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No Wine for Dell Ubuntu Users, Says Shuttleworth

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the make-sure-to-sip dept.

Wine 328

yuna49 writes "News from last week, but still worth noting: Mark Shuttleworth told eWeek in a May 3rd interview that Dell will not include open-source software such as Wine with the PCs it plans to bundle with Ubuntu Linux. Says Shuttleworth: 'I do not want to position Ubuntu and Linux as a cheap alternative to Windows ... While Linux is an alternative to Windows, it is not cheap Windows. Linux has its own strengths, and users should want it because of those strengths and not because it's a cheap copy of Windows ... Often we see proprietary software companies just completely fail to understand not only the motivations of the Linux community, but also the processes. It's very practical, there's a way to get things done, and it's different. The VMware guys have really engaged with us completely and worked to the agenda set by the Linux community, which is not an ideological agenda but a practical one.' Does that mean Wine won't even be listed in the package manager?"

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And one of those is (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19081721)

Linux has its own strengths, and users should want it because of those strengths and not because it's a cheap copy of Windows

And one of those strengths is that you can still install WINE after you buy the computer despite the decisions made by a large company or single individual.

Re:And one of those is (3, Insightful)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 6 years ago | (#19081807)

That's an option with any OS though.

I've yet to see a company ship windows with Corel Photopaint, many don't ship with Nero, or McAffee Enterprise. Often the do ship with Adobe Acrobat, but never with Foxit...

And I uninstall acrobat, and then install the rest.

That's the whole point of having a computer, and it can be done with any OS, as long as the software is available.

Now occasionally a new version of one will break the compatability with another, but I've seen that in OSS software, and while yes, I could fix it in OSS software, I don't (and most people) don't have that kind of time to waste for every application they use, and will end up doing the same thing I would with non OSS software - finding versions that do work.

Re:And one of those is (1, Interesting)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082267)

And one of those strengths is that you can still install WINE after you buy the computer despite the decisions made by a large company or single individual.

Only if you are squinting so hard you're blind. Linux is the only desktop operating system in which if your distributor decides to not include software, getting it anyway is extremely difficult. If a package isn't included in Ubuntu, your only option is either to compile it from source (good luck with that if you aren't technical) or using something like an autopackage. Neither Windows nor MacOS X practice this kind of software censorship.

I have to admit, this news really pisses me off. Shuttleworth can't seem to decide what he wants here. For background, I am the creator of autopackage [autopackage.org], a framework for writing cross-distro binary installers for Linux. It's kinda like Loki Setup except it's designed for open source software, so it handles dependencies, has GTK, Qt and console frontends, etc. Now I haven't really been involved with this project for some time for various reasons, but back when I was, this whole idea that open source projects might distribute their own binaries was terribly controversial. People wondered what the point was.

Now, I did a presentation at LUGRadio Live last year, in which I laid out the case for autopackage (and klik and zeroinstall), and also talked about a bunch of other issues like malware. One of the issues I raised is that every distribution is a political entity that excludes software for reasons that are, to the non-Linux enthusiast, more or less random. Whether it's to do with the license, or lack of manpower, or because a program isn't UNIXy enough, or simply because the maintainers don't like it, a distribution uses its monopoly on easy software installation to eliminate software from the users world.

At the time I warned that this situation couldn't work long term as Linux scaled up. It makes the distro responsible for all the software that is shipped. More to the point, it harms users, because it forces one groups choice on everybody else, restricting the free market. I warned that while people might find discrimination on the basis of license acceptable, and on the basis of manpower understandable, distros would at some point start discriminating against software for bad reasons. And then what do the authors of the affected software do? They can't tell their users to compile it themselves, because that's too hard and fragile. They can't make their own repositories for every distro out there, that's too much work, and besides users are told not to trust 3rd party repositories because they might mess up the distro, break it or be malware. This was very visible to me, because when an enthusiastic user requested an Ubuntu package of the autopackage runtime (first time installs are awkward without that), it got shot down because an Ubuntu developer didn't think it was useful. A bunch of users did, but he didn't, so tough cookies.

I'm pretty pissed off, because not only was I an autopackage developer but also a Wine developer, and now it's happening again. Once more, both users who want a program and the developers who write it are being screwed over due to the opinions of one guy combined with a bad system. About the best option Wine has now is for the developers to maintain an Ubuntu repository, and for users to be given clear instructions on how to add it, and be told to ignore any warnings about that being a bad idea. If N other distros decide to join in the fun, multiply the effort by N.

Even Microsoft, at the height of their monopolistic practices, never made installing software they didn't like so difficult. This is a big shame for Linux, and as it slowly gets more popular these issues will return again and again.

Re:And one of those is (5, Informative)

0racle (667029) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082481)

What in the hell are you talking about? The Ubuntu that will ship not have Wine installed by default. The article does not say it will not have Wine available. You will still be able to launch Aptitude or whatever Ubuntu actually uses and install Wine from the Ubuntu repositories.

Re:And one of those is (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082687)

If what you say is correct, then fine, my objections are gone. But are you sure about that? It doesn't actually say in the article, but Ubuntu doesn't install lots of software by default. It makes no sense to saying "XYZ won't be shipped with Dell machines" when in distro-parlance to "ship" means to make available in a repository. I don't really care what's installed by default or not because as you say it's very easy to change. But if so, why remark on it, when this is no change of policy over existing Ubuntu?

I wonder where these quotes come from - the linked podcast? I really hope he's being quoted out of context here.

Re:And one of those is (2, Informative)

MadJo (674225) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082585)

But Wine is available in Ubuntu's repositories, so you CAN install it yourself. And adding repositories is easily done (even for a lesser-technical user). (there is even an Ubuntu repository for newer versions of Wine too)

Re:And one of those is (2, Insightful)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082785)

Not only is wine easily installable in Ubuntu through synaptic, or apt-get install wine, but to my knowledge, wine is not in the default install of ubuntu or debian regardless of where you get it. Wine is a special purpose application that takes considerable installer space and should generally only be used by people who understand the limitations of it.

The last thing we want is a thousand new "reviews" online by people who bought dells and are complaining that thier photoshop crashes, and the installer for WOW locks up their computer.

Linux is a distinct operating system with its own software, new users shouldnt be made to expect to be able to install the exact same software as windows/mac.

Re:And one of those is (3, Informative)

popejeremy (878903) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082639)

  1. Click on "Applications"
  2. Click on "Add/Remove"
  3. Choose WINE from the list.

It's not any harder than that. I don't see what you're raising a stink about.

