects politicians, politicians cozy up to big business.

Re:There will be multiple "wars". (5, Insightful)

adrenalinekick (884201) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801686)

I'll take it one step further. Linux needs to meet certain 'benchmarks' in order to succeed in the markets you mentioned. Specifically:

#1 Server segment - Linux needs to interoperate with Microsoft before it can fully tackle the enterprise administration server market. Active Directory and Outlook are the 2 major players for Microsoft here, Linux needs to be compatible or companies will not fully make the switch. As you said, the desktop comes after the server market, so in order for the server market to succeed, all of those corporate desktops need to work with linux servers.

#2 Corporate/government desktop market - It will be a huge help if Munich succeeds. Applications are the key here, specifically office applications. Open Office is great, but it still has a long way to go in some areas before I would feel comfortable doing away with MSOffice entirely. A working Powerpoint replacement is a must, as is a fully featured Excel replacement. Writer is relatively solid for most uses. Open formats will be a key contributer to advances in office applications.

#3 The home (non-gamer) market - The only reason this will not happen before the corporate/government market is because the OEMs have much to gain by ignoring linux and a lot to lose by embracing it as long as MS has enough market dominance to throw their weight around. A solid web-browser, a decent office application, and a usable movie/music player are all that is truly needed by this market - and they all already exist. The only thing stopping is the OEMs not pre-loading linux in favor of MS.

#4 the gamer market - You hit the nail on the head on this one. Drivers Drivers Drivers. If #3 succeeds, game makers will naturally focus more on their linux customers, but only if they have compatible hardware.

Unfortunately most of us slashdotters want to jump straight to #3-4. That simply isn't going to happen until microsoft's influence is already weakened from some other area such as corporate or government use of linux.

Re:There will be multiple "wars". (3, Interesting)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801766)

I think that #3 will happen as a natural progression from MS's anti-piracy efforts and OEM deals. It used to be that when an new MS OS came out, you went out and bought a copy, and installed it on all the computers in your home. Maybe you even went in halfsies with a pal. Now, not only are you not able (without some real effort) install on multiple machines, but you don't even go out and buy a copy of the OS. You buy a computer with the OS already on it. Now what happens to your old machine. Yes, some people will toss them out. Many will keep running their old software. But, there will also be a significantly large group of people that will just install Linux. They won't care if it runs everything, as it is the second computer that they use for writing emails, or surfing the web with someone else in the family is on the gamer system. They may not do much on those systems, but their existence in their homes will show them that there are other choices. Some may even decide that they like Linux better, or that it suits their needs all by itself. That is how I see #3 coming about.

Re:There will be multiple "wars". (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801694)

Don't worry about whether Linux is taking over the gamer machines yet. Focus on getting Linux into corporation/government desktops. That will get the OEM's to start pre-loading it which will set the stage for the home user migration.

"Trickle Down" Geek-enomics.

The Geek sees himself as Libertarian. But his faith in top-down is Technocratic and authoritarian.

Geeks are always arguing about forks. But the one fork they never see is that of the home PC. It's an entirely different world now, with its own interests, needs and values.

Re:There will be multiple "wars". (2, Interesting)

killjoe (766577) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801734)

The desktop is dead. The new battleground is on the phones and other embedded devices.

Re:There will be multiple "wars". (3, Interesting)

vbwilliams (968304) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801752)

You missed one. The embedded market...which I'm sorry, but Linux/*nix has had that for a few years now, and no one has noticed.

I'm not talkin cell phones and PDAs. I'm talkin things you use that you NEVER think about. What do you think runs all the slot machines in vegas? Keno machines at truck stops? Station pumps at EVERY BP gas station in the USA? Etc etc. That's a huge marketshare that's pretty much hidden from the public eye.

Linux has already gotten what it's gonna get. Don't expect it to gain any double-digit percentage of market-share in the next decade...it just won't...unless Microsoft takes Novell and incorporates it into their own stuff natively. Maybe we see Windows 2010 with a *nix kernel in it and it runs pretty much all apps.

Re:There will be multiple "wars". (1)

AJWM (19027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801910)

You left out cash registers (er, "point of sale" terminals) at major store chains, telco infrastructure (especially in Europe), and others.

In fact, every x86-based server shipped by a certain major vendor, even those destined to run Windows, also comes with Linux: the bootable CD that includes standalone hardware diagnostics and configuration programs, etc, is based on Debian.

As far as double-digit market shares -- Linux already has that of the computer/OS market as a whole. Desktop/laptop PCs are a small fraction of that market, they just happen to be the most visible.

