Retail is the Last Barrier to GNU/Linux

We have hardware manufacturers and OEMs willing to crank out supported systems. The last barrier to adoption are retail chains catering to the Wintel monopoly. Read all about it in a thoroughly researched report by The Association of Open Source Software Companies of Portugal.

see Laptop retail oligopoly:
the unnoticed digital divide

“We conclude that retail oligopolies are very prone to filtering new products independently of the likelihood of their acceptance by consumers when the new products compete with heavily established ones.

The Linux on laptops combination became viable relatively late, in terms of Microsoft presence. But having been technically possible and economically interesting for many years, it is still kept out of the market by the retail anomalies described in this article. That happens even in the presence of interested consumers and suppliers. 
We therefore question the effectiveness of the existing legal framework (section 5) with the following statement: from the standpoint of consumers and suppliers, the behavior of a small number of dominant retail chains is not significantly different from that of a single retailer. 
Regulators  should evaluate the direct  and indirect  losses  caused by  this  situation [7] and put corrective measures in place.”

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.
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74 Responses to Retail is the Last Barrier to GNU/Linux

  1. Clarence Moon says:

    Real artists create, they don’t follow the crowd …

    I am not talking about whatever “real” artists you refer to, Mr. Pogson. I am talking about people in the business of producing graphics for sale to those who may wish to purchase them, i.e. “Real people” rather than wannabes.

  2. Clarence Moon wrote, “If you are a commercial artist, you use Photo Shop”.

    That’s just silly. Real artists create, they don’t follow the crowd and the crowd using PS is not that large. There are many alternatives in use. Even Gimp now does 16 and 32bit graphics which makes it much more useful for professionals.

    A professional printing service recommends PS but does not require it:
    “Acceptable File Formats
    Back To Top
    We support a variety of file formats for uploaded designs.
    Adobe Acrobat 9 Document (*.pdf) (recommended)
    Adobe Illustrator CS3 Artwork (*.ai) (recommended)
    Adobe Photoshop CS3 Image (*.psd) (recommended)
    Bitmap Image (*.bmp)
    CorelDRAW X4 Document (*.cdr,*.clk)
    GIF Image (*.gif)
    JPEG Image (*.jpg,*.jpeg)
    Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 Document (*.ppt)
    Microsoft Publisher 2010 Document (*.pub)
    Microsoft Word 2010 Document (*.doc)
    PCX Image (*.pcx)
    PICT Image (*.pic,*.pict,*.pct)
    PNG Image (*.png)
    PostScript Document (*.ps)
    TIF Image (*.tif,*.tiff)
    Windows Enhanced Metafile (*.emf)
    Windows Metafile (*.wmf)”

  3. Clarence Moon says:

    It seems to me that you are complaining about “forward compatibility” then. If someone buys a new office 2010 and sends out documents to people with Office 2003 or such, the recipient can install a reader update to allow reading the document, but it cannot create a new 2010 document or write changes to an existing one, but that seems very reasonable to me.

    You are grumping about a non-existing problem, I think. If you are in business, the cost of staying up to date is minor and is something that is expected of you by your customers as well as what you should expect from your suppliers. If I had a supplier that was such a cheapskate that they refused to pay for and use new technology products, I would drop that supplier.

    Now if you are not actually in business, such as yourself, you only see compatibility and change as an expense rather than as an opportunity. Certainly a lot of FLOSS use is by persons who really don’t need these business tools in the first place.

    If you are a commercial artist, you use Photo Shop. Period. If you are a wannabe, you might use something else, but if you ever get into business for real, you will buy what everyone else uses so that you don’t look like a schmo. Same thing with MS Office.

    People don’t want to have to deal with someone on a crusade. Life is too short.

  4. Clarence Moon wrote, “I can click on any MS Word or Excel file in my archives, going back to Word For Windows 2.0 and it simply opens and presents as always.”

    You cannot use M$’s office product for XP and 2003 and get that kind of behaviour. You are locked to the treadmill and don’t see it moving.

  5. Clarence Moon says:

    It matters what format twits are sending you using the new software, forcing time-wasting hand-shaking to get the format right on every transaction

    Have you used MS Office 2010, Mr. Pogson? It seems to me that I can click on any MS Word or Excel file in my archives, going back to Word For Windows 2.0 and it simply opens and presents as always. I can edit and save it, too, and, as long as I haven’t done anything that requires a newer format, it does that silently and automatically. Where something might be lost due to not being supported in an earlier format, it will prompt for changing to the new DOCX format. I think that you are just projecting this behavior on MS Office due to your experience with some other, freebie product that may not have such refinements.

    Fortunately, though, I don’t get any documents from twits and maybe I don’t appreciate the problem. Are you sure that the documents that your twit friends send to you were created with Word or Excel in the first place? Perhaps they are being mis-created and that is the root of your problem.

  6. ch wrote, “MSO used _one_ set of file formats from Office97 to Office2003, and those same file formats can still be used with 2007 and 2010. Additionally, you can use the new XML-based file formats with 2007, “

    Operative word is “can”. It doesn’t matter if the old software can. It matters what format twits are sending you using the new software, forcing time-wasting hand-shaking to get the format right on every transaction. Do you keep track of every file format preferred by every organization with which you have ever or will ever communicate by sending a document? That’s not communication. It’s enslavement/providing wasted unpaid labour for Wintel.

  7. ch says:

    Mr Pogson,

    could you please save my last post? Thanks.

  8. ch says:

    > M$ has no technical need to change file formats every few years

    Right – that’s why they don’t do that any more. (And because their large customers made their displeasure known, of cause.)

    MSO used _one_ set of file formats from Office97 to Office2003, and those same file formats can still be used with 2007 and 2010. Additionally, you can use the new XML-based file formats with 2007, 2010 and – once you installed the free plug-in or let WinUpdate install it for you – 2003. So one new set of file formats – XML-based instead of purely binary – after TEN years, with all the compatibility between versions that one could reasonably expect.

    > the users will be locked-in solidly

    Please tell me which file formats MSO 2003 _should_ have used ? Which universal file format (suitable for office programs) was around in the past that would have magically averted the problem?

    > Why do you think folks are sticking with XP even though every other choice is “better”?

    Because they are too cheap to pay for the only choice that actually _is_ better for the vast majority of users, namely Win7.

  9. oldman says:

    lets try that again…

    “I can change most of the packages around any way I want, even the kernel.”

    So what. You are locked into Linux and FOSS and only FOSS. That fact that you like your little cage is just as irrelevant to me as my assertion that the closed source commercial software that I use meets my needs is to you.

  10. oldman says:

    “I can change most of the packages around any way I want, even the kernel.”

    So what. You are locked into Linux and FOSS and only FOSS. That fact that you like your little cage is just as irrelevant to ma as my assertion that the closed source commercial software that I use meets my needs.

  11. oldman wrote, “you are locked into FOSS by your refusal to pay for software”.

