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Bashing MS 'Like Kicking a Puppy,' Says Jim Zemlin 648

Posted by timothy
from the audacity-of-hope dept.
jbrodkin writes "Two decades after Linus Torvalds developed his famous operating system kernel, the battle between Linux and Microsoft is over and Linux has won, says Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin. With the one glaring exception of the desktop computer, Linux has outpaced Microsoft in nearly every market, including server-side computing and mobile, Zemlin claims. 'I think we just don't care that much [about Microsoft] anymore,' Zemlin said. 'They used to be our big rival, but now it's kind of like kicking a puppy.' From Android and the Amazon Kindle to embedded devices, consumer electronics and the world's largest websites and supercomputers, 'Linux has come to dominate almost every category of computing, with the exception of the desktop,' Zemlin argues as Linux approaches its 20th anniversary."
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Bashing MS 'Like Kicking a Puppy,' Says Jim Zemlin

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  • The will to be free (Score:5, Interesting)

    by suso (153703) * on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @06:50PM (#35726756) Homepage Journal

    You can say that Linux has won when it hasn't beaten Microsoft in the market that makes it Microsoft. The only thing that Linux has won really in the desktop market is its right to exist. We fought long and hard to try to keep the desktop an open environment and competition going. I'm not talking about Linux vs. Windows really though, I'm talking about Open Source vs. Proprietary. But as long as salesmen breath, the battle to keep formats open will wage on. The new battle is how to deal with things like app stores.

    • by suso (153703) *

      Sorry. I meant you can't say that Linux has won when it hasn't beaten Microsoft in the desktop market.

      • by Ynot_82 (1023749) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @06:58PM (#35726862)

        You're assuming the one goal of Linux (and by that, I mean the community around Linux and other FOSS projects) is to beat MS

        While some may wish to see Linux raise above Windows in market dominance, others (and I wager, most) do not see this as important, and only wish to produce a better suite of software than MS

        In this, Linux has most definitely won
        and it won many years ago

        • In this, Linux has most definitely won and it won many years ago

          Not on the desktop, which as a PC user is the area most directly relevant to me. It would be nice if Linux was much better than Windows 7, it's just that for most people, it simply isn't.

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            It depends on the distro.

            • by uberjack (1311219) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @07:26PM (#35727226)
              It has very little to do with the distro; the problem is largely with hardware support and software availability. Even Ubuntu, arguably the most user-friendly distro has problems with sound playback on modern, commonly available sound hardware. Maybe I don't mind running 'sudo killall pulseaudio' every now and then when there's no sound playback - try explaining that to the common user. Then there's the software, of course. I love the open desktop, but Linux is nowhere near the point where it can compete with Windows on that front - even if it has gone quite a ways since its humble beginnings.
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by ozmanjusri (601766)

                Even Ubuntu, arguably the most user-friendly distro has problems with sound playback on modern, commonly available sound hardware.

                Recent versions of Ubuntu are fine, as are most other recent distros.

                You should try them.

                • by Mprx (82435)
                  I had problems with Pulseaudio breaking mplayer on a clean install of 10.10. Solution was to revert back to ALSA, which I've never had any problems with. Pulseaudio has never worked perfectly for me.
                  • by causality (777677)

                    I had problems with Pulseaudio breaking mplayer on a clean install of 10.10. Solution was to revert back to ALSA, which I've never had any problems with. Pulseaudio has never worked perfectly for me.

                    I have never heard a good reason why so many distros use Pulseaudio and other redundant sound daemons instead of straight ALSA. I have had to solve several quirks related to the use of such sound daemons that I have never experienced with ALSA. ALSA just works.

                    The few users who really need the features offered by something like Pulseaudio and absolutely cannot use straight ALSA are a tiny minority. Why are so many distro defaults geared towards this small minority when it makes everyone else have to put

                • by ruiner13 (527499) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @07:49PM (#35727464) Homepage
                  Oh no not this shit again. I'm going to go make popcorn.
                • by man_of_mr_e (217855) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @08:06PM (#35727642)

                  I'm glad you have no issues with your recent versions of Ubuntu, a quick perusal of the Ubuntu support forums tells a different story though.