Re:There will be multiple "wars". Pearl Harbor (4, Interesting)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801868)

I'm a software consultant, and I see the inside of a lot of companies. In engineering/software departments, there are lots of Unix desktops. Mostly Linux, but quite a bit of FreeBSD and Solaris as well. I'm not seeing it in IT departments, though. I think once Linux manages to get past the MCSE cordon, you're going to see an explosion in corporate deployments.

Re:There will be multiple "wars".Pearl Harbor (3, Insightful)

Nicolay77 (258497) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801870)

The best GPU money can buy this week, the NVidia GeForce 8800 had Linux drivers the very same day it was launched.

However I see no game companies going to develop Linux game after Linux game. After all games are a market where money makes the decisions, and Linux users are used to have software but not pay for it.

(Having said that ugly generalization, I believe I'm just going to install Heavy Gear 2 for Linux as I really like that game and the Windows version doesn't work in my XP)

Re:There will be multiple "wars". (1)

donstenk72 (593985) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801932)

The war comparison is stupid indeed. As for markets, it is funny that I run Suse Linux without problems for years at home whilst being in employment.

Soon after starting my own business I found myself buying PC's and office licenses for compatibility reasons and because I had no time fiddling with operating systems anyway. That was 3 years ago. Last weekend for fun I downloaded Ubuntu for AMD64 to install on my Compaq desktop - no luck with 64 bits Nvidia and Sitecom wireless. From forums it appears possible to fix, but again, very time consuming. 32 bits was better in term of graphics but no wireless and OOo is still as sluggish as all those years ago. And that on an Athlon 3200 with 1Gb ram. mwah. Graphics on an old Medion laptop were also broken.

I really want to use Linux and I would buy a pre-installed box if I could find it (in Holland). I would continue with Ms office in Crossover though, that worked fine already years ago. Maybe I should buy a Mac and drop Linux for another 3 years?

There isn't really a point to this rant. If there was I would have made it clearer.

Dennis.

Re:There will be multiple "wars". (1)

cybrzndane (632057) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801936)

You're right, war is a stupid metaphor. Make code, not war. Okay, sorry.

Re: (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801402)

I believe this is the admiral you were thinking of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Admiral_Yamamoto [wikipedia.org]

The desktop has always been the war. Linus wanted a free desktop from the beginning... linux got popular on servers and so people jumped on that. Linux developers got Microsoft's attention and now its time to worry.

let me sum it up... (2, Funny)

lick mi ballz (1016185) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801442)

in a way the average fourteen year old slashbot can understand:

i luv open source
micro$oft is the suxxorz
|1nux 15 w4y |337

Re:Pearl Harbor (2, Interesting)

caspper69 (548511) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801676)

And I fear that all of the FUD surrounding Microsoft's investment in SCO was merely a "quicker-than-the-eye" trick. Remember, MS is bound to not distribute Unix as per agreements that predate Slashdot. But -- if they could prove that Linux isn't Unix (which we've all known for years)-- and I mean PROVE it, like SCO losing against IBM (remember, a precedent goes a long way), then they could legitimately create a Linux distribution without too much effort given their resources. Seriously, how much did MS invest in SCO? $50 million? Pales in comparison to (even to the Slashdot crowd) Eolas' $500M win for a shit-ass patent. Seems fairly logical to me. MS has seen the light, and they're going to jump on the Linux bandwagon. But don't think there won't be bloodshed (figuratively), and don't think more than a few of our beloved distros won't go down the drain. Is it losing a battle and winning a war? Who knows, but Bill and Co. are on the trail, and I really don't think their issue is destroying Linux. They're a public company, after all. Their goal is to earn money for their shareholders while simultaneously ensuring earnings for the future. How they plan to accomplish this is anyone's guess. But remember, MS, for all their faults, has been a victim of frivilous patent litigation more often than they've lashed out against others.

Re: Pearl (1)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801680)

I introduced a kid today to the world of Linux by giving him an Edubuntu CD.

I think you're right about Linux winning only the battle.

And companies would have to be crazy to not exploit Linux for its strengths, since it is free after all.

Re: Pearl Harbor (1)

the_laotse (586765) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801720)

Whether it's a skirmish or not, the victor ought to be "open source", not just Linux since Linux represents open source. Microsoft and Oracle taking part in Linux-based software business does not necessarily mean a victory for open source if they just use Linux and open source for further locking in their customers - open source would indeed have lost then.

Re: Pearl Harbor (3, Interesting)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801782)

Here's a more relevant quote to this "war" everyone else thinks they're fighting:
"We're not out to destroy Microsoft, that's just a nice side-effect." - Linus

From the aircraft carrier (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16801274)

It sure looks like mission accomplished

Slashdot missed the memo (3, Insightful)

AVee (557523) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801286)

At least, judging from the general response here to the Novell-MS deal, so people are more at war then ever before.
But than again, it's becoming an old song: 'Haven't they heard we've won the war, what do they keep on fighting for?'