WINE isn't included in the main distribution Ubuntu by default, and there's a good reason. It's still a beta. The current version in Ubuntu is 0.9.36. But anyone who wants to have WINE can add it easily in three, easy-to-understand clicks. Why should Dell do anything differently than the main distribution?

Re:And one of those is (1)

da.phreak (820640) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082711)

Thanks for this interesting posting. Although wine can be easily installed on Ubuntu, I can - unlike other people posting here - see the more general point you are making.

Re:And one of those is (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082753)

"Linux is the only desktop operating system in which if your distributor decides to not include software, getting it anyway is extremely difficult. If a package isn't included in Ubuntu, your only option is either to compile it from source (good luck with that if you aren't technical) or using something like an autopackage."

Oh baloney. It's NOT hard to add a deb source and get a package using apt-get. In fact, this is the opposite of hard.

Re:And one of those is (4, Insightful)

Narcissus (310552) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082759)

If a package isn't included in Ubuntu, your only option is either to compile it from source (good luck with that if you aren't technical) or using something like an autopackage. Neither Windows nor MacOS X practice this kind of software censorship.

That line intrigued me. This is an honest question: nothing else. Can you explain to me, please, how 'source or autopackage' for Ubuntu (specifically) is different to 'source or installer' for Windows, say? I mean, Windows installers don't magically appear... the developer has to create it, so how is 'requiring' an installer different to 'requiring' an autopackage package (or whatever it's called)?

Hopefully you understand the question... Following on from that: a Windows installer isn't required as you could just put a built executable in a ZIP file and run it like that. But can you not do that in Ubuntu, too (so long as the app is built for Ubuntu)?

I mean, as far as I can see, there are a number of options for Windows: download source, provide a ZIP of the built code or provide an installer, which the developer has to create: it's not magically there. For Ubuntu, you could provide source, a ZIP of the built code or an autopackage (which again is not magic: the developer needs to make it). So how is it that Ubuntu is 'censoring' while Windows is not? The way I see it, Ubuntu is ENABLING by providing a way to install many pre-selected packages while Windows does not. For the situations where a package has not been selected for this 'enablement' (which is the case for all packages in Windows), how is the Ubuntu process any worse than the Windows one?

Re:And one of those is (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082781)

Well, from a practical perspective, every Windows app is guaranteed to have an installer, more or less. But there are very few autopackages in the world, partly because it's hard to make them, and partly because distros constantly change in non-compatible ways and that tends to break them.

Re:And one of those is (2, Insightful)

prelelat (201821) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082797)

you do know it takes like 4 clicks to install wine right? It has a package manager that is hard to beat, infact its nicer than installing things on windows sometimes. Go to applications->add/remove->look for wine check it off->click apply. If thats harder than in windows I'll shoot myself in the foot. Granted thats if the repository is there.

Chances are that a user that knows about wine will know how to go through that process and set it up. Why would you setup a system with wine so that you would have users wondering why their applications are starting to install but not finishing, crashing, or just don't work after the install. If you know how to use wine thats great, if you don't know you probably should hold off on it. I'm not trying to be pompus but it can be hard to get some applications to work on it, its not the easiest tool to use(hence if you can't install it you should double think about it) and its not to the point where it works perfectly.

If I was selling a system, I wouldn't want to add something that would make it not look as good. Some people will say that not having it will make it look bad because office, some games and such won't work. I think you would be better off to go with cedega with games because theres a big database of games that work with it, its more user friendly. I wouldn't be suprised if at some point Dell doesn't cut a deal where they sell subscriptions to cedega.

check out the synaptic package manager http://monkeyblog.org/ubuntu/installing/ [monkeyblog.org]

Re:And one of those is (4, Insightful)

Robber Baron (112304) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082413)

In fact if it's all the same to you guys, I'd prefer it if Dell DIDN'T bundle their computers with all that useless bloatware that they currently do (not that WINE is useless or bloatware)! It's almost at the point where it's better to wipe the damn thing clean immediately and then re-install the OS from scratch!

Re:And one of those is (1)

Viper Daimao (911947) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082727)

I actually did this with my dell laptop 2 and a half years ago. I'd recommend you have the dell drivers for all your hardware downloaded (esp. wireless nic and touchpad) to a usb drive beforehand though.

Re:And one of those is (4, Funny)

Milton Waddams (739213) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082695)

You mean Linux lets you install software now?!?! Wow, maybe this really is the year for Linux on the desktop...

Re:And one of those is (5, Insightful)

sgholt (973993) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082809)

I think you and many of the other posters have missed Shuttleworth's point.
He doesn't want linux to be a platform to run windows software. Wine is a great application, but windows software with a few exceptions is never going to run as well as it would on the Windows OS.
That can only hinder linux adoption by those still tied to windows applications.
The key to linux adoption has not changed...we need software companies to make software for linux.

Shuttleworth has put a lot of money into advertising and promotion of linux...he is doing what needs to be done. The more linux users there are, the more interest software companies will take. Wine is a temporary fix to the bigger problem...it will always just be a temporary fix. These things take time but I think his comments do show a good understanding of the real problems.

omg.. you might have d/l it yourself.. (5, Insightful)

uncledrax (112438) | more than 6 years ago | (#19081729)

Um.. so it's not included? Big deal..

apt-get install wine


What's the problem?

Re:omg.. you might have d/l it yourself.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19081771)

Maybe they don't have an internet connection. It has been known.

It's not really very likely, I just wonder sometimes if there's a single Linux advocate out there who realises that it's even a possibility.

Re:omg.. you might have d/l it yourself.. (1)

bouchecl (1001775) | more than 6 years ago | (#19081907)

Maybe they don't have an internet connection. It has been known.
You haven't shopped at Dell recently, haven't you? Most desktop/notebooks sold by Dell in the Home/SOHO boutique come with an offer for 3 months of free broadband access (ADSL or cable), at least in the U.S. and Canada. So, it's not an issue at all here.

Re:omg.. you might have d/l it yourself.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19082679)

Maybe they don't have an internet connection. It has been known.

It's not really very likely, I just wonder sometimes if there's a single Linux advocate out there who realises that it's even a possibility.
Well, that's easy enough...

sudo apt-get install dhcp3-client

Wait, not found?! Whaddya mean not found?!


