On Dec 8, 4:08 am, flatfish <flatf...@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On Sat, 08 Dec 2007 08:06:42 +0000, Roy Schestowitz
> <newsgro...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >Apple's Xmas gift: wireless networking problems
> >,----[ Quote ]
> >| In October, the Apple faithful received the latest, greatest update to their
> >| much-vaunted operating system, Mac OS X. As with every other upgrade, it has
> >| a wonderful name: Leopard.
Sorry to hear that Apple has networking problems. Seems like a lot of
different companies are having problems with 802.11n technology.
> >Vista and Leopard are both in bad shape. Good opportunity for Linux.
> Linux has had 15 years to make it's opportunity.
Yep, and Microsoft has done everything in it's power to prevent Linux
from making the most of any of these opportunities. Actually, Linux
has had 14 years. Slackware 1.0 was out in mid 1993. I suppose you
could stretch and say SLS was good enough to beat Windows 3.1 in
In 1993 and 1994, when Windows NT 3.1 was running Late, Microsoft
spent nearly $4 billion per year in advertizing to keep publishers
from providing positive coverage of Linux, Solaris, UnixWare, and OS/
2. Even when Windows NT 3.1 did finally make it to production, it
flopped, and Linux may have done similar unit volumes.
Ironically, or possibly due to that $4 billion/year in advertizing
budget, nobody ever noticed that Microsoft's Windows 95 interface was
very similar to the Linux FWM. Of course, Linux had the Free VIRTUAL
Window Manager, and supported multiple virtual desktops. People only
seemed to notice when FVWM95 was so similar to Windows 95 that it was
obvious. The irony is that the only difference between FVWM and
FVWM95 was the layout of the icons (something that was easily
configured in FVWM).
> Through Windows ME,
Windows ME was Microsoft's attempt to prove that court regulated
Windows would be a disaster. Of course, Microsoft had Windows 2000
waiting in the wings, and XP Vaporware announcements. Microsoft also
tightened up the ristrictions even more on the licenses. When Bush
won the election, Microsoft released XP with a newer and more
restrictive license that prohibited Linux users from accessing the XP
workstation desktop from a machine not licensed for Windows XP. You
could use a Linux machine, but the machine had to be licensed for XP.
Microsoft brokered almost $60 million in funding to help SCO fund
their lawsuit against not only IBM but Linux customers. The issue was
tied up in the courts for nearly 5 years. Even today, SCO is still
attempting to fight, even though they are on the verge of bankruptcy,
they've lost their claim to own UNIX, and the remaining intellectual
property is very likely to be proven to be IBM's prior art.
> Windows XP (pre-sp1) and now Vista Linux has had
> the opportuntiy of capitalizing on Microsoft's screw ups.
Linux didn't exactly die on the vine either. Hundreds of millions of
Linux devices have made it into the marketplace. Windows is the
Operating System installed on most PCs when they are sold, but Linux
has become increasingly easy to install, and with Virtualization
becoming more popular, Linux has become the "Must Have" application
for Windows XP. Linux is actually blocking Vista sales.
More accurately, Microsoft's attempts to block the progress of Linux
has caused the market to reject Vista. Microsoft has been able to
high the disaster by offering the OEMs the opportunity to install
Windows XP by "Upgrading" to Vista Business edition, then "Downgrade"
to Windows XP. Still, the OEMs know the real numbers, and it has not
escaped their attention.
It seems that WindowsXP as a Virtual "Guest" to Linux using VMWare or
XEN has turned out to be far more popular and successful than Vista.
No, I can't substantiate that. There do seem to be indicators that
Linux unit volumes and deployments are keeping pace with Vista, based
on browser surveys. Unfortunately, these surveys are unreliable, and
it's hard to estimate Linux share because most surveys don't count the
"Generic" browsers used by Linux (including FireFox).
> So why can't desktop Linux, despite being free, make even the smallest
> dent in the desktop market?
Some examples of Browser surveys - and how they can be misleading.
This shows a popular survey
While it looks like Linux is only 3%, much of the Linux count is
hidden in the "other" catagory.
Calculating based on the "other" catagory.
> The answer is simple: People just don't want or need Linux when they
> already have Windows or OSX which are both high quality systems with
> high quality APPLICATIONS.
Do they need Linux? Maybe not.
Do they want Linux?
Appearantly about 90 million users do want Linux. And if you figure
that there are about 100 million new computers each year, that means
that at least 9 million new users wanted Linux as well. That would be
about 10% of the total market.
