What's your feeling on Linux software competing in the ms market

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Nick, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. Nick

    Nick Guest

    Do you see a time when people are going to need to know how to use linux.
    setting up cross platforms, interfacing with widows. can you see Linux as a
    serious contender along with ms office products in business as well as every
    day household use ?

    Or do you think it's a flash in the pan. Or something akin to the apple
    users of this world. eg, somewhere down the bottom
    Nick, Jun 28, 2004
    #1
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  2. Nick

    cowboyz Guest

    Nick wrote:
    > Do you see a time when people are going to need to know how to use
    > linux. setting up cross platforms, interfacing with widows. can you
    > see Linux as a serious contender along with ms office products in
    > business as well as every day household use ?
    >
    > Or do you think it's a flash in the pan. Or something akin to the
    > apple users of this world. eg, somewhere down the bottom


    It is well known how much I dislike Linux advocates but Linux is not a flash
    in the pan. It has its uses. There will be a day where business ventures
    will adopt Linux much more readily than they do now and no doubt if your
    looking for a job, will need to know how to use Linux. But then it will
    probably be specific programs and in job training. As for the home market.
    I think Microsoft has a firm hold on that and if Linux is going to make any
    headway into the home market it is going to have to seriuosly look at
    getting commerical. Of course that opposes what Linux stands for so I guess
    it will be a long time coming.
    cowboyz, Jun 28, 2004
    #2
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  3. Nick

    theseus Guest

    Nick wrote:

    > Do you see a time when people are going to need to know how to use linux.
    > setting up cross platforms, interfacing with widows. can you see Linux as
    > a serious contender along with ms office products in business as well as
    > every day household use ?
    >
    > Or do you think it's a flash in the pan. Or something akin to the apple
    > users of this world. eg, somewhere down the bottom


    Its inevitable
    Its not alway a Windows replacement, often an enhancement.
    Tim O'Reilly has an anecdote about where he asks his conference audience,
    "Who uses Linux ?", and gets a percentage show of hands, then he asks "Who
    uses Google?" and gets 100%. And it dawns on people that they are using
    Linux all the time they connect online.
    Its a good article
    http://tim.oreilly.com/opensource/paradigmshift_0504.html

    I first got into Linux with Redhat 5.2 because I needed a samba and apache
    server.
    I had to learn quite a lot about it to use it
    Now the same stuff is automated in Xandros control centre tab under Windows
    Networks, so any Windows user can feel at home. NFS is handled the same
    way.
    Learning is a bag of general skills, the same ancestry and concepts apply to
    all the current PC operating systems.
    If you can't work the command prompt in Windows, you will find a Mac or
    Linux console foreign.
    If you can work Windows desktop, you can work KDE, if you can work MSWord
    you can work KWord AbiWord OpenOffice.
    The time will come when we look back and laugh at x86 desktops and CRT
    monitors like we do with 128k Macintoshes and Osborne luggables and Lotus
    123 on MSDOS so its all a flash in the pan.
    theseus, Jun 28, 2004
    #3
  4. In article <40df586d$>, says...
    > Do you see a time when people are going to need to know how to use linux.
    > setting up cross platforms, interfacing with widows. can you see Linux as a
    > serious contender along with ms office products in business as well as every
    > day household use ?
    >
    > Or do you think it's a flash in the pan. Or something akin to the apple
    > users of this world. eg, somewhere down the bottom


    Apple is both a hardware and software platform, unlike Linux which is
    cross platform.

    The only way Linux is going to become a major player is if MS somehow
    loses a chunk of market share. Apple have failed to achieve that for the
    last decade.
    Patrick Dunford, Jun 28, 2004
    #4
  5. In article <cbnmar$qpv$>, "cowboyz" <> was seen to type:
    >Nick wrote:
    >> Do you see a time when people are going to need to know how to use
    >> linux. setting up cross platforms, interfacing with widows. can you
    >> see Linux as a serious contender along with ms office products in
    >> business as well as every day household use ?
    >>
    >> Or do you think it's a flash in the pan. Or something akin to the
    >> apple users of this world. eg, somewhere down the bottom

    >
    >It is well known how much I dislike Linux advocates but Linux is not a flash
    >in the pan. It has its uses. There will be a day where business ventures
    >will adopt Linux much more readily than they do now and no doubt if your
    >looking for a job, will need to know how to use Linux. But then it will
    >probably be specific programs and in job training. As for the home market.
    >I think Microsoft has a firm hold on that and if Linux is going to make any
    >headway into the home market it is going to have to seriuosly look at
    >getting commerical. Of course that opposes what Linux stands for so I guess
    >it will be a long time coming.


