Linux

Does Windows 8 help set the stage for mainstream Linux desktops?

Windows 8 will release soon and this could be the perfect storm the Linux desktop has needed. Couple that with a few missteps by Microsoft and Linux is looking at a big and bright future. Do you agree?

How long has the open source crowd been shouting at the top of their lungs, "World domination!"? I ought to know the answer to that as the cry has been part and parcel to my own personal repertoire for over a decade. And why not? The Linux desktop has been a stable foundation on which users could always depend when they finally took the plunge. It worked, plain and simple.

But the detractors always had plenty of ammo to keep the desktop from gaining any traction.

  • It didn't run business-centric apps.
  • There were no games.
  • Windows is what everyone knows (and people do not like change).

That was pretty much it. Three simple reasons to seal the deal against Linux ever gaining any traction on the big stage. But, those times are changing and changing quickly.

I know -- there are still plenty of readers shaking their heads claiming me nothing more than a day dreamer. But there's a new reason to be hopeful these days.

With the release of Windows 8, not only is Microsoft poisoning the well of its users with a drastically different interface, it is also locking down Metro application installation to only those from the Microsoft App store. This is exaggerated even more on the ARM version of Windows 8 -- in that only Metro apps can be installed. Only on Windows 8 x86 will you be able to run traditional applications.

What does this do to all of those businesses that have proprietary applications and have been putting their faith and budget into 64-bit architecture? For those -- they will have to hope that Windows 7 will continue on for a long, long time.

But Microsoft has made it very clear they want developers developing for Metro -- not legacy.

Microsoft is also in the development of their own brand of touchscreen tablet/notebook hybrid -- thereby giving a cold shoulder to their current hardware partners (one of which is Dell who happens to be, once again, testing the Linux desktop markets -- only this time with their high-end line of laptops).

And then, to add a nice creamy topping to this un-delicious cake -- there's the secure boot problem (which I've already covered). So, when you add all of this up and you include two things:

  • The rise, again, of Ubuntu being the 'cool kid' on the block
  • Valve and Blizzard both coming out (quite vocally) against the up-coming release of Windows 8 (and how it is going to negatively effect the PC world)

You can see the stage is set for that world domination Linux has cried out for all these years. But, here's the rub (and the painful truth) -- businesses are simply going to hold onto Windows 7 for as long as they can. We already see this with Windows XP. I still see so many XP machines out there and those machine will continue to run until they die. Period. Once they die, people will have a few choices:

  • Purchase a Windows 8 machine and stick with Metro.
  • Purchase a Windows 8 machine and pay for the downgrade to Windows 7.
  • Purchase a PC (regardless of OS) and install a flavor of Linux.
  • Purchase a Linux PC from the likes of System 76 or Dell.
  • Purchase a Mac.

Obviously each choice has its pros and cons. The biggest con going against the Linux option is the lack of business-class applications (such as QuickBooks). But think of this scenario -- what happens if Intuit opts to not re-write all of their code to work with Metro? They may as well port QuickBooks to Linux -- and why wouldn't they want to port their bread and butter to a more stable platform?

Eventually this is all going to come to a bottle neck and everyone is going to have to make a choice -- and a hard choice at that. From my incredibly biased perspective, I highly recommend people (and businesses) begin the switch to the Linux desktop now. Make the switch, get your users accustomed to the new flavor of desktop, and enjoy a level of stability and reliability you (and your users) have never been used to. Most day to day business can be run from within a web browser anyway -- even web-based Exchange email -- and for those remaining applications, have a Windows machine (or two) around so users can work with QuickBooks until Intuit finally realizes there's a pot of gold to be had with Linux.

I know there will be plenty of people out there who will balk at the idea of Linux gaining serious ground on the desktop. But when the reactions to Windows 8 start pouring in and people simply refuse to adopt, they will have to go somewhere. This will be the perfect opportunity for Linux distributions to pounce and show the world the Linux desktop is the best available option. It's free, reliable, stable. secure, has tens of thousands of applications, and doesn't suffer from the fundamental security flaws that Windows endures.

