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Right at the moment it is going somewhere in the corporate area because the sysadmin's, have to fool around with the systems anyway and the cost of ownership is lower.
On the desktop - I don't think so. There are a lot of people going Linux beause they don't like the policies of M$ but those are hardly your regular Joe's. As long as you stick to your distro and the stuff that comes with it you are ok for most of the time but try to upgrade some stuff and start praying. Then you need a in-home-sysadm or a lot of time to sort out and learn things. Most endusers don't have a box to learn how it works - they want to surf the net or rip cd's or whatever else and don't get bothered with the details. Which is in my humble opinion a valid point. When you go on vacation you don't have to learn how to fly the plane.
crashmeister, you are in some ways correct.
The fact that everything in linux is configurable means that it is very difficult for those who want a default install (ie they have been using windows and want another OS that gives them no real decisions to make) to get what they want. Even Mandrake and Red Hat are full of stuff you can and sometimes have to tweak (but then so is windows when it comes to it). Who cares? I just think it's good that some people use linux, and some more are using BSD, BSD is getting a little upsurge of users due to the whole OSX/Darwin thing. I just like a choice of at least a few good OSs rather than one noncompetitive monopoly.
jISV, i think i would agree with what you mean but NOT what you say. It is perceived that windows has better hardware support. This is utter bullshit. Drivers for windows for peripherals and often for integral components come from the manufacturers of said components. If you are lucky, they will be packaged into the default install of windows. If not, you have to search for them, or get them off a CD you hopefully got when you purchased that piece of kit. Since windows needs periodic reinstalls to keep it working, this piecemeal approach to drivers is not useful.
Linux distros on the other hand (i'm talking the popular easy install user versions) include a whole slew of open source drivers for far more kit than windows ever will. And that's only in the i386 range. Let's not forget that linux can run on a huge range of architectures that windows can't even recognise.
But that's not the issue at hand. The issue is, is linux desktop ready. My answer is no, but it is at least as desktop ready as windows. The only thing standing in between linux and the desktop is the average user who thinks they will just stick with what they know already. Linux could be ten times as good as winXP (is it already?) and this moronic attitude would still proliferate. Add to this the blinkered attitude of Macromedia and their ilk, saying there is no demand for linux versions of their software and the myth gets perpetuated totally out of hand.
The OS is good, and is pretty much sorted for the new user. Many of my Uni friends have asked to have a go at Linux...so I let them use my machine for a while before I help them install it onto their machine. Once the ol' Winmodem thing and manufacturer drivers have been sorted, I don't see why it should be very popular on the desktop.
Of course, there are also the other avenues that Linux is taking: the mobile devices. Read an article in LXF about how HP are planning to take mobile devices (running Linux, of a sort) to the next level...Welcome to Cooltown. It was a little OTT, but it did have insight into the possibilities to come.
I suppose a big problem would also be TAX, how much TAX would the TAX man loose if every business made use of star office 5.2 (free) and office 2000 ($479 = $81?tax) and linux mandrake ($30 for cds) and windows xp $200 tax $34? tax).
Would they support it. Plus free software is not always free?
As for "if it had more programs", i do know what you mean, as a few of your win/mac favourites are not available for linux, BUT there are many programs that do the job that those apps you miss do. You'd be surprised how many games actually *are* being ported to linux now, and also how many games you can get for linux, and *not* for windows...
Myself, i am just discovering the sound editing possibilities of linux, after a sulk about how sound forge (which i paid for) only runs on windows! (not even a mac version!) There's a lot of good stuff out there, for those who look too.
Compare the install CDs of linux to those of windows... You get a couple of thousand extra programs with linux, the equivalents of which you are expected to buy and install yourself with a windows OS. Worse, every time you reinstall windows (and you will regularly need to) you must reinstall all that stuff from scratch again. And a lot of the free apps for linux are *huge*, like KOffice, or OpenOffice, which emulate the whole megabucks M$ office package for free! except it won't crash due to being stable, on a stable system, and it can't infect yr system with a macro virus...
The more i think on it, the more i think linux is desktop ready in comparison to windows. I think it may be a little behind MACOS(BSD) though, but that's hardly an insult.....
What Linux needs is a good package management system. Most M$ users are never going to install from a tar file. RPMs just suck. If there was a GOOD way to install / uninstall / upgrade applications Linux would be more usable as a windows replacement. I'll stick to the tar files however.
Originally posted by Calum with 1 L The more i think on it, the more i think linux is desktop ready in comparison to windows. Originally posted by BTseapig What Linux needs is a good package management system...RPMs just suck...If there was a GOOD way to install / uninstall / upgrade applications Linux would be more usable as a windows replacement.
He he, perhaps Linux is ready for the desktop, just that the desktop users need upgrading
There are some good packaging systems, apt-get (yes, again) and urpmi.
I believe that Linux doesn't need a better packaging system, or even a better file versioning system, but that people need to start supplying the dependancies with their app. It's quite annoying to have an app/game on a cover CD/DVD only to find that you need to download lots of dependancies just to get it to work - why were they not supplied with the program?
I think that one of the big reasons that more people don't use Linux is because of the mentality that Linux is impossible to learn. That and most of them don't want to learn something new, since they are already using that they are familiar with, and works for them.
An example is my roommate in Univ; he thought that Linux is very hard to learn, and that no one uses it at all. What I did was quickly install RedHat 7.2 on my laptop (was planning a format anyway and install Slackware, but thought that I should show him the GUI installer for RedHat), and showed him KDE, and had play around with it for a while, and he realized that it isn't as bad as he thought.
He was surprised about how easy the install went, and how Linux looked. He decided to download RedHat, and use it.
I have just started using Linux, and I love it. Actually I installed Mandrake a long time ago, but deleted it, because I needed windows for VB programming, and fell in love with Linux then. I also got another one of my friends from Univ to install Mandrake when I installed it. Now I have a only Linux laptop, and am hoping to learn a lot about it.
This is a little Off Topic, but something very nice that our University has is a computer club that has prsentations every month or so, and what they did is they set up 3 presentations that went throught the following:
1) Installing RedHat
2) Configuring RedHat
3) Basic info on the Linux system.
I didn't go to any of them, because I was busy, but I thought that it was cool that the Univ was holding such imformative presentations.
I hope Linux has same ability as Windows nowadays what it comes to upgrading:
My ME tells me often "New updates available!" and then it gives options like "Update now" "Remind me later" "Details".
I hope, and believe, that making such program that automatically updates your Linux is not impossible feat.
Just give it your countrys name and city, and it will ready mirror for you to wait upgrades come.
And as there is so many upgrades coming from open source community, you could define that program exactly what upgrades you want! I don't want to patch my tuxracing
One way I can think of to make using Linux easier is to copy some of the Ease-of-use functionally in Mac OS X (It makes using BSD easy, on a Mac only unfortunately). Eg. I gotta admit the directory hierarchy (usr, var, etc directoroes) can be pretty hard to get use to.