Desirable OS

It has been a long time if ever that Linux has been described as a desirable OS but it is happening now. A survey of smartphone-lovers finds that more intend to buy Android/Linux next rather than iOS or worst, Phoney 7. Underneath it is the same stuff that consumers have not been choosing for a decade but the change is understandable. While the forces of evil denigrated GNU/Linux as “communism” and “cancer” and their multitudes of “partners” repeated the chants until the media believed them and common wisdom in the retail trade was than no one would buy GNU/Linux, the makers of smart phones have been uncontaminated. You can see ads on television for smart phones with Android/Linux from the manufacturers, ISPs, banks, etc. and many millions of people are showing them to their friends. The “partners” have been bypassed. The monopoly is now irrelevant.

Interestingly, while low cost has been touted as one of the major advantages of GNU/Linux, the smart phones with Android/Linux are often sold at a premium over the high-prices products from Apple. There is a long tail of lower-priced models but it is often the purchase of a smart phone from an ISP at a rate subsidized by the ISP and paid along with monthly usage that makes the Android/Linux smart phone reasonably priced. The openness of the system also permits many manufacturers, not just the biggies, to dive in and compete on price/performance. The result is Apple is being swarmed and cannot match the presence/hype/mind-share of Android/Linux. The same thing will happen in tablets and eventually in all forms of personal computers.

For share numbers see “Android Outranks Apple in Desirability–and That’s Huge”

The numbers are interesting. Android/Linux has passed iOS in desirability and Phoney 7 and iOS have both declined in desirability. FLOSS is knocking off two monopolists with one stone. By the time M$/Nokia get their act together, Android/Linux will be a winner, a new kind of monopoly of the multitude. Fragmentation? Software-patents? Ha! These are not an issue. Price/performance and competition beat constipation any day. This will spread to all PCs sooner or later. The world just does not need monopolists in Silicon Valley or Redmond. The world can create its own IT.

Want to give FLOSS a spin on your PC? Try Debian GNU/Linux. Want a smart thingie running some form of Linux? Go to any retail outlet for smart phones. Just stay away from Apple amd M$. You can run, examine, modify and distribute the software with few restrictions and lots of enablement.

Here are some sellers of smart phones:

Hmmm. That last one is interesting. Aren’t they the ones that decided GNU/Linux was not going to sell on netbooks after M$’s salesmen paid them a visit?

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
This entry was posted in technology. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Desirable OS

  1. Al Coholic wrote, “we all know he’s not even seen a computer running Windows 7, hasn’t seen an Android phone, hasn’t seen a Windows Phone 7 much less used any of them.”

    Then you would be ignorant. I have worked with several computers running “7”. I was impressed by how slow they were. I have seen lots of video of Android/Linux. It seems pretty sharp. I have never seen a Phoney 7 phone. I guess there are not many around. I have seen hundreds of machines running GNU/Linux. They performed admirably.

    As for employability, in education hiring is mostly done for full school years which put me at a disadvantage for being out of work in mid-year. I see lots of positions opening up for the fall. My employers generally are quite pleased with my work.

  2. Al Coholic says:

    “When you haven’t really used Windows 7, you’ll also get flagged as talking about something you know little about. You need real experience with a recent Microsoft operating system to be considered credible.”

    This is why he is unemployed. Pogson apparently does have some knowledge but his FOSS religion pretty much guarantees that his reputation precedes him and thus school boards will avoid him like the plague.

    Pogson’s idiocy is legendary within the LH community; we all know he’s not even seen a computer running Windows 7, hasn’t seen an Android phone, hasn’t seen a Windows Phone 7 much less used any of them.

    :O

  3. The Linux kernel has no particular short-comings of which I am aware.

    The GNU layer is very solid.

