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Old Sep 18, 2002, 04:15 PM   #1
vniow
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Linux getting ready for desktop battle

Next year, the desktop will be an interesting place to be as Apple and various Linux companies are getting ready to launch out a full-on frontal assault of M$'s stranglehold on the desktop.

First we have Lindows. A dot-com company started late 2001 to make the Linux OS a viable desktop solution.
The one brilliant idea that gives it an advantage is the Click-and Run Warehouse. This is basically a bunch of Linux programes modified so when you click on them on Lindows's web site, they will download and install without any more user input.
That feature has somewhat worked in previous versions, but keep in mind that that was an incredibly buggy beta and v2.0 is the version out now, so it should work as advertised now.
Lindows has recieved some harsh reviews in the past, but again, keep in mind that that was a beta, wait for reviews of v2.0 to make your final judgement.



clicik me once


Second we have Sun, making a suprise annoucement that they are going to sell dsktops with their own version of Linux.
If there's one major company other than Apple that hates M$ with a vengance it's Sun. This isn't something little for them it's personal.


click me twice


Last we have UnitedLinux, an alliance of several Linux distro manufacturers; Brazil's Conectiva, Turbolinux and the SCO Group of the US, and SuSE of Germany.
They banded together to create a unified Linux OS for servers. If its sucessful, the desktop won't be far behind.
You should note, however that Red Hat and Mandrake are not included in this alliance.

once, twice, three time's a linux
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Old Sep 18, 2002, 04:38 PM   #2
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well unified linux has been in the works for a while and will be out soon. with the support or SuSE and Caldera i think they have the ability to really dent M$'s marketshare. my step-dads company has been replacing windows systems with linux systems all over. in fact, about 1/3 of the 200 self running radio stations in Texas now run software written for and running on linux that replaced their old windoze systems. Companies are loving tarnentella, hating the exchange server system and the $h!t is hittin the fan (yeah thats right, microsoft hit a fan!!)
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Old Sep 18, 2002, 04:44 PM   #3
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Linux is always on the virge of making a dent on the desktop. I remember when it was 1996 and people were saying that Linux use would explode once KDE were just a little more mature. I accepted the empty promises of the desktop Linux advocates from early 1997 to late 2001, when Linux was my sole OS. In that time, this is what I have learned:

- Linux will always be 6-12 months away from being usable by the average non-geek desktop computer user. Give it 12 months and it will still be 12 months away. And thus,
- Linux will always be at least 6-12 months behind Microsoft and Apple on the desktop.

I'm sorry, I love it as a server and in some cases as a workstation, but as a desktop OS for most non-geek computer users, Linux is horrible. The corporate desktop is another story, but in that case, what's driving Linux adoption has nothing to do with its usability - which sucks - it's due to the decreasing popularity of Microsoft products.

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Old Sep 18, 2002, 04:45 PM   #4
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Re: Linux getting ready for desktop battle

My personal opinion is that it won't amount to a hill of beans, like most of the "promise" of linux.

Even if they do succeed in making a desktop friendly OS for desktop machines, will average users really want to use it. What advantages does it have over windows or mac OS for the average user? Or more accurately, what davantages over windows or Mac OS does it have that are readily apparent to users so that they would consider it as a choice. I really don't see any advantages. I know, I'm not a linux guy, but thats the point isn't it. Unless a major manufacturer chose to push these linux desktops on the same level as their windows desktops, its just not going to mean much.

my 2 cents.
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Old Sep 18, 2002, 04:51 PM   #5
vniow
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Re: Re: Linux getting ready for desktop battle

Quote:
Originally posted by strider42
My personal opinion is that it won't amount to a hill of beans, like most of the "promise" of linux.

