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Re: Windows, Linux, and Car Radios

On Jan 23, 3:54 am, Terry Porter <linu...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Homer wrote:
> > Verily I say unto thee, that 7 spake thusly:
> >> Rex Ballard wrote:
> >>> Even Linux users like to have Windows capabilities.
> > Yes, that was a rather odd statement.

> > What exactly are Windows' "capabilities"?

By this I mean the ability to run applications originally written for
Windows.  Applications like Turbo Tax, Quicken or QuickBooks, old
share-ware programs, video games, cheap educational software, and
legacy corporate applications written to the Windows API.

If WINE could do that with fewer exceptions than Vista, corporations
would be making mass migrations to Linux today.  CrossOver brings us
very close to having Windows capabilities without Windows, and more
and more Independent Software Vendors are switching to platform
independent APIs like Java, Ruby, Perl, and Mono.  Mono isn't capable
of running all Windows applications, but Windows can run all Mono

Furthermore, applications vendors who have stayed with the Windows-
only APIs have targeted to be backward compatible.  Nearly all
applications will run on Windows NT, 2000, and XP - and will usually
run on Vista (Vista has had a real problem here), and many
applications also strive to support Windows 95 and Windows 98.

Microsoft has had three "Failure" releases of Windows.
   Windows NT 3.x
   Windows ME

Microsoft rescued itself from the NT 3.x failure by promising and
coming out with Windows 95.  It took almost 3 years rather than the
originally promised 6-9 months, but much of that was because Microsoft
wanted a "Plug-n-Play" capability that couldn't be used by Linux -
which required a great deal of complex negotiations with a lot of
hardware vendors.  The technology was probably ready in mid 1994, but
the people issues, legal issues, and corporate protection issues took
longer to resolve.

The irony is that all that effort was for naught.  Microsoft breached
a contract with Adaptec and rather than sue Microsoft, Adaptec GAVE
all of the NDA protected PCI device and vendor codes to Red Hat - who
gave them to the Linux community.  This became the basis for the
current public PnP database.

Microsoft rescued itself from the Windows ME debacle by announcing and
eventually releasing Windows XP.  I'm not sure why they didn't just
reprice and market Windows 2000 as their primary platform (it was the
best OS they've ever released in terms of performance and
reliability), but they were more interested in knocking off 3rd party
vendors of firewall software and creating technical and legal barriers
to Linux users who wanted to access Windows workstations remotely.  In
effect, Microsoft said that Linux users could access a remote XP
desktop ONLY if the PC they were using for the remote access was
licensed for XP.

Ironically, on of the features of Windows 2003 server was the ability
to provide remote access to multiple "Virtual PC" desktops through
remote access.  Windows 2008 server has even better desktop serving
capabilities, and again requires that the PC being used to access the
remote desktop be licensed with XP or Vista.

Microsoft has finally acknowledged that Vista was a failure in terms
of their business goals and creating a sustainable business model.  As
a result, they have pre-announced Windows 7, which they claim will be
ready around 2010.  Assuming that it does come out sometime in 2010,
corporations will wait a year for it to stabilize, and then allocate
budgets for the upgrade - maybe in 2012.

The problem, for Microsoft, is that Corporations are pretty firm in
their decision NOT to upgrade to Vista, and Microsoft doesn't want to
keep supporting downgrades to Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

Meanwhile, OEMs are offering "Linux-Ready" PCs that are lighter and
leaner than Vista PCs.  They typically come with 1 gigabyte of RAM or
less, 8 gigabytes of flash storage or less, or Solid State Drives -
which are typically much smaller than typical Vista drives - and
usually not large enough for Vista.

Microsoft has offered Windows XP Home Edition for slightly enhanced
versions these machines, but it's hard to tell whether buyers are
buying XP or the enhanced hardware.  Most of these PCs either come
with a Linux Installation CD for the Linux version, or the Linux
installation ISO image can be downloaded via the Web.

