[CS-FSLUG] Linux Today - Is desktop Linux too fragmented to succeed? A friend tells it like it is!!

Fred A. Miller fmiller at lightlink.com
Sun May 3 12:17:21 CDT 2009

Eduardo Sánchez wrote:


> That's not true. KDE and GNU/Linux are already providing desktops in 
> Brazilian schools in the order of *millions*, and people are using 
> GNU/Linux desktops everywhere, in both corporate and personal 
> environments. This is due not only out of technical excellence, but 
> thanks to Linux's best desktop apologists: The mobsters and racketeers 
> of the Business Software Alliance and their wretched "licensing audits".

I'd heard and read that there was quite a movement to Linux in
Brazil...nice to have it confirmed.

>> A few observations on what Linux needs:
>> 	1.) It needs someone to pour millions of dollars into WINE and bring
>> it up to the point that it can run current versions of Photoshop,
>> TaxCut, Quicken, etc. It then needs to be tied into the DE so closely
>> that the end user is blissfully unaware of the compatibility layer.
>> Focus on apps that really cannot easily be replaced with something
>> already on Linux and only worry about currently supported versions --
>> no one cares if Office 2002 runs on Linux any longer.
> A great suggestion, but wrong on one point. I do care if "Office 2002" 
> runs on Linux. There are many installations with Office 97, 2000, and 
> the like in my country. Many businesses purchased one, and just one 
> version of certain software packages, and their business depend on them. 
> WINE should be very friendly to old software (maybe forking Wine into 
> two releases, one for older software, and other for the state of the 
> art?) Visual Basic is a must, in several versions, and so are XBase 
> engines, such as Visual FoxPro, and others like Genexus.

What there really should be are native versions.

>> 	2.) It needs one of the two major DEs to be completely marginalized
>> so that there is one standard "Linux desktop."
> I respectfully disagree. I wouldn't want GNOME to be marginalized. Its 
> usage is really marginal outside the Ubuntu/USA realm.

Thankfully, eh? :)

>> 	3.) It needs a major OEM to make Linux its flagship OS and focus
>> totally on making really slick, desirable systems (think MacBook Pro
>> or even Dell Adamo -- systems fully capable of being "cool") that
>> come with it pre-installed.
> Maybe...
>> 	4.) It needs to come with pre-installed, licensed codecs for MPEG-4,
>> QuickTime, DVDs w/ CSS, etc.
> Or not. This would be true only when you have some law such as the DMCA 
> Anti-Circumvention clause. But everywhere else in the world, if you have 
> a legal right to play media, it's up to you how you play it. So instead 
> of "licensed", I would put the emphasis on "Free Software codecs".

I'd put the emphasis on making the current laws in the US illegal!!
They're already immoral, IMHO.


>> 	Likewise, Canonical could sign a deal with Amazon to build in the
>> Amazon MP3 store (think as it is on Android, which in turn is copying
>> iTunes) and perhaps even Amazon Unbox. Integrate shopping directly
>> within Rhythmbox so that it is as good or better experience than
>> iTunes on Mac/Windows.
> The problem is that this product would not be free. (Free as in freedom)

The problem is that, in particular now and in the foreseeable future,
"free" is not economically doable. Inexpensively, yes...free, no.

>> 	The last step is finding an OEM. Dell needs a new plan. Work with
>> them to launch a complete line from netbooks to luxury laptops of
>> systems with Ubuntu Pro preloaded. With Ubuntu's subtle, tasteful
>> artwork team, it'd look nice, be very functional and could be slotted
>> in price maybe $200 less than the equivalent Apple. These systems
>> shouldn't be Windows or Linux systems -- a totally separate Linux
>> line with its own unique features That would perhaps sell some in a
>> bad economy...
> This is really interesting.

I forgot to mention before that HP has a new line of desktops and
laptops that will be preloaded with SLED (SuSE Linux desktop), so this
is a good thing......some more preloading in a dual-boot configuration
with MickySoft. I would ASSUME you can get it without MickySoft.

>> 	Here's an idea that would make it killer: find a way to take one of
>> those instant boot "light" Linux systems  and find a way to make it
>> so that it could seemlessly fade into the full distro that could boot
>> in the background while the user was already doing stuff. Instant on
>> could be a killer app.
> Indeed.
>> 	One last thought, while I'm busy musing. Linux needs a killer app.
>> Apple has the iPod. Windows had Office. Neither was totally unique,
>> but both gained a following that drove people to adopt the platforms
>> they worked best on. Linux needs something that people want. Linux
>> needs to be aspirational rather than utilitarian. That'll sell.
> Oh man... All we have is just Emacs. :^) Nothing else ... That's bat. We 
> really need something like that. Perhaps some of the KDE ioslaves magic? 
> A real GUI frontend for LateX?

Well, maybe there'll be a plasmoid that will come along that might be
that "killer app."

> This is gread food for thought, but some of the points are not entirely 
> correct. I am especially adamant on insisting that KDE 4.2.2 is a 
> terriffic desktop environment, and perhaps the best desktop the world 
> has to offer now, be it Free or proprietary. Marginalizing it would be 
> an awful strategic failure, IMHO.

I agree, my friend!! I see KDE4 as THE future for Linux. Gnome is just
too far behind in dev. to provide today what users want. That's why it's
been a minor player for so long. NO, I'm not knocking anyone who likes
it. My perspective is based on user acceptance, and that is based on
user in just about every discipline you can think of, where I've
installed Linux.....and there's a LOT of them.

> Let's keep the conversation open.

Oh yeah!

By the way, how's your family doing? Everyone is ok, I trust!


Gun-toting Americans are clearly more self-sufficient than the sissy
Europeans. This is great news for everyone except Barney Frank, who's
always secretly wondered what it would be like to be taken by a Somali
--Ann Coulter

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