    The GUI is where there are problems from time to time but these are filtered out well with each new release. There are a few buggy applications. For example, Pitivi, which I like for video editing because it is easy to learn and to use, is fragile and I have to do a save on each operation to have confidence in my work being preserved. Some features like the preview come and go. Being FLOSS, I have confidence that these issues will be fixed. I may file bug reports if I get any way to predict/reproduce the faults. The merits of the programme are sufficient to motivate me to work around such problems. I like simple. Chrome browser occasionally freezes too, but that rarely causes any problem for me because it recovers on its own with a restart. That is a recent release and I expect such problems in such a complex programme so early in its life-cycle. Overall, I have a very reliable system and a tiny few faults is nothing compared to the millions of malware to which that other OS is prone. Further, many of the important features on which I rely daily work very smoothly: networked display, multi-tasking, openSSH, LAMP, etc. What does that other OS offer me to top that? Rounded corners, transparency, re-re-reboots and malware. No thanks. I’lll keep GNU/Linux.

  4. oldman says:

    “Unless Pogson had a spare machine laying about he could install 7 on, it would be a much greater waste of his time that he would only get 60 days out of the effort he spent.”

    I believe that I covered this by offering pogson a provisioned virtual machine image. All it will take is some disk space in his file system, and while it is running a portion of his RAM.

    The object of my offer, BTW, was not to convert Pog, but to allow him the option to be authoritative in his estimation of the CURRENT shipping versions of the OS that he regularly bashes based on antiquated experiences and information.

    “Also, I’d be more than interested to hear about these ‘limitations’ you mention.”

    Actually, Pog was the one who in one of his posts referred to the limitation of Linux that can be worked around. Perhaps he will respond to you directly with what he had in mind.

    My issues with Linux come down to a simple one – Applications. The Linux desktop does not run the applications that I use personally and professionally. And the alternative applications that are available in the linux desktop environment will leave me either without a solution at all, or with solutions that are less capable and which will render me less productive in my own terms.

    And that is that.

  5. Dann says:

    “Nice try Pog. Evaluation copies of Windows 7 are available that will run for 60 days. There would be no investment but you time, which we already know you do not value because you are willing to work around Linux’s limitations.”

    Unless Pogson had a spare machine laying about he could install 7 on, it would be a much greater waste of his time that he would only get 60 days out of the effort he spent. GNU/Linux doesn’t have an ‘evaluation’ period.

    Also, I’d be more than interested to hear about these ‘limitations’ you mention.
    I believe there are vastly more limitations in the WIndows * User Interface than any GNU-based one.
    KDE? More customization.
    Gnome? Less so, but at least you can have multiple panels on the desktop. Not to mention there is a netbook remix of both GNOME/KDE and now Unity and Gnome Shell to choose from.
    And you can swap them out regardless of version.

    Not too mention various other managers I use like openbox and fluxbox, a touch of xmonad, etc.
    That’s just UI.

  6. lpbbear says:

    “You Mr. IpBear, on the other hand, are just noise to be ignored.”

    I’m surprised you can hear anything over the sound of your ego.

  7. oldman wrote, “THis is, of course my personal experience, but the fact that Linux as a desktop has only made inroads where it has been basically shoved down the throats of captive desktop computer users in business and educational systems suggests that my experience is closer to the norm than yours.”

    Not at all. I never shoved GNU/Linux down anyone’s throat any more than XP or 2000 was shoved down people’s throats because it was the only thing found in retail outlets including Dell and bricks-and-mortar stores locally. In fact, in several cases, users were expressing deep displeasure with that other OS which existed on hardware that I did not choose because it was acquired years before I arrived. The first place I installed LTSP, students in every class were losing their work because Lose ’98 was crashing about 3% chance per hour. That Lose ’98 was installed by MSCEs from the school division before I arrived. It was negatively affecting the willingness of students to make an effort. Real people did not enjoy having their work evaporate by chance. In that same installation, I figured out how to induce crashes in a few minutes. All it took was running a browser + word-processor with a few windows open, a classic case of that other OS not managing resources properly. When I switched to GNU/Linux on the same hardware no one lost a file in 6 months of use. That was back in 2003/4. My first experience of GNU/Linux on thick clients was similarly reliable. On the same hardware that Lose ’95 died regularly, GNU/Linux purred.

  8. oldman says:

    “Why did they produce crapware for ten years or more and suddenly realize they needed to produce better software? ”

    The problem is Pog, That I did not have any where near the bad experiences your did, and I know quite a few people who would say the same. I suspect some of it has to do with hardware choices that I made, and possibly my own experience allowed me to avoid the problems that you experienced. The bottom line is that for me, Microsoft and their ISV’s did NOT produce crapware. I know because I USED that so called crapware quite productively.