                  Just because it works for you, doesn't mean it works for everyone. This seems to be the most common reaction to problems with Linux. One user says such and such is broken, another user it works fine and they call him a liar.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Ynot_82 (1023749)

            I've never used Windows 7 (nor Vista, nor XP post service-release 1), so I can't draw any comparisons, but most people are technically illiterate and will simply use what's given to them
            This says nothing about which is technically "better" than the other
            MS stays dominant on the desktop through inertia only

            • My experience with the technically illiterate is primarily with my wife, who didn't use a computer at all before we got married. She tolerates Windows, and hated Ubuntu linux mostly due to her inability to figure out how to do basic tasks. At least with Windows she has mostly been able to figure out how to get around and find apps she wants to use.
              My argument therefore is that the technically illiterate will find linux more difficult to use unless they limit themselves to very basic task such as web brows

          • by lennier (44736) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @08:17PM (#35727764) Homepage

            Sadly true. I have a 2010 desktop PC with dual-boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu Maverick (both 64-bit). This week I tried to plug in my Keystation USB MIDI keyboard to do some noodling about. Nothing fancy, just get it to the 'push key and have piano sounds come out speaker' stage. I'd previously got the Rosegarden/Timidity/ALSA/Jack stack working on Lucid on another PC, but hadn't configured professional audio since doing a fresh Maverick install on this new box. I even had Rosegarden, Jack and timidity-daemon already installed via Synaptic.

            Ubuntu experience: plug in the keyboard. Light goes on. Start Rosegarden. It shows Timidity and Keystation detected as MIDI devices. It shows notes coming from the keyboard. But no sound comes out. Spend several hours digging into the guts of Timidity++ config files, Googling, trying to work out where in the Timidity-ALSA-PulseAudio-Jack stack the sound is stopping. Start multiple command windows, stop and start services, read text files in /etc, Google and apt-get multiple troubleshooting tools. Add user to 'audio' group and reboot. Try not to frag my existing audio setup in doing all this.

            End result: half an evening wasted, hair shredded, no luck.

            Windows 7 experience: reboot into Windows 7. Google "garageband for Windows". Get recommendations for MixCraft. Download MixCraft free trial. Start it. Push key on Keystation. Sound comes out. Just like that. No insane configuration weirdness required. I'll happily pay $75 for something that works.

            I love Linux but sadly.... getting the simplest thing in multimedia to work at all is still a nightmare. Just... ugggh. Bad, bad, bad.

          • by MrHanky (141717)

            After IE6 fell as the dominant browser and OpenOffice gained good enough compatibility with MS Office, Linux has been fully usable on the desktop for those people who care about using it. It's not like I care that you prefer Windows 7 (a fine OS in my opinion), as long as your choice doesn't make my life more difficult. 10 years ago, it would: the web was full of buggy and IE-specific code, OpenOffice wasn't out yet, and the most important video playback format was the CSS-encrypted DVD, with no functional

        • by Ruke (857276)

          You're assuming that Linux and Microsoft are, in fact, competing in the same arena, and that one can be said to "win". If Microsoft's goals are to dominate PCs, and Linux has no such goals, it's incongruous to say that Microsoft is "beating" Linux, in the same manner that it would be incongruous to say that Gebre Gebremariam beat me in the New York Marathon last year. Certainly he placed better than me; I did not run at all!

          Market shares can be spoken of with a certain level of objectivity; however, using e

    • Not only that (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @06:58PM (#35726868)

      But MS is still really big in the server market. Yes, Linux is big in webserver market. However that isn't the only server market out there.

      Where MS is really big server (and desktop) wise is enterprise servers. Active Directory really works well and a lot of companies use it. No, OpenLDAP is NOT "just as good" or any of that jazz. I'm not saying AD is the One True Way(tm) but it is good and there's a reason a lot of companies like it.

      This "Linux has beaten MS," crap is just that: crap. Linux is doing well and that is wonderful. However it hasn't "won" by any measure. Rather they are finding different markets. Linux is not popular on the desktop and it does not seem to be headed there. However embedded it has really found its niche and has become extremely popular.

