Linux

How will Windows 7 affect Linux?

Some tech bloggers are saying that Windows 7 is set to be a "Linux-killer." What do they mean by that, exactly, and what do you think the real affect on Linux will be?

Preston Gralla of ComputerWorld (and a few others) has been blogging the eventual demise of Linux when Windows 7 hits the scene and takes over the hot netbook market:

You can be sure when Microsoft blitzes the world with a massive advertising campaign for Windows 7, they'll be spending many millions promoting Windows 7 on netbooks. And given that marketing muscle, Linux most likely won't stand a chance, regardless of which operating system is superior. (More reasons Windows 7 will kill Linux)

AND

Windows 7 features a much slicker interface than Windows XP, is easier to use, and Microsoft will spend many millions of dollars to push its use on netbooks. So when it's released, expect Linux use on netbooks to drop. (One more reason Linux must fear Windows 7)

Of course, none of this rambling seems very much to the point. As one commenter pointed out, Linux will continue to be Linux no matter how much money Microsoft spends or what Windows 7 does. Linux isn't going away unless the entire Linux community decides to disperse and stop developing and growing. It's not dependent on profit margins...or even marketing.

Perhaps a more meaningful conversation would be: how will the economy affect Windows 7 vis-a-vis Linux? Are there bigger issues and trends that are going to make the Windows vs. Linux dichotomy irrelevant? Amanda McPherson from the Linux Foundation (commenting on the estimated $10 billion price tag for Fedora 9 if it were proprietary) says that "Vista is likely the last operating system we will ever see written by one company from scratch." Okay, I'm not sure what that says about Windows 7, unless she's not counting that as a full-blown, new OS -- maybe just a leaner Vista? Are you in a predicting mood? What kinds of developments for Linux do you think we're likely to see in the quickly-approaching new year?

(Oh, and just to make sure he got all the flamers and Diggs, Gralla finally followed up with Why Microsoft fears Linux. Darn him!)

 

About

Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...

64 comments
jerang@
jerang@

Linux will not be affected in anyway by windows 7. It's a separate entity by itself :)

Alex
Alex

Freedom is a powerful attractant. One advantage of the bazaar over the cathedral is that the software is free in a creative sense. Thousands of source forge projects are at my fingertips and millions of people are available for advice. The constant change of paradigm at Microsoft makes dummies of us all, requiring numerous changes just to install the same devices each year.

Meesha
Meesha

Agree and well said.

sar10538
sar10538

Well, I seem to remember them saying that Unix was dead 20 years or so ago but it's still going strong and making money for companies. So I think it'll be a cold day in the hot place before we see the last of Linux as there is no company to loose money and kill the thing off. I have a few years left in me and I bet it will still be around in one form or another to take me to the final bit bucket. Legacy systems... What a wonderful legacy to give to the World! Thanks Ken, Dennis, Doug, Joe and all the rest of you guys!

webwalker_z
webwalker_z

get me to switch back to micro$oft. I've went to linux, and linux will always be my OS of choice. I switched 4 years ago and haven't looked back!

Stovies
Stovies

Linux is harming itself. I have been trying to teach some of my retired friends to use UBUNTU, which is straightforward enough until it comes to MS Office 2007, which Open Office below the new 3.0.0 cannot open. I have been trying to follow the guidelines for installing Open office 3.0.0 and although I am convinced I am inserting the code nothing happens. In this small issue I wonder why the developers have not simplified the downloading of new software, because the installed software will not always be able to update everything that comes along. That is one of the things that has me running back to Windows, where as a private owner of more than 20 copies of XP Professional and eight or so copies of XP Home, I have only three machines, as Microsoft does not believe me when I say I have replaced machines with updated hardware and scrapped the old machines. I should be able to sign an affidavit to save so, and being honest, they could come at any time to check. Then Vista comes along and I am expected to fork out mare. Software has numbers identifying it and the software should be licensed to the person not the computer. If it is on two computers then they will not be able to keep it updated as the system will recognise two copies with the same number. I know someone will say something like, they could update it in other ways, but I don???t know how, nor am I interested. If UBUNTU will make downloading software like Open office 3.0.09 easier, I would move over completely tomorrow.

