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Red Hat Develops Online Desktop

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the hope-your-isp-is-reliable dept.

Red Hat Software 119

pete314 writes "Red Hat announced this week at their San Diego Red Hat Summit that they are planning to compete with Microsoft on the desktop by building an 'online desktop' that will integrate local data with online services. Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens argued that: 'To user the desktop metaphor is dead. We don't believe that recreating a Windows paradigm in an open source model will do anything to advance the productivity in the life of users.'"

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Competingwith Microsoft Google? (4, Interesting)

jaavaaguru (261551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055311)

Are they really competing with Microsoft at this point? As far as I can see Google offer replacements for an increasing amount of desktop software at the moment (Word processor, Spreadsheet, Email, Calendar, Photo management, IM, and various browser integrations such as their note-taking plugin for Firefox. That's a bit more than Microsoft has to offer at the moment.

Re:Competingwith Microsoft Google? (1)

HalifaxRage (640242) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055773)

Sounds more like they're competing with Apple. Which is indirectly competing with MS/G.

Re:Competingwith Microsoft Google? (2, Interesting)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056507)

I think it's nonsense for RedHat to say that the Windows desktop is dead. RedHat has always gone after the business server and workstation markets, and have done a great job taking down Sun while avoiding pissing off M$. The whole reason that Ubuntu has so much momentum is how they've made the desktop familiar and easy to use, and less buggy. RedHat could still hammer Ubuntu if they'd just ship a desktop focused OS and stop claiming that M$ is doing it all wrong.

Re:Competingwith Microsoft Google? (1)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 7 years ago | (#19061623)

This is a little off-topic, but could someone please explain to me this fascination and momentum behind Ubuntu? Mandrake/Mandriva has always been extremely user friendly... I dare say more so than Ubuntu? So what's the deal, seriously?

Re:Competingwith Microsoft Google? (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 7 years ago | (#19062431)

This is a little off-topic, but could someone please explain to me this fascination and momentum behind Ubuntu? Mandrake/Mandriva has always been extremely user friendly... I dare say more so than Ubuntu? So what's the deal, seriously?
One word: apt. [debian.org]

Google partner? (3, Insightful)

PineHall (206441) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056035)

... to have discussions with customers and partners and will tackle key technologies on a case by case basis.

They may not end up competing with Google, rather they may end up partnering with Google. Google has a lot of the apps available right now.

Anyone Remember: ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19056193)

(From )
        Workspot [workspot.com] ?

Workspot gives you a Linux desktop outside your network, from which you can browse, ftp, or ssh. It lets you form a kind of instant VPN. It lets you share a desktop and applications, real-time, with someone on the other side of the globe, or with many people simultaneously. It lets you cut and paste across platforms. It's an invaluable tool.

Yours computationally,
Kilgore Trout

Re:Competingwith Microsoft Google? (0)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056495)

their note-taking plugin for Firefox.
link please?

Re:Competingwith Microsoft Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19057637)

google google notebook and google browser sync

Re:Competingwith Microsoft Google? (1)

jaavaaguru (261551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19058013)

Google Notebook [google.com]

Re:Competingwith Microsoft Google? (3, Insightful)

jbarr (2233) | more than 7 years ago | (#19057139)

If only they could work WITH Google to provide the offline client component.

Google's online offerings have matured, and are quite powerful, but there's still the disconnect when going offline. Not until I can work offline and seamlessly integrate/sync when I go back online will it be really effective.

Re:Competingwith Microsoft Google? (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 7 years ago | (#19058545)

If you are doing anything with computers you are competing with MS. If you are not competing with MS then MS will enter the market soon and compete with you.

Lemme boot the terminal (2, Insightful)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055357)

I do like the aspect of some apps being hosted online versus locally as it frees up a portion of your HDD, but before I commit fully to this idea I have to bring into question data security and bandwidth on this one. I know there is more bandwidth to come and that is simply a matter of time, but implementing an online desktop could potentially bring some big security issues into play.

Re:Lemme boot the terminal (4, Insightful)

korekrash (853240) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055593)

At about 50 cents a gig, I'll stick to speed and security rather than trying to save 500 megs of drive space.

If you do not have full control of your data... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19055599)

.......you have no control.

Re:Lemme boot the terminal (2, Insightful)

Angostura (703910) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055655)

I have to agree. The idea of online applications being "first class citizens with the traditional applications" to quote the story, suggests to me that online applications would need to have similar or identical security access to locally installed applications. This seems, uh... possibly problematic.

Doesn't seem to slow them down any... (5, Funny)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056233)

suggests to me that online applications would need to have similar or identical security access to locally installed applications. This seems, uh... possibly problematic.
Oh, come on ... Microsoft's been doing that for years!

Re:Doesn't seem to slow them down any... (1)

korekrash (853240) | more than 7 years ago | (#19057221)

lol....very true...and look where it got us ;)

Re:Lemme boot the terminal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19058603)

With all the trojans, viruses, spyware, hackers attacking your PC, I doubt you can do better security than Google.

