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The State Of The Personal Computer

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Anonymous
November 25, 2008 10:29:45 AM

Linux share is down to 0.7% in october
Anonymous prediction for 2009 - 0.3%
Score
-8
November 25, 2008 11:31:52 AM

Thanks for typing some numbers in your message that either you or someone else pulled out of the air. I'm going to make up some numbers like 2% and 2.4% in 2009. How's that?
Score
5
Related resources
November 25, 2008 11:44:30 AM

110% in 2009 and about 150% in 2010
Score
-8
November 25, 2008 11:48:34 AM

"For the average consumer, the transition to 64-bit means a more stable operating system." Kinda amusing! Ye I know vista 64 is a lot more stable than vista 32, but at least at my place, that's still not very stable. My ati graphics driver frequently crashes and has to be recovered by vista - good thing the recovery works, so I just have to sit back and wait - don't even have to reboot or restart wow or the movie that was running etc. May want to rewind a bit though :)  But still - it DOES crash, and it takes more time booting than 32 bit on my system (probably the raid drivers fault), and neither my e-tech nor my logitech webcam works with 64bit (the e-tech does with 32 bit).

So more stable? perhaps, but certainly not in my home.
Score
6
November 25, 2008 11:50:37 AM

You are correct about linux. But i should add one thing. WINE.

It is getting better every version that launches, but still needs a lot of love. Wine use should be simple and stealthy. That is, put a x86 windows cd, and wine detects and pulls out a auto run. You get the idea.

when that happens Linux will check mate Win/OSX. Compiz/Fusion is already prettier than OSX (and with great promises) and the system is much safer. And faster.

Lets wait and see.
Score
9
Anonymous
November 25, 2008 11:56:02 AM

I think the future will be about virtutalization of machines and applications. If we had a low level virtual OS that supported a standard UI then any machine or application could be installed on it. That is you could have a single look and feel while running Windows, Mac, Linux, or other OS's or applications.
Score
1
Anonymous
November 25, 2008 12:10:34 PM

A very good article, but I found it odd that you believe OS X to be the most secure operating system. In the pwn2own contest recently, OS X was compromised in only 2 minutes. Vista fell a day later to a flaw in 3rd party software. Linux didn't fall.
Score
14
Anonymous
November 25, 2008 12:28:25 PM

I still laugh every time I see the "I'm a mac" commercials on TV.

Mac is comparing itself to windows OS or rather they should be. The Apple community is content believing that PC(Personal Computer) means Windows. They simply don't know the difference. Note to mac users: Macs are PCs also. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_computer

Also, listen to the music in the background. It's lullaby nature appeals to the mentality of Mac users as does the original color pallet 'box of crayons' in the system settings. They didn't design it that way by accident.

That's why Mac users love to boast about the commercials and their computers. Basic - ignorance is bliss.

It's not your fault though. It's not like personal computers have been widely available since the late 1970's but you haven't bothered to take one class on them right? You haven't?! That's a pity and thank you.

It's people like you who keep the entire PC(yes you too) technical community employed.
Score
25
November 25, 2008 12:31:31 PM

radnorYou are correct about linux. But i should add one thing. WINE.It is getting better every version that launches, but still needs a lot of love. Wine use should be simple and stealthy. That is, put a x86 windows cd, and wine detects and pulls out a auto run. You get the idea.when that happens Linux will check mate Win/OSX. Compiz/Fusion is already prettier than OSX (and with great promises) and the system is much safer. And faster.Lets wait and see.


Dunno about all below the wine, as I don't use linux for anything other than firewalls. But I don't think wine will ever get to a level that allows linux to replace windows. Mac OS has a chance - but only if they somehow can make game developers compile mainstream games for the mac.

Though the article in general is very well written, I still find it fails on one simple aspect. Gaming. Every single pc I've built in the past 5 years was expected to play pretty much any non-top-tier game. Ie. not crysis, but if hugo or pixeline, or any other childrens game, was shipped with some magazine or put on discount, the people I built the computers for, expect that the software will work. That can't be realized on a mac unless it runs windows - at which point there's no reason to buy the more expensive mac.
Score
-1
November 25, 2008 12:39:09 PM

KamujinA very good article, but I found it odd that you believe OS X to be the most secure operating system. In the pwn2own contest recently, OS X was compromised in only 2 minutes. Vista fell a day later to a flaw in 3rd party software. Linux didn't fall.


If we imagine a future version of flash, silverlight, java or any other internet based system could address the hardware in a pc via a standard interface - like directx or opengl etc but on the actaul hardware, instead of on the gui. And without the programmer needing expert knowledge of the limitations of the features, then virtualization won't even be needed. Stuff would just run directly on hardware. A bit like a seamless window on a citrix system, but with the hardware being used locally, and the drivers being a bunch of software embedded in the hardware burried beneath the gui.

