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I have just moved to Linux (RD 7.0) after all these years of control-alt-delling with windows. I am interested in knowing what is the future for Linux and how it is currently perceived in market.
As of now Windows is preferred by most for a desktop system and also by small corporates with limited needs. Sun Solaris is a good choice for companies that run critical databases ( I wudn't trust a win NT anywhere near my Database system).
Where does Linux find it's market at this juncture? Some of you out there have been wading in Linux waters for so long and are observant of the changing trends in Linux. Where do you see Linux going from here and what do you feel is it's future? Also there are not many 'big' players in the commercial market for Linux. Would this hamper the progress of Linux. Many times a product gets sold for not what it is but for how it is made to be perceived.
It would be really nice if you can share your opinions on this and it would be enlightening for somebody like me who has just stepped into linux world.
I see Linux as a being a leader as a web server leader. It is free, easy to configure or work your way around with Apache and very stable at all costs. It is very powerful, secure as well.
I also see Linux as an alternative for companies who cannot afford supercomputers for power computing with the cluster technology that Linux can use. Why buy a million dollar computer when you can cluster all your old 486's and turn them into a giant just as powerful. It can cost a company 50,000 instead of a million on that aspect.
I bought a book today called 'Under the radar' and it talks abut Red Hat's emergence in the OS market. I am one-tenth of my way into and it talks exactly abut what I was looking for. Though the book talks abut red hat in specific, it can be said that RD is linux's (major)commercial representative in the market... or at least thatz the way it occurs to me
Intel's support to Linux seems to be the main point of it. The book says that Microsoft had used it's power to supress many technological innovations that intel was working on. The growth of the ISP market and the preference of linux as the OS for web services as a low-cost, reliable solution has brought in Intel's interest for the linux market. Exactly what you were talking about trickykid.....the book was a very good read till this point of time and hoping to catch up more with it,
Oracle now suports linux platforms and has certified that oracle on linux is as stable as oracle on solaris - which is a very strong statement coming from a major DB player.
It raises an interesting point here...Do you see linux as a major force in the database market? Does anyone know of organizations that has deployed ORacle or other major DBs on Linux boxes to manage their critical data?
Very interesting to know abut the cost effective clustering technology that linux can use too...
Any more opinions/comments on this topic folks?
I see Linux as never really taking MicroSoft out completely, but I do see Linux as becoming the server OS of choice. I think M$ will be forced back to only desktop systems and personal users, and will probably hold the most users in that arena.
Linux to me is ready for the average user, but most software companies still do not port their software over, especially games. As long as that is still going on, Windows will always be around, but maybe to a lesser degree.
My generation is very interested in computers, and those even younger than me are even more so. They will really be the decision makers, and from what I have seen, Linux is doing quite well.
One other thing.. I know many people that dont like crashing Windows, but are not willing to switch to something else. That is the largest hinderence to Linux winning the OS battle.
Some great points here, though I strongly disagree that Linux is 'ready for the average user'. While it may be OK for users with a good all round knowledge it isn't yet ready for general consumption. There are still too many configuration issues with it. The average user wants a system that they can switch on and use. They don't want to spend their time 'elbow deep' configuring settings for this and that. The fact that in Windows, hardware 'just works' (sometimes!) is a big selling point. Hardware support is getting better, but is still behind Windoze as is automatic configuration of hardware. If some time was spent on this, then it may challenge Microsoft's dominance in the home market. However, such increased support for hardware would fairly obviously require a hell of a lot of work.
Linux is also problematic in terms of setting up dial up Internet connections. This is an area which requires definite improvement and one reason for many people to buy a PC in the first place. The current problems with 'Winmodems' is a case in point.
Perhaps my (in)experience of Linux is clouding my judgement. I work as a Helpdesk Analyst (and would consider myself to be reasonably IT literate) but had a terrible job getting Linux (Slackware flavour) to work on my PC.
I would agree and disagree with mpenny on the point of configuring.
For the most part, I have rarely had to change or configure anything to get my equipment to work under mdk 7.2. All my hardware was detected and configured for me. The only time I have to go in as admin is when I want to install a program or something.
