That’s more than 95% share. Really think it’s essential to have 100% of desktop PCs running that other OS? Ha! Imagine M$’s bottom line if the world followed Munich’s lead! It’s happening but not fast enough for me. The world does not owe M$ a living.
Reunion is a place I knew nothing about until I found these stats on StatCounter:
Like many tropical islands, sugar and tourism are big businesses but it is probably the French connection that gives it a high share for GNU/Linux. reunion.fr shows 24 sites mostly running GNU/Linux. Their official tourism site is a beauty.
Reunion is definitely connected. They have an ISP planning to push 35 Mbps fiber all over the island within 10 years. What happened to cause that explosion of usage of GNU/Linux in 2010? Darned if I or Google know… Could it have been campaigns like the Free Software Pact which agitated to have candidates in French elections to declare their understanding and love of FLOSS? Whatever it was, it’s working. Good!
Hüseyin Tolu, a PhD student at University of Bristol, wrote a paper after reviewing public documents related to use of FLOSS in IT in the government of Turkey:
“I first review the national ICT policy in Turkey through selecting the most appropriate and elite government documents to have a brief outline of the obstacles for the use of FOSS in public institutions, as well as a genetic perception of the Government views on FOSS that are driven by/ related to the concept of not governing ‘National ICT Policy and Strategy’. To support this, I argue how FOSS is deliberately ignored in ICT projects due to obviously (a) institutional inertia, (b) path dependence, (c) ungovernable ICT changes, and, arguably, (d) corruption in new public management. I then attempted to investigate possible causal and dependency relationships of the currently established interlinks between the Government and unmanageable ICT changes to conclude that the Government has failed in making written ICT Policies and in establishing pervasive and trustworthy (flexible) ICT ecosystems, which recognise either a balanced development between FOSS and PCSS or a FOSS favourable system.”
It documents a camouflage pattern stifling efforts to reform IT in general and using FLOSS in particular. He actually claims that Pardus, a Turkish distro, was developed as leverage in negotiating lower licensing fees from M$. “The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) has developed Pardus Operating Systems (OSs) (nationally distributed Linux distro) between 2003 and 2012. After ten years of Pardus development, the Pardus project has not achieved its initial or subsequent objectives as declared in 2004 & 2011, and has mistakenly diverted away from those objectives to become Pardus Fraud-Debian, as Turkey’s present day accepted open source software solution. Crucially, the Pardus project has been deliberately utilised as leverage to gain better ongoing deals from the Microsoft Corporation.”
That’s the lock-in of a starving slave begging the master for food… The reverse should be true. Turkey should tell M$ where to go. Governments need interoperability and vendor independence. The only way to get that at the moment is with FLOSS. Otherwise governments are beholden to M$’s many costs, abusive EULA, malware, and re-re-reboots forever. On the brighter side, the paper does show that FLOSS is lurking everywhere in governmental IT, just below the surface, and the resources exist to bring FLOSS to the surface in short order. All it will take is political leadership as we see in Brazil, Germany, Russia, India, much of Europe, etc. Governments are supposed to serve their own people, not Microsoft.
More at Techrights…
Ethiopia is one of the poorest regions on Earth thanks to climate and colonialism. The dust has barely settled in their war over Eritrea. Still, they can see what has happened in the rest of the world with IT and will struggle to catch up ASAP. While they seem to have a shortage of IT, judging by the statistical variation in StatCounter’s data from one month to the next (Standard deviation goes as 1/√N), a lot of it seems to be running GNU/Linux lately. Good. That’s a good sign of progress.
“Will there be difficulty to support hardware with more modern Windows releases? I expect the answer is ‘yes,’ but configuring Linux is not a day at the beach either. I think there is an after-market for older PCs, and most will end up either running XP unsupported or be converted to run Linux.”
That’s a reasonable viewpoint of Al Hilwa, program director for applications development software at IDC. XP unsupported could work off-line and some folks might try “DeepFreeze” or some such technology to rewrite everything on every reboot. Applications, however, are the big problem. If your applications are unsupported, you cannot handle new file-formats or get any protection from an accumulating list of vulnerabilities. They are also the chief lock-in these days. If you have invited some cancerous app in to run your business, how can you change without harming the business?
