Linux

10 predictions for Linux and open source in 2009

Jack Wallen believes that the new year holds a great deal of promise for the Linux OS and open source software -- from an explosion in the mobile arena to large-enterprise scalability to widespread adoption of OpenOffice 3. See if you agree with his outlook.

Jack Wallen believes that the new year holds a great deal of promise for the Linux OS and open source software -- from an explosion in the mobile arena to large-enterprise scalability to widespread adoption of OpenOffice 3. See if you agree with his outlook.


2009 is here. And for people like me, that means it's time to put together not a "year in review" but a "year in preview." I don't like to look back; I like to look ahead. So I offer you this list of what I see in the year to come for the Linux operating system and open source software.

Note: This article is also available as a PDF download.

#1: Android

I think 2009 is going to see the Android mobile operating system finally showing Apple and the iPhone that there is, indeed, another game in town. So far, we really only have the T-Mobile G1. But waiting in the wings are the Motorola Android phone, the Asus Eee Phone, the OpenMoko GTA02, and an LG Android phone. These are all rumored to be arriving some time in 2009. When they do hit the shelves, things are going to be interesting for the iPhone.

Think about it -- an iPhone-like piece of hardware with open source software that anyone can develop for. No more App Store headaches. No more wondering if anyone might ever develop that killer app you need (or waiting for Apple to approve that killer app you need). Add to that the fact that the operating system itself is open, which means when problems arise they will be fixed. Oh, and need I say "copy/paste"? I didn't think so. 2009 will bring an end to the idea that the iPhone is the only smart phone to own.

#2: GNOME vs. KDE

I think 2009 will finally see GNOME rise above KDE as the better Linux desktop. For a long time, GNOME has been suffocated by the presence of KDE 3.x and with good reason -- KDE 3.x was an outstanding desktop. KDE 3.x had everything a good Linux desktop should have: user friendliness, stability, flexibility, eye candy. GNOME was trying too hard to be a bad copy of OS X. With the advent of KDE 4 the tables have turned.

This is not just a situation where KDE 4.x is so bad that GNOME, as bad as it is, is better. GNOME 2.24 is good, really good. GNOME has gone a little ways to restoring its roots and allowing a bit more flexibility with the desktop. But more important, GNOME 2.24 has finally found some solid footing. GNOME is now as stable as KDE 3.x ever was. And now that KDE has obviously decided to go down a much less popular route with KDE 4, it is going to have a hard year. More and more people and distributions will drop KDE in favor of GNOME. I realize there is no going back for KDE, but going forward better bring much more promise than this Linux desktop has shown thus far.

#3: Preinstalled

This has come and this has gone, I know. But HP is now promising to get into the "preinstalling Linux game" and that bodes well for the open source operating system. Add to this the ever-rising tide of netbook sales, and preinstalled Linux sales will begin to show improvement and continue to improve throughout the year. This will not be a flash-in-the pan like we saw with Wal-mart selling desktops preinstalled to unaware consumers. This time around, people will continue to purchase netbooks with a Linux operating system perfectly matched for the purpose. And look out Microsoft -- Canonical (the founders/supporters of Ubuntu) is collaborating with AMD on a version of Ubuntu perfectly matched with the ARM processor (the processor common in netbooks.)

#4: Brtfs

Brtfs is the new copy on write file system that is focused on fault tolerance, repair, and administration. This file system offers Linux something that other file systems lack: the ability to scale to the level of larger enterprises. Version 1 of this file system should arrive in 2009, which could mean that by the end of the year, distributions could be shipping with a large-scale, enterprise-ready kernel. This is big news for Linux because it will finally have the tools to overcome the biggest hurdle for enterprise adoption.

#5: OpenGL for the masses

This has been a long time coming. In 2008, NVidia released a version of OpenGL 3.0 driver for FLOSS OpenGL. But Mesa didn't. Mesa, however, is back and working on a 3.0-compatible release. I am confident that other chip makers will follow suit. This will bring OpenGL to the Linux community in both proprietary and free sources. Along with this, I can see far easier installations of such 3D desktops as Compiz-Fusion. Can you imagine Compiz-Fusion out of the box? On top of that, Linux will have a much easier time working with the newest video technology. Add to this the new drive to move video subsystems to the kernel level using GEM (Graphics Execution Manager) and KMS (Kernel Mode Setting).

#6: The cloud

I am going to preface this with a big "if." IF cloud computing does finally gain any solid ground, Linux will lead the way. Be it on the server end or the client end, Linux already has the tools it needs to create solid cloud environments. (It has for a long time.) Linux has always been ahead of Microsoft in this respect. And if the cloud actually develops into the storm the media has been predicting, Linux will reap many benefits. I, for one, am a little hesitant to say that the cloud has arrived. Amazon already has a Linux cloud out of beta.