Taurus

Competing with Microsoft? (4, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055377)

"To user the desktop metaphor is dead. We don't believe that recreating a Windows paradigm in an open source model will do anything to advance the productivity in the life of users," Stevens added.

And therefore they're reimplementing the Windows 98 Active Desktop...?

Re:Competing with Microsoft? (5, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055885)

Maybe the Windows 98 Active Desktop has a chance of being successful now that always-on Internet connections are vastly more common. There was another technology built into Internet Explorer 4.0 that also died from lack of use. It was called "channels", and was very similar to RSS. Yet today, RSS and Atom are wildly popular. Sometimes the technology doesn't need to change if the world does.

Re:Competing with Microsoft? (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056531)

I think that Active Desktop and Channels failed not from the lack of always-on internet, but because it was so badly implemented. Every demonstration I saw of those features looked like pre-installed crapware that was a waste of screen space.

Re:Competing with Microsoft? (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 7 years ago | (#19058689)

I always tied it to the lack of standards as far as Channels/RSS. I guess they could be the same though. A poor/overly complicated standard is just as bad as a bad implementation.

Re:Competing with Microsoft? (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 7 years ago | (#19057605)

There was another technology built into Internet Explorer 4.0 that also died from lack of use. It was called "channels", and was very similar to RSS.
Whoa ... I thought I had dreamed that. Good to know I was having memories of reality instead of reoccurring dreams.

What about when you are offline? (4, Insightful)

deragon (112986) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055427)

Often I use my laptop in the subway. Guess what? No internet access. So how would I perform my work with such a paradigm? What about when you go to your country house, in the woods? To user the desktop metaphor is not dead when offline.

Re:What about when you are offline? (2, Informative)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055735)

While I agree, I think they know of these issues. They will probably store many of the files used to generate vital and productivity pages locally. You can save offline maybe and it will auto sync the next time you have access? Who knows... I do not, but to assume they are that shortsighted is not giving them nearly enough credit.

Re:What about when you are offline? (1)

i7dude (473077) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056115)

so, why store the "vital" parts of the application locally, doesn't that defeat the purpose of a network based application?

dude.

Re:What about when you are offline? (2, Informative)

Gospodin (547743) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056437)

Not at all. It just introduces a synchronization step when you go back online. Windows does this already with its file servers - if you go offline and have some shared files open, you can still use them normally, save them, etc. But when you go online, the files get synchronized back to the server so they can be backed up, opened from other workstations, etc. It's supposed to be the best of both worlds.

Re:What about when you are offline? (1)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056511)

They are going to cache files for bandwidth savings alone. They will have to have locally stored files for connectivity to these modules at the very least. Now pulling the files from a network still requires them to be somewhere and you need the software to receive and process them, no? What... You think they are going to make a 100% online OS? That is impossible as far as I can tell given our current technology.

An online OS most likely means you have a base framework that allows you to connect and interact with the services of the OS, which are based online. I have no idea for sure, but like I said, I cannot see any way a 100% online OS can be delivered without storing certain parts of the OS locally at all times.

don't think of it as a complete replacement... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19060473)

...in some either/or consideration, because it's not, it's a "both" deal. Instead of all local or all out on the server some place, it means you automatically have *both*. Think of it as an easier way to have automatic data backup offsite (the preferred method by IT champeens most anywhere), and as a way to keep working if your main computer suffers a breakdown unexpectedly, or you don't have access to it for some reason (craptastic hardware you got stuck with recall, update hardware under warranty, have to ship it off or take it to the shop, software glitch, nephew spills juicy juice on it, cow-orker decides to go postal and slams it, whatever, stuff happens).

Re:What about when you are offline? (5, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055823)

Often I use my laptop in the subway. Guess what? No internet access. So how would I perform my work with such a paradigm?

The mozilla team has already talked about Firefox 3's upcoming support for running online apps while offline, as a sort of hybrid, but still within the browser. Just do a search for "web applications offline' and you'll find dozens of articles including how-to sites from tool providers for making Web apps that will function offline right now.

To user the desktop metaphor is not dead when offline.

I'm not sold on Web applications. I'm not sold on a strategy of bypassing MS by building everything on top of them. I'd rather see cross platform applications with internet capabilities, or hybrid solutions, that still allow me to take advantage of the benefits of the OS. From a practical standpoint, however, my automatic bibliography formatting service allows me to automatically format bibliography references right now using Google Docs, but I can't use the same functionality in Wordpad or in MSWord for that matter; so in some ways online apps are already allowing me to bypass the limitations of Microsoft's OS.

Re:What about when you are offline? (2, Insightful)

crush (19364) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056335)

And Adobe's Project Apollo [com.com] and to some extent Sun's announcement of JavaFX [slashdot.org] are more the competitors in this area than MS.

Re:What about when you are offline? (1)

gnuman99 (746007) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056361)

A "web application" isn't if it does not require remote for processing and storing. It is just a local application run in a browser.