      Neither has won, neither has lost, they both continue to exist alongside one another.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Ray Ozzie says Microsoft is dying. [cnn.com]

        • Re:Not only that (Score:5, Insightful)

          by hey! (33014) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @08:30PM (#35727906) Homepage Journal

          Well, speaking of what's in Microsoft's "DNA", it is traditionally a company that sells to people who select technology that other people will use. That's where Microsoft is successful. The places where they succeed with consumers are where consumer choices are constrained by other things. People buy Office because they have to exchange documents with people who can only use Office formats. They buy Windows because that's what the IT department lets them buy.

          MS actually did pretty well in the smartphone arena because Windows Mobile was very friendly to hardware companies who were eager to cripple their products to suit the carriers' attempts to milk revenue out of bogus services. You can take pictures, but the only way to get them off is with our special Picture EMail Service. You can play music you buy though *our* music store. Apple put an end to that BS because they had the clout to give AT&T a Hobson's Choice: take it or leave it. Of course Apple had it's own version of the walled garden, but at least they didn't nickel and dime you to death by tarting up simple uses of bandwidth as some kind of special "service".

          Even the XBox is a consumer device where consumer choices are driven by game titles. The games are technically impressive, so I suppose they do a good job supporting developers, but the the hardware and end-user support is pathetic.

          A lot of the contempt for Microsoft's products come from our experiences as users, but making users happy just isn't what Microsoft does. They don't have a history of success through making users happy with which they could build that kind of organizational culture.

          • by sznupi (719324)
            They very much made people happy. Much happier than the alternatives, at least. You can see this in places with historically rampant levels of piracy... where people chose Windows (or, if it was chosen for them, it was not works of some IT drone). After Amiga (sort of dominating at my place) died, there was simply no better choice suitable for your "average joe", so MS did exceptionally well.

            Seeing how supposedly "tablets will be PCs for normal people", that might change; here MS fortunes aren't yet clea
      • by tibit (1762298)

        Things will hopefully start changing in the enterprise server segment once samba4 gets released and stabilizes.

        • Re:Not only that (Score:4, Interesting)

          by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedy.tpno-co@org> on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @08:14PM (#35727724) Homepage

          Not holding my breath. It's not that I don't have faith in the samba folks, but rather I accept that the company that BUILT the desktop might have the drop on server implementations necessary to manage said desktop.

          Having a cause is nice, but then after you've fought for a couple years shoehorning your "kinda" products in to production, complete with their own unique and troublesome glitches, you begin to understand that the "Evil Software Company" may actually know a thing or two about their own desktop software. You stop wanting to fight problems for hours on end. You simply expect things to "just work", and to keep "just work"ing until something changes.

          See, in IT administration, when you grow up you figure out that IT is less about tinkering with fun bits of tech, and more about making each dollar spent on IT return value to the company.

          Now get off my lawn.

          • by Anthony Mouse (1927662) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @09:48PM (#35728538)

            I find that samba3 works better for basic Windows file sharing than Windows servers do. What it's missing is AD, which is the point of samba4. If and when samba4 is of the same quality and maturity as samba3, I agree with the GP. There really isn't going to be a lot of reason to have Windows on the enterprise server anymore.

            • Re:Not only that (Score:4, Insightful)

              by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedy.tpno-co@org> on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @11:53PM (#35729490) Homepage

              Sometimes I'm a bit biased towards OSS stuff, samba in particular. For me, it's a 5 minute operation to get samba up and running, joined to an AD domain and get shares going. However, I have been doing that for almost a decade now. You have to keep in mind all the funkiness that goes in to getting winbind stable, setting up permission shares correctly, working with file security differences, ect...

              To say nothing about when the inevitable problem DOES occur. Troubleshooting window file shares is a far simpler affair than a samba shares. Not to mention the frequency of said issues. This may run counter intuitive, but I've had fewer file sharing problems with windows over the past 10 years than with samba. I attribute this to samba being an attempt by an outside vendor to work with proprietary technology.