Several Motherboards, including all of those offered by ASUS, now have
"Linux in ROM" - actually Linux in flash.  You can set the system to
boot into Linux even if you have Windows installed on the hard drive.
HP also offers this feature on their sub-notebooks.  I don't know if
there is disk repartitioning software that allows you to shrink the
Windows XP partition or not, but Vista now provides this capability in
their disk management functions.

Simply put, it has become progressively easier to convert most PCs
into devices that can run Linux, Windows, or both at the same time.

> >> Not me.

Corporate managers have a greater need for the ability to run Windows
applications, including applications like Microsoft project.
Personally, I very much dislike Project, I don't like the resource
leveling.  Most Project Managers I've worked with have ended up having
to manually assign tasks and balance tasks - and have to disable
Microsoft's leveling.  Ironically, there are better project manager
packages available as Eclipse plug-ins.  A good project management
package written in platform independent Java (eclipse plug-in) could
be a big winner in the commercial market.

Many corporations are now more interested in work-flow products rather
than project management applications, especially for large on-going
projects or routine operations tasks.  Such products provide real-time
resource management, real-time reallocation of work and work-load
optimization, automatically.

Entertainment software for Linux is also improving.  SecondLife has a
very good Linux client, several game software vendors have Linux
gaming engines that allow Linux users to run their software.  Vendors
also seem to be sticking with OpenGL - opting for wrappers that call
the DirectX functions to implement OpenGL library functions on Vista.

ActiveX capabilities are a pain.  Linux users can run ActiveX
applications if they install the commercial CrossOver program, but
they expose their systems to the same hacks and malware as Windows
users - with the exception that the ActiveX programms have the same
restrictions as the Linux user running the browser.

> > It's a slow, bloated, insecure, expensive, inflexible, viral-infested
> > mess, made by gangsters and used by the clueless.

Linux gives you efficient, reliable, secure, and stable environment,
and can "fence in" the problems that tend to plague Windows.

Whether you use WINE, CrossOver, or virtualization, Linux limits the
Windows applications to the USER's capabilities.  The user can infect
their own home directory, but not anybody elses.

Linux also fences in the user, which makes it easier to back-up the
user's information, and to recover it if it gets corrupted.  Even the
Windows VMs are MUCH easier to back-up and recover fully and reliably
using snapshots.  External USB drives make great back-up systems and
make it easy to recover an image.

Vista, unfortunately is an ungracious guest.  It's a but like the
uncle who comes over to your house, eats all your food, drinks all
your booze, throws up on your bed, breaks your valuable items, steals
your jewelry, and spends the whole day watching television, drinking
and spilling beer all over your rug, getting chips all over your
couch, and never lifts a finger to clean any of it up, and doesn't
even offer to help with the expenses.  Even worse, he invites his
friends (malware) to come over and spend the month at your house as if
HE were their host.

Windows 2000 guests are much more polite.  It doesn't eat much, it
tries to play by your rules, it tries to clean up after itself, and it
brings in a few nice gifts that will be useful and even valuable.

Windows XP is sort of in the middle.  It eats the steak that was
supposed to be the family dinner - as a lunch.  It gets drunk and
throws up, but it cleans up after itself.  It brings a few gifts, but
many of them break easily, and it still tries to bring in a few of
it's friends, but at least tells them that YOU are their host.

CrossOver is more like your favorite grandmother.  She comes, bringing
a big bag full of gifts, including new clothes, all in your size.  She
brings enough food to fill your refrigerator, cleans up the house as
if it were her favorite thing in the world to do, and asks you to
invite your friends over - then fixes them a fabulous dinner and tells
the guests that these are your favorite dishes - and tells everybody
what a wonderful person you are.

All three involve and require Microsoft licenses.  Which one would you
rather invite over around Christmas time?

> > Who the Hell wants /that/.

> I'm sure no Linux advocate here including Rex believes that Windows is
> anything but a subset of *nix.