    I have paid for software and got no particular benefit from it. I am scarcely locked in with Debian GNU/Linux. I can change most of the packages around any way I want, even the kernel. I can use Debian’s or install my own. Debian is working on FreeBSD, too. I am not limited to x86 either. I get better performance because the software does what I want not what M$ wants.

  12. oldman says:

    “the users will be locked-in solidly for it is extra work to escape the hole they dug by getting into Wintel.”

    As you are locked into FOSS by your refusal to pay for software.

  13. oldman wrote, “So long as the vendor makes sure to maintain backward compatibility of the previous generation files and or provides a means of export,” (I will finish the sentence a different way…) the users will be locked-in solidly for it is extra work to escape the hole they dug by getting into Wintel. No business or large organization can hire extra staff to “export” many thousands of files. The longer folks stay with M$ the more older file-formats will be in the archive. Why do you think folks are sticking with XP even though every other choice is “better”? It’s not because XP is wonderful.

  14. oldman says:

    “Nope. It’s lock-in. M$ has no technical need to change file formats every few years except to make it easier to buy a new machine/licence rather than fixing the real problem, monopoly on the desktop.”

    Bushwah. You know this how Robert Pogson? Are you an expert on internals design for application file formats?

    It is very easy to imagine circumstances that would lead to changes and/or augmentations of the internal format of a particular applications data files. So long as the vendor makes sure to maintain backward compatibility of the previous generation files and or provides a means of export, there should be no issue with data portability.

  15. Clarence Moon wrote, “It is a self-correcting problem”.

    Nope. It’s lock-in. M$ has no technical need to change file formats every few years except to make it easier to buy a new machine/licence rather than fixing the real problem, monopoly on the desktop.

  16. Clarence Moon says:

    More and growing numbers of file formats means more opportunity for someone somewhere to get a file they cannot read …

    It is a self-correcting problem, Mr. Pogson. Files transmitted in daily commerce are always in up to date versions of either Word or Adobe formats. Businesses keep up with the march of time, you know. You may call that a “treadmill”, we call it a “train”.

    If your software is out of date, you have to get the new stuff that the customer is using. Alternately, you reply using the old formats if that is what the customer requires. No one sees much of a problem in doing that. If a document is not readable, one party or the other will take the time to get the matter corrected if there is any real interest in the commerce involved. If your proposal is unreadable and the customer doesn’t bother to ask for a fix, you never stood a chance in the first place.

    The odd-balls who insist on something that is not compatible with the norm are generally left out of these discussions. No one has time or inclination to fuss with them.

    Governments and schools that are not out to make a profit by accommodating their customers sometimes fall prey to the siren song of free software and take their budget money and spend it on raises for the administrators.

  17. oldman wrote, “Microsoft will still have all of its formats available in “Save As” and also have the ability to set one of them as the default format. It is there fore a non issue for most of my use cases.”

    That is an issue. More and growing numbers of file formats means more opportunity for someone somewhere to get a file they cannot read that was sent for the purpose of reading. Every time someone places an ad saying replies must be in format X, people waste time negotiating file formats instead of communicating. I got so I just ignored that and sent PDF at a time when most people needed Acrobat to create PDFs. I knew almost all of my employers could handle PDF whether or not the creator of the ad knew it. I remember people posting ads saying “word format” without specifying which of the 98 file formats they really used. People do not understand file formats. They are using WYSIWYG editors and do not understand the technology.

  18. oldman says:

    “You are going end up in case of documents that don’t open.”

    Lets see…

    Start word 2012
    Open document in “old” docx format
    Save As in new ISO compliant format.

    Repeat as needed.

  19. oldman says:

    “Oldman has stuck head in sand over this issue and it going to come back and bite.”

    Why? Microsoft will still have all of its formats available in “Save As” and also have the ability to set one of them as the default format. It is there fore a non issue for most of my use cases.

    I was well aware of the bruhaha over OOXML. I am also aware that it has nothing to do with our shop, which heavily uses the defacto standard that is microsofts native formats.

    As I said I have more important issues to deal with.

    “oiaohm, if one misses reading a single tech article over a period of years he is “being a idiot following the crowd”? Isn’t it possible he was simply busy that day or just missed the one or few articles in a sea of hundreds produced every day?”

    To a person like oiaohm who is a legend in his own mind, we are all idiots sir. I have learned to treat the insults as so much noise.

  20. oiaohm says:

    Prong Reboots
    “oiaohm, if one misses reading a single tech article over a period of years he is “being a idiot following the crowd”? Isn’t it possible he was simply busy that day or just missed the one or few articles in a sea of hundreds produced every day?”
    He did not just miss one. He missed national archives reports on safe to use formats as well.

    You are talking about missing over 200 articles in 2010 he missed alone.

    That the mistake happened is incompetence. This might be that oldman has not done a refresher in data storage in the past 10 years so never got himself on the mailing lists so incompetence due to poor training. Maybe never signed up for the Microsoft mailing lists relating to forwards planing.

    There is another set back in 2007 covering the same fault. So he missed two sets of information about OOXML non conformance and Microsoft future plans about how they were going to address it one from 2007 and one from 2010. So nothing I was talking about with 2007 2010 and 2011 MS office problems with 2012 should have came as a surprise.

    So he did not just miss 1 event. He missed 2 events each generated an amount of news.

    Prong Reboots basically there is no excuse out of this other than poor training on digital data preservation so being incompetent at doing it.

    Problem is this information was key information to make internal business selections with the least future problems. If you miss it by the time you wake up its too late you are in the hole and have to dig yourself out.

    Prong Reboots of course general people don’t know every major national archive around the world provide training on preservation of data and white papers on these topics pointing out key documents. But your IT staff should not be a dumb as a general person off the street. IT Staff are paid as professionals to be on top of these things. IBM also provides white papers on data preservation they also included the information about the problems with OOXML produced by 2007 2010 and 2011 MS Office.

    We are not talking about this information only coming from one single source here. Its out there in mass. Only way to have missed it is to be not updating your data preservation documentation and not watching the news.

    Basically if you did not know until now and you are a lead IT Officer you have to really get to work and get you ass on the correct mailing list at min and possibly line up to refresh you knowledge on data preservation.

    Question is what else in data preservation does he done wrong. How much is it going to cost to fix.

    There are particular mistakes that should not happen. Not knowing that particular files are not stable storage is one of those things.

  21. Prong Reboots says:

    oiaohm, if one misses reading a single tech article over a period of years he is “being a idiot following the crowd”? Isn’t it possible he was simply busy that day or just missed the one or few articles in a sea of hundreds produced every day?