              I am a lazy admin. I want to set things up to work, and they "just work". I will use whatever technology I need to get that done. In some cases, that's linux. In some cases, that's windows. I don't hold ideologies about technology; it either "just works" when set up correctly ( and the set up has to be relatively simple ), or I keep looking for a solution that does.

      • But MS is still really big in the server market. Yes, Linux is big in webserver market. However that isn't the only server market out there. Where MS is really big server (and desktop) wise is enterprise servers.

        Linux really beat the traditional unix vendors (Sun, SGI, SCO, etc) not so much Microsoft. Both Linux and Microsoft went after the traditional unix vendor's market and as you point out both got their piece of the pie. Its natural that Linux did well given that the market was already unix based. What is more remarkable is that Microsoft has been as successful as it is, when fighting on unix home turf Linux had the advantage.

      • Neither has won, neither has lost, they both continue to exist alongside one another.

        Much as the Neanderthals continued to exist beside Homo Sapiens.

    • which market ? desktop computers is a bigger market than servers ? the minimum server lease is $50/month. that is even entry level server. linux dominates server market from entry level to load balanced clusters to ddos protected single servers in prices 800/mo to thousands of dollars (4 figure) a month and over. linux also dominates in the cloud.

      really. the war is over server side. server = linux so far.

      but its natural for a lot of corporate types in non i.t. corporations or corporations with their
    • I love linux, but this article reminds me of the head crusher. [youtube.com]
    • by Larryish (1215510)

      This is "The Year of Linux on Everything but the Desktop".

      The acronym is "TYLED".

      Got a light?

    • by Rimbo (139781)

      Linux doesn't have to beat proprietary software on the desktop any more, because the desktop has become largely irrelevant. "This thing you want to do only works on Windows/proprietary environment" has become almost anachronistic.

      • by TheEyes (1686556)

        Linux doesn't have to beat proprietary software on the desktop any more, because the desktop has become largely irrelevant. "This thing you want to do only works on Windows/proprietary environment" has become almost anachronistic.

        So you're saying Steam is irrelevant and anachronistic?

      • The desktop is not irrelevant, but... linux desktops work better than windows ones. Easier to setup, to keep updated and clean.
        I think the reasons that keep linux from getting more share are: not enough native games (there are and are good but ppl want the flavour of the month) and migration impedance from what's already deployed (waiting for new samba) to the PEBKAC that freaks out when linux has icons of a different color (then came office ribbon and the usual UI reshuffle of new windows versions: karma e

    • 20 years ago, Microsoft had no server OS. How could Linux rise to defeat Microsoft in a market it wasn't even in when Linux was created?

      Apart from that, Linux's "dominance" in the server market is misunderstood. Typically, the only evidence to support this is the Netcraft hostname summary, which shows that 70 some percent of hostnames run on an Apache web server. This is misleading, because not only does it not take other kinds of servers into account (Database, File, Directory, etc..) it doesn't even ac

  • Not quite done yet (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @06:54PM (#35726816) Homepage

    So 2011 will be the year of the Linux desktop, right?

    Linux has gained recognition. It's something that IT managers won't usually dismiss immediately. Sure, that's important, but the average user out there still doesn't know that Linux exists, let alone what it is. There's a long road ahead of us, even longer than the path we've just traveled. Wear good shoes.

    • by codepunk (167897) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @06:59PM (#35726892)

      The desktop does not matter it is only a device on which to run a web browser. The average user spends most of his online time running pages served from linux. Then he goes and sits in front of his tv powered by linux, plays with his phone powered by linux, scrolling through his dvr running linux.

      • by Lennie (16154)

        And the internet connection provided for all these devices is a DSL-/cable-modem/router running Linux, the websites he/she visits are running on Linux.

      • by Drishmung (458368)

        The desktop does not matter it is only a device on which to run a web browser. The average user spends most of his online time running pages served from linux. Then he goes and sits in front of his tv powered by linux, plays with his phone powered by linux, scrolling through his dvr running linux.

