back to article Linux: this year's silver lining?

With the new year under way and all of the problems in the old year still largely unsolved, people in the IT sector are looking around for a little good news and some prospects for growth. There are a lot of clouds out there right now, and Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, thinks the rain is going to be …


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  1. Steve

    It's the year of Linux...

    .... again!

    After well over 10 years of hearing it, I'll believe it when I see it. (Rather than when a marketing droid comes out and tells me it AGAIN!)

  2. Robert Moore


    "So how long before Linux is the dominant operating system on servers?"

    It already is... At least in my server room. :)

  3. Gis Bun
    Gates Halo

    Oh here we go again

    Every year the same prediction: Linux will take over the world.... Or whatever. This will never happen. why? The Linux side is too fragmented. too many distros. You have internal bickering betweek Linux people. Some say Ubuntu is for neanderthals. Others say RedHat/Fedora is too bulky [a Windows Vista wanna bee].

  4. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Some additional considerations

    Planning and budgeting within a tighter fiscal framework might just cause commercial purchasers to review their short/mid/longterm IT strategies.

    I can't see such customers going in a big way to netbooks but I can see organisations looking at linux as a means to provide safer, more orthodox and controllable boxes for its staff.

    The more futuristic, leaner & meaner might even be drawn towards Macs with virtual Windows with linux all on the same box?

  5. SpitefulGOD
    Gates Halo

    Blah Blah Blah

    Same weather forecast that's predicted every year by the Linux crew... I think fish had a better success rate.

  6. Robert Pogson

    GNU/Linux with Apache is the dominant OS on servers on the web according to Netcraft


    M$ may hold the majority of file servers because of embracing/extending/extinquishing CIFS but they have no real merit over NFS+CUPS in the 'NIX world.

    The world is not enamored of Vista and Vista II, so the dominance on the LAN could end precipitously. Other pressures against M$ are server consolidation. One can consolidate better with a more efficient OS. Any 'NIX is more efficient than M$'s product because of shared memory. Virtualization can work with M$ to consolidate but you can put more processes in a give amount of RAM with GNU/Linux.

  7. EnigmaForce

    Who is this Zemlin dork?

    He sounds like a Bill O'Reilly-type attention whore. Who in their right mind wants to see any kind of "two horse race" amongst OSs in this day and age? If he's not concerned about Sun then why is he (in the piece referred to and the other mid-2008 piece of FUD he wrote) crowing so loudly about it?

    I know exactly why - because he's scared shitless about them. There are very good reasons I ditched Linux and moved to Solaris and OpenSolaris last year.

    Tux can blow me.

  8. nick

    Windows & Linux

    "it seems far more likely that Microsoft will drop the price of Windows XP and extend its support to maintain share."

    I think ultimately, MS will end up giving Windows away for nearly nothing, just to maintain their lead in installed PCs. I've been saying for years that the MS Tax will end up becoming a MS rent. Free MS OS but with very limited functionality. You pay for features.. That way, even if you don't upgrade to their latest flavour of bloatware, you still pay your $5 per month for the OS, $5 for Office etc... The "Vista Ready" mess has taught them they cant drive hardware sales just by releasing a new OS with ridiculously heave hardware requirements.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    In the long run

    it is not the speed but the direction that counts.

    But how do you make, for instance, a company like Nokia deliver their PC-suit, for Linux.

    I still have a Windows left just for that reason,. disgusting.

    I will have a look at the Android, I suppose.

  10. Anthony Prime

    Ahhh... It must be January again.

    ... Because someone is telling me this year is going to be all about Linux.

    Except of course it won't be. It'll be even more pant moistening for those guys who love it for it's own sake, but for anyone actually doing anthing beyond serving up web pages it'll just pass by in another cloud of sneering and shouting at all those lamers who don't love the CLI.

    Tell you what guys, come back once you've agreed which text editor is best and we'll talk more. OK? Say 2016?

    Oh and note the sad face before you wade in with the usual flames....

  11. Goat Jam

    Why is it necessary to choose between text editors?

    I mean, really?

    So Linux offers users choice, some like this, some like that, BFD.

    Ain't life grand?

    I think I speak for a lot of Linux guys when I say that what we would really like to see is a level playing field where people are not essentially forced to buy Windows due to Microsofts dubious bundling deals with the oems.

    If more people continued to choose Windows in such a scenario then more power to them, at least it is their choice.

  12. vincent himpe


    People can go to a store , buy a computer with linux pre installed , and browse through the shelves and look at all the boxed software that runs on Linux, that comes with nice self deploying installers , a manual and a phone nu,ber you can caall for help ( i know its psychologically). it will NEVER get an inrush on the desktop.

    Something that fails to register with all the afficionados is that people are in a mindset : we go to a store , buy a computer and some software. This stuff is made by a big company . if it doesn't work we can get our money back, or there is a helldesk we can call.

    If i produce something using this machine i can give this to someone else who can open the file.

    A very simple example. I want to buy a computer new computer so i can store my pictures from my nice camera , sort them , and use some software to make a nice photobook to have printed by snapfish or picaboo or mypublisher. I will then burn a couple of DVD's with slideshows using either Nero or Pinnacle studio. And also print some locally on my nice inkjet printer

    Linux is not an option. Simply because :

    - There is an oddball collection of stuff out there on the web that all does bits and pieces , some only work on distro so andd so , some are dependent on package so and so.

    - printer drivers ? try finding a hardware manufacturer that provides drivers for linux ...

    - all popular on-line printing software out there is written for windows. Wherever you go the answer is . sorry windows only.

    - some nice software like pinnacle studio or premiere elements ? sorry.

    the only other option is : get an overpriced Mac...

    no thank you i will stick to windows.

