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  #31  
Old 27th March 2012, 02:36 PM
pete_1967 Online
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Re: Is Linux Desktop Really Dead? Tell that to the many...

Don't chastise the guy outright although the article referred to was written to create waves (and maybe he realised that his 30-day with Ubuntu was detrimental to his employment opportunities - or someone pointed that out to him).

On his last article, some of his conclusions:
Quote:
As capable as I found Ubuntu, I also felt like it took more effort than it should. Granted, most of that is just part of that initial learning curve of getting things set up. After a week or two you would reach some sort of equilibrium and not need to swim upstream every day.
Quote:
That said, what do most users really need? Write a letter? Send an email? Surf the Web? Connect with friends on Facebook? Play music? Ubuntu Linux has a capable office productivity suite, and email client installed by default. It can handle Web browsing just fine. It can play music, edit photos, create and edit movies. The bottom line is that Ubuntu Linux can easily handle the needs of average users--and most of those needs are addressed out-of-the-box so to speak just using tools installed by default with the OS.
Quote:
The fact that there is diversity, and options is a strength of the Linux platform, and one of the factors that draws people to the operating system in the first place, but when it comes to mainstream adoption, the lack of agreement and solidarity over which Linux is the right Linux is a handicap.

Am I an Ubuntu Linux convert? From a purely pragmatic and logical perspective, I need to operate in a Windows world. Why? Because 90 percent of the world does. But, as a tech writer I also have some obligation to be familiar with a comprehensive array of platforms and technologies.

His conclusion about Ubuntu (in 30day test series) was:
Quote:
So, I will revert to using Windows 7 as my primary OS after today, but I plan to leave my Ubuntu Linux installation right where it is (although I did switch the default OS at boot to be Windows 7). I also plan to purchase a MacBook Air when the new models hit the shelf (look for that in a future 30 Days With... project). If I pick up any new tricks or tips, I'll let you know.

So, don't be sad. Goodbye is not forever.
Throughout his articles he was also very clear about the positives with it and Linux in general. Several times he also emphasises that for an "average" user, Ubuntu & Linux are just as good if not better fit than Windows. Naturally there was bias towards Windows as he was writing it from a Windows users' point of view - someone who wants 1-1 replacement instead of having to put the effort to learn new things. Overall, I was quite impressed of his impartiality nevertheless.
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Last edited by pete_1967; 27th March 2012 at 02:46 PM.
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  #32  
Old 27th March 2012, 02:54 PM
StephenH Offline
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Re: Is Linux Desktop Really Dead? Tell that to the many...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kona0197 View Post
Probably not as most people grew up with Windows and will stick to what they know and is familiar and comfortable rather than learn a new OS. Then there is the whole argument about games.
Kind of makes my point. Why do they know Windows and why are they comfortable with it? It is because of the preinstalled versions purchased when they purchase the hardware. Because it is preinstalled, they don't really see the cost of purchase. I understand that Microsoft goves a break in price to manufacturers to preinstall. However, if this were not the case and the user actually had to purchase the operating system separately, given a choice between paying $x.xx for Microsoft Windows and other solfware or paying a nominal amount for an open-source Linux product to be preinstalled and saving money might lead to a difference in the numbers of installations.

The reasons why preinstalled Linux versions have not taken off so far are hard to determine. It usually winds up being that there is no cost savings when purchasing a Linux based computer over purchasing a Windows based one. The manufacturers do not pass the cost savings on. It just becomes extra profit.

This whole "I have to have something compatible with Windows" idea also limits the spread. People don't realize that except for games, virtually everything that one does on a Windows based machine can be done on a Linux based machine. In many cases, the performance on the Linux based machine will be better and the worries about the malware-du-jour will be less.

The fact is, there has not been a level playing field. Microsoft has had manufacturers locked in for a number of years. Even after this anti-competitive, monopolistic practice supposedly stopped, it still continues on as one cannot find a computer from any of the major manufacturers that comes without the Windows tax pre-applied. One has a hard time even trying to get a refund of this since the presumption is that when one fires up the computer, even if one wipes the drive, that one has accepted the Microsoft license which has been pre-activated on the hardware by the manufactuerer. If one can find a piece of hardware without Windows pre-installed, it is likely that it will cost more than the same hardware that comes with Windows.