The answer I suggest is to move all the stuck applications to web applications and just change to GNU/Linux ASAP. Many critical applications are not that complex but it may take some programming or using a combination of applications to replace them. You only have to do that once if you use FLOSS, however, because you can always access the code. The problem of lock-in is failure to adopt FLOSS last time there was a big change. Lock-in will only get worse if M$ and “partners” have anything to do about it. Munich showed how it is done. They were forced to migrate because NT was disappearing. They found all kinds of duplication around the organization and cut their lock-in a lot just by eliminating applications doing similar tasks. They ended up with only a few applications that needed to be kept and they only needed those on a few PCs. It takes an effort but in less than one refresh-cycle you break even because you can keep your existing PCs a bit longer and you avoid most licensing fees.
Intel introduced the 8-bit microprocessor back in the 1970s, the 16-bit processor in the 1970s, the 32-bit processor in the 1980s and had to be kicking and screaming to introduce 64-bit processors, chasing AMD, in the 2000s. That’s about a decade a doubling. ARM designed with 32-bits in the 1980s but made the move to 64-bit in 2011. Now, smartphones are using 64-bitness with a mess of models planned for 2014.
In desktop PCs there was little reason to go to 64-bit when it was introduced except that it was a quick way to double throughput for some operations. On the whole it barely bumped up performance at all and consumed a lot of resources. For smartphones, a quick doubling in performance will eliminate the last hesitation of users to respect their power. It also means that manufacturers envision exceeding the 2^32 memory limit and perhaps running virtual machines. The server people are drooling over the possibilities of gazillions of small cheap ARMed CPUs in their servers capable of running huge RAM and virtual machines.
The beauty of this is that while Intel used to charge ~$1K or some such premium prices for new models, ARM is happy to accept a few cents per copy (Q3 Revenue ($m) 286.7 for 2.5 billion ARM-based chips shipped means less than ~$1 per CPU and manufacturing rights are perpetual…) and hardware makers and users get the performance bump from 64-bitness for almost nothing, accelerating adoption. “ARM’s strategy is for our technology to continue to gain share in long-term structural growth markets such as mobile phones, consumer electronics and embedded digital devices. To date, ARM has licensed its technology over 1000 times to more than 350 ARM partners, who have shipped over 45 billion ARM-based chips.” Good luck, Wintel. This technology will be taking share of the desktop and servers really soon and running all kinds of Linux operating systems.
Gimp Magazine has lots of interesting and useful information about what can be done with GIMP but this news blew me away…
“The aforementioned company recently announced that in roughly a three month timeframe they had received one million new subscription clients. In the grand scheme of things this is actually a pretty large revenue, assuming that all clients will remain loyal clients indefinitely. However, in that same approximate timeframe, GIMP absolutely crushed those numbers, with reports of 3.5 million downloads of the latest version ( from the CNET source alone, not including, other sources).”
It’s no secret they are discussing PS v GIMP. Adobe just changed from perpetual licensing to subscription and it is interesting to consider whether hammering users month after month to pay up in good times or bad will alert them to the possibilities of using Free Software ($0 as well as permitting use, examination, modification and distribution). This change also came out just before some really neat improvements are planned for GIMP, making it even more useful.
Don’t give me this garbage about PS being “essential” or “so superior people will pay any price to have it…”. No software is irreplaceable. GIMP is fully configurable, extendable and it’s FLOSS. If there’s something that must be added or changed, it will be. The result? GIMP is converging to be the GoTo software for image-manipulation and Adobe is milking the cow as fast as it can before it dries up.