What do you think? Will the release of Windows 8 be the perfect storm Linux has been looking for over the past decade? And, if so, what is the best way for Linux distributions to take advantage?

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.

148 comments
nooseman
nooseman

Doesn't have to be built in, just needs to installed with no driver conflicts, no command line. Windows xp installs with not one need to go to command line. command line, conflicts is what is holding linux back. I want to love linux, but I tried once installing ubuntu and it didn't go smoothly. I am a lifelong window user, this is what linux needs to do, 1. put it on a disc where that disc installs from start to finish with NO problems, 2. tout that it is easy, and linux is for what YOU want as to many flavors, 3. tout the price. but all of those MUST be done together. Microsoft is headed down the wrong path in search of revenue from apps, I myself don't like app platform, who wants to be nickeled and dimed?

JGSecurity
JGSecurity

I have yet to work in an enterprise environment that used Ubuntu or any Debian system, I am a Linux administrator and yet 90% of the jobs I come across are administering Active Directory and Windows Domains. Bloomberg uses Windows, The Navy and Marines just signed a 700 million dollar deal with Microsoft: http://www.informationweek.com/government/enterprise-architecture/navy-microsoft-sign-700-million-agreemen/240003281 I remember when I was training to become a Linux administrator my instructors explained that most corporations that use Linux Only use RedHat(RHEL) and Suse(SLES). I hear alot of noise about Ubuntu, but rarely do I see large corporations utilizing Ubuntu Server where I live. I personally think Debian is easier to use than Red-Hat, but have yet to actually have to do much professional work on Debian systems. I would love it if Linux was used more, but the fact is that Microsoft's Active Directory is still the leader by far when it comes Enterprise Directory Services. Server 2012 will only add to this domination as it is making a strong push in the VDI game.

braunmax
braunmax

If history is anything to go by, Windows 8 will be skipped, and Windows will still survive. Vista did not open the door for Linux sufficiently wide, Windows 7 shipped somewhat faster than it might otherwise have done. Almost-users of Linux heaved a sigh of relief, and booted into Win7. Is it Odd if we wait till 9? Will legacy apps be easy to run in/port to Wine, say, for all libraries up to Win7 (non-Metro)?

ntjr3
ntjr3

I use Windows XP, & well always even after my machine dies, because I'll just rebuild it, then reinstall XP because I have the version that has no limt or Requireds Activation, and move on to LINUX, NO more Windows above 7, anymore, their are betters ways now days, F&^% Off MicroSoft you well soon die!

dmitriblack
dmitriblack

We are mostly running Ubuntu at work. I free and very safe, of course.

rm.hutchings
rm.hutchings

I agree that people who get sick of Windows usually switch to Mac. And, Mac is built on top of FreeBSD, right? So it's ultimately a choice between Windows and some sort of *nix GUI/Desktop. KDE, GNOME, Xfce, LXDE and Enlightenment are Linux DEs, and they are all over the map...I really dislike GNOME, and KDE is too much. Xfce is OK, but it's more Linux-ey. Bottom-line is if a user has to open a command line or a "terminal", that will turn off 99% of the buying public.

stucathome
stucathome

I was running Win7 and Ubuntu on dual boot. I thought Ubuntu was...............well, OK. After installing win& pre-release and finding it to be the Microsoft version of the emperor's new clothes, I thought I'd try Linux Mint. It took about 15 minutes to install and it's soooooooooo easy on the eye, uncomplicated and fast I wish I'd thought about it ages ago. Win8 will be Microsoft's biggest ever disaster - worse then Vista, worse then ME just a pointless excercise in time-wasting. I run Win7 Ultimate and it's faithful to the WIMP

