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Huge Linux Desktop Deals Get HP Thinking

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the git-er-done dept.

HP 218

An anonymous reader notes an article in CRN about HP recently cutting deals for multi-thousands of Linux desktops. With all the talk about whether Dell will offer pre-installed desktop Linux any time soon, in the end HP may beat them to that particular punch.

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well (5, Interesting)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275210)

Well its about time someone did it on a large scale. There is a market, so whats holding it back? Dare I say back room Microsoft deals?

HP's got the clout (5, Informative)

yog (19073) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275554)

HP's stock is up--take a look at their chart (HPQ). They have a market capitalization of $109 billion, they have surpassed Dell as a supplier of desktops, and they have new stable management (post-Fiorella) in place.

It takes clout to stand up to Microsoft. Smaller companies have little choice but to toe the Microsoft line and act as Windows pimps for their Redmond masters, but the huge players--IBM, HP, and Dell (if Dell had any backbone) can push back a bit, even though they still have to continue to sit at Microsoft's table.

Microsoft stumbled with Vista; they have insisted on replacing XP on all new machines. I couldn't even buy a Dell laptop with XP a couple of weeks ago--have some specialized software that still doesn't run on Vista--had to find one from HP. Vista is late and has problems and Linux is looking better and better.

In the end, it is a combination of market demand, linux readiness, and corporate clout that will break the Microsoft hold on the PC market.

Fear: once they get a look a Linux (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18275652)

Once they get a look at Linux, and how terrible it is, this will yet be another Linux death knell desktop story. It ain't gonna happen, folks. It can't compete. You know it's not for a lartable luser. Now some lame company's employees (maybe, if it happens) will find out first-hand. A bad time.

Re:Fear: once they get a look a Linux (2, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275714)

And for such a brave and intelligent statement, you post as a AC.

Have some balls.

Re:Fear: once they get a look a Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18276296)

Right. Because trolling a web forum under a pseudonym is sooo much more macho than without one.

Grow up! You and the troll.

Re:HP's got the clout (-1, Offtopic)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275996)

I couldn't even buy a Dell laptop with XP a couple of weeks ago--have some specialized software that still doesn't run on Vista--had to find one from HP

Well you could always build your own XP PC.

Re:HP's got the clout (1)

pizpot (622748) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276160)

I couldn't even buy a Dell laptop with XP a couple of weeks ago

That is insane. What if you are running a cad program and support only covers certain OS'es? I can just see the aerospace industry grinding to a halt over vista. Yeah right.

(LOL Sir Bill. Did you forget backwards compatability got you where you are? Remeber what sunk NetScape? A re-write.)

Re:HP's got the clout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18276390)

I couldn't even buy a Dell laptop with XP a couple of weeks ago--have some specialized software that still doesn't run on Vista--had to find one from HP

Well you could always build your own XP PC.
Key word Laptop

Re:HP's got the clout (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276868)

Yeah, but can you build your own laptop?

Re:HP's got the clout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18276102)

HP's stock is up--take a look at their chart (HPQ). They have a market capitalization of $109 billion, they have surpassed Dell as a supplier of desktops, and they have new stable management (post-Fiorella) in place.

What about Apple? How come I don't see anyone insisting that Apple offer their computers sans OS X and pre-loaded with Linux?

Microsoft stumbled with Vista; they have insisted on replacing XP on all new machines. I couldn't even buy a Dell laptop with XP a couple of weeks ago--have some specialized software that still doesn't run on Vista--had to find one from HP.

How is your ignorance a failing of Microsoft? I am looking at Dells laptops right now. I can get the Lattitude and Precision laptops pre-loaded with either Vista or XP. I can also select "Open Source" to get a Lattitude without Windows what-so-ever. Why is everyone whining...what you want is clearly available.

Re:HP's got the clout (1, Interesting)

NSIM (953498) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276176)

Microsoft stumbled with Vista; they have insisted on replacing XP on all new machines. I couldn't even buy a Dell laptop with XP a couple of weeks ago--have some specialized software that still doesn't run on Vista--had to find one from HP. Vista is late and has problems and Linux is looking better and better.

You can't have tried very hard to get DELL laptops with Xp rather than Vista, there are pretty prominent links all over the laptop section of their website and you can select XP as the installed OS rather than Vista without any difficulty at all. Large vendors like DELL or HPQ would never accept a mandate from MS to stop offereing XP when Vista launched because they know that corporates will not be ready for largescale Vista rollouts for quite some time. This is nothing new, you could get W2K on systems for a long time after XP came out.

Re:HP's got the clout (3, Informative)

yog (19073) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276522)

I was in the "Home" section of Dell.com. No XP was offered there, only Vista. I called Dell's sales line and was given the same story--no XP available on any laptops.

However you are correct--the small business section is still offering XP. I guess I should have thought to try that. But I believed what the salesperson told me, gave up, and went to HP.

Re:well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18276232)

I used to work for AST computers during their decline. I remember when AST selected a Lotus suite for bundling on all computers, as opposed to Microsoft works. After that deal if AST wanted to bundle a full version of office, they had to pay full retail to do it. There were never backup room deals, but there were ramifications to choices.

Re:well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18276410)

Dell has offered Linux for a long time. You could get Red Hat installed from Red Hat 6.2.

