Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Daily Archives / Thursday, August 18, 2011

  • Aug 18 / 2011
  • 34

Yes, GNU/Linux is on Desktops and Notebooks and Many Other Types of Computer

Zemlin is still joking about The Year of The Linux Desktop. He’s so busy catering to big business he has forgotten that most “desktop” PCs (Personal Computers with a GUI, say) are run by ordinary people like my wife (GNU/Linux user for a couple of months now and my service calls are way down… ;-) ), and GNU/Linux works very well for them. The “Year” has come and gone a long time ago but GNU/Linux is still performing well on millions of desktops.

It is dishonest or ignorant to claim otherwise. Consider webstats on Would anyone visit that site without a GUI? I doubt it. 5% visit while running GNU/Linux. That’s a significant market share. It matters. It is not zero or minimal. Think how many new PCs have to be installed of GNU/Linux each year to maintain that 5% value (and it’s increasing). There are around 100million more PCs in operation each year so just maintaining 5% share required 5million more PCs to run GNU/Linux this year. That’s a big city or a small country. It’s a lot of PCs. In 2011 there are about 1500million PCs running so 5% comes to 75million PCs in all, a medium-sized country.

It’s clear from the data that GNU/Linux on the desktop is growing slowly but surely. Zemlin should be aware that there are many opportunities for more rapid growth:

  • thin clients,
  • terminal servers, and
  • coming soon to a retail outlet year you, ARMed PCs.

In none of these cases does that other OS offer any advantage over GNU/Linux and in every case, GNU/Linux has advantages over that other OS: cost, speed, reliability, and use of proper standards. We have seen Android/Linux sweep retail markets on small cheap computers. Android/Linux and GNU/Linux will both sweep into retail shelves for all the advantages they offer.

  • Aug 18 / 2011
  • 0

World War III Will Be About The OS

We had the OS war about the PC. Now we are in WWII of the OS, mobility, thin clients and virtualization. No matter how this turns out there is another battle on the horizon: ARMed servers. Small cheap servers are not going to wait for M$ or Oracle or anyone else. People want small cheap computers in the server room especially when the server room is acres in size. The power savings, capital cost savings and space savings will justify migrating anyone and any thing to ARM in the server-rooms/data-centres.

M$ is supposedly porting it’s client stuff to ARM but servers won’t wait. GNU/Linux is ready, willing and able to run LAMP and Java and clouds on ARMed processors today. When M$ finally catches up with something for ARMed clients about 2013, GNU/Linux will have been running on millions of ARMed servers for years. At about 1W per core, Intel is barely in the running and M$ is out of the running.

see Canonical ARMs Ubuntu for microserver wars

  • Aug 18 / 2011
  • 18

HP: Big Changes

HP is looking to shut down its WebOS and PC lines of business. There have been stories that HP has not had much fun with these lately but they’ve barely started with WebOS and they are Number One in PCs. What’s up?“Exploring strategic alternatives for Personal Systems Group; shutting down operations for webOS devices and exploring strategic alternatives for webOS software”

In Q2, HP reported tiny earnings even though revenue was $billions for “personal systems”. They could well be willing to shift all that to China… the same way IBM did. Lenovo is loving it. Perhaps they could take the business off HP’s reluctant hands. It doesn’t seem Q3 is all that bad. Perhaps they just want larger margins.
“Third quarter net revenue of $31.2 billion, up 1% from the prior year quarter and down 2% when adjusted for the effects of currency
Third quarter GAAP diluted earnings per share up 24% with non-GAAP diluted earnings per share up 2% and cash flow from operations of $3.2 billion”

I’ve noticed lately that their heart isn’t in it. Wyse has taken over first place in thin clients. They were just charging too much for a small cheap computer.

HP has new leadership. Has he no heart for the lowly PC?

PS: I’ve had an afterthought: M$ could be losing a huge partner in Wintel here. HP has proven there’s not much money in being M$’s partner in Wintel. Perhaps the next owner of the business will drive a harder bargain or even run GNU/Linux straight away… Either way this could cost M$ money or share.

  • Aug 18 / 2011
  • 79

Still More Google-Bashing

You can tell when a business is doing well, rats come out of the woodwork to bash it:

  • “It’s too big.”
  • “It’s growing too fast.”
  • “It’s acquiring other businesses.”
  • “It’s copying what works.”
  • “People who bet against it lose.”

…and lots of other whining. Much of the world laughed at Google and its business model but Google persisted and made search work. They provided the world with what the world wanted.

The thing that provoked me to write again on this topic? Pretty much anyone following the space that doesn’t work for the company thinks Google ripped off the Java technology. That’s the old lie about Android/Linux somehow incorporating Java (which was supposed to be Free Software) without permission of the owner, now Oracle. Android/Linux does not use Java!!! It contains a virtual machine which interprets a different language. That developers of applications use Java to write the apps which are then translated into Dalvik is proof that Android contains no Java. If it did that step would not be necessary.

I judge a business by its actions. If it delivers goods and services at a great price/performance point I am inclined to give them business. I would be irrational not to do that. What’s the alternative? M$?!?! When have they ever done anything in the market not designed to harm competition? That other OS, InternetExploder, Exchange, AD, SMB/CIFS, OOXML, exclusive dealing, technological evangelism sabotaging mind-share for alternatives… It’s a long rap-sheet. Google, OTOH, as far as I know has never done anything illegal with intent to mess with anybody. Some jurisdictions have taken offence re:privacy/copyright, but Google has done a ton of good works in the world and in the world of IT. They are the best at doing a lot of things M$ did not even want to do a few years ago. Enough with the sour grapes.

  • Aug 18 / 2011
  • 15

Office 363.5

Since 2011-6-28, Office 365 has been down six hours. I guess they should rename the product, Office 363.5, and I think M$ should not be saying the are “all-in”. Obviously they are holding back.