Re:omg.. you might have d/l it yourself.. (1)

igotmybfg (525391) | more than 6 years ago | (#19081775)

Clearly, the "problem" is that we, the Linux community, should be trying to "convert" the n00bs out there who don't know what apt-get is. Having WINE preinstalled would help them get over the fact that they're not running Windows, yet everything is fine, and they can do pretty much everything today they that they could when they were running Windows yesterday.

Re:omg.. you might have d/l it yourself.. (4, Insightful)

HoosierPeschke (887362) | more than 6 years ago | (#19081889)

Clearly, the "problem" is that we, the Linux community, should be trying to "convert" the n00bs out there who don't know what apt-get is. Having WINE preinstalled would help them get over the fact that they're not running Windows, yet everything is fine, and they can do pretty much everything today they that they could when they were running Windows yesterday.

But the problem is, WINE doesn't always work like it supposed to. Sometimes it requires tweaking. In my opinion, I would rather a "n00b" learn about a native Linux application that can do what they want it to than fiddle with WINE just to get their Windows application to work.

Re:omg.. you might have d/l it yourself.. (5, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082083)

But the problem is, WINE doesn't always work like it supposed to. Sometimes it requires tweaking.

I think you're wrong. About the "sometimes". Take it out and the sentence is good.

Re:omg.. you might have d/l it yourself.. (3, Insightful)

metalzelot (1050906) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082165)

Acutally the 'sometimes' is correct. I'm able to run windows-only applications (including games) without tweaking wine for it. Of course there are things where you have to tweak wine a bit, but fortunately many applications work "out of the box". But despite of that I think its better for linux newbies to get common to native linux applications. Because most of the time they are better anyway :)

Re:omg.. you might have d/l it yourself.. (1)

l_bratch (865693) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082433)

Have you used Wine recently?

To run modern games it generally requires a bit of tweaking, but there are a huge amount of things out that run without any configuration at all.

Take a look at the Platinum rated titles on the Wine AppDB - these run flawlessly with Wine without tweaking:

http://appdb.winehq.org/ [winehq.org]

Re:omg.. you might have d/l it yourself.. (2, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082707)

And that, I think, is the whole point. Rather than advertise Linux as some kind of discount version of Windows, advertise Linux as an alternative. Apple doesn't ship Parallels with new Macs. Folks understand that if they buy a Mac there is going to be some learning involved. People buy a Mac because it is NOT Windows. And for the programs that people absolutely have to run in Windows, they can grab Parallels, tweak it a bit to get things up and running, and then run those few programs through it.

Re:omg.. you might have d/l it yourself.. (1)

John Betonschaar (178617) | more than 6 years ago | (#19081929)

Clearly, the "problem" is that we, the Linux community, should be trying to "convert" the n00bs out there who don't know what apt-get is. Having WINE preinstalled would help them get over the fact that they're not running Windows, yet everything is fine, and they can do pretty much everything today they that they could when they were running Windows yesterday.

If you ever tried running anything half-decent with Wine, you would know that it is not exactly a 'n00b-friendly' piece of software anyway. If you even get your application to work at all, it will likely crash frequently, miss features, show display errors, save stuff in crazy locations, look horrible because of font issues etc. etc. Removing Wine does not really make the OS less attrictive for new users, if you ask me. If you wanted to make it more convenient for new Linux users to run Windows apps, including a desktop link to www.parallels.com would probably have better value than including Wine.

Re:omg.. you might have d/l it yourself.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19082539)

Yes! Like when I installed Ubuntu a few days ago.

I wanted to play some music while I tweaked it. Applications -> Add/Remove -> Audio...lets see what we have here. The first on on the alphabetical list I forget the name of, Audio something or other.

I install it. Run it. Ask it to get my MP3s off a Windows share. It give me no indication that it is doing anything all all, but I assume it is because Slashdot told me that FOSS 'just works'. I give it some time before I click Play. Nothing happens. No error message, no change in appearance, no music, nothing. I figure maybe this is Windows' fault so I copy a few MP3s over to my Home folder. Again I tell my new music player to play them. It does not. I ask it to play one of them. It does not. Nor does it give me any indication of why it will not or even that it understands any of my instructions at all. I hunt around on its bland UI, blindly clicking buttons that are not described by any text but have strange graphics drawn on them, unlike any I have ever seen before. Finally I find some kind of menu system and locate some list of errors, which is quite long. All relating to the application's inability to play MP3 files because it cannot locate the appropriate plugin. There is no indication of how I might assist it, no links, no nothing. An application described in the repo as being an audio player, yet it does not play the most common audio file format on earth. Why does this not suprise me?

So I uninstall it and go to the next one on the list. Infuriatingly, it cannot play my files either. I did not bother to figure out why, not wanting to brave its just as obscure but totally different UI button drawings. I uninstall.

Looking through the repo again I find, almost all the way wat the end, XMMS. Install. Ask it to play a file. Magically it does. The UI is still imbecilic, looking like a poor copy of WinAmp from 1995, but at least it actually works.

So yes, you can do most of the stuff in Linux that you can in Windows. If you have 100 hours to spend.

Re:omg.. you might have d/l it yourself.. (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#19081825)

As a better, more grandma-friendly way to do it...
Applications -> Add/Remove Programs -> check Wine -> click Install

Or, we could just start saying "install Wine"

Re:omg.. you might have d/l it yourself.. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19082041)

apt-get install wine
What's the problem?
The problems are:
1. You need to put "sudo" in front for it to work.
2. You should be using "aptitude" instead of "apt-get" (aptitude stores extra information that makes uninstalls cleaner [psychocats.net]).

All kidding aside, I agree with your post. The fact that it isn't installed by default isn't very big news. There are thousands of packages not being installed by default, and they are all trivially easy to add. A new user just needs to be told that "Wine" is the program they need to install. In fact, I noticed that Kubuntu Feisty even has a "wine" option in the default control panel!

I guess Shuttleworth is simply trying to point out that they are not marketing it as "a cheap Windows knock-off." That's fair enough, but nor should we ignore the fact that Wine exists, and is a viable piece of software for many users.

Re:omg.. you might have d/l it yourself.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19082331)

From that page: ...the points outlined on this page about using aptitude over apt-get are largely irrelevant if you're using Edgy Eft (6.10), Feisty Fawn (7.04), or any future version of Ubuntu.

Re:omg.. you might have d/l it yourself.. (2, Insightful)

itlurksbeneath (952654) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082201)

Nothing really. It's a PR type statement by Mark that Linux is good enough to stand on it's own and if you give it a shot you shouldn't need Wine.

