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Study Finds Linux 'Ready For Prime-time'

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the linux-to-replace-24-when-season-resumes dept.

Linux Business 283

An anonymous reader tipped us to a Techworld article proclaiming Linux as the next big thing ... again. A study of IT directors, VPs and CIOs has concluded that within five years the open-source OS will be running more than half of all important business applications. From the article: "In short, open source, especially Linux, is being legitimized by the major enterprise vendors, and user executives are more than happy to believe them ... Microsoft's thawing toward Linux is now easier to understand when faced with such data - even as Windows continues to grow as the other main server platform of choice."

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283 comments

Selfserving Article (4, Informative)

Cyclops (1852) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415298)

Only there to promote Microsoft/Novell and Oracle. It's making a campaign in favour of our enemies disguised as a positive article.

Re:Selfserving Article (3, Insightful)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415338)

"our enemies"? I find it hard to consider a corporate entity my enemy (or a friend). They aren't people, so it doesn't make perfect sense to relate to them in this way. Certainly I can relate to the members of the company, but those members are constantly changing. And if some of those members do things I disagree with it doesn't mean that everyone in that company is reprehensible, or out to get me.

Re:Selfserving Article (3, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415374)

They aren't people
Tell that to the law.

Re:Selfserving Article (3, Insightful)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415426)

The law doesn't make something so. I could legislate that a reindeer was a tree and reindeers wouldn't suddenly become trees.

Re:Selfserving Article (-1, Offtopic)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415458)

I swear I actually saw this happen once... santa was pissed.

On a completely different topic, why in the hell do I see this exact same type of news article with a different title every three days on slashdot? Good god, drop the shit already, wait 5 years and see if it happens. We all went through this 5 years ago. :P

Re:Selfserving Article (0, Flamebait)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415926)

hahhahahah offtopic?

Atleast it's not offtopic for me to tell you to go fuck yourself.

Right, when Fluorescent Green Pigs Fly ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415760)

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, because that ain't ever gonna happen in real life.

Re:Selfserving Article (3, Funny)

Pad-Lok (831143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17416008)

Judge Dredd disagrees with you.

Re:Selfserving Article (4, Insightful)

theCoder (23772) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415504)

We often speak of whole countries as "our enemies", so why not companies? IMHO, it makes more sense to speak of a company as an enemy than a specific member of that company. After all, individual to individual, members of the groups are not really enemies. Enemies want to destroy each other. Bill Gates isn't my enemy -- I don't (really) want to destroy him. Neither is Steve Ballmer. Or any other Microsoft employee. Microsoft the company isn't an enemy of me the individual, and the Linux community isn't an enemy to individual Microsoft employees (neither group wants to destroy the individuals of the other group). Individuals in either group may consider the other group as a whole as enemies, as the OP considered Microsoft an enemy and how people like Bill Gates consider the Linux community an enemy. Also as a whole, Microsoft is an enemy of the Linux community, as a whole.

Groups of people, like companies or countries, can very easily be enemies, even if individual members of each group don't necessarily consider each other enemies.

Re:Selfserving Article (2, Funny)

Splab (574204) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415752)

That is not exactly true.

I reeeaaaally want to find the idiot who designed the way tabs work in Visual Studio over at microsoft and give him a good beating.

Re:Selfserving Article (3, Insightful)

Dutch_Cap (532453) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415792)

The whole committee or just the chairman?

Re:Selfserving Article (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415802)

Every last one of them !!! MSVC is probably the best program churned out of the M$ crap factories. Why did they fuck it so up with MSVC7, is a wonder.

Re:Selfserving Article (4, Funny)

slashbob22 (918040) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415864)

By chair-man, do you mean Steve Ballmer?

Re:Selfserving Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415816)

How does tabs work in Visual Studio?

Re:Selfserving Article (1)

raphae (754310) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415812)

FTA:

"Microsoft's thawing toward Linux is now easier to understand when faced with such data - even as Windows continues to grow as the other main server platform of choice."



And some quotes from the recent paper "A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection [auckland.ac.nz] ":

Possibly for the first time ever, computer design is being dictated not by electronic design rules, physical layout requirements, and thermal issues, but by the wishes of the content industry. Apart from the massive headache that this poses to device manufacturers, it also imposes additional increased costs beyond the ones incurred simply by having to lay out board designs in a suboptimal manner.


Everything has to be custom-designed and laid out so that there are no unnecessary accessible signal links on the board. This means that a low-cost card isn't just a high-cost card with components omitted, and conversely a high-cost card isn't just a low-cost card with additional discretionary components added, each one has to be a completely custom design created to ensure that no signal on the board is accessible. This extends beyond simple board design all the way down to chip design. Instead of adding an external DVI chip, it now has to be integrated into the graphics chip, along with any other functionality normally supplied by an external chip. So instead of varying video card cost based on optional components, the chipset vendor now has to integrate everything into a one- size-fits-all premium-featured graphics chip, even if all the user wants is a budget card for their kid's PC.


Providing this protection incurs considerable costs in terms of system performance, system stability, technical support overhead, and hardware and software cost. These issues affect not only users of Vista but the entire PC industry, since the effects of the protection measures extend to cover all hardware and software that will ever come into contact with Vista, even if it's not used directly with Vista (for example hardware in a Macintosh computer or on a Linux server).