But I dont think hardware compliance is even a big issue, rather than software installations. Most people who make programs do not use the RPM system, making the user have to drop to a command line and do compiling and configuring just to get an app running. Most people do not want to ever use a command line.. they want GUI, and frankly, I do also. If everyone did the RPM system though, then I think alot more people would be willing to switch. It is possible to make something easier and still maintain reliability and security.
I just started using SuSE 7.1 about 2 weeks ago.The only computer experience that I have came using windoze OS. I really wanted a Linux system, but was initially somewhat intimidated by the thought of such a highly technical OS.
I bought SuSE, brought it home and sat down and read the 3 manuals that came with the CD. Seemed like good documentation, covered alot of stuff. So I fired up my old 100mhz 1.2 gb hdd with 32mb ram and put in the cd and boot disk. SuSE started doing its thing and about 30 minutes later i had a linux system. Now it hasn't been without some bugs and fixes I will admit, and it has been quite a learning process since all I was use to doing was point and click...but I'm making it ok with Linux.
Guess the point is this, if someone wants to really know about their system and take a hands on aproach linux is great (personally i will never have microsoft anything again on one of my systems) but if all you want to do is point and click (and reboot) and you don't really care what is going on inside your computer you might as well stay with windows.
Linux is plenty user friendly and there is documentation all over the place, you just need to look for it a bit )
Very good post Dallam! I did the exact same thing...and still use suse 7.0. The internet connection was the only thing that kept me from destroying my FAT 32 partition :-)!
Finally I used WvDial which will help your system detect and use a reasonably made hardware modem. (Modem blaster, internal for only $59.00) It made it easy to configure my Bellsouth connection and I was able to get connected and get rid of Windows98 for good. My wife didnt like it but shes come around to using "user-friendly" desktops like KDE.
Even with an ease of configuration, Windows users will probably not go switching for the heck of it. I dont think it would hurt to see some of these computer stores sell some Linux Machines. I believe some people will buy them when they notice they only have to pay for the hardware and not the Operating System and its very expensive software.
Then there are some Linux users who will tell you that Linux and its software is just "hard" enough to deal with and will keep them in the "know" for a while longer.
I can remember after high school how bad I got into a now famous band called REM. At that time (around 1986) they were kind of obscure and not too many people knew about them. Michael Stipe wrote obscure lyrics and I thought he was really "hip" and with it. Well, only a couple or three yrs later they became darn near one of the most popular bands out there and they started having some real pop music success. So, I kind of lost interest in them and moved to something else. Not that they were bad but I kind of liked being in that type of crowd. Sometimes, I wonder if this doesnt constitute a kind of sameness.
Anyways, Linux is a great os for now and most importantly, the software is almost always free. You cant beat that. Its just kind of anti-establishment and I think a lot of people kind of dig that.
Linux hasn't been around that long. Personal Computers in general haven't been around that long..
But Microsoft had quite a bit of a head start, and therefore is naturally very established. And they've earned it, fair and square. But only for so long.
Micrsoft, however, with its XP series is clearly illustrating its desire to expand its monopoly, and I think we'll find that this winds up, in fact, making Linux more popular.
There are three things inhibiting Linux's entry into the mainstream market- Drivers, Compatability, and Microsoft.
Drivers- Every distribution of Linux works differently, and its hard for companies to make drivers for every distribution. Moreover,the number of users using Linux as opposed to Windows is practically insignificant for most purposes, and therefore gives companies little initiative. Once a standard format for Linux driver APIs has been set (The "Direct X" of Linux, if you will), I see both of these problems going away very quickly.
Compatability- Similar to the drivers issue, software written for one distribution doesn't neccesarily work as well with others. Once again, standards will fix this. More importantly, much of the software that has historically been strictly Windows only is being rapidly converted for Linux release, even including some of the latest 3D games (Quake 3 and Tribes 2, for example).
