Is Linux Really Dead On The Desktop? Linus's Own Family Doesn't Use Linux!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by linux.freak.detector, Oct 21, 2007.

  1. Looks like Linux is deader than dead.....

    How Far Behind Is Linux?
    October 17, 2007; Page B1

    "If some of Linus Torvalds's own family members back in Finland don't
    use Linux, what hope is there for the rest of us?

    Linux, the free operating system whose development is overseen by Mr.
    Torvalds, has long been entrenched in the worlds of science and
    commerce. When Google gives you a search result, a Linux machine is
    doing the work. At tens of thousands of other companies, computer
    managers take comfort in the fact that these days, no one ever gets
    fired for "buying" open source.

    But world domination? That's another story.

    [Interview icon]
    I think Microsoft used to actually care about trying to help the
    consumer. I may not think that they did wonderful technology, but I
    think they really did try to serve their customers. But look at their
    [digital rights management] and their "Genuine Windows Advantage" --
    they're not trying to serve their customers any more in their
    products; they are adding features that are actively bad for users,
    because they probably feel like they aren't even competing any more.
    · Read the exchange between Linus Torvalds and Lee Gomes.

    Even though Linux is easier than ever to use, the dream of many Linux
    buffs of it replacing Windows as the desktop mainstay is, at best,
    stalled, and at worst, fading. While exact numbers are hard to come
    by, one survey has desktop Linux users barely scraping a single
    percentage point of the market share. Among Microsoft's customers,
    concedes Mr. Torvalds, are his father and sister, though Mom has
    managed to resist the allure of the dark side.

    So, with the top version of Windows Vista running at nearly $400, at
    least for new users, why do people continue to open their wallets
    when there's a free alternative?

    One reason is that for most consumers, Windows is "free," coming as
    does with their new PCs. Computer companies hardly seem interested in
    offering alternatives. H-P, for example, ships more PCs than anyone,
    but won't sell a computer without Windows, at least in the U.S.

    Dell is far more Linux friendly, and offers a line of consumer Linux
    machines that run $50 less than their Windows counterparts. But Dell
    doesn't exactly broadcast the option; there's no mention of it on its
    home page and you need to know to click on an "Open-Source Computers"
    link on an inside page of its Web site before you know of the

    Dell started installing Linux earlier in the year after a suggestion
    box on its Web site drew a deluge of requests for the system. Dell
    doesn't say how many Linux PCs it ships, but one survey puts it at a
    tiny fraction of total units.

    And, tellingly, far more people requested that Dell sell Linux than
    actually bought a machine once it went on sale. That suggests the
    typical consumer user has none of the philosophical objections to
    Windows of some members of the open-source community. Windows works
    well enough that the difficulty involved in switching operating
    systems outweighs any slings and arrows of using it.

    Linux developers, though, remain determined to eliminate that
    difficulty. The best example of their efforts is a Linux
    "distribution" known as Ubuntu, a Zulu/Xhosa word for "human-ness."
    More than anything else, Ubuntu has come closest in making Linux
    for prime time.

    Ubuntu's most prominent backer is Mark Shuttleworth, a 34-year-old
    South African who made a bundle in 1999 when he sold his security
    to VeriSign. He used some of those proceeds to become the first
    African in space, as a for-pay tourist in 2002 on a Russian space
    mission. He regards his work with Ubuntu as partly a philanthropic
    endeavor, because of its use in developing countries, where loaded
    computers are hard to come by.

    Ubuntu's claim to fame is that its developers have bundled not just
    Linux, but a shelf full of other important programs, such as Web
    browsers and word processors, into a single easy-to-install package.
    Once on your computer, it looks and acts much as Windows does. What's
    more, Ubuntu updates itself every six months and notifies you if
    security updates are needed in the interim.

    That last feature, incidentally, should disabuse an actual Ubuntu
    of the notion that a non-Windows operating systems is security
    where hackers are powerless and children are all above average. I
    recently installed the April version of Ubuntu on my home machine and
    promptly was informed that more than 50 security patches to problems
    discovered in the interim awaited my downloading. Who does Ubuntu
    think it is? Windows?

    Everything about Ubuntu worked as billed, but don't take my word for
    it. Test-drive it yourself at Developers have created a
    mode that lets you experiment with the software without permanently
    installing it on your PC. You also can load Ubuntu into its own hard-
    disk partition using a built-in, dual-boot program -- although if you
    have to ask what that means, you probably shouldn't try it.

    Mr. Shuttleworth says Linux-Ubuntu has become so easy that anyone,
    anywhere can use it as a primary operating system, as long as they
    have a technically savvy friend to help with rough patches. And that
    gap, too, he's determined to close, he says.