...the spec requires that the operational details of the device be kept confidential. Obviously anyone who knows enough about the workings of a device to operate it and to write a third-party driver for it (for example one for an open-source OS, or in general just any non-Windows OS) will also know enough to fake the HFS process. The only way to protect the HFS process therefore is to not release any technical details on the device beyond a minimum required for web site reviews and comparison with other products....the spec requires that the operational details of the device be kept confidential. Obviously anyone who knows enough about the workings of a device to operate it and to write a third-party driver for it (for example one for an open-source OS, or in general just any non-Windows OS) will also know enough to fake the HFS process. The only way to protect the HFS process therefore is to not release any technical details on the device beyond a minimum required for web site reviews and comparison with other products.



And now some quotes from the Slashdot article where this was discussed [slashdot.org] , translating this stuff a bit more into layman's terms:






Who says there's no war?

Key Words: "Emergent Behaviour" (1)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415962)

You're halfway there: it's possible to consider a corporate entity as goals and behaviours distinct from the people who form its constituent parts. Think "emergent behaviour".

So, yeah, I don't have any particular axe to grind against Microsoft employees (at least those whose names are not "Gates" or "Ballmer" at any rate. But that doesn't mean the I have to approve of MS policy, its corporate culture, and it most certainly doesn't require me to maintain a neutral attitude towards the corporation.

Given their hostility towards a social movement I hold dear, that would be silly, really.

Re:Selfserving Article (5, Interesting)

magixman (883752) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415690)

Only there to promote Microsoft/Novell and Oracle. It's making a campaign in favour of our enemies disguised as a positive article.

I believe that attitudes such as this are actually holding back the adoption of Linux. It creates a sense that the proponents of Linux are all driven by their hatred of Microsoft rather than a cool-headed and objective choice of which operating system is better for a given situation.

cash cow? (5, Funny)

polar red (215081) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415304)

"most large vendors remain tied to legacy cash-cow operating systems"
I wonder who they mean by cash-cow OS?

Re:cash cow? (3, Funny)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415386)

Apple?

Re:cash cow? (1)

WillerZ (814133) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415464)

I wonder who they mean by cash-cow OS


Almost certainly IBM z/OS.

Re:cash cow? (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415882)

And OS/400, i5/OS with it's interactive cpu pricing scheme...

That's a bunch of crap. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415306)

Linux blows.

Re:That's a bunch of crap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415340)

You are wrong! Linux is the best!

Re:That's a bunch of crap. (3, Funny)

Frozen Void (831218) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415492)

Maybe in a paralell universe where everyone compiles kernels for breakfast and writes their own drivers.

Re:That's a bunch of crap. (1)

pakar (813627) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415528)

Yea, it blows... the users away from Microsoft! =)

Propaganda (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415308)

Linux is ready for prime time when a user doesn't need an admin to use a preloaded computer. That's still nowhere in sight, and we're not getting closer either: Many distributions remove codecs and proprietary drivers, making a useful system even less available to mere users.

Re:Propaganda (2, Insightful)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415320)

I would disagree. MEPIS is certainly user friendly and includes codecs if I'm not mistaken.
Slackware does too, however, some folks seem to think the Slack learning curve is steep. I would disagree, but I would not posit it as an off-the-shelf answer for most folks.

How about reading the freaking article? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415330)

This isn't about Linux being ready for Joe Users Desktop or not, this is about Linux being used to run mission-critical businiess applications in the enterprise.

But who needs to even glance at the article if all one wants is to start a nice little flameware, he?

Re:How about reading the freaking article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415384)

Linux is already firmly at home in that environment. Apparently few people know this, so they need a study to tell them about it, which is a good indication that it's not "prime time". I'll read the article when there's some actual news, not just another "Linux still being used in tightly admin'ed environments" article.

Re:How about reading the freaking article? (1)

Tet (2721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415804)

this is about Linux being used to run mission-critical businiess applications in the enterprise.

Because yeah... no one's ever thought of doing that until now! I mean, I'm not really currently running a small business with a turnover exceeding the GDP of many small countries solely using Linux. Nor have I run larger companies on Linux in the past. Sheesh.

Re:Propaganda (5, Insightful)

SQLz (564901) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415370)

We have over 1000 employees and 7000 linux boxes, 1200 of which are workstations, and 4 admins. People get a 1 hour KDE training "this is how you read mail, this is how you use the internet, this is open office". Any idiot can use KDE to be productive, all the concepts are the same. You click on an icon, a program launches. If you have employees that need an admin to manage that, fire them.

Re:Propaganda (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415422)

We have over 1000 employees and 7000 linux boxes, 1200 of which are workstations, and 4 admins.


Wow... Man... Your TCO is way over Windows network's. In a pure Microsoft environment you wouldn't need such a crap load of computers, just 1000 workstations, one server and 100-200 MCSEs.

Re:Propaganda (1)

paganizer (566360) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415482)

Man, I was going to mod you +1 insightful, but I just have to be able to post in this thread.

Propaganda-Stereotypes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415852)

Why would you mod someone insightful for perpetuating a stereotype? You wouldn't do the same if it was Linux?

Re:Propaganda (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415692)

One server? Now we all know you're lying. Ever seen Microsofts own recomended configuration for even a small Windows network?

Re:Propaganda (4, Interesting)

robzon (981455) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415392)

Of course it is. My previous company have sold a lot of Ubuntu preinstalled computers, and users really loved it. All they needed was a short (about 20 minutes) introduction to the environment, and that's it.
I still receive phone calls from our customers' friends asking if we can install Ubuntu on their computers.

Good you're talking about preloaded systems. Most linux-is-bad people compare preinstalled Windows with self-installed Linux, which is a total nonsense. And some of them even blame Linux for having to partition their harddrive to use both OSes. And some of them blame Linux for disappearing boot loader after Windows reinstall. Kinda sad.

