The breakout by GNU/Linux in the Czech Republic is demonstrated by the following graph. It shows the loss by M$ of desktop page-views since the beginning of 2013 versus the gains by MacOS and GNU/Linux. One can see that MacOS was getting all the joy until mid-2013 but then GNU/Linux rapidly gained half the loss by M$. The rate of decline of M$’s OS is increasing as well. It’s all good.
No matter how many times we read that FLOSS is junk made by amateurs “In 2013, for the first time, we saw open source quality for the projects in the Scan service surpass that of proprietary projects at all code base sizes. The 2012 Coverity Scan Report looked at a sample analysis of more than 250 proprietary code bases totaling more than 380 million lines of code, with an average codebase of nearly 1.5 million lines of code, and we found that open source code had lower defect density levels up to 1 million lines of code. For the 2013 report, we analyzed approximately 500 million lines of code across almost 500 proprietary C/C++ projects.” the reality is different. FLOSS is made by all kinds of programmers but because it is FLOSS and everyone can run, examine, modify and distribute the software, more eyes make bugs disappear. Coverity is one of the eyes and they tell us that out of hundreds of millions of lines of code scanned, FLOSS has a lower density of defects.
|Size of Codebase (Lines of Code)||FLOSS||Non-Free|
|Less than 100,000||.35||.38|
|More than 1 million||.65||.71|
|Average across projects||.59||.72|
Accept it. No matter whether it’s price, performance or correctness that matters most to you, FLOSS is the right way to do IT.
After years of using GNU/Linux in schools and introducing it to many students and teachers,“All these tools together, Sch-scripts for setting-up PC labs, Epoptes for managing them, and LTSP are used in more than 500 schools, all over Greece. The free and open source solutions help save teachers valuable time. One grateful teacher posted a testimonial on the support forum for Sch-script in 2010: "Within one hour, a PC lab set-up which had been giving me all kind of headaches (8 computers with Windows 2000 and dozens of problems) became operable… from my laptop! Tomorrow, I am doing the first real test-drive with students, but it was amazing how fast and easy everything was. I’m speechless. Now I can share my desktop with all the lab PC users, and monitor them, it is incredible."” I became skilful enough to set up a lab in an hour or so, replacing that other OS with something that worked. That’s becoming “old school” these days with many distros provide setting up the software through the package-manager.
Now even more of the configuration and additional tools are all available by a set of scripts developed in Greece. 500 schools is a whole bunch more than I worked. GNU/Linux works in education. It can work anywhere. Finding the recipes for all this and sharing is obviously more efficient than buying solutions sold by M$ and “partners” that cost too much or don’t work at all sometimes. The world can and does make its own software better than those guys. This is just another example of doing IT the right way.
As expected, Intel has raised prices in an attempt to maintain profits as long as possible rather than trusting the market to yield them a reasonable living.“PC Client Group revenue of $7.9 billion, down 8 percent sequentially and down 1 percent year-over-year.” This will hasten the demise of Wintel as consumers see greater advantages to switching to */Linux on ARM. Without the monopoly on retail shelves for legacy PCs there’s no way Intel would raise prices at all and consumers should vote with their wallets. Expect 2014 to be the greatest year yet for FLOSS on ARM.
See Intel News Release.
It might be a bit of optimism but Chrome OS could well be the GNU/Linux that takes over the desktop.“for personal computing and BYOD, it’s already happening. The Linux that’s taking over the desktop is called the Chrome OS and it will happen on the Chromebook device.” There are many who see Google as the salvation of mankind for dealing with servers and if you do everything on Google’s Cloud, ChromeOS will do the job for most of us. So far, Cloud has taken a huge share of IT and it’s growth is ensured for years to come. One of those years will the year of GNU/Linux as Chrome OS. At the rate of decline of M$’s influence (they are advertising year-round these days), this could happen in as little as a year and probably will happen within three years. Remember that Android/Linux thing that never would fly??? It did. Google knows what they are doing.
Where’s M$? Pushing an OS no one wants and selling gadgets for a living.