    Mr. Torvalds isn't involved with Ubuntu. That isn't the way Linux
    works. He agrees that increasing the desktop presence of Linux is a
    crucial long-term goal, largely because that's how new programmers
    interested in the software, which keeps the wheel turning.

    He still believes that ultimately the race for dominance will go to
    the slow and steady. "Maybe the desktop isn't exactly getting
    conquered, but it's getting a fair amount of development attention,"
    he says. "I'm a technical guy, so I tend to believe in the 'if you
    build it, they will come' motto, even if the inertia in the market
    would make it a long road to travel."
    · Email me at .
    linux.freak.detector, Oct 21, 2007
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  2. linux.freak.detector

    Frank Guest

    OMG! What is RS saying?
    Frank, Oct 21, 2007
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  3. linux.freak.detector

    Rex Ballard Guest

    They really don't have much choice do they? After all, Linus isn't
    there to help them install it, make sure that the transition is as
    effortless as possible, and help them learn the nuances of Open
    Office, FireFox, and KDE. Linux is the kernel developer. The kernel
    is just a single component in a much larger project called a Linux
    "Distribution". Remember, each distribution starts with the Linux
    kernel and GNU libraries, but then adds an entire suite of user
    interfaces aka desktops, applications, and configuration and
    management utilities.

    My dad uses Linux part time, and loves it, but he also like Quicken,
    and isn't willing to learn BASE to create his own accounting and tax
    suite (even though he was an accountant for a major utility company
    for 30 years).
    Very true. In fact, many companies are now reaping huge savings and
    even huge profits by USING open source. Many government agencies and
    nonprofit organizations are saving huge amounts of time and money by
    using open source.
    This has been the topic of government investigations since as early as
    1987 when the Federal Trade commision began to investigate Microsoft
    for their fraudulent use of Vaporware announcements in order to
    prevent OEMs from switching to competitor products like DR-DOS/GEM,
    OS2/VDI, or Unix/X11. Microsoft had promised true multitasking in MS-
    DOS 4.0 and instead delivered an iterrupt that **could** be used with
    Terminate and Stay Resident programs.

    Microsoft has also lost and settled many lawsuits involving sabotage,
    again designed to discourage OEMs and corporate customers from
    adopting competitor products such as DR-DOS, GEM, Stacker, OS2,
    DesqView, WordPerfect, Lotus 1-2-3, and other 3rd party products
    instead of Microsoft's overpriced offerings. In each case, the terms
    of the settlements were sealed in an effort to prevent the evidence
    presented during the discovery proceedings from being used in other
    cases. One could argue that this was obstruction of justice, but the
    courts will normally only unseal those records in the case of a
    criminal trial. It is possible that part of the settlement in each
    case included what amounted to immunity from prosecution in all
    related matters.

    In most cases, Microsoft settled, either during the preliminary
    hearings because the judge ruled that behavior was illegal, or settled
    after winning an appeal in which the judge and appellate court had
    ruled that Microsoft's activities were illegal. Although crimes were
    committed, and admitted, Microsoft has avoided prosecution under the
    RICO act by making sure that all settlements include a provision that
    allows Microsoft to claim that is not admitting any guilt, even though
    the judges have ruled against them. I guess this is to prevent
    criminal prosecution of Microsoft executives.

    Microsoft has used the copyright license to engage in numerous acts
    which would otherwise be federal felonies. Because of the copyright
    license, Microsoft is allowed to engage in computer trespassing,
    sabotage, wire-tapping for private or criminal investigation purposes,
    and can avoid most class-action lawsuits on behalf of end-users.

    In addition, Microsoft has used it's copyright license to engage in
    collusion. The Clayton act forbids any contract designed to exclude
    competitors, regardless of whether these contracts are the result of a
    formal agreement of a group of businesses, or the result of agreements
    imposed by a monopolist on it's customers. Such contracts are
    illegal, but Microsoft carefully dances around the edge of these laws.