Re:Propaganda (5, Interesting)

mackyrae (999347) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415532)

Can we force them to install Windows without a restore disc that's pre-loaded with drivers? "Here's a plain Windows XP SP1 install disc. Install it, then go hunt down some drivers so that you can get SP1 to work on SATA drives so it can even be installed, which will be with terrible graphics because you need to install your graphics drivers after the OS is installed." (SATA drivers had to be loaded on a floppy to install SP1 on them. Linux had SATA support before Windows did...well, as soon as SATA drives came out, really. SP2 did correct that issue with Windows, though) So, ignoring the SP1 + SATA thing, without a restore disc with slipstreamed drivers, it's a pain in the butt. Linux does better in that regard because of the monolithic kernel. There's at least a few less drivers to hunt down.

Re:Propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415688)

Can we force them to install Windows without a restore disc that's pre-loaded with drivers? "Here's a plain Windows XP SP1 install disc. Install it, then go hunt down some drivers so that you can get SP1 to work on SATA drives so it can even be installed, which will be with terrible graphics because you need to install your graphics drivers after the OS is installed." (SATA drivers had to be loaded on a floppy to install SP1 on them. Linux had SATA support before Windows did...well, as soon as SATA drives came out, really. SP2 did correct that issue with Windows, though)

Then why not use Windows SP2 for the comparison? Especially since it's been the standard for the past 2 1/2 years.

And I still haven't been able to configure my RHEL 3.0 Update 8 system to do more than 800 x 600 on my Dell GX-620 dual core system.

Re:Propaganda (2, Insightful)

robzon (981455) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415916)

Answer is easy: complain to dell about lack of Linux drivers.
Believe me, Free Software developers really would love to support every hardware possible, but how are they supposed to do so without cooperation from hardware manufacturers? It's still amazing how much hardware is supported despite the lack of interest of most hardware vendors.

Re:Propaganda (1)

JamesTRexx (675890) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415564)

when a user doesn't need an admin to use a preloaded computer

So what's the difference with Windows? When I have to set up a Windows pc I need to spend as much or more time on it to get everything running. A user who needs a preloaded pc needs an admin wheteher it's Windows or a free OS. And I have more codecs in the ports section of FreeBSD than I get with Windows. As far as I'm concerned, I get more from running FreeBSD and the ports collection than from Windows.

SharePoint? (2, Insightful)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415312)

Once again, I have to ask, how well does it integrate with SharePoint [microsoft.com] ?
SharePoint is going to me Microsoft's collaboration tool of choice and not only does Linux not play with it, it doesn't have a competing offering.
Heck, this is going to affect OS X as well.
(And I'm not saying SharePoint is the answer, but a lot of CIO's seem to think so. For whatever that's worth.)

Re:SharePoint? (2, Insightful)

hey (83763) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415328)

Why the heck does Linux have to bend over backwards to support the latest Microsoft thing?
I don't see Microsoft doing the same for Linux -- they are baddies here.

Re:SharePoint? (2, Insightful)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415376)

That's not just what he's saying. He's also saying "and where's the competitive offering".

Businesses want this. What are you going to say "no, you can't have this". Not going to work. Give them an alternative, and they might go for it.

If more zealots stopped complaining about Microsoft and started coding Sharepoint/Exchange replacements, the problem would get solved.

Re:SharePoint? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415394)

When all of their potential customers are using it and feel its necessary for their business (which is what the OP is claiming will happen) they need to support it if they want those customers.

Re:SharePoint? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415442)

"Why the heck does Linux have to bend over backwards to support the latest Microsoft thing?"

It hinders adoption when they don't.

Re:SharePoint? (1)

roberg (941733) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415490)

It also hinders adoption of SharePoint when Microsoft doesn't make it available for Linux. The same goes for all other Microsoft products. By the way, there are alternatives to SharePoint.

Re:SharePoint? (1)

paganizer (566360) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415512)

Sharepoint is not the latest microsoft thing, it's been around since 1999.
It was also a lot cooler in 1999; you could do some really cool things with it, like web page subscription and commenting, that I don't think you can do anymore.
But still, the version that is around now is a very, very valuable business tool; it allows small business to have features and abilities that you could not easily accomplish with anything else that i'm aware of for anything close to the same investment.
I don't think it will save microsoft though.
I started out as a Unix admin in the early 90's, and switched to NT when it became obvious it was the way to go; with the purposeful crippling that is going on now (I would never trust secure data to a system that has DRM or the trusted computing software/hardware), I'm convinced Linux is the way to go.
I think that means I have to hand in my MCSE? good thing i'm retired.

Re:SharePoint? (3, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415800)

It's the usual game of lock-ins and lock-outs. Microsoft is trying to lock people in - Linux (= a subset of the OSS community, and mostly nothing to do with the kernel) is trying to create compatible solutions to unlock them. As for Linux always copying Microsoft - somehow I don't think Microsoft is intentionally trying to spite their customers, to get best cost/gain ratio by cutting costs, obsoleteing products and charging monopolist prices sure, but I don't think there's anyone at Microsoft thinking "Hmm.. I got this great product we could sell, but that'd be too good for them. Let's give them some half-assed jumble instead."

Microsoft employ a lot of smart people, they have plenty experience, plenty HCI studies, plenty user feedback. Yes, marketing dictates that they need to put out new products no matter if the customer is happy with the current ones, but unless you consider Widnows XP perfect then there's plenty *real* improvements they can do in addition to the wizzy "new look". There's a good change they know that "ok, looks will get us this far but we need to actually deliver on a few things too". That's not to say that Linux should try to chase every distraction but SharePoint isn't just a Microsoft flirt. Many businesses want SharePoint, or something like SharePoint.

