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So, what if Linux won the war?

By Oz_Media ·
What if Linux won the OS battle, put MS out of business and MAC ran and hid under the bed? (shhhh, stop laughing)

Right now, as Linux has next to no market penetration at all, it isn't a target or virus writers and PC hackers/trackers. Therefore the big Linux boast is how secure and solid it is, like a rock.

However, being thrust into the market forefront, do people actually believe that Linux would remain stable and secure with open source code?

First of all, they'd HAVE to start boxing and selling retail versions as you wouldn't be able to trust downloads anymore; it would be far too easy to corrupt an install from a downloaded file, redirected website or sppofed link.

Secondly, the price would soar, packaging, delivery and marketing costs. That means they have to offer a value added service to such retail clients such as user support, warranty and exchange etc. Once again pushing up costs of boxed, safe product.

Of course to stop any black market resellers that would sell hacked copies, now they have to licence it, and again the cost goes up.

So now you have Linux sold just as Windows is, no cost benefit there anymore.

You have a system that is the market forefront and the target of hackers worldwide, security is reduced, thus requiring patches written by Joe's 16 year old son, David. (it is open source afterall, isn't that a key benefit?).
David's new patch opens up another area of exploit, reduces system stability and causes crashes (just to be fair we'll call that the Linux Screen Of Death (LSOD)).

People will then expect to be able to play games on it too, so yet ANOTHER third party extension is added for free download. That free download is not trustworthy unless from a secure server. So the company providing that download has to start charging for the LX12 gaming interface for Linux. LX12 costs $99.00.

I've already paid for a "safe" version, now I have to pay for a "safe" gaming interface too? Man, this Linux license stuff is a rip off!!!

By now, Windows has all but disappeared, owns less than 15% of the marketshare. People stop writing viruses for it and the few remaining developers just offer the code online to fellow Windows fans to work on and stabilize. Windows now becomes less bloated as there's simply no need for all the patches, add-ons, security updates, licencing etc., they decide to offer it for free.

TR is then filled with posts stating, "10 reasons why Windows is better than Linux", with such reasons as 1) It's free you don't have to pay for licences. 2) It is more stable 3) it has a smaller footprint 4)it is more intuitive and easier to use ....

So what would happen if Linux won the war?

Free, stable and untargeted OS for the world to use? Sure.

Linux fans are far better off just keeping their heads down, enjoying their private club and forgetting about LWD - Linux World Domination (Muwahahahahahaha ]:) ), it aint going to happen and if it did, you wouldn't like it anyway.

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Sinster

by j-mart In reply to Why would a program you d ...

If it is so easy then tell us the basic principle of how this could be done

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j-mart

by Oz_Media In reply to Why would a program you d ...

just google it, theree are even youtube videos on how to hack linux. there are countless virus scripts available online, tutotials on how to infect linux etc.

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uh, yeah

by Oz_Media In reply to Linux is not Windows

I think you've completely missed the point here.

firstly, the kernel is absolutely, 100% irrelevant. People need to acquire Linux for free via downloads. So who monitors teh net to ensure all links provided on a global scale are valid? Who then ensures that none of those websites are spoofed and redirected to somewhere where malicious code is downloaded? LInux is vulnerable, it would become far remo vulnerable if open source because a standard for the globe. Right now they are not a viable target for malidious code, however Linux is still not virus free and completely secure either.

This is not a debate on whether Microsoft offers etter security than Linux, that argument is too old. We all know that, right now, Linux is less prone to viruses, however it is also true that it is not a target or malicious code writers. With a larger audience it will quickly become a target for all malicious code writers (regardless of the efforts required) and would offer far less security than now.

Long time linux users, whatever. I made no comment about long term linux users. As I also said, the world has seized Windows for that exact same reason you suggest long time linux users choose linux for' "it does a much better job of their computing requirements than the alternatives. The same can be said of MAC users too. I also know countless people who use Linux because it's cool to do so when you are in IT, that doesn't mean it doesn't also suit their needs. When you conduct business all day with companies that use Windows, obviously the OS that suits your requirements will e Windows, but that's not even close to the topic here. What if Linux was the pro choice? How would it survive as a business model? Your post ignores the entire premise of the discussion in an attempt to show why you prefer Linux.