It's also not difficult to find a n series system (one that does not come with Windows preinstalled).

http://www.dell.com/content/topics/global.aspx/all iances/en/linux?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&~ck=anavml [dell.com]

Re:well (1)

MarsDude (74832) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276822)

On a large scale it isn't a problem. More companies will take on that challenge.
It is time for a large company to do it on a small scale -> individuals who want to buy a laptop/desktop with linux on it.

As Vista/Office 2K7 go down (5, Insightful)

dilute (74234) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275246)

Is there a link here between waning interest in Vista and Office 2K7 and rising interest in desktop Linux? For all the hassle of "upgrading" the MS products, it may be easier in many respects to take the plunge and switch to another OS and office suite.

Re:As Vista/Office 2K7 go down (4, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275344)

I recall seeing some articles about various governments and large organizations having problems with Microsoft's new 'controls' imposed by licensing agreements, and the possibility that you may be locked out of your hardware. To many, it's unacceptable, and Linux is a nice alternative, especially given the price and the reliability.

Government doesn't like closed formats (3, Interesting)

spineboy (22918) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275518)

More and more governments don't like proprietary or closed formats for documents. HP always seems to be able to get big government computer contracts, so this seems like an easy route to follow.

Re:Government doesn't like closed formats (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276332)

People are finally starting to realise that 'Word Document' format isn't nearly as universal a format as they first thought, due to closed standards, where PDF, XML, HTML are all document formats that _are_.

Re:As Vista/Office 2K7 go down (2, Interesting)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275364)

That's already been discussed as a reason for Apple's future to look brighter. After all - new interface, new paradigms, and lack of backwards compatibilities and lack of software all make for a nice big opening for other systems to enter the market. Add to that an entirely new administrative/maintenance learning curve, and going with something a little more stable, like, say, Apple or Linux, all of a sudden becomes quite enticing, especially when you include the lack of CALs (Client Access Licenses).

Vista may be the hay bale that broke the camel's back.

Re:As Vista/Office 2K7 go down (1)

pizpot (622748) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275874)

Add to this, everyone involved in the contract, has home computers bogged down with virii and now sees MS as flakey.

Re:As Vista/Office 2K7 go down (1)

pallmall1 (882819) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276444)

Add to this, everyone involved in the contract, has home computers bogged down with virii and now sees MS as flakey.
Not to mention that that virii can send you to jail [techreport.com] .

That's a right fact: using microsoft software can land you in prison.

Re:As Vista/Office 2K7 go down (2, Interesting)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276096)

I've been predicting that M$ was going to shoot itself in the foot with Vista for a while now, but last year not many were willing to agree with me. Now, it looks like it's happening, but the question is, are we ready?

We're an army of Linux nerds, but I fear there will not be enough of us at first to satisfy any sudden growth in demand for support as Linux crosses the threshold of critical mass. At first, I think this lack of support will limit the rate of growth, but not for long. It's going to take several years at least for all those Windows admins to become useful, but modern distros like Ubuntu and pre-installed systems from major vendors will make things easier for users without any direct support, thus allowing for more growth sooner that would otherwise be possible. Still, this kind of growth will have its limits as well. Windows will only really start to disappear when there's enough professional support for Linux.

Apple's OSX systems are nice, but I don't think they'll be taking over from M$. Yes, it is *nix, but they're just too expensive; you're limited to using Apple's hardware and you still have licenses to worry about. It's not going to happen. I guess this is the price they pay for always having avoided going head-to-head with M$ for the desktop.

In the mean time, I'm going to have to get certified for Linux in a hurry. At least, that's if I want to get a piece of all that juicy Linux corporate consulting work on the horizon. I've been doing Linux almost exclusively for about six years now, but LPIC-1 isn't as easy as I thought it would be -- you have to remember loads of details for the exams. I'm almost there, though. Then there's LPIC-2, LPIC-3, maybe RHCE too. Anybody know of any other interesting Linux (or related) certifications?

I've been wondering... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18275374)

Hey Slashdot, why are PC users such ugly dweebs [imageshack.us] in comparison to Mac users [imageshack.us] ? Is it because nobody has the time or patience to put up with Windows/Linux except for friendless, sexless nerds like you?

Re:I've been wondering... (2, Funny)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275406)

Hey Slashdot, why are PC users such ugly dweebs in comparison to Mac users? Is it because nobody has the time or patience to put up with Windows/Linux except for friendless, sexless nerds like you?

Dammit! I'm too busy re-installing windows to get the damn hair plugs and laser-derm you insensitive clod!

Re:As Vista/Office 2K7 go down (1)

endianx (1006895) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275468)

I suspect so. The #1 reason I have always heard for not switching to Linux/OpenOffice was that it was too costly to retrain everybody. Well if you have to retrain everybody anyway, and also have to pay thousands for the new products, they probably figure maybe now is the time to look into switching.

Re:As Vista/Office 2K7 go down (3, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276318)

Hmm, the problem is not user acceptance or training. The problem is IT personnel acceptance and training. All a typical corporate user need in terms of training is a one page cheat sheet. However, the IT guys need to figure out how to make Linux work with MS Active Directory, learn how to configure Samba, figure out how to make Gnome Meeting work cross country and futz around till they have Linux going with some wacky Citrix applications and so on. Each problem is not insurmountable in its own right, but lumped together it becomes a huge head-ache.