Meg Whitman, CEO of HP, stated, “If the cloud were an independent county, it would rate number five in energy use. China is number one, the US is number two, Russia is number three, India is number four and the cloud is number five, and Japan is sixth”
She was speaking about making HP the GoTo supplier of IT for all those millions of servers that will be installed in the cloud. That’s good. It is much more efficient to have gazillions of servers more or less fully loaded and doing lots of work than having hundreds of gazillions of PCs all thinking they are super-computers and wasting much more power per tweak of information. What she didn’t say, I will.
The cost of running each PC on the planet with that other OS is twice the cost of material, energy, bulk, and human energy than using a proper OS designed from the beginning to work for users rather than for M$. Think of it. Meg Whitman has HP working on hardware to make data-transfers more efficient amongst CPU, memory and storage/network, but if you cut out M$’s crumby OS, you could cut the polishing of bits in half again because one does not need to read every file and packet multiple times to keep out malware and to please Hollywood and other “partners” of M$. Whatever it costs to run IT, wasting half of it is just foolish.
- If you don’t run that other OS, you can cut out Intel CPUs which cost twice what ARMed CPUs cost.
- If you don’t run that other OS, you can cut out having to buy a new PC every few years to handle the bloat. You can keep your PC twice as long, three times if it’s a thin client. This not only saves money but keeps the cost of material lower and saves the planet’s resources for future generations.
- If you don’t run that other OS, you can cut out hard drives, because the OS can run on the server, or be transferred to the client at boot. This is how many thin clients operate. This saves about a third of the cost of a PC and the power to run the hard drive and the cost of polishing its bits of malware.
- If you don’t run that other OS, you can cut out most of the re-re-reboots which, I figure, cost about $1 each if your time is worth money.
- If you don’t run that other OS, you can cut out waiting on all kinds of stuff while that other OS is working for M$ and partners instead of you.
Meg Whitman also said, “This computing architecture is just inefficient. Ninety percent of the energy used in computing is spent just moving data from a processor to memory to storage and back again. It’s slow and it wastes a lot of memory”. She’s got the future in her sites but we can get halfway their today by adopting FLOSS instead of that other stuff.
Run Debian GNU/Linux, an operating system created by users for users, not M$’s accountants. Use thin clients, too, so all that data can stay on the server where it belongs. There, I feel better…
The one valid argument Wintel has is that desktops/notebooks with “Intel Inside” and that other OS can do bigger tasks, as if most consumers actually had stuff to do…
Check out these specs:“Galaxy J runs Android 4.3 and features a 5-inch full HD Super AMOLED display, 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 SoC, 3GB RAM, 150Mbps Xi LTE support, 13 megapixel main camera and 2 megapixel front-facing camera.”
That’s for a new smartphone, people. Yes, you can carry it around in pocket or purse without starting fires. It’s power rivals my Beast which is a more than adequate ATX box for doing all kinds of stuff. Beast cost me ~$1000 for the box back in the day and ~$200 for display, keyboard and mouse and it will never be portable except in a truck.
Of course, Samsung’s new toy is expensive but with stuff like this coming down the pipeline it won’t be more than a few years when everyone on the planet will be able to afford stuff like it, with FLOSS. Intel and M$ are in for a ton of pain/reality. Even the ~$100 tablets and smartphones are adequate for ~80% of users of IT.
“worldwide smartphone shipments are expected to surpass 1.0 billion units in 2013, representing 39.3% growth over 2012. Despite a number of mature markets nearing smartphone saturation, the demand for low-cost computing in emerging markets continues to drive the smartphone market forward. By 2017, total smartphone shipments are expected to approach 1.7 billion units, resulting in a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.4% from 2013 to 2017.”
“Google’s Android operating system reached a new milestone during the third quarter of 2013 (3Q13), according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. With a total base of 211.6 million smartphone units shipped during the quarter, Android accounted for 81.0% of all smartphone shipments”
see Android Pushes Past 80% Market Share While Windows Phone Shipments Leap 156.0% Year Over Year in the Third Quarter, According to IDC
The Register has yet another fine article on M$’s jerking businesses around just for permission to use the hardware they own. The article is OK:
“One of the biggest complaints from customers regarding Microsoft was the complexity of licensing, with some joking that a degree in the discipline is needed to get close to making sense of it.” but you really must read the comments by those anguished customers. Here are some examples:
- One Anonymous Coward wrote, “And this is the key issue, price. Having persuaded the management where I work 2 1/2 years ago to go onto an OVS I am now having to explain to them that actually it is now about 25% more expensive! What extra 25% value are we getting?”