  13. KenBW2

    2008: The year of Linux

    Last year was a good year for Linux - particularly on SCCs. But that ship has sailed - the SCC makers (Asus included) are starting to flock back to Windows-onlyness. Had Canonical/Red Hat/Novell/other capitalised on this and done some marketing for once (instead of relying on word-of-mouth, Linux might've got some higher brand awareness.

    But no...

    Shame really, as an Ubuntu-only user I'd have liked to see Linux flourish. Maybe if they're *really* quick we might just have time.

  14. Glen Turner

    Year of Linux was mid-00s

    The year of Linux has been and gone -- it was some time in the mid-Naughties when anyone deploying a new large computing infrastructure chose Linux over the alternatives. Think Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc.

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  16. jake Silver badge

    Zemln seems confuzled ...

    "In a down economy, if you are a small startup, you are not going to buy any hardware or software," Zemlin explained, adding that people will buy compute and storage capacity on clouds. "Then, if you are successful, you can lever it up. But the key is to be able to keep capital costs low at the start."

    This guy's confused. With commodity PC pricing, and the very same Linux that he's hawking, said startup could put more than enough computing power (for most uses) on each desk for a couple user-years for less than the cost of one week's pay for that user. Throw in a couple servers and some networking, and you get reliable storage for less than the cost of a good engineer for a month.

    That's for a small startup. With a larger startup, economies of scale come into play, and doing it all in house make even more sense.

    Do the math. Cloud computing isn't cost effective, never mind the security risks.

  17. jake Silver badge

    @Anthony Prime

    "all those lamers who don't love the CLI."

    You don't have to love it, but the CLI is the way UN*X was designed to be administrated. Either you know how to use the CLI, or you don't know how to properly administrate your variation of UN*X. And yes, this includes Solaris, *buntu, and Apple's OSX.

    Not trying to start or participate in a flame war, just pointing out the obvious.

    "Tell you what guys, come back once you've agreed which text editor is best"

    Not necessarily the best, but vi is considered the standard UN*X text editor. If you know vi, you are pretty much guaranteed to be able to edit text files on any UN*X variant. Including Solaris, *buntu and OSX.

    Again, not intended to start a flame war, just pointing out the obvious.

  18. Anonymous Coward


    Time for a new Reg competition methinks.

    Who can come up with the the most ridiculous / outrageous / ambulance-chasing reason why <such and such an event> will herald The Year Of The Linux Desktop?

    My entry:

    The current cold snap in the UK will inevitably lead to linux triumphing on the desktop. Linux users are genetically superior to Windows users; therefore linuxians will manage to get to work, and stay healthy, and procreate, producing future generations of linuxians, whilst Windows users are stuck at home with runny noses and colds and are too ill to even think about it. Insert virus joke here. Inevitable Result - 2009, The Year Of Desktop Linux.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Ha ha ha ha hahaaaaa

    Sorry, just pissed myself laughing....once again it's the Year of Linux.

    I've just wiped my Ubuntu box and reinstalled XP Pro. Why, well apart from the weekly upgrades for half the software on there (i though Windows was bad!), most of the software is "Open source and free". Which roughly translated means, unfinished, dated, clunky, missing components and looks like it was written by someone who spends all locked in isolation, never having seen daylight. Lost count of how many times I was unable to play video files because I need a text/html component. Or flash not playing, Firefox crashing every 10 f**king minutes, crap audio, crap video. And is my machine a cutting edge device? Nope it's a Athlon 1.7 running pretty much standard hardware. (Geforce cards, Creative Audio). Windows XP does very well on it thankyou.

    Open source is fine, if you have the time to prat around, unfortunatly I don't these days. Call me again in 5 years (last time I tried this brilliant new software was with Red hat 3).

    Oh and before the flames, It was the first time I've had to reinstall Windows since XP came out. Never had a virus, never had spyware...

  20. Toastan Buttar
    Gates Halo

    Not gonna happen anytime soon

    Most people don't have a netbook as their primary computer. In most home and work situations, the main computer is a desktop or high-powered laptop loaded with Windows. In work, most people depend on Microsoft Office, and in the home, most people have an application or piece of hardware that won't play nice with Linux.

    I have a dual-boot Windows XP / Ubuntu 8.04 system at home, and spend most of my time on Ubuntu doing web browsing, disc ripping/burning, bit torrenting, etc. Often though, I need to boot into Windows to do slightly unusual things like programming my synth via MIDI, printing photos correctly, running old educational software, talking to my phone's and camera's software, etc.

    Until Linux/WINE starts behaving as well as Windows with all existing hardware and software, the easier option will always be to just boot into Windows and be done with it. People just want to use a computer, not make a hobby out of getting it to work. With netbooks, the hardware is strictly defined, and you can tailor your version of Linux to it so that it 'just works out of the box'. OTOH, if you're buying your own hardware or using slightly non-mainstream applications, Windows will give you a rather less painful experience than Linux.

  21. Mark
    Dead Vulture

    The year of linux

    So what's wrong with that? It HAS been the year of linux for the last five years. Each year for the last five or more years Linux has been growing both in usability and in installed corporate userbase.

    You don't hear the same tired or pissants complaining about MS calling any given year "the best year for Window FOOBAR" or saying that "Windows LATEST is the best selling OS EVAH" do we. MS shills want to swallow the junk from MS but hate the idea that someone else isn't getting reamed like they are so MUST bitch and complain that, since Linux hasn't got more desktops than MS in all available versions that this can't be the year of linux.


    Vista doesn't have more than 50% of the installed userbase. You aren't complaining that MS are talking shit when calling Vista the most successful OS yet.

  22. Schroeder

    Oh, look the shrills were working late again last night

    Whats the matter boys, stuck in the office waiting for that server to reboot after applying the latest patch?