    It already has made an impact ionto the home market. I got it.
    Admitedly I was using win 3.11 before that ... but that's one from
    windows to linux.
    Anyone made the reverse choice ?


    Bruce


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to
    think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone´s fault.
    If it was Us, what did that make Me ? After all, I´m one of Us. I must be.
    I´ve certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No-one ever thinks
    of themselves as one of Them. We´re always one of Us. It´s Them that do
    the bad things. <=> Terry Pratchett. Jingo.

    Caution ===== followups may have been changed to relevant groups
    (if there were any)
    Bruce Sinclair, Jun 28, 2004
    #5
  6. Nick

    Route Guest

    On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 11:35:34 +1200, Nick wrote:

    > Do you see a time when people are going to need to know how to use linux.
    > setting up cross platforms, interfacing with widows. can you see Linux as a
    > serious contender along with ms office products in business as well as every
    > day household use ?
    >
    > Or do you think it's a flash in the pan. Or something akin to the apple
    > users of this world. eg, somewhere down the bottom


    Why do people only talk about Linux?

    I think BSD has a better future.


    --
    ....check out the nametag.. you're in MY world now grandma...
    Route, Jun 28, 2004
    #6
  7. Nick

    AD. Guest

    On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 11:35:34 +1200, Nick wrote:

    > Do you see a time when people are going to need to know how to use
    > linux. setting up cross platforms, interfacing with widows.


    Which people?

    At the moment some people already do, and some don't. That won't change,
    although the proportions probably will somewhat.

    > can you see Linux as a serious contender along with ms office products
    > in business as well as every day household use ?


    What's a serious contender? 10% desktop market share? 20%? 50%?

    For business use, it really depends on the type of users and how much the
    rest of the companies infrastructure isn't tied to proprietary protocols
    and services.

    Some tasks are suitable for Linux now, some aren't (eg CAD).

    I could foresee Linux getting up to maybe 15-25% of corporate desktops in
    3 to 5 years. But a lot of that will depend on how successful Novell is
    IMO.

    For home users it would be less than that I reckon. Except for
    computer enthusiasts, the only segment of the home market that could
    maybe work out for Linux is with users that just want email and web
    browsing. They could have a specialised appliance type distro designed for
    that.

    >
    > Or do you think it's a flash in the pan.


    Definitely no flash in the pan. And even if Linux does fade away, the apps
    that got Linux where it was will no doubt continue on a Linux successor.
    And it is all about the apps don't forget - there is nothing inherently
    Linux specific in the world of Linux apps.

    I think specialist Linux distros could fill many smaller profitable
    niches. Because most of the work is already done, they only have to put
    effort into the customising of the software rather than creating it all
    from scratch. The low cost of entry allows them to be profitable in small
    niches rather than try to please everyone.

    > Or something akin to the apple
    > users of this world. eg, somewhere down the bottom


    I think Linux will seriously outgrow Apple in marketshare unless Apple
    changes it's strategy. I'm not saying Apple should though - it's not clear
    cut to me whether Apple would be better off if they moved to a low margin
    high volume type business.

    Cheers
    Anton
    AD., Jun 28, 2004
    #7
  8. Nick

    AD. Guest

    On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 13:23:23 +1200, wrote:

    > Why do people only talk about Linux?
    >
    > I think BSD has a better future.


    Netcraft confirms it! ;)

    Seriously, I suspect Linux got where it is over the BSDs due to the more
    'controversial' license. Controversy creates media attention, which then
    creates interest etc etc.