2k7 != 2007, 2k7 == 2700 !!! (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276388)

OK, I'm in pedantic mode. Anyway...

Usually, 2k7 means 2700. Like in 2k7 Ohm. And not 2007!!!

Re:As Vista/Office 2K7 go down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18276596)

ou mean, could it be The Day ?

Re:As Vista/Office 2K7 go down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18276648)

Vista is to Linux on the desktop, as the Iraq war is to Al-Quaeda recruiting.

It's about time (5, Interesting)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275296)

That was the puzzle piece the Linux commnity needed.

I'm wondering if Hp figured out how to preinstall AOL, and all the rest of that junk for advertising like the Windows machines come pre-installed with to supplement income. It occurred to me that windows machines might actually be cheaper, not because of the windows deals with MS, but because of the paid to be installed junk. If so, that may not be nearly as nice as it first appears.

Re:It's about time (1)

antirelic (1030688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275354)

This wont matter unless somehow a major player in the Linux market does something that makes LINUX more appealing to the masses. Open Office is a good start, but that isnt enough in itself. Unless several major software companies release a "linux native" version of thier software, I fear that Vista will just take "longer" to become the "desktop".

Re:It's about time (2, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275360)

If the market exists, the crapware will follow.

Re:It's about time (1)

alphamugwump (918799) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275462)

They wouldn't install crapware on corporate machines; it wouldn't make any sense. Also, I don't know about you guys, but I like to wipe my systems every so often, even my linux systems. It cleans out all the random crap and hacked packages I installed at one point in time, and gets me back to the default. Wiping the system when you get it is pretty damn basic, and there isn't really any good reason to bitch about it. Unless you don't have a real windows CD, in which case you should have bought your computer from someone else. Fuck those configuration CDs, you should demand a real windows CD and real driver CDs. That way, I can control what goes on the machines.

Re:It's about time (1)

Corwn of Amber (802933) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276092)

Real windows CD? What for? You have a license to use some Windows version, just download 'n burn that same version. "What pirated software? I do have a license."

Re:It's about time (1)

davecarlotub (835831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275490)

Companies, such as the one I work for, image their machines with a corporate image built by a systems integration team. Things such as "AOL preinstalled" are no worry. The first thing we do with new HP workstations is to reimage them. The majority of HP customers, I would assume, aren't concerned with what comes preinstalled.

Re:It's about time (1)

Calinous (985536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275948)

The only reason to buy a corporate computer with Linux preinstalled is being sure that Linux runs on that configuration without problems. Big vendors will change small bits in the systems they sell without bothering to ask permission from the customers (new BIOS revisions, new mainboard revisions, and so on). Starting from a Windows-only workstation, you might be surprised to find out that the gigabit network was changed, from something that is Linux compatible, to something that isn't

Re:It's about time (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275950)

HP knows most people do that, that's not the question.

The question is "How much do they get paid by AOL to put the AOL icon on the desktop?"

Getting revenue from AOL may allow them to lower the PC price. If they can't get that revenue for a Linux box, logically that would increase the cost of that box.

Re:It's about time (1)

davecarlotub (835831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276376)

If putting the AOL icon on the desktop that gets wiped out as soon as it enters the building subsidizes our purchase of new HP machines, then thank you AOL :)

More ways to compete (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276028)

It is true that greater Lx adoption may start to look enticing to the crapware guys, but don't forget that an OEM can compete on things other than price. Namely: *features.

Dell or HP could easily develop a GNU/Linux system optimized for their hardware. It would run circles around a comparable XP installation, and it would include with an Office Suite.

There are also other ways to compete on price: with kernel optimization, a 2 GHz/512MB RAM machine (read: cheap) can outperform an XP machine with higher specs. I'd even like some manufacturer to experiment with one of the business-card (50MB) distros that can be loaded completely into ram (with 400 MB left over). Try one of those if you haven't... talk about the Wow starting now...

Re:More ways to compete (1)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276670)

but, there is still that bottom line thing.

If a manufacture, say HP (to stay on topic), devotes resources to the development of a distro that runs perfectly on their hardware, there has to be a payoff. otherwise there is no incentive for HP to devote the resources, nor for the consumer to purchase.

My supposition (and it is an educated guess, no more) is that there is a substantial amount of money involved in third party software pre-installed on a consumer level machine. Based on that guess, I wonder how much money is involved... $10 - $20 or $40.00 US? Is it enough to cover the Windows licensing? If that is the case, where is the incentive to move to Linux? If HP does start collecting money on third party installs, then it gets really interesting. Since they are not paying a license fee for the Linux install, and would be collecting on the TPC (Third Party Crap) the price of the machine could be driven down to the point where it competes VERY effectively with windows. My observation is that consumers of PC's, as a whole, are price shopping far more than most of us give them credit for. A Linux machine that does what they want, for $300.00 will outsell a $400.00 windows machine of equal performance.

I don't think the "feature" set or performance set is nearly as important.... When Apple introduced the PPC G4 series of machines it was easily a faster machine with a larger feature set as the same class of windows machine. At that point windows was still playing catchup with features in the OS, with "snappiness" of response, and so forth. because Apple equipment was percieved as being more expensive (generally speaking, they were, ROI and ancillary costs (IT support, training, etc.) might have been lower overall, doesn't matter. the price tag to take it off the box out of the store was less, or perceived to be less. So, Macs did NOT make much in the way of inroads anywhere (well, except for video editing houses, We LOVED final Cut Pro when it came out, and love it more now...) and, in fact, lost market share (or grew market share slower than the rest of the industry, same difference).