Do you know what the Microsoft products often really are to the Linux community (and I bet this'll get moderated as flamebait)? It's the rallying flag, it puts everyone on target about "what are we making". "An excel clone, a photoshop clone, a sharepoitn clone". It's the closest thing many projects have to a vision or functional goal (because they won't/can't agree on their own, bazaar thing). That doesn't mean you don't take good ideas from other places, scratch your own personal itches and so on, but it's putting everyone on the same track. It's easy to say "let's go our own way" but when hundred different developers go hundered different ways, you rarely get very far. And then "well Widnows is doing ti, so it can't be half bad" is the compromise.

Re:SharePoint? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415994)

Because MS is the leader here, and because MS has marketing and mindshare.

Linux is playing a game of catchup even when they're ahead because so few people know about what Linux can do. If linux had a billion dollar advertising budget, thousands of salesdrones, 90% of the installed desktops, hisghschools and colleges "training" the kids in OpenOffice and Firefox, and most portable devices supporting it, then MS would be playing "me too" also.

I'm no big fan of MS, but like it or not they are the one to beat. To win, we must be better in practially every aspect and significantly so in a majority. Linus is not looking to beat MS, it is looking to unseat them. That's a big obstacle to hurdle. Hell, I'm still looking for something to replace the calendaring and contact portions of Outlook that will be multi-user and sync with my portable (which...suprise...is MS based).

Re:SharePoint? (4, Insightful)

SQLz (564901) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415358)

If people want to throw away TCO, security, easy of administration, power, and all the free enterprise proven software available for a glorified calendar and wiki program from Microsoft, they can go right ahead.

Re:SharePoint? (1)

quiberon2 (986274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415360)

Linux integrates just fine with IBM Lotus Notes, and with 'open' NFS.

Re:SharePoint? (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415446)

Provide a scalable, manageable platform for collaboration and the development of Web-based business applications with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, a versatile technology in Windows Server 2003.

And what that supposed to mean to the CIOs??? Or as developer and admin?

Well, we do not develop web services and heck I'm not sure what those are anyway. Last I heard Google doesn't use them - and it is playground of IBM/M$. From all it looks like: another non-technology crap (made up of buzz-words) created to sell something else. I have experienced many of such creations from M$ (and not only). And I'm sure many are yet to come: it is big companies, they need to sell something ... BIG.

As to corporate information sharing my employer suddenly went with Wikimedia's MediaWiki [sourceforge.net] (the same one which powers Wikipedia). Meeting minutes, white papers, tech notes, sales remarks, bug analysis, etc - lands in Wiki were it can be viewed, corrected and extended by others. People especially liked the page audit & version control: that was one of the reasons for the Wiki to win against conventional content management systems. Big plus is of course that it runs on Linux so it can sit on our existing file/print/raid/svn/backup servers. Also, installation was no brainer with basically everything done by already prepared SUSE rpms.

How does it integrate with my Zune? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415498)

I'm with you, how on earth is Linux going to succeed if it doesn't work with my Zune? Zune is Microsoft's latest music player platform, and Linux doesn't support it. Who will use Linux if it doesn't support Zune? Nobody that's who.

Sharepoint is already in version 3, and everyone uses it for, well...., whatever the fuck it does..., and does Linux support it? No. Pathetic, think of all the Linux users whose points go unshared!

Re:SharePoint? (1)

donaldm (919619) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415582)

From the web page for Share-point:
"Provide a scalable, manageable platform for collaboration and the development of Web-based business applications with Windows Share-Point Services 3.0, a versatile technology in Windows Server 2003."

The continuing vague blurb sounds fantastic but Share-point is specifically for MS Windows. I have seen this in use and like any managed process someone has to manage it otherwise you are going to have a mess on your hands. Linux/Unix can do something similar but the method is different. Again management is important here.

It is unfortunate that when Linux (inset your favorate distro here) is proposed for the desktop the main naysayers are managers who IMHO are extremely conservative (unless they have a good IT background) who normally say "Oh it not like Windows" or "It does not have my favorite MS Windows app" or "We are going to have to retrain all our staff". The saying of "No one gets fired for buying Microsoft" is very appropriate here.

No alternatives? (2, Interesting)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415734)

SharePoint is going to me Microsoft's collaboration tool of choice and not only does Linux not play with it, it doesn't have a competing offering.

Do you mean there's no open source competitive offering? Because there are products like Stoneware [stone-ware.com] . That used to run on Linux, haven't checked up on it in a couple years but it offers web portal features, single sign-on, application framing. I'm not sure what else you'd want a competing product to do.

Re:SharePoint? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415758)

Zope and Plone are opensource Sharepoint competitors. Extensively used by the NHS for many of their websites, including the National Programme for IT.

We also use it on our site, without any problems whatsoever. Therefore we aren't locked into the proprietary Sharepoint product.

www.plone.org for the Plone website
www.zope.org for the Zope website

And for the record, we are actively deploying Linux where possible on our site.

Re:SharePoint? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415968)

Man, linux needs less programmers and more marketing (or at least an American dictionary) if they're ever going to break into the corporate world. Zope? Plone? At least MS can fire somebody over the whole "zune" name.

Legitimate at last (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415324)

Oh thank God for that! I was about to ditch Linux after 10 years of being utterly Microsoft free.
But with the blessing of these well informed and important pundits I feel the future is brighter
already!

There's something slightly sad and laughable about people who switch their minds once something is
so bloody obvious it can't be ignored any longer. Next we'll have Bush saying the war in Iraq is lost
and it was a bad idea in the first place - and everyone will applaud him for his incisive wisdom.