#7: OpenOffice 3

2009 will see far more deployments, taking a chunk out of the Microsoft Office pie. OpenOffice 3 offers a host of new features that are just right for enterprise adoption. But that is not the real kicker. With the economy as it is, companies are doing everything they can to cut costs. One area of quick and painless cost cutting is office suites. And when the typical end user starts to see how little difference there is between Microsoft Office and OpenOffice, the fire will spread rapidly. One of the issues keeping OpenOffice from the top of the charts is visibility. When people know there is a free alternative to Microsoft Office they will use it.

#8: Enlightenment

This one is a bit niche-y, but I have to address it. I believe that 2009 will see the developers of the Enlightenment desktop finally endorse E17 as stable. If you have followed the Enlightenment window manager (my favorite, by the way), you know that E16 has been the default forever and E17 has been the unstable development branch forever. 2009 will see E17 be listed as stable. However, I hope that E16 goes nowhere. The E16 version of Enlightenment is one of the best holdovers from Linux' romantic period. I can still say, "This desktop I am using now is the same as it was when I was using back in the day." So even when E17 becomes stable in 2009, I hope E16 is always around.

#9: Ubuntu

I see two things happening with Ubuntu. The first is that Ubuntu server will finally be adopted as a viable solution for enterprise server needs. The second is that Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) will find its way to the desktop and become the de facto standard of the user-friendly level of Linux operating systems. Ubuntu already has a strong hold on entry-level user installs. With 9.04, Ubuntu will probably deliver the best benchmarking of any desktop Linux ever, as well as the best hardware support. With the possible adoption of EXA acceleration, ATI video cards will see vastly improved support, and wireless/Bluetooth will include a powering-down feature. Ubuntu 9.04 will give Linux a much-needed push onto the desktop in 2009.

#10: Firefox

This one is quickly becoming a no-brainer. Firefox will, in 2009, finally usurp Internet Explorer as King of Browsers. It's been a long time coming, but the problems Internet Explorer has faced in 2008 will show Firefox reaping the benefits. And I think this time around, it will go well beyond Firefox seeing a jump in usage. Firefox will take the lion's share of the user base away from Microsoft.  Because of this, the 'net will become a safer place and fewer bugs will be reported. But by the end of the year, Google will release a mass-appeal-ready version of Chrome, which will chip into both Firefox' and Internet Explorer's pies. The browser wars will be renewed.

Bright future

I think the trends in 2009 are sure to bring a smile to the faces of the Linux and open source communities. What do you think? Is 2009 going to finally be the year of Linux? If so, why?

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

207 comments
The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

Not in the busness world in 2009. There are no 'good' methods to centrally control it's configuration. Until then it's dead in the water on business machines

bitfire
bitfire

I am usinf Suse 9. 3, 10.0 11.1 Slitaz ans PC Linux OS. Once you learned the basics a whole world of distributions opens up for you. You have choice!!! Recently I came across SLITAZ Linux - which is very small and gives you almost everything you need. I use Open Office for years and I will never need anything else. Corporations could save millions by switching to Linux and OOffice. I recommend - Check out the various distributions- choose one or three distributions Learn the basics of Linux - use Linux and Opensource - teach and help others to learn Linux - have a beer and relax

24dhruv
24dhruv

ubuntu,firefox rox nothing else y use ie n windows huh!!

megamanx
megamanx

At the rate of IE being bundled in Windows OS, wouldn't that automatically give rating to it when being used, even just to download Firefox? That would be a little more difficult for FF to outrank IE.

alfielee
alfielee

Well Jack, you might not like KDE4 & to be honest it may not be perfect yet but the basis for KDE4 is a good one & the techies are working hard to remove problems. I think you'll find Jack that those that prefer KDE may leave or not, until the next version comes along, the more stable version of KDE4 & then back they'll go to KDE. I for one won't leave KDE4 for Gnome because I don't like the Gnome desktop. I don't get this Gnome being better than KDE because it just isn't in my opinion. I've never liked it & although I've tried it because of hardware support working more stably at some times, as soon as the KDE desktop enabled better support then I shifted back. I think you'll find that your opinion is only an opinion & not the only factor involved. KDE4.1 is a good step forward from KDE4 & the upshot of the integration of the various personal info will mean that Gnome users will just as likely dump Gnome for the what will be the better KDE4 desktop.

jkameleon
jkameleon

VS2005 & 2008 and C#. There's anything like it in Linux, as far as I know. Ballmer surely made a point with that famous "developers developers developers developers" of his.

sar10538
sar10538

If they ever do this it will be as useless as Windows is for serious users. Lets keep Windows for users who don't know, and don't wish to know, anything about computers. For the rest of use, we can have something powerful and flexible like a no holds barred Linux. If you've never really tried Linux seriously, please keep your negative comments about it to yourselves as you know nothing. Windows users seem to try it for a day or two and then give up, deeming it as worthless compared to their beloved system, never remembering all the crap that's associated Windows, they just accept that as part of the computing experience. Well, I don't accept the all the really bad stuff and limitations that come with Windows and could never live with it. For the, increasing smaller, problems associated with Linux, I get a very powerful and flexible system with none of the bad points of Windows.