    Of course Linux isn't a problem, after all, if it was, your bosses would have to extend XP's life yet again, and then force vendors in the netbook space to up the specs ( and prices ) of their machines to work with it. Oh sorry...

    But then maybe I'm guessing you'd have to be paid to be such a rabid fanboi of an OS that is so bad it utilizes nearly 20% of a CPU on a 2 grand plus Quad core 'gaming' machine while sitting supposedly 'idle'. As noticed looking at Dell XPS in my local PC World at the weekend - where the Linux based netbooks were getting the most attention of all the PC's out on display.

    Better start FUDing some more, boys...

  23. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    re: Not gonna happen anytime soon

    Um, netbooks are a very recent new product (previously was "ultraportables" but they were priced for the jet-setting CEO types so don't count).

    So how the FUCK is a new product introduced into a mature and extensive userbase supposed to be common?

    Your complaint is just a desperate attempt to avoid facing facts by making out it isn't a problem.

  24. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    @vincent hump

    "People can go to a store , buy a computer with linux pre installed , and browse through the shelves and look at all the boxed software that runs on Linux, that comes with nice self deploying installers , a manual and a phone nu,ber you can caall for help ( i know its psychologically). it will NEVER get an inrush on the desktop."

    Please tell me where this magical manual for windows lies?

    What mythical phone number can you call for help with windows?

    Lying twat.

  25. Mark
    IT Angle

    Stu is lying out his arse again

    "well apart from the weekly upgrades for half the software on there"

    And Ubuntu comes with about 3000 applications. 1500 updates each week?

    Fuck off.

  26. Andrew
    Thumb Up


    "Please tell me where this magical manual for windows lies?

    What mythical phone number can you call for help with windows?

    Lying twat."

    You seem to be confused, he said boxed software tha runs on your PC's OS. If thats too confusing for you i'm afraid I can't help. But hey i'm a helpful guy, on XP click 'Start' and 'Help and Support' will take you to the support documentation for Windows and if you desperatly want to phone someone the number is in there and it's 0870 60 10 100.

    If your still having trouble ask an adult to help you and they'll sort out any issues you have.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Sniff, sniff, sniff...

    It's bullshit time again.

    Do most hardware vendors offer drivers for Linux? No.

    Do most office-type applications run on Linux? No.

    Do most home-apps (e.g. MSN, Nokia PC Suite) run on Linux? No.

    Do most websites demand IE? Yes. Does that run on Linux? No.

    Does .Net run on Linux? No. (And do not give me that Mono crap)

    Is Linux easy to set-up for a new user? No. (Requires too much knowledge and file hacking).

    Unless a few of those "No" responses become "Yes", Linux will have to remain the niche player it is. Window may well be crap, but it's friendly, stanardard and support crap. And here is one "Yes" that needs to become a "No".

    Are Linux-geek-tards stuck-up and will just reply "Learn how your PC works, man"? Yes.

    I have seen answers along those lines when people have asked about setting a printer, Samba, video card, etc up and running. It is not very helpful to a new user who just wants to get on with their life. I often think that the biggest thing holding Linux back are its own users!

    Oh, and one more:

    Is most Linux documentation out of date and poorly written? Yes.

    Go looking for (say) Ubuntu docs/tips and most of them are for version 6. They are now on 8.10! MS may well be the spawn of Satan, but at least their docs are up to date, well indexed and not written along the "infinite number of monkeys" paradigm.

    (When I say "Linux", I of course mean one of the major distros based on that kernel).

  28. Matthew Ellen

    @Mark, re:@vincent hump

    Hi Mark,

    You have to pay for support for Vista, but the phone number is: 0870 60 10 100

    As for the Vista manual, have you pressed F1 lately? (You didn't say /good/ manual.)

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What Microsoft Did next...

    MS moves very slowly, if netbooks do turn out to be more than a flash in the pan I suspect we will see a move from Microsoft that may well stifle Linux's dominance in that sector.

    I can't see MS ever shipping Windows for free, but what I can see is a cut down version of Windows shipping for close enough to free to bring the price of a Windows netbook almost the same as a Linux netbook. Of course this OS could also ship with PCs and laptops and MS could charge a pretty penny for an upgrade to a more featurepacked version of the OS. I know a lot of non-technical people who have bought netbooks and after a few weeks come to me to ask how they "upgrade it to windows". Most netbook owners already have a Windows PC so they want their new toy to behave exactly like their home PC, buy it's the word "upgrade" that shows how most EUs think of the Linux they have on their netbook.

    I am a Linux user and despair of the fact that most of the purveyors of Linux continually look for niche markets to take on Windows. Until they stop thinking like that and try to take on MS head on they will never make any serious inroads in that market share. In order to do this all the different distros need to get together and start work on a common distro. Infighting between distros will only ever hold back Linux, but it is user perception that really kills them. A lot of end users don't even realise a lot of distros are actually Linux.

  30. Schroeder

    Oh wow, the FUD hits overdrive

    I guess Linux really isn't a threat, or do we have a bunch of MSCE's bricking themselves at the idea they might find themselves first out on their arses in the current crunch?

    As for the bullshit AC above:

    I was going to give you a point by point answer until I realised how obvious a shrill you are. It may have escaped your notice that even in this IT site the majority don't want IE only sites and .NET ( or flash or whatever ). They want ( and want to be able to write ) sites that conform the an agreed HTML standard, not some EEE bastardisation. And funnily enough, I know only two sites, out of the large and varied number I visit that choke when using Firefox ( both linux and windows versions ) so I guess that FUD is getting old too...

    Oh and kill the Linux needs hacking to set up for a new user, it's old, its wrong and really shows you either haven't looked at linux distro in the last 10 years, or had to do a vanilla windows install. The former takes around 20 minutes, the later half a day - if you are lucky enough to have all your hardware driver disks handy.