We fight for the little guy! (2, Funny)

JRGhaddar (448765) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801928)

Which is now MS apparently...

I'm going to go get a me a clippy t-shirt!

Screw you Linu$!

The real question is (4, Funny)

Drooling Iguana (61479) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801288)

Has this been confirmed by Netcraft?

Re:The real question is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16801326)

Didn't you know? Netcraft is dying.

Free software has won. (1)

delirium of disorder (701392) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801308)

Most people have no idea what the difference between free software and proprietary software is. However, out of the set of those who have been informed of the distinction, a vast majority prefer free software. Most people have no idea what an operating system is. However, out of those who do, most know that they use GNU/Linux all the time--whether on their home PC, or on their TiVo, or every time they do a google search.

Re:Free software has won. Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16801428)

The cost of the software is only part of the equation when setting up servers for a business. If Windows was a lot better than Linux, businesses would use Windows. My ISP, a long time Linux user and all around thrifty guy, uses Windows on one of his machines because it actually works better for that particular application.

Linux is winning because it is better, not because it is free.

Re:Free software has won. Not really (1)

A.K.A_Magnet (860822) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801764)

The cost of the software is only part of the equation when setting up servers for a business.
gp was talking 'bout Free software [gnu.org] , not gratis software.

-1 pedantic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16801900)

Linux is free and free and Windows is neither. It is hard for software to be free without being free.

Anyway, my point was that businesses will select a more costly product if it produces greater profits. The important point is that Linux is better and that's why businesses use it. It is, as Microsoft has often pointed out, a question of TCO.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_cost_of_ownersh ip [wikipedia.org]

Re:Free software has won. (4, Insightful)

AstrumPreliator (708436) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801952)

Most people don't care if it's free or proprietary; they just want it to work regardless of their knowledge of software. The masses don't care about the philosophical ramifications of open vs. proprietary software and frankly I think the FOSS community puts too much emphasis on it, even above usability in some cases.

And as far as who prefers which operating system I think you're also mistaken. I'm stuck hacking away at a bash prompt for a very large chunk of my day five days a week trying to deploy servers while maintaining other servers. I do not prefer Linux for home use as it doesn't offer me anything more than Windows or Mac OSX (except maybe security in the case of Windows). I personally have a Windows machine for gaming and a Powerbook laptop for just general dicking around.

In either case I think you've grossly over generalized a lot of people.

Organic Foods? (2, Insightful)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801342)

Isn't that a bit like supermarkets saying we're going to sell more organic food? Not necessarily going to decrease the sale of regular food, but we're not going to decrease the amount of organic food.

I'm happy there are more linux servers. And once it becomes a viable desktop solution for a normal user, it'll be a boon for its security. As it is now, it's not a flexible, easy to manage, easy to use desktop OS. But keep trying!

Re:Organic Foods? (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801566)

I dunno. I recently checked out Ubuntu for the first time, away from my normal debian, and wow. Its pretty damn easy. USB keys "just work". Camera autodetected. The printer setup was a breeze. All the basics right there. Granted theres still a few new concepts for the windows newbie (Wheres the C: drive and A: drive?! they might ask), but its still something I could set up for my mother and with a days tuition expect her to drive her internets around happily.

Re:Organic Foods? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801786)

like supermarkets saying we're going to sell more organic food?

      Well, the inorganic food didn't sell so well. No one wanted the brass steaks. The nickel cauliflowers (always fresh!) are still on the shelves. We even had to refund the titanium chicken wings...

Just like Vietnam. (4, Funny)

Trespass (225077) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801354)

Declare victory then get the hell out.

deja vu (5, Funny)

blackcoot (124938) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801362)

why do i keep on having recurring visions of a flight deck with a "mission accomplished banner" blowing in the background...

*ducks*

Re:deja vu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16801762)

Moderators, moderators, moderators. . . . where's the love?

Wow in wonderfull Microsoft style (4, Funny)

McNihil (612243) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801364)

"A new IBM-sponsored study on Linux sent m..."

Hahahaha.... thank you IBM for fudding the Microsoft way. Down Microsoft DOWN! I have a boat load of nails for your new coffin.

It's stories like this one... (-1, Offtopic)

LesPaul75 (571752) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801376)

... that make me understand why Slashdot continues to lose market share to Digg. Yeah, Digg has horribly inaccurate stories, too, but at least there they are quickly lost to the void because no one "diggs" them. Here, they go straight to the front page. And there's no way to moderate the story as flamebait+troll+ignorant, except for tags, which are meaningless. Would it be so hard to let users moderate stories?