Re:omg.. you might have d/l it yourself.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19082329)

I think that 90 $ of all US computer users not only don't know what Linux is, but also blinded by mistaking syntax for knowledge and cant use it.

Where are all the .exe Files ?

Sorry .exe is a noun invent by one company
  While in reality, executable is a concept!

Twofo GNAA Fist Sport Fuk U (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19081749)

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Way to go, Mark (5, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 6 years ago | (#19081755)

Every time I read something about Mark Shuttleworth, I become just a little bit more of a fan.

While I have nothing against WINE—indeed, I use it myself for several things—I have to agree that it's just not right for distribution by a company like Dell. There's an art to getting it set up and configured, and while it's good, there are still a lot of applications that either don't work at all or don't quite work right in it.

This is a massive problem, and could seriously backfire on Ubuntu. If people buy a Dell machine with Ubuntu and WINE installed thinking that it will run Windows software, when something doesn't work right (and there will be things that don't work right), the average consumers will get mad at the wrong people: Ubuntu and WINE, not Microsoft. The focus will be on how Ubuntu sucks at running Windows software, not on how Ubuntu rocks at running Linux software.

I see here a golden opportunity for desktop Linux to make major inroads with the public and take a significant step towards advancing free open source software. I also see here a golden opportunity to destroy the reputation of desktop Linux as a viable alternative to Windows and give people the impression that free open source software really sucks. Don't you think for a second that Microsoft is going to be trying their damned best to see that Linux on Dell machines gives people a bad taste for open source software.

I have to give Mark Shuttleworth a pat on the back for seeing the big picture, for sacrificing trying to please everyone for the sake of making sure that this is done right, and that the software that people get is great, not just "it works good enough with a few hours of tweaking."

Re:Way to go, Mark (4, Insightful)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 6 years ago | (#19081839)

exactly. This is a wise decision based off of psychology.
You can't let the consumer think they are getting something (ability to run windows software on linux) and then take that away (doesn't really work). They will be 6 times angrier than if they never had those features/expectations to begin with.

Wine's not quite ready for Joe Public yet (1)

dkegel (904729) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082369)

I'm a huge wine fan. I spend several hours a day
doing Wine QA/triage, have some code in Wine myself,
and have helped release a commercial app using Wine. And although
I initially cringed when I saw that announcement,
I do think Mark's right, at least for now.
Wine can't run most Adobe apps without
fiddling (see http://wiki.winehq.org/AdobeApps [winehq.org] ),
nor can it run the latest iTunes. Yet.
When it can, it'll be time for Mark to reevaluate.
Hopefully that'll be before the next release of Ubuntu...

Re:Way to go, Mark (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#19081895)

I don't disagree with your overall point.

But how would it be Microsoft's fault that people can't run applications intentionally written to be tied to their proprietary OS in an unsupported environment?

I'm not even saying the blame isn't misplaced on Ubuntu and WINE (it's still pre-version 1.0, after all). Maybe things would be better off actually educating on how to tweak it with some docs and offering it as an option than just striking it altogether.

Re:Way to go, Mark (2, Informative)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082255)

how would it be Microsoft's fault...

Because some of the API's either aren't fully documented or don't work as they are documented. Also, they've patented some of the critical components that allow software written for Windows to run. The end result is that people working on the WINE project have to do a lot of reverse-engineering of what the APIs actually do (as opposed to what they say they do) and figure out alternatives to really basic things that are legally off-limits.

And let's not kid ourselves. If WINE does manage to start making inroads towards running Windows software, I shudder at the FUD that will be cranked out my Microsoft telling people how inferior it is to the so-called "real" Windows. (When personal experience has shown that the things that WINE does successfully, it generally actually does better than Windows. I know that developers at Microsoft are smart, but frankly, a lot of open source developers are smarter.)

Oh, and last but not least, some software is written to do nasty low-level stuff that bypasses the APIs entirely. Even if WINE were 100% successful in re-creating the Windows APIs, such software still wouldn't work.

But really, that comment was mostly just a side note. The important point I was trying to make is that if Windows software doesn't work on machines that people buy thinking that it will run Windows software, they will get mad at Ubuntu and WINE, and that's a very, very bad thing.

And, strictly speaking, the DMCA makes it illegal (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082741)

to reverse engineer anything.

When WINE gets good enough, they'll get sued out of existence.

Re:Way to go, Mark (1)

Vulva R. Thompson, P (1060828) | more than 6 years ago | (#19081977)

"Don't you think for a second that Microsoft is going to be trying their damned best to see that Linux on Dell machines gives people a bad taste for open source software."

True but why tickle somebody into submission when a ball peen hammer to the toes has a more immediate effect?

Microsoft to Dell: "You have our permission to sell Ubuntu machines but only as a ratio to Windows. So here's a the tiered discount schedule; make sure that no less than 100 Windows licenses get shipped for every Ubuntu machine or else you'll be paying $x more per unit."

They've done worse in the past and essentially got away with it. Why not keep using the force method? That would keep a cap on consumer Linux without waiting for the fruits of the "bad taste" to take hold.

Re:Way to go, Mark (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082767)

MAD says no. Dell, as the world's largest PC manufacturer, is also Microsoft's top customer, so it is highly unlikely that Microsoft is going to try pushing them around that way. Besides that, Michael Dell is very well connected politically, perhaps even better than Billy (at the moment), so you can be sure that the DOJ would give Dell a fair shake in any sort of anti-trust litigation. Plus, even at worst, Dell would have to Vista retail, making Windows boxen even more expensive than Ubuntu ones greatly increasing the consumer incentive to buy one of those instead. It's going to be a FUD campaign of epic proportions, but I really doubt we'll see M$ trying to leverage their market share this time around; it's just too likely to backfire.

Re:Way to go, Mark (3, Interesting)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082425)

The focus will be on how Ubuntu sucks at running Windows software, not on how Ubuntu rocks at running Linux software.

Well, that's great as long as there are perfect 1:1 replacements for all the Windows software somebody wants. That isn't true for any serious gamer, for instance, or people who use custom business apps, which basically means every business that uses IT, or anybody with kids who wants to use a particular educational software package.

Hell I'll happily admit I'm biased, because I used to work on Crossover and Wine, but even the MS Office+Wine combination handily beats OpenOffice. Even when not doing anything Wine or software related, I'd use Word/Excel for office tasks on Linux, because it worked a lot better than OpenOffice did, and the small amount of integration OO had into the desktop wasn't a big deal to me compared to things like, not being sluggish, and being able to perfectly import Word docs. Now don't get me wrong, OO has improved a lot since those days and I want to love it, I really do, but I know there are still a lot of people who use MS Office on Linux over OpenOffice just because they prefer it.