    Another aspect of the GPL is that in some ways it is friendlier to
    strategic corporate contributions than the BSD license. Giving away stuff
    under the GPL restricts what their competitors can do with it, forcing
    them to either contribute as well or not use it.

    But the apps are pretty much the same between the BSDs and Linux, and it
    will be the apps that allow either of them to grow. I think more attention
    need to be placed on the applications of the open source world. eg the
    Apache Software Foundation is producing a lot of Java and XML based
    projects that are becoming pretty influential.

    Cheers
    Anton
    AD., Jun 28, 2004
    #8
  9. Nick

    theseus Guest

    Route wrote:

    > On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 11:35:34 +1200, Nick wrote:
    >
    >> Do you see a time when people are going to need to know how to use linux.
    >> setting up cross platforms, interfacing with widows. can you see Linux
    >> as a serious contender along with ms office products in business as well
    >> as every day household use ?
    >>
    >> Or do you think it's a flash in the pan. Or something akin to the apple
    >> users of this world. eg, somewhere down the bottom

    >
    > Why do people only talk about Linux?
    >
    > I think BSD has a better future.
    >
    >


    It would if something happened to Linux, Both use BSD GNU and X components
    to make up a complete OS, so all the license tubthumping rhetoric is a bit
    moot.
    theseus, Jun 28, 2004
    #9
  10. Nick

    Allistar Guest

    Patrick Dunford wrote:

    > In article <40df586d$>, says...
    >> Do you see a time when people are going to need to know how to use linux.
    >> setting up cross platforms, interfacing with widows. can you see Linux
    >> as a serious contender along with ms office products in business as well
    >> as every day household use ?
    >>
    >> Or do you think it's a flash in the pan. Or something akin to the apple
    >> users of this world. eg, somewhere down the bottom

    >
    > Apple is both a hardware and software platform, unlike Linux which is
    > cross platform.


    Agreed.

    > The only way Linux is going to become a major player is if MS somehow
    > loses a chunk of market share. Apple have failed to achieve that for the
    > last decade.


    Agreed. The uptake of Linux is increasing though, and the rate of increase
    is increasing too.

    Allistar.
    Allistar, Jun 28, 2004
    #10
  11. Nick

    AD. Guest

    On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 12:54:21 +1200, Patrick Dunford wrote:

    > The only way Linux is going to become a major player is if MS somehow
    > loses a chunk of market share.


    Really? Wow, +1 Insightful ;)

    > Apple have failed to achieve that for the last decade.


    Sure but is it the end of the world? They have improved their
    profitability substantially over the last decade. Is market share more
    important than profits?

    Saying yes to that sounds like old dot-com "sure we make a loss on
    each unit, but we'll make up for it in volume" craziness.

    Cheers
    Anton
    AD., Jun 28, 2004
    #11
  12. Nick

    theseus Guest

    AD. wrote:

    > On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 12:54:21 +1200, Patrick Dunford wrote:
    >
    >> The only way Linux is going to become a major player is if MS somehow
    >> loses a chunk of market share.

    >
    > Really? Wow, +1 Insightful ;)
    >
    >> Apple have failed to achieve that for the last decade.

    >
    > Sure but is it the end of the world? They have improved their
    > profitability substantially over the last decade. Is market share more
    > important than profits?
    >
    > Saying yes to that sounds like old dot-com "sure we make a loss on
    > each unit, but we'll make up for it in volume" craziness.
    >
    > Cheers
    > Anton


    Microsoft already have lost market share to Linux, they used to have it all.
    But Linux BSD etc will probably have more impact on the future of Windows
    CE.
    I saw comment recently that we are in the Bronze Age of the internet, Linux
    is an operating system constructed for the internet, by the internet, it
    wouldn't be possible otherwise.
    Microsoft has a pre internet development and distribution structure with its
    inherent overheads, its flagship killer app is the typewriter / adding
    machine / overhead projector / filing cabinet implementation in software of
    the office machines of the sixties. Like AutoCAD they keep their market
    lead with various lockin strategies.
    Open source distributed development will be a rising tide that might benefit
    them in some ways if they are smart, Apple has already noticed.
    theseus, Jun 28, 2004
    #12
  13. Nick

    AD. Guest

    On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 16:56:57 +1200, theseus wrote:

    > Microsoft has a pre internet development and distribution structure with
    > its inherent overheads, its flagship killer app is the typewriter / adding
    > machine / overhead projector / filing cabinet implementation in software
    > of the office machines of the sixties. Like AutoCAD they keep their market
    > lead with various lockin strategies.
    > Open source distributed development will be a rising tide that might
    > benefit them in some ways if they are smart, Apple has already noticed.


