Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Ubuntu GNU/Linux and OEMs

  • May 08 / 2012
  • 29
technology

Ubuntu GNU/Linux and OEMs

  • 2012-05-01 Interview with Mark Shuttleworth:“Is there any OEM interest in Ubuntu 12.04?

    12.04 will ship on PC’s / laptops from all the major brands, in different parts of the world – so yes.”

  • 2012-05-07 Chris Kenyon, Canonical’s VP Sales and Business Development according to Phoronix:
    “- Eight to ten million units shipped last year world-wide.

    - Canonical will be opening their first Beijing office this year (their Taipei office right now handles most of their Asian operations since 2008).

    - Last year Ubuntu shipped on 7.5 billion dollars (presumably USD) worth of hardware.

    - Next year they expect to more than double these numbers to 18 million units world-wide, or what Chris says would be 5% of PCs shipping world-wide would be with Ubuntu Linux. “

That’s more than a toe-hold on the OEM-mountain. The retail mountain will soon be conquered. Going to China is huge. Going to all major OEMs is huge. This is the deal with Dell in 2007 compounded with interest.

I expect the growth to continue and other major distros will get in on the action. While Canonical has actual salesmen and has opened many doors, other OEMs which account for nearly half of all PCs shipped may well choose other distros to make their own. No matter where those machines will ship, many millions of ordinary people will get to experience GNU/Linux and have choice in desktop OS. ~1% unit share is a receding illusion.

29 Comments

  1. oiaohm

    Viktor
    “I’m disappointed. As a long-time reader you should know by now that the evil, evil industry in concert with the evil, evil Redmond empire has rigged ACPI in order to make Linux look bad.”
    Particular windows laptops have bad battery live due to bad ACPI as well.

    Viktor the issue is quality control. Major lack of. Lot of makers hack up enough that the windows machines appear to run right. Even that for the chipsets they should have longer battery life. This is why at times you get two laptops from two different makers with identical chips on the motherboard and some-cases identical motherboard and identical batteries that have different battery life.

    biosbits.org I am point two is the start of this lack of good quality checking for motherboards being turned around.

    Viktor is one thing you really cannot blame Microsoft completely for. Yes the defective ACPI test suite Microsoft made, Microsoft has to take responsibility for. Yes a test suite that if you passed Windows would randomly lock up and was not to ACPI spec either. Since then its basically been learnt don’t ask Microsoft to make a hardware test suite they don’t know enough. So some of the defective hardware does track to Microsoft but they did not just break Linux they broke there own OS as well. If it was conspiracy of Microsoft to destroy Linux they are highly incompetent. Linux flatly refused to boot so did everything else using the reference implementation.

    Really that bad test suite from microsoft was the best thing for Linux since after that a lot of hardware makers joined the kernel.org and started running Linux as part of regular testing.

    There are still things like turning on and off backlights in acpi where there is not good automated tested. To test properly you need monitoring hardware to make sure that everything in the hardware side is acting as per software directions. Shocking part is even today that does not fully exist for you x86 machines.

    So on quality control we have a long way to go. Viktor sticking head in sand does not help the problem.

    Items like this https://wiki.ubuntu.com/OHW/VgaSwitch
    Not even Microsoft has. So there really does need to be a focus getting the hardware for OS makers made so they can check there hardware interactions and that motherboard makers can check that everything is operating correctly.

    Yes the problem is lets build and pray that it works.

    Yes open standard hardware would be a good idea so everyone can use the same hardware for confirming everything is working right.

    biosbits.org also comes out of giving hardware makers what they want. They don’t want to have to repair a laptop or desktop after its left. So all tests have to be run in the prototype stage or not at all to get change in quality for a lot of makers.

  2. Viktor

    You wrote quite a rant, and nothing you say can change the simple fact that Windows 7 has better battery life than Ubuntu.

    I’m disappointed. As a long-time reader you should know by now that the evil, evil industry in concert with the evil, evil Redmond empire has rigged ACPI in order to make Linux look bad.

    In short: it’s a conspiracy! :-)

  3. Robert Pogson

    Phenom wrote, “nothing you say can change the simple fact that Windows 7 has better battery life than Ubuntu.”

    I don’t use “7″ so I have nothing to say about that. I don’t use Ubuntu on notebooks, either, so I have nothing to say about that. I do use Debian GNU/Linux on notebooks and the previous owner of one of them noticing that the battery still had lots of guts after six years, was amazed. One cannot get better battery-life than “adequate”. I use notebooks at home, not on the bus, so battery-life is not really an issue. The machines all save/restore to disk perfectly too.