    Microsoft doesn't tell the OEMs that they can't install Linux and
    Windows on the same machine, they just require that OEMs get prior
    written permission to market or support any change in configuration.
    Trivial changes such as new drivers can be approved almost
    immediately. Changes such as adding or changing a boot manager which
    would allow users to select the operating system of their choice -
    seem to get "lost" or for some other mysterious reason, are never
    formally approved or rejected. Unlike most contracts where the
    partner has a finite amount of time to give a response before the
    proposed change is considered accepted by default, Microsoft's OEM
    license agreements make no such allowances, meaning that Microsoft can
    effectively block any attempt by any OEM to create any system in which
    Windows and Linux coexist on the same machine. Ironically, the
    technology to do this has been around for years. OS/2 had a boot
    manager which allowed users to boot into OS2 or Windows 3.1, Slackware
    offered dual-boot capability as well as the ability to install Linux
    on a FAT file system (meaning partitions weren't required for newbie

    Virtualization has made it possible for end-users to configure PCs in
    which Linux and Window scan be running on the same machine at the same
    time. In some configurations, the performance of Windows can even be
    enhanced using this type of configuration due to improved memory
    management and disk access management. Microsoft steadfastly
    continues to stonewall the OEMs on these matters.

    In fact, the latest licenses for Vista Home editions (Home Basic and
    Home Premium) expressly forbid the use of Vista Home edition as a VM
    client to Linux, even though the technology is trivial to do. Users
    who want to run Vista as a virtual machine have to order a machine
    with Vista Business edition via telephone, mail-order, or web-order,
    since the retail versions only support Vista Home editions.

    Even though the DOJ Settlement expressly forbids Microsoft from
    attempting to prevent OEMs from offering machines equipped with Linux,
    Microsoft has continued to defy the courts in this matter.

    Another tactic Microsoft has used to prevent the spread of Linux is
    their control of the Microsoft trademarks and logos. Microsoft
    controls those trademarks and logos and requires that all advertising,
    promotional materials, and other materials using those trademarks be
    approved by Microsoft prior to publication. Because there are
    deadlines involved, Microsoft merely has to delay their answer beyond
    that deadline to "pocket veto" any advertising, promotional materials,
    or related marketing material. As a result, you can't even go to a
    store and pick out a machine that lists "Linux Compatible" as one of
    it's features. Even the web order forms and telephone operators are
    not allowed to tell you whether the machine you are about to order
    will work with Linux or not, because Microsoft logos and trademarks
    are used in the promotional materials and scripts.

    Microsoft also conspires with hardware vendors. Threatening penalties
    and offering incentives for producing hardware that will only run
    under Microsoft's software and enforcing nondisclosure and taking
    legal actions related to any attempt to reverse engineer drivers for
    Linux and competitor platforms. In most cases, there is a finite
    amount of time, usually up to 1 year, by which time even Microsoft
    concedes that such provisions are probably unenforceable. Still, this
    increases the chance that a customer looking for a Windows machine
    capable of running Linux is likely to get a Window machine that is NOT
    capable of running Linux, and not knowing that he has done so. With
    customers spending as much as $2000 for Linux compatibility, many OEMs
    are using announcements through alternative channels to tell would-be
    Linux users that certain distributions are supported on certain models
    of their computers in certain configurations. Normally, corporate
    customers who want this option have to make commitments to purchase a
    minimum number of computers. Many companies now purchase one
    candidate machine for evaluation and one of their tests is to install
    Actually, IBM, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Toshiba all offer "Linux Ready"
    computers, and it's even possible to order them. In addition, there
    are VARs who purchase these machines in bulk and convert them to Linux
    or Windows/Linux configurations. For example Emperor Linux offers
    several different desktp and laptop machines which have been
    reconfigured to run Linux. Typically there is a premium paid for the
    reconfiguration, service, and support. It's possible that one of the
    reasons that IBM sold their PC division to Lenovo was so that they
    could operate as a similar type of VAR, offering service and support
    for Linux or Linux/Windows machines in much the same way they provide
    support for multi-platform servers.
    Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, and Toshiba have all been offering "Linux
    ready" computers, and these computers are often more profitable than
    the "Windows only" configurations. Machines with DirectX-only video
    cards, Windows-only WiFi, and other Windows-only chips have tended to
    erode in price much more rapidly than machines with OpenGL, Linux-
    ready WiFi, and Linux-ready SATA or SAS controller chips.

    Retailers are having a hard time unloadng Vista Home machines because
    of the license restrictions. CompUSA closed shortly after Vista was
    released. That was one of the few stores where you could look at an
    iMac with OS/X and go to the next set of shelves and look at a machine
    running Vista. Many users wanted the Mac machines, but Apple can
    barely keep up with the demand generated in their own stores.