        The average user spends most of her [females now outnumber male Internet users] online time running pages served from linux [connected via cable or DSL modem using VxWorks, on core Internet infrastructure using IOS or FreeBSD]. Then she goes and sits in front of her tv powered by linux, plays with her phone powered by Nokia OS [most phones aren't smart phones], scrolling through her dvr running linux. She also listens to her iPod (running iOS) while driving a car containing many embedded microprocessors, wh

      • by westlake (615356) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @01:30AM (#35730004)

        The desktop does not matter it is only a device on which to run a web browser. The average user spends most of his online time running pages served from linux. Then he goes and sits in front of his tv powered by linux, plays with his phone powered by linux, scrolling through his dvr running linux.

        The DVR that will record and play H.264 video without complaint.

        The HDTV which runs a suite of Internet apps over which the geek has no control whatever. Facebook. Netflix. OnLive Gaming. Pandora. Skype. Rhapsody....

        It's a whole new ball game.

        In which the btowser gets shoved into the background and with it all the openess and "standards" on which the FOSS zealot has built his house of cards.

        The server may be Linux - but who the hell cares when the content it streams is defined by the "walled gardens" of the home appliances, video game consoles, set top boxes, OSX, iOS and Windows devices it serves?

  • by JKConsult (598845) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @06:55PM (#35726830)
    This being /., it looks like we're in for a whole lot of puppy-kicking.
  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @06:57PM (#35726844) Homepage

    "Director of foundation says his foundation is doing very well. More at 11."

  • Idiotic Statement (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 192_kbps (601500) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @06:59PM (#35726874)
    'Linux has come to dominate almost every category of computing, with the exception of the desktop' The desktop still dominates every other category of computing combined. Zemlin's statement that Linux has won is disingenuous.
    • Re:Idiotic Statement (Score:5, Interesting)

      by codepunk (167897) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @07:02PM (#35726932)

      The desktop is a device mainly used by the general public to run a web browser and the Windows cannot even do that well. Once that user fires up a browser his world is dominated by linux and he does not even know it.

      • by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @07:57PM (#35727556) Homepage Journal

        Damn, where are my mod points? Mod parent up, mod me offtopic.

        Mod points are like cops, they're never there when you need them.

      • by johncandale (1430587) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @01:38AM (#35730048)

        The desktop is a device mainly used by the general public to run a web browser

        Keep telling yourself that. Most desktops are at the office, where we use word processing, and industry specific tools,and accounting software and email all run on windows all linked through Microsoft server software. Then we go home to our hobbies, video games, itunes, email again, tax software, adobe, and we all choose to run it on windows because it's easier. One of the worst things you can do in a competition is lie to yourself about how well it is going. Or get too involved in your own world. Of course everyone around you is using linux, and you try not to think about those other people too much. It's some form of confirmation bias. He is disregarding facts to the contrary, while he keeps reminding himself of the facts that don't disagree with his views. This is not productive

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @07:15PM (#35727100)
      Embedded systems dominate the desktop, at least in terms of deployment. There are far more embedded systems in use right now than desktops -- orders of magnitude more, in fact. Now, this is not to say that the statement about Linux dominance is any more correct, since most embedded systems do not actually run Linux. If anything, TRON derivatives dominate that category.
  • by oboylet (660310) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @07:00PM (#35726900)
    The XBOX 360 begs to differ. Where exactly is the open source video game console that is dominating the home market? Linux and FOSS more broadly has done some incredible things, but let's be real.
    • by Rimbo (139781)

      Is this really necessary? The entertainment industry follows different rules from every other industry, for one thing. More importantly, it produces nothing you can't live without, and very, very little that is particularly edifying.

      Moreover, the number of Xbox 360s sold is dwarfed by the number of consumer electronics that are running Linux, from wireless routers to mobile phones to GPS units...

    • by Drishmung (458368)
      But the XBOX360 does not dominate games consoles either. The winner in consoles is probably Wii at the moment, which is Linux based. In portable systems it might be iPod Touch/iPhone [iOS], or PSP[proprietary] or GBA[?, not Linux AFAIK]---but it is certainly not Windows.
  • by xkr (786629) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @07:00PM (#35726906)

    More like kicking an old, weak, sick, blind-in-one-eye, arthritic dog...

    ... Even if was the very same dog neighbor that terrorized you as a kid, killed your pet cat, barked all night, and pooped in your front yard every day.

