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It's no secret that many here in the Linux blogosphere greeted Windows 8 with jubilation -- not because they had any intention of using it, but because of the opportunity they think it represents for Linux to capture a greater proportion of mainstream users. That, indeed, was the hot topic du jour last week, but this week -- now that the Win 8 dust has begun to settle -- the conversation has shifted slightly. Specifically, bloggers are pondering the growing assortment of PCs that are coming with Linux already preloaded.
The problem with Linux is the same as its always been its the drivers and the devs refusing to accept they simply can't provide QA and QC to tens of thousands of drivers while Linus and Co are constantly futzing with the guts, they are simply undermanned for the task at hand.
to prove it I welcome anyone who thinks different to take "The Hairyfeet Challenge" and step on up. the challenge simulates a typical 5 years lifespan of a typical PC and I have YET to see a single distro pass it, not one.
Here is how it works: I'll take what is considered the worst MSFT OS of the decade, WinVista, and you can choose from ANY mainstream distro you want, Ubuntu, PCLOS, any distro that is supposedly user friendly. We'll take the version that was released in the same quarter as Vista so you can even use mint if you like. Since the first half of the challenge you are the system builder you are allowed to use CLI. We'll install both in a dual boot so its the same hardware, make sure ALL the drivers are loaded and working, then using NOTHING but the GUI we'll update both to current. Wanna guess what happens?
I don't have to guess because I've done it before, Vista will still be 100% functional, all drivers and software working, Linux? BROKEN, it'll be totally broken. just using the GUI as a normal user would, no Googling for fixes or doing the forum hunt tango you'll find drivers have failed, you probably won't even have sound when the test is over.
Gentlemen that is simply unacceptable, and as a retailer this is why I won't carry your product. heck Dell is one of the largest OEMs on the planet, only put Linux on a half a dozen consumer offerings, and they have to run their own REPO just to keep the drivers functional. Twelve lousy models and the kernel devs can't even keep from breaking that piddling 30 or so drivers.
So I'm sorry but until linus retires and we can get someone in there that will face reality and allow the hardware OEMs to have an ABI that is stable they can write drivers for? Well MSFT could put out "Windows Goatse Edition" and Linux still wouldn't pick up any share, because having Goatse for a desktop is still preferable to have a system that doesn't work at all.
The most important difference between a Windows pre-loaded PC and a Linux pre-loaded PC in not the OS. It is the full range of usable software that is pre-loaded.
The price difference that should be highlighted is the total cost of ownership for a fully usable PC. Windows alone is not enough.
Amen to this article. Preloaded Linux is absolutely necessary; the vast majority of self-proclaimed "geeks" I encounter try to make claims about Windows being better because that's all they know. They can't comprehend that they're being duped.
I'm thinking about starting my own little "boutique computer" shop. Nice, pretty, fast machines custom-tailored to the buyer, and running a nice, pretty, fast operating system called Linux to complement it. I'm pretty sure that - if I can go around doing some demonstrations - I can get some prospective upgraders to buy.
Won't work and here is why: with sales rep is EVERYTHING, if you don't support what you sell? you'll be out of business before you can say "fire sale".
So why is that a problem? Simple the guts are just too unstable. Look at just what has changed in the 5 years since Vista came out, ALSA replaced by Pulse, major changes to the wireless subsystem, and KDE 3 and Gnome 2 dumped for beta quality GnomeShell and KDE 4. Sure they are getting stable NOW, but what is next?
Trust me, you'll be back in a year talking about how much you lost. time is money and frankly if you only charge $15 an hour a couple of forum hunts because "update foo broke my wireless" will make Windows a cheaper option. Now if you want to give away free updates for life? that's YOUR choice, but with Windows i have fully updated systems in the field that are over 7 years old now, fully patched, with 100% functional drivers and software...you just won't see that with Linux. Wish you did, but there is too many fiefdoms that treat critical subsystems like personal projects.