Re:It's stories like this one... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16801490)

Except this story *was* on digg too, and it *was* dugg onto the frontpage. The precise same headline too. Digg is literally burying itself through the extremely poor quality of posts on stories, the posters and the ceaseless blogspam. In that regard, slashdot is ahead

War? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16801386)

Reminds me of a certain head of a certain country declaring mission accomplished.

May its just me..

Triumphalism? (4, Insightful)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801388)

Don't take a page from the George W. Bush's play book and declare victory before the war even really begins. The OS war is just getting started and Linux still has a long way to go before it can be declared the outright winner.

Re:Triumphalism? (1)

A Wise Guy (1006169) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801426)

Once people in the govment figure out they need to shell out money to update, it will be a painless transition to linux.

Re:Triumphalism? (0, Troll)

plastic.person (776892) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801598)

"Once people in the govment figure out they need to shell out money to update, it will be a painless transition to linux."

Doubtful.... something like 50% of M$ revenue comes from the U.S. government. M$ isn't going to make software that their largest customer won't buy.

Re:Triumphalism? (1)

qzulla (600807) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801742)

Don't be so sure of that. I work for the govt. Kind of. Sort of.

I leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure this out.

qz

Re:Triumphalism? (1)

Nicolay77 (258497) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801892)

Never save a penny. That will ruin your career in the goverment.

(Or something like that, was the quote I saw yesterday in the slashdot fortune at the bottom.)

Eih... (3, Funny)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801406)

If it'll stop the OS wars, I'll accept anything. Imagine if other products were debated as often as Operating Systems.

Architect: "Loser. My printer is so much better than yours, because it is a plotter and can print HUGE banners!"
Writer: "Loser. Well my printer was cheaper, and the ink is much cheaper!"
Graphic Designer: "Sellout! My printer can print on photo-quality paper and at a higher resolution!"

Although the jokes the wars create are quite funny.

Beware (1)

phil42 (24711) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801422)

Beware! Whom the gods would destroy, first they call "promising".

The truth isn't that FOSS has won... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16801438)

The truth is that Microsofts business model has failed and they know it. Users don't want DRM or proprietry solutions, they want data interchange to be easier. This is the network effect and resistance really is futile.

The war that the monopoly will lose is just starting and they have plenty of money to pound sand with. It's too early to be claiming victory because MSFT litigation may briefly scare developers away from FOSS. Expect Microsoft to remain "innovative" until the bitter end.

Re:The truth isn't that FOSS has won... (1)

realmolo (574068) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801528)

"Users don't want DRM or proprietry solutions, they want data interchange to be easier. This is the network effect and resistance really is futile." But DRM really has nothing to do with the operating system. It's mandated by the *media producers*. You want to make and OS that plays Blu-Ray/HD-DVDs? You have to buy a license, and the license requires that you include DRM.

You want to buy music online? The only way to buy it legally is in DRM'd form. And, of course, the codecs require a license, and the license requires that you respect the DRM.

And proprietary solutions? How many people are truly tied to proprietary software these days? Almost every format that anyone regularly deals with is readable by at least ONE other piece of software. Hell, even the MS Office formats are pretty easily dealt with, with the exception of Access. The only proprietary formats left are custom binary formats created for use in shitty, "custom" business software. Don't get me wrong, Linux is great, and I think that eventually it will be fairly widely used on the desktop. But the "open formats will win the war" argument is dumb. Most formats are already easily converted, or *legally* restricted (thank you, DMCA and USPTO), and hence they can never be open, anyway.

Re:The truth isn't that FOSS has won... (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801912)

Wouldn't it be great if you could download and install a monitoring program which scans incoming media (with a toggle...) and matches items up with their current producer.
Legitimately buy the media you download, wherever you download it from.
Fair prices, an interface you are used to (torrents, p2p or ftp or even the usenet) and knowledge that you aren't going to be involved in any kind of action.

Re:The truth isn't that FOSS has won... (3, Insightful)

Xyrus (755017) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801914)

The truth is that Microsofts business model has failed and they know it.

Yeah, I'd call any business with a market cap of 287 billion dollars a failure. Wish I could fail that way.

More crap (2, Interesting)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801468)

Linus has won nothing because there is nothing to win. Linux won't kill Windows in the next decade and vice versa. No one is winning but rather both sides are in a pissing contest they refuse to admit is worthless.

Speak for Yourself, Re:More crap (2, Interesting)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801978)

Linux won't kill Windows in the next decade and vice versa. No one is winning but rather both sides are in a pissing contest they refuse to admit is worthless.