  • by jbplou (732414) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @07:01PM (#35726908)

    Windows Server may not be as dominate as Linux but it certainly is not dead. They compete in every server category and have decent market share while it is not dominate like desktops it is still a multi-billion dollar business that is certainly successful. Active Directory, SQL Server, ASP.Net, IIS these are all major products that run on WIndows Server, you can find thousands of jobs on any major job search engine. I think it is a mistake to say MS only has desktop operating systems, it is clearly still a player in the server market.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SomePgmr (2021234)
      Well put. They're dominant on the desktop and they own office productivity. They're strong in the server market and they're strong in the gaming market. I'd guess they're not doing too shabby with set-top devices (all uverse devices is quite big in itself). And let's be realistic, you can't count them out of the 10,000 other markets they have their fingers in. They have a certain history of throwing money at some things until they win (xbox, anyone?).

      That's hardly a sad-little-puppy situation.
  • Oh, look: more commentary from an unbiased non-partisan academician.... /sarcasm

  • Linux has had the technical capability for grabbing a significant foothold in the consumer desktop market for a while now. However, as long as companies continue pushing Windows-only hardware and the communities that actually continue encouraging the dichotomies that exist amongst them (like with the UI, the one thing that should be a unified effort), Linux will continue fighting an uphill battle. It also doesn't help that Windows is so much easier to deploy and administer company-wide than Linux is.
    • by Lennie (16154)

      The desktop is a chicken&egg problem.

      And a Microsoft-still-does-deals problem I think.

      Just look what happend to the netbooks-market.

      I wonder if the same will happen to the tablet-market.

  • by eflester (715184) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @07:05PM (#35726978)
    I was somewhat gratified to see this. I've been feeling somewhat guilty about my growing tendency to feel sort of sorry for MS lately. See, I didn't even type "M$" like I certainly would have a few years ago. What with all the i-things and the Desktop is dead and we'll do everything on a little hand-sized touch-screen now they seem to be moving from the Great Defective Monster to simply Irrelevant. Rather than kicking a puppy, it's like kicking your grandfather. He can't remember who you are, but he's kind of upset by it.
  • by hawguy (1600213) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @07:07PM (#35727006)

    The problem with giving the desktop market to Microsoft means that corporations are stuck with a Microsoft-heavy server environment too and it's hard to move to other server platforms.

    Once you include Active Directory, print servers, fileservers, sharepoint, system center, exchange, sql server and other support servers to run it all, a mid-sized company might have 20 or more servers just to run their Microsoft infrastructure. (many of those applications *could* run on Linux, but MS products integrate together and have interdependencies that make it hard to break loose)

    So since they are already paying for Windows Admins to run their Windows infrastructure, when it comes time to add a web or application server, the easy choice is to go with MS -- licensing doesn't cost much more on top of their existing MS licensing costs and they already have Windows expertise in house.

    • You overstate the implementation. So you need 3 AD servers ( any directory service you'd want 3 servers, so no fat trimming there ). 1 Print and 1 file server ( although I'd have these both set up to take the load from the other in the case of failure ). 1 Sharepoint server, 1 system center, 2 exchange servers( which, for the same of brevity, i'm going to equate to sendmail. Not fair to MS here, btw ), 1 SQL server.

      So 10 servers. Given the load out of the apps, I would run the same number of linux serve

  • If it's peeing on my leg or biting me non-playfully, the puppy deserves a kick. Its parents would nip at it to keep it in line.
  • Hidden linux (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dan East (318230) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @07:12PM (#35727068) Homepage Journal

    It seems that where Linux has succeeded is where Linux is completely hidden behind the scenes, as far as the consumer is concerned. Even in the case of Android, with a stock device, it would be utterly impossible to know it was running Linux. In fact, there's an entire Java layer between the user and Linux. My point is that Linux, the brand, has failed when it comes to the masses. In other words, Linux has done well where companies can take their time and make an informed decision about which OS they wish to embed in their hardware. That is where Linux has succeeded, and a big part of that is simply that Linux is stable, supports ubiquitous hardware, and is free. But as far as end consumers choosing Linux, that hasn't happened yet.