More like a third-rate poor counterfeit of *nix.  It's kind of like
those "knock-off Rolex Watches".  They might look cute, but anyone who
knows a Rolex watch can tell the difference from 20 feet away.  If
Windows weren't preinstalled on 100-200 million PCs every year, it
would probably not survive in the marketplace on it's own merits.

Microsoft has some serious problems right now, and has finally
admitted that they have a serious problem. Client revenue has become
much more unpredictable.

There was a time when MS-DOS or Windows almost guaranteed a profit,
and using an alternative almost guaranteed failure.  Today, the most
profitable products in the market have been Apple's Mac, and Linux
powered Sub-Notebooks.

Windows is now the most expensive part of a computer (based on MSRP of
each component) - primarily because of their monopoly pricing.  Yet
the MSRP of Windows in often more than the MSRP of the whole
computer.   OEMs are now dumping $250 desktops - hoping to sell
monitors, extended warrantees, and replacement contracts.  The MSRP of
Vista Ultimate is $499.

We all know that the actual price paid bythe OEM is more like $30-40
per copy for Vista Home Premium or Vista Business Edition.  But the
Vista Home Premium machines are often being sold at a loss to the
Retailer AND a loss to the OEM.

Since the release of Vista

CompUSA has closed nearly all of their stores primarily due to losses
on PCs.
Gateway nearly went bankrupt - grateful to get about $1/share from
Circuit City is closing all of it's stores.
IBM sold of it's PC and Laptop product line - and sold off their stake
in Lenovo - the company who purchased the brand and technology.
Apple has risen to #1 in terms of revenue and profit, and #3 in terms
of unit volume, and may be #1 within 12 months.

ACER and ASUS, both major players in the PC market, have started
selling Linux powered sub-notebooks, getting them onto retailer
shelves, where they have been selling way above expectations.

ASUS has embedded Linux into all of their motherboards.  Other
motherboard makers, including laptop motherboard makers, are starting
to follow suit.

Vista-only laptops and desktops did not sell well.  The prices
eventually dropped almost 70% from their prices when Vista was first
released.  The most popular machines are those capable of running both
Linux and NT.

Corporations have adopted desktop virtualization - often based on Xen,
VMWare or other new competitors.  Even Microsoft is giving away a
desktop virtualization option.

Many corporations have officially rejected Vista.  Some have even
banned upgrades to Vista.  Vista upgrades require executive level
approval and must be downgraded as soon as the need is no longer

Many large-cap companies have opted for license ownership rather than
annuities.  These licenses are tranferable to any machine used by a
full time permanent employee, or permanently located at the customer's
location, or exclisively owned by the corporation.  Many have even
opted to stick with Windows 2000.  Even with forced upgrades by
Microsoft 1.7 % of the IP addresses surveyed by W3Schools still show
Windows 2000 as their primary OS.  Since these are mostly corporate IP
addresses - NAT addresses, this could be hiding a substantially larger
number of actual Windows 2000 machines (much the same way Linux
machines are hidden behind NAT firewalls.

Traditional PC sales are down, possibly down to as little as 100
million PCs.  18 million of those were Macs.  About 40 million copies
of Linux were "shipped" - as magazines, as downloadable ISO images, or
as Virtualized "appliances".  About 100 million desktop virtualization
solutions were "shipped" - mostly as free downloads.

One analyst has predicted that more Linux PC licenses will be
"shipped" and/or deployed than new Windows/Vista PC licenses.

Today more Linux powered devices are shipped than Windows powered
PCs.  This is because Linux runs in small devices that need less
power, less memory, and less storage.  Devices such as WiFi hubs,
routers, DVRs, HDTV sets, cameras, cell phones, and even automobiles
and microwave ovens.  *Nix also powers cable-modems, Cable TV tuners,
and Digital TV converter boxes being offered by the US government.
Linux also powers many cash registers, ATMs, Kiosks, teller
workstations, call center terminals, and IT management consoles.

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