Even if they do succeed in making a desktop friendly OS for desktop machines, will average users really want to use it. What advantages does it have over windows or mac OS for the average user? Or more accurately, what davantages over windows or Mac OS does it have that are readily apparent to users so that they would consider it as a choice. I really don't see any advantages. I know, I'm not a linux guy, but thats the point isn't it. Unless a major manufacturer chose to push these linux desktops on the same level as their windows desktops, its just not going to mean much.

my 2 cents.
You make some good points.
The one company that has a chance of succeding soon is Lindows, because if you're going up against one monopoly, it helps to have another on your side, and in this case it's Wal-mart. They're not a manufacturer, but they're one helluva retailer. The main advantage of Linux is that it's cheap. You may say that you get what you pay for, but it's come a long way in a short amount of time. The promise of a desktop linux today is different than the promise of a desktop Linux a year or two ago.
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Old Sep 18, 2002, 05:10 PM   #6
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Re: Re: Re: Linux getting ready for desktop battle

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Originally posted by edvniow
You make some good points.
The one company that has a chance of succeding soon is Lindows, because if you're going up against one monopoly, it helps to have another on your side, and in this case it's Wal-mart. They're not a manufacturer, but they're one helluva retailer. The main advantage of Linux is that it's cheap. You may say that you get what you pay for, but it's come a long way in a short amount of time. The promise of a desktop linux today is different than the promise of a desktop Linux a year or two ago.
Doesn't Wal-Mart only sell those things online? I was under that impression, anyway.
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Old Sep 18, 2002, 05:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by alex_ant

Doesn't Wal-Mart only sell those things online? I was under that impression, anyway.


For now, they only sell them online.
The cheapest the Lindows boxes get is $199 for a pitufully bare-bones system with an 800Mhz Via C3.
The cheif maker is a white-box company called Microtel, but Lindows.com has also named Datel, another white-box manufacturer, as another one, with more soon.
If a big low-end PC company like eMachines jumps onto the Lindows bandwagon, it's going to get some serious attention. I'll probably try it when the General release comes out. I'll probably have a review at the TechPub or something.
I'd love for it to make a dent in M$ as much as the next guy, but it needs to be a good product first.
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Old Sep 18, 2002, 05:43 PM   #8
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Apple's major problem is hardware costs are too high. Linux's problem is that it's hard to learn for average users. Microsoft has the cheap hardware and reasonably easy learning curve. That's it's advantage, and unless Apple either makes their hardware cheaper, or Linux becomes easier to use it will continue to have that advantage.

BTW, Mandrake is also getting Linux on Walmart PC's.
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Old Sep 18, 2002, 05:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by edvniow




For now, they only sell them online.
The cheapest the Lindows boxes get is $199 for a pitufully bare-bones system with an 800Mhz Via C3.
The cheif maker is a white-box company called Microtel, but Lindows.com has also named Datel, another white-box manufacturer, as another one, with more soon.
If a big low-end PC company like eMachines jumps onto the Lindows bandwagon, it's going to get some serious attention. I'll probably try it when the General release comes out. I'll probably have a review at the TechPub or something.
I'd love for it to make a dent in M$ as much as the next guy, but it needs to be a good product first.
I got to wonder abuot this strategy though. If you just go for the entry level (and wal mart is the most entry level you can get), you get a few machines out there, but studies have shown that the majority of the market isn't at the lower end. Its a bit higher up, around 1,000 bucks.

So basically, what they are doing is allowing a few geeks to get a super cheap computer (but not too geeky,s ince anyone serious would probably want a better machine all around), and a few people who relaly can't afford anything else, and those who don't know what they're doing and buy based on price alone.

The result, I would think, is that the geeks will move on to a better machine, those who can't afford anything eventually will be able to and there won't be a lindows type machine there for them, and those who buy based on price will probably do the same at some point. Considering there is practically no margin on these machines, and even less on the OS probably, and how that translates into available resources (these companies don't have the 4 billion apple is sitting on), it seems to me this business model is fundamentally flawed.