Linux has the opportunity to fix that perceived price tag, since the software costs less to install, maybe. there is always that other side of the marketing coin... the one no-one talks about, because it's a closed door deal: Third party installs. If the manufacturer is getting fees for installing the software, it's possible that the Windows license is off set or actually fully paid for with a small profit. "Free" software that is a net zero dollars might not be a plus in that case, and it would be a logical reason that the hardware is more expensive with Linux or with no software.

Re:It's about time (1)

LuisAnaya (865769) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276412)

I do not think that's the case. I think that Linux will be offered to corporate users while home users will only be offered Windows with AOL/Compuserve/Norton Icons on it. Corporate desktops are usually sold at a larger margin, even if you include "economies of scale" to keep the computers price competitive. Will see. I'll believe in this change when I see the choice between Linux and Windows being offered at work.

Laptop committment as well (3, Interesting)

landoltjp (676315) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275324)

It would be nice if HP also comitted to getting Linux on their laptops as well. I noticed that there is no trouble getting Windows running on my laptop, but It's always hit and miss whether or not Linux runs.

Of the three laptops I've had over the years, It's only the latest one (an HP dv6000 from Canadia) that's not playing nice.

While this is indeed trolling, I wonder if Microsoft encourages HP (et al) to make it difficult to get Linux running on their machines (ie wierdness for screen / network / etc firmware or modules).

Thank goodness for sites like http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/ [linux-on-laptops.com] (even though there's nothing for the dv6000 yet)

Re:Laptop committment as well (1)

dogsbestfriend (755362) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275372)

I've got fc6.x86_64 running on my dv6110 for a while. the latest fc6 kernels seem to be very stable, and i don't have to use the 'noapic' kernel option anymore. I couldn't install/ update without this of course.
nvidia proprietory drivers and ndiswrapper for wlan gives me everything i need now.

Re:Laptop committment as well (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275624)

I have Ubuntu running as a VM on my dv9035 with no problems. I do not have Linux running native on any laptop so I can't speak for it but I'm guessing that my VM install would handle just as if it were installed directly on the laptop. Maybe others can verify this or set me straight on the difference.

Re:Laptop committment as well (5, Informative)

swillden (191260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275932)

I have Ubuntu running as a VM on my dv9035 with no problems. I do not have Linux running native on any laptop so I can't speak for it but I'm guessing that my VM install would handle just as if it were installed directly on the laptop. Maybe others can verify this or set me straight on the difference.

Nope, it doesn't run the same in a VM as it does running natively on the machine. For much of the hardware -- basically anything except USB -- the "hypervisor" (VMWare or what have you) provides fake devices to the virtual machine. Your Ubuntu install sees, for example, a VMware-brand network card (mine sees a "VMware accelrated AMD PCNet Adapter"), a VMWare-brand graphics card ("VMware SVGA II"), etc., and talks to those "devices". The hypervisor intercepts the requests from the guest OS, translates them and hands them off to the host OS, which uses its drivers to talk to the real network and video card.

With VMWare, at least, USB devices are potentially handled differently, and direct access to them can be handed to the guest machine, via a faked USB controller. I say potentially, because if the USB device is a USB implementation of another kind of device, like a network card or a serial port, you can also allow the host machine to control the device, and then export the functionality to the guest as just another network or serial interface.

Re:Laptop committment as well (1)

the_masked_mallard (792207) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276016)

I have a dv6137, a core 2 duo machine. popped in the dapper drake live cd and worked like a charm. no screen issues coz of the widescreen, wifi works fine. even the quickplay buttons for volume were working. perhaps its just some bad luck in your case (or good luck in mine).

Re:Laptop committment as well (1)

pizpot (622748) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276118)

I just did a compaq presario laptop dual boot (amdxp3000) and it went fine except for the broadcom wireless, which probably would work if I had more time with it. wrappers didn't do anything for me.

Re:Laptop committment as well (1)

necrogram (675897) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276564)

Thats why I do business grade laptops. HP certifes my nc8430 for suse. It might not be as pretty as the DV6000 series, but they are tough 'tops.

Re:Laptop committment as well (1)

vladilinsky (1071536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276856)

I have the same laptop (i think) dv6110ca and the only distribution that i could get to run was Slackware 11. with an upgraded kernel 2.6.20, and the newest bios from HP's site. everything but the winmodem works now. if you need any help getting it to work you can email me at vlad_il_insky at gmail.com (without the _ _ )

Doug Small From HP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18275366)

Would be awesome if Doug Small, worldwide director of open source and Linux marketing at HP, was interviewed on one of those AskSlashdot stories where we could get feedback as to why is working and what are the reasons he is not getting millions of corporate and government Linux desktop on HP hardware sales yet.

Regardless, good news.

Re:Doug Small From HP (1)

slashbob22 (918040) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275886)

Doug, is that you?

How does next tuesday work for the interview?