That sounds even handed but it's whack. The pissing is vastly one sided. No one in the Free Software world has done anything to "fight" other than state the obvious shortcomings of non free software. Microsoft, on the other hand, has spent billions calling free software a "communist" "cancer", and extended all of the tools they used to destroy their non free competitors: non-standard "extensible standards", secret file formats, and threats for vendors who would carry anything else. The real problem M$ has is competing. They had a difficult enough time matching non free competitor's offerings. It's impossible for them to match free software. Just look at the monster that Vista is - it's the end of the line for the non free way. Only M$ really cares about market share. Free software vendors know there's more than enough work in the world for everyone to be a winner. Projecting M$ like attitudes onto free software developers and users is deeply offensive.

Server side vs. Client side (2, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801472)

The war has been won on the server side a long time ago. MS was allways a joke there.

On the desktop, the best Product is MAC OS X, with both Windows and Linux running distant second. For some reason desktop customers do not seem to care about usability too much. But what the hell, OS X is pretty close to Linux anyways, with regard to what software runns.

But if Linux is the server OS of the future, it means it will stay and grow. Desktop OSes can be changed pretty fast. Server OSes cannot. MS allways wanted to dominate the server market. Guess they just never managed to create a good enough product. Or have long enough product lifetimes.

My personal reason for running Linux and not OS X is that I wanted a workstation OS (read Unix-like OS) longe before OS X came along. Windows? Well, most games only run on Windows. Any other reason to use it? I don't see any. It is not even cheaper or easier to use if you know what you are doing...

Re:Server side vs. Client side (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801584)

Usability?

You know what the average person does? 1) Click on the icon that "loads the internet", 2) click on the icon that "loads email" (possibly the same as icon #1) and 3) click on the icon that loads some type of word processor. And that's about it, with maybe an instant messenger.

Some more advanced users such a teenagers or college kids will play with music, edit photos, etc.

The hardest thing for the average person would be to load drivers, where at least for XP is generally as easy as popping in a CD and clicking "ok", and I'm sure OS X is nearly as easy.

So, I'm sorry, but OS X is hardly light years ahead of XP for average user usability when much of what I explained above is the same exact thing: clicking an icon. I can't see how much easier it can get. /now if you're talking about more advanced stuff like wireless networking than yah, I can see the OS X advantage, as the MS approach is nearly always convoluted.

Re:Server side vs. Client side (2, Interesting)

Nate4D (813246) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801696)

So, I'm sorry, but OS X is hardly light years ahead of XP for average user usability when much of what I explained above is the same exact thing: clicking an icon.

I'm not sure how true this is.

A member of the worship band I play in was at my house yesterday, and sat down at a machine to show me something. It was one of the sunflower iMacs. He'd never used a Mac before, so I had to show him where the browser was, but other than that, he was fine with it.

After about twenty minutes of poking around the 'Net, with me not even watching him (I was looking for something else on another machine), he just randomly says, "Hey, you know, I think I like Macs."

I don't think I've ever heard a Mac user say that about Windows, especially on their first exposure...

As Gandh once said... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16801480)

"First they ignore you..."

1991-96

"...then they laugh at you..."

1997-2000

"...then they attack you..."

2001-06

"...then you win."

2007?

(all years are approximate)

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16801590)

Did you really just compare Gandhi's fight for freedom from British rule in India to the OS "wars"?

Re:Wow (5, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801770)

Did you really just compare Gandhi's fight for freedom from British rule in India to the OS "wars"?

      You can compare anything to anything. That's the beauty of C style type casting, really!

pc market looks dimn, too much bloat (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16801482)

why has linux gone from minimal system requirements to a 400MHz processor with 512ram like fedora core? Xen is pretty exciting technology, but to require 256 megs of ram per virtual machine it appears limited. vitualization will help spur upgrades and virtual appliances will make the internet more interesting, but i'm still waiting for a complete embedded linux distribution with Xen for that. I'd like to see isp's buying mega machines and lease my virutalized desktop/server from them via vnc, where i can run an embedded appliance at home to connect. the conuser pc market is crap, but it's nice to see intel open source their 3d drivers, as they've got to do something to help spur adoption in this fizzling end of lifetime pc market.

Of course (1)

the Gray Mouser (1013773) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801486)

Over two-thirds of the respondents said they will increase their use of Linux in the next year, and almost no one said the opposite.
If you're a MS shop, you can't increase Windows usage above 100%.

But adding a single Linux box is an increase in Linux use.

Stacked Statistics Much?

Thats not what it means (1)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801628)

It means percentage of -new- roles that will be put on each platform. If my 100% windows shop adds a new ms sql server, thats -new- windows workload as long as the server isnt a replacment. This considered, the numbers are far more damning for redmond.