This is just a re-run of the ancient debate about whether Win32 emulation is harmful or good. It never interested me, because it assumes an operating system can be a closed world. That's clearly not true and never has been true, if it was, you should argue that MPlayer being able to play non-Ogg codecs is bad and should be pulled, or OpenOffice being able to read .DOCs is bad and should be pulled, or Linux being able to read FAT32 partitions is harmful and should be pulled. It just makes no sense, actually, because if people need that compatibility they'll either use the compatibility layer or they'll just stay with Windows, in which case you haven't even helped them a little bit.

Re:Way to go, Mark (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082837)

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying that WINE isn't a great piece of software, or that no one should install it because it hinders the development of native Linux applications.

All I'm saying is that for mass distribution of Linux on Dell computers, it shouldn't be included for precisely the reasons that Mark stated. I'm saying that because it's not a primetime player yet, it would cause more harm than good at a critical point in the determination of desktop Linux's feasibility.

If someone wants or needs it, they should install it, period. But it should be what Mark is indirectly saying it is: A tool to be used only when needed for specific circumstances, not a part of the core functionality of Ubuntu. It's just not that good yet.

But since I haven't mentioned it yet, yes, I also think that a side benefit of this is that now there will be a larger base of Linux users out there, developers will be encouraged to write more cross-platform or even Linux-specific software. Even Microsoft isn't stupid; if profits on the Office cash cow look like they're going to fall and the future of Windows starts looking shaky, it's entirely within the realm of the possible that we will see Office for Linux. Microsoft releasing Office for non-Windows platforms is not unprecedented [microsoft.com].

Re:Way to go, Mark (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082453)

It's not the first time Shuttleworth has taken a stance like this. Beryl is turned off by default in Feisty because it's not very stable. Wine is not and has never been installed by default for any version of Ubuntu. (Besides, if you use Wine, you really need to get the latest snapshots because what's included in the main distro is too old)

Some tech is cool, but if it can't be used by most people easily, it shouldn't be installed -- and in some cases shouldn't be included on the CDs -- by default, especially when your stated goal is provide an easy-to-use desktop OS for the masses.

That's fine by me (4, Interesting)

cHALiTO (101461) | more than 6 years ago | (#19081777)

It's their choice, and I'm ok with it. Other distros also add or remove support for certain packages based on ideological positions (non free software, no binaries, stuff like that), so ubuntu and Dell can very well agree to do this to promote that way of considering GNU/Linux.

And besides, it's still ubuntu, so nothing prevents those who MUST have wine to add a rep to their sources.list and get it somewhere else.

Re:That's fine by me (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 6 years ago | (#19081965)

I run Ubuntu x86-64, and wine wasn't installed by default because the one in the repository is x86 only. I just added wine's own repository and installed it from there. Sounds like I'm in exactly the situation Dell is considering, and I don't see it as a problem.

Re:That's fine by me (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082565)

Simple question.

How would you feel if you bought a Vista machine from Dell, and discovered that to install Firefox you had to run regedit, hack up some registry keys, add some magic URLs to a database somewhere pointing to specially crafted Vista-specific Firefox versions on mozilla.org, and then click through a bunch of security warnings before you could install it?

I know exactly what the reaction on Slashdot would be - they'd be raked over the coals for being anti-competitive, forcing the Moz guys to do extra work, requiring loads of knowledge Grandma couldn't be expected to have, etc. But when Canonical does exactly the same thing, it's OK because people who simply "must" have that program can do some technical jiggery-pokery and work around the problem. Amazing.

Market choice (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19081801)

Linux has its own strengths, and users SHOULD want it because of those strengths and not because it's a cheap copy of Windows

And men SHOULD give a fat girls a chance because of their personalities Don't tell the market what the market once, let consumers decide.

Re:Market choice (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082365)

Don't tell the market what the market once, let consumers decide.
Who is the "market"? There is not one homegenous market, there are many. And there are many different niches to be filled out there.

So, when you say "let consumers" decide, do you mean the mainstream users or Linux enthusiasts?
If it's the latter, then Dell aren't going for that market. If the former, then what most of them want and will expect (as others have pointed out) will be the ability to run Windows software without major hassle.

Although theoretically WINE is a solution to this, in practice (as others have said repeatedly throughout this thread) it is far too complicated and not reliable enough for people who "just want to run" their windows apps. If it's sold on this basis, then it's going to backfire horribly.

Ubuntu Fork (2, Interesting)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 6 years ago | (#19081815)

In order for them to control what apps are available, this makes me wonder if they are going to do a respository fork. So when you apt-get install it's not coming from ubuntu.com but ubuntu.dell.com or something like that. Will be interesting to see how it unfolds.

Re:Ubuntu Fork (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082345)

If dell will be supplying some level of support it should be. In fact that is possibly the best commercial decision done by any Vendor to ever try shipping Linux. Further to this the experience of the few colocation providers which support Debian and Ubuntu has shown this as the best way to keep things under control.

Re:Ubuntu Fork (1)

Billy the Impaler (886238) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082475)

Not for a moment do I see this happening. I interpret Shuttleworth's comments not to mean that WINE won't be available, it's that it win be installed by default. This is not a change as Ubuntu normally comes without WINE. It is still available in the repos and it still works just fine. He just wants to prevent people from getting the wrong idea, e.g., "This Ubuntu lark can run all my existing Windows software and it's free. Whoopie!" Though WINE will run quite a few Windows programs it's far from universal. Shuttleworth doesn't want Dell, WINE, or Ubuntu being blamed if consumers get the wrong idea.

The only reason I'd see them forking the repos is to host the relevant packages on Dell servers for supporting the Dell machines so that Canonical and its mirrors aren't paying the bills for Dell's hosting. I don't see this happening though.

Re:Ubuntu Fork (1)

pebs (654334) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082631)

My take on it is he isn't going to allow Dell to preload WINE AND Windows software. So you can't get a Ubuntu Dell preloaded with, say, Microsoft Office running in WINE (if that even works). I'm not sure I understand how he will control what Dell does, maybe the agreement they have gives him that control.

I can't imagine that it won't be available as a package. I really see this only as something to do with what is preloaded on the machine and probably what is supported.