Why are those with the most influence always the last to know what is really going on in this world?

Re:Legitimate at last (5, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415586)

You had to go there, didn't you. You had to bring up Bush and the myth that the war in Iraq is "lost" and was a "bad idea". You can't just leave well enough alone and talk about kernels and bandwidth and C++ and stuff, but you had to go and start pointing fingers just because a guy makes ONE LITTLE MISTAKE and invades the wrong country. Iraq/Iran, I mean, they're only ONE LETTER APART. So get ready to be modded down by some REAL AMERICANS who aren't quite so nitpicky. Not when Bush is doing such a great job, President-wise.

Re:Legitimate at last (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415884)

Don't believe in freedom? Go live in North Korea.

/heh

Not true until (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415332)

Linux gets a pool of lawyers and marketers.

Re:Not true until (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415402)

Linux gets a pool of lawyers and marketers. ... then dump piranhas and a couple of alligators in the pool.

Re:Not true until (2, Funny)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415534)

Linux gets a pool of lawyers and marketers. ... then dump piranhas and a couple of alligators in the pool.
There's no way the pool guy is going to clean out those bones from the bottom of a pool full of sharks, piranhas and alligators.

It's happening - slowly (2)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415356)

I know a lot of traditionally mainframe/Windows businesses that are at some level bringing in Linux servers, often to do tasks like mail or firewalls.

There never will be a "year of Linux", in the same way that there was no "year of Windows". It takes time, and it happens slowly. For me, 2006 meant the first time that I installed Linux on a laptop, and it was productive for me. Next year, some more people will discover it.

But in the very long term, I believe it's unstoppable.

Re:It's happening - slowly (5, Funny)

HvitRavn (813950) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415410)

I thought the "year of Windows" was 1995 :)

Re:It's happening - slowly (3, Insightful)

hclyff (925743) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415466)

Bollocks! Revolution is coming, any time now! [slashdot.org]

Study find that (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415364)

that studies have found Linux ready for prime-time for 5 years now... *yawn*

Re:Study find that (1)

matt74441 (1000572) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415414)

I've been reading them too for the last five years, and its starting to seem like the mainstream Linux desktop is just vapourware. I use Linux on all of my computers, but I'm not ready to start telling my friends and family to use it. They're barely computer literate as it is, so they can stay in XP for a while longer.

Re:Study find that (4, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415520)

"They're barely computer literate as it is,"

All the more reason to put them on Linux.

Really, the barely computer literate arent a problem, and they become far easier to support on Linux. It's the 'think they know what they're doing' people who are a pain as they'll be upset when they cant break their systems in the same way they used to.

Of course, they'd come complaining to you when they borked their system in XP too, so as a supporting relative you're almost always better off with the family on Linux (with the possible exception being when you have a competent Windows admin in the family who'll be doing the support (lucky guy...)).

Fast. (2, Funny)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415440)

Wow, that didn't take long! [slashdot.org]

Linux will be ready? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415460)

So like,it will have only taken 20 years?!?!?!?!? -- SHOCKING.

Servers only, not on the desktop (1, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415468)

The way this article is worded, it is obvious they are talking about servers. It will barely make a dent in MS's overall installed base. It might make a meaningful increase in Linux's total installed base, but I doubt it.

Only when the Linux developers and community take the desktop seriously and start to make Linux more accessable to Joe Average Luser will Linux gain an appreciable market share.

Re:Servers only, not on the desktop (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415648)

The server conversion is important, though. A lot of Windows server applications create a dependancy on clients also being Windows based.

The last thing that will go in many companies will be the Windows clients. It's important to recognise that the ties (to servers and applications) have to be unbound before the clients can also go.

Open source software is old news (1, Funny)

slashthedot (991354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415488)

I predict 2007 will be big for open source hardware.

And so, we learn studies mean nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415502)

Its amazing.. IT directors, CIO's and such consider Linux to be ready for the big boom. Just at the time where you keep hearing more and more "techies" complaining about certain development cycles within Linux. I for one am very sceptical about the current development cycles where new code makes it into the same kernel tree which is also deemed stable. Yes, I know the code is being tested but hardly as intensive as it used to be.

No, this isn't one of those "back in the old days everything was better" rants. The only thing I'm saying is that while this current development model maybe good for Linux it simply isn't good at all when looking at this from an admins point of view. What about kernel modules which basicly stop working after you upgraded the kernel? In some cases you might not have a choice, and it can become awfully tedious if you first need to check if your drivers will keep working after the upgrade. That only creates overhead but most of all: impacts on dependability. Which is exactly the thing you'd need when dealing with enterprise based environments, at least from where I'm standing. Don't get me wrong here: I'm not dissing Linux, but I do highly question the phrase that it would be ready for enterprise based computing.

"Recent Linux deals and announcements by Oracle and Microsoft have only reinforced the 'open source is enterprise-grade' message that IBM, Unisys and others have been preaching for years," Guptill and McNee said.

So just because some big companies make a few deals wich involves the OS immediatly makes it perfect for enterprise usage? Well, thats just the kind of ignorance I'd expect from IT directors and CIO's and the likes. No offense to the people who do know what they're talking about, but it just happens too many times where a director picks up a story and immediatly thinks he's seen the holy grail. Naturally the whole company should then "benefit" from this "amazing discovery". Little does he know that his discovery is already old news among the people who really matter in these kinds of situations.