But that probably won't happen for another 10 years, so windows is safe, even with a complete idiot at the wheel.
Score
-6
November 25, 2008 12:41:53 PM

"Once you’ve bought into the Windows platform, you’ve also signed yourself up for the world of malware, system crashes, and anti-virus subscriptions."

Malware? Yes. Anti-virus subscriptions? Not necessary but probably a good idea.

"The average Joe has already surrendered to the idea of having systems that crash every once in a while and the potential of malware."

But "system crashes"? The Windows Operating System is *very* stable and has been ever since the consumer versions switched over to the NT kernel with the release of XP in 2001. The OS doesn't just spontanously "crash" every now and then for no reason. I highly doubt the components that make up the core of OSX or a typical Linux distro are any more stable or less prone to crashes.

It's wrong to blame Windows when third party programs crash or poorly written drivers bluescreen. If I were to go crazy on my Ubuntu install and download stuff from all over the place, I would soon be in dependency hell and the whole system would break down. Same with OSX though the limited library of available software and the strict control enforced by Apple makes it a bit more difficult to do really stupid things on OSX.

In order for people to perceive Windows as more stable, we would have to grant Microsoft more control over what software, hardware and drivers are released for the OS which is probably not what we want as it would spell the end of independent developers, shareware and freeware. Microsoft has already taken steps into that direction by making signed drivers a requirement, and there's also the WHQL and Designed For Windows logo program - but who would want the Windows Logo program to become a requirement for releasing Windows software?

The price we pay for having a virtually unlimited software library and being able to buy cheap hardware from obscure asian companies with poorly translated driver control panels and manuals is the slightly reduced stability of the system as a whole (not of Windows itself).
Score
20
November 25, 2008 1:03:50 PM

So... who cares really?

I use Linux and Vista. I like both.

The real thing is though, I like to play recent games, and often, and I like new hardware. Well, Linux nor Mac can handle that, at all, at launch. Windows is the only answer. The only choice there. Doesn't mean I like it, but then again, Vista 64 sp1 has been FANTASTIC. So I can't complain about it, yet.

Cheers,
Score
8
Anonymous
November 25, 2008 1:09:28 PM

Our University does have lots of beautiful new shiny 24" iMacs, but most of them are running ...Windows XP. Dual boot is not even an option.
Score
12
Anonymous
November 25, 2008 1:10:18 PM

Interesting article. Here's my take on things as a power user. I have to admit I don't have much experience with newer MacOS X but I'll explain why. I've been using PCs for a long time, since the DOS days and I've enjoyed working with Unix systems. First off Linux. Linux will never go away. It's showing up in all sorts of embedded devices where other OS's could never hope to be in. It IS the perfect server OS for low powered devices. In fact a NAS is a common area to find Linux. I'm reloading the firmware in my QNAP for Debian as we speak. I have doubts on Linux making it in the mainstream desktop environment. It's biggest problem is lack of great applications you find in Windows. Windows despite all it's issues isn't that hard to lock down when you're a PowerUser. It's simple, update everything, setup correctly, don't install / run unknowns / ignore popups and install for haven's sake Firefox or Mozilla. If you do all that and attempt to setup Windows with the effort that you'd put into Linux you'll find it's suddenly a stable / solid OS with very good security. In almost a decade of operations with Windows I've had an amazing 2 viruses. Both of which were mostly due to running bad software keygens (My own fault). Hell, I didn't even have a viral scanner for 7 years! The problem I find with most folks is that they don't keep things updated, practice bad methods, running unknown attachments or installing questionable software or clicking on popups to install. Also when something goes wrong they ignore it. (Ie. You ran a mysterious program and suddenly your network activity goes nuts and your computer slows down... Hmm I guess my computer is slow. ^^) Point is if you know what you're doing, Windows is very useful with it's thousands of applications legal or not. It's only bane is highly inefficient use of resources especially in Vista. This leaves MacOS. For a power user Mac's are a problem. It's greatest strength is also a weakness because as you mentioned, it's locked down and proprietary. This makes it tough to tweak precisely to your own desires. You need to watch for compatibility when getting addons. Hardware upgrades are usually limited. And if you don't like Apple's visual designs. (I find them too bland) then you're screwed. I prefer Asus's or Sony's laptop designs for example. If I were to switch to Mac I would suddenly find a huge selection of my software again or need to start forking out the $$$. On the other hand, it's perfect for the average consumer who wouldn't mess around with things like this. MacOS should in all purposes be the popular consumer OS but sadly it isn't. My predictions? It probably won't change all that much as the years go by. Linux is probably the only OS that will keep expanding. Maybe not so much in the PC world but in all our embedded applications.
Score
12
November 25, 2008 1:19:43 PM

This article smells of bias.