Personally, I Use Codeweavers' Crossover Office (2, Informative)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#19081819)

It's built on wine, they feed back into wine, and it allows me to run the few remaining software apps I need to that are only available for Windows. I also still run Microsoft Office under Crossover but am almost always now using OpenOffice instead. Using Crossover, I hardly ever boot into Windows any more (yeah, I am set up dual boot still...).

Wine as Interim (1)

liledevil (1012601) | more than 6 years ago | (#19081821)

I dont see why Dell decides to do so, dont understand me wrong, I think it is a great thing they have decided to install Ubuntu, but why not with Wine. Since still lot's of software isnt available for Linux, like the popular World of Warcraft, Wine might solves these last bits for many users. I think Wine is good as an interim solution, but the time has come for many software developers including game developers that they also make a version for Linux. I am affraid that by not offering this interim option at this point in time on the dell machines, if developers have done their part of the migration, wine can be excluded again. Would Microsoft have anything to do with this?

Re:Wine as Interim (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#19081951)

I would think the biggest problem is if Dell includes Wine, then people will assume Dell supports it. Even if, in big 72 point Impact red letters, it says "Dell does not support Wine" they'll still get thousands of calls on it.

I can't say I blame them either, considering how hard it is for me to get Dell staff to support their own hardware when I call them.

Re:Wine as Interim (1)

Heywood J. Blaume (858386) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082119)

My suspicion is that Dell is aware that they are tiptoeing a fine line by offering Ubuntu at all. They want to sell more boxes, so they need to broaden their product line, but they also need to keep from pissing off the 800-pound gorilla. So Dell tells Canonical, "OK, we'll have this one dance with you, but you better not piss of our boyfriend (MS), so you're going to tell the story loud and clear that Ubuntu isn't cheap Windows, it's a different thing altogether."

Re:Wine as Interim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19082193)

just tell this people 'sudo apt-get install wine'

No. (4, Insightful)

otacon (445694) | more than 6 years ago | (#19081835)

No, he probably didn't want to include WINE because it will make Ubuntu bad because WINE is too hard for most novice users or a beginner to get working properly...if you make promises that it can run windows software to people, then you have to be able to be able to deliver on that.

Well (2, Interesting)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#19081837)

I'll never understand why is so important that an OS will be pre-installed with the machine. I'm NEVER satisfied with the way the OS is installed in any machine I buy, so the first thing I ever do is to re-format the drives in any new computer and reinstall it my own way.

Any Linuzzz distro can be obtained for free, so just, download the packages you need and... done.

Re:Well (3, Insightful)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 6 years ago | (#19081983)

Er... but you're a techie. For the other 99.9% of PC purchasers who want their machine to 'just work' what is, or is not installed by default is quite important. After all, the reason Windows is the most popular OS is because Windows is the most popular OS.

Re:Well (2, Insightful)

fruey (563914) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082325)

Yeah, like Windows "just works".

  • A lot of people expect Office to be included with Windows. It isn't.
  • A lot of people expect Outlook to be included with Windows. It isn't (but it is free).
  • A lot of people expect all their hardware to work first time. It doesn't. Even if you get an OEM bundle, sometimes just the order you actually start to use stuff / plug it in can cause glitches. A noob could hose a USB pendrive by just unplugging it during a big write, for example.

I don't think Linux is any different from Windows in that regard, especially given that this is an OEM offering, not a DIY install. Funnily enough, in a curious world, if Dell support "get" Linux, they may be able to better support it - compared to Windows - over time. If they have a standardised distro, then being able to read logs from clients (via email, VNC, whatever) may be more useful than the crap that Windows gives you in guise of error messages & debug information. They could recommend alternative free software, rather than having to continue supporting old apps "because they came with the machine and I don't want to upgrade", etc etc.

Shame the linux kernel took "printer on fire [kerneltrap.org]" out though, huh?

Re:Well (1)

Questor Thews (63051) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082015)

Because many people run with whatever is on their box at time of purchase. If you can get these people to update half of the time, you're doing good. This is why it is important. Not because you, me, and most /.'ers wipe the drive clean and put the OS of their choice on it.

Re:Well (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082107)

I'll never understand why is so important that an OS will be pre-installed with the machine.

Because there is a big difference between making the claim that a machine is "Linux Compatible" and actually shipping with a tested version pre-installed as a demonstration that there are drivers for all components

Re:Well (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082817)

Are you talking about innovation? You, a Linuzzz user? Linuzzz? A freaking Unix clone! Innovation...? Hmm...

Because obviously "different for different's sake" is a Good Thing. Hey, this new car I'm designing, I don't think I'll lay the pedals out as Clutch, Brake, Throttle - I'll arrange them as Clutch, Throttle, Brake! Oh, and let's get rid of that clunky steering wheel - so analogue! Let's have a couple of buttons for left and right. What about that engine? Nah, let's just use bungee cord and bike chains to make a huge clockwork motor.

Clone is good.

I agree (5, Funny)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#19081875)

I think we need a rule: "No Wine for Ubuntu users." That might make them less likely to think up names like "Breezy Badger" and "Dapper Drake". Although perhaps extend the rule to Beer, Liquor, and perhaps Shrooms as well?

Re:I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19082211)

By the time they get to O, they will be so drunk from wine that it will be names like Open Octopussy.

package manager (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19081913)

dell doesnt control the package manager douche.

Re:package manager (2, Funny)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082207)

Ahh, a package manager douche. I should do that to my machine every now and again. I know I leave some dependencies sitting out there when I remove some packages. Could be good for the old hard drive :-)

no biggie (1)

phrostie (121428) | more than 6 years ago | (#19081953)

it might be nice for people starting out, but it is never more than an apt-get away.
people can install it if they want it.

Good (5, Interesting)

Tribbin (565963) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082061)

I haven't installed MS software on my computer for about seven years now. People ask me if I got MS Office working on it; it is the first thing they try when they install linux.

"I haven't tried it."

People find that awkward.

Also people often say that 'app X does not work the same as commercial product X'.

Sure, intercompatability is pushed from the open side because of demand. But ...


People find that hard to understand.

I think this step by DELL + Ubuntu is a step in the right direction of bringing that understanding.

if you're angry @ dell because this... (5, Interesting)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082087)

it's because you haven't faced up to the reality: Wine isn't very good.

Sure you can make some programs work, sometimes. And sometimes when applications do work under Wine they act horribly, weird, strange, lots of font issues. It's not that the wine developers havent tried, it's just that emulating a Piece of Shit like Windows is nearly fucking impossible.. nobody can emulate the development hysteria that went into building windows. I don't fault the Wine devs, they tried mimic microsofts bullshit, but failed...