YetAnotherBob
YetAnotherBob

A good Article, with lots of informative comments. But, Jack, please consider. World Domination for Linux was originally a joke. It was never expected to happen. But, it DID. World Domination just crept up on us. First it was the utility systems, Web servers, email servers, the invisible stuff. Then it was the large systems. Those things that the "Big Corporations" in the software world weren't interested in. Then it was the small systems. Those were the ones that used to be the domain of the specialty houses. Custom Made OS's. From there, it was the dedicated systems. Now it's tablets and phones. The Desktop is the last frontier. But, it's in the shadows even there. I expect that the Linux Intrusion in the Desktop will continue, but will continue to be invisible to most. 2000 was the fabled "Year of the Linux Desktop". Nobody noticed. However, the number of people who used Linux for a Desktop began to grow. Users began to install both Linux and Windows on a computer. Gradually, more and more began to delete Windows. It wasn't the flash flood that was expected, but the numbers just kept growing. The numbers continue to grow. World Domination happened. It is now no secret that most of the Internet is hosted on Linux machines, as are most "Cloud" services. Linux phones (Android mostly) are now the most common phones in the developed world. When Microsoft has a problem with delivering really big numbers of information responses, they use Linux. So does most of the rest of the world. All of the big Stock Exchanges run the trades on Linux. Windows is only used as a terminal. The same is true of the Commodity Exchanges. The same is true of the huge Banks. Linux already runs the world. OK, get over it already. World Domination by Linux has been the reality for 10 years now. It's only getting stronger. It wasn't really intended, but it happened. Mostly invisibly, but it happened. Now, it is being noticed in the Desktop World. It's not a tidal wave, it's erosion. Not OK, I can live with that. Whether it's .1% or 1% or 10% doesn't really matter. Where will it top out? Probably at around 25%. Microsoft will rely on Advertising. Linux after all isn't owned by a corporation, and so doesn't have an advertising budget. Apple will continue to appeal to the "Cool" set who value appearance of style over function. Microsoft will continue to appeal to the "power" set who value the appearance of power over results. Linux will continue to be something that just happens when users give up on getting what they want from the other guys. That is, until something better comes along. Since Unix first began in 1969, nothing really better has come along. I'm not holding my breath.

Gisabun
Gisabun

People like Jack said the same thing six years ago afgter Vista came out. Actually all Jack did was substituted Windows 8 for Windows Vista and Windows 7 for Windows XP. :-) Seriously, there was no real spike when Vista was booed off the stage what makes anyone think that it will change now. Don't like Windows 8? No proble. Wait until Windows 9 in 3 years. Many skipped Vista and went for Windows 7. I didn't use Vista until SP2 came out and that was just for 8 months until I built my current system. Just remember, us techies may know Linux but the average Joe and Josephine don't - and that is a big group. Companies. Yes. A few could do it but many spent too much money already to drop everything and rebuilt their infrastructure.

jackConsideration
jackConsideration

People, enthusiasts aside, will most likely stick with the familiar for as long as possible, unless the familiar has become passe. To achieve the latter case, a mass marketing initiative of some kind will be required in order to convince/educate people on the benefits of switching to the new system(Linux). And for that to work, it will actually have to have features--observable features; usability, look, feel--that outclass their current preference. The appeal will be different with business managers, but they'll need to be marketed to all the same, just from a slightly different angle. For the new system to truly gain momentum, it'll need to be adopted by both casual consumers and high-end business professionals.

noux
noux

Well, 4 months ago I finally gave up on Vista on my Laptop, and moved to Ubuntu, and after a couple of driver hiccups I have a machine which is about 75% faster. If only people could see that there is equivalent software to nearly everything out there, and you don't have to work that slowly. I am just so happy with my machine now I don't really know how to express it properly, but being out of the Microsoft noose has opened my eyes.

clockmendergb
clockmendergb

I Keep playing with Linux I have mint on a machine now but I have not been able to get really comfortable using it so I always end up going back to Windows for my main computer. I am not a geek or IT pro just a normal older than I should be person . I have always needed a machine that . My wife was comfortable with. My kids could play games on A system that would run Photoshop and house design programs. I have not been able to do that with Linux I need a Linux that does all of the above and is easy to use If it does that I will change tomorrow