Hospitals using windows proves its stability. Please. That's not apples-to-apples comparing. That's a locked down environment. Put windows into the real world, on someone's desk in their house and it has serious problems. Windows has a blue screen of death. Do Macs??? Does linux??? No.

Also, stating that linux only has one mature browser is complete garbage. Firefox is a fine choice of browser. But, even better is Opera, which is available for the linux platform, as are several others.
Score
-18
November 25, 2008 1:33:00 PM

A Linux users' reflections on the Linux part:

You start with:
Quote:
However, one area where Linux will never succeed is the desktop.

This can be set against a key sentence on the next page:
Quote:
The only way Linux can reach the mainstream desktop is if that uncertainty is removed.

Based on this and the article as a whole success is equivalent of mainstream. I think that's an example of flawed logic. In many other technical areas we're used to have different niches, but when it comes to computer operating systems for desktops it suddenly becomes a question of being mainstream, not about technical strength or the diversity of user preferences.

It's kind of strange that a user of Linux, I'm refering to the author, falls into the trap of seeing only two extremes: "technology geeks" and "mainstream users". The interesting conclusion of this is that the world of computer users already consists of a strangely large portion of "technology geeks". According to gathered statistics it seems like Ubuntu and Fedora alone have about 18 million users at the moment. Don't try to convince me that all of those are "technology geeks".

I don't expect any special Linux year on the desktop, and to me that's an irrelevant question. Even if we only limit our interest to actual statistics, should every product, in this case operating systems, on the market attract mainstream users? To me that sounds like a malfunctioning and boring market. Let's say only 10 or even 5 % will be attracted by Linux for desktop, why is that a failure? Or why should Linux try to be just another OSX or Windows?

That Linux is little bit of everything is true, but it's also fair to add that the user is enabled to perfect it to his liking. Hence I agree with the conclusion of what possible can be done, but not under the already flawed pretext of "the only way Linux can reach the mainstream desktop".

All your suggestions are good in a way, but there's no need to become overly concerned about being mainstream. Why? To really see the beauty of Linux demonstrate on a bad ass system and show how it makes those CPU and GPU cycles kicking ass. Attract more of those not particularly geeky users, but folks with a profound interest in computing. How will that benefit Linux? Because every user of Linux has a tendency to interest somebody else, and that single Linux users with fairly good talent for computing will be far better than any support you can get for Windows. Windows support isn't very good for the mainstream market, if it doesn't cost you money you run the risk of getting a lot of bad advices.

Maybe it will eventually become easier to make Linux succeed on the desktop as a business model. First though lets stimulate the community interest, let the army of Russians who will grow up using Linux at school dig in deep and contribute, because with a little bit bigger young user base there's nothing to worry about. Linux isn't dependent on 5, 10 or 50 % of users because on average a single Linux user contribute far more than even groups of Windows users.

Mainstream isn't the only option.
Score
8
November 25, 2008 1:35:13 PM

libraryeliWindows has a blue screen of death. Do Macs??? Does linux???
Two words: Kernel Panic.
Score
17
November 25, 2008 1:43:04 PM

At my work, we have a lot of specialized hardware around. They only work with Windows. Some equipments, such as 10GHz digital oscilloscope, are basically AMD K6-2 machines running Windows 98 with fast ADC interface on PCI slots. They run 24/7 without any problem.
Score
7
November 25, 2008 1:53:59 PM

Quote:
Windows has a blue screen of death. Do Macs??? Does linux??? No.


Linux and OSX have different ways of giving you the information that a Windows BSOD does.

When you see a BSOD in Windows, it's a sign of a severe hardware or software problem. If I see a BSOD on my desktop Vista system (last time I did was about three months ago when looking for the max stable overclock) I immediately begin a thorough process of troubleshooting the hardware (RAM and CPU are prime suspects but other things like a failing harddrive or even PSU might cause it), software and drivers. BSODs should not occur at all on a normally functioning PC.

Also if you see a BSOD and it sais something about "nv4disp.dll" (for example) it is *NOT* "Windows" that has crashed, it's the Nvidia display driver. Nvidia's poor Vista drivers really gave the new OS a bad name in the beginning., though they have become better over time. There are other examples of poorly written drivers etc. causing stability problems and giving people the false impression that Windows itself is unstable and "crashes all the time".
Score
12
November 25, 2008 1:56:19 PM

Lots of people say Windows is the most insecure OS and the most susceptible to malware. While the most susceptible is likely true (considering it is the dominant OS), the most insecure likely isn't. Because it has 80% of the market, it gets a ton of attacks. Similarly, it also fights off a ton of attacks. No one ever finds it, but that's the ratio you should look for in the security of an OS. Macs are probably just as insecure as Windows PCs, but they are exploited far less often.