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Linux as a Comercial Proiduct

by j-mart In reply to uh, yeah

Linux has been a commercial product and has been for awhile, Red Hat, Novel, I purchased Mandrake 9.2 Powerpack myself. This commercialization is a much different model than the traditional MS or other commercial closed source software, as much of the software is open source and licensed under GPL, what you are being sold is the cost of just producing the media, manuals and not the cost of writing it, and in some cases a service contract and the odd close source program. When I look at the cost of Mandrake 9.2 as compared to WinXP at the time, Mandrake was significantly cheaper and is allowed to be installed on more than 1 machine, which as far as I know is the same for Red Hat Novel, or any other commercialized Linux. Any % increase desktop share for Linux is going to be a steady increase not an overnight explosion, so those in the game of commercialized Linux are not going to be swamped all at once and windows being a steady source of regular income (often because of it's weaknesses) will be out there for the masses for some time yet.

MS products are becoming, more and more of a consumer appliance product, so as I see it Linux's next area to expand into will more likely to be in the high end power part of the commercial and business market especially in the CAD market where MS OS's take more than their fair share of a machine's resources than is desirable, Back in the past the top end of the CAD market was workstations and Unix as the PC was not up to the task. When PC's became powerful enough to handle this work, the PC became a much cheaper option, and as MS had the only OS for the PC at the time that was the way things went. Linux uses a machines resources better, so as I see it sooner or later the CAD developers will see the advantage of building Linux versions of their software, the could build their own Linux to integrate best with their software.

Linux, the way it's produced, distributed, it's design and architecture is completely different to MS products. Applying the rules of the MS world has no validity as they are so different, more popularity will not make it less secure as security is part of it's design at a fundamental level, with Windows, an add on, an afterthought, and another steady income stream for some in the industry.

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well you missed that point by a mile

by Oz_Media In reply to Linux as a Comercial Proi ...

As an MCNE, I've noted elsewhere here that I have sold and installed Suse for several corporate rollouts (all have since reverted back to Windows after about 2-3 years though. I am not under contract to support them anymore and they found it FAR cheaper to use licenced Windows instead). I know very well that they sell boxed software these days.

I am also certain that their business model is very different from MS. OF course when you are that small, you will have a different business model than a multibillion dollar conglomerate.

Your comments are valid but don't counter the initial post at all. Linux simply could not operate on such a large scale with such licence costs in place, it would ecome incredibly insecure (due to free downloads) and would be the target of all hackers.

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Its not Just a Buisiness Model

by j-mart In reply to well you missed that poin ...

The CPL license is completely different than MS EULA. When you Download Linux it is from secure servers. The main reason for "Nix" type OS's security is by design. "Nix is designed from the ground up to be a multi-user multi-connected OS and accordingly has features in its design and basic architecture to enable it to perform adequately in this environment. Windows has it's roots in a single user non-connected environment and was never designed with proper inbuilt security, this has been added and bolted on as an afterthought.

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OH........MY........GOD

by Oz_Media In reply to Its not Just a Buisiness ...

And you are still going on and on and on abotu how licencing is different.

SOMEBODY CHANGE THE RECORD!!!

STOP. Now think about it, TODAY, as in not tomorrow, Linux uses a CPL license system.

If they were to become as big as Microsoft, they couldn't licence the same way and still control development. They'd either have insanely high prices for a boxed CPL licenced package or would have to charge on a leased licence system (or similar) as MS does today.

And AGAIN as far as 'nix security. Whether by design or divine intervention, it makes no bloody difference!

'nix HAS been hacked already, it CAN be done.FACT. So forget about it being some inpenetrable fortress of an OS.

If it was the biggest target, it would in turn become the most hacked. FACT.

just because America has a large military and a seemingly inpenetrable defense, it doesn't mean that America is not the number one target of foreign attack, in fact the previous results in the latter.

Canada, in contrast, has a very small military, however we have not seen any of our skyscrapers crashed into by terrorists, terrorists use Canada to GET ot the USA so they can terrorize America, not Canada. (plus we have more global support and they know it, attacking Canada is declaring world war)

Your ever so trusty 'nix flavour is all of a sudden the largest target on the planet with literally hudreds of thousands of people writing viruses and seeking new vulnerabilities in order to take it down.

As I've said a thousand times, it's the biggest guy in the bar that is also the key target for everyone else to take down.

When you download linux it's from secure servers, seriously j-mart, how wee is you brain? I mean that as nicely as I can put it, it's as if you read a sentence and grasp one word, create your own comment from it instead of what was actually said, and then argue against it.

I have said HOW many times that if linux became the global preference, SOMEONE will have to set up a single, secure, and managed server; in your eyes that would be for free of course as they have nothing better to do.