  22. oiaohm says:

    oldman
    “Getting back to the topic at hand. The simple fact of my environment is that most of our document transactions take place between closely related version of office (i.e. 2007 and 2010) where either .docx is used, or use the older.doc format. We are more likely to occasionally have to access a 15 year old document in Office 97 format that we are to process external OOXML documents.”
    This is the trap. Office 12 will be extension .docx so tainting you stock pile of files. With no transitional data. Transitional data is segments out the old .doc format and extras. The documents you are calling OOXML documents by iso standard are not. That is going to be the problem. In a lot of ways oldman you would have been better to stick you internal format to the old .doc and wait until MS Office 2012 before taking up .docx.

    Of course you guys have chosen wrong oldman because someone was not up on what MS Office was really producing. So now have created a stack of problem documents.

    You are going end up in case of documents that don’t open.

    Problem is oldman finding out about 2010 information now is too late for the where he works to make the correct selection to keep there actives as sane as possible going forwards.

    That was asking me to prove the information is showing incompetence his end leading to bad file format selections being made that he is going to now have to live with. Even with office 2007 there was reports that the OOXML files it was generating were not to spec. Oldman has stuck head in sand over this issue and it going to come back and bite.

    This is why I should not have been questioned over this. Its information he should have found out 2 years ago+. So what other information has Oldman failed to have at his finger tips when he made selections.

    Yonah “Oiahom, you’ve been caught with egg on your face plenty of times before (TF2, DVD protection, On-Line cheats, ect.)”

    In fact DVD protection there are correct titles for stuff. Damaged data is not copy protection not even by USA law. There are correct terms when people use wrong terms they don’t understand the problem or find the solutions.

    Cheat methods computer control other computers you never guessed why. Where do soldiers train some of it is. In simulated envorements. So you do have the funds to bot everything. So not all my tech can be placed on youtube. I can give you basic over view how the cheat works. Can I show you no I cannot. Not permited. Just think of what I called my thing. Why would it have that name.

    The simple fact is taking control of another computer running the cheat protected game is simple. Very simple if you just want to map like a users movements to controls since the software is not on the machine where the game is. No method of software checking on the machine will ever find it. Capturing screen to feed into computer vision systems against most games to work out what instructs to send is also simple.

    Simple reality here computer pretending to be a human has faster reflexes than even the best human.

    Autonomous robot’s navigation and weapon system controls when design you also at times use this to control games. Why simple better for a navigation alogithm or fire target alogithm to fail in a game than in the real world particularly when they will be loaded with metal storm guns. Yes you want the ai in this case not to cheat from the internal information of game. Blocking aimbots on the machine where the game is kinda possible block aimbots that control the inputs and outputs to that computer are kinda impossible. The more real they make the games the better it is for testing these systems. Also the more anti-cheat stuff they put around it. And you can guess the budget limit to beat those anti-cheat systems.

    Prong Reboots simple fact is that people doing work put there head in the sand and don’t keep upto date on what is going on. If you don’t know what I was point to ask you self the other things you don’t know that you should know.

    Note my answer did include a link. I was annoyed that oldman did not know something well advertised. You need to look at the sites you watch for news as well Prong Reboots. Apparently you are not watching at least one decent one.

    Not having this information Prong Reboots means you are not making informed selections so are being a idiot following the crowd and get yourself into more problems than you should. Don’t dig self into trouble basically requires information.

  23. oiaohm says:

    Viktor what its insane to expect people to have done their job right??? MS troll defence that we can attack a person even with things we should already know as fact. I have something annoying. I am certified sane. Mean bugger but sane not requiring any drugs never have had. Really where is your paperwork that proves you are sane Viktor.

    iLia some of its is items like blender and maya. Where due to Linux better memory management the work way better on Linux. There are defects in windows that do effect application performance.

    Apache also due to network stack issues in windows is also able to handle more load on solaris Linux and OS X. Spending 100 dollars and having applications take 3 to 4 times longer to work is not worth it.

    GNU Compilers yep like blender or maya if you have to be using these for embed building of code you are better off on Linux. Your build time will be less. Even LLVM runs faster on Linux than windows.

    So iLia its not a simple case of 1 to 1 matching applications on the platform. The OS core alters how the application performs there are many applications when running on Linux beat there windows versions by a large margin. There are also reverse examples as well. Applications that suit the windows nt core design do exist.

    When you get into areas needing clustering of file systems Linux supports a broader range of solutions so you can use a clustered file-system more suiting what you are doing.

    Basically there is more you did not name K3B of course I would understand this because there is not a Windows version. You have also missed the IDE’s for QT application development. Digikam is also not there. Really you have limited yourself to the gnome world that a lot exists cross platform. KDE world has mostly been isolated from windows. There is a lot of good applications in a complete section you missed. Lot of the KDE and QT applications don’t run on windows or run on windows badly. Reason for a long term free QT was limited to X11 platform only.

    Most of your list performs better on the Linux platform than windows as well.

    “I can use Windows and the best FLOSS?” Most of the best of FOSS is found in KDE and QT applications. That you don’t have using windows in a decent form yet. Really you are saying a lie you cannot use the best of the FOSS world and use Windows.

  24. Yonah says:

    I’m with Oldman on this one. Oiahom, you’ve been caught with egg on your face plenty of times before (TF2, DVD protection, On-Line cheats, ect.) and your uncontrollable desire to leave no unflattering statement unrefuted pretty much guarantees even something as benign as a 2 sentence post by another reader will be met with another huge wall of text filled with questionable “factoids”, usually sans references.

    When challenged, these loose ends are left lingering when you pull a “schestowitz” and retreat to the next article to post another avalanche of oddly constructed syntax with still more outrageous rebuttals to distract from your previous hijinks. I believe you would have inspired a favorite quote of mine, “Never pick a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel and paper by the ton.”

    Therefore, suggesting others are being annoying for asking that you back up a thing or too is being rather hypocritical given your way of doing things.

    That’s not to say you aren’t factually correct from time to time, but I’m still dying to know more about your Automated Assault System so I can begin adding the details to wikipedia. You don’t seem like the kind of guy to withhold such important information. So, can we have a link please?

  25. Prong Reboots says:

    oldman the problem is the statement I made is common knowledge.

    I never heard of it, either.

    There is such a thing as just challenging a person to be annoyance. This is a case of this.

    Asking for a single reference to an unheard of claim falls far short of this.

    Reason if you were doing your job properly you should never need to ask that question at all.

    Burden of proof lies on the one making the claim. Otherwise you could claim anything you want then say something like, “Do your research. It’s common knowledge. You’re just lazy and incompetent.” The standard debating rule of providing supporting documentation to assertions is expressly to avoid these situations. Without sourcing, opponents can rightly say, “Your argument is invalid because it is unsourced.”

    oiaohm, your counterargument is in horrible form. While you did provide the requested supporting documentation, you did so in the most condescending and insulting way possible while condemning everyone who does not possess your specific knowledge.

  26. oldman says:

    “oldman the problem is the statement I made is common knowledge. There is such a thing as just challenging a person to be annoyance. This is a case of this.”