That, and they cost 2 times more for crappier hardware.
Score
12
November 25, 2008 1:57:22 PM

libraryeliThis article smells of bias.Hospitals using windows proves its stability. Please. That's not apples-to-apples comparing. That's a locked down environment. Put windows into the real world, on someone's desk in their house and it has serious problems. Windows has a blue screen of death. Do Macs??? Does linux??? No.Also, stating that linux only has one mature browser is complete garbage. Firefox is a fine choice of browser. But, even better is Opera, which is available for the linux platform, as are several others.

Locked down ? I may have to get my eyes fixed at a hospital some time soon, and last time I was there for a checkup the woman you 'clock in at' was checking some auctions on a local equivalent of ebay - locked down? Also my bank woman was visiting my private homepage to see my cars one day I was there - on the computer she uses for her banking business - locked down? naa. Just maintained properly.

Anonyn3nf2389Hell, I didn't even have a viral scanner for 7 years!

While I pay a subscription to kaspersky every year, I've got to admit that I didn't bother installing it on my vista 64 box myself. Not that I can't get a virus, but it's just sooo unlikely that I do, that I didn't bother protecting against it. I'm not the sort of guy to click myself to malware, so I didn't bother worrying about installing the av yet. In fact it expires next month anyway, so I might not even bother.
Score
2
November 25, 2008 1:58:10 PM

radnorYou are correct about linux. But i should add one thing. WINE.It is getting better every version that launches, but still needs a lot of love. Wine use should be simple and stealthy. That is, put a x86 windows cd, and wine detects and pulls out a auto run. You get the idea.when that happens Linux will check mate Win/OSX. Compiz/Fusion is already prettier than OSX (and with great promises) and the system is much safer. And faster.Lets wait and see.


I'm sorry, but I don't think anyone will ever "checkmate" Mac. Mac will continue to enjoy the (roughly) 10% market share they've always had. WINE will not be the lynchpin that will take them down, either. Ever seen Parallels? It's what WINE should be. I should preface all of this by saying that I've run Ubuntu as a primary OS for several years. Before that, I was a FreeBSD user since way before version 4 came out (I think I've still got install media for 3.4 laying around here somewhere). I had a windows laptop that got taken from windows 95 through 98SE, and then another with XP. Now, I have to dual-boot to Windows occasionally to load iTunes and update the software on my iPod Touch, so I've run the gamut.

I am a HUGE fan of Linux, but here is the reason Linux will never make it on the desktop: third party driver support. Yes, I know, more and more companies are writing good Linux drivers. Both nVidia and AMD/ATI have the newest version of their drivers available for both Windows and Linux. That's not really the problem. This is: I've run Ubuntu 8.04 since launch day. It launched with kernel version 2.6.24-16. It made it to 2.6.24-21 before 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) was released. I run 2 third party drivers that require you to compile a kernel module FOR EACH NEW VERSION OF THE KERNEL that you install -- nVidia graphics, and vmware. New pre-compiled modules come down in updates, too, but they're always a couple versions behind, and I'm running version 2 of vmware (which isn't in Ubuntu repositories yet) for USB 2.0 support. If you've read this far, I commend you, but you're starting to understand my point. After I accepted the update from kernel 2.6.24-16 to -17, everything went fine, because I was using the Ubuntu-approved drivers, but the next kernel update that came down broke X and killed vmware, because I'd (horror of horrors) decided to run newer drivers for my stuff. Took all day to get everything running again (now I can do it in about an hour, as long as GCC doesn't start complaining).

So, to put it another way, downloading OS updates on the most used Linux distro out there can and will break your system, and this is BY DESIGN. A Linux-for-dummies distro like Ubuntu promises the flexibility of Windows and the stability and ease-of-use of Mac. If you want the ease-of-use, you end up locked into older versions of software - much like with Mac, except Mac keeps software in their distributions more up-to-date due to the narrower scope. If you want the flexibility, well then you end up Googling for half a day about an obscure bug with kernel version 2.6.24-21, GCC version 4.2.3, and the newest nVidia kernel module needing to be removed and re-inserted into the kernel before starting X (true story). Think your average Windows power-user could figure that out, without a functional GUI? I swear I almost formatted and installed Vista...

Like the article pointed out, Linux is making huge headway in the areas that it is the best choice for -- servers, embedded systems, and Live-CD type environments -- where the compliment of software is rigidly fixed by the designer, and updates are done in a very controlled fashion. But, for a living, changing system over a period of time, it's really a pain in the butt sometimes.
Score
8
November 25, 2008 2:03:28 PM

I myself love linux but if you think it has no blue screen of death you're kidding yourselves. While most times you can restart x from a command prompt i've had crashes where the system required reboot more frequently than I've had on vista 64.

Either way I love linux for what it gives me for free, and I'll keep using windows so long as it has such amazing stability and software/gaming support. I imagine everyone will use whatever works for them but Windows won't go away from being the dominant OS for quite sometime longer.
Score
11
a b 5 Linux
November 25, 2008 2:05:45 PM

thr3ddyTwo words: Kernel Panic.