brooksgr
brooksgr

We have about 18,000 users on our systems. They pretty much all know how to use windows. They do not like waiting for Open Office, which is still slower than MS Office and does less in most areas. (I personally use Open office. on my PC, and have for several years.) Some of them will use FireFox, which we have been promoting for some time now, but most will not unless forced to. So, meet reality. Most of us already have Windows and Office, so there is not a real necessity to adopt Linux, Open Office or FireFox. We can just forgo upgrades and be better off than we would if we switched everyone over.

vijaydfit
vijaydfit

I have tried LINUX already and I am very much impressed. I have recommended LINUX based computers to my organisation (though every one else have some reservations). I am looking for the day when it becomes an option of LINUX / windows!!

ScarF
ScarF

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear... Another blog by Jack Wallen about Linux and how it will crash everything else. This year! Now! Whatever. I have a single point to make. Cloud computing is defined by many voices as just another marketing BS. IT needs these kind of marketing BS. Like Y2K problem. I have real doubts that using the present infrastructure the cloud computing has any present or future. The first example coming to me is the company I work for. Our company uses one single remote web-based application. Just one. But critical somehow, since it is our quotation system - the name may be trickier than the real simplicity of the application. Our sales force rely on this app for generating quotes in due time for our customers. From time to time, it fails them. Why? Mainly because of the Internet. The failure point is somewhere between us and the provider, out of both reach. Nothing to be done, just to wait and hope for the best. Because of this, there are more and more voices asking me to develop something locally, since I have the necessary skills. And, I will. And, this will be the end of remote apps or anything cloud computing for the company I work for. Until the Internet will be truly 100% reliable. A business can't afford to spend even 1% of its time waiting for something from somewhere to eventually work. Now. Without cloud computing, there is also neither Linux nor other OS in this. Just another blah.

rfolden
rfolden

If I hear this one more time I'm gonna puke. Look... I like linux, heck I love it. I'm just rooted in reality and not some delusion that GNU/Linux will (or, indeed, needs to) take over the world. I use several operating systems and they're all pretty great as far as I'm concerned.

fredmck
fredmck

To be sure, Linux is making more and more inroads all the time. In fact, as for me, I've been running nothing but some form of Linux on my computer since January of 2005 and haven't looked back since. For the past year, I've been running Ubuntu and I absolutely enjoy it no end. Personally, except for websites that specifically cater to Windows, or, worse yet, Internet Explorer (Blackboard and Barclay's Skills come to mind here), there's not a doubt in my mind that Linux can do pretty much anything Windows can. One battle will be getting the more problematic web developers to make their sites browser-neutral. However, when Firefox overtakes Internet Explorer in popularity (and I fully believe it will one of these days), I believe we'll see fewer problematic sites, which will help speed up the rate of Linux adoption. Naturally, Microsoft will be fighting tooth and nail to stop Linux adoption, and they're not going to go away quietly. Therefore, I don't think we'll be able to really say that the year of the Linux desktop will be here anytime soon. But it definitely is making progress, don't get me wrong. Linux's biggest problem right now is one of visibility. That is, a lot of people are just completely unaware that it even exists, and many of those who are aware of it as an alternative still think it's little more than a "geek" OS, and that's an image it's gonna have to overcome to be taken seriously by the masses. As far as user-friendliness goes, KDE had a good thing going with KDE 3.5.x. Some people criticized it for having too many options, but I was never confused by it. BTW, I don't think there were very many times at all back when I was running PCLinuxOS that I had to use the terminal at all, and it had KDE 3.5.9. But no -- they insisted on throwing all that away with KDE4, and threw away what was, IMHO, the most newbie-friendly desktop that Linux had going for it. I just hope KDE does like Coca-Cola did back in the mid-80's with New Coke (how many of you remember that one?) and go back to the way they did things with KDE3 just like Coca-Cola went back to the original Coke.

jlavellx
jlavellx

It's a lot easier then you think, i brought about 35 users over now to Linux on the Desktop (Opensuse or Sled 10) and my Mom who is 65 uses it, she has less trouble using Linux on the desktop and far less support calls because it just keeps working, believe me I a bit hesitant at first because I dont have a lot of spare time for support but i am seeing far far less support because it just keeps running, dont make it so complicated for home use it's a know brainier, the work is another story. but home users really dont care what OS it is as long as they can Surf, Print, Photos, email, watch Utube or movies Linux on the Desktop does all of that Very well, seems better and more stable then the Other OS. I am not a Windows Hater, I am just an IT guy that has found a better less time consuming way. Helpful tools: Turbo Print (if you dont have a linux driver for the printer. Transgaming: run Windows games on Linux> Codewaevers Crossover: Windows apps on Linux (also games) sun virtualbox: for trial or Testing. Add your distros Codec as well as Flash support for online experience. some will complain at first as they did when you upgraded them to XP but it's sort lived. I am really happy supporting these two OS's, I seriously have no support calls, Opensuse 11 is by far much easier for users to manage.