    • by u17 (1730558)
      Yes, and it doesn't matter how many devices run Linux. Increasing that number has never been an important goal for anyone but maybe Linux developers. The important number is how many devices are open and how many users actually use that openness to run free software. As computer-literate users, we care whether we trust the software on the device, whether it acts in our interests and whether it is we who control it and we don't have to share that control with an external entity. By campaigning for the prolif
    • by Lennie (16154)

      The Woz recently said something along the lines of:

      "Tablet is the PC for 'normal people'" (read: consumers)

      The tablets Apple sells is a closed environment, nothing like the PC. Where the OS is also most hidden.

      So I guess the desktop never really was a good product for the consumer market.

      • Re:Hidden linux (Score:4, Insightful)

        by AJWM (19027) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @08:45PM (#35728034) Homepage

        So I guess the desktop never really was a good product for the consumer market.

        Not really, no. How many people outside of the slashdot crowd really want a general-purpose computer? They want appliances: a messaging appliance, a game appliance, a web-browsing appliance, a Facebook appliance ...etc. A tablet is just a polymorphic appliance that can convert from one to the other at a touch of a (virtual) button, if need by downloading the necessary from the app(liance) store.

  • ... which keeps doing its OS business all over the carpet.

  • It'll lick whoever it damn well pleases. And if it wants to hump your leg, not only will it do so with as much fervor and friction as it can create, you will damn well like it. At least you hope its your leg.

  • by dhavleak (912889) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @07:19PM (#35727148)

    This is just an absurd conversation that has gone on far too long.

    The way of measuring your own success should not be dependant on somebody else's market share, or even relative to it. It should be based on your own mission and your own goals. There's plenty of market for everyone in the world to be successful if they want it badly enough. Linux is certainly doing well, and revenues and profits at Microsoft seem healthy as well -- so I don't get this obession with MS.

    I don't get the obsession with stamping out proprietary software either. It's a choice that some companies make for their business model, and a choice that some customers make for their software (not choosing proprietary so much as choosing software that is proprietary because it meets their needs). It's a proven and successful business model too -- just like FOSS. You can have failures/successes in FOSS and you can have that with proprietary software as well. People just seem to be on the lookout for something to get inflamed about all the time. Absolutely nothing of interesting here.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You guys bitch and moan when some Microsoft shill pumps up Microsoft; well, this is some Linux shill pumping up Linux. I don't give this guy any more credence then I would Steve Ballmer.

  • I think he was saying that we should move on and not focus on giving the power to Microsoft that they now no longer deserve. Energy would be better focused elsewhere and on other obstacles and enemies. They won't win, have been beaten, and the year of the Linux desktop is coming, unless something else that is libre happens first.

  • The community has long memories and it will take a very long time (if ever) for the community to forgive or forget the anti-social behavior of Microsoft (I won't detail all the things it has done, but there is no shortage, eg subvert ISO etc etc). This is a somewhat of a shame since there appear to be a great many dedicated, talented and generous individuals (we remember the nice cake for Firefox too) who wrestle with their own corporate idiocy and avaricious management.

    I hope this is a lesson for all compa

  • Whatever happened for using the best tool for the job? I am happy to deploy Apache webservers when I'm running some Java stuff, just as happily as I deploy IIS servers for .NET stuff.

    The problem is with this guy, and legions of others, is that they look at using one versus another as important. Enterprises don't. They look at what they want to accomplish, look at the TCO, look at how long it takes to get there, and make a decision. Yea, for enterprise deployment of things that means they run Windows, Active

  • Uh huh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @08:39PM (#35727988)

    "With the one glaring exception of the desktop computer, Linux has outpaced Microsoft in nearly every market, including server-side computing and mobile, Zemlin claims. 'I think we just don't care that much [about Microsoft] anymore,' Zemlin said. 'They used to be our big rival, but now it's kind of like kicking a puppy.'", says Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin.

    I'm sorry, but I like Linux and hate Microsoft, yet I still can't stomach this marketing'esque spew of BS. If Microsoft said the reverse of this this topic would hit 500+ comments.