I might also ad that except for the geeks out there, a lot of people who buy these machiens will probably be disappionted when they go to buy some software for their kids or something, and then find it won't work (apple has this problem too, to a lesser extent)

Isn't emachines practically bankrupt? Unless Dell or IBM picked this up, I don't see linux doing a thing in the consumer desktop market.
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Old Sep 18, 2002, 05:45 PM   #10
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Originally posted by rugby


BTW, Mandrake is also getting Linux on Walmart PC's.
Whoops, I forgot about that one. Thanx for catching it.
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Old Sep 18, 2002, 05:59 PM   #11
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I got to wonder abuot this strategy though. If you just go for the entry level (and wal mart is the most entry level you can get), you get a few machines out there, but studies have shown that the majority of the market isn't at the lower end. Its a bit higher up, around 1,000 bucks.
Lindows is still in its infancy. the only manufacturers selling complete systems are white box companies. It's not much, but it's a start. Unlike a lot of other Linux distros, though, Lindows has gotton a helluvalot of media attention. That puts it a step above other Linux distros.

Quote:
So basically, what they are doing is allowing a few geeks to get a super cheap computer (but not too geeky,s ince anyone serious would probably want a better machine all around), and a few people who relaly can't afford anything else, and those who don't know what they're doing and buy based on price alone.
Yeah, you're pretty much right. The geeks will get a hold of it first and provide feedback to Lindows.com to help make it decent desktop OS. That's how all beta software starts out. the geeks test it and provide the feedback. The final release is what's going to target the consumer.

Quote:
The result, I would think, is that the geeks will move on to a better machine, those who can't afford anything eventually will be able to and there won't be a lindows type machine there for them, and those who buy based on price will probably do the same at some point. Considering there is practically no margin on these machines, and even less on the OS probably, and how that translates into available resources (these companies don't have the 4 billion apple is sitting on), it seems to me this business model is fundamentally flawed.

I wouldn't say there's no margin, though I'm not sure. They're pretty much charging you $99 to beta-test it, plus it costs $99 a year to get unlimited acess to the Click 'n' Run warehouse, plus the General Release, due out later this year, will cost $129.

Quote:
I might also ad that except for the geeks out there, a lot of people who buy these machiens will probably be disappionted when they go to buy some software for their kids or something, and then find it won't work (apple has this problem too, to a lesser extent)
I'll try it when it comes out. I'll try to put a full, detailed review of the GR when it comes out. This has interested me ever since I've heard of it, so I'll get my hands on a copy as soon as I can.


Quote:
Isn't emachines practically bankrupt? Unless Dell or IBM picked this up, I don't see linux doing a thing in the consumer desktop market.
I don't know about eMachines (I just used them as an example cuz they're the most popular low-end PC manufacturer) but what will probably happen if Lindows delivers is that a bunch of white-box PC makers will start to include it as the main OS, with bigger manufactures, like Dell, following suit. It won't happen for awhile, though. I'm just going to sit back and watch the fireworks.
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Old Sep 18, 2002, 06:41 PM   #12
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Originally posted by edvniow
but what will probably happen if Lindows delivers is that a bunch of white-box PC makers will start to include it as the main OS, with bigger manufactures, like Dell, following suit. It won't happen for awhile, though. I'm just going to sit back and watch the fireworks.
Certainly could be interesting. I'd like to see some things like that happen. One the bright side, since they are going after the lower end market, they shouldn't affect apple all that much even if it did prove popular. I have doubts, but interesting it certainly is.
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Old Sep 18, 2002, 06:48 PM   #13
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Originally posted by strider42


Certainly could be interesting. I'd like to see some things like that happen. One the bright side, since they are going after the lower end market, they shouldn't affect apple all that much even if it did prove popular. I have doubts, but interesting it certainly is.
Hell yeah it will be!
What seems to be happening in the desktop world now, is that Linux is attacking the low-end side of the market, while Apple's targeting the high end. I mean, nobody's going to use Lindows for Hollywood film editing, and chances are the average Mac user does a little more than check e-mail and browse the web.
The more competition M$ has, the better.
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