Otherwise there would be thousands of exploits, downloads from third parties that are already exploited before installation, it is uncontrollable, even a closely locked down and private source such code such as Windows has that problem, Open Source would simply become open season.

Support, is currently provided by a community of trusted but yet unknown/unnamed people. Those people would GLADLY support a global audience 24/7 for free and all said patches and fixes would also be secure, tested and offered from the single secured global server. Without it, code add ons, updates and fixes would be easily exploited and offered from unknown sources with no protection at all.

So now you expect a single release, through a single secured server, with secured support....for free.

What time do you open your free e-commerce store offering your guiding light?

And how will you pay for that server and the millions of gigs of bandwidth monthly? Damn kind, aren't you?

Unless of course you realize that charging for the cost of the CD and materials enclosed in the box does not cover the cost of the server, support, security and bandwidth too. In which case you now need to create a whole new licence system to pay for your additional operational costs.

First off, I PAY for my own bandwidth, why would I pay to download software from your server and pay for YOUR bandwidth?

Secondly, I have my own security, why should I pay extra for YOUR security when I can get it from an untrusted but seemingly secure server for free?

If I buy Linux why must I use YOUR choice of security and support to maintain it? That's not allowed in MS' world.


That's another thing, with free copies of your OS floating around, how will you account for charging for yours whjich is exploited just as easily as any other?


Now, DON'T SAY A WORD ABOUT CPL LICENCES, DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT SAYING MENTIONING ROOT SECURITY, IT'S ALL A THING OF THE PAST AND YOU ARE DEFINITELY NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE.

Talk about MS adding security as an afterthought (yeah..I am sure that's the last thing thy consider, seeing as the issue is never raised), however how about some forethought for a change.

I've had more logical conversations about the Easter Bunny with a toddler.

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Oz

by j-mart In reply to OH........MY........GOD

You must be board and looking for a pointless argument about nothing. If we look at the facts that actually exist at the present time

1. Due to the significant investment and income generation centered around Windows is not going to be suddenly overwhelmed and dominated by Linux, despite how many, "it's the year of Linux" is declared.

2. Increased use of Linux is as it is now slow and steady quite possibly the largest uptake for Linux next will possibly be in specialized commercial applications where it could be of some advantage over windows.

Growth in Linux will be slow and steady and many of the systems in place will be able to absorb this growth as it is not going to happen in a mad rush.

Your basic fantasy story that Linux could all of a sudden be thrust into the limelight, almost as if overnight become a resounding success, with the Linux supply chain due to this sudden and unexpected polarity crashing down around it, is just that, a fairy story.

The present Linux model based on the GPL License would cope with any steady increase in Linux adoption without too much trouble, It would get to the stage where boxed sets would be readily available at computer retail outlets. The cost of copying CD / DVD's is not astronomical, or printing boxed and manuals either, the industry at present that produces bootleg Windows could step in here if the wanted to as coping GNU Linux is not illegal.

If writing effective viruses fo Linux is so easy I'm sure there would be many doing it.

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It's clearly hypothetical

by Oz_Media In reply to OH........MY........GOD

and not presented as anything but.

reverse the tables and lets see how linux, under it's current business models would hold up.

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OK OZ I have to sort of disagree with you here

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to So, what if Linux won the ...

But only on the bits about making Boxed Sets. Almost all of the current makers do this already and places like Red Hat SUSE and so on also have Support Contracts with their users.

Of course security would suffer but only because there is now more incentive for the Nasties to Hack into the Core OS and do their thing. Though the way to do this is a lot different to a Windows Platform and when M$ did make a half hearted attempt to try to secure their Flagship Product with the release of Vista they got decryed by most of the Press and End Users who didn't want a more secure system if they had to be put out in the process.

But none the less the very first case of Hacking a Computer happened on a Unix System at the Melbourne University in AU and it is possible but none the less it is harder because of the Architecture involved to do in a Nix Environment than it is in a Windows Environment where so many work with Root Permissions to do what they want.

There would be quite a few Script Kiddies who would have to relearn their craft and the Big end of Town would have to employ much better security than they currently are.

However the main difference would be with the increase of people writing Code for the Base Platform there would be far more Code Blot creping in and the Nix would get as bloated as Windows currently is and bog down the hardware eventually. The current way of writing code by the Open Source Community would get hit hard by so many Windows Developers trying to get their script accepted and this is the single biggest problem that I can see happening.

Col

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