sar10538
sar10538

Try this. Scrap Ubuntu, contrary to popular belief it's not the be all and end all of Linux distros. Try OpenSUSE 11 and you'll find that yast lists OpenOffice_Org 3.0.0.3.5 as an available install, once you have added the community repositories (just another click in yast). Now flame me for using a non deb distro and getting into bed with the guys that sold-out to M$, if you wish.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

I chose it you chose SUSE, others chose other, Look on the bright side, you could be stuck with no choice at all. Ubuntu, is aiming too much at windows appliance users for me. If I wanted that I'd put XP back on it. (ony 500M of Ram, so Vista is a non starter)

intj-astral
intj-astral

By New Year's Eve going into 2009, I will have been using OpenSUSE 11 for one year and I have no reason to fuss with much of anything else, except perhaps to expand my knowledge of Linux distros. The really good news is that OpenSUSE 11.1 will be available for download by 12/17/08, a week my birthday. :-) And GnuParted lets me dual boot it with Vista by manipulating the boot flag.

sar10538
sar10538

I've been running SuSE and OpenSUSE for years now. It just works, is very polished and has a very large base od already ported additional packages. This was the point I was trying to make. OpenSUSE used to take the top spot until Novell took the M$ deal which seems to have put the Linux community off in drives as being a deal with the devil. It that had not happened, It's debatable if Novell would be afloat today. I've not seen any impact with the deal at the coal face and from what I understand, Novell are now doing OK on the strength of their own business. I just don't think Ubuntu is the best flagship for Linux but it seems to be the current poster child. A lot of FUD gets banded about regarding RPM distros being inferior to Debian based. Modern RPMs have all the dependency buried in them and good tools for adding applications. Yes, things weren't always that way but we have moved on now so the deb crowd needs to stop repeating the historical situation all the time.

lastchip
lastchip

Go to the open office site and download the "Debian package version" of oo 3.0. It will normally download to your home directory. (Ubuntu is based on Debian). Open up a terminal and assuming you're in your home directory, (which it normally will be), type the following command: (remember, it's case sensitive) sudo dpkg -i package_name (where -i means install and package_name is the *full* name of your download), hit enter and it should all happen once you've entered your password. If it doesn't work, or for any reason you need to un-install it, the command is: sudo dpkg -r package name (-r means remove) Hope that may be of some help to you.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

I haven't downloaded OO 3.0, but can't you do it through apt-get?

chaz15
chaz15

Linux users will be happy to stay with Linux. Whether more people will use Linux depends very much on how Linux develops over time. In particular if Win 7 has a slicker user interface, Linux may have to brush up its UI somewhat. Yes, more netbooks may well ship with Windows 7, but setting up a partition boot isn't difficult so people can use Linux as well or instead easily enough. It's rather more a question of how Windows 7 bolsters Microsofts fortunes!!!! As for Linux, as an independent open source OS platform, it's never been over concerned about other OS platforms!!!!

npbwbass
npbwbass

Different poop same flies for Windows. Linux will still be the go to system for the technically inclined. We will just see more of the Windows Vs Linux "polarization" already taking place in the industry. Personally I think the technical hardware advances will make some of the choices for us more than a new OS will.

RFan
RFan

I think it's good sport! Microsoft is pushing hard for improvements and that's a good thing even for Linux, because Linux still is at is best shooting moving targets. Anyway the Linux community have'nt planned to sit and stop any development, they planned to go in the same direction as MS: Positive user experience (and Mac too for that matter) and efficiency. They will push hard to ensure standardisation of new devices (as multi touch screens) that Linux would not have been able to achieve. All in all, Windows 7 is more of a "set back and secure" improvement set. But they still lost one or two turns that they still have not regained because Linux and Apple will not stand still. But again in the end, this dynamic is good for everyone: Linux, Mac, Microsoft and ***above all*** ourselves.