The desktop war was fought and lost decades ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16801510)

The truth is that while Linux has been playing catch up to Windows, at least in terms of usability, the web has evolved into the platform of the future. Firefox is an infinitely more important competitor to Microsoft than Linux could ever hope to be.

Linux has lost (2, Interesting)

h4ck7h3p14n37 (926070) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801546)

Meh, real men run UNIX anyway.

Seriously, I think some of the Linux distributions are putting themselves in jeopardy by aligning themselves with corporate interests and for accepting and distributing binary blobs from vendors. Corporations are simply using the Linux community as a way of off-loading their development costs.

Re:mod parent insightful (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801776)

You mention what's happening now.

In a few more years, the GPL will be circumvented in ways that Novell hasn't even thought of yet.

It will be the corporation driving those circumventions.

Capitalism is at least as infectious as chicken pox in the average second grade classroom.

I'm glad Debian is staying focused.

Not yet it isn't! (1)

WolfMansDad (253294) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801556)

Linux will have won the war when Microsoft comes out with its own distribution.

Why haven't they done that yet?

Um... (1)

AlexDV (759799) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801850)

...how about, because MS would much rather sell you Windows Server 2003? Honestly, does the market really need another commercial Linux? As far as I can tell, Red Hat seems to be doing a pretty good job in that area. Do you really think MS could build a better distro that Red Hat, or even Novell? Microsoft isn't going to compete against their own flagship product line. It's true that MS has enough mindshare that many companies might buy into an MS Linux distro. However, once they're using MS Linux, it would be much easier for them to switch to some non-MS version. That's exactly why Microsoft is never going to encourage Linux use. It's much safer to keep customers locked the Windows platform.

The "war" is far from over (2, Insightful)

linguae (763922) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801558)

Linux may win a war versus Microsoft on the server, but that is not where Microsoft is most powerful. Microsoft is still the 800 pound king gorilla of the desktop, and Linux still has a way to go before it unseats Microsoft. Heck, OS X has been out for over five years. Many users who have used both OS X and Windows claim that OS X is superior, and many have switched. However, OS X has barely pinched Microsoft, and Microsoft still enjoys 93% or so marketshare on the desktop (5% goes to Mac, and the rest of that is Linux, BSD, and other OSes).

The reason why Windows still hasn't been unseated is that too many people have software that is Windows-only. Businesses still rely on in-house Windows programs that were created by some programmer many years ago who is long gone, and cannot afford porting it to another operating system. Sometimes you'll see a business run an old Windows 3.1 or even DOS application since there is no replacement, and since it is good enough for them to not worry about porting it or creating a clone of it. Engineers aren't dropping AutoCAD anytime soon, and AutoCAD is Windows only. Engineers, being well known for their pragmatism, stick to Windows. Graphics artists on both the PC and the Macintosh who rely on Photoshop, Quark Express, and Dreamweaver are not going to move to Ubuntu and use the GIMP, Scribus, and nvu (yes, those open source products are good, but their commercial competitors are very good and are worth the $$$ that you pay for them; they end up saving you $$$ with their features and ease of use). And developers who want some food on their table better know something about Win32, .NET, and other Windows technologies. In most non-CS fields, you cannot avoid Windows in the professional world, and Windows has became a fact of life in many careers.

So, what is the open source community going to do about this? A great operating system with all of the bells and whistles isn't enough for most people. Once again, OS X is considered the best operating system by many people, but some applications haven't been ported yet (or won't be ported), which doesn't leave OS X as an option for those people. The open source community needs to start polishing up their offerings and get started on some new stuff (an AutoCAD replacement will get engineers off of Windows, for example). GIMP can use some improvement. OpenOffice should be more modular and faster. Dia needs to start looking like OmniGraffle or Visio. There needs to be some sort of OSS equivalent to Visual Basic (what I mean by that is ease of developing GUI applications). I recommend the same with other Linux applications.

Remember, the key to operating system adoption is applications. Look at MS-DOS, for example (back in its heyday). It was hard to use (compared to the Apple Macintosh at the time), very rudimentary (compared to other OSes in the 80s like Unix, NeXTSTEP, and VMS), and can only run one application at a time. But it ran Lotus 1-2-3 and WordPerfect, and it ran all of the other applications that business users wanted. Home users wanted the computers that business users had, so they got that too. Ditto for Windows 3.1. NeXTSTEP knocks the socks off of Windows 3.1. But who had the applications?