This really isn't news per se.... (2, Informative)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275392)

Compaq had LINUX support as early as 1999. In fact Compaq had an alliance with Red Hat:

http://www.chguy.net/news/jun99/press_compaq.html [chguy.net]

And some models of their servers came pre-installed with Red Hat:

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT= 104&STORY=/www/story/11-21-2000/0001371236&EDATE= [prnewswire.com]

That gave them the ability to put LINUX into the enterprise as it was easier to deploy than a "roll your own solution."

Given that Compaq was bought by HP, would it not be logical to assume that HP would simply keep doing this (although maybe they wouldn't broadcast it as loudly as Compaq did)?

Re:This really isn't news per se.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18275484)

Do you know an organization with ProLiants on users' desks?

Re:This really isn't news per se.... (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276106)

Could you speak up a bit? I'm a little deaf with all the fan noise from this DL380 on my desk.

Damn. Time to move to BSD (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18275418)

If these manufacturers back Linux so strongly that they bundle it with their PCs we shall see a natural progression towards proprietary formats, and software that only works with copyrighted setups. As if the entry barriers to getting involved in the coding aspects of official Debian or whatever weren't high enough already... After this it will be nearly possible to get involved with an open source software project without licking a lot of balls. It's just not right. I can already imagine the clueless twits turning on their PCs and going straight to X, and all the people gathering around them thinking they're some sort of expert, just for not using Windows. As I said, it's time to move to Open/Free/Net-BSD.

Re:Damn. Time to move to BSD (1)

SpaghettiCoder (1073236) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275654)

I agree with you 100%. The only problem is the network support for the open source BSD OSes. Ndiswrapper and Prism are well-established in Linux, which is an important reason for its popularity.

Re:Damn. Time to move to BSD (1)

alphamugwump (918799) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275762)

That's why the kernel and KDE and the GNU tools are GPLed. So they can't switch to proprietary formats, or copyrighted crap. IF everything was BSD licensed, we would be in trouble.

Hah (0, Offtopic)

matr0x_x (919985) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275426)

I wonder how bad Microsoft is punishing Dell for lack of exclusitivity.

Figures (5, Insightful)

jginspace (678908) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275446)

HP also figured in the Who Wrote, and Paid For, 2.6.20 [slashdot.org] research discussed here last week as a significant contributor to Linux. You'd guess they'd be planning on getting their money's worth.

Re:Figures (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276728)

I didn't read the breakdown in detail, but I understand that most of the work HP did on Linux related to the IA64 port. Since they are about the only people still selling IA64 hardware, and Linux is about the only OS that runs on IA64, this means it's pretty-much up to them to keep the work going. I don't think they are planning on selling IA64 desktops or laptops though...

as a former employee (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18275516)

as a former employee I can say Linux is quite big within HP itself... they have a large business unit (including R&D for drivers and several F/OSS applications) purely for Linux. They also have great management tools for providing applications and patches/updates to all desktop users, including Linux desktops. This is probably tested well enough to consider rolling it out to customers now. Within HP you can choose whether you want to run Linux or Windows, although they will only support certain distros (forgot which ones, I suspect they were SuSE and Fedora, although there is strong (user)support for Debian as well) with their managment tool.

Re:as a former employee (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276080)

Then why thenhell don't they advertise it for christ sake.

Re:as a former employee (1)

cyberkahn (398201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276384)

"they have a large business unit (including R&D for drivers and several F/OSS applications) purely for Linux."
Where, so I can move there? :-)

play it again sam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18275530)

it appears they've been down the linux road before without much success. Linux growth cannot be ignored and major oem's are taking notice to linux sales from smaller oem's offering linux. I'd like them to offer debian on the desktop in addition to redhat and suse.

Re:play it again sam? (1)

gangien (151940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275688)

i dunno if your 'sam' tittle was a joke, but sam is a HP-UX's admin utility. You can use it via command line or X interface even :P. We had to tell people to use it to switch their max threads because it's like 64 or something, by default, which was not quite enough.

Bios Settings (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275548)

For me, the trick for getting FC6 going on a pavillion was to toggle the plug and play bios setting http://forum.fedoraforum.org/forum/showthread.php? t=139555&highlight=a1612n [fedoraforum.org] and after that things went pretty smoothly. A have not heard back on my question about why power saving for the screen makes the mouse disappear. But, for the most part linux does well on this machine.
--
Run your computer on solar power: http://mdsolar.blogspot.com/2007/01/slashdot-users -selling-solar.html [blogspot.com]

The downside (4, Funny)

AlHunt (982887) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275576)

The downside to an explosion of Linux installations?

Linux Geeks getting called out when friends and neighbors can't get their Linux Desktops working.

Remember - this was all your idea.

Re:The downside (4, Informative)

gi.net (987908) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275686)

Downside?

It's would be far less frustrating than the current situation:

Linux Geeks getting called out when friends and neighbors can't get their *MS Windows* Desktops working.

And you can do it remotely and securely.

Re:The downside (4, Funny)

BigBuckHunter (722855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275704)

The downside to an explosion of Linux installations?
Linux Geeks getting called out when friends and neighbors can't get their Linux Desktops working.

I'm just thankful I chose technology rather than a medical profession. At least I don't get creep'd out when my neighbor says, "Hey, would you mind taking a look at this".