  • ... in the last 3 large organizations I've worked for (which have all been VERY linux-friendly), the midrange space (which, globally, is substantially larger than the supercomputer space as requiring such a fleet is a necessity for any large organization nowadays irrespective of industry or specialized number-crunching needs)...
    [a] The windows admin team was as large as the linux/UNIX team.
    [b] 66% of the server (1000's of servers) fleet was NT-based. This Linux-Windows spread is governed by commercial vendor support matrixes, in some casses vendor software performance, and nearly always bottom lines (with per-project varying results), not a pro-/anti- open-source religion, so there's a sweet spot it's gravitating to that's neither 100/0 or 0/100.
    [c] Specialist-quality in Windows-land (where the specialists are paid in the ballparks that we linux mob expect to be paid), they know their shit. They can script as well as we do, they understand LDAP, DNS, mail and file servers, they know their hardware, they know their comms, they can troubleshoot well and will pull a packet sniffer as quickly as we do, and they think the same (bad) things we do of ye olde server apps that run with a GUI in a logged-in console that needs to be checked every morning, they understand and can implement security on their platform, and if you throw something like ESX 3.x their way (with an underlying linux OS to manage the host) they don't shit a brick, they sit with the doco and figure the thing out. In my experience, with a pay-bracket as a basis for comparison, they're competent.
    [d] The OS platform itself, from a driving-forward maintained-project perspective, is alive and kicking - Server 2008 introduced clustering (from having spent nearly a year with pacemaker on SLES11 in the last place I worked, I daresay MS's in-OS clustering offering may very well be better than Novell's half-baked offering), an infiniband stack, etc etc.

    If you work in any reasonably-large organization (think any big retail brand in any industry you care to mention) Microsoft is anything BUT "a puppy", even if in some smaller shops, specifically the subset of which have ready access to lots of cheap linux/unix admin capability (universities, technology startups that employ coders, websites and misc other IT companies a-la ISP's come to mind), windows is very visibly absent. I daresay that between companies that sell credit-rating services, shampoo, shelf-space in a supermarket, banking, camper-vans, insurance, auditing services or batteries (and everything in between) these are a small minority. The rest hire PM's, a wintel team, a UNIX team, a dba team, a comms team and a SAN team, and rely heavily on supported vendor software.

    I daresay MS get amply compensated for every one of those server licenses they sell.

    May the fan-boy mod-me-down commence ;)

  • by w0mprat (1317953) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @09:55PM (#35728606)
    Please ignore Kinect, because it would ruin Microsoft bashing. It's a rather inconvienient disruptive advancement and has gone on to break records for sales of any consumer electronics ever.

    But we'll leave that out because it kind of implies that while we've all been distracted by shiny multitouch gadgets and cloud computing Microsofts just taken a huge leap a ahead of everyone else.

    This will create cognative dissonance in the /. groupthink.

    No one dare suggest Microsoft is losing the smartphone/tablet/desktop wars to Apple and Linux because they were busy slaughtering Nintendo and Sony.
    • So your definition of 'slaughter' is to be overtaken after two years of sales by a competitor who only took 9 months? A competitor who makes money on each unit sold, instead of breaking even about 4 years later?

      I'd like to be slaughtered by you, if you're not busy.

  • by Eth1csGrad1ent (1175557) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @05:17AM (#35730914)
    Really !? Because I see it more akin to taking back the neighborhood by standing up to your local crime boss who killed the puppy to make a point...
  • by doperative (1958782) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @06:45AM (#35731314)

    "while Microsoft has sold 300 million Windows 7 licenses and reported record second-quarter revenue of nearly $20 billion, Zemlin said Linux people aren't giving up on the desktop market just yet" link [networkworld.com]

    The desktop is totally owned by MS. Whenever anything innovative appears it invariably pops up in the next version of Windows and given away, in the process sucking the lifeblood out of whatever third party company MS has decided to eliminate off its Desktop. You notice that where Open Source or other non_windows systems have made advances is where Microsoft hasn't managed to achieve an effective monopoly similar to the Microsoft desktop monoculture .. er ... ecosystem.

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