    IN contrast my experiences with Linux in general up through about 6 years ago were uniformly underwhelming. As a desktop it couldn’t even begin to meet my needs enough to even consider letting it own the hardware (I have been running Linux in a VM for at least 8 years – I currently run Red Hat enterprise Linux AS 5 x64 & 6 x64 on top of windows 7 ultimate x64. THis is, of course my personal experience, but the fact that Linux as a desktop has only made inroads where it has been basically shoved down the throats of captive desktop computer users in business and educational systems suggests that my experience is closer to the norm than yours.

    At any rate the offer still stands should you ever feel brave enough to rise to the challenge.

  9. I don’t think so. I have started gardening seriously now and don’t have a lot of time. I have cultivated the patch and have a bunch of plants to propagate and set in the coming week, as soon as the last winter storm of the season passes.

    Further, apart from the quality of the software I don’t want anything to do with a company with the qualities of M$. Why did they produce crapware for ten years or more and suddenly realize they needed to produce better software? I might as well use the competition, GNU/Linux.

  10. oldman says:

    “Find some other BS issue to argue about. That ones dead.”

    If Pog, tells me that a particular line of discussion is to be ended, I will honor his request.

    You Mr. IpBear, on the other hand, are just noise to be ignored.

  11. oldman says:

    “I must go out and buy “7″ and try it out, as if M$ has a right to my money. Chuckle…”

    Nice try Pog. Evaluation copies of Windows 7 are available that will run for 60 days. There would be no investment but you time, which we already know you do not value because you are willing to work around Linux’s limitations.

    I would even be more than willing to create trial image of Windows 7 (either ultimate or Professional, 32 or 64 bit) loaded with the same FOSS that I regularly give out to friends who have limited means (Openoffice, Firefox, THunderbird, VC, Gimp) I’ll do it in a VMWare virtual machine.

    I think it would make an interesting discussion point. How about it, pog?

  12. I see the same advantages on desktops/thin clients as I do on servers. GNU/Linux is solid and you cannot beat the price.

  13. It used to be that Lose ‘9x would crash just idling but Vista and “7” take some work.

  14. Ray says:

    “I’m seeing a lot more Linux server work lately also. I don’t know if it’s growing or not, but I certainly haven’t felt much of a recession as a professional who primarily works with GNU/Linux-based systems.”

    Agreed, Linux/BSD on servers are gods.

  15. Yonah says:

    You certainly do have the right to criticize Microsoft, but when you do so without valid technical reasons beyond “M$ sucks, chuckle-chuckle, I have freedom” this is a problem. When you haven’t really used Windows 7, you’ll also get flagged as talking about something you know little about. You need real experience with a recent Microsoft operating system to be considered credible.

    “I have not seen a crash of Linux on a PC in many years.”

    Congratulations, but I can say the same for Windows. My past 2 machines going back to 2007 used Vista and Windows 7 respectively. I have not had a single blue screen to date. No malware, no viruses. I have Microsoft Security Essentials running for that rare need to scan a USB stick, but it hasn’t reported a problem in over six months.

    According to you I should be experiencing daily blue screen crashes, all sorts of software failures, and would have had to reinstall Windows at least twice in the past year. None of that is the case for me. Care to explain this?

    Bottom line, if you aren’t going to be fair and objective, you’re going to get called out for it.

  16. Lately the theme of some commenters has been that I have no right to criticize M$ based on past performance but that I must go out and buy “7” and try it out, as if M$ has a right to my money. Chuckle…

    M$ should get no free ride just because they have made improvements and added features to their product. Based on past performance, they add bugs with every change and malware is still a problem even with multiple layers of protection. Based on price/performance GNU/Linux is like flowers in springtime compared to a trash-heap. The same analysis makes it a fairly easy choice to migrate from XP to GNU/Linux. If the last 5 cans of peas have been spoilt, we should not continue to buy from the same supplier. It is not as if correct programmes are an innovation of M$. Others can do it too and M$ is coming late to the party.

  17. Mats Hagglund says:

    Using several years Ubuntu, Mint, Mandriva and Fedora there has been not many crash and almost all have been Firefox crash. Ubuntu 8.04 LTS has been one of the most stabile one. Now after 8 weeks of Open SUSE 11.4 KDE there hasn’t been a single crash.

