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The real Window for Linux

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  • User profile image
    sbc

    The real Window for Linux

    Linux can really take off in a market Windows can not (or will find it difficult/unprofitable to). The low end hardware market (sub $300). When the hardware is this cheap, Windows is a huge part of the cost (could be as much as half the price). Either Windows has to be a lot cheaper for this type of hardware (which would probably mean features will be removed), or someone else has to come up with something else (Linux seems to most obvious option - hardware vendors could choose an existing distribution, or even customise their own).

    64 bit and multi core processors do not benefit someone who only does basic things (word processing, email, internet) - how does this improve things (I personally cannot tell the difference between editing a basic document on a 3GHz P4 compared with a 1.6GHz one, or even a high end Celeron)? Power users and gamers benefit the most from this, and would not buy cheap hardware anyway. Faster hard drives do benefit all users though (as this is the major bottleneck in current systems), and the hybrid solid state flash / hard disk technology from Samsung and Microsoft could make a big difference. Pity you will need Longhorn to take advantage of this (Linux will probably support it eventually though).

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    sbc wrote:
    When the hardware is this cheap, Windows is a huge part of the cost (could be as much as half the price).


    Beep, wrong. Cost of Windows licensing for OEM's (XP Home) is between 5-35$ depending on volume.

    It's more than the cost of Linux, but it's not really a "huge part of the cost". There are already hundreds of sub-500$ desktops, and sub-750$ laptops. There's no reason a sub-300$ desktop can't happen, it just won't have great specs (like the sub-300$ Linux boxes).

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    Beer28 wrote:
    Don't get me started on the $35 windows tax on my dell laptop, I'm still trying to get the money back. I didn't agree to the eula and I never loaded the bootloader.


    Actually, Dell falls into the 5$ bracket. I hear what you're saying though. My point wasn't that OEM's forcing everyone to pay was GOOD, merely that OEM costs are nowhere near what sbc was claiming Smiley

  • User profile image
    Cider

    That article's as much bollocks as the usual stuff from the Inquirer, but I'll let them off for having those cracking Booth Babes pictures on the left side of the screen!

  • User profile image
    TwoTailedFox

    Linux currently does not have what it takes to be a Desktop Windows Replacement OS.

    The core philosophy of Windows is 'Idiot Proof'. With Linux, you're expected to know some basic clues about how Linux works, as well as how a PC, as a whole, works.

    Good Example: Drive Letters vs. Mount Points.

    For a new user, what's easier to remember? C:/ or /dev/hdda?

    Linux also has greater dependance on the CLI, and it's filesystem's, such as Ext3, and Ext2 (if you prefer non-journalising) cannot be read by Windows. It's also incompatable with Windows Software (Just Windows is with Linux Software). Even with WINE, compatibility it terrible.


    This is why Linux excels in the Server field; They know what they're doing., wheras John Doe, down the street, still has an abnormal fascination with FDISK.

    GUI Shells for Linux, such as KDE and GNOME, go a long way to helping a user pik up Linux (And indeed, Distributions like Lindows and Fedora Core, are also helping to make Linux more user friendly.

    But, this focus needs to be repeated. If Linux wants to be up there with Windows as the Home OS of Choice, it needs to be more simplistic in installation, operation, and in configuration.

  • User profile image
    eddwo

    Longhorn hides drive letters from users, well the shell does anyway, though they do still exists somewhere under the surface for legacy applications. I say good riddance, though I'm curious how you will navigate between disks on the command line.

  • User profile image
    Maurits

    TwoTailedFox wrote:

    For a new user, what's easier to remember? C:/ or /dev/hdda?


    How about
    %USERPROFILE%
    vs.
    ~
    ?

    Hopefully the typical user is more interested in their home directory than in the root of the drive.  That's where stuff like boot.ini and ntldr are.  Luckily they're hidden.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    Real Users don't use command lines, they just click on pictures.

  • User profile image
    sbc

    Jeremy W. wrote:
    Beer28 wrote:Don't get me started on the $35 windows tax on my dell laptop, I'm still trying to get the money back. I didn't agree to the eula and I never loaded the bootloader.


    Actually, Dell falls into the 5$ bracket. I hear what you're saying though. My point wasn't that OEM's forcing everyone to pay was GOOD, merely that OEM costs are nowhere near what sbc was claiming

    I don't really know that much about OEM licenses, just quoting the article (also when I've looked at OEM versions available online, they are more than $35).

    What about small shops that build PC's (I'm sure you don't need to be a big company to sell cheap machines)? Will you ever be able to get a sub $200 PC with XP Pro? A $200 PC can be better than one sold pre 2001 (or whenever PIII's were still common). The basic point is that it will always cost to put Windows on, yet putting a Linux distribution on costs nothing.

    Does it really go that low ($5)? If so then they must still be making profit, or at least breaking even (why else would they do it - apart from being anti-competitive)?

  • User profile image
    Buzza

    Boys, Boys, Boys.

    The small shop doesn't want the customer to come back when he needs his linux system upgrade / modified / something changed on it.

    Windows for the average user is enough.

    For guys like you and me, linux is fine.

    But linux for my neighbour - well i don't want a knock at the door because the guy doesn't know how to get something installed correctly, or he just upgraded his graphics card and now the system wont boot properly into the GUI login.

    Linux has its place (with the professionals) and Windows has its place (with the mainstram users).

    Its cheaper for the small shops to put windows on as the price (in time and time equals money) is alot greater for a linux install than a windows install (and that is from experiance and a straight out of the box install)

  • User profile image
    sbc

    Actually migrating people to Linux can sometimes be helpful (no need to worry about sorting spyware/viruses etc). The system can handle the updates (using built in auto update), or you can talk them through updating (may need to open command prompt, then type 'up2date myapp').