chris.c.garris
chris.c.garris

These predictions of Linux taking off have come EVERY year and gone EVERY year.... without making a dent. FireFox on the other hand is a different story. It is gaining serious traction.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Why do you need to control the browser's configuration? What part do you need to control? How hard is it to push the prefs.js you like to a user's profile every time the user logs in? Or is it the "no easy way" part because you can't use gpedit to do it?

eclypse
eclypse

I think the KDE team could have possibly saved themselves (and many other KDE users) a lot of grief if KDE 4.0 was never released as anything other than beta or RC version. IMO it should have never made it past RC status and then the 4.1 version should have probably been 4.0. I think there are some nifty things in KDE 4, but if I had it to do all over again, I might have just stayed at KDE 3.5.x and saved myself lots of hassle and heartache. I guess thinking that "wow, they made 3.5 so good that 4.0 has to be that good too, right?" =)

joeller
joeller

I am a database developer. I have found when I want to build a complex database or adjust it properly you need to script it out in SQL rather than use the built-in GUI devices. That is because scripting allows you more flexibility in design. However, I've also found that when you are doing what I call monkey work, the last thing you want to do is to spend time typing out script or even worse in some DBMS's typing it out on the command line. It is too easy to make a typo thereby causing you scrap everything you've done upto that point and start over. When I first started programming computers 37 years ago all that was available was the command line or punch cards. Just like Calculus, I was good at it but I hated it. It became so onerous that as soon as I could I got out of the field and would not have touched another computer for 15 years if my co-workers had not kept asking me for help with their Home computers. By the time I came back into the field I discovered I could program and work with databases using scripting for the intense stuff while utilizing GUI tools for the monkey work. Wonderful!! That however was due to the process of dumbing down DBMS's and OS's for the masses. Making things accessible for the masses is what made life as a developer worthwhile as well as providing a raison d'etre for this work. Thank you GUI's

Claptrap1
Claptrap1

Some people want to get from A to B with minimal fuss and maintenance without really understanding of combustion engines, and some people want to get the job done without knowing the ins and outs of PC. What you're really suggesting is that people who don't know how or don't want to build their own car, should be given a bicycle. Well, IMHO that's what your principle about PCs relate to cars. (And what about flying?) Yet, some people only get intrested in the mechanics only after they have been driving for a while. Lets be honest, you just think yourself better than Windows users, because you know command line and are willing to waste your time configuring every detail by yourself, just as you wish. Unfortunately, this is the kind of attitude that has put off so many Windows users for even seeing what's it all about. me: I thought you had to become a self-congratulating jerk to like linux and it took me long time to even consider trying linux. I do play with it nowadays, but when I want to get a job done, I'll do it in Windows. Simply, because I can concentrate "on the road", rather than how the car works and because all the others are going the same direction (use the same kernel/OS). No need to play with wine to communicate with majority or use software that isn't available in linux/Windows is better (yes, there are some programs that are more powerful or remove the need for tinkering to get desired results so increase productivity). I do like the idea like programs, there are a variety of operating systems meeting different demands and desires. One has to remember that many Windows users have - horror of horrors - been converted to linux because they took their baby steps with a gui distro.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

What do you think Ubuntu is? It's a distro designed to compete with windows in the appliance user market. It's doing quite well at it, all things considered. I personally have little interest in it, but I'm not an appliance user. If you mean the basic linux core. How could that be dumbed down, if more than 50 or so linux enthusiasts resisted? You'd just end up with linux and cleverlinux, pointless. There's nothing wrong with 'dumbing' linux down. Basically it's a few config files and a desktop. No big deal, if people want it they can have it. That way, maybe MS will write windows properly and we'll have another choice.....

dcolbert
dcolbert

I've seen several IT workers in India that are *very* excited and positive after what appears to be a fairly limited exposure to Linux, here in the forums. As a region that has seen tremendous economic benefit from industry giants, including Microsoft and Intel - as well as having experienced its own trials with outsourcing as China and Russia have begun to compete with India to displace knowledge worker positions, my intuitive feeling would be that Indians would have large reservations about Linux as a potential disruptive presence to India's relatively new found, technology based propsperity. I'm wondering, what are the specific facets of Linux that you are most impressed with? What parts of Linux are you most optimistic about? Is it the model of distribution, is it the quality of the applications, is it the level of global cooperation? The more specific, the better. I'm truly just curious.

