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Schweb's Lounge Forum for general conversation, chit chat, or most topics that don't fit in another forum.

What is your opinion on the future of Linux and the Mac?


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RickR

 
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I know this is possibly a hot topic but I am wondering what other people's opinion of Linux is on here.
I know for many years it has been said that it will grow fast. It seems years ago I heard it would be something like 50% of the desktop market now but it seems it's less than 1% and growing but still not growing that fast. Yet for the server market I think it's the large majority.
I first tried Linux about 8 years ago and found it very dos-like and hard to set up. During a trip to Germany last fall I was shocked to see how common it is. I'd go to a bookstore and it seemed half the computer magazines were about Linux and two people I visited both were switches to SUSE Linux from Windows claiming how Windows was too expensive, buggy, bloated, and full of viruses and spyware. I think Linux is making large inroads in many countries outside of the US and even more so in developing countries because of the low cost of Linux itself, basically free, and the fact it will run on older hardware and not need as much memory and processing power.
When I was a Windows user I always looked at the day Linux would take over so I didn't have to work with Windows anymore. After my Germany trip I almost bought SUSE Linux to try on my desktop but chose Ubuntu since that seems popular now. I never tried it though since within a month a friend introduced me to the Mac. I instantly became hooked and purchased this Macbook Pro. I have two programs including Quickbooks that require Windows so I still have Parallels running Windows XP on my MBP. Yet when I purchased this I planned to use Windows much of the time but found most of my software could be replaced with Mac versions and I hope to someday use the mac side 100% of the time. Any problems I've had with my MBP have been on the Windows side.
I still find myself reading up on Linux a lot and I have two Windows desktops that I very rarely use. Whenever I do I deal with viruses, spyware, etc. and am thinking of setting Ubuntu Linux up on them.
I think the the Mac is a great computer and my future definitely likes with the Mac, not Linux. With time it seems Linux is getting easier to install and more of a out of the box solution. I listen to a lot of Linux podcasts and do some reading on it and it seems many Linux people are anti-microsoft, not anti-apple and some even look at apple as an ally with them against microsoft. Yet other Linux people look at Apple as even more proprietary than Microsoft since Apple makes the hardware also.
My take on this is I think Linux can coexist with Apple in the future. I think Microsoft is falling apart and Vista helped that. It won't be overnight but I think unless something changes, maybe with Gates leaving, Microsoft doesn't have much of a future opening it up to both Linux and Apple.
The way I see it is Linux will do well with the highly technical crowd. They like modifying the OS, having more power over their computer, and are more open to open source software. I think it will also do well with some businesses since they buy so many computers. They will look at the cost of outfitting many desks with computers and how much cheaper Linux is. I've heard Linux may move into education a lot but I'm not as sure about that. I think some people at home may use it as a desktop but not as much. The big problem I see with Linux is at least at this time you can't go to a store to buy software for it. Maybe that will change with time but i see Linux being more about open source downloadable software. I'm not sure what this means for the future of many companies such as Adobe is more software is open source. Also, with Linux being so open source and so many distributions I see it being even less control than Microsoft. This is a good thing but bad in that there could be more stability issues with different hardware, setups, etc. than we had with Microsoft.
What I see for Apple is they will still give you that out of the box solution you can't get elsewhere. You have iLife and a very stable system. It may cost more but these people will be willing to buy. I think it will continue to do well in education and be very popular in the home and I think some people trust commercial software more than open source.
I see the day Apple could easily grow to 25% of the market. I have doubts about it being the majority. Some people don't like the idea of one company controlling so much but I know the result is you get a product that is very well integrated and works well. I see the other 75% being Linux eventually. I know this will take some time and I guess there's always the chance of another OS joining the crowd. This isn't at all meant as anything anti-Apple. I think Apple is a great solution and am planning on getting a iMac later this year to maybe replace one of my desktops. I just am interested in how people feel about Linux and it's affects on Apple.
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{Passes out}

kidding...

I think linux has the same hurdle apple does. They need to convince people of a few things in order to make them switchers:
a) you can do everything on THIS computer that you did on THAT computer
b) THIS computer's users and THAT computer's users can exchange documents with no issues - either physical media or over a network
c) it doesn't cost more

schweb This has to be one of the best threads ever in MF history...
Cherokee This gets my vote for most innovative thread on Mac-Forums... ever.
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I used various Linux flavors for about 5+ years and saw it grow a lot. In the early years, it was compile everything. My last year I used Linspire - install and run in less then 10 minutes. My needs are not great but it did everything I wanted to do. I only came to Mac because to me it was "the ultimate" operating system. If, for any reason, I had to leave Mac it would be back to Linux - NOT Windoze. Linux is making a lot of progress - the more that try some of the friendlier versions, the more will try it based upon their recommendation. I feel between Mac and Linux Windoze is already losing a lot of customers and they stand to lose a lot more. Every week I read about another city, country or school district that is switching to Linux throughout the world.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaNoHair View Post
Every week I read about another city, country or school district that is switching to Linux throughout the world.
Regarding countries, Japan's the most recent. But I don't recall reading about any country ever following through (I hope someone could post an example showing otherwise).

These stories appear to be the opening move in a round of bargaining to wring lower licensing, support and application costs out of Microsoft. All the reasons cited in the story for Japan wanting to dump MS have been said by other governments.