Bottom line is, there is no level playing field. If there were, the numbers would be different. People would tend to buy based on getting the most for thier money. Since that currently means getting a machine with Windows pre-installed, that is the way it goes. If the costs were separated and one had a fair choice, there might be a significant difference in the number of Linux and Windows installations. However, until there is such a level playing field, one can only speculate.

I agree though that having two or more different methods of installing/updating software (apt and yum), not to mention emerge or other methods, makes things difficult. I would not want to have only one flavor of linux available. Since I do not like Gnome 3, I use either XFCE4 or LXDE on my systems. Both work for me. I like the fact that I can choose. i like choice. It is both a strength and weakness facing Linux acceptance. I prefer to think of it as a strength. I can choose the UI that suits me, not have to live with the way someone else thinks I should be working. Will a Windows 8 user have that same choice? I doubt it.
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  #33  
Old 27th March 2012, 03:57 PM
BBQdave Offline
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Re: Is Linux Desktop Really Dead? Tell that to the many...

Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
This whole "I have to have something compatible with Windows" idea also limits the spread. People don't realize that except for games, virtually everything that one does on a Windows based machine can be done on a Linux based machine. In many cases, the performance on the Linux based machine will be better and the worries about the malware-du-jour will be less.
Oh, I think people and companies are starting to get FOSS. My wife is an accountant and she guides a couple of committees at her company. One being the tech committee. Over the past few years their software licensing fees have doubled and with some applications tripled in cost (with built in lock-in and pushy upgrades). This has forced a look at FOSS. They started by switching a few applications with a limited group of employees; now the entire company is switching as many applications as possible to FOSS, and converting their infrastructure (data servers) over to a company that uses FOSS. As to not give up her company's information, I will generally state that the software they utilize is data intensive and varied. So it was not just a matter of switching from MS Office to Libre Office. FOSS has met their needs nicely.

The best part in this transition: proprietary software vendors threatened to discontinue or hamper service if no upgrades, so my wife's company stop using their software and switched to FOSS. The money that would have gone to the proprietary software vendors now go to the developers of FOSS programs they use. Which I thought was cool by her company to support FOSS developers and recognise the value of funding them.

So yeah, not sure about Linux dying on the desktop, but I certainly know of proprietary programs that are dying
Maybe proprietary software vendors have always tried to bully companies into lock-in and upgrades, but from what I have witnessed (in lcoal companies), proprietary software vendors are loosing ground and seem desperate.

And hello StephenH, from just down the road.
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  #34  
Old 27th March 2012, 04:09 PM
kona0197 Online
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Re: Is Linux Desktop Really Dead? Tell that to the many...

So a computer would cost less without the Microsoft tax? I don't think so. Take a look at your computers being sold at places like Walmart. $398 dollars for a complete system including an LCD monitor. I doubt that even if that system was offered without Windows that they could drop the price lower as the hardware and LCD monitor are worth the asking price alone.
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  #35  
Old 27th March 2012, 04:47 PM
bob Offline
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Re: Is Linux Desktop Really Dead? Tell that to the many...

Terry, they certainly could since they do pay MS a price per unit. Now, WOULD they? Probably not, as Dell's past pricing showed.

On your example: Gotta consider that the monitor's a $100 item with today's prices. That leaves $298 and I bought a machine with far better specs (no OS, naturally) this winter for $250.
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  #36  
Old 27th March 2012, 05:21 PM
aleph Offline
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Re: Is Linux Desktop Really Dead? Tell that to the many...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob View Post
Terry, they certainly could since they do pay MS a price per unit. Now, WOULD they? Probably not, as Dell's past pricing showed.

On your example: Gotta consider that the monitor's a $100 item with today's prices. That leaves $298 and I bought a machine with far better specs (no OS, naturally) this winter for $250.
Even if they keep the extra margin to themselves, it's still some good news. It means Linux is helping companies making money. And they have to support those Linux units, meanwhile any code they develop to do so will end up in Linux sources upstream due to Free Software licensing. In the end, the customer still benefit by having a better Linux for everyone.

In any case, manufacturers supporting Linux is a good thing. I'm posting this from a Lenovo notebook bought with Ubuntu pre-installed. The vendor didn't even provide an equivalent model with pre-loaded Windows.