It's a work in progress, I know... but now Vista is out now.. and microsoft will release another POS of OS soon enough... they have no chance to keep up with the Redmond madness.

Mark Shuttleworth-a benevolent dictator (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19082089)

He is a Steve Jobs who believes he knows better what is best for the users than the users themselves. This is an old communist or nazi idea; Hitler or Stalin believed they knew what is best for the people more so than the people themselves and were totally commited to make people happy, even by killing them if necessary.

Mark makes bad decisions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19082573)

1) Alsa package without alsaconf! What if the soundcard configuration during instalation fails?
2) Runlevels 2,3,4,5 are the same! What if the video configuration fails? Ubuntu gives me a window of 3 minutes or so to edit xorg.conf! I should be in control of my own computer, if I want runlevel 5 or 3 I say telinit 5 or 3!. Runlevels 2,3,4,5 MUST be differtent!
Execept for ununtu/kubuntu/edubuntu almost all linux distros haave alsaconf and runlevels 1-6. Why does Mark have these strange ideas?

Great idea (4, Interesting)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082129)

I've seen for a decade in my LUG what people go through when they try to use Linux as a 1:1 replacement for Windows. It's miserable. Linux should not be positioned as "like Windows but cheaper." (Especially since Dell's OEM deal with MS and crapware vendors means that a Linux system from Dell will probably cost exactly as much as a Windows system.) Mark S. is doing exactly the right thing here.

That said, I have the feeling that these things won't sell well at all. (Not that adding Wine would make much of a difference.) Be honest: what does Linux offer the average user that Windows doesn't? The main one is "won't get infected with crap."* That's great, but that's not enough. People have put up with crappy Windows systems for so long that they think it's normal to reinstall Windows periodically, or pay a neighborhood kid or local shop $50-150 to clean off the spyware every few months (if they even bother at all), and to buy a new computer every couple years when the one the old one gets slow. People are used to Windows. They fear change. "The devil you know is better than the devil you don't." We love Linux, but we know what's involved, and we understand what the million little differences are and why they're there. The rest of the world just thinks "this isn't working right." The result of all this is, Joe User will NOT be buying Ubuntu machines from Dell. Dell will sell a few, but not many, and there's a very good chance this program will be axed within 6-12 months.

* OS X offers this same benefit, plus it has the great iLife suite, gorgeous hardware, and unbeatable hardware/software integration. Not perfect, but miles ahead of anything else. That is a compelling reason to change, and I've seen a few people go from Windows to Mac, but even so, Windows has 90%+ share and will continue to dominate for quite a while.

How will this affect Ubunto Speech Recognition (1)

kmaclean (1011773) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082137)

I wonder how this will affect Speech Recognition on Ubunto. There are some people on the Ubunto Speech Recognition page ( https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SpeechRecognition [ubuntu.com] ) who believe that, from an accessibility perspective, Dragon Naturally Speaking on Wine is the only option available.

Re:How will this affect Ubunto Speech Recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19082771)

I wonder how this will affect Speech Recognition on Ubunto.

Pretty easy to see how this will affect it... instead of:

1. Install speech software

We get:

1. Install WINE

2. Install speech software.

On Ubuntu 6.10 it is like this... (1, Informative)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082167)

"Does that mean Wine won't even be listed in the package manager?"
Not by default (have not tried Ubuntu 7.04 yet). You have to visit http://www.winehq.com/ [winehq.com], browse to the download section and follow the directions to add the WineHQ APT Repository to your system's list of download sources.
This is not exactly what a newbie might expect, but since WINE is still "early beta" quality, I would not recommend it anyway for people who dislike tinkering with the system. As WINE gets more mature, I expect that it will be officially included into the Ubuntu distribution at some point.

Re:On Ubuntu 6.10 it is like this... (1)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082333)

Feisty: http://packages.ubuntu.com/feisty/otherosfs/wine [ubuntu.com]
Edgy: http://packages.ubuntu.com/edgy/otherosfs/wine [ubuntu.com]
Dapper: http://packages.ubuntu.com/dapper/otherosfs/wine [ubuntu.com]
Breezy: http://packages.ubuntu.com/breezy/otherosfs/wine [ubuntu.com]
Hoary: http://packages.ubuntu.com/hoary/otherosfs/wine [ubuntu.com]
Warty: http://packages.ubuntu.com/warty/otherosfs/wine [ubuntu.com]

Hmm.. Seems to have been in Universe since the beginning. Simple search on packages.ubuntu.com answers many questions.

Re:On Ubuntu 6.10 it is like this... (1)

myxiplx (906307) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082607)

Wine's there in 7.0.4, installed it while messing around not 5 minutes ago.

Ubuntu: The Name (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19082173)

Ubuntu is African for Halitosis.

Re:Ubuntu: The Name (1)

chawly (750383) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082693)

I don't believe you. There are many African languages and I don't know them all, but Ubuntu means what should have happened to Bill Gates in the African languages I do know. Not Pretty, believe me.

Nothing to see here, move alon (4, Insightful)

Brunellus (875635) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082203)

WINE isn't even in a default Ubuntu install. With or without Dell, Ubuntu does not ship with WINE. It never has. I hope it never does.

One gripe I have with the community is that we tend to oversell WINE. Even though the WINE team have made a lot of progress lately, I still find WINE to be an imperfect solution, at best. Knowledgeable users know this. But the community insists on preaching WINE to every Windows convert. This is counterproductive.

Rabid WINE advocacy builds unreasonably high expectations of 100% compatibility. This is not yet possible, and it is debatable whether this will ever be possible. New users don't appreciate the difficulty in the project, though. All they know is that NIFTY.EXE won't run. They resent the fact that they've been given "Broken Windows," rather than a "real OS."

This is not to say that I'm against the WINE project at all. Quite the contrary: the compatibility layer gives the Linux community an extra tool. But I cringe every time I see people treating WINE as some sort of panacea, rather than using it correctly as a tool of last resort.

Re:Nothing to see here, move alon (1)

ThrobbingGristle (62723) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082665)

I guess I have a nit to pick with the statement that wine is "a tool of last resort".

What if the application you need or want to run simply only exists for Windows (or not-linux, at least)? Your last resort as also your only resort, or first resort if you will.