This is probably a pretty conservative estimate. After all, Browser
surveys only count the available pool of IP addresses, and most Linux
users stay connected for months at a time, while many Windows users
get reconnected to new DHCP addresses several times per day.
The real numbers could be has high as 40 million new Linux users per
year, about 40% of the total market adding Linux to their Windows
machines as a secondary operating system.
Remember, many of those "Windows" PCs could be hybrid machines.
Even so, there are some strong indicators that Open Source Software, a
core element of Linux applications, has been penetrating the Windows
market. According to
Firefox has become the browser of choice for 360 million PC users.
FireFox is now more popular than IE6 (350 million) and IE7 (210
OpenOffice downloads also look good. Estimates of around 98 million
downloaded through the primary site, with about 10 additional local
mirror sites. Not to mention corporate mirrors. And now, Sun is
offering free downloads of Open Office along with the latest upgrades
Java is also making a huge dent in Microsoft's "Applications Barrier
to Entry". Today, most new applications are written in a form of Java
that is portable to Windows, Linux, and OS/X. The promise of "Write
once, run anywhere", has become a reality.
I was watching "March of the Penguins" last week. I was noticing the
similarity between Emperor Penguins and Linux. Emperor penguins go
seventy miles inland, into the most hostile climates of the world,
where they lay their eggs, and the males protect the eggs for almost 4
months when the females come back to feed the newly hatched young.
The young chicks are protected from predators like sea lions until
they are old enough to take to the sea, by which time the sea lions
have moved to other feeding grounds.
Linux is very similar. Linux developers laid their "eggs" in the
hostile climates for Windows, the old PCs that couldn't run the newest
versions, the low income families who couldn't afford the latest
Windows PCs, the 3rd world countries who couldn't afford brand new
Windows machines at all. Linux was adopted by pre-teens in the 1990s,
and of course the "Slackers" born too late for the baby boom, most of
whom had to create their own businesses as consultants rather than
counting on corporate salary jobs. They had to maximize their
investments by using Linux servers and desktops instead of paying huge
premiums for UNIX or Windows Servers.
While the adult penguins came out to feed, the babies were protected
and nurtured by their parents in the freezing cold, far from all but
some aggressive birds, most of whom were reluctant to fly into the
frozen wasteland for prolonged periods. Each cold storm drove the
Microsoft has tried to make excursions into the Linux wastelands, but
has failed to do any significant damage. Most of the time, Linux not
only survives, but continues to thrive. Even today, Linux still
enjoys exponential growth, possibly as much as 50% per year. It's
very hard to track. After all, Linux Distributors don't want their
customers counted too closely. Much like the adult penguins going
between the ice and the sea, there is no way to know how many of the
little baby penguins there really are, where they are, or even how to
get to them. The same is true with Linux users. Browsers don't tell
which distributions are being used, downloads are not tracked too
carefully, and the support subscriptions are not made public
information. This makes it harder for Microsoft to target these
When the little birds are finally old enough to swim, they fly into
the water. They spend 5 years in the stormy seas, spending most of
their time hundreds of feet below the surface, chasing herring, and
other fattening sea food, until they are big enough and fat enough to
survive their own long trek into the frozen antarctic ice.
This is much how Linux users thrive. They have the benefit of
thousands of applications, avoiding the detection of predatory
Microsoft reps, learning to accomplish extraordinary results with a
minimal cost. They learn how to do the same things that the "Big
Boys" in the corporate IT world do, using most of the same
technology. Linux gave them the chance to learn the practices and
principles required to succeed in the corporate world, or as
consultants, designing web sites, web services, or integrating the web
to all of the back-end IT systems based on UNIX and mainframes.
By learning how to use HTML, PHP, XML, Open Document, and Java, they
learn the skills that are so in demand by corporate customers. Often,
they have to do much of their learning on their own little Linux
machines, but eventually, usually in College, they learn how to apply
this same knowledge to UNIX systems based on Solaris, HP_UX, and AIX.
They take to this new environment, like a penguin takes to water.
Before long, much like the penguin flies through the water at 45 miles
per hour, the "baby" Linux users are flying through UNIX code,
creating new solutions that are more flexible and more secure and more
scalable than anything their Microsoft using friends could even
Yes, the path of Linux is a bit harsher, especially in those early
days, but still Linux users thrive and eventually become the
outstanding performers in the industry.