The real competition for Chrome OS is not M$’s legacy technology nor their cloud but Ubuntu GNU/Linux which is selling on a lot of PCs these days. Last year Google mostly flew a trial balloon in USA but this year they could reach any place on the planet with decent Internet connectivity. That covers the bulk of M$’s territory: the Americas, Europe, Asia and cities in all the rest of the emerging markets. Everywhere else is using mobile computing.
The advantages of Chrome OS for most of us are many:
- nothing to learn but the browser – done
- low, low, low prices – done
- no problem with malware – Hallelujah!
- no problem with re-re-reboots – Hallelujah!
- no problem with updating dozens of applications and drivers – Hallelujah!
Some tout that needing connectivity is a disadvantage but no one really believes that because we are always connected all the time. Heck! I know people who are deep in the bush and can browse and phone home anyway. Some tout that local printing is an issue. If that were true, we’d all have printers. We don’t. Most of us are walking around with a PC in our pocket and rarely print anything. We can always e-mail stuff to a printer somewhere if we need more trees to kill. Doing away with paper is one of the great possibilities that Chrome OS and highly mobile computing are not only promising but delivering. I have a big, fast colour printer upstairs and I don’t remember the last time I used it. I have computers in every room and can easily view stuff with the appropriate zoom for my old eyes. Chuckle. Chrome OS may not be perfect, but it’s a damned sight closer to perfect than M$’s bloat that they told us for years was absolutely wonderful.
Sourceforge has been and will continue to be one of the world’s great repositories of Free Software. Project of the month is my old favourite, FreePascal. Some of the reasons for my liking it are condensed in a single question/answer between SourceForge and the original authour, Florian Klämpfl:
“SF: Who can benefit the most from your project?
FK: I think there are multiple groups who can benefit from it:
- People who want to learn only one programming language which allows them to use it for almost everything: FPC can be used to do big database applications but it can be also used to program embedded devices. It can used to write numerical applications but also to code for mobile devices.
- People who have a large Pascal/Object Pascal code base
- People who are interested in a programming language which offers a compromise between high productivity and the advantages of native code.”
Amen! I would add that FreePascal also has a very dense/sparse syntax so it is very easy to learn and use to full advantage. This also greatly increases readability.
Drifting for years around 1.75% share of page-views on StatCounter, GNU/Linux has broken out to 2.5% in a few months in the Czech Republic. You guessed it, the most popular distributions: Mint, Fedora, Debian GNU/Linux and Ubuntu GNU/Linux are growing like Topsy.
Chuckle. Either geeks are reproducing rapidly or GNU/Linux is no longer just for geeks… The same thing is happening everywhere, just not quite so explosively.
One of the most fun things in life is the site of a buoyant balloon taking flight, reaching unimaginable heights gracefully and easily. That was the old Wintel monopoly when neither Intel nor M$ had to do anything to dominate all of IT. When the leak started in the middle of XP’s reign, no one was fired for buying Intel and M$’s stuff. Many folks were run out of business simply for providing good products at reasonable price. Not so now. M$ has had to actually build decent products over the last decade but it wasn’t enough to keep the balloon up. Wintel was too expensive, too bulky, and too rigid to do what users wanted done.
“executive VP in charge of operating systems Terry Myerson, told ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley that he was OK with a services model. Specifically, when she asked about the Nokia X line of phones–those new low-priced Android phones running Microsoft services announced at Mobile World Congress. He was cool with a phone running Android, precisely because he was happy to see Microsoft services running on as many devices as possible, regardless of the operating system”It took a lot of work but ARM and the FLOSS community have bypassed both companies. To remain relevant, Intel is diversifying into ARM and making x86 as efficient as they can with Moore’s Law and every other trick they can find. Still Intel’s processors are more expensive than ARM even if energy consumption is not as much disadvantage. There’s just too much silicon involved. Meanwhile, 8-core CPUs and great graphics modules abound in the ARMed world and ARMed CPUs are outselling Intel by a wide margin. Android/Linux has done a similar number on M$’s stuff, so much that M$ now seeks to leverage its PC and server platform into services to sell, just like Google which Ballmer accused of having no business-plan…
Revenue Canada still doesn’t get GNU/Linux… On their page listing certified software for NETFILEing, there’s no mention of GNU/Linux at all: TWITS! Simple Tax is on their list of certified software and those folks claim “Nothing to install
SimpleTax works in your web browser so it’s PC, Mac, Linux, and iPad friendly. You can do your taxes at home, work, or your favourite coffee shop.”