Remove applications or web application are software where the view and maybe part of the controller is run in the browser, locally on one's computer. The model is generally run remotely on the server. For example, gmail has a nice view run locally in the browser. Google's servers store and process and retrieve your email. gmail CANNOT be run locally. You cannot send or receive email if you are not online.

Some so called web application can be run locally if they do not require remote processing during the course of their execution. These are just JavaScript or similar applications (eg. XUL). These are still local.

Desktop is NOT dead. It will not be dead as long as the Workstation is not replaced by a Thin Client. Sun was stating that back in the 90s. Didn't happen. Now Red Hat seems to be singing a similar tune. I think the outcome is already decided.

Re:What about when you are offline? (2, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056735)

A "web application" isn't if it does not require remote for processing and storing. It is just a local application run in a browser.

True, but that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about applications that run via a Web browser and integrate with a Web service (Google Docs), but which also run locally without Web access, albeit with some features disabled. It is important to note, we were speaking about the desktop metaphor being dead, and when your app is running locally in a browser, that does seem to be the case to a significant extent.

For example, gmail has a nice view run locally in the browser.

I'm afraid I have no idea what you were trying to say with that sentence. Could you please be a little clearer.

You cannot send or receive email if you are not online.

So? The point is to allow you to compose messages in Gmail when offline. More importantly, for applications whose primary purpose is not communication via the Web (games, photo editor, word processor, spreadsheets, calculators, etc.) it will allow them to be functional offline, only adding functionality when online.

Desktop is NOT dead.

The desktop is not dead. The desktop is threatened as a control metaphor, by the browser. I, personally, don't think Redhat's plan is sound or their vision is accurate. I never argued that they did. I merely pointed out the problems with the assertions that Web applications are not useful because they don't function when offline. Since they are moving towards a more hybrid approach, that is a dated view.

I also understand where Redhat is coming from. The desktop OS has stagnated. Most users still do not have (and will not for the foreseeable future) have spellchecking available in all applications. That is just sad. Any possible way to undermine MS's monopoly and add functionality despite their stubborn refusal to move forward gets developers excited. Anything that removes user's dependancy on Windows is a plus for me.

Compare to T-bird in offline mode (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19059599)

gmail CANNOT be run locally. You cannot send or receive email if you are not online.
Why can't an offline web application store downloaded messages and queue sent messages for delivery once a connection becomes available, much like current SMTP/IMAP user agents do?

Re:What about when you are offline? (1)

crush (19364) | more than 7 years ago | (#19057193)

What bibliography formatting service are you talking about?

Re:What about when you are offline? (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#19057383)

What bibliography formatting service are you talking about?

Hmm, good question. It is an OS X system service called "BibliographyService." It may have come with BibDesk, but it does not seem to be grouped with the other services from there. It may be a stand alone service I grabbed somewhere.

Re:What about when you are offline? (1)

Thabenksta (125165) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056217)

At Java One, sun talked about the possibility of an embeddable application server, that could run locally, and dynamically sync with the server based on connectivity. That solves the problem for web-apps, but what about my development environment? I guess there are still ways to handle that. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

Re:What about when you are offline? (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056701)

Often I use my laptop in the subway. Guess what? No internet access.

Actually, many of us could not work without an internet connection anyways so it is a moot point for those tied to Blackberries and live connections. Remember how many people freaked out when the Blackberry servers went down?

I've talk to many whose company now includes a Sprint or Verizon card because they need always on connections no matter where they are with the current apps.

Re:What about when you are offline? (3, Funny)

nytes (231372) | more than 7 years ago | (#19057639)

No internet access while on the subway???

But you're sitting right there, in one of the tubes!!!

Re:What about when you are offline? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19058113)

Guess what? You're not the target audience!

Re:What about when you are offline? (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19060565)

Often I use my laptop in the subway

This sort of comment comes up regarding every web application/internet hosted technology story -- the people who declare that because it doesn't work for them, or at least for dreamed up fringe scenarios, therefore it shouldn't exist.

Every solution isn't for everyone.

In essence you're the guy bitching and complaining because a Honda Civic can't pull his fifth wheel.

Yes, but will it run... (1)

monkeyboythom (796957) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055453)

My Ubuntu console? I kid, I kid.

Quoting Red Hat, how does this differ from my weather app I run on my desktop? Was I "first class" and not know it?

"It will take online services and integrate them richly into a client desktop, and make them first class citizens with the traditional applications," Red Hat's chief technology officer Brian Stevens said in a keynote at the Red Hat Summit in San Diego.

Re:Yes, but will it run... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19055925)

He was talking about applications such as your weather service, not about people.

Re:Yes, but will it run... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19058081)

and make them first class citizens (Brian Steven's, Red Hat CTO)

Anyone else a little bit bothered by this phrase -- "first class citizen" -- and how often it gets used nowadays, and especially in corporate speak? I mean, are we perfectly comfy and happy with the concept of dividing citizens into "first" and "second" class? (Isn't that implied there?) By what criteria? By *whose* criteria? Would it be something along the lines of, say, "big corp employees" versus "bums"?

The desktop is dead. Long live the desktop! (1)

glrotate (300695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055561)

We've been hearing that the desktop's dead as long as there have been PC's.