Two examples: Remedy (remedy.com) and World of Warcraft. In the case of Remedy it's a hideous system for allowing people with no experience designing user interfaces or databases to do both simultaneously. I hate it, but my company has used it for a decade with no linux version in sight. Wine has allowed me (for most of that decade) to avoid dual-booting, using vmware, or using multiple computers but I can still do what I have to do in remedy.

World of Warcfaft is a slightly different example. I could play games in linux that are native. However, after some set up pain WoW runs pretty well for me in WINE so why not? (Ethical concerns about non-free software aside, of course.)

I really don't see any of this "preaching WINE to every Windows convert" nor any of this "Rabid WINE advocacy" that you speak of. Maybe you're thinking of the old slashdot, before most of the actual free software enthusiasts left for greener pastures? And where did they go? I didn't get an invite...

Just imagine... (1)

CrowbarKing (1100015) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082271)

I think the real fear is people who will assume "zomg!!11 teh linux + wine = windowz0rz!!~~", and will then attempt to install all their windows apps on Linux. Then when things don't go so well they will say "linux sux".

If the bloat isn't enough to make you sick, just imagine: Bonzi Buddy on Linux.

Perfect decision (4, Insightful)

FullCircle (643323) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082343)

I completely agree with their decision. If you want Windows, buy Windows.

Linux needs to stand on its own merits. Running Linux to use your Windows apps would make Dell and Linux look bad by giving a bad user experience.

Wine as a Windows replacement is hard to set up, largely incompatible and the wrong solution for more than one or two applications.

Let Linux have a fair chance on the desktop without false expectations of running Windows applications. If that's not enough, then Linux isn't ready for mass market adoption.

in fact. (0)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082357)

I don't really think any of those distros for end users should come with WINE preinstalled. It is a very chessy road, you always have to get the newest WINE version instead of the packages and that means compiling in the case of WINE else you have to wait months for the packages. And it is actually pretty indeterministic to know if it will actually run an application, cause there are cases in which it works in some computers and it doesn't in others. We should seriously leave WINE to the advanced users.
Is WINE an amazing piece of OS software? Yes.
Does WINE work for many applications? Yes.
Is it very unfriendly? Yes, it is . Try configuring its windows colors...
Is it unable to run the windows apps that actually make windows important? Yes, it cannot run 3dsmax, it cannot run latest photoshop, it virtually can't run any of he latest versions of the actually important windows apps, or it doesn't do it correctly. I know that the apps themselves are to blame here, they should actually try getting a cross platform framework, I just don't get it why would they do stuff for windows only when they could embrace more market, seriously.

There's a lot for WINE to become mainstream, for once it should get integration with gnome or KDE so it shares their color scheme, which is possible to do manually, and not

Please, think about... (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082567)

...what Mark Shuttleworth is going through right now -- there's no telling the veiled threats that are starting to come in from Microsoft

If you ask me, this seems like a move designed to (hopefully) not piss Microsoft off, and get them to leave Ubuntu alone for a little while, at least.

wine isn't that great (1)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082627)

Unless you want to run notepad.exe or calc.exe. Everytime I try to use it for something cool (games), it's just not quite there yet. I do not mean to detract from Wine's accomplishments - they've bee astounding and commendable. The devs have really crossed some great divides to get Wine where it is today. The task at hand, if the goal is to provide 100% redmond compatibility, is insurmountable IMO, but they will probably do it someday.

This is all FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19082649)

Shuttleworth is talking arse.

People install Linux because they want to run Linux. Not because they want cheap Windows. People who want cheap Windows will just pirate it. Joe six-pack, /might/ know what Linux is but he sure as hell won't know what Wine is.

Linux is not a "cheap" way of running Windows software because, quite frankly, it doesn't do it all that well. Some apps work acceptably but many do not. Games in particular spring to mind.

Wine is not difficult to install, there will be packages. Even if it is, anyone who seriously wants to run Windows apps within Linux will use Crossover Office and that has a Loki installer.

a. Shuttleworth is just being a prick.
b. Even if he doesn't bundle Wine: who cares. Anyone who knows enough to want it will be able to install it.

Re:This is all FUD (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082777)

You are so not the market that Shuttleworth is trying to target... I guarantee you that at least (pulls number from betwixt buttocks) 90% of the people that will ultimately buy these Ubuntu-preinstalled computers will have no idea what the hell a "package" is.

Don't you need a valid copy of Windows for WINE? (1)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082677)

Is not a copy of Windows required for WINE to function? Its been ages since I last tried this permanently-alpha software (I've been using 64-bit CPUs for the last two years), but from what I remember, WINE's own versions of the standard DLLs are not really usably for anything beyond Notepad and Minesweeper.

If this is still true, than Linux will be a slightly-more-expensive version of Windows — if you must run a Windows app or two for some reason, and Mr. Shuttleworth's real concerns are something else...

WINE does come with "normal" Ubuntu (2, Insightful)

beswicks (584636) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082747)

I've been running Ubuntu for some time now, I have even "spread the word" my installing it on a few poor students laptops when there windows installation has died and I couldn't be bothered to find the windows drivers for the laptops hardware. Most of the people I have installed Ubuntu for are happy with it right out of the box, once i've added Medibuntu so that it can play DVD's ofc.

However I personally like to play a few Windows games like Half-Life 2, World of Warcraft and Counter Strike and in order to do so i've had to "apt-get install wine". So I don't see how dell not including wine on the machines is a big deal, as it doesn't make there distribution any different from "plain" Ubuntu.

Dell are quite right not to install wine out of the box, as a user who can not "apt-get install wine" or if they have there own partial Dellbuntu mirror, adding the real Ubuntu software sources to apt, will have pretty limited luck getting it working anyway.

What I would find interesting is dell including a way to play copy protected dvd's out of the box, as to be that seems to be the one real problem with a default Ubuntu installation that people are likely to notice.

I have a DREAM, by Martin Linux King (2, Insightful)

zukinux (1094199) | more than 6 years ago | (#19082811)

No wine for Dell users is actually a good Open-Source move so people wouldn't think they moved to Linux just as a replacement.
I have a dream! I have a dream, that one day, Linux users will be more then 50% of the people who use computers
I have a dream that people will not use Linux as a user-friendly OS, but actually use it's command-line, and learn how to use it to improve their performance.
I have a dream, that every new Windows user that had moved to Linux, would not connect to X as ROOT, and actually use the multi-user management like Linux was designed (unix-based).

I have many dreams though, with your help, it's possible. I know I do try to get more people to install Linux and use it correctly.
Spread the dreams!
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