    Gateway has reached the verge of bankruptcy, with increasing losses
    quarter after quarter. The price has dropped so low that Gateway is
    now a takeover target. Acer has made an offer. Acer has made "Linux
    Ready" machines a staple. Nearly all of their machines are "Linux
    Ready", and many users in other countries can actually purchase Acer
    PCs with Linux pre-installed. When VA Linux was offering Linux-only
    machines and generating substantial market and growth, Microsoft
    offered them a license which allowed them to install both Linux and
    Windows on the same machine. Unfortunately, they were still not able
    to get there product positioned on retailer shelves, and as a result
    eventually began offering consulting services, offering the ability to
    convert large quantities of a number of different PCs to Linux and
    support those Linux machines.
    This may be a pattern based ot the fact that a "Linux ready" machine
    which is sold with Windows offers more that a machine that will ONLY
    run Windows, or a machine which requires the purchase of a separate
    $400 copy of Windows if sold with Linux.

    Most versions of Windows, including XP Professional, Vista Business,
    and Vista Ultimate, as well as Windows 2000, permit the use of Windows
    as a VMWare client. In addition, XP Pro and 2000 permit Linux users
    to call Microsoft libraries from Linux using WINE interface libraries
    which can full those Microsoft libraries into thinking that they are
    calling the Microsoft operating system instead of Linux. Not all
    applications run on WINE, but a much larger number run on WINE when
    supplemented with the Microsoft libraries - which means the end-user
    must purchase a machine with an OEM copy of Windows to legally use
    that library.
    If I order a Lenovo T61p with Linux-ready hardware, I can purchase it
    with Windows, use VMware converter to generate a VMWare image from the
    installed system. Then I can back-up that image to a USB drive,
    install Linux using a live-DVD distribution, install VMWare player,
    and then run the VMWare Image of Windows. Since Linux is providing
    the disk buffering, memory management, security, and network
    interfaces, the VMware image of Windows often runs FASTER than the
    Windows native version. The VMWare overhead is normally very low,
    usually less than 10%, but this is recovered through faster and larger
    disk buffering, read-ahead, and better memory management.

    If I purchase a Gateway "Windows Only" box, I could install VMWare
    workstation (for $150), and install Linux into a virtual drive, but
    the NTFS file system would be slower, the Windows operating system
    would dole out memory only after substantial delays, and it might take
    20-30 minutes for the Linux system to reach the highest possible
    speed, which is still subject to the locks, pauses, and delays of
    Windows garbage collection.

    Microsoft tried to orchestrate a "Showdown" between Linux and Vista
    Home edition, and it backfired. Microsoft insisted that Vista Home
    edition was a "Windows Only" environment, and that Vista Home edition
    could not be used as a VMWare client. They then insisted that only
    Home Edition would be displayed on retailer shelves. Users who wanted
    to upgrade to Vista Business edition would have to either order it
    online, or pay an additional $200 for the upgrade and "Geek Squad"
    installation of the upgrade.

    The result was a disaster. End users went to OEMS and started
    ordering Windows XP instead, since the license was less restrictive.
    In fact, there was even a rush to purchase XP machines before
    Microsoft forced the OEMs to stop selling it. Many end-users paid
    premium prices of up to $2500 per PC for machines that featured OpenGL
    graphics cards, 4 Gigabyte memory capacity, SATA hard drives, and
    Linux compatible WiFi, along with Windows XP operating system. It's
    pretty obvious that these users were buying the machines for the
    purpose of running Linux and Windows concurrently, with Linux as the
    primary operating system. Microsoft has simply allowed the OEMs to
    "downgrade" Vista Business licenses to Windows XP, allowing Microsoft
    to claim the sales as Vista licenses, even though the machines were
    shipped as Windows XP. At one point, according to Dell "most" (over
    51%?) of the PCs they were shipping were going out with Windows XP.

    The PC department of most electronics stores has become a depressing
    place. Often, the only machines available are the display models,
    slots have been left vacant, and in many cases, the PCs aren't even
    bootable. In some stores, the machines are locked down, to prevent
    users from testing machines for Linux compatibility using Knoppix or
    Live-CD versions of Linux (because they aren't). In other stores,
    about the only machines that are still on display are the ones that
    are "Linux Ready", but even those aren't moving because of that Vista
    Home Premium license restriction against using it as a VM client. For
    the first year in almost 3 decades, PC retailers are not looking
    forward to the Christmas season.

    Now, the motherboard manufacturers are offering a hypervisor which is
    compatible with several virtualization solutions, and will make it
    possible for OEMs to easily configure a machine to run Linux and
    Windows concurrently. The motherboard makers are even offering Linux
    as part of the package. All the OEM has to do is leave room for a
    Linux partition on the hard drive. The problem is that Microsoft
    doesn't want to share the hard drive. That requirement for prior
    written consent again. Microsoft normally insists that OEMs install
    Windows on a single partition. They are allowed to have a Windows
    "recovery partition" which can be use to repair a hard drive that has
    been corrupted by a virus. The Linux installer and VMware can be
    configured to install Windows into a virtual "appliance", but again,
    there is that little "gotcha" about not being able to install Vista
    Home editions as VM clients.