The point is that corporations throughout the foodchain are making money with Linux. It may not be big money now, but it's becoming a viable business model. As long as the market sees money in it, Linux won't die soon.

--

Edit: the notebook is one from the Lenovo E40 line. Variants has price tags 3000~3700 Chinese yuan (475~590 USD). They're selling like crazy with flying good reviews. Within the same price brackets, 3 of the top 5 best-selling models are preloaded with Linux, according to my vendor's website. My model's the no.1 seller.

Last edited by aleph; 27th March 2012 at 05:35 PM.
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  #37  
Old 27th March 2012, 05:40 PM
jakebpg Offline
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Re: Is Linux Desktop Really Dead? Tell that to the many...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tox View Post
windows will always Hold the Desktop. the way Linux is going in the Desktop ( just look at Gnome3 for instance and Unity ) its pushing users back to Windows if not Apple . KDE is the only DE that lets a user configure there own Desktop or XFCE or maybe some WM . Gnome Devs have there head so far up there you know what they dont care for what users want.
You're right about gnome. Never liked it to begin with and have always used KDE for its ease of use and is easily customized to meet the users needs especially with the latest release.

I know so many people that have made the switch to Linux simply because of its power to do things NO WINDOWS MACHINE WILL EVER BE ABLE TO DO!

Last year, believe it was November network world had an article that stated right opposite of Linux being dead, dying or the massing leaving it behind. The article stated that Linux is actually growing with leaps and bounds with the number one distro being Ubuntu. It even stated new users actually like the new gnome(personally I think it can rot in bit bucket hell) but to each his own I guess.

The problem with even attempting to set number of users is that Linux does NOT have a license scheme that makes counting easy much less accurate and is why MS and MAC will always show much larger numbers of units versus Linux of any kind. This laptop is 4 months old and the first thing I did was load Linux and shrink windows by at least 250GB to give me room for Linux since I use Linux as my main OS. So there's one less MS license that should be counted.

I wonder how the numbers would fare for MS and Mac if they actually subtracted all the Linux users from their actual numbers instead of handing out a false number based off of the number of machines sold on the market. My guess is those numbers would drop at least 5% or more for both MS and Mac.

I know of 5 local businesses that are Linux only shops and their average number of desktops/laptops is 50 or more and growing and they LOVE it! Keeps the cost of the IT budget way down and allows them to have blazing fast networking and internet access of which they couldn't afford if they had to use ONE OF THOSE OTHER OSs!
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  #38  
Old 27th March 2012, 05:41 PM
hadrons123 Offline
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Re: Is Linux Desktop Really Dead? Tell that to the many...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tox View Post
IMO i'd prefer Windows8 over Unity any day,
I could stand Windows 7 but not windows 8.

Even the hardcore windows users, who were my friends wanted to get back to win 7 , within hrs of installation of the preview versions.Not that preview is not stable. But the interface is unusable.
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  #39  
Old 27th March 2012, 05:43 PM
RupertPupkin Offline
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Re: Is Linux Desktop Really Dead? Tell that to the many...

Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
The reasons why preinstalled Linux versions have not taken off so far are hard to determine. It usually winds up being that there is no cost savings when purchasing a Linux based computer over purchasing a Windows based one. The manufacturers do not pass the cost savings on. It just becomes extra profit.
I think that's the main reason. If the "Microsoft tax" were being completely eliminated by the manufacturer instead of making the consumer jump through hoops to get the refund, the price difference would be big enough to entice people to buy the one with Linux.

The "is it compatible with Windows" issue you mentioned is not as significant, from what I've seen; as you and others have mentioned, pretty much any of the major Linux distros have software that will do the stuff that most people (i.e. nongamers) need.

Despite all that, Linux on the desktop is growing. PC World is always coming up with these sensationalist headlines in hopes of attracting readers. They've become kind of the Fox News of computer magazines, and can be safely ignored.
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  #40  
Old 27th March 2012, 05:59 PM
aleph Offline
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Re: Is Linux Desktop Really Dead? Tell that to the many...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RupertPupkin View Post
I think that's the main reason. If the "Microsoft tax" were being completely eliminated by the manufacturer instead of making the consumer jump through hoops to get the refund, the price difference would be big enough to entice people to buy the one with Linux.