JGSecurity
JGSecurity

I use OpenSuse and Win7, I also frequently use VMs with Fedora and Ubuntu, and my main complaint with Linux is that I cannot find the software that I need to run my business completely on Linux. Also, since everyone else is on Windows, I need to be able to support them by reproducing problems on my Windows Machine. I do use Linux for all my penetration testing and security research, but most of the legacy software that I use daily is still only available on Windows. I wish this wasnt the case, I would love to make the jump, especially since I am appalled with the new Metro sandboxed full screen crapola/!

bryan_es
bryan_es

Business apps? Bleh Games? Mines anyone? It really boils down to people going with their comfort zone so.... My parents who ignoring computers since my first Nt4 MCSE until I installed Ubuntu and Open Office on this old Gateway my father got a 'deal' on now run their rental business completely from Linux. They still think their 3gs iPhones are sufficient for internet browsing so this little box Linux has happily run completely without updates for two years now running the a small business with people who couldn't care less about open source/close source. I would geek out talking about how awesome the new Unity desktop is, how my entire household runs Linux for everything including our desktops and my wife's laptop, etc etc. What this little experiment really shows is that people that don't know better, know Linux is without comparison for stability, usability, and most of all, value.

hacker_jack
hacker_jack

Sorry but no, most desktops will simply stick with Windows 7, just like XP users who never upgraded to Vista didn't suddenly decide they needed linux.

njugunapn
njugunapn

Microsoft will throw a massive amount of money into marketing windows 8, even though Linux is better it is not being marketed. It relies on Tech people to advertise it and they will advertise it to like minded people and their families, this is good but not enough. We need adverts like I am not a mac, I am a PC with better (read designer) clothes; I am a Linux PC. Until that happens and we have Linux being pre-installed on popular brands PCs then it is going to continue being a "geek" OS.

ehk
ehk

I have been using *NIX systems since the late 1970s beginning with DEC PDP and VAX systems. I used SCO Xenix for years. I am now using UBUNTU. By no stretch of the imagination is Linux ready for the mass market. Leaving aside the absence of major business software mentioned in the article, there are a host of other issues. First and foremost, settings are spread all over hell and gone with inconsistent conventions for specifying similar parameters. The lack of a GUI in many cases hardly warrants mention. I've found it far easier to set up Apache, ftpd, and file sharing on Windows XP or Windows 7 than on UBUNTU (I've done it both on desktop and server editions). Freebie Linux software is often seriously inferior to freebie Windows software. For example, I've found nothing for Linux that is as slick and reliable as Imgburn. I've not found a dual pane file manager that matches what is available for Windows. In contrast, really good Linux programs are available in equally competent Windows versions (Audacity and Gimp for example). The conventions used in Linux desktop environments are often perverse. Why, for example, does Ubuntu mount external hard disks but not internal hard disks at start up? And, why does one have to install additional software to change this through a GUI if you manage to work your way through the documentation to find out what is needed? In addition, at a more personal level, I find that Linux lacks any industrial strength video editing software and the Japanese language support is patchy at best. Ironically, I've found that my prime use for Linux has been to repair munged Windows installations and as a host for Windows virtual machines.

bg3075
bg3075

Also, as much as I wish it would prompt more to move to Linux, I don't believe it will because most casual computer users will simply keep using what Microsoft dishes out to them. I hate the "Secure boot" standard with Win 8, and therefore, will stick with my dual-boot Win 7 and Linux (fedora) just as long as possible.

caricc135
caricc135

After reading through these other posts there is one area that nobody has touched on, and that is the price to upgrade to Windows 8, which has been advertised at about $40. As a consumer who has seen previous versions of windows go for several hundreds of dollars. Also another aspect is that Windows 8 appears to be aimed at the consumer market and not the business market. With an upgrade only version being available to the consumer via download you may see a greater influx of consumers taking Microsoft up on this offer. So not what is there for the consumer to really lose to download it and try it out for the price, you don’t have to buy a new computer as with previous versions; especially if you were upgrading from Windows XP to Vista or 7. I would recommend to those who do this make your DVD backup copy of you OS before the Windows 8 upgrade. Just in case you want to have your previous OS back.