BBH

Re:The downside (1)

theguyfromsaturn (802938) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276046)

Trust me... it happens less than with Windows. The best thing I ever did was switch over my aunt and my parents to Linux. It went from weekly calls that things weren't working to just check things out and update when I'm visiting, and having it done in the background. Plus, there is Ubuntu now. I love passing around those CDs to friends. They know BEFORE installing if they are going to have trouble with their hardware. Thank God for Live CDs.

Re:The downside (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276212)

One word: SSH

Dat's all folks...

Re:The downside (1)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276392)

The downside to an explosion of Linux installations?

Linux Geeks getting called out when friends and neighbors can't get their Linux Desktops working.

Remember - this was all your idea.

I don't consider that a downside at all. I already spend a significant amount of time on the Ubuntu forums trying to help strangers get their linux installation working for no reward at all, and often without enough of a response to know if I ever actually helped anyone. If my friends family all had linux, I could be helpful to people I actually know, find out if I was right or way off the mark, and maybe even get a free beer.

In fact, I think that would be a major plus.

Not Impressed. (0)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275580)

I hate how people wait till the last possible second to do what's actually in the customers best interest. And almost always only after their business has gone down the shitter.

FSF ain't exactly new. If companies embraced it 10 years ago like they fucking should have, we'd be better fucking off, instead of using half-baked shitastic OSes like Vista nowadays. See, look what your greed and apathy got you.

Don't wait for your corporate masters to decide when libre software is right for you. Make up your own damn minds.

Tom

Re:Not Impressed. (1)

indraneil (1011639) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275998)

Actually, its quite hard for non computer people to make up their own minds about something as esoteric as OS. I am sure to be flamed for this, but an OS should ideally just work!
I dont have an opinion on most things myself (and I use them regularly!). For example, I dont really know if a plasma TV is better than an LCD screen TV... I dont know if 5.2 megapixel camera does as well as an 8.2 Megapixel camera (or not!).. actually I can go on.. but the long and short is, I cant expect my parents to make an informed decision on an OS. I suspect they will settle for familiarity over freedom to choose etc etc.
Most non techie people, atleast here in India, will buy the computer that the salesman suggests (and the OS will come preinstalled). If Linux needs to gain traction, the salesman needs to suggest it as an alternative.. and I think unless someone like HP throws their weight behind a linux desktop (or laptop), you will never see any competition

Re:Not Impressed. (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276302)

You can't be suggested freedom. you have to seek it out. If your parents aren't looking for freedom, no sales person can "force" it on them. Choosing OSS is not just about the cost, or sticking it to Bill. It's about being free to use technology as you see fit (or as close to that as reality permits). At some point, people, individually, have to be responsible for their freedom.

It boils down to people sacrifice what is right for what is easy (hey thanks Sopranos advert that I've seen 3 million times on A&E). For your parents windows may be the right choice, but I suspect that most likely a FL/OSS operating system [and set of software] is probably not only an adequate fit but more useful down the road.

Tom

Re:Not Impressed. (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276558)

Ten years ago, Linux was a toy on the desktop. There were virtually zero useful applications that were stable. You didn't even have VMware yet to run Windows while still claiming to be using Linux.

Re:Not Impressed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18276722)

Calm down...

I don't know a single person who wants linux preinstalled. Everyone either wants to pick their own distro, dual-boot (thus needing the dirt cheap OEM windows license - of course HP could preinstall a dual boot but this is getting quite complicated and hard to support), or would rather have just windows because of the software library or a mac because it's a controlled computer-as-appliance system and is trendy.
And as for closed-vs-open, they excel in different areas, and if one doesn't meet your needs you try the other.

Perhaps a reason HP is taking mkt share from Dell (4, Informative)

Scott7477 (785439) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275626)

PC World's posted yesterday iSuppli's market share report for the fourth quarter of 2006; the headline is "HP Beats Dell in PC Sales" [pcworld.com] . It looks to me like HP is responding to what customers are asking for, while Dell is clinging to Microsoft's subsidies. The top 5 vendors look like this:
1. HP - 17.4%
2. Dell - 14.5%
3. Lenovo - 7.1%
4. Acer - 6.6%
5. Toshiba - 3.7%

Honestly it does not matter. (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275640)

What linux needs is more users willing to get off their asses and not only introduce new users to it but also act as their support for a while. too many linux users are either outright lazy or apathetic about other users. I founded a LUG for 3 years and left it because outside the core 5 people the rest of them were almost hostile to helping the newbies that came into the group. All they wanted to do was show off how bads their new gentoo install was or give a newbie crap for choosing mandriva before he started attending the LUG and found linux on his own.

Honestly, it wont change until the typical Linux user quits being an asshole to everyone else. and Yes they outnumber those of us that want to help 10 to 1. It wont matter if Dell or HP ships with ubuntu or some other newbie friendly Linux install, when these people go online or to a LUG to find help they will run up against the "cloud of smug" and get turned off instantly.

I teach a linux for new users at the local community college for free once a year. The real "professors" there still call linux a fad and say that no real companies use it, so they are useless and creating a nice uphill battle that I have to fight without making the instructors look like clueless idiots or I'll lose my ability to teach the class that is full every year.

That is what is needed. Linux users to get off their asses and help 1-2 new people through getting up and running in linux. you never EVER can say RTFM! but have to hold their hands. You also need to be out there debunking the lies that professors and other "leaders" are spewing out of their mouths, but have to do it in a way that is tactful as you are just some guy instead of a professor with 31 masters degrees and smells his own farts.