    It must be very hard for a company that dominates a market to be faced
    with a fundamental market change to newer or cheaper 'stuff' and decide
    when to jump. You want to leave it long enough that you still makes lots
    of money and don't prematurely promote the new way, but if you leave it
    too late you can be screwed big time - Think how Wordperfect left the door
    open to Word by not noticing (or even in denial) the tide turned towards
    Windows apps.

    MS has learnt lots of stuff from its competitors screwups :)

    Cheers
    Anton
    AD., Jun 28, 2004
    #13
  14. Nick

    Divine Guest

    On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 11:47:37 +1200, cowboyz wrote:

    > As for the home market.
    > I think Microsoft has a firm hold on that and if Linux is going to make
    > any headway into the home market it is going to have to seriuosly look
    > at getting commerical. Of course that opposes what Linux stands for so
    > I guess it will be a long time coming.


    Um...

    RedHat Linux IS a commercial distro. So is Mandrake Linux.



    Divine

    --
    "Microsoft don't need any moral right to be a hypocrite. It's an oxymoron.
    They will do what they can get away with. Of course this makes it difficult
    for their advocates to occupy any high moral ground."
    Divine, Jun 28, 2004
    #14
  15. Nick

    Divine Guest

    On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 13:23:23 +1200, wrote:

    > Why do people only talk about Linux?
    >
    > I think BSD has a better future.


    I am interested to hear further on why you think that.


    Divine

    --
    "A life? Sounds great! Do you know where I could download one?"
    Divine, Jun 28, 2004
    #15
  16. Nick

    thing Guest

    AD. wrote:
    > On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 13:23:23 +1200, wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Why do people only talk about Linux?
    >>
    >>I think BSD has a better future.

    >
    >
    > Netcraft confirms it! ;)
    >
    > Seriously, I suspect Linux got where it is over the BSDs due to the more
    > 'controversial' license. Controversy creates media attention, which then
    > creates interest etc etc.
    >
    > Another aspect of the GPL is that in some ways it is friendlier to
    > strategic corporate contributions than the BSD license. Giving away stuff
    > under the GPL restricts what their competitors can do with it, forcing
    > them to either contribute as well or not use it.
    >
    > But the apps are pretty much the same between the BSDs and Linux, and it
    > will be the apps that allow either of them to grow. I think more attention
    > need to be placed on the applications of the open source world. eg the
    > Apache Software Foundation is producing a lot of Java and XML based
    > projects that are becoming pretty influential.
    >
    > Cheers
    > Anton
    >


    From the history of BSD, BSD was doing quite well, then it ended up in
    court with AT&T by the time that was sorted, Linux was there and its
    development model appealed to ppl, so it took off. BSD will be no where
    in % except as OS X IMHO.

    regards

    Thing
    thing, Jun 28, 2004
    #16
  17. Nick

    cowboyz Guest

    Divine wrote:
    > On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 11:47:37 +1200, cowboyz wrote:
    >
    >> As for the home market.
    >> I think Microsoft has a firm hold on that and if Linux is going to
    >> make any headway into the home market it is going to have to
    >> seriuosly look at getting commerical. Of course that opposes what
    >> Linux stands for so I guess it will be a long time coming.

    >
    > Um...
    >
    > RedHat Linux IS a commercial distro. So is Mandrake Linux.
    >
    >
    >
    > Divine


    I said serious
    cowboyz, Jun 28, 2004
    #17
  18. Nick

    AD. Guest

    On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 19:11:41 +1200, thing wrote:

    > From the history of BSD, BSD was doing quite well, then it ended up in
    > court with AT&T by the time that was sorted, Linux was there and its
    > development model appealed to ppl, so it took off.