Re:The desktop is dead. Long live the desktop! (1)

Burz (138833) | more than 7 years ago | (#19057109)

We've been hearing that the desktop's dead as long as there have been PC's.

Yes, particularly from Unix types who do not understand that people will route their data on a Sneakernet in order to circumvent an inflexible mainframe culture. The typical Linux distro (or all of them) do not understand the Personal Computer or its culture, and often the most intelligent thing they have to say about it is patently untrue (that PCs cause trojans and viruses) ignoring the whole NeXT/OS X experience.

So at least Apple provides a real alternative, although its pricey and somewhat proprietary.

I think what FOSS needs is an OS that has Unix-type engineering at its core (which we have in Linux), plus a stable UI and API environment for application programmers and their targeted users.

Many of the most exciting apps yet to come in the Internet age will incorporate distributed computing and will not be rendered in a web browser.

Quick - someone tell Apple that they're DOOMED! (3, Funny)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055621)

Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens argued that: 'To user the desktop metaphor is dead. We don't believe that recreating a Windows paradigm...will do anything to advance the productivity in the life of users.'"


Quick - someone tell Apple that they're DOOMED!

Re:Quick - someone tell Apple that they're DOOMED! (3, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055765)

Now way. Apple can't be doomed. It's been a whole week since someone released an "iPod killer."

Re:Quick - someone tell Apple that they're DOOMED! (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055883)

He can't. He is only paid $100 million a year to tell people the desktop metaphor is dead.

Is Red Hat really relevant anymore? (2, Insightful)

wiggles (30088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055639)

I mean, they do a lot of development, and they are the OSS company most trusted by Fortune 500's, but I think they lost their leadership position to Mark Shuttleworth and Ubuntu. Not trying to start a flamewar here, but they seem to be fresh out of ideas at present, and this seems to be grasping at straws.

After dealing with their nightmarish support system this month after a bug caused me to lose connection to my SAN, and dealing with the scam that is RHCE certification (30% pass rate is BS -- they're just milking retakes at $750 a pop), I can say that Red hat is really going downhill fast. They're becoming more and more focused on the bottom line and less on the little guy who got them to where they are.

Re:Is Red Hat really relevant anymore? (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055959)

Sounds like Novel.

Re:Is Red Hat really relevant anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19056067)

"Not trying to start a flamewar here"

Yeah, and I'm the Queen of England.

Re:Is Red Hat really relevant anymore? (1)

Kurrurrin (790594) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056923)

Did you enjoy the Derby?

Yeah (3, Funny)

crush (19364) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056111)

Mark Shuttleworth and Ubuntu are great. They spread non-Free firmware and drivers. Awesome. That's what I call leadership. What's this deal that Canonical is doing with Linspire, Microsoft, Dell and Novell?

Order a free CD from Ubuntu and bin it.

Re:Yeah (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19058913)

No, thats wrong and you are a complete moron who hasn't even tried to read any of the wiki on this subject.

1. The fastest way to have a project fail is to 'preach' to your audience. Re-educating the windows users and indoctrinating them into the 'unix/gnu' way is a long term prospect, on a single user by single user basis. If you spent any time in the ubuntu support channel you would know jus thow much work this is and how long it takes for the noobs to get a clue as to 'why' everything is the way it is.

Thus

2. The stated strategy of ubuntu is to NOT PROMOTE the use of proprietar/non free software/drivers/firmware, but allow for their ease of use. People are not getting SOLD on non free software but they are GIVEN AN OPTION to use it should they CHOOSE TO, and made easy to do so. TRANSLATION: the stated POLICY OF UBUNTU IS TO TREAT NON FREE SOFTWARE AS A BUG. You read that right. It is the CORRECT and SANE way to look at the situation because NONFREE SOFTWARE is BUG. You aren't going to educate new users quickly and equally, you aren't going to be able to satisfy new users demands for non free software without them, therefore the proper strategy is to treat nonfree software as a bug. You get them hooked, then you get them hooked on the GPL and the concept of freedom, then you get them to raise a hell of a fuckload of noise to manufacturers about opensourcing their drivers, then you wipe out the non free software through the sheer volume of people demanding it.

3. This saves projects like debian from having to handle the VERY VERY large workload of dealing with noobs and morons like you.

So yes, you are wrong because you are too fucking stupid to actually do a bit of googling and digging in the wiki.

Goddamned noobs.

Re:Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19059239)

You're an idiot.

Re:Is Red Hat really relevant anymore? (1)

rayvd (155635) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056653)

I mean, they do a lot of development, and they are the OSS company most trusted by Fortune 500's, but I think they lost their leadership position to Mark Shuttleworth and Ubuntu. Not trying to start a flamewar here, but they seem to be fresh out of ideas at present, and this seems to be grasping at straws.

I'm not sure how you measure this... If you just went by /. stories and such you'd definitely think that Linux == Ubuntu. However, in the revenue generating department, large-ish companies, Ubuntu has a long way to go to build up the trust that RH has. Mine still gives their money to RH/SuSE for the most part and I'm pretty sure most others are in the same boat.