dcolbert
dcolbert

The fact is, that even with downtime, the remote application probably makes your business more efficient and productive than whatever solution was available in the distant past to achieve the same goal. I used to work for a retail operation, my first "real" job. The boss/owner used to drive me nuts. He would get his mind set on an arbitrary price for something. He hated to discount below that price. Instead of seeing that he had sold something for a certain percentage of profit over what he paid, he became fixated on how much money he LOST over what he THOUGHT it should have sold for. His business eventually failed. Beancounters get caught up in figuring out how much downtime costs them per hour, but they never consider how much MORE an hour they can make because of their unreliable automated systems. There is a value in this constant strive to maximize profits and to increase productivity and efficiency. I understand that. But there is also a certain amount of myth to the concept, too. Let me present a possible alternative. Company A messes with cloud computing, and the downtime is "intolerable" to them - they calculate out how much it costs them for their downtime and they decide to move everything back in house. Company B also adopts cloud computing. They look at the downtime realistically, and realize that the savings associated with using the cloud more than offset the costs of the occasional downtime. In fact, the savings are so great, it allows them to undercut and outcompete their cheif competitor, Company A. 5 years later, Company A is out of business, trying to figure out how Company B managed to always beat them. I don't like the cloud. It is a threat to my career. It is a threat to my privacy. It is a threat to my security. It is a threat to my ability to control my own interests. In every way, the adoption of Cloud Computing seems sinister to me. That doesn't mean that it might not be the direction in which business moves, and I should consider that, rather than dismiss it as unlikely.

codepoet8084
codepoet8084

Sorry... but there is no way most of this stuff happens. Honestly the only one on your list that has a shot is FireFox. Even that is threatened by the emergence of Google Chrome on the market... and that's easy to recognize: Google Chrome, a browser that's free but one has to download it and install it... doesn't come native with the most widespread OS. Will it take a larger percentage of market share from the browser that competes in exactly the same way or with the browser that's native? Face it, people that use FireFox are more likely to be aware of Chrome and give it a try. People that use IE are either unaware of alternatives or are simply happy with IE or both. For the record, I use FireFox. I tried Google Chrome. I think they have some great ideas with it. At this point it has a couple of odd quirks that mess with the forms of some of my favorite places to browse. I will be trying them out routinely because I like the concept, but usability and function trump my like for the look of the application. The only other two on the list worth talking about are OpenOffice and Ubuntu. OpenOffice fails. If you like OpenOffice, you either have no alternative (can't afford MS Office) or have never actually used MS Office. There is no comparison. Not even Apple can produce something that eclipses MS Office for their own OS. The downfall of OpenOffice (and every competitor to MS Office) is mainly the user interface. When the competition understands that usability testing is truly important, they'll might start to compete. Using OpenOffice feels like going back to MS Office 97 at first, then it starts to annoy you with quirks and odd decisions in implementation... and I am not talking about bugs - I am a programmer, I am lenient. I am talking about design with lack of consideration for usability. Guess what? I'd rather go get a used copy of Office 97 (for next to nothing on ebay or something) and use that. Now for Ubuntu: It honestly did one thing really good. Hands down, it handles partitioning hard drives better than any version of windows. Problem is that is not the main function of an operating system. When it really comes down to it, an Operating System is supposed to simply run my stuff. Windows XP SP3 was faster than Ubuntu on every test I ran. Marginally faster, but faster nonetheless. But lets forget that since there is not noticeable difference: Windows XP runs almost everything. Inherently, no building of virtual environments, no tweaking of the operating system, no accessing my inner geek to make it work. It just works. And finally lets go back to that UI. Windows is just more intuitive to the novice user. And if I am saying this about Windows vs. Ubuntu, don't even get me started on Leopard which is what happens when a company that knows about usability gets ahold of Linux... So again, it comes down to money I guess. If you cannot afford Windows, then Ubuntu is an option. So there's my .02, take it or leave it and happy computing :)

RF7000
RF7000

this past year there was an approved software kick for PC's running windows and the first thing they said after mentioning the list was Firefox is not approved, won't be approved, and those caught using it will be disciplined. And they actively search the network looking for installations of it. I never got a good reason for that decision other than the blanket statement of it's unapproved and poses a security threat (but can't tell me how). It's funny, for example the last security threat that came out in the news for IE7 which they said affected all versions and MS hasn't released a fix yet, and this blog with the statement "Because of this, the ?net will become a safer place and fewer bugs will be reported.", I continue to ask, why can't i use firefox?

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

In Mozilla 1.4 or later, it is possible to edit the preferences normally stored in user.js by using the UI displayed by entering about:config in the Location Bar; this feature didn't exist when most of this document was written. This is convenient for small edits, and takes effect immediately (no need to restart Mozilla). A menu option ([Tools]-[Advanced Preferences]) brings up a similar editor in thunderbird as well. Normal prefs are kept in prefs.js in the user's profile directory (which is overwritten by Mozilla every time a pref is changed), but here's a tip: prefs or other JavaScript that you don't want overwritten (e.g. comments) can be put in a file called user.js in the same directory, which is under the user's control and is read but never written by Mozilla. One caution with using user.js: prefs set to non-default values in user.js are also written to prefs.js, so removing or commenting out pref settings in user.js doesn't necessarily cause Mozilla to stop using your previous pref setting. If you change user.js and aren't getting the results you expect, be sure to check prefs.js to make sure it isn't setting a conflicting value.