  31. Joe Cooper


    Not that I wanna sound like a Mactard - I really, really don't - but it has been growing quite rapidly as of late and last I heard Apple was the #3 computer vendor in the US.

    Those things are all over the place now. They've made a pretty epic comeback.

    And as far as the desktop is concerned, they are way ahead of Linux (even if Mac can be a pain in the ass in the user interface department.)

  32. Paul Smith

    are you sure???

    "Do most hardware vendors offer drivers for Linux? No.", true but getting better everyday, HP are a good example, but not exactly a linux fault...

    "Do most office-type applications run on Linux? No.", I can write documents, spreadsheets, databases, draw, powerpoint, open office, star office, koffice all good at this, plus open office supports 99% of microsoft doc formats...

    "Do most home-apps (e.g. MSN, Nokia PC Suite) run on Linux? No.", I can doc with sony phones, lg phones, samsung phones, I can talk using an MSN account, watch films, listen to music, edit images, the list goes on...

    "Do most websites demand IE? Yes. Does that run on Linux? No.", erm last server checks put IE at about 50% market share on all the serers I use, i'm a web dev and I can almost tell you 100% no of us code for IE only and haven't done it a long long long time...

    "Does .Net run on Linux? No. (And do not give me that Mono crap)", sorry didn't realise .net was the only platfrom around, try coding like a big boy instead of using a platform, I code in C, C++ PHP JAVAscript and also no some MS versions like visual basic for windows etc, but .net is NOT the be all and end all what so ever buddy in the world of programming...

    "Is Linux easy to set-up for a new user? No. (Requires too much knowledge and file hacking).", I gave my dad a live cd, he installed it in 30min from boot up of live cd to running from the hard drive, not an issue at all, i'll give him the XP cd next week see how he gets on with it when no hardware works after he finally manages to work out how to get it on there, and he's stuck in crappy res mode with no media codecs, no dvd viewing capablilty no software, virus software, firewall, and 600 plus updates to perform, really cutting edge that...

    "Unless a few of those "No" responses become "Yes", Linux will have to remain the niche player it is. Window may well be crap, but it's friendly, stanardard and support crap. And here is one "Yes" that needs to become a "No"." I see yes's

    "Are Linux-geek-tards stuck-up and will just reply "Learn how your PC works, man"? Yes." I would never say this to anyone, I'm really nice, really helpfull...

    "I have seen answers along those lines when people have asked about setting a printer, Samba, video card, etc up and running. It is not very helpful to a new user who just wants to get on with their life. I often think that the biggest thing holding Linux back are its own users!", same issue with MS, your software only comes preconfigured when you buy it, try giving a windows cd and bunch of drivers to a normal user and get them to get it working, they will have just as many issues as with linux, the issue is the playing field isn't level, windows comes preloaded, linux does not, you can't comapre them like that...

    I am no linux advocate, but you guys please try to use arguments that are not from the 90's, try to use examples based on current trends and please understand there are as many MS'tards out there as linux'tards most of us are quite nice people and could help you svae money, time, and maybe your details being stolen by criminals by keeping your pc safe.


  33. Anonymous Coward

    Shit... is it January again!! I've just remembered what I was doing when I read last year's prophecy (it read similarly), and it's pretty much exactly the same as I'm doing now.

    My resolution: stop reading el reg so much and do some work!!

  34. andy gibson

    Windows users and their lame excuses

    Some of you are criticising Linux for very lame reasons (MSN, printer drivers, Nokia PC suite, IE).

    HP provides Linux support.

    How many people actually use the Nokia PC Suite? I find it far easier to connect my phone via USB or whip out the mini SD card.

    IE? All I hear is talk about how people have dumped IE in favour of Firefox - a browser that works under any Linux.

    I reckon 2009 has more of a chance of being the year of Linux because we've never had a new machine sold at so many outlets with Linux installed. The Netbook is the must-have gadget that's filled a long awaited gap (The Psion 5mx was a good sized machine for those who didn't want the expense or size of a standard laptop) and is even sold in supermarkets.

    All end users want is a fast booting portable device where they can primarily surf the net, watch some videos, listen to music - preferably on the move. And the netbook does that. I've never needed to print a document from mine, nor encountered a site that *needs* IE.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Linux isn't going to push out the big iron any time soon

    If you want some *serious* transactional processing done with 24/7 99.999% uptime you are NOT going to choose Windows OR Linux. Or *BSD for that matter. You're going to go with one of the big boys like Sun, IBM (AIX or mainframe) or HP so I'm afraid all this talk of Linux kicking the butt of Solaris may be the case in Weeny Web World but its not in the case for large corporation OLTP systems.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Woodwork squeaks, and out come the freaks - MS, that is

    >(last time I tried this brilliant new software was with Red hat 3)

    >I've just wiped my Ubuntu box and reinstalled XP Pro

    Even the trolls can't get their FUD straight.

    Firefox crashing every 10 minutes? That'll be the pr0n sites you're surfing.

    I've been using Kubuntu at home for more than three years now, and although we have a cheap Vista box for the family, I use Linux. £89? Well, you would, wouldn't you, but only because I know it's Linux-compatible. I can watch any video file I like, because with real media players you don't need a container for those Flash "movies" you wanna watch offline. Vista? Eeuuch, what a hog with a paintjob. I had to turn off Aero to get any decent performance, whereas with Kubuntu I've left Compiz on, so I get all that lovely wibbly-wobbly window stuff.

    >Do most websites demand IE? Yes. Does that run on Linux? No.

    Wrong, AC. Most websites are agnostic, it's just the odd MS-centric hacktard web monkey who codes for IE only these days. Ever heard of User Agent spoofing?

    So many trolls, so little time...trotting out the same old tired, cliched, out-of-date script they've been handed...get a free Ultimate upgrade with that, do you?