Yeah, RH may not be the leader among the hobbiests, but they don't really try to be. :)

Re:Is Red Hat really relevant anymore? (3, Insightful)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056675)

I mean, they do a lot of development, and they are the OSS company most trusted by Fortune 500's, but I think they lost their leadership position to Mark Shuttleworth and Ubuntu.
You're joking, right? I mean, I'm using Ubuntu right now to post this, but Ubuntu are still getting action mostly with enthusiasts like me (and perhaps you). Corporate/enterprise users are virtually all using Red Hat, and Red Hat give them an excellent product (with a quite recent release full of new features).

Re:Is Red Hat really relevant anymore? (1)

Dr. Smoove (1099425) | more than 7 years ago | (#19057011)

Not to get off topic or anything here, but remind me again, what is Ubuntu's business model exactly? Not only is their business model non-existant or very poor (please correct me if I am missing something here), but IMO their product isn't all that great. Ubuntu hasn't even started climbing the hill AFAIC. Once there are big corporations running Ubuntu in the datacenter and on the workstations, maybe then Ubuntu will be the leader. I just don't see that happening though. Dealing with support does suck, can't argue against that, but... Are you incinuating that your failure to pass RHCE deems the certification a 'scam?' I've only taken RHCT to get a feel for their testing, but after putting that on my resume my phone was blowing up. I got a 12 thousand dollar a year base salary raise from a 350 dollar investment. I can only dream of what that raise would have been had I went for the RHCE. You may think that 'little guys' got RedHat where they are, but the little guys aren't the ones buying all the 'advanced' platform clustering or satt server etc. IMO CentOS and Fedora are for the little guys. On the topic of Desktops, I think Looking Glass is the best 'fresh' idea out there ATM, but doesn't really offer anything for the corporate side of things. Like has been said here the online desktop thing is a poor gimmick that is pretty much bound to fail.

Re:Is Red Hat really relevant anymore? (1)

cerelib (903469) | more than 7 years ago | (#19057859)

Canonical does have a business strategy with Ubuntu. They are offering paid support for the product (9x5 or 24x7). Furthermore, they seem to welcome any competition to their support by providing links to other companies offering Ubuntu support( see Canonical Marketplace ). In general it seems they have taken a slightly different approach than Red Hat. Canonical is trying to harness( or exploit, depends on how you view it ) the power of the ready and willing user, developer, and artist communities. I am not sure what kind of QA Canonical itself puts into each release, but it is enough for them to throw their name and business behind it. Red Hat seems to be more content with doing most of their own work. We have seen that the Red Hat model can work, but the jury is still out on Canonical. I think they might have a good future.

Ubuntu Support: http://www.ubuntu.com/support/paid [ubuntu.com]
Canonical Marketplace: http://www.ubuntu.com/support/commercial/marketpla ce [ubuntu.com]
Canonical Services: http://canonical.com/services [canonical.com]

Re:Is Red Hat really relevant anymore? (1)

Dr. Smoove (1099425) | more than 7 years ago | (#19059153)

But how is ubuntu support going to generate any substantial revenue if their product isn't marketable to big-time corporations for big-time contracts? The website claims 'government agencies' are using it, I'd like to know which ones, and in what role(s) specifically. I just don't see Ubuntu being picked up by anyone that 'matters.' Maybe I am being too skeptical of the 'somewhat new' kid on the block. Time will tell.

Re:Is Red Hat really relevant anymore? (2, Insightful)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 7 years ago | (#19057075)

They are shaping themselves to be exactly what their customers (Fortune 500s and the like) expect them to be. They've found their target niche and are adapting to it.

Even if we don't use their distribution, we still benefit from their effort (lots of OSS development going on at RH), so what's the problem?

Re:Is Red Hat really relevant anymore? (1)

ONU CS Geek (323473) | more than 7 years ago | (#19057577)

I really think that the 30% pass rate is BS.

I recently took my RHCE for RHEL5. Passed the first time. I went to the ER the night before for pneumonia, and was totally doped up on cough syrup with Codeine and other goodies. I really thought that I failed it, but, surprisingly enough, I didn't.

What I don't like about the RHCE is how you can't even talk about what's on the test, even with the guys who you're testing with. It seems a little odd that to protect the test/certification for future test takers, you can't even talk about the test to the guys who are taking the test with you.

I didn't do the best...I barely passed the RHCT portion, but scored a 95 on the RHCE portion. I would have been pissed if I didn't get the E because of not getting all of the T portion correct.

took the words right outta my mouth (3, Interesting)

JCOTTON (775912) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055653)

Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens argued that: 'To user the desktop metaphor is dead.

I love it (ironic) when some CIO or other bigwig perports to talk for me. Actually, not only is the desktop still not "dead", but on my desktop is a Mainframe running COBOL/CICS/DB2. Still not dead. Not by a long shot.

Hello, world.

Windows paradigm? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055665)

'To user the desktop metaphor is dead. We don't believe that recreating a Windows paradigm in an open source model will do anything to advance the productivity in the life of users.'