    One can reduce power-consumption on most systems by reducing clock-speed and so on. I have no need of that because all my systems have modest clock-speeds from the start. I have no use of ultra-high clock-speeds resulting in more wasted power/cycles. Even Beast which is insanely powerful for a personal computer only runs at 2.5gHz. All the others run from 400MHz to 2.2gHz. They are all snappy because I match the hardware to the tasks. Here, hydro-electric power is 6 cents/KWH and we heat with electricity. PC-usage is just part of the heating system in winter. Even in the summer, we use no more energy than if we had a few teenagers living at home.

  4. Robert Pogson

    Phenom wrote, of M$’s caching apps whether I need them or not, “Sounds pretty reasonable to me.”

    Of course, caching is wonderful if you need it and a pain for stuff you don’t need. Why lash the performance of the PC to “average” usage of files instead of instantaneous usage of files? If I want caching, I will use a GNU/Linux terminal server and let the server run holding all the cached files for the whole organization which won’t need to cache anything when a user boots.

    e.g. In an organization of 100 users, That other OS will seek 100X files instead of none in the case of GNU/Linux terminal servers. That’s a huge savings in wear, noise, heat, capital equipment and energy consumption. It blows people’s minds when I show them 8 year old PCs beating that other OS on new machines with a single hard drive seeking itself to death at every boot.

  5. oiaohm

    Phenom
    “Windows 7 has better battery life than Ubuntu.”

    Is this true for all Linux Distrobutions. I think not.

    Also here is the funny one that test was against desktop ubuntu not ubuntu configured for laptops. There are options you can enable that speed up windows but ruin its power usage as well.

    The real answer is no where near as black and white.

    Also “NVIDIA IOn graphics” this also shows problem Nvidia has been known for not providing power management options under Linux. ATI machine more interesting question.

    There is a big problem with limited sample testing. Its not a valid way to make any assessment on the general status at all Phenom.

    World is shades of grey. Some will run Linux better than windows some will run Windows better than Linux.

    You are not providing enough data to make a ruling either way Phenom.

    “Starting with Vista, Windows keeps statistics of which applications users run most, and caches”

    Ubuntu preload uses statistics also can be pretold to load particular things as well at user control.

    Both systems have a preload system.

    Interesting enough http://behdad.org/preload.pdf Windows copied Linux here. The formulas Windows Vista and 7 are using for preload are in this document by the author of the Linux preload system.

    Reason MS made theirs after the Linux one already existed.

    Linux preload you can choose to exclude particular applications. This is because windows vista and 7 are a poor copy in the preload system.

    Since you don’t know history of where these techs come from you did not have the right response Phenom. What is basically bow you head and walk away because windows implementation is poor copy of the Linux preload system.

    Later generations of Linux preload addressed many issues the first document contain that MS copied. MS has not updated theirs from the master document so its buggy.

    Key change was not preloading stuff for userspace usage while system is still starting up. Split the statistics. Start up services split from user-space applications with two statistic numbers. So after to login screen then start preloading user stuff if you are going to preload any.

    kozmcrae is basically refering to the bug in MS preload implementation that the first Linux preload had but is now fixed. Linux users are use to this fixed so are annoyed by windows not being fixed.

    Phenom reality MS does a really poor job coping at times.

    Some of these things you should be on MS back about. Like boot up statistics and user application statistics being split for preload so system does not stall badly on start because startup services are being loaded after pre-loading some user application that cannot be run yet because you cannot log in to run it.

  6. Phenom

    Pogson wrote, in attemp to move the goalpost and save himself from the embarassment with the power-saving performance of Linux:
    “but one of the things that really annoys me is that other OS “preloading” stuff a user may never use delaying “useful desktop”.”

    Starting with Vista, Windows keeps statistics of which applications users run most, and caches (“pre-loads”) these. As a result, users get better performance for their mundane tasks for the costs of a small delay for rare tasks.

    Sounds pretty reasonable to me. After all, nowadays the hard disk is the performance bottleneck, and the cheap RAM makes a great cache when unused.

  7. Phenom

    Pogson, you are becoming like Ohio. :-)

    You wrote quite a rant, and nothing you say can change the simple fact that Windows 7 has better battery life than Ubuntu.

  8. Robert Pogson

    Phenom wrote, “Eh, like this?”

    He can write for himself, but one of the things that really annoys me is that other OS “preloading” stuff a user may never use delaying “useful desktop”. I may intend to run certain applications but that other OS certainly would not know which, even from my history. On one day I may want to write a bunch of WordPress articles and on another to add a bunch of software to a bunch of PCs. A quite different list of applications are involved and that other OS cannot read my mind. Pre-loading from a hard drive really sucks juice. A typical hard drive uses a few watts idle and more than 10W active. That other OS certainly likes to swap on real machines I have seen in schools. The malware sucks resources too, just by having all the accessed files sniffed.