The New York Times is at it again, suggesting GNU/Linux as a worthwhile alternative to M$ and Apple’s stuff.“Linux did revolutionize computing. If you own an Android phone or a Kindle e-reader, you are a Linux user. Linux is at the core of those popular devices and is found in a variety of other places, from the world’s most powerful supercomputers down to the tiny Raspberry Pi device that is a favorite among electronics hobbyists.” Good for them. They are helping their 2 million readers escape slavery.
Well, the good news for me is that shipments of PCs, mostly Wintel desktops and notebooks is down 4.4% compared to last year.“Worldwide PC shipments have now declined for eight consecutive quarters as a result of shifting technology usage and competition (notably with tablets & smartphones) as well as economic pressures (including high unemployment, slow growth & investment, tight credit, and currency fluctuations) related to the Great Recession, sovereign debt crises, and their related impact on international trade” The news could have been better if more XP units were migrated to GNU/Linux or Android/Linux but it’s not clear because IDC doesn’t publicly report that division. My view is that since most legacy PCs ship with Wintel, down is a good thing. GNU/Linux is holding its own despite that decline so shipments of GNU/Linux must be up.
The bad news for me is that still too many people are locked in to Wintel and don’t see that they are being ripped off or are working hard to ignore that fact. I do notice that Wintel prices are coming down rapidly. My favourite supplier will sell motherboard and CPU (AMD) for much less than $90. A good ARMed system will trump that with more throughput and far less wasted power but it’s good that it’s available. Dell, here, in Canada, even shows the price of that other OS on Intel boxes. Unfortunately, they only sell one GNU/Linux box… It’s the token OS for Dell and that box is priced outrageously at $943 even with GNU/Linux. What are they thinking? Money grows on trees? Wintel still has a monopoly? Nope. Consumers can get better for $400. Wintel is still not even close to providing what consumers want.
Still, overall, we are seeing competition actually gain traction against Wintel. OEMs, retailers and consumers are actually seeing a major share of the market go to other platforms. Most consumers are happy with Android/Linux on ARM. Imagine how overjoyed they would be with GNU/Linux on ARM… I’m looking forward to more good news when M$ reports in a couple of weeks.
The death of XP is an opportunity for GNU/Linux but only on the huge installed base. Folks who have XP gasping its last breath on a PC or organizations with a whole department“Unfortunately, while Linux does represent a lifeline for Windows XP users, I suspect it will be one that is not taken. The simple reality is that many of those users who are still with Windows XP simply just don’t know enough to care. Yes, I know there are lots of XP machines running cash machines that banks do care about, but there are also many machines sitting in libraries, schools and homes around the world where people simply don’t know any better.
The challenge for Linux is the same as it always has been. Linux desktop vendors need to more aggressively push the message of Linux as widely as is necessary. Linux can provide a freely available, safe option for Windows XP users, but only if the choice is clearly explained and promoted.” running XP on desktops have to make the choice to install GNU/Linux or to convert those old PCs to GNU/Linux thin clients.
The severely locked in and the ignorant will keep XP until it can no longer work for them and replace their machines with what OEMs/retailers offer. The opportunity lies with those millions of still-good machines that can browse the web, play some multi-media or check the e-mail. There, millions will have cheap desktop PCs or people will recycle the machines using GNU/Linux to make them purr. The OEMs can’t help GNU/Linux do that. There’s no money in shipping a PC back to China just to change the OS… There is lots of money to be made “fixing” PCs by installing a proper current and supported OS like Debian GNU/Linux. Go for it.