    Paris Hilton. For media ho's. And AC for time-of-day considerations.

  37. James Dunmore

    @Paul Smith

    ...perfect response !

    I'll add that you can run IE on linux (google: ies4linux)

    Yes, not all hardware/software runs on linux, but how much hard/soft ware broken going from XP -> vista?

    And whoever complained about too many updates - okay, lets do it M$ style and wait a month for the latest security updates?! Tell you what, too many updates vs no virus' - tell you which wins every time!

    *nix is already dominate on the server, so misleading title, but I think its time will come on the desktop (hopefully this year)

    Granted, it's not for everyone, and compitition is the only way things improve

  38. Toastan Buttar

    The word you're looking for is...

    ..."shill". "Shrill" is not a noun.

  39. Benny
    Thumb Up

    @Sniff, sniff, sniff...

    "Do most hardware vendors offer drivers for Linux? No."

    Perhaps not, but I've never had a problem finding one that works with a little tinkering

    "Do most office-type applications run on Linux? No."


    "Do most home-apps (e.g. MSN, Nokia PC Suite) run on Linux? No."

    I can have chats over MSN, ok, its not MSN LIVE, but Im not that bothered

    "Do most websites demand IE? Yes. Does that run on Linux? No."


    "Does .Net run on Linux? No. (And do not give me that Mono crap)"

    Why would it need to?

    "Is Linux easy to set-up for a new user? No. (Requires too much knowledge and file hacking)."

    Depends what distro/what you want to do with it

    Unless a few of those "No" responses become "Yes", Linux will have to remain the niche player it is. Window may well be crap, but it's friendly, stanardard and support crap. And here is one "Yes" that needs to become a "No".

    "Are Linux-geek-tards stuck-up and will just reply "Learn how your PC works, man"? Yes."

    Thats probably because you call them Linux-geek-tards then shout at them to fix your "magical-box-that-does-stuff"

    Oh, and one more:

    "Is most Linux documentation out of date and poorly written? Yes.

    Go looking for (say) Ubuntu docs/tips and most of them are for version 6. They are now on 8.10! MS may well be the spawn of Satan, but at least their docs are up to date, well indexed and not written along the "infinite number of monkeys" paradigm."

    Errr....I found docs/tips for Ubunto from 6 upto 8.10 straight away....from the Ubuntu site, and this magical new site called google.


  40. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    I run Ubuntu 8.10 (I've also dicked around with Mandriva, Fedora, OpenSUSE and a few others) - it needs hacking and general frigging from the command line to get it operational. Luckily I know enough to be able to follow the badly written (often out-dated) docs and get it going. I pity someone without years of IT knowledge trying to do the same (I also spent an age on the forums asking questions (getting unhelpful answers) and helping out where I could).


    Almost a breath of fresh air - someone supporting Linux who almost made an entire post without an ad hominem attack. Good effort.

    Yes - you can often find the Linux-compatible equivalent to many apps (e.g. OO Writer for MS Word). But this is not good enough I am afraid. There is various business add-ins/macros that need to be supported and something written for MS Word (in VB or .Net) will not run on Linux. So Linux is a no-go, for the client at least.

    Java for the client? Since when does that integrate seamlessly with MS Office (oh, and why MS Office rather than, say, Notes or OpenOffice? Guess which one is the de facto standard). So a no go there (although this is not the fault of Linux, it does prevent knowledge worker apps being ported). C, C++ et al - not cross platform (so we're back to the; fetch source and compile paradigm).

    You see "Yes" because you seem to believe "equivalent==same"; this is not true. If I open a .docx in OpenOffice right now; do I get my property updates, version checks, check-out/check-in, render tasks? No. Why? They are all MS Office integrations. Why MS Office? See above.

    I quite like Linux as it happens. It does many things leagues better than Windows - but it is still hamstrung by the chicken-and-egg paradox and is still not ready (or widely available) to the normal punter (although i did spot that Dell had finally given their Ubuntu boxes a more visible link).

    And why does every Linux proponent suppose that any attack on Linux is based on 1990's tech? Sheesh.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Windows is still better at the GUI end.

    This is my opinion and only that - before I'm flamed.

    My linux headless server is simply superb - runs without a complaint, is absolutely fantastic at HDD and memory management.

    But! it's in colsole mode, put it on KDE/Gnome and it quacks like duck compared to Windows server 2003. Sorry, the same for Linux desktops as well - KDE/Gnome for me unusable.

    Now, the other bad thing about Linux, the assortment of different flavours. Attack Linux and you'll be flamed as a M$ loving a$$ licker. Then these fanboi's turn on each other, Debian is better then better then openSuSe....Arch is what is best...etc

    Just read some newsgroups, some are even fighting about about which version is better ie, OpenSuSe 11.0 or 11.1 or 10.3 ---> go figure?

    If Linux wants to dominate it has to do 2 things.

    1. Standardise - Either Gnome or KDE or sawfish or X????.... Sorry they all can't live together.

    2. Be bold and inventive - it's drifting too much like Windows vista.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Why can I not use OpenOffice? Simple - the application integrations I use do not work with it and as most are written in .Net, Linux is therefore a no-go on two counts.

    Did I say "MSN" or "MSN equivalent"? Some people do care about the exact application (and version) as that is what they need in order to do their job. Maybe Pidgin is technically better, but if it does not support a user's existing applications/integrations it is a no-go.

    Why would I need .Net on Linux? Because that is what the software I use is written in! And why is it written in .Net? Because that is what the de facto standard office productivity suite supports.

    Non-IT Industry moves at a very slow pace, much slower than even the common home PC. So if (by some miracle) Linux becomes the consumer kernel of choice, it will be 2014 at least before it starts to make in-roads in the corporate world. I'm not saying that that is a good thing, but it is the way it is.

