[TriLUG] Where is Linux today?
slitt at troubleshooters.com
Fri Jun 20 12:26:37 EDT 2008
On Wednesday 18 June 2008 20:31, Maxwell Spangler wrote:
Pardon my top post but you covered a lot of territory with your email.
I think you're partially right about us being less of a "movement" and more
just everyday users. Here's my 1999 coverage of the final Raleigh LinuxExpo:
I also wrote on the departure of big shows here:
Basically, like you say, big shows require big money. In 1999 exhibitors were
willing to pay big bux for this "new" Linux thing at a time when everyone
knew that Judge Jackson was about to carve Microsoft into little pieces. We
Linux people, by definition no more than 8 years into Linux, were excited as
getout that we were finally going to win. It was a show-making mix.
Judge Jackson's divestiture order was vacated 6/21/2001. A new, more
monopoly-tolerant administration gave Microsoft a pass. Microsoft went back
to their old tricks -- passport, hailstorm, .net -- anything they could do to
create a monopoly enforced proprietary "standard".
Business large and small thought they saw which way the wind was blowing, and
promptly jumped back in the Microsoft camp. Most Linux evangelists, who had
been expecting to deliver the knockout punch to the newly split Microsoft by
2001, could not maintain our fervor during an 8 year and counting war of
attrition. The best we could do is continue using Linux.
In the end we win, because we need no revenue, and revenue starvation is
Microsoft's only killer weapon. But it might take more than some of our
remaining lifetimes for Linux, or its free software successor, to triumph.
So, that's my take on your question. Thanks for asking -- it's an excellent
Recession Relief Package
> My original message in this thread started on the Washington DC lug list
> where someone else whose opinion and perspective is quite out of date
> and idealic stated that Windows is produced by a monopoly so we don't
> want to go near that, that Linux is wonderful and that we (Linux users)
> would never consider choosing an Apple Mac running OS X because its
> proprietary. (paraphrasing.)
> So tied into an ongoing discussion about why you don't see things like
> the Redhat LinuxExpo of the past, I started to engage users in a
> discussion on whether Linux is stalling [in the desktop environment.]
> Williams response here is an example of what I was looking for. Here's
> a guy who's pro-Linux, pro-open source, etc., and has a long history of
> working with a variety of technology issues and platforms, so he knows
> the landscape. He's optimistic about Linux, but he's using a MacBook at
> That's a vastly different world than ten years ago when people like me
> were driving to Raleigh from Washington DC to excitedly attend
> LinuxExpo. Back then Linux was full of unlimited potential and for all
> we knew, might grow into something that was capable of powering servers
> (check!), embedded devices (check), and desktops featuring a Unix
> backend and an amazingly cutting edge innovative graphical front-end
> (check.. wait a second?)
> It's that last part that I was interested in discussing. Linux did grow
> up and become a powerful operating system that can hold its own. My
> question is whether or not the practical features of Windows Vista and
> Mac OS X raised the bar and that Linux, despite its advances, is still
> not good enough.
> Especially in a Linux forum its easy to consider Vista with its malware,
> adware, spyware, viruses, initial and ongoing cost and personal dislikes
> in order to write it off as a crappy operating system. But chances are
> if you buy a new shiny computer, all your hardware will be supported,
> easy access to technical support for hardware issues is available and if
> you little or no legacy apps or hardware, your experience can actually
> be pretty good. So, reluctantly perhaps, lets agree it is still a
> viable option for the average person, of which there are millions out
> there making decisions about computers and software.
> Mac OS X is what really impresses me because it is in functional terms
> what I always wanted Linux to be. A solid Unix back end with an
> innovative front end and hardware that works.
> I started with Linux in 1993 with Slackware, switched to Redhat at
> version 3.03 and use Fedora 8 today. I use it daily as my only computer
> for home and work. And I really do love it. But it is worrisome that
> in such a short period of time Mac OS X has inherited a large and
> growing user base with more acceptance on desktops/laptops than Linux,
> and that Microsoft Vista, despite its flaws will inherit a large user
> base of millions of users as well.
> If those operating systems get their act together and keep growing, will
> Linux be limited in the future to servers, embedded uses and politically
> or technically motivated users that require free/open source software
> above all else?
> Just a question and an interesting discussion I hope.
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