Himagain2
Himagain2

all believe that future scenario from Microsoft is quite clear. I think they will try and emulate Apple's extremely blatant adoption of Linux without even a nod to the reality of what they were forced to do because of their own limited OS. The only catch to this idea, is the psychological profile of the people in the real world of business computing. Unlike the bottom 7% of the market who are basically fashionistas, the serious computer users are vastly more knowledgeable than the typical Apple buyer. In the real business world, the buyers are very pragmatic. Blandishments such as the latest fashion colour do not work on them. Hence, despite the money and the freebies and the efforts by Microsoft in promoting the latest Windows disaster, those users that have been stuck with Microsoft for so long have stuck with their older versions. Microsoft is now at the end of a long very wealthy road, but the party is over. The "cloud applications" concept is unstoppable. As soon as we are convinced that it is safe, the migration will be gigantic. Microsoft has learned that the customer of its systems is nowhere near as easy to fool as the Apple customer, version 8 as simply proved that beyond any shadow of a doubt. Microsoft has only two choices open to it: 1. Face the truth and adopt the incredible advances in Linux and try and figure out how to Value Add it by finally converting all of their key programs to run under Linux. Unfortunately, they will have to face Libra OpenOffice for one, which magically works under either system seamlessly. 2. Using the disastrous situation that they have created for themselves(deliberately?) with respect to the millions of either devoted or trapped clients, to offer a way out through a quietly LINUX based cloud world. That's what I would do, but hey, I'm still working on my first billion and trying to understand the mind of a Twitter or Facebooker. :-)

chamma@ccr.ca.gov
chamma@ccr.ca.gov

It would be wonderful to have a tool to convert Metro source code to something you could compile for Linux, or something that will run Metro apps (like wine) from within Linux. The second option would be preferable, but Microsoft might be encrypting Metro apps to prevent that from happening.

MarkM_in_Atlanta
MarkM_in_Atlanta

If someone is ready and poised to jump when the time comes, they should be able to tap into the market with a fully loaded hard drive, only needing a conversion and transfer of information from the Windows applications existing on the "old" machines. They should also be prepared to offer full educational services on using the new operating system and applications. In short, make a painless as possible transition service to those who are ready. If done well and with as little disruption as possible, I could see something like this taking off like a rocket. I know very little about Linux myself, but understand that its stability and reliability is superb. I have LibreOffice and other such software but sometimes find them more awkward to use than Microsoft (shudder!), so I don't use them much. If they operate in Linux as they do in WIndows, that should reduce the transition problems.

sonicsteve
sonicsteve

Not much will happen unless... When people boot up their new windows 8 computer they all freak out and call Microsoft. My hunch is that they'll buy them, boot them, not really like them but since they don't know what to do, they'll do nothing. If they do nothing Microsoft will do nothing. IT pros like the ones who comment on these articles have options. We know Linux exists and we either use it already or decided not to. If you tell people that Microsoft office won't work, that alone will keep them using something they don't like (windows 8) rather than adapt to something else they don't know. Don't get me wrong, Windows 8 will help things at least to some degree. I'm just not sure it will much.