    For many things I prefer Linux. Using it at home is a joy. But at work....I must use Windows as that is what supports the software I need. And why is the software Windows-centric? because that is what most people use as that is what the software they need runs one. Self-fulfilling prophecy (and a nice earner is you are M$).

  43. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    @AC (re: @Benny)

    But .NET is supposed to be a portable runtime language! How can it be causing non-portability?

  44. zelrik

    Stop lying

    @Anonymous Coward, Stu Reeves,Anthony Prime and others

    Can you guys just stop lying?

  45. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    Another faux Linux user (Windows is still better at the GUI end.)

    "But! it's in colsole mode, put it on KDE/Gnome and it quacks like duck compared to Windows server 2003. Sorry, the same for Linux desktops as well - KDE/Gnome for me unusable."

    How? You can't make the change from "click on the Start Menu" in Windows to "Click on the Hat Icon"?

    You're talking bollocks, boy.

    And what about the fifteen different versions of Vista added to the 8 different XP versions, ten NT versions, ME, 98SE 95 OSR2.1,... Is that OK but four flavours (Red Hat, Debian, SuSE, Gentoo) throw you?

  46. Anonymous Coward


    Most of the arguments that have been put up in Windows defence can be put simply as "I'm too lazy/stupid to look for alternative software and I'm not clever enough/can't be arsed to learn another GUI so Windows RULEZ YEAH!!!" I mean, using a chat client as a reason that Windows is the “bestest evah” is lame. Skype anyone?

    I have been re-installing Vista since 10.30am today (something I have done many times. Microsoft OS's have a horrible habit of breaking for no discernible reason. I must admit Vista installer is 1000 times better than XP's), Fedora 10 will take 25 minutes. On a laptop. So, no Windows is no easier to install. FACT. <sarcasm>Most of-the-shelf PC's have an image to re-install with, which if you profess to "know what you are doing" is cheating and doesn't count</sarcasm>. To be honest all the mainstream OS's are easy to install if you know what you are doing - or if you can FUCKING READ.

    GNU/Linux on the desktop in 2009? No. It's still feels like beta software and the distro are still too disparate, although this could/should be rationalised somewhat this year. Windows, unfortunately, has a strangle hold for reasons previously mentioned ("I couldn't do without Windows messenger..."). I'd bet on another *nix variant making more headway in 2009. I won't mention the fruit for fear of being called a fanboy...

  47. Rob Dobs

    The Skinny

    Linux does still have problems, but these are the same old complaints as 5 years ago that just aren't true.

    This is what is holding Linux back.....

    Games , Government suppport of their file format,and a corporation to back a in-store machine.

    Someone hit on it earlier, and the Linux geeks here should really pay more attention. Hunting and downloading form the net is not going to be a viable option for Joe Average for a long time.

    Joe Average wants to buy his PC from a store, he wants to be able to return it if it is a lemon, and he wants to have someone he can call for help. Glib and shortsighted comments like "what number do you call" aren't productive.... Dell Support, HP support etc, they have a 800 number you can find in seconds. Maybe not the best support, but to joe average it is an option, where self help, online through help forums, is simply not. Sure MS isn't offering it, but if Linux boxes are so great, why hasn't a company like Dell formed to sell boxes with it pre-loaded? (obviously not Dell due to deals with M$, but why hasn't some rich Linux geek started a company to sell Linux boxes at Best-Buy and Costco?

    M$ swept in and killed off Linux by seeing the big picture years ago, they pushed D3D API like crazy, and even bought up several large game publishing houses. Now a majority of PC games are written in Direct3D, and the masses (myself included) are not ever going to leave M$ until we can play Half-Life 3, ElderScrolls 5, MOH 5, etc, etc on a Linux box.

    Another staple in the M$ empire is Office, and the U.S. governments sponsorship of thier document formats as the default U.S. format. People should push their congressmen to follow other Euro countries lead and declare that all government docs have to be in an open source format. Once this bully club is taken from M$ their emprie will very quickly dissolve, and this is these are the two lynch pins that keep home and office users from realistically being able to consider Linux. Oncd the government supports and open format, ALL businesss will quickly follow suit, I am AMAZED that Google, Sun, and the Open Source community aren't spending dollars for public awareness and lobbying in this arena Hell, Apple should be spending dollars here just to hurt M$

    AMD just went a LONG way in fixing one of the major problems by releasing a new open source graphics API for gaming (oh GL I miss u, Turok was an awesome game for its time.)

    But this is only step one, now AMD has to show long term backing for the protocol, and developers have to adopt and use it to make games with. If they are smart they will, because Apple, Linux, even Sun would then all be able to play these games.

    Come On guys, don't you want to see what kind of frame-rates a 32 Core 2TB rack server can throw out?


    Windows 7 is supposedly much faster than Vista and XP, so 2009 might actually be a good year for M$.

    Linux needs to get cracking...

  48. vincent himpe
    Paris Hilton

    @dyslectic NarC (Mark)

    Learn how to read , then maybe you will find the support phone numbers. ( and be able to write names correclty.)

    I stated 'it is psychologically'. Most people that need (legal) software go to a store , browse through the shelves and buy something from a well known brand. Maybe that's not the case where you come from , but it is where i live.

    No matter how you twist it, fact remains that 9/10 of the stuff out there (hardware) has no drivers for linux, and, for most of the stuff you need to interact with there is no linux solution. You know there is other people outside you in the world. Those voices you keep hearing are not figments of your imagination. Most of these 'other people' do not run linux.