    Common knowledge, I think not. However I will concede that my search got derailed by your ref to a “timeline” . searching on OOXML popped up the statements of the Senior Technical Evangelist, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. in his blog at

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dmahugh/archive/2010/04/06/office-s-support-for-iso-iec-29500-strict.aspx

    Confirms that you are telling the truth. And that is all that I need.

    As far as having this knowledge at my fingertips is concerned, that is the function of the internet sir. All I need to know is what OOXML is and a quick google session will give me the geek level details on demand. In the interim I have many other more important tasks to work on.

    “Reason if you were doing your job properly you should never need to ask that question at all. Not beneath you if someone who did not claim to be a IT pro working with MS products had ask me that question I would have just given the references.”

    I am doing my job more than properly as far as the people who count (my management and peers) are concerned. You on the other hand do not count – you are nobody but a nym to me.

    Get over yourself sir!

    Getting back to the topic at hand. The simple fact of my environment is that most of our document transactions take place between closely related version of office (i.e. 2007 and 2010) where either .docx is used, or use the older.doc format. We are more likely to occasionally have to access a 15 year old document in Office 97 format that we are to process external OOXML documents.

    all of the gyrations of OOXML are for us esoterica that does not relate.

    “Basically get yourself up to speed oldman so you don’t have to ask questions that a unskilled person might ask.”

    Sorry Jack, but if you insist on making statements in this blog without attribution that I or others feel may have a high bushwah content, you will be asked to back up YOUR statements.

    Remember, I did not make the statement, you did!. Even if I am up to speed, I still expect an answer, and If you dont like that, Stiff briskets!

  27. iLia says:

    oiaohm:“few good desktop software for Linux.” There is good software in particular areas on Linux.

    Can you give some examples?

    Java?

    Eclipse?

    LibreOffice?

    GNU Compilers?

    Apache?

    VLan player?

    ImageMagik?

    FireFox? Chrome? Opera?

    Thunderbird Mail?

    Have I named *ALL* good (at least not too crappy) software that can be found on Linux?

    Is this software at least equal to the leading proprietary competitors?

    And which of them cannot be used on Windows? And why should I use Linux if I can use Windows and the best FLOSS? It will cost me only $100 every 4 years. Almost nothing.

  28. Viktor says:

    Hey, Peter Dolding, forgot to take your pills again? The psychiatric clinic must have the hardest time with you.

  29. oiaohm says:

    oldman the problem is the statement I made is common knowledge. There is such a thing as just challenging a person to be annoyance. This is a case of this.

    I did provide one of the links that lead back to it you are looking for the road-maps to MS Office 15 and what is planned.

    This is a simple fact oldman for someone so highly dependant on MS Office you should have all this information at your finger tips. Or are you reckless and don’t get the MS Office roadmaps to know the harm that is coming.

    Oldman
    “You made a statement without backing it up. then when asked for references you seemed to act like responding with details were “beneath you”.”

    Reason if you were doing your job properly you should never need to ask that question at all. Not beneath you if someone who did not claim to be a IT pro working with MS products had ask me that question I would have just given the references.

    Oldman it makes me wonder what else are you not upto date on.

    Basically get yourself up to speed oldman so you don’t have to ask questions that a unskilled person might ask.

  30. oldman says:

    “oldman really why should I do the job for you. Apparently you are not a Gold Microsoft partner or higher. Because the roadmap was emailed out to all Gold Microsoft partners or higher.”

    Actually it IS your job. You made a statement without any backup. I asked you to back it up, and now you have. that is all that was required of you.

    “Basically other than incompetence on your part I cannot see any reason for you to question me about this.”

    You made a statement without backing it up. then when asked for references you seemed to act like responding with details were “beneath you”.

    Not exactly the way to inspure confidence in your veracity.

    As far as your opinion of my competence is concerned, I think you know where you can put it.

  31. oiaohm says:

    oldman really why should I do the job for you. Apparently you are not a Gold Microsoft partner or higher. Because the roadmap was emailed out to all Gold Microsoft partners or higher.

    http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/04/microsoft-office-15not-2010to-be-fully-ooxml-compliant.ars
    References to the roadmap exist. Fully complaint ooxml does not open in MS Office 2007, 2010 and 2011 correctly or at times at all.

    Basically if you were not small fry you would have the roadmap and would not be questioning me for it.

    Thinking that information from the roadmap was also lots of the IT news sites in 2010 you must have had your head in the sand as well oldman.

    Basically other than incompetence on your part I cannot see any reason for you to question me about this.

    Basically Microsoft is going to hurt you. This has been public information from 2010. When they do no point crying fowl oldman you were told. If you are too dumb to be informed about it that is not my problem. I guess the fact that companies are going to have file format issues you put under GEEK information. There is some of that information that is 100 percent critical to know.

    2010 and 2011 might get a update to read more and it might not be possible either. 2007 will not for sure. Issue is rug is going to be pulled out from under you.

    Oldman this is also behind the increased investment in LibreOffice and OpenOffice of the year 2010. Big enterprise worked out the nightmare all the time back then.

  32. oldman says:

    ” Really Oldman Microsoft has provided a timeline for OOXML. This is something I should not have to point out to you.”

    The interesting thing is I have just spent time googling searching for the so called OOXML timeline without success. I begin to wonder such a thing really exists.

    So a URL is still needed from you Mr. Microsoft var.

  33. oiaohm says:

    Viktor “But since we all know that FLOSS’s flagship LibreOffice is based on StarDivision’s commercial StarOffice, what does this mean?”

    Asking self wrong question why did Libreoffice break away from OpenOffice in 2010. Big enterprise wanted in to fix it up. Libreoffice marks a turning point. Where big enterprise are now after to making working desktop applications.

    iLia “They already have reached it, I was really horribly shocked by their low quality.”

    My horribly shocked is the shockwave of big enterprise working on the Linux Desktop.

  34. oiaohm says:

    oldman 2011 2010 and 2007 MS office is transitional ooxml what basically means we have not coded something in our xml processing engine as describe in ooxml we will use a binary blob. 2012 will be to spec OOXML without binary blobs.

    Really Oldman Microsoft has provided a timeline for OOXML. This is something I should not have to point out to you.

  35. oldman says:

    “Gets better ooxml produced by MS Office 2012 will not be compatible with MS Office 2011, 2010 or 2007 either. Its a migraine of MS caused mess reason why governments are trying to force MS to use open document startands. ”

    References please/

  36. Viktor says:

    Office software is practically taught in Computer Science 101. It’s all about simple algorithms and data structures. Anyone can write a good word-processor.

    So true, Pogson, so true.

    But since we all know that FLOSS’s flagship LibreOffice is based on StarDivision’s commercial StarOffice, what does this mean?

    Does it mean:

    – FLOSS programmers are too stupid to take Computer Science 101?
    – FLOSS programmers are too stupid to understand simple algorithms and data structures?
    – FLOSS programmers are more stupid than “anyone”, as there are so precious little good FLOSS word-processors?