Meesha
Meesha

This whole discussion is MS marketing at its best. By the time W7 hits the gold street most average users will be convinced that it's the best thing since sliced bread. If Linux had only a quarter of MS's marketing budget and a quarter of the effort MS puts into MS OS it would have won the so called "O/S" wars long time ago, including desktops, notebooks, netbooks, etc. So don't be fooled, W7 is what it is, another costly OS upgrade that will need to be thoroughly street proven before it can truly be considered at all.

sar10538
sar10538

Yes, when M$ wants folks to use W7, it will be all that is available on the majority of new hardware and paid for by the M$ tax. The monopoly hold they have on PC vendors means that M$ gets to say what the sheep buying this stuff gets. And the really funny part is that the sheep will lap it up because that's what the M$ Marketing department will tell them what to do. It's a bit like the church of M$ out there, with the marketing department being the high priests preaching to the flock. It won't need to be street proven to be considered, it will be foisted just like all the previous versions of Windows has been, like it or not.

oldchas
oldchas

I don't make a living sitting at a computer. I surf the web, catalogue photos and maybe edit a photo now and then. Every three years or so I build a desktop. I can't see paying $200-$300 for an OS when I can download one. When MS offers a functional free OS I'll use it. Not going to happen.

jaejunks
jaejunks

There will be lots of things to copy!

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

That M$ with Windows copies Linux whole heartedly but by the time that they bring Windows 7 to RTM they will have badly copied most of the advances that the current Generation of Linux's have. Of course any advancements that come out between now and then are unlikely to be incorporated into Windows but that's a job for the Service Packs surely. Col

techrepublic
techrepublic

wtf is with all the text on this site being italic? cannot bring myself to try to read the article:(

usacomputertech
usacomputertech

Microsoft has a couple kernels, There is DOS, NT, XP which is a combination of 98 and NT Kernels and is not a kernel, The Vista Kernel which is almost entirely NT + DRM + Big Brother + NSA, Windows 7 is no different from Vista other than it's tweaked and not written from scratch so that statement is true "Vista is likely the last operating system we will ever see written by one company from scratch."

JimMcDish
JimMcDish

I dont think it will AT ALL! I swithced over to LInux a month ago (after buying a BRAND NEW Dell with Vista that would lockup right out of the box) and I will NEVER go back to Windows. there are too many programs out there that let me run my essential Windows programs right from within Linux. Jeff http://www.anolite.echoz.com

linuxcanuck
linuxcanuck

I don't care much what Microsoft does. Windows 7 is a non-entity to me. Microsoft had me. They lost me. They will never win me back. I don't care what they do. It can't be enough. Since I discovered Linux, I have seen what an OS should be and Linux is leading the way. Microsoft is the one playing catch up and they will never be able to catch up because their ethic is wrong. Linux is user centered whereas Windows is market centered. Linux does not need to succeed in the market as long as it can succeed with users. It can be what it has always been and that will be enough. Windows cannot say the same thing. It needs to succeed in the marketplace or it is deemed to be a failure and users do not even figure into the equation. Anyone who uses Windows deserves what they get. Most Linux users feel the same way, although few would say it aloud. I have little sympathy with Windows users. They are lemmings. So if a lemming goes over the cliff should we weep? If so, when do we stop because once they start they can't help themselves.They are what they are and we are what we are. I don't care if everyone on the planet chooses to use Windows. I for one won't become a Microserf again.

dwdino
dwdino

First, let me state that linux has come a long way. I currently use SUSE 11 and swap between KDE and GNOME for I like different aspects of each. At work we are deploying a VDI initiative. I decided to dive headlong into it and replaced XP with SUSE 11. I use a Dell D series notebook with docking station. I worked on the display configuration for 3 days (eventually righting my own xorg.conf) before I could dock my system and use dual external monitors. I tried all of the automatic components and they failed. I could get mirrored monitors, laptop and 1 external; but not what I wanted. So I work with SUSE and Citrix XenDesktop for about 7 days. It was OK, but my work productivity was much lower due to the extra work it took to do similiar tasks. Finally I could wait no more. I reinstalled XP. I enabled both external monitors in 4 mouse clicks. It is these sorts of hurdles that hamper linux. Often times Linux can do what Microsoft OSes do, but you have to build it yourself. Had I not spent hours researching Xorg and the Intel driver, I could not have built my custom Xorg.conf to enable dual external monitors and the script to swap configurations. I enjoy working with Linux, but it is work. Great in the server room and rough on the Desktop. Will W7 diminish or effect Linux adoption? Don't think so. Will Linux hinder itself? Right now, yes.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

How would you solve the equivalent problem in windows? I'd really like to know, half the time when I undock my machine. It turns off the primary (the portable's), and presumably directs output to The 19 inch it's no longer connected to. If you want a real laugh, when it does work, connect up to an other monitor.