deanb1234
deanb1234

I am a M$ user that also supports Linux via CentOS. I have yet to comprehend what all the fuss is about with Windows 8. It works great!! The metro interface is nothing more than a fancy start menu, works pretty much the same as it used to just full screen and there are some apps that can run inside of it. I have rolled out test machines to all kinds of users varying in age and demographics and they love it. Some of the most technically challenged users grasped it easily, likes it better than the start menu because they don’t have to look for anything, and the speed of 8 on their older hardware made it seem as if I upgraded their machines. I keep seeing tons of outlandish claims from people that are supposed to be "Techs", and I use that term loosely, that have never even used the OS. I've read blog posts about people hating 8 because it doesn't multi task and so they can only have one window with word or chrome open. The desktop functions the exact same as it always has, just faster! Not to mention that Linux and Mac in their current states are unable to effectively host large user environments like AD can. They think they can but that little engine isn’t pulling up the hill anytime soon. And the crap from Steam and Blizzard is just ridiculous. Steam is only mad because it is wanting to offer productivity software now, not just games, and they lost all the EA content because of Orion. The people that use Steam for games will continue to use Steam for games because the app store won’t have the same integration that Steam has. The app store is going to be nothing more than casual games like Angry Birds, not saying that they won’t have the next Call of Duty available for purchase but core gamers are not their primary target. I think hating MS is just a cool trend, everyone hated Vista and it wasn’t really that bad of an OS. A little hard on older machines but after the first service pack, and especially after the second it runs almost as well as 7. Ubuntu released Unity which is horrible, nothing more than a bastardized hybrid of the OSX launcher and windows 7 taskbar, and everyone is talking about how great it is. MS actually releases something new and innovative that is going to unify the platforms and are racked over the coals for it. And if you run Windows XP still and refuse to upgrade I severely hope you’re not paid to be an IT person. I’ll spare everyone the whole security and performance argument. Sorry for going on a rant but after reading most of these comments and comments from other articles I had to let it out.

the-dudeman
the-dudeman

Should the Open Office suite become a lot less clunky...... That would remove a huge barrier to business use. Most all Quality and Management reporting depends upon both Word and Excel files, and macros in many cases. We are still using some machines with Win XP, simply because they still work. Win 7 is good, Vista was a nightmare! I can see Microsoft's long term goal is to get outside folks writing a lot of new apps...... So they can avoid hiring new folks to do it!!!

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

install or use on a daily basis, less so than Win XP or Win 7 does. What's holding it back is the problem with getting it pre-installed on systems from vendors so the general public user can see it in the usual retail shops. There is a an issue with Linux created by people making hardware that's specific to one version of Windows and not the industry standards, but most of that's peripherals, although it does still affect some of the graphics cards.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

are the preferred corporate choices because they offer paid support; management has someone to blame when something goes wrong.

YetAnotherBob
YetAnotherBob

The programs will not have the same names. You don't use Apple CAD on a Windows machine, nor do you use AutoCAD on a MAC. The situation in Linux is similar. Getting used to the Linux Desktop takes about 3 hours. The level of games your kids play will be one determining factor. I have a brother that used Linux boxes to host an 8 way fragging game using Doom, over 10 years ago for his teenagers. Light games are easy and common on Linux, but boxed titles are rare. Valve may be changing that next year. Photoshop is a Windows Only program. There are alternatives available on Linux, but be aware that they will not have the same interface as Photoshop. You can't use your Photoshop shortcuts on the Gimp, for instance. Nor can you use your Gimp secrets on Photoshop. Some people say they get Photoshop to run well in Wine, others say it's a nightmare. If it's Photoshop that you need for professional use, then you are probably stuck with Windows. There are also other differences in the programs. For instance, Photoshop was originally intended for offset Lithograph printing. For that use, it is set up differently than Gimp, which was originally intended for screen display images. each now has had the ability to convert it's images to the other format, and CMYK and RGB file output are now available for both, but it is an extra step to remember. It is also never completely perfect in the color rendering when you switch. Similarly, AutoCAD is a Windows program exclusively. There are other programs for CAD available for Linux. The best of the bunch is Microstation. Microstation was originally a Unix program, and was only ported to Windows. Now, it is available once again for Unix/Linux. There are other CAD programs, but I have not found them to be adequate for an Architectural/Engineering business. IntelliCAD comes close, but still falls short, for me, at least. This is pretty much a cart and horse problem set. I have heard rumors that Autodesk is porting their products to Linux. But only some and only slowly. Maya, for instance runs quite well in Linux. I don't expect to live long enough to see AutoCAD for Linux. If you can contact a good Linux user at a local LUG (Linux User Group) they can help you. But, if you really need the Windows only programs, then you are stuck. If, however, you don't really need the Windows only programs, just the functions, or file compatibility, then you do have options. Many business have used Linux partially, or even completely over the last 15 years or so. Intel, for instance designs it's new chips on Linux, as Boeing does it's planes. The Army and most of the rest of the Military use Linux extensively. When Windows lacks the power or security, then they turn to Linux. It's what the big boys do. Windows is really boxed in by Linux on both the high side and the low side. But, even so, Microsoft is still making money, and I don't expect that to change soon.