Your OS can be the easiest to use OS in the world. It can have microkernels with the best scheduling and load-balancing algorithms that exist. It can utilize all of the systems research published in the ACM and IEEE journals within the past two years. It can be so secure that it would be the envy of Homeland Security and would make Symantec and McAffe angry (they can't sell protection for it). It can even have a mass advertising campaign with beautiful angelic models praising the product. But if it cannot run the applications that they want, then it is just a waste of hard drive space and time as far as they are concerned.

Re:The "war" is far from over (1)

goarilla (908067) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801758)

i must agree killer-appz are a very important factor when choosing operating systems
people want to run:
  • winamp - yeah i know i use xmms myself but xmms doesn't ring a bell to most people
  • nero
  • photoshop
  • MSN messenger
  • MS Outlook
  • MS Excel
  • firewall --> the expensive firewall they purchased from the local computer guy
    sadly this is mostly one of Symantec's products or McAfee ;(
    you can try to convince them to use better products but what they pay for they'll want to run
    i think this has something to do with people don't like to admit their mistakes or in this case that they've waisted their money

Re:The "war" is far from over (1)

linuxrocks123 (905424) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801834)

> And developers who want some food on their table better know something about Win32, .NET, and other Windows technologies.

That's just false. Not all developers develop boring desktop applications; there are ample opportunities for server applications, which either don't run on Windows or have their dependence masked behind an internal API. There is also web development, where PHP and other OSS technologies are far more popular than ASP.NET.

Re:The "war" is far from over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16801858)

microsoft blows, you know it, i know it, everyone knows it, who are you trying to fool? actually they put out a useable product for the hardware at the time, but it's filesystem blows(viruses and spyware), if they put out a product that put the virus companies out of business and did away with their mandatory drm, i would consider upgrading to blows.

Re:The "war" is far from over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16801962)

The main problem is not with the software, it is with the people.
People fear change. By laziness or incompetence or lack of interest:

"I kown how to use ACID, I don't know how to use your damn GARAGEBAND!
  I do not have interest in computers like you!
  I do not want to try and learn new things!
  I just want to work! I know ACID!
  Please put ACID on your Mac!"
* Well ACID is a SONY product (I boycott Sony)
and I thought GARAGEBAND was enough for what she wanted to do ...
But she did not even want to try GarageBand!
Even with all the problems she has on her old Windows laptop ...

I think it would be even harder to switch to Linux as even I prefer OSX for the ease of use and the polished feeling,
and the laptops
(sorry for the DIY p0w3r H4X0R dudes, but Linux is still trailing far behind in terms of user experience IMHO)

When I said the new Macs had Intel CPUs like the PCs (well I have got a G4 powerbook, I want a MacBook because of its size and price),
her first words were: "Yes, but can it run Windows?",
I did not surrender yet and my war is far from over ...

People who do not have interests in computers or hate them will be the hardest to switch to ANYTHING else than windows!
Because they learned to use what they need once and do not want to bother to learn another way!

I think more effort should be put on emulating popular Windows(or other) software interface in FOSS projects to help switch over troublesome users:
"See! you can select 'outlook' in the interface menu and you can use the interface you know!"
GIMPSHOP is a first step in the right direction ...
what would have happened if each carmaker made a different interface? everyody would drive a Ford (or wharever brand)?

The problem is not limited to FOSS as switching people to Macs is not always easy:
(another female user)"It's cool but where is the card game ... and the internet? ... how can I see my mail? ... It's difficult! it was easy on the PC!"
* Computers are like magic for some users, so everything they are not used to is too difficult.

And remember, the "dumb" people OUTNUMBER us and their number just keep INCREASING!

Linux Won The War? (1)

TechForensics (944258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801574)

The worst thing about /. is frequency of its alarmist or sensationalist story titles. At best, this headline should have been something like "Server Deployments of Linux Expected to Outnumber MS Deployments". Really, what is the objective here? If it is to intrigue the reader to view the story, I guess it works. If it is to cheapen /. down to the level of a tabloid, I guess that works too.

Editors, please moderate yourselves!! It is not responsible journalism to justify use of a headline because it is a quote from someone, somewhere. Responsible editors weigh the real import of the news and brand it accordingly.

"almost no one said the opposite" (1)

0xG (712423) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801612)

What is the "opposite"? "We expect to support new workloads on Microsoft" or "We expect to not support new workloads on Linux" FFT

It will be over when "Aunt Tilly" uses Linux (1)

schwaang (667808) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801642)

It'll be over when Aunt Tilly uses Linux on the desktop.

And why can't she use it today instead of Windows?

Because, just for one example, today the Smithsonian launched an online exhibition called Earth from Space [si.edu] which uses a version of Flash not available (yet) on Linux.

And because when she buys a wireless card she has to learn about something called "ndiswrapper".

And because asking a little old lady to get root so she can edit /etc/sudoers is hopeless bullshit, but thanks for playing.