dwdino
dwdino

...at this point it is not an issue in Windows. It just works. To your other question; you wouldn't. You might attempt to file a complaint with Microsoft or the driver vendor, but that is a dead end. I was pointing out the fact that Microsoft still owns the desktop because "it just works". Macs have come a long way and have taken a larger chunk out of the market by refining Linux into and end user platform. But native Linux (SUSE, RH, Ubuntu, Debian, etc.) are not end user desktop ready and will therefore remain in the shadows. Now part of this disparity is driver support. If vendors developed mature drivers equivalent to their Microsoft conterparts, Linux would greatly increase its desktop share. At the same time, with the plethora of Linux versions, driver vendors usually have to choose a few versions to support. If there were one Linux (like Microsoft and Mac), driver support would greatly increase. Again, I love Linux in my data center and in my "play" environment. But when I have to "get work done" it requires too much effort (at least on a dynamic platform like a laptop). I don't believe either W7 or Linux will effect each other. I believe that whoever refines the platform and delivers the experience with prevail. At this time, Mac is the front runner in the race.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

My portable doesn't just work! Vista and ATI and Compaq can't get it to just work. And aside from wasting three stamps writing to their respective complaints departments, I just have to live with it. Whereas you with that 'unsupported' linux stuff fixed it. Unfortunately it's my works PC so I can't just load up Linux and go down the same route myself (given I was clever enough o figure it out). So while vendors don't for one reason or another consider it commercially viable to sell stuff that just works for everyone, at least those of us who use linux can make it just work. That's a strength, admittedly it takes some effort on our part, but it's better than just not working. Have you considered submitting what you did to the X11 groups, who knows they could build it in to the base and then it would just work for everybody. As far as w7 affecting linux, well that's just bollocks. How many people go through the effort of switch simply to get some particular flavour of hardware to work? I want a Notebook, what's the best operating system for it? I don't think many think in that order.

ITsupportGuy
ITsupportGuy

How will Windows 7 affect Linux ? It wont.

.Martin.
.Martin.

get the people wanting a fully open source OS like Linux, which in a way is good. so I don't think Linux will ever die, if anything, shrink back into the shadows.

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

"how will the economy affect Windows 7 vis-a-vis Linux?" this all depends. If the economy crumbles badly, most businesses will not be doing much for purchasing, and neither will users. Everyone will hold onto what they have until it cannot be kept any longer. Many people and small businesses do this already -- think of it on a much more massive scale. When purchasing, many will go with lower cost alternatives, but I do not think netbooks would be powerful enough for what many businesses will want with reduced staff's. They will likely go well with sales though. In this scenario, I think Linux would be looked at much more. Over the last couple of years Linux has been given a few boosts in popularity, and low end Linux (inexpensive) machines have flown off the shelves. On the other scale, if the economy turns around enough, businesses boom, Win 7 has a much better chance of taking off. However, I still do not see Linux as being taken down. As stated, over the last few years, Linux has been passed around quite a bit, and people are seeing it as an alternative to MS offerings.

CPPCrispy
CPPCrispy

Linux will not be affected by Windows 7 because Windows 7 is still closed source. As long as Linux remains open source, it will continue to live. I certainly know that I will never stop using Linux. Go Linux!!!

gothsleepy1
gothsleepy1

And I don't think that the philosophy governing the development of the two operating systems is remotely the same so Linux should be safe.

jlwallen
jlwallen

those same pundits were proclaiming the end of all OSes that were not called "Vista" some time ago. let's face it - there are three markets out there: Windows market, Mac market, and Linux market. in some cases there is overlap and in some there is not. and in my opinion no OS is going to cause the demise of any other. the only thing that would ever cause the demise of Windows is Windows. vista put a serious choke hold on the Windows line of OSes to the point MS had to rethink dropping XP. and now Windows 7 is rumored to be Vista with all the bad stuff removed. But Vista with all the bad stuff removed is non-functional right? from the kernel up Vista is bad. Windows 7 should be XP with the Vista interface optimized to run without needing 72,000 GIGs of RAM.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

between the XP Kernel and the Vista one are not ones that would allow competition with linux interms of footprint, performance and security. Both are for monolithic OS's for starters. MS struggled so much with longhorn, they resused a lot of XP code. XP vs Linux on a netbook, linux can still 'win'

ThumbsUp2
ThumbsUp2

It won't affect it at all.

sar10538
sar10538

Succinct and the most sensible comment I've read all day!

TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827
TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827

Windows 7 has the same hardware requirements as Vista. The only UMPC with Vista, the HP 2133, head to Amazon, and read even the positive reviews about how the machine is saved by either installing XP or Linux. Seriously, Vista is an abysmal dog on that machine. People will say the hardware will catch up to Vista (7 now) and I ask for evidence of that. The top of the line is Intel Atom. Via is second (read the above about the HP 2133). There are now ARM based machines being produced. It is about squeezing the price down, not increasing hardware. Also, with Windows 7 predicted to be available for next Christmas season, a LOT can happen. Look at this year, 6 months into UMPC availability. I don't see Windows 7 being much of a threat at all. TripleII

z0phi3l
z0phi3l

I've read quite a few "reviews" where testers and experts are poppin W7 onto PCs and laptops that will barely run Vista, and they are running W7 better than XP in most cases.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Why would anyone believe what is said about a Alpha Product being so vastly Superior. It's nothing more than Wishful Thinking if W7 even retains the barest smattering of the Vista Kernel. If that was true why have these Developments of the Vista kernel not been deployed yet? M$ knows that it has a problem on it's hands with Vista and believing that they are sitting back waiting with a working fix for Vista is simply unbelievable. What is being claimed by these True Believers about W7 has to rank up there with the Flat Earth Pundits who may honestly believe what they say but that by no means makes it right or even correct. Col

sar10538
sar10538

And that's another bloody thing you pinched from us, diggers. You pinched Phar Lap, Split Enz, Russell Crowe, Sam Niel, Keisha Castle-Hughes, pavlova (even the Chinese want the kiwifruit :) and all the rest of the stuff but I thought we were the only ones that thought of piping Wellington's effluent to the Beehive. :) Good on ya mate!

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Upside Down and likely to fall off. :p Where as this lot over here can only fall to the ground so the smaller population is likely to last longer. :D Besides we have better Politician's. When you tell them to P1ss Off they do and they stop bothering you. ;) If someone was to tell your lot where to get off they would likely be arrested and never seen again. So over all we have it better. No worries about falling off the planet or Rabid out of Control Pollies taking over doing as they please. ;\ Besides we built a [b]Special Home[/b] for our Pollies here in the middle of nowhere with a good water supply. The upside is that they are drinking the sewerage of half the population of AU which is Up Stream of them. B-) So it's quite honest to say here we keep em in the dark and feed them Sh1t. :^0 Bet you can't say the same where you are Santy. :D Col ]:)

santeewelding
santeewelding

That's because, from where you are, it's curvature. From where I am, in Flatland, where you are is not only incorrect, but profoundly inconceivable. My fiction is comfortable. Yours is disturbing. Besides, there are more of us than there are of you.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