- Destroy All Monsters wrote, [SARCASM ALERT] “It is absolutely justifiable to make customers pay for the faster CPUs they enjoy, because, after all, these other companies’ (i.e. Intel’s) work is not being Microsoft-taxed by default! The customer paid for hardware out of his own pocket! Without giving Microsoft a cut!! This is irresponsible, akin to refusing to pay VAT or income tax, which goes to the support of widows, children and roads. What is the world coming to when QUALITY work by Redmond is no longer appreciated and people start to dispute adequate remuneration! Microsoft could decide to just withhold its products, leaving you die slowly in the basement with an unsupported NT kernel and a festering IIS, so be grateful!” and
- another Anonymous Coward wrote, “Perhaps you’re referring to the features that simply make their own products merely usable? Or the ones that constantly raise the CPU and RAM requirements just to boot to the desktop? Or the ones that change 20-year old user interface conventions in an attempt to have a leg on the mobile/touch/tablet market? Or the ones that provide backwards compatibility at a huge cost in security? Or the ones that force users to endure non standard compliant products for the sake of “embrace, extend extinguish”? Or the ones that restrict what you can and what you can’t do with your software such as, god forbids, install it on another machine? Or the ones that restrict what you can do with your computer, such as changing its motherboard?”
The tide is working against M$ as it raises revenue not by selling performance/price but by hiding its price in bundling with hardware or complexity one way or another to fool the customer. Eventually customers catch on and there will be a backlash. I’ve seen that backlash grow from tiny shifts a decade ago to explosive rearrangements of the IT landscape. The train wreck has started and it can’t be stopped. I just hope only the guilty suffer in the result.
In spite of the trolls who proclaim that other OS and its “partners” are essential to IT, another city announces that it has been using a lot of FLOSS for everything for years.
“Karay was one of the presenters at the conference organised by the country’s open source resource centre, which took place in Budapest last week.
The city district administration uses the Linux operating system, to run 9 out of its 12 servers. Of the 200 workstations in use in the district’s offices, 40 are running Linux. LibreOffice is used on all 200 workstations.”
“Implementing LibreOffice was not too difficult, nor did it require a lot of training. For the IT department, one of the added benefits is that the office suite and its menus are easily managed centrally, including across proprietary and open source operating systems. “Having used the office suite for five years now, we now know nearly all tricks, and that helps overcome issues with document in incompatible electronic formats.”"
The necessity to use that other OS for anything is a myth, unsupported by facts. Open standards are what people need to function in the real world, not monopoly. If you are not already using FLOSS, I recommend Debian GNU/Linux as an operating system, LibreOffice as an office suite, FireFox as a browser and VLC as a media player. Whatever else you do has a FLOSS solution as well. Check out packages available for Debian GNU/Linux.
When I first saw this thin client, my first thought was “How can this work?!?!”. Darned that black-holes-on-black-bodies problem. “Ceptor is an ultra-small, full featured thin client device that transforms any HDMI monitor or display into a thin client. The Ceptor has integrated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capability, USB-B micro host port, and includes HD 1080P video output.”
This image from the manual illustrates how all that happens:
It’s basically a connector with all the right stuff inside and it’s covered with sockets… Basically, it mounts on the monitor by plugging into the HDMI port, turning the device into a big screen wireless thin client.
According to Devon IT, and consistent with my experience as a teacher, this thing, combined with any HDMI monitor/TV should fit right in with education. It’s also hard to keep in stock with so many organizations loving large displays in random places. It has all the advantages of a thin client and it’s simple to connect to any of the large screens. Priced at US $99, there’s plenty of profit in it yet it’s still affordable. Again FLOSS works for everyone. It runs GNU/Linux.