  37. oiaohm says:

    iLia “They already have reached it, I was really horribly shocked by their low quality.”

    This shows your complete limited view. 2007 a set of very particular staff have been paid full time.

    This is big enterprise now deciding they want items like Photoshop open source. The new gui on gimp 2.8 comes from this. Note they don’t want a clone of Photoshop they want some better than Photoshop.

    Of course you cannot click you fingers and overnight make a replacement to photoshop. The big companies have very long-term plans.

    iLia
    “Quite possible, but it means that only FLOSS that is used by big companies is under intensive development, FLOSS whose main users are simple home users sucks.”

    Your statement here is 100 percent true. I did not think I would need to point this out to you and the effects. Apparently I do. The reason the Linux Desktop has been so bad is for the simple reason big companies only took interest in it not that many years back. Before that for big companies it was nothing more than a spare time project for there developers to do as fun. What was FOSS required todo to get big companies to take interest provide a solution to the defacto MS format and force the game to open standards.

    openusability.org is one of these big enterprise funded projects. Its not only to work out what interface the applications need but to do detailed reported on all possible required features to perform the tasks required.

    Yes the battle between openoffice and libreoffice traces to big companies wanting to submit code to openoffice without having to sign it over to Oracle. The question is why did this battle not happen sooner. This only happened in 2010.

    The big companies interest in a Linux Desktop is increasing. So the quality of the Linux Desktop will increase as well due to the fact there will be more full time staff.

    Lot of your poor quality claims are going to become a thing of past.

    iLia
    “Word/Writer documents are not linked lists, they are trees, that is why new document formats are based on XML.”
    LOL
    OOXML with transition crap from MS is used by word. This includes injected binary blobs of data describing items. So not pure XML.

    Writer by default uses ODF this is pure XML can even be done as flat odf files that are a single pure xml document with only images as non xml.

    MS Office 2007 2010 and 2011 OOXML cannot be converted to a xml file due to some formatting data being binary blob only.

    iLia only a person who does not know the topic would try to claim word produces xml.

    Font rendering is a major issue between MS Office 2011 on OS X and MS Office 2010 on windows due to the fact the OS X version uses freetype like Libreoffice does and MS Office on windows uses MS font rendering.

    Yes libreoffice and MS Office 2011 on OS X are more compatible with each other.

    Interesting right some documents that fail to open right in libreoffice also fail in another MS product.

  38. iLia says:

    Gimp will most likely be the first to reach shock horror level. But inkscape and others in the FOSS graphics applications will follow.

    They already have reached it, I was really horribly shocked by their low quality.

  39. iLia says:

    Think of a document as a linked list

    Word/Writer documents are not linked lists, they are trees, that is why new document formats are based on XML.

    a few utilities like rendering

    FEW??? You think that rendering a document with a lot of fonts, tables, indents, spacings, alignments, text flow, borders is easy? You should be a genius, mr.Pogson, or you simply confuse text editor (Notepad, JEdit) with word processor (LibreOffice Writer, MS Word).

  40. iLia says:

    Mr.Pogson:It’s all about simple algorithms and data structures.

    So why MS Office dominates the market? Why Sun, a huge corporation, failed to create a sound competitor? It seams to me that it is not so easy.

    Maybe every single algorithm is easy per se, but when there are a lot of them synergy appears and things become extremely complicated. Even for Microsoft.

    Bloating it with features takes bodies and time, not particular knowledge or skill.

    Maybe it is so, but FLOSS is not very rich in developers, so no a lot of features here.

    And I like very much a lot of features, they make software useful. Implementing a lot of features can be very annoying, that’s why FLOSS is often featureless — people want to work on interesting and juicy stuff, and useful but boring to implement features stay not implemented.

    And implementing a new feature can lead to rewriting the whole project. Who is going to do it?

    Bloating it with features takes bodies and time, not particular knowledge or skill.

    And what requires particular knowledge and skill? Making Linux work? Resolving stupid Linux problems, like printing?

    Actually participation in any big project requires a lot of knowledge and skill. You don’t believe me? Try to participate in LibreOffice project, or in any other big project like apache.

    Yes, there are some things in big projects that can be done by low-skilled developers without a lot of prior knowledge, but it is not the general rule.

    Anyone can write a good word-processor.

    Obviously Sun is not anyone! And what do you mean by “good”?

    oiaohm:If you like I can get you the list of developer contacts at quite major companies.

    And what about RTF? LibreOffice also cannot handle it properly. Is there someone who is working on it? And when they will fix it?

    Inkscape gimp ….. full under the libregraphicsmeeting.org. Starting in 2009 there was funded research to find out what all graphics programs required. Including creating roadmaps and providing resources to get them there.

    So what? Did it make Inkskape as featureful as DrawPlus?

    to find out what all graphics programs required

    I have heard something like this before. Let me think, C++11, PL/I. It is called bloating.

  41. iLia wrote, “not all software is equally easy to develop, such things as office software, graphics editors, complex games require a lot of very specific knowledge, a good enterprise or web programmer will not be able to do it.”

    Office software is practically taught in Computer Science 101. It’s all about simple algorithms and data structures. Anyone can write a good word-processor. Bloating it with features takes bodies and time, not particular knowledge or skill. Think of a document as a linked list and the tools you need to make a decent word-processor are searching, sorting, insertion, traversal of the linked list and a few utilities like rendering and storage.

  42. oiaohm says:

    iLia “So why no one improved the LibreOffice ability to open MS formats, or maybe no one needs it, or it is too difficult? And how much it will cost if you decide to pay someone for doing it for you?”

    Foot in mouth example. There are developers working on that. Process is not simple with ooxml documents since Office 2007 and 2010 and Mac 2011 cannot follow specifications or do the same work around to the same problem. If you like I can get you the list of developer contacts at quite major companies.

    The claim no one is bogus.

    Gets better ooxml produced by MS Office 2012 will not be compatible with MS Office 2011, 2010 or 2007 either. Its a migraine of MS caused mess reason why governments are trying to force MS to use open document startands.

    “few good desktop software for Linux.” There is good software in particular areas on Linux.

    Inkscape gimp ….. full under the libregraphicsmeeting.org. Starting in 2009 there was funded research to find out what all graphics programs required. Including creating roadmaps and providing resources to get them there.

    iLia shock horror right you are badly wrong. Interest is bring developers.

    All the FOSS graphics software is seeing more developers with marketed researched information at base. Gimp will most likely be the first to reach shock horror level. But inkscape and others in the FOSS graphics applications will follow.

  43. iLia says:

    oiaohm:More FOSS users particularly large ones equals more full time quality coders working on the projects.

    More developers in FOSS might come from downloads with companies employing people to add the features they want.

    Quite possible, but it means that only FLOSS that is used by big companies is under intensive development, FLOSS whose main users are simple home users sucks.

    It is true that all these free web frameworks are not bad at all, but it is also true that there is quite few good desktop software for Linux.