    First thing that needs to be done is to convince hardware and software vendors to port their stuff to linux. When that is done , linux will take over. Then you will have a real choice of operating system, because you will not be restricted to what can run on what and what works with what.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Rob Dobs

    Linux boxes have been tried - they bombed. Even Linux netbooks get returned to be "upgraded" to Windows. HP, Dell etc all have (or still do) sell Linux boxes. You can buy them (if you can find them, they're not exactly advertised). They simply are not popular (and you can be sure that M$ has applied pressure to downplay their sale as well).

    Why has no rich Linux geek strode forward and brought it to the masses without the need to appease M$? Because they'd soon be a poor Linux geek; that's why. See above.

    No serious business is going to port their apps to Linux. Some might get it for free (almost) if they have used Java, it might just be a case of tweaking an OS agnostic installer (e.g. izPack) but most will be large, complex apps written in Windows specific code and integrating deeply into Windows-only apps (such as MS Office, AutoCAD etc.). They are not going to switch unless there is an installed user base and thus demand.

    There will be no installed user based until those big players switch. Chicken and egg. Add into that the slow pace of corporate IT change and it will be a long, long time before Linux gets anywhere (if it ever does). AND THEN there's all the grief of the disparate distros, many of whom will go to the wall as they fail to gain traction (unless all the distros cuddle up and start agreeing standards).

    Linux may be great, but it is still a long way away from being a major league player on the desktop.

  50. IGnatius T Foobar

    Another great year for Linux

    The cliche is "The year of Linux on the desktop" but it really ought to be "Another great year for Linux." There will be no single year that we will look back on and say, that was it, that was when everything changed and Linux became dominant. Slow and steady progress has been made every year for the past decade. It will continue to do so. Linux gains marketshare and mindshare every year. Linux gets more powerful and more usable every year. Linux finds its way onto more new and interesting devices every year. Linux is slowly becoming the fabric of standard computing. Isn't that better than trying to unseat the dinosaur currently occupying the obsolete desktop?

  51. Anonymous Coward

    I'm a Linux fan...

    ...but I can't see it fulfilling these predictions any time soon.

    It's great if you're competent enough to tweak it until it does the things you want. Then it's well superior to Windows. But most people aren't that competent.

    So the majority will continue to consume the junk food of computer operating systems, while more discerning diners on Linux won't worry too much if they're in a minority.

    Some like microwave food. Others prefer to cook.

  52. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    re: I'm a Linux fan

    Being a linux fan doesn't stop you being wrong.

    How many people running windows have to know how to install as administrator? How many people have to know how to update their virus signatures? How many windows users are told to turn off ActiveX and then have to work out how to do this?

    And how many times have tales of how crap Windows security is (backed by massive activity resulting from broken security allowing malicious work to happen) and then pooh-pooh'd away with "It's just clueless users. I've NEVER had a problem and I don't use a virus checker. Because *I* know how to use the system"?

    WINDOWS isn't ready either if you aren't competent users.

  53. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    re: boxed linux

    You mean the dell boxes that you couldn't get to from their home webpage? Or the Asus machines with linux that undersold Windows ones because they didn't have any Linux ones to sell (they sold out)?

    Are those failures?

  54. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    @Vincent humper

    Hey, you're the one who didn't like GIMP because it has a silly name. Well yours is silly too, so I don't take anything you say as serious.

    What do people go in to the stores and buy? Office. Family Tree. Graphics software. Image manipulation software. Internet protection. Hardware. Games.

    Only the latter is a problem and the rest of what's needed.

    So what do you need to go to a shop for? It's all available right there in the DVD.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old Flat Song

    Still bitching about the licensing costs of Oracle and BEA on SPARC servers that aren't even made anymore is not very convincing. Neither is the oft-repeated lie that UNIX itself is somehow expensive all on its own. Solaris has not cost a single dime in years. IBM is the one taking high-end unix server sales from Sun -- Linux has nothing to do with it. It was on high-end servers that Oracle was charging mainframe license fees.

  56. Roger Heathcote


    @ Anonymous coward...

    >Do most hardware vendors offer drivers for Linux? No.

    And they don't need to, my linux box installed all my drivers automatically, even my wifi card, bluetooth and printer. I have installed windows several hundered times on several hundred systems during my life and not once has it ever installed the right wifi drivers automatically, you're lucky if XP picks up your crappy old HP deskjet.

    >Do most office-type applications run on Linux? No.

    Nonsense, you can run almost anything that windows runs on wine (even a lot of modern games), if you want it to be painless then spend a few quid and buy Crossover. In the worst case virtualbox runs windows XP at virtually full speed. Added to that OO3 makes MSOffice redundant in the majority of use cases anyway.

    >Do most home-apps (e.g. MSN, Nokia PC Suite) run on Linux? No.

    Is that your whole list??? Firstly, every distro of linux bundles a IM client that can talk to MSN, AIM, YAHOO, MYSPACE, ICQ etc. The only difference is you get less flexibility and more adverts from MSN. Secondly Nokia PC suite it's no less shitty and unreliable on virtualbox as it is on Vista, it's a miserable app anyway - I own a nokia and I can access the memory card and use it as a modem without that crap installed anyway.

    Do most websites demand IE? Yes. Does that run on Linux? No.

    No they don't, that's just a plain lie. I am a web designer and I can tell you right now MOST websites are originally designed using Firefox or Opera or even Safari as they are far more standards compliant than IE, just check the browser stats for the wc3 consortium. It's a subject of immense frustration to most web developers that they have to take their otherwise nice standards compliant designs and fudge them to work with IE although admittedly it is getting better over time. It is also a well acknowledged truism in web design that if you design you site to look right in IE first and _then_ try and make it look right in all the other browsers you are going to run into far more trouble than if you worked the other way round.

    >Does .Net run on Linux? No. (And do not give me that Mono crap)

    What a crying shame ;-( You mean I can't run erm, erm... err.... what's .NETs killer app again?

    There's no shortage of virtual machines that are free, cross platform and open source such as err Sun's JAVA that run just fine wherever.