So to be honost I don't really consider the importance of this article to be very high. These are the kind of people which I'd expect to write off how everyone should be switching his Windows desktop to Vista A.S.A.P. because of the extreme benefits it has to offer. Lets sleep on :)

Re:And so, we learn studies mean nothing... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415598)

I for one am very sceptical about the current development cycles where new code makes it into the same kernel tree which is also deemed stable.

I'm not sure I understand why you see this as a problem? If you're looking at a production server environment, there's probably no need to run the very latest kernel - sure, if you're a desktop user trying to get the latest hardware to work under Linux, especially USB-based stuff, then you're probably upgrading to the kernels quite regularly.

The only thing I'm saying is that while this current development model maybe good for Linux it simply isn't good at all when looking at this from an admins point of view. What about kernel modules which basicly stop working after you upgraded the kernel?

But isn't this precisely the reason why a lot of organisations run both test/development environments and production environments? This is no different than testing a Windows update in a test environment before rolling it out into production - all part of the daily job of a sysadmin anyway! :-)

Re:And so, we learn studies mean nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415612)

I'm not sure I understand why you see this as a problem? If you're looking at a production server environment, there's probably no need to run the very latest kernel - sure, if you're a desktop user trying to get the latest hardware to work under Linux, especially USB-based stuff, then you're probably upgrading to the kernels quite regularly.

Because when the moment has come that you need to upgrade its not unlikely that you won't be upgrading to a next kernel version but instead will be skipping several versions. And that can have quite a big impact since Linux isn't known to be backwards compatible like, for example, Windows, Solaris and some BSD's are.

Re:And so, we learn studies mean nothing... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415664)

Because when the moment has come that you need to upgrade its not unlikely that you won't be upgrading to a next kernel version but instead will be skipping several versions. And that can have quite a big impact since Linux isn't known to be backwards compatible like, for example, Windows, Solaris and some BSD's are.

I don't wish to be rude but I think you're getting a little confused here.

The kernel is all about hardware abstraction from the operating system - backwards compatibility is all about having the right OS libraries in place in the right locations. With Windows, most of that is about having the right dlls in place to be able to run an older application on a newer Windows environment; with Linux, you either have static binaries with the required libraries built in or you compile your source against the libraries you already have in your Linux OS.

Sure, in the case of hardware drivers, then those that are external to the kernel need to compiled against the correct kernel header versions and that's an operation that can be sometimes fraught with problems.

The only reason you'd ever need to replace the kernel is for better hardware support or for specific features built into the kernel like firewalling, SMBFS, NFS, etc.

Re:And so, we learn studies mean nothing... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415740)

The only reason you'd ever need to replace the kernel is for better hardware support or for specific features built into the kernel like firewalling, SMBFS, NFS, etc.

Or because some major flaws have found their way into the kernel resulting in the maintainers to strongly advice everyone to upgrade asap. As it has happened several times in the past now, even in the current (2.6) kernel tree. Now read back to "active development in the kernel" and you can see a big obstacle for mission critical systems.

Lol (0, Flamebait)

Klaidas (981300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415550)

If they mean servers - maybe... But desktops? No.
No, wait, maybe the next five years will be THE YEARS OF LINUX DESKTOPZ?!

Re:Lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415890)

"No, wait, maybe the next five years will be THE YEARS OF LINUX DESKTOPZ?!"

This year, 2006, was the year of the Linux desktop for me. I look forward to you and others installing Linux then having your own year of the Linux desktop.

P.S. Waiting around for someone to tell you it's time for you to have Linux as your desktop is somewhat asinine - determine it for yourself.

5 Years According to a Survey? (2, Interesting)

Hercules Peanut (540188) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415642)

In my experience, 5 years is too far away to make for a worthwhile prediction. If it is that far away, we are just guessing. Far too much can happen in that time (economic downturn, anyone?)

Further, my last employer was a Windows shop. The infrastructure was designed around proprietary MS security and authentication. They don't want linux. They don't care what it runs or what it can do. If you don't have an MCSE, you aren't qualified to work there (>1600 IT employees for a company of ~9000). We made several server purchases from Dell that would have been better served by Sun (per application specs). That never happened and never will. Why having linux as an option will make a difference I have no idea.

The worst thing is that this is the norm in my experience. I use a Mac and have been called a zealot (though I use Win2k and Solaris as well) but those who use nothing other than Windows are just plain IT people. The true zealots are the Windows only users and they exist and are in control of the IT departments.

Surveys that ask if you would be willing to use something have little validity. Nearly everyone is willing to try something on a survey but in real life, the story is very different.

Re:5 Years According to a Survey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415702)

I use a Mac and have been called a zealot (though I use Win2k and Solaris as well) but those who use nothing other than Windows are just plain IT people.
Then you come to slashdot, where it's exactly the same ? I guess you must love this feeling !

study might be good but the article isn't (5, Interesting)

EjectButton (618561) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415652)

from the article:

Microsoft's thawing toward Linux is now easier to understand when faced with such data

The Novell/Microsoft deal is not Microsoft "thawing toward Linux", it is Microsoft attempting to exploit the patent system to spread their FUD in new ways because all other efforts have been ineffective. It is becoming tiresome to see this lie perpetuated. I know the Novell/Microsoft press release claimed it was all about interoperability between Windows and Linux but that was just a red herring for those not familiar with Microsoft's business history, and it sounds a lot better to Novell's customers than "Novell management cashes out and does long-term harm to the company in exchange for a short term financial benefit".