YetAnotherBob
YetAnotherBob

Your legacy software will probably continue to run in Windows. You could use Wine (if it works), or a VM. But, Windows software will continue to be Windows software. The reverse is also true. Windows is really crappy at running Linux software. Things like LYX, my favorite serious writing program, just plain won't run on Windows at all. LYX uses extensive piping, which Windows doesn't/can't do.

todd_dsm
todd_dsm

@JGSecurity I had the same problem until I found the beauty of virtualbox a few years ago. I now run a fully Linux-based lifestyle but when I need to run Windows, just boot a vm, run the test, and shut it back down again. Let it be known this is a RAM and HDD investment. Mine is: 16GB RAM 500GB HDD1 (sda) 1TB HDD2 (sdb) I have dozens of VMs on my workstation, but only necessary VMs on my laptop. It sounds like we do the same type of work, I bet the fix is the same too. EZ

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

marketing each year. If only Microsoft spent the same amount of money on code improvement they'd leap forward in security etc.

YetAnotherBob
YetAnotherBob

How is VAX a Unix clone??? It is a totally different system. That mistake makes me wonder about the rest of you points. Are you just as accurate there as you were on the VAX? Vax is actually closer to Windows base than it is to Unix.

YetAnotherBob
YetAnotherBob

Fedora does "Secure Boot" and has for a couple of years now.

rindi1
rindi1

I'd call that a downgrade, not upgrade. Why pay for a downgrade to win 8 if you can have a good OS like Win 7?

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

$15.00 if on a listed system between June 2012 and Jan 2013 $40.00 for upgrade for some systems - can't find the details of which ones qualify $70.00 for upgrade for some systems - can't find the details of which ones qualify All the above are download files only, not DVD media, and it's to Win 8 Pro, I think. Also, you should check the various versions and what's in them before you buy. That doesn't include any hardware or other software that may need replacing.

rindi1
rindi1

I don't see any reason whatsoever for such tool. I haven't seen any metro app yet that would be worth converting. None, nada!

tbmay
tbmay

But I agree you with. It's very fashionable with some to get start these goofy OS wars. I've come to recognize most of the participants are trying very hard to establish themselves as "alpha-geeks" because they see that as a valuable identity. My actual job title is Linux Engineer...and my work desktop is Win7 in an AD domain. That's the real world, and I couldn't care less. I Putty in to the servers I'm responsible for. Getting something else on my workstation is so low on my list of priorities, it would be a negative number if that were possible. OS evangelism has always befuddled me. Having said that, MS's entrenchment in the corporate desktop game, including AD's role, is nothing more than pure momentum. Back when Novell still mattered, their product was much more technically elegant than even current MS products are with regards to enterprise desktop management. MS is familiar and easy to administer....which is not to be confused with stable, flexible, and cost effective. Smart management in a new businesses would try to avoid the MS treadmill. I don't mean MS-Office and Windows, but server-side. The mish-mash of products....Exchange, SharePoint, AD, MSSQL,.....etc etc etc.....create a very unnecessary, and in several cases, inferior tangle for businesses with a bit of expertise in something else. However, once a business gets entangled, it will be much harder to get out.

spawnywhippet
spawnywhippet

We did a POC in our environment with some experienced users and found there were a considerable number of use-cases which can be done in Win 7 and are not possible in Win 8. One example is running 2 Excel spreadsheets alongside each other on one large screen, and Outlook on a second screen. This is how most of our team works, at least 3 apps in constant simultaneous usage. This cannot be done with Win 8 at all. Many users were unable to figure out how to open new tabs in Internet Explorer, shut down the machine or carry out most of the basic functionality that they did in Windows 95-Win7 100% of the users hated Windows 8, 100% found it a severe hindrance to productivity and several threatened to leave the company if we roll it out.