The "is it compatible with Windows" issue you mentioned is not as significant, from what I've seen; as you and others have mentioned, pretty much any of the major Linux distros have software that will do the stuff that most people (i.e. nongamers) need.

Despite all that, Linux on the desktop is growing. PC World is always coming up with these sensationalist headlines in hopes of attracting readers. They've become kind of the Fox News of computer magazines, and can be safely ignored.
Here, Lenovo is selling Linux notebooks with the option of installing Windows at their service centers. If you don't want to void your warranty, you pay them some $100 for their OEM'ed Windows and let them install it for you.

Some will go for a pirate Windows copy. Quite a few stick with whatever preinstalled, because they find voiding warranty with a pirate Windows or paying the MS tax just not worth it.
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  #41  
Old 27th March 2012, 06:54 PM
kona0197 Online
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Re: Is Linux Desktop Really Dead? Tell that to the many...

Quote:
On your example: Gotta consider that the monitor's a $100 item with today's prices. That leaves $298 and I bought a machine with far better specs (no OS, naturally) this winter for $250.
Explain this one then:

Compaq Notebook

At $299 I doubt that after the Microsoft tax is removed that system could be sold for less than what they are asking for it.
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  #42  
Old 27th March 2012, 07:20 PM
leepaul
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Re: Is Linux Desktop Really Dead? Tell that to the many...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kona0197 View Post
Explain this one then:

Compaq Notebook

At $299 I doubt that after the Microsoft tax is removed that system could be sold for less than what they are asking for it.
WTF does this have to do with the original subject?
Are you some sort of Windows troll?
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  #43  
Old 27th March 2012, 07:26 PM
kona0197 Online
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Re: Is Linux Desktop Really Dead? Tell that to the many...

No I'm not a troll. I've been here many years. Just carrying on the conversation.
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  #44  
Old 27th March 2012, 07:45 PM
StephenH Offline
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Re: Is Linux Desktop Really Dead? Tell that to the many...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kona0197 View Post
Explain this one then:

Compaq Notebook

At $299 I doubt that after the Microsoft tax is removed that system could be sold for less than what they are asking for it.
Kona, you really don't expect a Wal-Mart sale item to be norm, do you? Is this a loss-leader item Wal-Mart will use to get people into the store and then be conveniently out of so the potential customer will look at the higher priced ones they do have in stock? $299.98 (might as well say $300.00) compared to $398 list. At the list price, removing the Microsoft tax would certainly make a difference.

I purchased my Acer Aspire 722 netbook at Target for $249. It came with a $50.00 target card which I later used to purchase other things we need, so the net price for it was $199 (plus tax). Now, I have not seen the identical system anywhere near that price since. it was a special sale, apparently one time only. Yes, it came with Windows 7 home premium. That HDD is in a box and my netbook has an SSD with Fedora 16 now installed and running. It would have been nice to eliminate the Microsoft tax also. Then it might have cost me only $129, but I doubt it. Assembly line production means identical items, even if it does mean that everyone gets Windows (current version) whether he/she wants it or not. It's like it was said of Henry Ford. You could get a Model T in any color you wanted as long as it was black. In effect, it will not be any time soon, at least in the USA, that one will be able to walk into Wal-Mart and purchase a computer without the Microsoft tax pre-applied. Since jumping through the hoops needed to get a refund (I've read some of those stories) isn't for the faint of heart, most people will just use what is there. Those who have some more ability/inclination may do what I did or use a tool like gparted to make room for Linux and then install their favorite distribution(s).

Either way, Microsoft gets the credit for another system and Linux does not get counted, thus showing an artificially low user base.

Your post shows that you have made the choice to use Windows. Well, if that is what you want, then that is fine. Mine shows that I am using Linux. That is my choice. I have my reasons. If I could have purchased some of the computers/laptops/netbooks I have purchased without an operating system at a reasonable cost (not counting those I built from components), I would have done so. Since the pre-builts were not available at the commodity pricing without the Microsoft tax, I got them with Windows. That doesn't mean I use it regularly.
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  #45  
Old 27th March 2012, 08:22 PM
kona0197 Online
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Re: Is Linux Desktop Really Dead? Tell that to the many...

Sorry Stephen. I have my reasons why I use Windows. I'm not trying to get more traffic to my blog, however, if you care to read why I use Windows here is the answer:

Why I use Windows
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