  9. kozmcrae

    Phenom wrote:

    “No one cares. People just want them to work according to their expectations.”

    Expect to purchase/download extra security software to make it safe for the Internet.

    Expect it to slow down with age.

    Expect it to be useless every patch Tuesday while it updates and reboots/re-reboots.

    Expect the battery life to plummet because the CPU is busy doing a whole bunch of stuff and you’re not sure what exactly it’s doing.

    Expect your shiny new computer to slowly become a useless piece of crap as Windows gets cluttered up with day to day normal use.

    Microsoft has conditioned an entire generation of computer users about just what to expect from their computer. What a shame.

  10. oiaohm

    Ivan
    “I guess you missed the netbook debacle when everyone and their mother’s brother were going on about buying SuSe and Ubuntu loaded Netbooks, updating them and then loosing networking or video.”

    Really you are saying that debacles have not happened like this with Microsoft. I have seen people attempt to update XP machines to Vista or 7 and find themselves missing key parts because the hardware is not supported by the OS by the maker of it so there are no drivers.

    Updating a OS on hardware is always a risk unless you are sure its defect less with the next OS.

    Really lot of people are careless. Don’t check if a OS will work with the hardware so when they change it get burnt. Linux is not unique in this re-guard.

    Lot of things you troll about Ivan are common reality to all platforms bar OS X, AIX and other OS’s that are only sold with particular hardware.

    By the way are there distributions built specially for netbooks. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_netbook Yep.

    Not all Linux distrobutions are created equal.

    What are your provided windows reinstall images really custom versions of windows matched to hardware.

    Linux is no different really. Something designed for server/generic standard conforming hardware placed on something that is standard inconsistent is going to be a problem.

    In fact Viktor is one of these twits I can bet installing a generic distribution on something not for generic then complaining when it don’t work easy.

    Generic stock windows OEM disc is harder to install than a OEM customised disc on some hardware. And some hardware a generic stock windows oem disc will not work at all until you take it to another machine and slipstream in some key drivers. Not something you would call a novice job.

    Sorry I install windows and linux on broad ranges of hardware. This is why I laugh so hard at some of these people who complain stupidly like Viktor.

    Yes there is a myth that Linux distrobutions work on anything. This of course is not true if you expect that out box on everything. Effort is required to make a incompatible work. But a lot of cases there is a particular distribution that is matched that will work without effort because its pre slipstreamed for that hardware.

  11. Phenom

    Posgon wrote: People do like small cheap computers.

    Small? Absolutely yes. Cheap? Well, only as cheap as it does what people want it to do, but not any cheaper.

  12. Robert Pogson

    Phenom wrote, “People, mr. Mc Rae, think of their tablets as, ahm, tablets. Slogans like “android”, “linux”, “open”, “free” are absolutely irrelevant. No one cares. People just want them to work according to their expectations.”

    That’s what frightens some, that tablets are new to most users of IT and acquiring a new device is an exciting adventure where a consumer may well reflect on choice and choose non-Wintel. People do care. People do like small cheap computers.

  13. Phenom

    Ok, Koz, you are definitely making progress here. You agreed with the 1% share on desktop. I salute you on this one!

    However, as most leftist pseudo-intellectuals, as loons happen to be, you are quite wrong about what you call “mind share”.

    People, mr. Mc Rae, think of their tablets as, ahm, tablets. Slogans like “android”, “linux”, “open”, “free” are absolutely irrelevant. No one cares. People just want them to work according to their expectations.

  14. Clarence Moon

    Bias, however, is a choice and may not be curable.

    Said Mr. Pogson, unbiasedly. :-)

  15. Robert Pogson

    Viktor wrote, “Ignorance is bliss. You should’ve realized by now that this is Pogson’s motto.”

    I have, all my life been an active learner, sometimes to the embarrassment of family, friends and teachers. Ignorance is a sad state of affairs but fortunately it is curable. Bias, however, is a choice and may not be curable.

  16. Viktor

    I guess you missed the netbook debacle when everyone and their mother’s brother were going on about buying SuSe and Ubuntu loaded Netbooks, updating them and then loosing networking or video.

    Ignorance is bliss. You should’ve realized by now that this is Pogson’s motto. And his last words will be:

    “To the last, I will grapple with thee… from Hell’s heart, I stab at thee! For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee!”