    That's the traditional view, but I'm not so sure that it really made
    that much difference. At the time Linux was very immature and the BSD
    court stuff was well sorted by the time Linux was gaining any real media
    exposure.

    It was the late nineties media exposure and RedHat IPO that seem to have
    set Linux off on it's path of mainstream acceptance. And I reckon it was
    having a controversial story to tell about its license was a big part
    of why the media was so interested.

    > BSD will be no where in % except as OS X IMHO.


    I think you're right in terms of desktop markets, but FreeBSD especially
    has been doing some significant growth in numbers of servers out there.

    Cheers
    Anton
    AD., Jun 28, 2004
    #18
  19. Nick

    thing Guest

    AD. wrote:
    > On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 11:35:34 +1200, Nick wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Do you see a time when people are going to need to know how to use
    >>linux. setting up cross platforms, interfacing with widows.

    >
    >
    > Which people?
    >
    > At the moment some people already do, and some don't. That won't change,
    > although the proportions probably will somewhat.
    >


    I follow this very closely.

    Lets split this into 3 groups, server, embedded and desktop.

    If you want some insite as to where the IT industry is going you need to
    read reports from the likes of Forrester, AD Brown, Mitre etc, they have
    predictions for the next 5~7 years. Googling is good, yahoo, techincal
    sectiosn of the business press, cio.com etc etc.

    At present the datacentre consists of mainly Mainframe and Unix with MS
    and Linux holding a small share at the bottom.

    Most of the reports vary on the percentage linux will hold, but none
    foresee linux as a small or none player. What they all say is mainframe
    will decline somewhat, Unix decline greatly and MS and Linux take up the
    vast % of servers in the datacentre within 3 to 5 years. From what I can
    tell Linux's percentage (depending on analyst) varies from 20% right up
    to 70% with MS holding most of what is left. What is interesting is all
    analysts are predicting Linux's % increasing so 20% looks very unlieky and

    The main reason is cheap intel hardware offering up to a 10 times saving
    over Risc hardware. (Risc is the type of CPU and is what Unixes mostly
    run on). eg a Sun CPU can be $20,000US while an Itanium $3000US.

    Mainframe will survive as a noticable % for 2 reasons, porting to Linux
    or MS from mainframe is not easy, huge legacy applications mean its all
    but impractical to move some stuff and the main frame has fantastic
    uptimes and management tools. While uptimes of MS, Linux and Unix are
    improving, the nightmare of managing copious servers is getting worse,
    its not a striaghtforward issue of migrating the tools. The tools are
    designed around running on one machine time sharing many applications
    and not many machines runnign a few applications each. The scaling is
    just not there at present.

    So yes in the server space Linux is a serious contender now, its MS's
    main threat and competitor for the next 10~15 years IMHO. My reasoning
    for this time span is Linux has taken 10~12 years to reach a level of
    maturity and capablity to challenge Unix and MS today, yet today there
    is no noticable Linux replacement in its infancy at present.

    >
    >> can you see Linux as a serious contender along with ms office products
    >> in business as well as every day household use ?


    Lots of consumer gear like phones, adsl routers, entertainment centres
    etc are and will be running cutdown versions of Linux, in volume its
    dirt cheap, its kiling MS's cutdown versions because there is no per
    unit cost for the OS and when you talk about 100,000s of units at a few
    dollars per unit, any cost of the OS becomes a major issue.

    >
    >
    > What's a serious contender? 10% desktop market share? 20%? 50%?


    Desktop, this is probably one of the biggest unknowns, anyone predicting
    a % 3~5 years out is really guessing IMHO, its just so volatile.

    What I do see is Linux gaining share, it can do probably 50% of the
    desktop market now yet holds less than 5%. My reasoning is there is a
    huge percentage on win95~98, NT4 and even win2k users where a 2004 Linux
    desktop is as good as or better in capability and performance than what
    they have now. A huge amount of home users still use Office 95/97. Open
    Office is as good if not better than these 7/9 year old products, even
    MS's Steve Ballmer admits this.