Microsoft- They're a big-assed, rich, powerful corporation, and they have contracts with nearly ever OEM on the block. But the OEMs ultimately bow to whats in the best interst of their sales, and as such, their consumers. We've already seen this happen with the shattering of Intels monopoly in the processor market, or 3DFX's monopoly in the 3D graphics department (Somehow, Creative Labs still manages to hold onto the Sound monopoly, but they haven't been abusing that privelege (They churn out high-quality at low-cost) so maybe they deserve it). Some, in fact, many OEMs have already started offering Linux as an option for the O/S. And the fact that almost all software for it is absolutely 100% free should really help it spread (I myself prefer the stability and simplicity of StarOffice over Microsoft Office anyday).
What I would REALLY like to see is Microsoft to make a version of Windows based on the Linux kernel. They would make a nice profit, and be securing their place in the future of the O/S market.. Of course we all know it'll be a cold day in hell when that happens, but we can always hope..
Earned it fair and square? Hmmm, think that is still being decided in the courts isn't it?
As far as the drivers issue, it isn't that it is hard to companies to make drivers...if the companies won't develop drivers for use under linux or they don't make their source available (which is the real problem). I had a winmodem made by zoom, they flat out told me they don't support linux. They do make a model 2920 that is supposed to work with linux...but the way I see it, if they won't support linux then I won't support them.
And as far as windoze building a system based upon a linux kernel clone, wow...that is a scarey thought this early in the morning )
Windows or Microsoft has contributed a lot to the software revolution. If computers are so widely used in homes and for non-commercial purposes MS has contributed a lot to it. Nobody can deny their place in history as the company that had taken the desktop movement to such high levels. It was visionaries like Bill Gates (and Steve Jobs) who foresaw the importance of operating systems. DOS was there before MS in another form but nobody knew what to do with it. Xerox came up with wonderful devices like point and click UI and mouse but the top management in Xerox didn't know what to do with these innovations. OF course once M$ started making it big they used it to monopolise the market. No denying that too. So it would only be appropriate to look at MS for what it is. No hate, No love. Just look at them for what they had done - good and bad.
Let's come to windows. It's a developer's dream and a manager's nightmare. As a developer I have always loved windows notwithstanding the GPFs and the BSODs. When windows crashes developers think that they have crashed the system because of their programs and hold themselves at fault. They may not be wrong but there are not many who realise that an OS should withstand faulty programs instead of going down with them. At homes people love windows. I don't ever need to type a command or need to remember some funky parameters. Just point and click....If my mom can watch movies from DVD or watch live video streams from the internet and hook it up to a TV thru the S-Video output that is possible because of windows.....I can't imagine her doing it on a linux......Another concern with Linux is DRIVERS....The bane of linux at this point in time....Iam still running windows only because linux doesn't support my video card, my sound card and a few other hardware....Unless something is done about standardizing drivers as one of our friends puts it above....Linux has got some way to go before it gets into the millions of homes as a preferred OS for desktop computing... It will eventually happen and but so much needs to be done and the hardware vendors need to play their role too.....
Another point....Kick me, curse me if my thoughts are going too long but I want to make another point here....While Linux is trying to move into homes....windows is making every effort to move into the server market...Windows advanced server etc,etc....some 50 times more stable than NT and all those reviews ...well I just installed Windows 2000 and loaded some video drivers and there you go...it throws me BSODs consistently.....I was wondering if windows wud actually come with a stable system.....I guess I wud be wondering for quite some time to come.....And actually I wud love to see windows on a linux kernel....That wud be the best OS ever for stability and ease of use
Thanks for the suppoert Prozen. That was my thought. Sure, eventually Linux will replace Windows as the dominant OS.. That's just fate. But the fact of the matter is that it wouldn't be all that difficult for Microsoft to create a version of the already dominant, easy to use, and compatible windows system with the stability of the Linux kernel. Hell, the Linux kernel is FREE.. It would probably save them money in the long run. But, of course, this is MS we're talking about, so that isn't going to happen until Linux overtakes the proprietary Windows Kernels on its own accord, and microsoft HAS to adhere to the Linux Kernel in order to stay in the ring.