A lot of Gralla's argument is based on W7 running on netbooks. I think it's too early in the netbook deployment cycle to be making predictions based on it's future use. Netbooks may turn out to be the next Newton or PS-2, declining in popularity and replaced by something else before W7 is released.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Ok, so I've got another thread going here on Tech Republic ("5 Ways that Linux is a Failure") regarding Netbooks and Linux and I'm sure we've got many of the same topics taking place here in this thread. But the thing isn't if Netbooks continue to exist or fade (We're just calling them Netbooks now, and building them on cheaper hardware platforms. In the past they were called "subnotebooks" and were ultra-premium devices - it is amazing how fast people's memories fade. The point is, despite Palmetto's perspective, devices like this are likely to remain popular, regardless of if they run Linux, Win32, or something else). The thing that is causing the buzz right now (and a certain hyper-defensiveness among usually hyper-aggresive linux-evangelists), is that the current crop of Netbook is *everything* that a Linux platform is supposed to excel at. Limited resources, customized "application device" interfaces designed for highly specific uses. A netbook should be the ultimate delivery platform to give Linux that push into the mainstream that has seemed to be a holy grail for the Linux community for the last decade or so. But it isn't turning out that way. We don't need Windows 7 to establish that. The numbers indicate that XP may already be replacing Linux as the desirable netbook OS of choice among consumers... *regular* consumers, *average* consumers... who seem to be rejecting Linux on this platform, the netbook platform, that is supposed to be a platform where the simple advantages of Linux are irresistable. The fact is, this looks bad for Linux. The Linux community is great at self delusion and denial. They'll argue one thing for years, the climate will change, and they'll instantly argue the other side as if this has always been their perspective. To me, nowhere is this more obvious than 10 years of Linux attacks on Win32 user and security models. Win32 implements something that is almost an exact copy of the Linux user and security model, which goes over like a lead balloon with the Win32 community, and the Linux community instantly latches onto this as a "failure" of Win32. News flash, Win32 users hate the same user security features in Linux for the same reason they hate those features in Vista. This is one of those reasons Linux has trouble breaking into the home user desktop. The security is too well designed. Right now, consumers are soundly rejecting Linux in the netbook segment. This is happening for a lot of different reasons, none of which mean that Linux is a bad or inferior OS platform. But it does indicate that Linux is not ready for the average user desktop (or, most likely the average corporate desktop, either). It also means that Win32, be it Vista or Windows 7, is likely to be the dominant paradigm in desktop OSes for the foreseeable future. It means that Cloud Computing is probably a bigger threat to Win32 dominance than Linux itself will ever be. OS X is absolutely a bigger threat to Win32 than Linux, and has made itself that in less than half the time span. The Linux delusions and self-denial comes in the rapid about-face the community is displaying right now. "Pshaw, who needs acceptance on the user desktop? Not us, we're doing fine". Maybe you are. But at the height of the anti-Vista frenzy, you were all but proclaiming that Linux would leverage this "Microsoft misstep" into the end of Win32 and the emrgence of Linux dominance on the desktop (as a community). For the last decade or more, Linux has continiously seemed to desire to grow market share beyond the odd Apache server, web based business, or beared, anti-social, ubergeek DIY AMD home-rig. Initatives and projects like KDE, Ubuntu and Open Office were all about challenging this Microsoft dominance of this market. Why was all this effort expended if... "Pshaw, it doesn't matter". The Linux community sure made it LOOK like it mattered. I normally wouldn't put that much effort into something I didn't truly want to achieve. Using my "Linux is an awkward geek" analogy, it seems like Linux had the mistaken impression it had a shot of dating the Homecoming Queen (in netbooks), and took a shot, and got rejected. Not the Prom Queen mind you (that would be massive deployment on end user desktop and full power laptop PCs), but still a high goal for an awkard Mathalette, none-the-less. Now, trying to "save face" (God knows why), Linux is going, "Bah, we didn't really want to go out with her, anyhow, we've got our own thing. She isn't all that, anyhow. Let her date Win32 is she wants, it is her loss". (God, that analogy works SO well, and the great part is, it MUST resound with so many members of the Linux community). Now, despite the fact that 4 Linux netbooks are being returned to retailers for every 1 XP netbook according to MSI, this STILL may actually be an opportunity for Linux to grow market share and gain converts. The fact that there is a buzz around Win 7 being light weight and designed to accomodate Netbooks displays the idea that Microsoft sees Netbooks and Linux as a threat and wants to close that door to Linux. Linux will go on. It will always have grass roots support among the Linux community. But it may not, is probably very unlikely to achieve some of the more grand goals that the Linux community has often seemed to reach for. The netbook controversy is just an indication of this, not much more or less. Linux is likely to always remain the "third party" of OS platforms for PCs. You've got about as much chance of replacing Win32 as Ralph Nadar has of ever being elected President. It could happen, but if it did and you had money riding on it, you would be a very rich man with those odds. Linux may be here to stay, but it is also probably going to keep eating lunch at the weird-kids' table. That isn't so bad, unless it remains fixated on getting to sit with the popular kids and obsessing on replacing the Captain of the Football Team as the most popular guy on campus. Then, as a community, Linux starts to reflect some of the more disturbing members attracted to the Cult of Linux. The ones with greasy hair, trench coats, and a preference for NiN and Marilyn Manson. Let it go, Linux community, and just be yourself and be good with it. Stop trying to be Win32.