I have been running Linux for about five years and have had a total of two kernel panics. One was due to a malfunctioning serial port card and the other was due to a malfunctioning SATA card. Both caused kernel panics when they threw off all sorts of errors during boot. I have had *dozens* of BSODs on Windows in that amount of time, mostly due to crappy wireless and GPU drivers with a handful caused by programs doing something stupid like dividing by zero. Linux almost never has a kernel panic if there is a driver error as it will just kick the driver and keep on going. It will also just issue a segfault and keep the OS lit if a program does something stupid like divide by zero. The proprietary GPU drivers on Linux are about the same quality as those on Windows, but they usually just lock up X rather than stop the whole OS, although often you have to reboot the machine to get it to work normally again. The difference is that you can ssh into or use the Alt+SysRq "magic keys" with the locked-up Linux machine to do a safe reboot, whereas Windows just halts immediately and leaves the filesystem dirty.

All in all, my experiences are that a Windows box *can* be as stable as a Linux machine. Drivers are a much bigger impediment to stability on Windows as they are almost all third-party and of varying quality, whereas almost all if not every driver is part of the Linux kernel on the average Linux machine. You just have to be very judicious in what hardware you buy with Windows if you want it to be stable. While the hardware will almost certainly work under Windows, it may have a very crappy driver that BSODs frequently. Linux takes much less care in selecting hardware for stability as it will either work and have an excellent in-kernel driver or not work at all.
Score
0
Anonymous
November 25, 2008 2:18:48 PM

PC = personal computer. it's the hardware. windows and linux run on pc. apple computer = pc. apple os runs on a pc.
Score
3
November 25, 2008 2:30:50 PM

So BSOD in windows is = to trying to put linux on a laptop and then throwing the thing across the room because of GPU/screen and wireless support. Or for that matter trying to get Far Cry 2 on OSX.
Score
2
November 25, 2008 2:31:17 PM

I dont know how you can live without an Ipod Touch neg me, if you will, this thing is badass. For 200 bucks Im blown away. Im getting tired of my PC. Apps are the future its great.
Score
-14
November 25, 2008 2:35:27 PM

Sorry guys but the article is biased so much one can't find an unbiased paragraph.

Windows is a major system in the corporate environment and from there it spreads into common households. Also several key document excahnge chains require MS software. It has nothing to do with quality. MS did not create anything worth paying for with Vista.

MAC is a nice OS. However the hardware control of Apple prohibits it from taking a larger market share. Basicaly it is the same as the gaming consoles. Same restrictions, same polish feel.

Linux is the engineering OS. It is not meant to be primary a desktop system. It is a technical workstation system. People trying to get it to mainstream desktop are wrong.

As you can see, each of these has it's own role and place. They do interfere in some areas but that's about it.

I had to keep my restrain to not shout at the article writer about his Linux misinformation :-) His claim that he uses/was using Linux seems to me highly unreliable given the information he is sprouting.
Score
-5
November 25, 2008 2:39:15 PM

ubuntun00b said:
I dont know how you can live without an Ipod Touch neg me, if you will, this thing is badass. For 200 bucks Im blown away. Im getting tired of my PC. Apps are the future its great.

Its easy, you goto the store and pick up a Creative Zen or other player and presto, FM radio and WMA(You know a company is acting like a child when they refuse to support a format just because its made by MS. WMA is not ground breaking, but many users still have full collections of it and transcoding it and loosing further quality going from one lossy format to another makes NO sense.) support yet still cheaper then Apples offering. Best part, NO ITUNES!!!

You know that an "App" is just short for Applications right? Your right, all applications are the future :p 
Score
10
November 25, 2008 2:39:26 PM

@JimmiG, windows is stable, as long as you don't use it, a big chunk of that Pie Graph of Vista Crashes was Microsoft related: 17.9%
http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=1585

The problem with Linux is: it doesn't have an advertising budget, and it doesn't have an R&D budget, it is mostly dependent on reciprocity of others, the biggest incentive Linux has is community.

Driver support is starting to come around, if you build it they will come, if Linux had a 20% market share on new computers I think that would be enough for mainstream third party support {software and hardware}.

I think the business sector will be the first to adopt mainstream Linux, if only to cut software and hardware costs, but would have to increase support cost.

I use OSX at work, and Ubuntu and XP at home.
Score
-3
November 25, 2008 2:40:50 PM

heltoupeeI'm sorry, but I don't think anyone will ever "checkmate" Mac. Mac will continue to enjoy the (roughly) 10% market share they've always had. WINE will not be the lynchpin that will take them down, either. Ever seen Parallels? It's what WINE should be. I should preface all of this by saying that I've run Ubuntu as a primary OS for several years. Before that, I was a FreeBSD user since way before version 4 came out (I think I've still got install media for 3.4 laying around here somewhere). I had a windows laptop that got taken from windows 95 through 98SE, and then another with XP. Now, I have to dual-boot to Windows occasionally to load iTunes and update the software on my iPod Touch, so I've run the gamut.I am a HUGE fan of Linux, but here is the reason Linux will never make it on the desktop: third party driver support. Yes, I know, more and more companies are writing good Linux drivers. Both nVidia and AMD/ATI have the newest version of their drivers available for both Windows and Linux. That's not really the problem. ....