I guess MS on a linux kernel would remain as only a wishful thinking....
Ok! I came across this wonderful site a couple of months back.You specify the web site it tells you the OS and the web server the site runs. I am not sure if this information is outdated for all you folks and hope it is not something like "Hey guys! Do you know that man has landed on the moon?? Wow! I just found out and isn't that wonderful?" . There were some interesting statistics...all the top sites run on Linux/Unix...and most of the sites with max uptime also run on linux/Unix OS. The site is --> http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph. It's definitely worth a look.
I'm a newbie to Linux, but have been programming on various platforms for 25 yrs, so I thought that one more platform would be easy to learn.
I tried Debian first, got it installed, but could not manage to install GNOME which I thought I wanted. It also forgot my Ethernet card settings everytime I shut down, and I had trouble trying to configure it for DHCP, never got a printer driver installed, and couldn't get my LAN working or the sound card working.
I changed to RedHat 6.1. That installed a bit easier (though it wiped my boot sector so I can no longer dual boot, and LILO stops at LI unless I boot from floppy - thankfully I don't REALLY need the information that was on the Windows partition), got GNOME working, printer installed (though it doesn't quite work right), and am working on the LAN issues. I've given up on the sound card.
I followed the instructions on Sun's site to install StarOffice, but it took several tries, and I could never get the single download version to install - had to download the 10 files, put them in a directory, then install. Did the network version, which worked, but Adabas doesn't seem to install in a net version. Oh well.
Bottom line - I'm a pretty savvy computer person, having done development work as a sideline, published programs, done shareware, etc. If I have to spend hours and hours just to get a working machine to do the basics that Windows and Office will do (and I'm still not quite there), then Linux is not quite ready for average home users who have to ask their kids how to do an email attachment (my wife). The basics that everyone needs to do, namely install the OS, configure a printer, get on the web, word processing/spreadsheet/database/email need to be far easier to get rolling. Issues I see, after a few weeks getting my feet wet:
1. Multiple distributions, not entirely compatable. Redhat supports my printer but not Debian.
2. Driver issues - need to support more common hardware "out of the box" without spending hours on the web searching for 3rd party drivers.
3. Attitude. I am REALLY GRATEFUL to this forum, as it seems everyone wants to help. I have monitored newsgroups that unfortunately treat questions like "I am having problems installing my printer under Redhat 6. I chose the driver but nothing will print" with a succinct "Run printtool". I think it was clear that he had. I tried to then help the writer by pointing out something I had run across on the RH website showing some lines of code missing from conf.modules.
Well, the one thing I have learned with computers is that just because you know how to program, or network, or fix or design a chipboard, there are many things to a computer and not everyone can know everything. I know a person who has been programming in C, Basic and whatever else for the last 15 years but yet she thought the sticker that says Celeron on my computer was the computer brand name manufacturer.
Here is some Answers to your questions or somewhat questions:
1. Basically like this, many distributions, but if one thing is supported in another distro, it is possible to make it compatible in the other.
2. It would be great to have more common hardware supported, but without the vendors or manufacturers participating, its hard for that to happen as of now, so we have to stick with joe over in saudi arabia with his driver that he wrote to make it work. (that's just an example, there might be a joe in saudi writing drivers for linux but i ain't pointing out anyone specifically)
3. Yeah, this is a great forum. I try to answer any questions I know I can give correct info or point the user in the right direction. My questions recieve just as much acknowledgment, but I have had some go unanswered before.
Linux is a very unfriendly OS to people use to something else in a OS of choice. Linux gives you the power to do what you want and how you want. Most other OS's seem to do everything for you, I think if everyone knew really how their PC worked like with dealing with Linux or Unix, we wouldn't have those people asking us how to do the simple stuff. It expands knowledge and your thinking on how a PC operates. Getting used to Microsoft doing it for you doesn't help you think, just makes us lazier. If people knew they had to do it themselves, then they would be more prone to try to fix themselves before calling tech support when their computer freezes, when all they need to do is reboot. Then they ask why does it do that though? Sorry, worked Help Desk way too long.