No, Linux on the desktop won't have won until Aunt Tilly can use it as easily as Windows.

With Linux appearing on the corporate desktop, the gap is closing. But there's still a long long way to go.

Re:It will be over when "Aunt Tilly" uses Linux (2, Informative)

TheUni (1007895) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801772)

well, points 2 and 3 are (sometimes) easily fixed by using a newer distro. Ubuntu Edgy made some progress in wifi (i believe) and sudo is setup for the main user by default.

As for Earth From Space, check out: http://www.adobe.com/go/fp9_update_b1_installer_li nuxplugin [adobe.com]

Just visited the site, works great for me in linux.

Re:It will be over when "Aunt Tilly" uses Linux (1)

xenoterracide (880092) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801924)

Because, just for one example, today the Smithsonian launched an online exhibition called Earth from Space which uses a version of Flash not available (yet) on Linux. If you are referring to flash 9 it's out for linux now. although still in beta and a unfortunately a little unstable for my tastes. And because when she buys a wireless card she has to learn about something called "ndiswrapper". I do lots of technical support for linux and windows. let me tell you your little old ladies don't know what wireless is. If they do they don't know how to install drivers on windows! they pay me to get there wireless working. I hate to tell you but that's a load of crap. I will admit linux wireless needs work. But aunt tilly's drivers aren't the reason. need I remind you it's still easier to install linux on serial ata, scsi, and raid than install windows on any of those. I remember when service pack 2 came out. I couldn't install it for 6 months. because ati hadn't gotten there drivers up to speed with it yet, and my machine would crash in games... yeah hardware support is great in windows. contrary to what you believe aunt tilly and every other average person can't administrate windows

Re:It will be over when "Aunt Tilly" uses Linux (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801950)

I don't know about your aunt but my dad uses linux and he is 72. He used to use windows. When he has a problem he does the same thing he always did, call me. It's just that now he calls me a lot less.

Almost no one = one third of the respondents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16801650)

"Over two-thirds of the respondents said they will increase their use of Linux in the next year, and almost no one said the opposite."

Almost no one = one third of the respondents?

Yipee! (4, Funny)

gemada (974357) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801656)

So when is the liquidation sale in Redmond?

Well (1)

joshier (957448) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801664)

Wasn't the whole idea from Microsoft funding Novell was to remove Linux?

like we didn't already know that... (1)

disturbedite (979015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801710)

On the day the wall came down They threw the locks onto the ground And with glasses high we raised a cry for freedom had arrived!

Perhaps they should take the hint (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801714)

Take the hint that people are willing to put up with endless amounts of trouble, less glitter and eye candy, IN ORDER TO HAVE SECURE SOFTWARE, MICROSOFT. Question is, will they learn this major point?

Red vs. Blue (2, Insightful)

Admiral Frosty (919523) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801726)

Linux: The wars over: we won. Turns out your the big hero. I get to drive the float. And Red Hat is in charge of confetti!

Microsoft: I'm no stranger to sarcasm sir.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16801774)

I was positive it was going to be the Shiites.

This isn't news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16801814)

Jack Palance is dead and you post this as news?

Hmm. (1)

siLoOfMisfortune (1025410) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801836)

They say keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Maybe this is Microsoft's grand scheme of ultimately taking charge of OS marketing. Everyone has a price right?

You stupid imature gits... (2, Insightful)

bobshawludemic (1025792) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801844)

Just to relieve the hyperbola, a War is a condition that results in mass destruction of life, culture and property for some arbritrary greater good. Brains and meat sprayed over the road, orphans, legless combatants. That is War. It is important to recognize the difference. Linux vs Microsoft is not War. Pick another word. Try not to be such a twit.

Nobody "won" anything. (2, Insightful)

Zorque (894011) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801908)

Why is there such a competition anyway? Why do retards have to complain when other people use some other operating system? What does it matter if Linux isn't on every computer in the world? Some (read: most normal) people prefer Windows because you can use it without some inordinate amount of knowledge. Yeah, Linux is great if you know more about computers than most people (and if you don't have any particularly special programs you need to run), but what does it really matter? One reason I personally don't use Linux is because a lot of people who do are very condescending about it.

only cheesy web crap most likely (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16801922)

Still limited commercial applications. Still only limited MS office compatibility, almost zero workstation tools for graphics, video or music professionals. Games? Almost zero unless you want the same shitty FPS engine. Near zero for educational applications limited a handful of broken java or python offerings.

Fine for the server, fuck all for the user.

Oh, and expect device support to break with every kernel "upgrade".

Obligatory (3, Funny)

Kelz (611260) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801968)

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
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