Re:Honestly it does not matter. (1)

enjahova (812395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276776)

What you say is probably true, but it will be a godsend for people like me once the manufacturers make it easy to get a Linux ready machine. I helped one friend buy a laptop on the condition that I would only be his tech support if he used linux. I put ubuntu on it and I still cannot get the internal wireless card working (I've tried every broadcom guide, this specific model just doesn't work). Then I put ubuntu64 on a different friend's Acer, and after finally getting the video drivers (proprietary nvidia) to work, I can't get the sound right. I installed ALSA and now when it starts up it just spams the startup sound over and over and won't fully boot.

Yeah so maybe I'm just frustrated, I should mention there is a third friend who I put ubuntu on his Acer and it has been working no problem ever since. So that makes 3 completely non-technical people who ASKED me to put linux on their computer. But I've so far failed two of them in very important ways. Well, I'm still working on the sound problem... but I was just thinking this morning that maybe I won't take on any more computers for friends. I've ruined my last two evenings fighting with it and it just doesn't seem worth it to take on the responsibility of other people's computers when I can't get them to work right.

So please HP, Dell, just come out with computers that will "just work" with linux.

Re:Honestly it does not matter. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18276812)

Poor Lumpy, I feel your pain. When I was a moderator for Ubuntu, I had to stop using an AIM account (in part) from it being flooded with help requests. I'm not one to say "no" either, so I crashed and burned pretty quick. Your 1-2 people idea is nice, but the problem and solution you present is a paradox - most knowledgeable linux users are the RTFM'er types and not in the business of hand holding, but the enthusiastic and evangelic young guns are polite and eager to help but don't know how.

Call me Cynical, but... (4, Insightful)

jeevesbond (1066726) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275650)

Aren't all the news service sites jumping on stories about big manufacturers possibly providing GNU/Linux? Whilst it would be great to see OEMs pre-installing GNU/Linux it's advisable to not get excited until you can see proof, e.g. the machines are advertised on their respective web sites. As a real alternative to Windows too, not hidden in the depths of the site as a token gesture, so their marketing department can claim that they, 'tried Linux but there was no demand.'

From TFA:

HP has preloaded PCs with Linux in previous years, but the market acceptance wasn't there to do that on a broader scale, according to Small. "Frankly, we did that in the past and didn't see the results for it," he said.

My argument to Mr Small would be that he didn't take a sufficient risk. If they did provide a mass-market GNU/Linux desktop, not many people heard about it. This is why it's important to put any offering on an equal footing with Windows (as difficult as that may be considering their contracts).

The other mistake is with marketing departments making this assumption: 'Linux == Cheap. So people who want Linux, want cheap PC's!' Then they only offer it on some low-end model no discerning geek would ever buy. Had they actually bothered to ask the community they would have found that most want Freedom [gnu.org] , not free beer. I believe Wal-Mart and other large US shops rolled-out some rather pitiful offerings recently.

He added that HP also plans some enhancements to its channel programs to help in the delivery of Linux solutions, but he didn't give details.

What does this mean exactly? To a layman such as myself it sounds like they are considering doing the same as Dell and getting their hardware certified with some GNU/Linux providers. A step in the right direction, but hardly the Holy-grail of pre-installed GNU/Linux this article is trumpeting.

They also give free courses (4, Informative)

hopbine (618442) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275770)

Go the HP Learning center at http://h30187.www3.hp.com/ [hp.com] and look for the free Linux courses.

Re:They also give free courses (1)

SpaghettiCoder (1073236) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275836)

I had a look. It's only very easy-peasy stuff - it doesn't teach Linux properly. A Linux course should explain basic computer architecture, what is an OS, how OSes work, what Linux is and how it works, filesystems, etc. all leading up to the point where the user can take control of their Linux system: modify the kernel. Otherwise they can already do most of the stuff that HP wants to teach them, with their Windows system.

Re:They also give free courses (3, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275974)

I had a look. It's only very easy-peasy stuff - it doesn't teach Linux properly. A Linux course should explain basic computer architecture, what is an OS, how OSes work, what Linux is and how it works, filesystems, etc. all leading up to the point where the user can take control of their Linux system: modify the kernel. Otherwise they can already do most of the stuff that HP wants to teach them, with their Windows system.

Sounds like a perfectly reasonable way to teach Linux to people who only want to use the machine, not hack their kernel. Why is that not "proper"? Should every Windows course cover ntkernel internals and sophisticated registry hacking?

Linux allows you to hack whatever you'd like to hack, which is great and a lot of the reason it's my favorite OS, but it's been a long time since kernel hacking was required to use the operating system effectively.

Re:They also give free courses (1)

SpaghettiCoder (1073236) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276298)

I agree with you, but the point of Linux is that the users are supposed to be the potential developers too. It's not Linux if it's not transparent. It can't be right, if you have a bunch of people using Linux apps effectively (because they sort of mimic Windows) and who can schedule tasks and maybe do some Bash scripting, who don't have the first idea about what an OS is or what it's doing, or how Linux works under the hood. To this end, it's important to train users about the kernel structure, so it doesn't seem like magic, and they can change all of it or some of it just because they want to. You can't do this with Windows, because Windows is closed source. It's quite hard to learn about kernel hacking without a teacher, so there's a lacuna for free courses teaching that. But there are already many websites clearly explaining what the HP Linux courses purport to teach. So you're right, but I think it's a missed opportunity nevertheless.