    Yes more take up more development is true for FOSS is I have a itch I want it scratched factor so I pay someone to fix it.

    So why no one improved the LibreOffice ability to open MS formats, or maybe no one needs it, or it is too difficult? And how much it will cost if you decide to pay someone for doing it for you?

    And not all software is equally easy to develop, such things as office software, graphics editors, complex games require a lot of very specific knowledge, a good enterprise or web programmer will not be able to do it.

    If you want a example compare Inkscape and DrawPlus.

    DrawPlus costs only $110 and there is an absolutely free version.

  44. oiaohm says:

    Clarence Moon nothing really prevents Apple or Microsoft in future to be the junk of history.

    Also with android phones nothing stops them from being the only media device people need.

    Tides are shifting.

  45. Prong Reboots says:

    units != users

    The article clearly states units.

  46. Clarence Moon says:

    In the 1980s, I had a perfectly wonderful Sony Walkman

    Apparently you missed the “really useful” criterion that was the factor that differentiated the iPod from kludges like portable CD players and headphones.

    I wouldn’t be surprised that you would claim the same sort of thing if what you had was powered by steam and supported by a cast iron frame that you had to patch yourself by welding on angle iron brackets.

    iPod is what resurrected Apple from the junk heap of history, Mr. Pogson.

  47. Prong Reboots says:

    5% of PCs could represent more than 50 million users

    Robert, no need to guess. This data is readily available and is even referenced in the linked Phoronix article. 5% represents approximately 18 million shipped units.

  48. Viktor wrote, “you have used Netmarketshare to prove that Linux is really big in the San Francisco area. “

    Nope. I used NetApplications bias to show that NetApplications is seriously biased to business usage. Obviously SF is not a singularity in use of GNU/Linux but that’s all NetApplications sees because its a use by a business.

  49. 5% of PCs could represent more than 50 million users, so they are on track for 200 million with 50 million or so already running. Many Ubuntu installations are in schools where 2-3 users per PC is not an unusual ratio.

  50. Prong Reboots says:

    Canonical is predicting they, alone, will supply 5% of shipped PCs next year. They are not expecting 500% growth.

    According to Phoronix[1], Chris Kenyon, VP of sales and business development for Canonical, stated that 8-10 units were shipped worldwide in 2011 (ED: What’s with the ambiguity? Don’t they know?) and they expect to “more than double” output in 2012 to reach the 5% figure. Aggressive talk, but what’s the basis for the assertion? It would be very unusual for an 8 year old company to suddenly “more than double” revenues and/or output. Such would require a very aggressive plan. What is it? Where can I read about it? As far as I can tell there’s nothing more to the story than some nearly off-the-cuff statement by a salesman.

    The Phoronix article itself is skeptical of Canonical’s math, “[L]ast May […] Mark Shuttleworth tossed around wanting 200 million Ubuntu users in four years (2015), even with doubling in PC sales, they’ll still need to push harder […] if they still wish to hit this goal. […] Mark didn’t comment on this 200 million user goal at UDS-Q yet.”

    The article expressed concerns regarding Ubuntu’s lasting penetration, “Kenyon didn’t comment on what percentage of these Ubuntu-loaded PC sales still have users where they run Ubuntu, or namely the actual Ubuntu user count globally.” The article’s author, Michael Larabel, goes on to state, “[W]hen I talk with OEMs and others about Linux pre-loads, I commonly here a “significant percentage” of these Linux pre-loaded systems usually get wiped by their customers and replaced with pirated copies of Windows.”

    Finally, Canonical admits they have lost retail ground and have not regained in the United States, “As far as when Ubuntu will be back at Best Buy here in the United States, or “When at Best Buy down the road?” Kenyon said, ‘We’re working on it and I’m confident we’re going to get there.'”

    While you may doubt the validity of Phoronix’s reporting–and I would agree in many cases–1) the journalism in this article actually seems pretty good and 2) this seems to be the source article since most reports of the 5% figure trace back to it.

    [1] http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTA5ODM

  51. Viktor says:

    Statowl is wrong. Repeating a lie does not make it true.

    But you have used Netmarketshare to prove that Linux is really big in the San Francisco area. There it spoke the truth. But Netmarketshare’s truth about Linux’s 1 to 1.5% market share is a lie then?

    Make up your mind.

  52. Phenom says:

    Statowl is wrong. Repeating a lie does not make it true.

    Well, of course. When a fact does not suit our cause, we deem it as “wrong”, ignore it and start blabbering about off the kilter data.

  53. Phenom wrote, “StatOwn still shows less than 1% for Linux penetration on desktop”.

    Statowl is wrong. Repeating a lie does not make it true.

    Canonical is predicting they, alone, will supply 5% of shipped PCs next year. They are not expecting 500% growth. They can only make that prediction if GNU/Linux is substantially more than 1% today and growing. Canonical is not alone in supplying GNU/Linux for PCs. 55% of commentators here use GNU/Linux. 20% of PCs shipped in Brazil use GNU/Linux. Russia, India, China, Malaysia also have high usage of GNU/Linux which NetApplications and Statowl neglect. I showed that in California where GNU/Linux is off the chart because 10K Googlers use it. NetApplications has a serious bias to business use and because Google is a business, GNU/Linux registers. California has whole school divisions using GNU/Linux for years and they did not register because they are not businesses. So, business-use may be 1% but not general usage.

  54. Phenom says:

    Pogson wrote: as a result local businesses using FLOSS are thriving

    Reality check: StatOwn still shows less than 1% for Linux penetration on desktop.

  55. iLia wrote, “reducing of piracy normally increase revenues of proprietary software developers, and thus increase their ability to improve and promote their products.”

    I have seen lots of evidence that FLOSS grows where illegal copying of that other OS declines: Brazil, India, China, Russia, Malaysia… to name a few places where that has happened. In those countries the government has actively promoted FLOSS in its own offices and schools and as a result local businesses using FLOSS are thriving, eliminating any need to make illegal copies of that other OS.

  56. oiaohm says:

    iLia
    “No reducing of piracy normally increase revenues of proprietary software developers, and thus increase their ability to improve and promote their products.”
    This is true and false. When you reduce piracy more proprietary software gets sold and more FOSS gets used same with more FOSS support services get more work.

    iLia
    “No connection here, development depends only on the quality and quantity of developers working on the project, and to hire more and better developers you need money. And money comes from sales and not from downloads.”
    Again wrong logic. Large company takes up FOSS because it finds it can afford coder for less than paying for closed source.

    More FOSS users particularly large ones equals more full time quality coders working on the projects.

    Really iLia there is more ways of making income than selling software. Also smaller by FOSS support contracts from the likes of Redhat that go back into FOSS developers as well.

    More developers in FOSS might come from downloads with companies employing people to add the features they want.

    FOSS is not dependant on sales alone.