Selena Frye
Selena Frye

So much food for thought -- where do you think this so-called showdown is headed? Is everything getting ready to be turned on its head anyway, due to larger forces, such as the bad economy or new players in technology?

rcfoulk
rcfoulk

As to whether or not Win7 is the last proprietary OS, I'm not certain. As to whether Win7 is a Linux killer, I seriously doubt it. I'm a Linux novice with my professional career vested in MS products (post Novell). I do know that Vista demonstrated no benefit vs. cost for business and to date the breathless Win7 reviews seem to suggest that there's no real business-related enhancements sufficient to differentiate Win7 from Vista. Effectively it's going to be Vista R2 with a new name unless something dramatic happens. Accordingly I and many like me would resist spending the money to upgrade clients or our internal shop. And also accordingly as downgrading to XP becomes more problematic on newer hardware there will likely be a serious openness to considering alternatives, Linux being a prime alternative. Frankly the dependence on Exchange/Outlook is likely the largest impediment to such migration. As to the netbooks it's worth noting that MS has continued to sell XP for such units acknowledging that they lack sufficient resources to run Vista. I think it is more than reasonable that even if Win7 is more modular the overall impact of the OS on hardware will likely yield a similar result. I see no Linux killer there either so I think it a bit silly for the Linux community to be setting its hair on fire over such speculation.

john3347
john3347

First off, I must confess that I have not seen an actual installation of Windows 7. I have seen several screen shots and read several accounts from those who have had the opportunity to sample first hand. If at least most of what I have seen and read is accurate, or close to accurate, Windows 7 will become a bigger flop than Vista. I personally do not want the "eye candy" that requires so much memory in Vista and appears to be even "enhanced" in 7. I want a saved file to go to a certain folder of my choosing. I want to be able to give that folder a descriptive name so I can find it next year when I want to revisit that file. I could do these things in Windows 2000 and even in XP. I cannot do this to my satisfaction in Vista ........ there are too many places that Vista wants to put things by default. I also cannot do this in ubuntu. I do not want to wade through piles of multi-user bloat to find my files. (I would like to know what percentage of computers are single user machines. Got to be at least 75 to 80%; or greater.) When I install a new piece of hardware - - or software, I want to re-boot, if necessary, and start using the piece of hardware or software application. I don't want the word "configure" to enter my personal computing experience. It is quite unfortunate that the Linux community fails to realize that I am in the vast majority and not just a member of a small clique of users. I continue to use, and play with Linux (currently ubuntu 8.04), but it is my play computer. When I need to really do something serious, I have to double click "scroll lock" and switch my KVM switch to Windows XP -- lacking as it is. If I only have one computer available to me at any particular moment, I gotta have one with a "real" operating system. With all its shortcomings, Windows (whichever model) still comes far closer to fulfilling this desire/need than any other OS. When the Linux developers realize that the typical user only wants to use their computer FOR a project and not AS a project, and start programming with this in mind, they will then have a huge effect on Windows - - whatever Windows version is current at the time. All this is to say that, in the current environment, Windows 7 will have negligible, if any, effect on Linux and Linux will have negligible, if any, effect on Windows 7 whether for netbooks, notebooks, or desktops. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

stevesaunders34
stevesaunders34

I have not had to use the "configure" command after installing software in Ubuntu ever! Having to reboot after installing software in XP is nothing but tedious. As far as not being able to choose where to save files in Ubuntu (can't comment on Vista), biggest load of trash I have heard for a long time.My wife managed to work it out for herself not only in Windows, but in Ubuntu as well.

sar10538
sar10538

I do serious stuff all the time but never feel the need to switch my KVM to Windows XP. I only do that when I find the need, read do non serious stuff, like play games from companies that are too short-sighted to release them for a serious OS. I never feel the wish/need to reboot when I install application software as that is a serious waste of my valuable time. I can even switch to a new kernel without rebooting if I choose to and on my serious server I can even change hardware without rebooting and that does not run XP either. I don't even seem to find the need to configure almost every piece of software I install for my serious needs unless I want to tell it to do something special. I don't have to go to a separate vendor for most of the software I use and pay ridiculous prices for buggy software that I have no hope to get the vendor to fix in a reasonable time, if at all, or be able to fix it myself, or via a third party, as there is no access to the source. In fact I use a single tool to show me thousands of different available applications that I can install for free and I only have to select what I want and click one button to install them. I find that clicking so many buttons on different windows to install each application seems to waste so much of my serious time and I don't expect to reboot to waste even more of it. I also like to feel comfortable that the applications I have chosen will be completely compatible for the running version of my OS. It's quite unfortunate that the Windows community seems to accept the poor quality of service that they receive from their "chosen" OS and the applications available for it. Oh, sorry, I think it's more likely to have been the OS that has been foisted upon them given the commercial environment where they have been "given" a default OS on their purchase of hardware. Of course these users just accept the default and put up with all the inherent problems because, after all, that is the way that it goes. I don't expect my workstation to be a project, if I want that I can use another box to play with and know that I have the full source code to be able to do any project I desire. I expect my workstation to stay up day after day. week after week, month after month... and still give me 110% even when I throw so much s**t at it that I know that a certain other OS would have given up the ghost long since running on the same hardware. I expect it to take all that, and then some, and then recover back to normal and continue to work tirelessly afterwards without a reboot. I expect to be able to run all cores at full pelt and still respond to my every whim, because I'm doing serious work and expect my system to be serious about it. And what do I use for my serious workstation, well OpenSUSE as it seems to be quite a serious tool for serious use and runs on my serious hardware. Perhaps if you tried to do the same you may change your mind about what a serious system constitutes. Perhaps you will get to learn what a real serious system is capable of, and all without any serious time-wasting with frequent rebuilding, unexplained crashes and the need for pointless reboots because a certain company is so anally retentive about such things like file locking.