Here is a simple question for anyone who believes the interoperability cover story, if Microsoft actually cared about interoperability why would they be paying Novell, or anyone else for that matter, hundreds of millions of dollars? Microsoft is the only organization in the world that has access to both complete Microsoft source code and Linux source code, if they wanted interoperability they would be in a better position than anyone else. Or, without spending a dime, they could simply release the specs which already exist internally for any number of proprietary non-standard pieces of software such as active directory protocols, smb/cifs protocols, exchange server, ntfs specs, wmv, etc etc. Rather than force everyone to reverse-engineer everything.

I don't doubt that Linux will experience significant growth over the next few years, but this particular article is just more phb-oriented magazine filler.

I don't... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415656)

...trust studies that weren't found with M$ dollars... The best studies...

Not yet ready (0)

frisket (149522) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415674)

It's certainly getting there, but...
  • The usability needs serious attention, especially wrt giving all GUI apps a consistency target, not just those approved by a distro. There are still far too many X apps using ludicrously outdated interfaces.
  • Installation defaults need to be rationalised so that the UI does The Right Thing -- right now there's still far too much post-installation configuration needed.
  • Someone still needs to kick the third-party hardware vendors' butts into releasing their APIs. They currently make enough money from licensing to MS and OEMs not to need to release their specs to the OSS world, so they hide behind their proprietary API instead of making better hardware and selling it to a wider market.
  • There's a software equivalent in the whole sublayer of file-format problems which will take a while to solve. The use of XML by both OOo and Word helps, but we don't want or need two office document file formats. Closed-source vendors are slowly (very slowly) beginning to realise that they need to open their file formats. This means they will no longer be able to hide behind proprietary formats and disregard the flaws in their executable code, but instead they will have to compete on a level playing surface and actually write a better program. This terrifies Marketing out of their wits, who have been accustomed to milking the clientele instead of doing the job properly.
But none of this will come to be unless there is agreement between developers that widespread use of Linux is what we all want. At the moment, a large number of developers still see *nix as the gurus' system, and resist all attempts to make it easy enough for Jill and Joe Office to use. Fortunately this number seems to be decreasing, but I think five years is optimistic.

So all that's come before is the pilot episode? (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415730)

I bet the series runs longer than Battlestar Galactica Redux.

Ready for the prime time for years (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415768)

It has been ready for the prime time for years, it is the work force that isn't ready. There's many IT support staff who can't administer Unix systems and therefore they can't administer Linux.

The problem is... (2, Insightful)

Tony (765) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415970)

There's many IT support staff who can't administer Unix systems and therefore they can't administer Linux.

The problem is, they can't really administer MS-Windows boxes, either.

A basic understanding of computers would give any decent admin the ability to administer a Unix system (whether it's Linux, *BSD, OpenSolaris, or any of 'em). They might have to spend a week or two installing and learning their way around the system, and to grok the Unix Way, but they could do it.

Too many MS-Windows admins learn by rote, and not by concept. Many can set up DHCP, for instance, but not have a clue what DHCP really does, other than hand out IP addresses.

Oh, well. The same is true of some Linux people I know-- they couldn't handle an MS-Windows system, because they lack fundamentals.

slashdot.org bloated (2, Informative)

Zpin (921535) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415784)

This is OT, but since I don't know where else to put it: Why do I have to load 500kb of css and js before the page even starts displaying? I know there was some article about pages loading for more than 4 seconds lose user interesst, well this page loads way longer (I visit the links in the RSS feed: http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/12/31/ 0430229&from=rss [slashdot.org] 15 seconds on my 7Mb connection).
Another funny thing is that the js consist mostly of comments...

Re:slashdot.org bloated (2, Informative)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415896)

"Why do I have to load 500kb of css and js before the page even starts displaying?"

Same here, it also freezes on loading images.slashdot.org and google-analytics.com.

I wonder. (0, Flamebait)

the_REAL_sam (670858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415814)

Does that mean installing/uninstalling software under linux is now standardized, logical and quick, even for people who never used it before? Have you ever watched a new linux user try to install all their software onto a linux box without any help? Linux will not get any mainstream adoption until THAT need is addressed, and that's a promise.

Back to the original claim. Does mainstream adoption mean CompUSA will begin stocking Linux? I tried to get a Linux installation CD's from comp USA in emeryville CA, and they didnt even carry it in stock.

If you want the OS to be adopted it seems that making it visible, accessible, usable and available are the first steps.

This is my experience with starting as a Linux user, 5 years ago: To install or uninstall software mainly seemed like a collosal task. With earlier versions I had to manually mount the friggin hard drive, AND couldn't do jack with the OS. RH 7.0 shipped with sun RPC open to the world, and it got hacked within 2 days (by the ramen worm). "hackers LOOOVE noodles!" The bottom line is, my Red Hat Linux 7.0/7.1 CD's came with a manual that told how to install and how to uninstall, and that's all I ever did, since the rest of it just seemed like a big hassle and windows was the OS that I could rely on, install things in, and that worked without getting a headache looking for information on the web.

Anyhow, perhaps I should just shut my mouth, and I wonder if I'll get mocked just for admitting that I had trouble using linux, but the linux of 5 years ago was attrocious. If you disagree with that, just try INSTALLING an application in RH 7.0. (i know, it's very old OS, but I'm saying unless getting RPM's to go to the right place and install the right way has gotten any simpler than needing a pc6 decoder, gunzip, tar, untar, rpm, the other equiv of rpm (whose name i don't recall at the moment), and whatever else is involved. If you're a veteran linux user then ask a user from another OS to install software while you watch them. Oh yea, cross your arms and provide no help to them if you really want to see the learning curve in action. Then be nice and help. :)

It would (i believe) quickly become evident how Linux still needs to be made more user friendly, and that all the nonstandardized behavior for basic OS functions (like installing software) is not all that helpful to the users you wish would get onto your bandwagon.