    The interesting time will be the release of Longhorn and the longer MS
    delays on Longhorn the bigger Linux's share will be. At this release
    point Longhorn it appears Longhorn will force IT companies to choose MS
    OS or anything else. MS is tieing things down so hard that
    interoperability becomes a serious issue if MS still holds a big % of
    the desktop. So ppl will be either stuck in MS land, or stuck outside
    it, if outside it they will not want to jump in and those inside will
    find it very hard to jump out, almost like the Berlin Wall (some
    prospect huh?)


    >
    > For business use, it really depends on the type of users and how much the
    > rest of the companies infrastructure isn't tied to proprietary protocols
    > and services.
    >
    > Some tasks are suitable for Linux now, some aren't (eg CAD).


    CAD runs on a desktop, Autodesk have so far declined to release AutoCad
    for Linux. When you look at simulation, rendering farms etc, these are
    all hugely intensive in graphical interfaces and compuation, similar to
    CAD, usually on higher end hardware than CAD is used to being on. Msot
    of the OSes for this hardware were Unix, now Linux is replacing them. So
    there is no techincal reason not to run on Linux, just the major
    player's reluctance.

    >
    > I could foresee Linux getting up to maybe 15-25% of corporate desktops in
    > 3 to 5 years. But a lot of that will depend on how successful Novell is
    > IMO.


    I agree, Novell's sales channel looks invigorated and bouncing....

    >
    > For home users it would be less than that I reckon. Except for
    > computer enthusiasts, the only segment of the home market that could
    > maybe work out for Linux is with users that just want email and web
    > browsing. They could have a specialised appliance type distro designed for
    > that.
    >
    >
    >>Or do you think it's a flash in the pan.


    Nope, its here to stay.

    >
    > Definitely no flash in the pan. And even if Linux does fade away, the apps
    > that got Linux where it was will no doubt continue on a Linux successor.
    > And it is all about the apps don't forget - there is nothing inherently
    > Linux specific in the world of Linux apps.


    Yep.

    >
    > I think specialist Linux distros could fill many smaller profitable
    > niches. Because most of the work is already done, they only have to put
    > effort into the customising of the software rather than creating it all
    > from scratch. The low cost of entry allows them to be profitable in small
    > niches rather than try to please everyone.
    >
    >
    >> Or something akin to the apple
    >>users of this world. eg, somewhere down the bottom

    >
    >
    > I think Linux will seriously outgrow Apple in marketshare unless Apple
    > changes it's strategy. I'm not saying Apple should though - it's not clear
    > cut to me whether Apple would be better off if they moved to a low margin
    > high volume type business.
    >
    > Cheers
    > Anton


    Apple has style in its products, though the recent comments on its
    financial future because of future accounting practice changes do not
    bode well despite the hit that is ipod.

    If apple can do more ipod's its future looks good IMHO, that will take
    skill, but I think Steve Job is up to it.

    regards

    Thing
    thing, Jun 28, 2004
    #19
  20. In article <>,
    "AD." <> wrote:

    >For home users it would be less than that I reckon. Except for
    >computer enthusiasts, the only segment of the home market that could
    >maybe work out for Linux is with users that just want email and web
    >browsing. They could have a specialised appliance type distro designed for
    >that.


    My mother has occasionally expressed an interest in getting onto the
    Internet. But she's never used a PC before in her life. Getting the
    basics of a PC isn't hard, but my worry with Windows is that, unless she
    makes a conscious habit of being regularly up-to-date with antivirus
    updates and patches and things, she's going to be vulnerable to new
    security holes coming along every week. That's going to contribute
    significantly to the difficulties she's going to have.

    But if she had a Linux box, its limitations in terms of not being able
    to run every bit of software out there would actually be an advantage. I
    could set it up to give her e-mail and Web access, and nothing else.
    Sure, there are occasional Linux security holes too, but they tend to
    relate to things like non-privileged users being able to get root access
    or crash the kernel or abstruse things like that which would be
    irrelevant in a single-user situation. So we could probably go for
    months at a time without having to do any updates to her machine.

    Thoughts?
    Lawrence D¹Oliveiro, Jun 28, 2004
    #20
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