alfielee
alfielee

KDE 4.0 gave me some real problems & then I tried KDE 4.2 beta --> shouldn't have done that one because it didn't work at all. Currently using XFCE until I can load OpenSuSE 11.1 then will retry KDE 4.1 again. Not even remotely interested in using Gnome. I just don't like the desktop. I know what KDE developers are trying to do & like all good software it takes time to iron out the bugs. I'll wait, not patiently but I'll wait.

sar10538
sar10538

which is the dumbed down desktop based on the ancient ugly GTK library. Sorry, I don't go there but I understand a lot a sheep think it's the best thing since sliced-bread. Personally I think sliced-bread is a bad idea. Once we get a whole lot of Windows users wanting to use Linux, they will want to drive the interfaces in the wrong direction. And I was not referring to the kernel, heaven forbid that the Windows crowd have to do something with that, like build a device driver!

kama410
kama410

"I don't like the cloud. It is a threat to my career. It is a threat to my privacy. It is a threat to my security. It is a threat to my ability to control my own interests. In every way, the adoption of Cloud Computing seems sinister to me." I am right there with you on that one. I suppose there are people who would be better off with their data stored somewhere other than on their local drive. I am not one of them. I trust my own security precautions far more than I trust someone else to do the right thing with my information.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

even likely that company B will survive Company A. Company C who supply them will see to that. Company D who could have supplied them are now out of business and now C is the only game in town. Company B still exists, on sufferance, until C buys D, and offer's D service to B's customers... Waht's sinister about it, is the basic bsuiness model, most of us operate on, is to be the only choice. You can spend a lot of money staying the only logical one, or you can put all the other boogers out of business, and make it easy for people.....

interpoI
interpoI

These are your opinions as are the following opinions mine. I have used both Micro$oft and Linux, Office and Open Office. Open Office works as well as MS. If anything, it offers more options. I have not had a single error with it ever, and believe me, I use these extensively. With the M$ price tag of $235 to $469 for 1 copy of Office, the choice seems clear to me, especially if you have to install high numbers of it! I've been using PCLinuxOS as well. This OS rocks! It has run everything that I have asked it to so far, and with the gigantic Synaptic "Updates", you can choose to install 1000's of programs/updates. All this with no cost to the user/owner. In the tests that I've run, Linux opens exceedingly faster than XP. All of this is opinion though. I imagine that a bare bones installation of XP may run quick as well, but I have no use for a Bare Bones installation of any OS. Don't get me wrong, I like XP. I wish that it was still being offered. I can't say anything about Vista, as I have not tried it yet. All things being fair, for the price of possibly $400-$500 for the MS suite and OS compared to the Linux set up ($0.00), the Linux issues are just to small to fret about. "In a world without fences, who needs gates"

tommy higbee
tommy higbee

I've been using both for years, and I have to say I'm more productive with Open Office. Several reasons here: 1) Styles. You can use styles with MS Office, but MS Office is always asking if you want to change the style. This may seem more user friendly at first, but the whole point of styles is to let them manage the formatting of the document. This works more consistently in Open Office 2) Cut and paste. Don't ask me why, but doing cut and paste with sizable sections of text including formatting seems to crash Word every so often. Doesn't seem to hurt Open Office Writer 3) Screenshots. I tend to insert screenshots into documents for various reasons, and then highlight the part of the screen I'm referring to. Word and Writer both handle inserting of screenshots, but Writer includes all the Draw tools, which makes it easier to use those tools to draw attention to the important parts of the screenshot. 4) PDF generation. If you want to create a PDF with Word, unless you have spent considerable money for Adobe Acrobat, you will have to install software that lets you "print" to a PDF. These work fine. However, with Open Office and a decent use of sections and styles, you can export to a PDF while automatically creating a clickable table of contents, complete with links on the left to go directly to each section. This results in a very professional-looking PDF. The biggest advantage Open Office has is in Writer. Calc works, but I've seen no reason to prefer it over Excel, except for the PDF generation noted above. Of course, if you have Writer, you also have Calc. I've used Impress for presentations, and had absolutely no problems using it. It's got the extra feature of allowing you to export your presentation to Flash as well as PDF. But I don't do enough presentations to make any kind of comparison with Powerpoint.

tommy higbee
tommy higbee

It's a shame that organizations make bad rules like this. The single best way to reduce spyware is to install Firefox everywhere and encourage people to use it. IE should only be used with the badly designed sites that require it. Security experts all over are recommending using Firefox over IE, but it just doesn't seem to penetrate. That said, we have the same restriction here, though not as vigorously enforced. I still recommend to anyone that asks that people install Firefox at home.