  17. Ivan

    I guess you missed the netbook debacle when everyone and their mother’s brother were going on about buying SuSe and Ubuntu loaded Netbooks, updating them and then loosing networking or video.

  18. Robert Pogson

    Ivan wrote, “Until they update their OS and lose their wifi or reboot to a black screen.”

    I have installed and updated hundreds of PCs over the years in schools, random hardware chosen by OEMs to run that other OS, and there were very few that lost any drivers. One that comes to mind was moving binary blobs out of the installer for Debian. That was easy to solve and we moved on. Debian GNU/Linux is that flexible. There are OEMs shipping Debian. They would not do that if breakage was anywhere near a certainty. OEMs do test their hardware, you know, and they can run their own repositories. That’s allowed by the licence and avoids the problem.

  19. kozmcrae

    Phenom wrote:

    “Whatever those are, Koz, the result is the same old story – Linux marketshare on desktop is about 1%.”

    Whatever the GNU/Linux desktop market share is is irrelevant. It’s taking over mind share. All those people thinking about their android phones and tablets, that’s mind share.

    So what was that about Linux desktop… 1%, yeah, whatever. You say Linux only has less than 1% of the desktop market or so, maybe. It could be as high as 10% in some places. But what difference does it make? One percent you say? Did I just hear you say Linux only has 1% of the desktop?

    HEY EVERYBODY, PHENOM SAYS LINUX ONLY HAS 1% OF THE DESKTOP. DID YOU GET THAT…? ONE PERCENT. HE SAID 1%.

    1%… ONE PERCENT… 1% ! 1%%%!!111%%!!%%11551111151^^6&7%%%55%

    We know how much you like to say it Phenom, so I was just humoring you.

  20. kozmcrae

    iLia wrote:

    “And why they don’t load Ubuntu or any other Linux distribution instead of Microsoft’s Windows with all its many woes?”

    Some of them do. I’m one of them.

  21. oiaohm

    Phenom really china. Some of the china machines that are running Linux are complete evil to run windows on.

    Coreboot with only the requirements to load linux kernel. This stuffs running windows. It cuts a few dollars of the hardware doing that in patent requirements.

    Or china own processor that also does not run windows.

    Getting geek down street over there may not help you in all cases.

    The more common Linux sales become more likely the Linux only hardware will appear. Not having to pay the bios tax allows cheaper.

    What about the numbers that convert there machines from windows to Linux.

  22. Phenom

    Koz: Those are not new computers loading their first OS Phenom. Those are reloads.

    Whatever those are, Koz, the result is the same old story – Linux marketshare on desktop is about 1%.

  23. iLia

    kozmcrae:Those are not new computers loading their first OS Phenom. Those are reloads.

    And why they don’t load Ubuntu or any other Linux distribution instead of Microsoft’s Windows with all its many woes?

  24. Ivan

    many millions of ordinary people will get to experience GNU/Linux and have choice in desktop OS

    Until they update their OS and lose their wifi or reboot to a black screen. That is when the ever present “they” realize what the “trolls” on your site have been saying all along.

    By the way this “choice in the desktop” meme of yours, is blatantly false: Linux is not a choice for a desktop.

  25. kozmcrae

    Phenom wrote:

    “P.S. Just checked the stats of a local torrent. Windows 7 32 / 64 is in the top-five most downloaded pieces of software.”

    Because their computer didn’t come with a CD/DVD of the OS that was on it, just a “rescue” disk. Once their computer becomes useless due to any one of the many woes that plague Microsoft’s Windows they are forced to seek solutions elsewhere.

    Those are not new computers loading their first OS Phenom. Those are reloads.

  26. Viktor

    Putting Umbuntu on PCs will solve nothing. People will ditch this crappy Linux distribution faster than a hand grenade with the safety pin off. Linux wasn’t able to profit from Vista. It won’t be able to profit from Windows 8.

  27. eug

    Phenom:
    “In reality, millions of ordinary people will
    call their geek neighbor’s son to setup an illegal copy of Windows on their brand-new PCs. ”

    It´s true. :(

    Windows + MS Office are MEMES (virus of mind),
    and although linux + open/libreoffice are great softwares, people think they MUST use MS software…

  28. Phenom

    No matter where those machines will ship, many millions of ordinary people will get to experience GNU/Linux and have choice in desktop OS.

    In reality, millions of ordinary people will
    call their geek neighbor’s son to setup an illegal copy of Windows on their brand-new PCs.

    P.S. Just checked the stats of a local torrent. Windows 7 32 / 64 is in the top-five most downloaded pieces of software.

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