.... But, for a living, changing system over a period of time, it's really a pain in the butt sometimes.


Ive read all that, believe me and ive passed it.

But the thing is....Joe consumer doesn't need updates, doesn't really knows what anti-aliasing is, never understood what the Translate look Aside Bus was, and believe Netburst is a Spiderman ability.

My mom is very happy with her Ubuntu. On her desktop and netbook.
My sister in law is very happy with her Ubuntu (in Galician, not spanish).
My brother Dual-boots. Vista 64 for games, Ubuntu 8.04 for work.

Just of the top of my head. And i'm sorry for your Itunes.

WINE just needs to get better on a productivity level. I don't really need to do my work on Windows. I only have windows for gaming. Nothing more. Linux is still a step away, mainly because of Directx. It will always be i guess.

About VMware, it is not very easy to "mod". Ive crashed several Kernels tempering with .... well, stuff. But in the latest analysis the problems, you broke your Kernel due to updating drivers and playing with VMware. I don't see any Joe Consumer doing that.

Try to install Catalist or Forceware with desinstalling first on Windows. then come back for the results.

Linux is still the "geek" choice for an OS. WINE idea is great, because it is not a VM, but a middle-layer. Check phoronix forums for WINE vs WINDOWS benchies for gaming.

The problem with WINE and linux in general, is that, a "geek" or a "tech savy" is making a GUI with apps associated, for people that just want to push a button. It is a hard task or a impossible one.

But will be fun to see.

At MU_Engineer, a windows box "can" be as stable as Linux. But it is very hard to see a windows box having the uptime that many linux boxes achieve without much sweat.
Score
2
November 25, 2008 2:45:24 PM

I came from Thailand where we never heard of OS X or Linux, until i came to US of A. In those 3rd word country, they get software for free(illegally). Those software are so expensive, so they cannot afford one.
Score
1
November 25, 2008 2:51:49 PM

Noticed a funny thing reading all of our comments. Windows is better, they say, because it has support for more software & hardware. Yes, it does have more support. However, Windows is less stable. They say that it's not unstable, but it's the drivers & 3rd party software that is unstable, thus making windows suffer. But isn't it that same software, and those same drivers that make Windows so much better than Mac or linux??? Riiiiiggggghhhhht.

I'm supposed to use Windows because it has better hardware & software support, but oh, I'm also going to have to deal with the instability caused by those same things. That makes a lot of sense.
Score
-7
Anonymous
November 25, 2008 2:55:49 PM

Linux desktop needs:

A serious chatclient! Be 100% interoperable with MSN / Yahoo / other... Think about it, how can a windows user switch to linux if he can't easily chat on his familiar MSN account? The eee-pc couldnt out of the box chat with webcam, flipping it from 80% usefull to 20% usefull for my non-geek gf. After some googling and hacking I could get aMSN to recieve webcam but not send it.

In my experience it is the lack of MSN compatible chatclient why I fail to convince completely-non-tech people to use linux. And after custom installing aMSN and painfully configuring the usb cam it still looks and works like a rundown car.

Which is a pity since I have not seen any of the same non-tech people that did not have on average 10 viri / trojans / spyware instances per week of chatting since the last HD reformat / OS reinstall. And this is exactly where linux use as desktop OS would be strong.

Make a distro that works 100% as universal chat appliance and you already have a business case for selling cheap linux laptops with integrated webcams. Linux's inroad into the desktop will not come from being a fully functional windows replacer but from effectively levering a limited set of functions on a stable platform.
Score
-1
November 25, 2008 3:02:55 PM

Stability is dependent on hardware. If you want Windows to be stable, get good hardware, if you want Windows to be unstable, but generic crap hardware. Back in the days of Windows 98, I ran into a bug with windows that involved keeping your system up for 43 days and some odd hours (memory started overwriting itself at that point causing a blue screen and was a known bug fixed in SE). Quality of hardware = stability, this is why Apple refuses to let anyone run Mac OS on anything but their hardware, cause if they did, people would complain about how unstable Mac OS was too.
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1
November 25, 2008 3:13:35 PM

page 4...OSX offered better power management ON A MAC! try installing it on a standard laptop and then see if it still offers improved power management, or if it was just because it wa sbetter optimized for the macbook than vista.
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3
November 25, 2008 3:18:12 PM

haplo602MAC is a nice OS. However the hardware control of Apple prohibits it from taking a larger market share. Basicaly it is the same as the gaming consoles. Same restrictions, same polish feel.Linux is the engineering OS. It is not meant to be primary a desktop system. It is a technical workstation system. People trying to get it to mainstream desktop are wrong.