ScarF
ScarF

The answer may be IEAK. An administrator may administer IE on client workstations, but not Firefox. It is out of any control. In our organization - where Internet access is allowed without restrictions -, top management likes to see - from time to time -, some reports regarding the use of the Internet by the users. One great tool for doing this is to list the IE history while controlling the user rights on IE configuration by not allowing them to clear it. You can't do this with Firefox. This is also a security threat - not only the mambo-jumbo trojans, rootkits, viruses a.s.o. And, btw, one user still can get a malware through Firefox. He is just a click away from this. Than, as admin, you may blow your head trying to find how. But, the browsing history is cleared and you have no forensic tools to research. See you in a better world.

chris.c.garris
chris.c.garris

Adding an additional browser can double the number of security updates your administrator must manage. Another thing hurting FireFox in the enterprise, is that it's "update" path is an un-install an re-install. Not really a bad thing, but a bit harder to administer also.

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

90% of what you would need from one location that's browser agnostic. If this device is the default gateway for the network, or the only device allowed past the fire wall (forced proxy) then all the better. While this would not let you control ausers home page, favorites, etc, it would give you a content management.

alfielee
alfielee

As I said previously I would be upgrading to OpenSuSE 11.1 & this is a great system. I have Eeebuntu (it's supposed to have a name change in that) running on an Eee-PC & so far the only thing not working is the wireless. I have upgraded my 2 home boxes to OpenSuSE 11.1 with KDE 4.1 & the KDE fix is brilliant. I also have the ATI graphics driver working well on one box & the NVidia driver running on the other. Compiz Fusion is running, stopping, re-started, stopping on one box, the ATI but the NVidia box runs it beautifully. It still works on the other box but just don't push too hard or the creaks will show. I'm actually running on KWin, not true Compiz, so they are a Compiz copy. The wireless on these 2 boxes works without hitch & connected immediately even though one of them has a lot of hardware in between (walls & the like). Back to the original post by "whathisface" KDE rules in my world & a Gnome is just a little count that fukes faeries.

mattie289404
mattie289404

I'm currently using both. I had the option of loading OpenSuse with Gnome or OpenSuse with KDE4..I chose KDE4 and I really lke it. But Novell is confusing some, example is Evolution email, its in both the Gnome which I like, but it was also implemented in the KDE4, and I could not get it configured to work for some reason...

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

In fact given I started with machine code, I'm pre CLI. :p Using a GUI to hide some options or only show in detail the 'obvious' ones is fine. Designing it with the GUI in mind and not putting them there in the first place.....

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Even now, I can always to get LTS or Gentoo and do my own NS-Linux build. I prefer the more prepackaged distros myself though. I have to believe that even if Ubuntu became the ultimate do-everythign-a-new-user-could-ever-want-in-the-first-five-years-and-run-all-Windows-software-and-laundry, there will always be other distributions. Smoothing over the seams helps everyone including new users but the lego pieces are still there to be reassembled.

sar10538
sar10538

Windows users getting hold of the UIs and driving them in the wrong direction. Yes, we *CERTAINLY* don't want to turn Linux into a huge monolithic OS like Windows, it's the modular style of Linux that makes it so good and virtually begs to be made into different distros to suit each and every taste. They laughed when Vista came out in 5 versions (it's really one version with bits added or taken away) but I wonder just how many versions of Linux (really speaking distros) there are now. The clear division between the kernel and X makes it simple to run many X terminals from the same system. Try doing that with Windows unless you thrown hardware and software at it. Yep, heaven forbid anyone who thinks they can take away free-will and choice. If it went sour someone would just fork it anyway but that would be a shame. Maybe M$ will use that technique to try to divide and conquer. I personally boot to CLI and only start a GUI when I need to but I always have a few terminal windows open and spend a fair bit of my time in them. Guess I was conditioned that way as when I first came into contact with Unix, there was no X available and I spent many years at the command line. That's my comfy slippers. Cheers

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

is about choice. Appliance User Desktop is a choice, and short of divine rite, it always will be. Unless there was a huge change in the way we develop for linux, UI, be it CLI, KDE, Gnome, or another, are optional extras. We'd have to go down the monolithic route and start building the UI into the application, before what you fear could happen. I can't think of a single reason why anyone capable of doing the work, would do somthing so daft. Certainly their peers would take a dim view. :D

kama410
kama410

From what I have seen there is the beginning of a move away from off-shoring, at least for technical support. In large part due to customer complaints. I worked for a PC manufacturer a few years ago doing tech support for end users in a call center. A large number of the calls were outsourced to a call center in New York. There seemed to be one or two reps there that knew what they were doing and cared enough to do the job correctly. Ninety percent of the calls that had been handled by that call center were poorly handled from both a technical and customer relations standpoint. I often see companies that do everything they can to make you go away once they have your money. It saddens me that people, as purchasers, (I will not use the derogatory term for those who buy things) are willing to accept this and even reward it by further purchases. I can tell you for a fact that these call centers for tech support are all about call times. The next time you get one of them see how long you can keep the rep on the phone. See how agitated they get the longer the call runs. After a little while they will ask you if you want to talk to that supervisor that they said was not in the building when you asked about it earlier. If you are talking about outsourcing other things such as coding and engineering then I think that is likely to grow. As long as the buyer can effectively communicate their requirements to the seller high speed data transfer will eliminate any geographical constraints. The only consideration left is price. Provided that the ability to communicate effectively is there. Not having any need to contract for this sort of service I do not know how much of a barrier language and cultural differences currently present. I suspect that two engineers or programmers talking to each other transcend ordinary language barriers (grins). Of course, if you let the marketing department do the dealing you're likely to have problems no matter who you are dealing with!