    Perhaps the shop does want people to come back? Charge a nominal fee for updating. If a user needs to come in for updating, he/she will come in regardless of OS. Both Windows and Linux can auto update anyway.

    Tired of supporting friends' computers? Migrate them to GNU/Linux

    KDE and Gnome will only get better. Usability may even exceed that of MacOSX (don't know though, never used it, but it is meant to be extremely simple).

    Edit:
    Ignorance actually helps Microsoft. If more mainstream users knew there was a free alternative, they would ask about it. If you go for a Windows / Office alternative you could get better hardware (pay the same price as with Windows, but get a bigger hard drive and/or faster CPU etc).

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    sbc wrote:
    Jeremy W. wrote:
    Beer28 wrote: Don't get me started on the $35 windows tax on my dell laptop, I'm still trying to get the money back. I didn't agree to the eula and I never loaded the bootloader.


    Actually, Dell falls into the 5$ bracket. I hear what you're saying though. My point wasn't that OEM's forcing everyone to pay was GOOD, merely that OEM costs are nowhere near what sbc was claiming

    I don't really know that much about OEM licenses, just quoting the article (also when I've looked at OEM versions available online, they are more than $35).

    What about small shops that build PC's (I'm sure you don't need to be a big company to sell cheap machines)? Will you ever be able to get a sub $200 PC with XP Pro? A $200 PC can be better than one sold pre 2001 (or whenever PIII's were still common). The basic point is that it will always cost to put Windows on, yet putting a Linux distribution on costs nothing.

    Does it really go that low ($5)? If so then they must still be making profit, or at least breaking even (why else would they do it - apart from being anti-competitive)?



    "(also when I've looked at OEM versions available online, they are more than $35)."

    the stuff you see is not what the poster was refering to.
    when a computer mfg. like say Dell, Acer or the other larger ones setup to deal with *ANY* software
    be it windows or whatever they make a deal that does not allow them to sell the software seperate. they do not have a pile of disks etc...  and they are for big volumnes of pc's.

    the advertised oem stuff is for the smaller shops that are not getting a big oem deal. they just get a few bucks less then retail; like the corner shop that may sell 30 pc's a month.

    so it's really just "wholesale" in a generic box.

  • User profile image
    Buzza

    You could have a point if more mainstream users knew about a free alternative, then they might take it up.

    But they would not hold on to it long - as they find out the complexity of the linux compared to that of windows.

    All system are inherentyl complex.  Windows is just as complex as linux - its just the average user seems to come first in the design of windows for usability - and linux, well thats for the experts (as I said previously)

  • User profile image
    sbc

    Buzza wrote:
    You could have a point if more mainstream users knew about a free alternative, then they might take it up.

    But they would not hold on to it long - as they find out the complexity of the linux compared to that of windows.

    All system are inherentyl complex.  Windows is just as complex as linux - its just the average user seems to come first in the design of windows for usability - and linux, well thats for the experts (as I said previously)

    That is why KDE and Gnome are so important - they hide the complexity from users.

    Linux could really have a big impact if the big companies (i.e. IBM, Dell etc) put serious money into it. However they focus on where the real money is - servers and enterprise applications. They also have deep ties with Microsoft and so would not want to do so (smaller discounts etc).

    Imagine what would happen if Dell started selling mainstream PC's with a choice of OS? The one with Linux on should always be cheaper (if it is the same, then they make more profit). They could even do a Dell distribution.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    sbc wrote:


    Imagine what would happen if Dell started selling mainstream PC's with a choice of OS? The one with Linux on should always be cheaper (if it is the same, then they make more profit). They could even do a Dell distribution.


    If Dell started shipping Linux desktops they'd actualy be more expensive than Windows ones. The cost of a Windows licence to Dell is about $5, meanwhile the cost of providing specialist support to the small subset of people wanting Linux is considerable.

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    AndyC wrote:
    sbc wrote:

    Imagine what would happen if Dell started selling mainstream PC's with a choice of OS? The one with Linux on should always be cheaper (if it is the same, then they make more profit). They could even do a Dell distribution.


    If Dell started shipping Linux desktops they'd actualy be more expensive than Windows ones. The cost of a Windows licence to Dell is about $5, meanwhile the cost of providing specialist support to the small subset of people wanting Linux is considerable.


    Bang on. Hence, free isn't free. Also, their legal exposure would be greater and their insurance would likely go up as a result - which is a cost they'd need to pass on to the consumer.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    Beer28 wrote:


    I disagree. There is a slightly different way of doing things on linux, but it doesn't mean linux is harder to use. Gnome has drag&drop, desktop shortcuts, installers, games, and pretty much anything you would expect out of a windows desktop.



    Slightly different to you and me consititutes a big learning curve for the average person.

    I'm guessing you've never worked in a technical support role, when we swtiched from Office 2000 to Office XP we had to hand hold our secretarys until they got the grasp of the changes. Switching to a completely different OS is incredibly painful. We went from Mac OS 7.5 to NT 4 and that was a nightmare, though worth it in the long run. I still get the occasional "I used to do it this way when we had Macs" question, despite the fact we're now on XP.

    The average person finds this sort of thing hard to learn.

  • User profile image
    lars

    AndyC wrote:
    I'm guessing you've never worked in a technical support role, when we swtiched from Office 2000 to Office XP we had to hand hold our secretarys until they got the grasp of the changes.


    If you can afford technical support, would you buy a sub $300 computer in the first place?

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