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Re: Linux a Few Years Down the Line

__/ [r.e.ballard@xxxxxxx] on Friday 14 October 2005 16:23 \__

> billwg wrote:
>> "Roy Schestowitz" <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
>> news:dio4gf$3f8$1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> > Slashdot, minutes ago:
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > The year: 2020
>> >
>> > "When Linux began to hit the desktop, 20 years ago this month,
>> > it was considered nothing more than a free operating environment
>> > that had arrived late to the party, well behind the industry
>> > leader Microsoft.
> First problem is that Linux would be 20 years old in 2011.  SLS, the
> first "full featured" release of a "Linux distribution" was shipped in
> early 1993.  If you really wanted to stretch it you could perhaps claim
> 1993 as the big year, 20 years later would be 2013.

Thus my carefully-picked phrase "began to hit the desktop".

>> > Now, it's the operating system used on nearly 95 percent
>> > of all the spaceships, desktops and notebooks sold worldwide.
> Spaceships?  Heads-up displays, VR helmets, wearable computers,
> personal communicators, lots of other technology similar to that used
> in Iraq today by the armed forces - yes.  Spaceships is so 1960s.
> Besides, *nix is the primary OS used in most of the spacecraft in use
> today.  The shuttle is still based on 1970s technology and still has a
> computer based on the COSMAC 1702.  Windows is used as a primary
> display unit with a *nix machine as a backup display unit.

"Spaceship" was a sarcastic pun, intended to imply that something fishy was
going on and that the Slashdot link must have pointed to something else.

> The funny thing is that Linux and *nix is so pervasive and yet
> invisible at the same time.  The PC may have the Windows logo in the
> bottom left-hand corner, but nearly everything else, from the display
> system to the e-mail, web, and most of the applications, has been
> driven by, inspired by, or powered by - *nix.

What about the Mac?


What is that machine at the back, from which Gates got his 'inspiration'
(READ: nicked the GUI)?

I guess the more modern Windows is a separate matter.

> The "look and feel" of Windows was a variant of Motif, licensed to
> Microsoft by HP back in the very early 1990s (1991?).
> MS-Office is based on SCO Open Desktop - licensed to Microsoft back in
> 1992.
>> > Take a look at Linux past and present, and
>> > what lies ahead in the future, including an interview with Mr. Linus
>> > Torvalds himself."
>> Roy tries to re-write history, presumably to shade the sluggish history
>> of linux towards a brighter tone, but linux will have to muster it's
>> reply by 2011 if it is to meet the 20 year criteria.
>> http://www.li.org/linuxhistory.php
>> Particularly if you want to claim Windows really started with Win 1.0!
>> Windows started, as most people know, with 3.0.  Everything before that
>> was just fiddling around and wasn't in the consumer product category at
>> all.
> Yes.  Microsoft was investigated by the Federal Trade Commision for
> it's illegal use of Vaporware to dissuade buyers and OEMs from
> switching to Macs or Solaris SLCs or ILCs.  Even 3.0 wasn't really all
> that successful.  Most people did not use Windows 3.0 with overlapping
> Windows.  The more common practice was to run each application in "Full
> Screen" mode (partly because the resolution of the displays was only
> 640x480 or 800x600).  Those who tried to use Windows 3.0 overlapping
> Windows the way others used Mac or *nix workstations, usually found
> that their machines would crash within 20-30 minutes.  Microsoft even
> added an "auto-save" feature to Word to reduce the amount of work lost
> to Windows crashes.
> It took Microsoft nearly 5 years to get from the lab to a working
> workstation, and it took another 10 years to get to Windows 2000, which
> achieved about 70% of the functionality offered by the Sun SLC and ILC
> in 1991.  It only took Linux 2 years to offer nearly 90% of those
> features in 1993.  In fact, Sun contributed OpenLook and OpenLook
> Window manager (OLWM) to Linux repositories and was included in Linux
> distributions as early as SLS.
> Linux has continued to evolve far beyond the capabilities of those
> early Sun workstations and remains far more evolved than Windows, even
> Windows XP and the proposed Vista.  Many of the features that were
> dropped from Vista have been available for Linux for quite a while.
> Microsoft wants us all to believe that because they spend $4 billion in
> marketing fees, and $20 billion in legal fees to prevent the public
> from knowing that Linux is far more powerful, flexible, reliable,
> secure, stable, feature-rich, and manageable than Windows, that Windows
> is actually "superior" to Linux.