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

The idea behind it was always short term cost savings, and given the current economic climate that argument might be even harder to resist. However given the taxpayer is funding a lot of large employers, putting them out of work, might raise a few eyebrows even with die hard capitalists. As for herd mentality, not so sure. More like lemmings. Outsourcing per se isn't that bad an idea, off shoring is iffier in domestic economic concerns. What most who've done it badly missed, is your inhouse techs know more than just the tech. They know the organisation, the people , the business domain, the strategy , the objectives and the history of why something is in place. Get rid of all of that, and you've no one capable of managing the outsorcer in any effective fashion....

bashir_khan
bashir_khan

It would appear that many of us in the IT industry have ignored the lessons of history when applying the thoughts of Charles Mackay to our organizations and our choosing to blindly adopt or skeptically challenge so-called ?flavors of the times? such as off-shoring. In his book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, published in 1841, Mackay stated: "Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!" One could argue that blind adoption of many business ideas such as offshoring has been handled in more of a ?herd? mentality these days, rather than deliberate and sound analysis about what is right for one?s own organization. I wonder if now we have passed the point of ?going mad in herds? and are on the way to slowly recovering our collective organizational sense, one by one, with regard to IT offshoring? Please let me have your thoughts. Bashir

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

ROFL, only kidding. However your argument is sound, you are doing something business's fail to do though, you are thinking long term and of the ecomony as a whole. The sub-prime fiasco, was a classic example of this myopic stupidity, as was the dot com boom then bust. The outsourcers are all sitting there hoping for new markets either for their products or job markets for their customers. It's their only real option while our economies are driven by self generated consumerism.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Many domestic managers have great reservations about outsourcing. A *basic* fact. A dollar paid out to a foreign employee as payroll is a dollar you are unlikely to EVER see again as income as a domestic company. Does this make sense? If you are a domestic company and you outsource to India, the payroll that goes to India is unlikely to ever come back through your doors as profit. If you employ DOMESTIC workers, there is a possibility those workers will also become customers. BUT, many managers feel that they have no choice but to outsource, even seeing this paradox, because if they don't, their competitors will out-compete them in the short term, likely putting them out of business. The model is simplified, but the logic is sound. Become uncompetitive now (refusing to oursource) and face business failure, or stay competitive, and destroy your domestic market (unemployed people can't buy your product or service), and go out of business later.

Claptrap1
Claptrap1

I'm not a power user but I found that Open Office lacks some of the basic fuctions that I use in Ms Office 2000. Or maybe they do, but are not as intuitive to use. For example, I wanted to create a small relational database but could only manage a flat one, neither it allowed me to go back to design view to add/edit a field, even before I had input any data. I didn't bother to spend hours of finding out how to do this so I opened Ms Office and used that one instead. The previous OO would not allow me to input any data without some but fixing - code provided in forum, so I never bothered with that version either.

rcasburn
rcasburn

or xps or htm or well lots of things.. make sure you have an up to date version and look at the Save as options....

eclypse
eclypse

Besides the broken locking mechanism in OOo3 (which is broken only because it only works with OOo3), the only major complaint I have with OOo in general is the damn bullets - holy crap those things can get so screwed up and are difficult at best to straighten out! I'm sure there is a method to the madness and a little better RTFM might help me out, but that's one of those things that just fiddling around with was difficult to get right. Other than that, it does what I need it to do and just as easily as MS - ribbon interface or not. =)

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

It had that moment of stunned "what do you mean Microsoft is not foremost in the computer security industry?". so, we use Firefox here as primary browser with IE as a lingering evil. At my last place, I had my trusty portable Firefox on USB but wouldn't use it at work due to knowing what kind of traffic monitoring is possible.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

It might involve learning something new!

tommy higbee
tommy higbee

If you want reports on browsing history, it would be much better to set up a web proxy and get your reports from it. That way, no end users have the ability to clear anything.

chris.c.garris
chris.c.garris

What if your users don't have eleveated rights??? Don't get me wrong, I like FireFox, but multiple browsers can be a headache in the enterprise.

tommy higbee
tommy higbee

When Firefox gets an update released, it notifies you and installs the new version. You have the option of restarting Firefox at that point, or of restarting it later. When it restarts, you have the updated version. I don't really see where installing a patch would be an improvement. Patches are needed for really huge installs, where remove and reinstall would be prohibitive. For a moderately sized application like Firefox, it's unnecessary overhead. So I don't believe Firefox is less secure at all. It just doesn't fit the "patch management" approach they think everything has to use.