But, then why are try to recreate what has been the Windows paradigm since Microsoft started pushing .NET as the key platform in Windows for exactly the kind of desktop/online integration that you are talking about?

Re:Windows paradigm? (1)

evil_Tak (964978) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055895)

Surely you mean since Sun started pushing Java as the key platform for exactly that kind of desktop/online integration?

Re:Windows paradigm? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056927)

Surely you mean since Sun started pushing Java as the key platform for exactly that kind of desktop/online integration?


No, I wouldn't say that it has been the key Windows paradigm since that. I meant exactly what I said.

Online services == less freedom (4, Insightful)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055689)

Storing your own data locally on your own computer and manipulating it with local apps may be "old thinking", but at least it puts you in control. Just when a critical mass of free (as in freedom) software is emerging, Red Hat is talking about services. I suspect it's impossible to make these services free as in freedom.

Re:Online services == less freedom (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056081)

Using Linux puts you in control, too. That hasn't helped us much.

Manual transmissions put you in more control of your car, but automatic transmissions outsell manual transmissions in the U.S. by huge margin. Many cars don't even have manual as an option.

Remember, as sad as it seems to us, we're living in a world where people think "just reboot" is an acceptible solution to problems with your computer.

So I agree with your sentiment, and I think most will agree with your sentiment, but I also think most people will accept the drawbacks and use a system like this anyway.

I do see one big bonus - with how often I have to reinstall windows, having all those apps and data online would make it a lot easier.

Re:Online services == less freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19058441)

free as in freedom.
Freedom isn't free.

Re:Online services == less freedom (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19059663)

I suspect it's impossible to make these services free as in freedom.
How? If the server software that runs the services is published as free software, then you are free to set up your own competing service provider. Is the business model supposed to revolve around not publishing the software at all, or just reliable hosting for the services?

Re:Online services == less freedom (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19060517)

I suspect it's impossible to make these services free as in freedom.


Its easy to make software-as-services Free.

First, you make the software behind the service Free Software unencumbered by patents, etc., and make it available as source to users of the service.

Second, (though the first implies doing this in a potentially obscure, difficult to understand way), you make the interfaces to the service public, clear, and well-documented, so that tools that use or connect to the service are practical to freely implement (whether Free or not.)

You can do all this while still charging money for the service, too, if you need to, and that doesn't make them any less "free as in freedom", though they might not also be "free as in beer".

Typical Novell (0, Offtopic)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055701)

Always showing up 2 years late to the party with old ideas and software that makes people nostalgic for the days when a hundred other better companies tried the EXACT SAME THING [wikinews.org] .

Re:Typical Novell (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056209)

Novell? What do they have to do with a story about Red Hat? Freudian slip, perhaps?

Yet Another Attempt (2, Interesting)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055715)

The network desktop has been tried many times in the past, by Microsoft (badly) with "ActiveDesktop" and in theory with XAML and .NET, and by Sun in various forms. All the efforts I've seen so far just don't cut it. That doesn't mean it isn't a good idea -- I think there's real promise in a distributed approach to the desktop -- just that it is hard to execute well. Stumbling blocks in the past have included: a lack of real network transparency (the "online" aspect was a thin veneer rather than being truly transparent); lack of sufficient bandwidth (all the "online" stuff was pitifully slow, and ignored); and security, security, security.

To succeed you need a system that doesn't view the network as a bolted on thing, but integrates it at the core; Plan9 comes to mind on that front. At least X11 has network transparency, but it needs to be more efficient (think NX), and have far better security built in to really work for this. Bandwidth will slowly but surely fix itself. That leaves security -- and there's a lot required to make that happen. It is an ambitious and worthy goal, but in this case it is possibly a case of biting off more than you can chew: if it isn't transparent, efficient and secure, it isn't going anywhere, and fulfilling those requirements would require vast architectural changes.

Linux as a viable end user OS - Is it time yet? (2, Interesting)

anoopjohn (992771) | more than 7 years ago | (#19055723)

Linux has a reasonably big marketshare in the server market share [Netcraft Survey [netcraft.com] ]. However it is still waiting for the day when it will be accepted in the Home PC market as a strong competitor for the Windows family of OSes. I am a strong fan of Linux and I have been trying to promote Linux in my market but people still refuse to accept it open heartedly. In spite of detailed explanations and demos people are hesitant. I even offer free linux installation assistance [zyxware.com] for people who already own computers. People still look at Linux with scepticism. I think it would have been much better if more effort is put into making linux acceptable for a wider audience. Though I personally disagree I have to agree with what the market is saying - that Linux is still an operating system for the geeks.

I like what ubuntu is doing - ie making the whole Linux experience easier and better for a common man. In a country like India where I live we are talking about 800 million people whom we can identify with the common man. 2/3 of the world ie 4 billion could be classified with these. We need Linux to target this market. We need Linux to focus on making the Linux experience much more comfortable for these people. We need more effort to be put into creating Linux drivers for the hardware that are not yet Linux compatible. We need easier installations for a larger number of applications.