Apple Inc can't get their hardware open up, for they know they will suck worse than M$ had they done that. Apple Inc is driven by "design" people, and not software engineers as in the case of Microsoft and Google.

Linux was a joke taken too seriously, just like C++. Linux isn't supposed to be an OS for specific environment. It is essentially an open platform under GNU licensing. It can be OS for workstation, virtualization server, embeded, desktop, laptop, tablet and even gaming console if corresponded software/driver package is provided. The only problem is that it lacks centralized organization, such as Microsoft, to regulate development of API and drivers.
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0
November 25, 2008 3:20:58 PM

anonymous2Linux desktop needs:A serious chatclient! Be 100% interoperable with MSN / Yahoo / other... Think about it, how can a windows user switch to linux if he can't easily chat on his familiar MSN account? The eee-pc couldnt out of the box chat with webcam, flipping it from 80% usefull to 20% usefull for my non-geek gf. After some googling and hacking I could get aMSN to recieve webcam but not send it.In my experience it is the lack of MSN compatible chatclient why I fail to convince completely-non-tech people to use linux. And after custom installing aMSN and painfully configuring the usb cam it still looks and works like a rundown car.Which is a pity since I have not seen any of the same non-tech people that did not have on average 10 viri / trojans / spyware instances per week of chatting since the last HD reformat / OS reinstall. And this is exactly where linux use as desktop OS would be strong.Make a distro that works 100% as universal chat appliance and you already have a business case for selling cheap linux laptops with integrated webcams. Linux's inroad into the desktop will not come from being a fully functional windows replacer but from effectively levering a limited set of functions on a stable platform.


Pidgin ? And there are more, just talk with the K instead of the Gnome.
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2
November 25, 2008 3:40:31 PM

Quote:
However, for most home computing (office suite, digital photography, and Internet) ... the Mac is the ideal platform for those who can afford it.

If both platforms have ample power to surf, type and play with photos (especially with Picasa and the like for free) why would you pay a premium? Why is it superior for such menial tasks (especially at a premium)? Is its 'simplicity' or UI worth the extra expense? I think in this case the bottom line trumps all (which is what surfing, typing, photo-ing mom and pops are looking for). These users are looking for less expensive means, not comforts like simplicity and stability.
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2
November 25, 2008 4:01:49 PM

What, going from SUSE to Fedora? SUSE is supreme!!
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0
November 25, 2008 4:07:43 PM

@ neiro

i think you should blame ati for their crappy drivers not ms.
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0
November 25, 2008 4:17:24 PM

very nice article, couldn't have been more objective.
i just want to add those who says positive about windows stability.
i remember those days with windows95, its really a pain to use which crashes and destroys the registry so often that i had to install the OS twice or more in a month and is not even connected to the internet.
win xp is really good, the only time i had to do re-installation when the system shuts down so fast before the harddisk finishes writing. service pack 1 solved the problem.

i guess, OS market shares will stay the same except Linux which will have more success in organizations avoiding the cost of MS windows especially in developing countries.
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1
November 25, 2008 4:25:49 PM

libraryeliNoticed a funny thing reading all of our comments. Windows is better, they say, because it has support for more software & hardware. Yes, it does have more support. However, Windows is less stable. They say that it's not unstable, but it's the drivers & 3rd party software that is unstable, thus making windows suffer. But isn't it that same software, and those same drivers that make Windows so much better than Mac or linux??? Riiiiiggggghhhhht.I'm supposed to use Windows because it has better hardware & software support, but oh, I'm also going to have to deal with the instability caused by those same things. That makes a lot of sense.


So I can build a Mac from scratch using high-end parts like an ATI HD 4870 X2? Please...

It is easier to write Windows programs for Open-Source than it is for Mac.

Instability IS caused by faulty drivers from 3rd Party manufacturers. Denying that is just ignorant, like most Mac users in general.
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4
November 25, 2008 4:40:21 PM

There were some key points in what you talked about that were glossed over. Frozen Pb speaks the truth. The main stability advantage of Macs is that they control the hardware configurations at the factory. Thus all the drivers and components are known to work well together. Thus the OS doesn't have as many moving parts to fail.

As far as Linux (which has .91% market share yet about 30% of this article), the biggest obstacle it has is history and that it's not Windows. If Windows and Ubuntu were both brand new, you'd probably have a real contest (I don't like Ubuntu, but whatever). For Linux to gain market share, it needs to pull Windows users over and have them want to learn something new and different. Nobody wants to do that unless they have another reason in cooperation with it: new job, curiosity/geekiness, can't afford Windows, etc. The biggest advantage that Windows has is its own momentum and that basically everybody learns basic computing on Windows. I can't count the number of people who have said to me, "I got a Mac because they're supposed to be easier and more stable but I don't know how to use it so I guess I'm going back to Vista."
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0
November 25, 2008 4:45:49 PM

To put that into perspective, if 10 in 1,000 flights crashed, one day of flights at Los Angeles International Airport would result in 6.2 plane crashes.