    >Is Linux easy to set-up for a new user? No. (Requires too much knowledge and file hacking).

    Rubbish, in all but the edge cases the big distros are as easy to install as XP or Vista, maybe easier. I don't know where you got the idea installation requires "file hacking" unless you are suggesting a new user should install slackware??? Stick to Ubuntu, Redhat and Suse and you should experience plain sailing. Also, your hardware's more likely to be supported out of the box with linux than it is with windows.

    >Unless a few of those "No" responses become "Yes", Linux will have to remain the niche player it is. Window may well be crap, but it's friendly, stanardard and support crap.


    Yeah, real friendly.

    Don't get me wrong, I've used both Windows and Linux plenty and Linux is _FAR_ from perfect but it's made real progress on the desktop in the last year or two and by spouting crap like you do above you are just spreading misinformation. With most big distros you can buy support for linux if you want it and it's likely to be of a higher quality than the helpdesks microsoft provide (which are about as much use as a chocolate teapot)

    Linux got good enough for me to ditch my permanent XP partition last year and it will get better over time to the point where playing the latest 3D games and editing multimedia will be as smooth as it is on other platforms. It may take a few more years but Rome wasn't built in a day... it took MS 20 years to get to Vista and it'll be 25 by the time Windows 7 comes out. By way of contrast GNOME/GTK+ is less than 12 years old, a relative newcomer, give it a break.

  57. David M. Dorn

    I Think Zemlin's very much on point

    I just speced and build a pc for general office use which includes a lot of graphics work using software which heretofore only ran in Windows.

    In the build process I skipped Vista and reverted to XP SP3. Also, I noted that one of our primary graphics tools was now available for Linux. So I installed Ubuntu 8.10.

    After installing it, I was amazed that the program runs circles around its Windows version. Subsequently I found that two more apps that run well in Wine and they also run faster than in Windows . The only bottleneck is printing but I think with some effort this can be solved....then goodbye Windows.

  58. Anonymous Coward

    Too late, MS shills

    Your employer is heading the way of the dodo, and good riddance.

    Now go and ask Bill, or whatever fucktard's taken over the sinking ship from him, to give you that raise while he still can.

    Oh, and start getting some real qualifications - you're going to need them soon.

  59. Toastan Buttar

    Re: Balls

    > Also, your hardware's more likely to be supported out of the box with

    > linux than it is with windows.

    This is such a red herring. Your hardware is more likely to be supported AT ALL with Windows. Yes, it will involve the arduous task of popping the accompanying driver CD/DVD into your drive or downloading a file from the hardware manufacturer, but after that you'll be good to go. OTOH, if your hardware doesn't work out of the box with Linux, well......good luck with that.

    I was really impressed with my desktop install of Ubuntu 8.04. Everything was recognised and 'just worked'. However, on my laptop, I had to recompile ndiswrapper to get the Wi-Fi dongle working and the webcam was a lost cause. Then I tried to attach my Digidesign Mbox audio interface to the desktop - not a hope. Ditto for my USB MIDI interface. Much as I would have liked to give up Windows completely, I'm afraid that while Linux is great for standard internetty things, disk and file manipulation, etc, there are some tasks that I can personally only perform on Windows (Or OSX if I had a Mac).

    Not a shill - just someone who wants to get things done, and sometimes Windows offers the path of least resistance. Sometimes Linux offers the path of least resistamce, too. Backing up DVD's has never been easier for example, and I didn't have to fork out for a copy of AnyDVD - everything I need is just a few tick boxes away in Synaptic.

  60. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    Bollocks toast and butter.

    WHICH version of Windows?

    Vista? Nothing really more than 2 years old (even if it were sold as Vista compatible). XP? Less and less and nothing more than about 10 years old.

    And fuck all on the CD from MS in any case. No ATI driver, no NVidia driver (2d completely acceptable in the nv driver), no intel 950GA, nothing.

  61. Anonymous Coward

    @ Rob Dobs and AC 06/01/09 22:30

    Guess that fucks your argument...

  62. Mark

    "Then I tried to attach my Digidesign Mbox audio interface to the desktop - not a hope."

    And now try it on Windows.

    Windows 98.

    Go on.

    It's still "Windows".

    I have a Cannon inkjet. No drivers for it for any of the NT series of Windows. None. Works on Linux no worries.

  63. Adrian Esdaile


    Sorry, did I miss something? Major 3D design software now running on Linux? Building Information Management suite for Ubuntu? Autodesk shipping aps with Gnome-based UI mods? No? (checks under desk, behind pot plants, in firdge) Nope. None of that.

    Back to my Vista 64bit desktop then. I must say the W7 beta runs rather swiftly, and seems pretty darn good for a beta.

    Linux might be useful in toasters, traffic lights, set-top boxes and routers, but mainstream desktop? Sorry, emacs & gimp won't replace real-time 3D building modelling.

  64. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    re: Linu...what?

    You mean there is no lightwave or Maya on Linux? What are they selling then????

    Pixar aren't *really* using Linux, just saying they are???

    You are a twat.

  65. Syren Baran

    Year of Linux (desktop)


    usually people keep saying "this will be the year of the linux desktop". And while i doubt Linux while be shipped on more desktops than Windows it will probably be installed more often than mac-osx this year, or maybe next.

    Nonetheless it has been year of Linux for quite a while. I'm pretty sure Linux is installed on more devices than Windows, though i would really like to see some hard numbers to back my assumption. Most DSL-routers run Linux, most NAS-devices run Linux, quite a few cameras and video recorders run Linux, a growing number of smart phones, GPS-systems and who knows what else. Sure that stuff doesnt have a "Powered by Linux" sticker or anything, but its running Linux nonetheless. Its more like the desktop is the last bastion of Windows.

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