    Yes more take up more development is true for FOSS is I have a itch I want it scratched factor so I pay someone to fix it. Person does not get that itch if they are not using the software.

    iLia applying closed source maths to FOSS means you don’t have a clue how FOSS is working. As soon as person uses Sales and FOSS without thinking normally proves they are a idiot.

    Sales of support and Support staff in businesses are the income to FOSS.

    FOSS give the means to improve the product to the person who downloads it. This makes it a different metric to closed source.

    There is a direct connection between number of developers working on FOSS project and number of companies using it.

  57. iLia says:

    Apple’s iMac is still a single digit share sort of device.

    It is because Apple has no intention to enter low-price segment, they prefer to sell few very expensive computers with a high margin instead of selling a lot of cheap computers with a low margin. Apple also sells complete computers — hardware and OS, meanwhile Microsoft sell only OS. I will not be surprised if it turns out that Apple earns more by selling iMacs than Microsoft by selling Windows OS.

    oiaohm:Reduce piracy normally increase FOSS take up.

    No reducing of piracy normally increase revenues of proprietary software developers, and thus increase their ability to improve and promote their products.

    oiaohm:More take up faster development.

    No connection here, development depends only on the quality and quantity of developers working on the project, and to hire more and better developers you need money. And money comes from sales and not from downloads.

  58. Viktor says:

    Nope. In the 1980s, I had a perfectly wonderful Sony Walkman.

    You are the master of misguided analogies.

    Yes, I had a Walkman, too. Mine was made by AIWA. Quality stuff. But I fail to see what this has to do with the iPod.

    As for this, there were certainly MP3 players before the iPod. I still own a Rio PMP300, if you want one (it even works). But none was able to score big like the iPod. All these players before the iPod were clunky and unimaginative. Apple’s contribution wasn’t necessarily technological, but they built a player which everyone could use and everyone wanted to use. Apple’s competitors’ offerings were usability nightmares. Kind of like Linux.

  59. Prong Reboots wrote, “can you provide, even anecdotally, a metric that would indicate at which point Microsoft can no longer be considered a monopoly? “

    I can list several criteria, some of which have been broken in particular regions but none globally:

    • less than 50% share of installed base of x86 PCs,
    • less than 50% share of retail shelf space of x86 PCs,
    • less than 50% share of revenue for x86 PC OS,
    • less than 50% share of server revenue/shipments,
    • less than 50% share of legacy applications in all areas’…

    I could go on, but generally, having a single company with as much complexity and backwardness as M$ running so much of IT is a totally unnecessary burden. There are times when monopoly is useful, like keeping traffic flowing, or supplying utilities but there is absolutely no need/advantage to have a monopoly controlling so much of IT in the world. The downsides of this monopoly are pretty obvious: huge target for malware, higher costs of acquisition and operation, and a scarcity of particular applications and systems for other operating systems. It’s just not reasonable to operate under the assumption that a few thousand people at M$ know better than the whole world how to run IT. I don’t accept monopoly in IT.

  60. Clarence Moon, revising history, wrote, “Apple hit a home run with the iPod and more or less pioneered the really useful personal music player. “

    Nope. In the 1980s, I had a perfectly wonderful Sony Walkman. I have fond memories of walking to work in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, keeping the beat with Olivia Newton-John. That unit lasted long enough that my children grew to adulthood using it and I bought it in the first year of my marriage. Sony sold 220million units of several variations. Mine used Philips audio-cassettes and radio.

    In the 1950s, I had a crystal radio. Wherever I went, I could clip it onto a wire fence or pipe and pick up AM radio from all over Canada and USA. The thing was simple and reliable and in the days before TV was truly popular, it was a great personal music player. It used the power from the rectified RF signal to operate, truly “green” technology.

  61. oldman wrote, “Do you really believe that people are going to go to linux just because you have added an extra step to their computer purchase?”

    It works for Dell with PCs. You can choose FreeDOS, GNU/Linux, that other OS or no OS in some cases. I have seen web sites around the world where retailers sell identical hardware with the OS as a choice in the list. That’s a perfectly reasonable way to do business. Bundling the OS with the PC and hiding the price eliminates an essential step in the IT business, choice. Without choice the market cannot operate.

  62. oiaohm says:

    oldman “Do you really believe that people are going to go to linux just because you have added an extra step to their computer purchase?”

    It would make those who are going to dispose of windows more countable. It would also reduce piracy if done right. You buy card it is activated at POS with known owner information recorded.

    The extra step is double sided. Better for Linux people not to have to try to get windows refund or put a windows license on shelf to rot. Also simpler to locate where particular license keys were nicked from since now they trace at least to a store.

    Reduce piracy normally increase FOSS take up. More take up faster development.

    Clarence Moon
    “You may cheer over Android, but tablets and phones are not PCs and Android success does not affect the desktop/laptop PC world today and there isn’t any popular theory that shows it doing such in the future.”
    There are reports that argue against this showing that android does cause disruptions to the number of PC sold in areas. More time is need to see if it will have a long term harmful effect to the desktop/laptop market. Yes it had a short term effects at least these are not large enough to overthrow the status quo yet.

    Basically you claim here is without base in reality.

  63. Prong Reboots says:

    Apple’s iMac is still a single digit share sort of device.

    Depends on how you look at it. In PC software OS share, yes. In PCC OEM share, definitely not. While I can’t say where the iMac in particular stands, Apple in aggregate is reported to hold over 90% of “premium”, often defined as $1,000+, sales [1]. In terms of units shipped, Apple is among the leaders in laptops, though flags in desktops [2]. In terms of PC OEM revenue share, however, Apple is very strong, but it has become difficult to find this particular data due to Apple showing even stronger performance in the smartphone, tablet, and “app” markets.

    [1] http://betanews.com/2009/07/22/apple-has-91-of-market-for-1-000-pcs-says-npd/

    [2] http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/14/apple-continues-slow-but-steady-growth-in-us-laptop-market-share/

  64. oldman says:

    “Really you should be able to pick the hardware at the store and choose what OS it has. ”

    Do you really believe that people are going to go to linux just because you have added an extra step to their computer purchase?

  65. Clarence Moon says:

    And what about iStuff?

    Apple hit a home run with the iPod and more or less pioneered the really useful personal music player. The sweet move they made to use the iPod to popularize the iPhone and then, in turn, the iPad was pure genius on someone’s part. Maybe Jobs, maybe some nameless schmo in the organization, who knows?

    A key to all three markets, though, was that the seminal devices were brought out at the beginnings of a new market development. The PC market is too long in the tooth for any such shenanigans. Apple’s iMac is still a single digit share sort of device.

  66. Prong Reboots says:

    Robert, can you provide, even anecdotally, a metric that would indicate at which point Microsoft can no longer be considered a monopoly? Once again you hold the conflicting viewpoints that there is no competition due and that meaningful competition exists.

    As for oiaohm’s “chicken and egg” explanation, the situation is more of an indicator of soft demand than anything else. It’s like saying “I’d be successful if only I were successful!” There are tons of “Linuxes” out there in all sorts of industries who would be successful if only they held all the cards.