todd_dsm
todd_dsm

I thought I was the only one that felt that way; clunky is a good word for it. If I had my crazy wish list I would write LO in another language. It "feels" like java - and it creeps me out the way java apps handle. Perhaps a whole re-write in C? Python? I duuno-

pgit
pgit

People reward the "winmodem" style hardware manufacturers by buying their stuff due to the lower price. The real "problem" may be Linux developers themselves have newer, more expensive (read 'standardized') hardware that they develop upon. Most driver problems I encounter are on older low end (cheap) hardware. If you want most cutting edge Linux distributions to work out of the box, get yourself straight-Intel hardware; intel networking chips, intel graphics, intel chip sets, of course intel CPU... and NOT a celeron or an older single core. My all-intel i5 system has been ideal for testing Linux distributions. I had a soundblaster card in it at first but encountered conficts. I removed it and use the on board intel sound and no more problems.

ricardoc
ricardoc

AutoCAD 2013 is available for Mac OS; it has been available for a few months now. So maybe you do will live long enough to see AutoCAD for Linux; I have hopes :-) AutoCAD is the only barrier standing between Linux and 50% of the user base in my company.

JGSecurity
JGSecurity

I do use virtualbox, only I use it the other way around with windows as my host and linux as my guests, thanks for the tip though.

YetAnotherBob
YetAnotherBob

Libre Office was only forked off of Open Office a little over a year ago. One of the projects is to rewrite it so it doesn't depend on Java so much. Java was forced on OOo by Sun, and that continued with Oracle. check the LO website to see how it's going. I think Python would make a good macro language. Long term, it will probably be more JS, as that seems to be where HTML is taking everybody.

aroc
aroc

That is one big pain for me at work with the corp-imposed Office 2007. OO and LO spare me that annoyance at home, although I have to forget about some stuff created at work for working on them at home (referring to work/personal stuff like my boss's vacation planner spreadsheet's functions that total different types of days).

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

to now make their gear as Industry Standard compliant and just make Windows drivers. Some have done it all along, but more are now following suit. What it means is if you have a Linux, Unix, or Mac system you just plug in and it works, if you have a Windows system you get the CD that came with it and load the relevant Windows drivers. One advantage of that system is that you can end up with the one Windows driver that will work for a number of products in the range.

pgit
pgit

the only thing that will change this is consumer behavior. Either they buy hardware that happens to be Linux friendly, making vendors take note, or they complain in enough numbers the vendor takes note. MS sure as heck ain't gonna change the status quo. I agree 110% the vendors ignore standards in favor of MS specs. All I'm thinking of is how any of that could change.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

I have latest release Linux OSs that run on hardware that's five or six years old and brand new cutting edge hardware. Much of the vendor hardware is about a year off the edge. The real issue is the manufacturers bowing to MS pressure to building systems to be out of the box compatible with a specific Windows OS and not built to Industry Standards. That is what causes the need for ANY drivers, let alone specially developed one. The idea behind the Industry standards was to do away with drivers altogether, and it worked for a little while, then MS decided NOT to adhere to the standards in the mid 1990s - after only a couple of years, and thus created the problems we have today.

rindi1
rindi1

I don't think you'll get autocad for linux. This is a rather expensive piece of software as most people expect Linux software to be OpenSource amd free, or at least cheap, I don't believe they'll make a Linux version.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

corporate management how much they can save by using Libre Office instead of Microsoft Office, at a couple of hundred bucks a copy, that would soon add up to a hefty savings and bonus for them.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

it may be just the training or years of use, but I found the ribbons counter-intuitive when I had to do an Office 2007 course a couple of years ago. I ended up falling all the way back to one of very early Microsoft Word manuals and copying the two pages of keyboard shortcuts that I used to use back in 1990 with Word on DOS. Now I won't say others had the same issues, as this was the first exposure to MS Office for over half the class, but once the others saw my pages of shortcuts everyone paid to have the tech college library copy them for their own use. Even checking the pages and turning them over was faster than using the rotten ribbons most of the time; it was even less action for many of the most often used functions.