I am not too excited about the proposition other than as an useful feature for a small percentage of the whole world.

Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19055993)

Ubuntu 7.04 still will not bot on my comp. I give it another 2 years.....

Re:Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19056237)

Ubuntu 7.04 still will not bot on my comp. I give it another 2 years.....

In another 2 years, your Commodore 64 will STILL not boot Ubuntu.

Not really new or interesting (1)

Wookietim (1092481) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056071)

I've tried these "Online Desktops" before and they never really work well enough for my needs... Online desktops always seem to run in my browser and never really replace my desktop. I'm still running Windows to open a browser that just takes me to what amounts to my Google Homepage.... Plus, I still do a lot of work offline while not connected to the net...

Redhat? What's that? (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056113)

Are they the new Yggdrasil?

Re:Redhat? What's that? (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 7 years ago | (#19058417)

Nope, they were the old Ubuntu, except they sucked.

The right step ... will the implementation work ? (4, Interesting)

HW_Hack (1031622) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056177)

This is absolutely the right step for our increasingly connected world - but the devil is in the details as usual.

The desktop isn't dead but its damn stale - what I would envision is a bi-modal operation: if you have wired or wireless access your "desktop" seamlessly includes your "on-line" resources - applications - data files - links - IM buddies - etc. all integrated into your applications - disk volumes, When offline you would have what you have right now. Of course you would need a method to mark certian files as bi-modal so they would reside in a file cache and be available offline - the OS would handle file sync'ing etc. Or a thumb drive could be a file cache

On the flip side where the desktop is really dead (as in "Dead to You" ) --- I could see you carrying a USB thumb drive that launches a mini-linux session and then you connect to the "server in the sky" to access all your docs - email - applications - etc.

Both ideas are step in the right direction for Linux ... just doing "XP the right way" is not a path to success for Linux. The Linux industry is very nimble compared to Microsloth ... lets see what this baby can really do !

Re:The right step ... will the implementation work (2, Interesting)

rentmej (775047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19058233)

While I might be missing something, this sounds kind of like Adobe's Apollo [slashdot.org] software idea.

This would be like having a version of Google Docs [google.com] that actually was installed on your computer, but communicated with a server in order to store your data. For an organization the end user wouldn't be able to tell the difference, besides the speed of the software.

I think the closest thing that this would resemble are Microsoft's roaming profiles, but in a way that actually worked.

By having a copy on the machine for speed and a golden copy on a server for backup purposes, there would be the ability to move away from the idea of "my desktop" so that no matter what machine the user was on, they would have all of the same programs and info that they normally had on their personal computer.

Another thing to remember (when comparing this to "services" as we know them now) if this was an Open Source project, it would be easier for individual organizations (or even individuals) to setup their own servers to store this information.

'Windows paradigm'? 'DEAD'??? WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19056183)

'To user [sic] the desktop metaphor is dead. We don't believe that recreating a Windows paradigm in an open source model will do anything to advance the productivity in the life of users.'

First off, Windows did not invent the desktop, so it's not a "Windows paradigm". Full stop.

SECONDLY Linux's many GUIs are FULL of 'paradigms' blatantly stolen from Windows and MacOS X.

Most people still use a computer the way they've ALWAYS used a computer: one user, one desktop, one system. Why the hell would anyone want an "online" desktop? What's it good for? What's the point? We left the era of dumb terminals behind years ago, and I have no desire to revisit them. Terminals SUCK and the only people who advocate them are salesmen and aging geeks who remember what it was like back in the early 70s when sysops were like gods.

No interest whatsoever (3, Interesting)

evought (709897) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056197)

I have no interest whatsoever.

When I was actively doing business travel, online collaborative apps were a supplement to applications on the desktop, given that the online apps were trustworthy (controlled by my own business). I never had any desire to get rid of local applications, especially since I had to be able to do office work, development and other tasks on the go, with no network access, expensive network access, insecure network access, or unreliable network access. If the "network applications" are downloadable and cached for off-line use, then you have nothing new, that's just semi-automated deployment and update. When it comes to that, externally controlled auto-update is a bad thing in many environments. I want to control when I upgrade, after I know the update is not going to break something. I don't want to log on, find out I can't access an old file, and have no way to restore the previous version of the application. Web services are continuously in beta.

Currently, I have absolutely no need for remote apps. I do all of my work locally and live rurally. Why would I want my applications and/or data externally controlled and unaccessible if I don't have a connection? I have full-featured applications (which would take considerable time to download). I pay for them once (if I have to at all). I have low latency. I can pick and choose which applications I use. I can have multiple versions installed if I need to for compatibility reasons. I control encryption and backups when I need it. What advantage does a "network desktop" get me?

Why bother?

Emerging markets... (5, Funny)

MatrixCubed (583402) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056249)

FTFA: "The Linux desktop market has been limited to single function devices such as cash registers and applications in emerging markets." I've heard this term 'emerging markets' for so long now, you'd think they'd have emerged by now...