No you mean, that if the LAIA were to detect 10 crash scenarios then ONLY 6.2 would actually occur.
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-4
November 25, 2008 4:52:52 PM

abydosoneInstability IS caused by faulty drivers from 3rd Party manufacturers.


So, then why do my Windows systems crash more often than my linux machines?? EVERY app on my linux machines is 3rd party, so why doesn't it crash all the time. Also, why do my Ubuntu installations run better than my XP installations on the exact same peice of hardware... that Dell setup to run XP in the first place. Ignorant, don't go throwing that word around, some of it might stick to you.
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-6
November 25, 2008 6:16:44 PM

justaguyAs far as Linux (which has .91% market share yet about 30% of this article), the biggest obstacle it has is history and that it's not Windows. If Windows and Ubuntu were both brand new, you'd probably have a real contest (I don't like Ubuntu, but whatever). For Linux to gain market share, it needs to pull Windows users over and have them want to learn something new and different. Nobody wants to do that unless they have another reason in cooperation with it: new job, curiosity/geekiness, can't afford Windows, etc. The biggest advantage that Windows has is its own momentum and that basically everybody learns basic computing on Windows. I can't count the number of people who have said to me, "I got a Mac because they're supposed to be easier and more stable but I don't know how to use it so I guess I'm going back to Vista."

History definitely has a huge impact, but I don't see user adoption of something different as the main obstacle. Lets for example look at the driver issue.

Microsoft design of Windows isn't based on an interest of promoting hardware standards. Microsoft could have benefited from open drivers and better hardware standards, something that could have improved stability immensely. Since I remember the mess Microsoft created in the 80's I'm inclined to believe that commercial interests overshadowed technical improvements. In a sense this driver mess has been of benefit to Microsoft when open-source alternatives showed up. Strangely enough most don't seem to even question why even the most basic USB devices don't follow a common standard, resulting in all kinds of home made drivers of mixed quality. Linux developers have hence been forced to practically waste time on reversed engineering and lobbying for better standards.

I don't want to touch the subject of why Microsoft has a momentum, but it's sad to see how often the means to get it now is forgotten even though it hurt the market really bad. As a product I've nothing against Windows, it's my work to administrate Windows networks, even though personally Windows feels old and passé for me (a fancy GUI isn't what makes an impression on me). Now we already know that Windows 7 isn't something radically new, but still I hopes that the improvements made will shake the Linux community into working even harder. As I already wrote in this thread I don't agree on the conclusion that Linux should strive to be mainstream in the way that Windows is, instead it should attract those users who appreciate the qualities of Linux, and they are already everything from geeks to clicking-on-applications-users.

Linux needs Windows to improve, just as Windows needs the same sort of competition. The difference though is that Microsoft is one of the very few companies that sells software and not really a service, something Linux never can. Microsoft is obviously evolving, but I'm not so sure which forces within the company that will succeed.

Last and less important note: to say that Linux "has .91% market share" isn't accurate because we don't know. Web statistics are so flawed that it can't be trusted (bots, user agents, automatic services making calls all the time, and so on). Unfortunately we don't have many other options when making estimations. Nevertheless 0.91% might be what is true in your part of the world, but here despite the Web statistic flaws we quite often see the that figured doubled. On the other hand it doesn't matter.
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1
November 25, 2008 6:46:58 PM

Tjik Strangely enough most don't seem to even question why even the most basic USB devices don't follow a common standard, resulting in all kinds of home made drivers of mixed quality. Linux developers have hence been forced to practically waste time on reversed engineering and lobbying for better standards.


I have to disagree with this. USB Class drivers are quickly advancing and providing standard ways to interface with USB devices. USB sticks have run off of a standard class driver for years.

The UVC driver is designed to be a generic driver handling all USB video devices. Having worked as a software developer with this driver on all three platforms I can say that Windows has by far the most complete and advanced implementation of the UVC driver.

I would also point out that all new webcams are required to be UVC compliant in order to carry the "Works with Windows" (or whatever their marketing slogan is).

Anecdotally, I had a Mac (OS 10.4) box, a WinXP box and a Linux Box on my desk for over a year. The Mac crashed weekly, the Linux box never, and the Windows box crashed once when the hard disk failed. =)
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2
November 25, 2008 6:49:32 PM

page 4...OSX offered better power management ON A MAC! try installing it on a standard laptop and then see if it still offers improved power management, or if it was just because it was better optimized for the macbook than vista.
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0
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