Think user Linux registrations can make a world change?
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I'm not sure what registering would achieve. I work with M$ products in my work daily it's just a tool or platform that the organization I work for sells services and software for. As a Linux user I feel more connected to this OS and proud of being a Linux user. Registration can be seen in two ways, Stand up and be counted or marketing information. I'm assuming the vote is a stand up and be counted thing. As marketing information it might get us a few more programs but I'm still convinced that big software organizations are not really comfortable with being judged by what they still regard as a bunch of software hippies.
I do believe Forums say more about Linux users than any tick the box operation.
Linux continues to evolve, expand, and grow at an exponential and increasing pace and is rapidly becoming recognized as a force to be reckoned with. We are seeing more and more manufacturers releasing drivers, applications written that will run on Linux, etc. Clearly they are starting to realize that there is market share. Until such time as companies sense that they are "losing out" by not supporting it, they won't.
Historically, the metric has been OS sales. This is an easy metric to use and even easier for Microsoft and Apple to quantify. By way of comparison, Linux is not generally sold, with a few exceptions like RHEL and Suse Enterprise. This tends to dramatically understate the installed user base. Registering, or standing up and being counted can help in this regard. If the number is large enough, it may get sufficient media attention from recognized sources to help change the importance of the sales metric. However, this won't happen any time soon as for example just this last week, a public statement was made about Windows 7 outselling and having a larger install base than Vista.
Instead, I think the effect and the transition will be slow over time. Just recently, I got my mother to switch to Linux and after about 1 week of use, her comment was that she doesn't miss Windows one bit. Eventually, I think she will come to recognize and realize why I say that Windows is annoying as hell to use. This will impact purchasing decisions and manufacturers such as Kodak that don't support Linux in their products won't get the new sales. Another example is that we just recently purchased a new printer for my wife. The number one requirement was that it worked with Linux and had supported drivers. Brands that do not, were not considered. Unfortunately, these companies will likely be too slow on the up take to understand why they are losing market share.
One big impediment that I also see is misconception on the Open Source and the licensing terms under Linux which are meant to be more liberal. I think that a substantial amount of FUD exists where companies think that if they write an application for Linux that they must give away the keys to the store, i.e. the source code. To the best of my knowledge this is not the case. They are free to write an application, distribute it in binary form (only) and sell it for profit. If the public accepts it than so be it. What they are not permitted to do is change part of the GPL protected system itself and sell THAT as a binary only. If this misconception gets cleared up, then perhaps we will see more commercial support of Linux. There is also a technical problem with this in that there is much less commonality amongst Linux platforms and when you distribute a binary application how do you make it work for a large install base? Windows doesn't have this issue as there are only a few versions and a subset of them are supported.
Personally, I don't have a problem with purchasing commercial software that would run under Linux and if there were an application that I wanted or needed I would do so. However, I haven't found any need to do so either as much of the Open Source, "free" software has achieved a level that is at least comparable to or in some cases even better than the proprietary stuff. It has just taken a while to get there since the motivation for development efforts are more personal and even altruistic rather than profit motivated.
One example that I commonly use is the servers that I run for myself and a small start up business that we have. I run the OS, mail server, web server, DNS, DHCP, version control, VPN, print sharing, backup service, Database operations, etc - all with free software and it does a better job than the commercial equivalent (Windows Server) that I couldn't afford anyway.
My 'first' PC since my Commodore 128 was the one I'm using now. I've never had Windows.
That was "gold" in the final 80's!
But do you still use it?
Having an old computer is excellent for learning the limitations of the processors and components when programming.
I just hope someday we have the freedom to choose the OS, we want to install to a computer without pre-installed ones first.
Also that the drivers of hardware get the right to be made without interruptions.
And in some cases the end of some super restricted "EULA" licenses... of course we can always not use the products...
But when there is no other option... I strongly disagree with the limitations... And the patents issues is starting making me like more and more the GPLv3.
And by the way, thanks everyone for the replies!
Last edited by coexistance; 01-05-2011 at 03:22 PM.
Reason: completation of a missing phrase