Re:Emerging markets... (2, Funny)

Mathness (145187) | more than 7 years ago | (#19059215)

My guess is that they have not looked into optimizing the build, while the following will work fine, the build time is very long

root~$ emerge market

Re:Emerging markets... (2, Funny)

archen (447353) | more than 7 years ago | (#19060255)

Maybe they're emerging using gentoo on a 486

more of the same from the linux crowd. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19056255)


1: claim microsoft product doesn't do something
2: talk about how they plan to
3: deliver a 1/2 assed implementation of a microsoft product and call it better
4: ????
5: PROFIT!

The new metaphor... (2, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056339)

The network is the machine.

Yeah, I know Sun came up with that one a decade or so ago, and they were spot on, but it wasn't quite there.

The real winners will be the ones who can come up with transparent computing. By that, I mean if the machine is standalone it uses local resources, disk, cpu etc. If it's plugged into a network it automatically makes use of the best available hardware on the LAN.

It's all so manual at the moment.

Re:The new metaphor... (1)

snoyberg (787126) | more than 7 years ago | (#19057331)

Throw in some clustering of resources there and I like it. Closest thing I saw to something like that was ClusterKnoppix [clusterknoppix.sw.be] . Though I never tried it out, the thought that you could start an entire cluster from a single CD is pretty cool. Take that and set up a system where the local clients cache the programs they get from the server, and it could work.

Long live the desktop metaphor (2, Insightful)

devnullkac (223246) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056367)

If the desktop metaphor is dead, why is its replacement called the "online desktop"?

The Real Killer (1)

Necrotica (241109) | more than 7 years ago | (#19056703)

Wouldn't the real killer be Wi-Fi operators providing PXE? Suddenly, online desktops become truly viable.

Until then, it'll be something that someone uses rarely because there isn't much point in it.

Yeah, but does it run... (1)

hcgpragt (968424) | more than 7 years ago | (#19057171)

It seems not so long ago there was a bit of a rumble about google online apps being offline and /or losing setting. I for one are not so keen as to trust my carefully crafted personal settings to some mass company. If my machine crashes, It is My machine, my responsibility. (to make backups and stuff ). Now the backup, yeah that could be online... encrypted of course. the network IS the backup, now that sound reasonable. Gmail drive anyone?

Hybrid approach (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19057371)

I've always thought rather than having local OR remote, a hybrid approach would be nice. Something like the way exchange works. You have the desktop client; but if you are away you can log into the web client. The data is available in both places. It would seem to me that such a concept could be used for other things.

I suppose it would require implementing clients twice. I think though, that I would prefer a more accessible system with fewer features rather than a new Office sweet every few years (or whatever other apps may be applicable)

Can someone define "desktop" please??? (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 7 years ago | (#19058333)

I run both Gentoo Linux and Windows XP on several PCs. Linux gives me a whole heap of nice free applications to play with and superb automation, XP gives me the ability to work in common document formats and to play games. Both OSes let me rip and burn CDs and DVDs, manipulate photos and graphics, etc. etc. Neither one fills all my needs but the pair together have about all of my needs covered.

So if someone defines a "desktop" as being a single machine that can cope with all the tasks a user requires, then in my case neither Linux or XP fulfill my needs 100%. However, at the same time, because I can embrace the best of both OSes, I am more productive and when I link the two together, more so - for example, using SAMBA to provide a network share to the XP machines but managing the files on that share (within Linux) using shell scripts. In other words, for me, the "whole" is "bigger than the sum of both parts".

I do not see what the big deal is with thin-client/networked desktops except that it gives already lazy people an even better excuse to divest the responsibility for their data onto someone else. Don't get me wrong, I use Google Mail for storing important documents on-line, I also collaborate with others using Google Docs and Spreadsheets. But I can guarantee that at any one moment in time, I have copies of all my online files held with me on a CD or USB flash disk also.

My data is my responsibility, end of story. If I lose important files, then it's my fault for not taking proper backups. I do not want to hand that responsibility to Microsoft or Red Hat because these are both corporations with shareholders whose prime concern is making money, not taking care of my data.

So if the "desktop" is about becoming less responsible then I'm not sure I want one anyway...

Would you really trust onlining your desktop? (1)

zukinux (1094199) | more than 7 years ago | (#19059595)

I don't know, it's really hard for me to think about this new era which all my stuff will be onlined-desktop service which means that we'll no longer need OS as it's today or so, and we'll be able to host all our files on Google/Microsoft/Red Hat(?) or any other company.
It really disturbs me since I don't like to trust them with my hard made configuration as I like, or any other hours I've spent with configuring my computer/files which will be saved on the remote hosting-desktoping service, will be deleted with a failure (one of many reasons such as a worm,virus,system failure,...) that the remote company will have.
We'll predict that we'll no longer need OS as it is today, you'll have your kernel and probably X with only browser or remote service so you will be able to connect to online remote desktop, and man, oh man, if the service is down... that disturbs me the most.

Yeah O know, backups, etc, but don't you feel the same? Can you really trust someone else to hold your data (not out of privacy but out of uptime).
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