Wasn't it Britain that said the same thing a few months ago, causing Ballmer or some other top exec to actually show up and cut a better deal?
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I think Linux's biggest killer is lack or support, where with M$ and Apple, if you're having software problems, etc... you can call in and talk to people. Most of the time they can solve your problem if you're not giving them something too tough, where as when you boot up your fresh version of Linux and can't get sound, use usb devices, connect to the internet, etc... and you don't know how to properly install a driver or configure a network device, where are you going to go?

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Folks, you have got to see this article.

http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/RDM...76F7BDDD4.html
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brown Study View Post
Regarding countries, Japan's the most recent. But I don't recall reading about any country ever following through (I hope someone could post an example showing otherwise).
Here is one interesting article:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3445805.stm

and another:

http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/55751.html

and a third:

http://news.com.com/2100-7344_3-6138372.html

There are a lot more but I don't have the time to go back and research this but while using Linux we would discuss each one in the Linspire Forum I was involved with. I remember Brazil (and they are encouraging all of their citizens to switch), parts of Germany, France, parts of the UK, lots of Asian countries.
Brown Study

 
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Thanks for finding those stories and posting that, PapaNoHair.
cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Village Idiot View Post
I think Linux's biggest killer is lack or support, where with M$ and Apple, if you're having software problems, etc... you can call in and talk to people. Most of the time they can solve your problem if you're not giving them something too tough, where as when you boot up your fresh version of Linux and can't get sound, use usb devices, connect to the internet, etc... and you don't know how to properly install a driver or configure a network device, where are you going to go?
In my opinion, one of their greatest strengths is also their biggest weakness - lack of standardization. There isn't one facet of the operating system, aside from the kernal, that is consistent across every distribution. That can be really intimidating for the non-savvy user. Things can look very different based on whether you're using Gnome or KDE or any one of the numerous front-ends out there.

I think this is one of the major hurdles for big PC-makers like Dell, HP, etc to overcome. Can you imagine trying to train a help desk to support Linux? You'd have to have a thousand people all trained in different flavors.

My hope is that very popular distributions like Ubuntu change that. Although it isn't looking good with variations like Kubuntu. I know a lot of people like the freedom this affords, but it's keeping the OS from mass consumption.

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Linux is for people that actually thinks! If yo expect ubuntu or any other distribution of GNU software to be like windows , with hotlines & support tech remotely messing with your OS , then why use Linux.

I been using linux since Slackware was released, then i switch to Ubuntu , and all i can say is that Compiz kicks any other OS graphical interface , without forgetting how strong is the command terminal is , Ubuntu or any member of the linux family is years ahead of current OS as Win or Mac .
The only thing you got to keep in mind is that on this world is : DO IT YOURSELF! if you are Ok with that then i recommend you linux as the best ever!

Long life to open source apps !
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
. Can you imagine trying to train a help desk to support Linux?
The company I work for has linux support, course we have mac support too.


I'm assuming we're only talking linux as a desktop because well.. it's been in the enterprise world for years now as a server.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafex21 View Post
I been using linux since Slackware was released, then i switch to Ubuntu , and all i can say is that Compiz kicks any other OS graphical interface , without forgetting how strong is the command terminal is , Ubuntu or any member of the linux family is years ahead of current OS as Win or Mac .
Really? In what way? You are aware that the foundation of OS X is BSD, which is essentially another UNIX variant much like Linux. The terminal in particular is mostly the same, heck, the default shell is BASH.

Odd that your first post would be one digging up a thread that's been dead for over a year.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dysfunction View Post
The company I work for has linux support, course we have mac support too.
All well and good if you're standardized to one particular distro and desktop environment. The point I was trying to make is that Linux is effectively hindered by its lack of standardization across the board. With the rise in popularity of Ubuntu, all of that is starting to change. But today, when you say "I use Linux", you could be talking about any one of hundreds if not thousands of different combinations of software.

Quote:
I'm assuming we're only talking linux as a desktop because well.. it's been in the enterprise world for years now as a server.
Absolutely. I'm convinced that Linux's domination of the server market is well underway.

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I installed OpenSUSE 10.3 on a Dell laptop I have laying around the other day... I have to say Linux has improved enormously the last few years.

Linux just needs a little bit more involvement from the hardware manufactures and some support from enterprise applications (CRM/ERP) and I see a dark future for Microsoft's desktop alternatives.

The fact that HP, Dell, Lenovo and ASUS is delivering PC models with Linux preinstalled is also quite interesting. Especially the ultra-portable laptops that needs a lightweight OS that Microsoft just isn't capable of delivering.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
All well and good if you're standardized to one particular distro and desktop environment. The point I was trying to make is that Linux is effectively hindered by its lack of standardization across the board. With the rise in popularity of Ubuntu, all of that is starting to change. But today, when you say "I use Linux", you could be talking about any one of hundreds if not thousands of different combinations of software.

Sure, and in a business setting it would make no sense not to standardize. Even though we're heterogeneous (in that multiple platforms are supported) each supported platform has it's homogeneity. Then again, for the most part, it really doesn't matter to me too much what OS I'm using, since most of my day is spent either in terminal emulators or in ssh or telnet sessions.

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