Again, I probably should just have kept my mouth shut about Linux, but those are the reasons I put Mandrake 6.x, RH 7.0,7.1 and 7.2, suse x.x into a box and put the box under my bed and hardly bothered with them for the last 5 years. I use the operating system to get things done, and I don't want to wrestle with it, I want it to do things intuitively.

Calling rpm with half a dosen switches (after reading a manual for 3 hours) just to get it
working is not an example of inuitive installation.

Long story short, I just wanted to get a basic functional web server together, and I said to myself: "well, they just can't say enough good things about linux, so I'll use it." And guess what. I just told you what.

OK, for those of you who began using linux within the past year or two, I guess I must ask: Has the experience of new linux users improved at all, since that time? Do YOU people see it catching on, or is it still more or less the same bag of obstacles for you as it was for me 5-6 years ago?

Re:I wonder. (0, Troll)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415866)

Using REAL Computers is hard, so that just every idiot can't do it.

The rest of you get a shitty windows box.

Enjoy.

Re:I wonder. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17415918)

On RedHat systems, if you click on a link to an RPM in, say, Firefox, it offers to open it with software installer. You enter the root password, the software is installed and you are done. You can always save it and then go to the folder with a file manager and double click it to install it. Also not too difficult. If you REALLY want to make it difficult, you can save it, open up the terminal, go to the directory with a very difficult command like 'cd' and then run 'rpm -ihv foo.rpm'. I know that's just impossible for some people. It's been this way since at least Fedora Core 1.

Re:I wonder. (1)

zrq (794138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415920)

.... Has the experience of new linux users improved at all, since that time?

Yes

Re:I wonder. (2, Interesting)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 7 years ago | (#17416000)

"OK, for those of you who began using linux within the past year or two, I guess I must ask: Has the experience of new linux users improved at all, since that time? Do YOU people see it catching on, or is it still more or less the same bag of obstacles for you as it was for me 5-6 years ago? "

Yes.

I remember trying RH some years ago, and could barely get it off the ground.

Then, last year, I was trying to set up Wordpress under Windows, and just couldn't get it going, so I stuck Ubuntu Linux on a box. It installed like a dream, and I had one problem with the wireless card (I bought a new one!), and then it was fine. I now do Wordpress development on it.

It's a lot, lot better. I believe it's moved from "hardcore geek" to "power user" level. You still get some setup problems, it's not as easy as grabbing a PC from Dell, and nor will it do certain things so easily (like games, DVD playback, well-known applications).

So, it's not ready for Joe User to set up... yet. However, Ubuntu is quite straightforward, though. Installing software and upgrades is probably easier than Windows.

Incidentally, I agree with what you say in general. There's a whole lot more than the technical merits of Linux to consider.

Download a live ISO (or get Ubuntu to send you a CD) and try it as a live CD. I'd be interested to hear how you get on.

Re:I wonder. (3, Interesting)

Tony (765) | more than 7 years ago | (#17416002)

Does that mean installing/uninstalling software under linux is now standardized, logical and quick, even for people who never used it before? Have you ever watched a new linux user try to install all their software onto a linux box without any help? Linux will not get any mainstream adoption until THAT need is addressed, and that's a promise.

Promise all you want. Linux is already mainstream.

We're talking server here. The article is talking server. The thing it overlooks is that Linux is *already* a major enterprise player.

And when it comes to installing / uninstalling enterprise server software, MS-Windows doesn't have a standard way of installing/uninstalling. The "putting the software where it goes" piece is covered: every major GNU/Linux distro has a standard way of installing and uninstalling. MS-Windows has a semi-standard way.

But the hard part isn't putting the software where it needs to go. The hard part is setting up Cisco Call Manager, or Oracle Financials, or Apache / IIS / whatever.

As far as the desktop is concerned, you lock it down (easy to do in Linux), and set up automatic updates from a central, controlled server. Roll out your updates when the users aren't logged on, and make a forced logout procedure so users can't be logged on unless they are scheduled to work at that time.

Users should never install their own software at work. That is the second-worst cause of computer failure in the workplace. (The number one cause is incompetent admins.)

With Linux, you don't even have to worry about viruses, so you don't have the hell that AV software brings.

But, to answer your post: Linux isn't like MS-Windows.

Thank God.

You guys always do this (5, Informative)

viewtouch (1479) | more than 7 years ago | (#17415946)

You guys always do this; you talk about "Linux" but you are really talking about either the X Windows System or you're talking about the thousands of various software tools (such as all the GNU software) in the various distributions or you're talking about the various applications software packages that run on Linux and X, most of which also run on, for example, BSD and X.

Everybody here at Slashdot knows this already but, still, and probably forever, most people won't know this. So, is this OK? I don't think so. Linux is the heart but X is the blood, lungs, bones, muscle and skin. Let's get over being shy or ignorant about the importance of X, its uniqueness as a network display protocol, the renaissance in X development, the activity in X related projects like cairo, SVG, all things GL (OpenGL,XGL, AIXGL), Desktop environments based on X, etc..

Let's get over being shy about the importance of the UNIX component model and the valuable tool extensions that make this approach so much more useful than the monolithic approaches of other operating environments, such as rsync, scripting, et al.. And lastly, let's start talking about the absolute need for network computing. That's the computing paradigm of the present and the future. Let's talk about how so much of Linux, X, rsync (for example) and the applications are already so well suited for making use of and advancing that approach to software. Network computing is replacing the desktop as the next 'big thing', so let's start talking about that, why don't we? The game console manufacturers have recognized and accepted this, so why don't we accept that this is also true for applications?

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