lindeblad_eric
lindeblad_eric

Microsoft is already positioning Windows 7 as the best selling OS ever. Steve Balmer came out and said that is was OK to skip Vista. So what are large corporations that skipped Vista going to do when Windows 7 launches? They already have billions invested in MS products. They are stuck unless they want to shift there entire IT structure to Mac or Linux. They'll have to adopt because nobody will support XP at all by 2010 or 11. Then Microsoft will claim that Windows 7 is the best OS they ever produced. Just my jaundiced eye.

lastchip
lastchip

One of the reasons Linux has been successful on netbooks, is because it can be "reduced" in size to suit anything from an embedded controller, to a full blown multi-media system. It depends a lot on how Windows 7 is developed. But if it's based on Vista, there's an awful lot of slimming down to be done, before it will get anywhere near Linux in terms of efficiency. Many netbooks have *very* limited hardware resources and that's where Linux shines. Furthermore, Linux (at least at present) enjoys a pretty much malware, virus free existence. By contrast, Windows will need all the plethora of anti this and anti that, just to protect the system. The bottom line is, at the moment, Linux has beaten Microsoft hands down in this niche market. Whether Microsoft is capable, or even wants to produce a small, efficient version of Windows to counter that, remains to be seen.

john3347
john3347

lastchip, have you not searched the current retail catalogs to see that at least 4 out of 5 current netbooks are now sold with Windows XP? As another poster mentioned in their post, the return rate for Linux equipped netbooks is 4 times the return rate for the same item with a Windows OS (currently Windows XP is the popular OS).

lastchip
lastchip

I meant what I wrote. The fact that XP (allegedly) is selling more than Linux, or that returns are greater for Linux systems isn't at all surprising. People will naturally gravitate to what is familiar to them. The fact that XP needs a constant "nursemaid" in the form of anti-virus and anti-malware software, is an indisputable fact. However, the article was not about XP, it was referring to Windows 7 and as such, I remain convinced that it is all about how that develops. Whether Microsoft can come up with code compact enough to sit comfortably on these machines, is yet to be proven; one way or the other. Therefore, the assumptions are questionable.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

I've set up several Netbooks as a one use item for On Line Banking for several Business now. As the Banks Software only runs on Windows the XP Home version of these things is great. Though you have to use an External Modem and a USB to Comm Adapter which are expensive but cost nothing in comparison to the inability to access the Companies Bank Accounts if the Netbook goes missing out of the office. Col

seckel109
seckel109

Without a fresh sheet of paper (which is something Billy appears to be unwilling to do), I think the only thing OS 7 will kill is either the perpetrator or us victims. A little more coding and a lot less "nothing up my sleave" would be appreciated.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

complete twonk, or his boss just put him on a performance related bonus where number of posts to blog is a high value metric

santeewelding
santeewelding

I learn so much here. Getting so that nobody can turn my head about anything.

sar10538
sar10538

It's good to hear that your head won't turn, guess you won't be needing an exorcist any time soon :)

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Twonk - The sort of person who states a commercial product could kill linux. :D

santeewelding
santeewelding

Snuck in a homely qualifier up front so you wouldn't see it. Nya-nya.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

Nobody? Some of us take that kind of statement as a dare.

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