    It almost seems like Microsoft would rather bankrupt the entire PC
    industry than allow them to sell the machines with anything other than
    a "Pure Microsoft" configuration. They seem willing to let major
    outlets like CompUSA close their doors, rather than allow Linux, OS/X,
    and Windows to be seen within 20 feet of each other. They seem
    willing to lose IBM as a customer rather than make concessions that
    allow them to sell and support configurations requested by their

    They would rather see 5 HP display machines sitting on the shelves for
    3 months unsold, than allow HP to offer configurations that would be
    more likely to "fly off the shelves".

    Microsoft hyped Longhorn/Vista for almost 7 years. Even as Windows XP
    was being released at the end of 2000, Microsoft was promising that
    Longhorn would solve all of the problems that XP hadn't successfully
    solved. Ballmer announced that Linux was "evil" that it's supporters
    were "communists" and after 911 even tried to have us declared
    "terrorists". In 2003, when IBM refused to support SP2, Microsoft
    helped t orchestrate the lawsuit against IBM by SCO. They helped to
    arrange financing, possibly even helped Daryl McBride get the job,
    told him to ignore the advice of his top technical people, and even
    appeared to make "guarantees" to Mr Goldfarb, the equity fund that
    bailed out SCO when it became appearant that IBM wasn't going to
    submit to a quick settlement and admission that Linux users should pay
    $700/PC royalties to SCO.

    Microsoft is losing, but they still defiantly engage in their illegal
    business practices, even when a compliance officer (who is paid by the
    marketing department?), a technical committee, and federal
    prosecutors, are SUPPOSED to be preventing them from doing so.

    Microsoft IS ABOVE THE LAW.

    Therfore THERE IS NO LAW.

    This is the nature of a Monopoly, and why Monopolies are eventually
    Rex Ballard, Oct 21, 2007
  4. linux.freak.detector

    Mr. Arnold Guest

    Microsoft is losing, but they still defiantly engage in their illegal
    Really, you should read the book *Rats in the Grain* and see if the company
    in the book is not still in control of everything you eat, even after being
    busted. During the cold war with Russia, Russia had missiles pointed at the
    little city the company's corporate headquarters are located. MS is nothing
    compared that company the company. I worked for company, and I know what
    it's capable of doing. MS is no match to it.
    Mr. Arnold, Oct 21, 2007
  5. Who is going to believe Duane Arnold, alias "Maximum Hag"?
    /U/ranian who likes
    /N/ut butter making with
    /E/nglish sparrows.

    /R/eceptive sex partner who likes
    /O/ne handed clapping with
    /D/irty cumpie.
    Duane Arnold winner of:
    Tony Sidaway Memorial "Drama Queen" Award, September 2006
    Busted Urinal Award
    Order of the Holey Sockpuppet
    Goofy Azzed Babboon
    Kutloze Scheefgepoepte, Oct 21, 2007
  6. linux.freak.detector

    Rex Ballard Guest

    I haven't read the book, but I did see a quick synopsis. It sounds
    like an interesting book. You might also want to read the full story
    of the Clanton/Erp feud, the Lincoln County wars, and even the
    biography of Jesse James. In each case, farmers, who had been brought
    to the area by the railroads, were being driven out by the cowboys,
    who had been brought to the same area for the purpose of burning the
    farmers off their newly aquired homesteads after spending 7 years
    clearing the land and making it suitable for cattle grazing. In each
    case, the railroads committed criminal acts, including cold blooded
    murder, and were left unpunished.

    As for modern food production, you might also want to view "Harvest of
    Shame", a documentary on the virtual slave labor used to harvest many
    american food crops.
    You have a point there. To my knowledge, no Microsoft executive has
    ordered the murder of a competitor.

    Microsoft did obtain it's monopoly illegally, but the evidence to
    prove that has been sealed as part of it's settlements.

    Microsoft did engage in criminal acts as a monopoly, but the evidence
    has been sealed as part of it's settlements.
    Rex Ballard, Oct 21, 2007
  7. I am on record saying that Bill Gates would never allow himself or any
    member of his family to get into an (imaginary, obviously) airplane or
    operating room which uses Windows.

    Mr. Gates should be more careful and equally prevent any person he
    cares for to be anywhere near:

    - ATM
    - Voting machines
    - and a long etc.

    based on Windows.

    Ramon F Herrera, Oct 21, 2007
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