Well-worded. I like that.

> IBM, Dell, and HP have jointly spent less than $1 billion promoting
> Linux, and Dell and HP simply make reference to not being "locked into
> proprietary systems" and never even use the word Linux.
> License fees for Linux distributions are far lower than similar fees
> for Windows, when unit volumes are compared to revenues, Linux comes up
> at 1/5th the total TCO of Windows.  This is when all "Windows related
> Revenues" are compared to all "Linux related Revenues" and compared to
> "Units shipped, downloaded, or registered).
> Many Linux "servers" are actually Linux desktops, and many Linux
> "appliances" are actually performing functions that could and should be
> performed by Linux workstations.  Windows needs these "appliances"
> because they lack so much of the functionality, even at the kernel
> level, of UNIX or Linux.
> Microsoft will continue to float down that river in Egypt - Denial -
> until the day when Linux is so pervasive that OEMs can no longer
> tolerate the loss of profits from being "commoditized" by Windows.
> OEMs have far more flexibility with Linux.  They can choose from a
> wider range of hardware, a wider range of performance perameters (RAM,
> CPU Speed, Hard Drives, Packaging,...) and get more profit from the
> systems they sell.
> At some point, Linovo, HP, Dell, Sony, and Gateway are going to tell
> Microsoft "Yes we want x million licenses, but we will configure them
> the way WE want to configure them, and we will configure them as VM
> clients of Linux".
> The alternative is an even bigger threat, that Linksys, D-Link, Cisco,
> NetGear, Belkin, Panisonic, Sharp, or some other "appliance maker" will
> simply create a Linux "Appliance" which includes a fully functional
> desktop, WiFi access, USB storage connectors, flash RAM slots, and
> updates via network.  The "appliance" will also include an X-Win server
> similar to the one included with Cygwin, and this will run on ANY
> Windows box.
> At this point, the OEM Windows hardware becomes even more commoditized,
> because now Windows is reduced to being a cheap X11 terminal.  No need
> for Windows, Office, or even Windows applications anymore, because for
> $90, your can have a Linux "appliance" which runs all of your favorite
> Linux applications from either a network drive (a Windows share), a USB
> Drive (look MA, 1 Terabyte on 3 drives), and/or Flash RAM (SD, CF, or
> Stick).
> The irony is that PCs, even with Vista, will continue to sell for about
> $200 each, while Linux "appliances" and external USB drives can be
> added for less than $200 more.  At this point, Microsoft becomes
> "irrelevant", but so do Dell, HP, Gateway, and Sony, along with any
> other OEM who accepts Microsoft's control over their desktop
> configurations.

Unless, of course, they adapt to change. Not everyone who upgrades to Linux
will be aware of the shady past business paractices of the companies above.

> The big "difference" will be that instead of a dumb "web interface",
> the Linux "core interface" will be X11.  This means that Gnome or KDE,
> along with all of the best features of Linux desktops, will be
> available, and could easily be displayed and demonstrated using ANY
> windows laptop.
> If someone wants to make gigabucks soon, I'd suggest they take apart
> one of those Linksys "SAN Controllers" or "Lan Drives" and figure out
> how to reprogram the FLASH RAM with a Linux "Desktop" implementation.
> The X11 Display can be configured using cygwin and selecting the "X11"
> environment.  Even just "Xterm" should be enough to get a fully
> functional display.

I think I ought to point out the following:


Which led me (via user's comment) to this:


Always a pleasure reading your essays.


Roy S. Schestowitz      | Gas, brake, honk! Honk, honk, punch! Gas, gas!
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux    |     PGP-Key: 74572E8E
  5:15pm  up 50 days  5:29,  3 users,  load average: 0.41, 0.33, 0.32
      http://iuron.com - next generation of search paradigms

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