    Are the posters here generally aware that Linux was indeed sold in retail from approximately 1996 through 2006? Possibly even later than that but I stopped going to computer retail period after around that time. I think this behavior is common, so I have considerable doubts whether retail presence would have a meaningful effect regardless of OS product displayed. Years ago Radio Shack catered to hardcore tech shoppers but is now basically an outlet for cell phones. Similarly, Best Buy and the like are no longer primarily outlets for quickly obtainable PC parts but are de facto end points for unsophisticated shoppers looking for gifts for their tech friends. Even if you’re hoping that someone would somehow pick up a boxed copy of Linux as a gift, it probably wouldn’t happen because they’re going to listen to what the salesperson suggests, and he will guide the customer to a higher markup item such as a digital camera or iPad.

    Finally, I find the linked paper appallingly amateurish. All sorts of accusations are thrown toward retail channels and not only is there not a direct quote by anyone involved anywhere in the retail chain, there is not even a name mentioned or really any indication that any research was performed into the retail realm whatsoever. The references cited are dominated by casual Linux reviews published by “magazine” sources. There’s even a self-reference in there, which is a big no-no, and the self-reference is even more poorly referenced in of itself. Then there’s a reference to Wikipedia. Robert, as an academic yourself, I would think you would find shoddy research like this shameful.

  67. iLia says:

    And what about iStuff?

    It seams to me that Apple had no big problems to reach consumers.

    Android also did it.

    Regulators should evaluate the direct and indirect losses caused by this situation [7] and put corrective measures in place

    Freedom by a government decree.

    Retailers and OEMs want profit, the main retailer problem is limited space that can be used to display products, if some currently displayed product doesn’t sell well enough it is simply removed from the shelves. Many retailers tried Linux-boxes, but replaced it by more popular computers.

    By the way I personally saw some Linux boxes in the biggest Novosibirsk computer stores, so at least in Novosibirsk the retail chains are not an obstacle to Linux, the obstacle is customers unwillingness to buy Linux-boxes.

  68. Clarence Moon says:

    thoroughly researched report

    Perhaps you think so, since it has a lot of graphs and espouses your own theories, Mr. Pogson, but I see it as a lame effort to whine about the harsh realities of mass marketing.

    In order to succeed, you have to pay your dues and put some effort into selling your product to the consumers. As the “paper” you cite concludes, that obviously is much more difficult in a large and relatively mature market. An ideal marketing situation is to have a product that first of all provides a benefit to the consumer commensurate with its price. Thus the customer gets his money’s worth and the supplier profits enough to keep him in business and able to continue to service the customer.

    Second, the product has to have a strong advantage over others in the same market. It is not “good enough” to be just another face in the crowd, whether your benefits are balanced or not. Rather, you must dominate your market. This is particularly true of personal computer software where a superior product can go viral and take over a market overnight as more an more consumers get the good news about the great product.

    This has not happened with Linux as a desktop, personal computer OS. You may cheer over Android, but tablets and phones are not PCs and Android success does not affect the desktop/laptop PC world today and there isn’t any popular theory that shows it doing such in the future.

    The Linux advocates seem to continually call for a “level playing field” which seems to mean a market where the current winner, Microsoft, is hamstrung and forced to promote open source solutions as well as its own products. The open source product vendors are incapable of making a profit, they say, since the buyers’ attention is focused on the winner’s wares via advertising and product proliferation on store shelves. Their answer is to force a “choice” to be made by overriding the natural selection process of the market itself.

    Since it is believed that Windows is just a thoughtless choice of the sheep who are so lacking in discriminant powers, a random choice will soon give the open source advocates a market that they cannot seem to capture on their own.

  69. Viktor has become really tiresome with comments like this: “Google has hidden the “ugly” Linux part as best as they can. With Desktop Linux this is not easily possible. OEMs don’t want to build up extra infrastructure for supporting a niche OS.”

    Users never get to see an OS. An OS is a piece of software that makes the hardware usable and supplies a common platform for applications and drivers. The users see a user-interface many levels of abstraction above the OS. There is no ugliness in GNU/Linux. It’s all about getting the job done efficiently. We know there is plenty of ugliness in that other OS like

    • integrating an application, the browser, with the OS,
    • equally ugly, integrating the user-interface with the OS to such an extent that even network servers had to have a GUI…,
    • way too much complexity and wrong things communicating with other wrong things so that the whole thing falls down far too easily, and
    • the EULA and phoning home which has no place between a user and his PC.
  70. oiaohm says:

    Viktor early android was not nice looking either.

    Android had a simpler list of requirements to meet to be accepted. Desktop not that simple.

    Android is making Linux kernel and core more desktop friendly.

    Basically chicken and egg problem. Linux Desktop needs users so there is enough voice to get key parts altered. The lack of access to retail means numbers grow slowly. So louder voices from the server room were winning the arguments at kernel level what had to be worked on.

    Android has broken a section of the chicken and egg problem at least at kernel.org.

    The retail argument is true. Only on-line and other methods have allowed other paths to customers. Problem is on-line is normally for those already with computers. Not exactly ideal this is.

    Shops take the idea we will stock a windows machine that is Linux compatible. Linux person will just have to fight for the refund on the installed windows. Really you should be able to pick the hardware at the store and choose what OS it has. Make it like Office where the machine contains starter and if you want more you pay for activation card on top of the hardware.

    This would be more Linux person friendly.

  71. Viktor says:

    Millions are being bought every year.

    If that is true then your retail argument is worthless.

    Please decide: is there some kind of conspiracy or do OEMs not want Linux on their machines?

    People are buying Android phones. They buy them because they do work (for the most part) and Google has hidden the “ugly” Linux part as best as they can. With Desktop Linux this is not easily possible. OEMs don’t want to build up extra infrastructure for supporting a niche OS.

  72. Viktor wrote, “no one wants Linux pre-installed on his or her computer”.

    False. Millions are being bought every year. Canonical claims 5% of PCs will ship with Ubuntu next year, partly due to Dell bypassing the retail roadblock.

    The share of installed PCs with GNU/Linux keeps increasing even as the total number of PCs increases. Units are shipping and being sold.

  73. Viktor says:

    We have hardware manufacturers and OEMs willing to crank out supported systems.

    If they are so willing then they just should do that. I mean, we’re talking big OEMs, aren’t we? They shouldn’t have a problem pushing their own products into the retail market.

    Of course, as always, you want the easy way it. Linux can’t break through, therefore it has to be a conspiracy which hs to be eliminated.

    As always, the reality is simple: no one wants Linux pre-installed on his or her computer.

    When you buy a Mac, you get Mac OS X.
    When you buy a PC, you get Windows.

    This is good, this is good.

    Linux users have a vast array of PCs they can choose from. Then they can try to get their hardware to work by employing esoteric workarounds.

    This is perfect.

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