Re:They also give free courses (1)

redbeard55 (1002526) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276396)

You are just way off base here. If this is the approach taken Linux will be nothing but a leaning tool and not an operating system. You drive or ride in a car or bus to get around and may have even flown in a plane. How many of these tools that you use regularly can you take completely apart and modify/repair? What about the elevator, microwave . . . ? A computer is a tool that a user wants to use to get things done.

Re:They also give free courses (1)

SpaghettiCoder (1073236) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276524)

Well OK I take your point but (sorry to degenerate into ideology) this kind of approach seems pyramidic-hierarchical, where people are only told exactly what they "need to know" and no more no less. It's fundamental to our human condition are important to our future that we are allowed to think abstractly, and to explore applied mathematics (which is exactly what computer science is) even if for rice and bananas we just have to sweep the streets. Unfortunately while computer technology has raced ahead, the same can't be said for our education system, where a person can spend 18 years in a state school and is then expected to migrate to the factory floor, purely on the basis that someone or some committee has decided they don't need to know how a bootloader for instance works, as long as (for basic subsistence) they wake up early in the morning to make some more money for someone who has capital. The Linux open source approach has traditionally offered freedom from this kind of attitude - because you don't need capital or license to take control of the technology. It's a bit irresponsible to rely on others to do it. If HP started teaching Linux with a "from scratch" mentality, that would definitely be much better than anything a state-sponsored community college could offer.

Re:They also give free courses (2, Insightful)

redbeard55 (1002526) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276274)

You were doing fine up to this point:

"all leading up to the point where the user can take control of their Linux system: modify the kernel. Otherwise they can already do most of the stuff that HP wants to teach them, with their Windows system."

We are talking about end users, not Geeks or CS majors. 99.99% of users do not want to modify kernels etc. They want to be able to use their systems to get business done, access the internet, use office apps. play music/videos and play a few games at home. I think the Linux desktop finally has a chance to take off because the work that has been done by several distributions to make the Linux desktop usable without diving into the kernel or editing 50 config files to get a usable system.

Re:They also give free courses (1)

lazycam (1007621) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276108)

The problem is that there is still a pretty large learning curve to linux. It does not take much time to teach a kid how to 'ls','cd', or grep their process list. Problems come into play when their internet goes down, or they forget their password. Or, when they really need to run a windows specific program that their professor/boss hands out. If HP and Dell offer a list of "supported" MS/Linux programs and offer easy RPM/.deb install methods, I'll be behind them 100%. The critical mass of linux users will develop over time, it can be forced upon them as an incomeplete solution (i.e. mp3,mpeg,dvd support out of the box). Stay the course, otherwise the only punch we'll see comes from Joestown.

Custom deals (0, Flamebait)

ronanbear (924575) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275860)

If they preinstall Linux, even for specific customers, then they are distributing Linux. In that case they are distributing GPL software. Hence, anyone who's interested in what Linux they're putting on these computers should just ask HP for the source code to all the GPL's software.

Might be useful to see what if anything HP are doing to ensure compatibility with their hardware.

Re:Custom deals (1)

alonso (63617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276026)

Only how receive the os has the right to ask for the source.

Re:Custom deals (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276616)

Please note that HP is only required to provide source if you obtained the binaries (i.e. a system) from them. They have no obligation to provide source to random people that ask for it.

multi-thousands? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18275892)

you mean "thousands"?

Critical Mass (2, Interesting)

lilomar (1072448) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275956)

"We are involved in a number of massive deals for Linux desktops, and those are the kinds of things that are indicators of critical mass...that's an indicator."
Perhaps the most telling quote in the entire article? This indicates that the major OEM's are at least keeping track of the popularity of Linux to the desktop user. If this is true, Pre-loaded Linux is inevitable, since all the numbers do indicate that linux popularity is rising.

HP Ad (1)

Iron Monkey (113162) | more than 7 years ago | (#18275970)

And just this morning I saw a flyer for HP systems in the Globe and Mail. All of the screens were a lovely shade of Ubuntu brown. Yeah I know... but one can dream, right?

Is Billy G gonna have to choke a b*tch? (0)

straponego (521991) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276430)

Giving it away? You still owe daddy that money. I can't decide whether the adware/spyware user-hostile software is the crack or the clap in this equation, though. Regardless, it's better when it's consensual, safe, and free.

I have a friend doing Linux work at HP. They have a lot of Debian/Ubuntu people doing good work. They're profitable and the work they're doing fits with HP's pre-Carly reputation as an innovator. So you can see why Dell would be afraid of all that, but here's hoping HP as a whole can break out of the cycle into a healthier lifestyle.

at least some useful app will be developped (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18276748)

to shut up those bragging linux user and their supposedly virus free plateform....
Linux to the desktop in the hand off clueless Joe that will still want to give his root password (or whatever password is needed) to see his free pron :)

'you must install codec xxx to see porn' agree or not ? give your rights away :)

OOOOOK :)

but off course....we will have the 'Linux bots are better than Windows bots !'

yeah right...useful....

yeah this is a flamebait....Still it's true and you knwow it.
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