    Comparing them to OS like Xp and Windows 98 the difference is really huge. All Windows versions i’ve used( Win 3.1, Win 95, Win 98 and Xp) have been more or less awfull. In my case (and my family) there ain’t a single reason why to come back to Windows.

  18. Google has made itself a bottleneck. They have a learning curve and have made later version of Android more efficient. Motorola is not known as a OEM of personal computers. They will learn too.

    I have not seen a crash of Linux on a PC in many years.

    At least you have the source code and have a hope of fixing it. With that other OS you would be totally dependent on M$.

  19. Yonah says:

    Fragmentation is an issue, Robert. As I told you before, after I did a factory restore on my Motorola Backflip (ME600) I found I could not reinstall some of the applications I had been using before thanks to changed made in the App Market. Motorola provides no update above Android 1.5 for my particular phone. The only possible solution is to install a custom firmware, but then there is no guarantees that would work and the process itself is complex and time consuming.

    You don’t even own an Android phone and I’m quite sure you’ve never handled a Windows Phone 7 device either. How exactly would you know which one is better? Oh, I know, because one is Microsoft and the other isn’t.

    Android running on a Linux core? Sure. Because it’s some kind of ultra powerful high-tech system? Absolutely not. It runs a Linux core because it’s cheap and provides just enough to run the other components that make Android work. It’s not as slick and fast as the iPhone. The multi-tasking performance of my phone is slow. It’s slow to boot and it will crash at least once every 2 weeks. Is that the almighty power of the Linux core at work?

  20. Joe says:

    I’m seeing a lot more Linux server work lately also. I don’t know if it’s growing or not, but I certainly haven’t felt much of a recession as a professional who primarily works with GNU/Linux-based systems.

  21. No, there is a huge range of malware these days. A few are absolutely destructive, eating away at a file-system for months until the system will not boot and then you discover the damage and have to dig deep into backups to put things right. Folks who do not have snapshots but only rotating backups may not go back far enough. Most send spam which may not harm the system at all except to steal CPU power and network bandwidth. Some others spy on accounts and passwords and may cause serious financial loss while leaving the machine more or less functional.

    I agree all malware is bad but some are merely nuisances and others ruinous. I think the relatively tame nature of most malware is why users tend to feel malware is “normal” and not much of an issue.

  22. ray says:

    All malware’s are bad, no difference.

  23. Bender says:

    @oldman

    Don’t misinterpret people installing malware to malware infecting an OS. Those are two different beasts.

  24. lpbbear says:

    “There is no such OS as Android/Linux, Pog. There is a commercial OS named Android, of course. But it can’t run linux binaries, only applications specifically written for it.”

    Same old crap. Its running on a Linux core. Repeating the same tripe does not change that fact nor am I going to bother getting the same web page from the Android dev site that is already here on Pog’s site in an earlier post to “prove” that yet again. Its running on top of a Linux core. Give it up. Find some other BS issue to argue about. That ones dead.

  25. Many millions of people are buying systems running Linux. That is something to celebrate because it is cost-effective, it works and it’s not that other OS with all its malware, lock-in and burdensome maintenance.

  26. oldman says:

    “A survey of smartphone-lovers finds that more intend to buy Android/Linux next rather than iOS or worst, Phoney 7.”

    Smart Phone based on the commercial OS named Android are indeed taking off, however their popularity will probably do very little for improving the desirability of Linux.

    “Android/Linux will be a winner, a new kind of monopoly of the multitude. Fragmentation? Software-patents? Ha! These are not an issue. Price/performance and competition beat constipation any day.”

    There is no such OS as Android/Linux, Pog. There is a commercial OS named Android, of course. But it can’t run linux binaries, only applications specifically written for it. As much as you may want to use Android to declare victory for linux, very few outside of those who share your views will accept this.

    There are a large number of people who would disagree with you about issues with Android. Many are worried about the fragmentation doing to Android what it did to Unix in the 90’s. Developers are complaining of piracy of the applications they are developing, And then there is the little matter of the malware attacks on Android itself. None of these are show stoppers right now, but you are kidding yourself if you dismiss the outright.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>