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Re: Linux has Been Ready for the Desktop for Years

Roy Schestowitz wrote:
> Desktop Linux
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | The hinging question is, is Linux ready for the desktop? The simple answer
> | is yes and has been for years. What do i mean by that? I guess it depends
> | on who is asking and who is answering. More to the point, who cares to
> | know and why? The first mistake is to compare a Linux desktop with a
> | Windows desktop.
> `----
> http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-11185-0.html?forumID=90&threadID=195470&start=0

Sounds Familiar, so I'll repost in this Thread.

DFS wrote:
> Rex Ballard wrote:
> >> Linux will never be a better Windows than Windows.
> >
> > Because it always has been. :D
> Unfortunately for you guys, Linux has until very recently always played
> catch-up to Windows, in installation and features and functionality and ease
> of use.

Better is quite subjective, if you use Microsoft's criteria.

In 1993
  Microsoft's product was Windows 3.1 it featured

Multithreaded  - no preemptive multitasking.
MS-DOS based operating system
FAT based file system - no security.
No TCP/IP included.  Trumpet Winsock shareware available in November.
No Web browser.
No Server functions.
Multiple Windows increased the risk of lock-ups.
Multiple concurrent "applets" increased the risk of race
conditions/crashed all apps.
No provisions for communication between applications.
No "interprocess communications"
No true "processes" (memory protection between applications).
Each application installed in it's own directory
User data scattered all over the directory structure - data backup
nearly impossible.
Third party support marginal - Lotus 1-2-3, WordPerfect, C Compilers,
Borland accessories,

numerous other applications displaced by Microsoft Bundling.
Viruses passed through floppy disks and shared files (netware or
NetBIOS limited to 256 users (limit based on ethernet/token ring
MTBF of about 2 hours.  MTTR of 20 minutes.

Microsoft's advantage was that they had OEM licenses which required
that the OEMs preinstall

Windows and Microsoft Office on every machine before it could be sold.
In addition,

Microsoft had nearly $4 billion in advertizing budget which was used to
reward publications

which provided positive coverage of Microsoft and ignored or
discredited competitor products

including Linux, Solaris, OS/2, Unix, and Macs as well as products such
as WordPerfect, Lotus

1-2-3, DBASE, Corel Draw, and Borland Sidekick, Borland C++ compiler,
and other competitior

offerings.  In addition to the $4 billion, they were able to leverage
their brand, logo, and

co-op licensing to control placement of another $40 billion in
advertizing revenue placed by


Linux on the other hand offered:
Full preemptive multitasking
C2 level security (user level, file-system)
Installation Windows file systems or native UNIX file systems.
Full X11 support including full support for connectivity to AIX, HP_UX,
and Solaris.
Full suite of applications, including SGML WYSIWYG editors.
Full support for TCP/IP including:
    Routers and firewall.
    Modular Drivers
    Full suite of UNIX applications.
    Full compliance with ARPA RFCs and IETF RFCs.
    Web Servers
    Web Browsers.
    WAIS Search engines.
Full Interprocess communications.
Full control over focus of mouse and keyboard at all times.
Full desktop management.
Multiple desktops through Virtual desktops.

By 1994, Linux added:

WYSIWYG word processors which produced industry standard files
Latex (lyx)
High Resolution displays up to 1600x1200.
Support for Monochrome as well as Color graphics cards.
Support for SCSI.
Support for Numerous Ethernet cards.
Support for Serial cards including multiple line cards.
MTBF in excess of a month.  Many servers running for months at a time.
MTTR about 10 minutes (most times only a service needed to be

By 1995
 Linux had:
   Commercial 3rd party applications
   Red Hat, Caldera corporate support.
   Widely adopted for Web Servers.
   FVWM - full desktop support.
   Virtual Desktop support.
   Linux/Unix dominates the Web Server market.
 Microsoft had:
   Windows 95 released in August.
   FAT 32
   PCI Plug-n-Play

By 1996
  Linux had:
    Commercial Office Suites (Applix)
    Commercial Browser (Netscape)
    Commercial Database (DB2)
    PCI Plug-n-Play support
    Full Java support.
    NFS servers.
   LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PERL) servers dominate the market
   Machines discarded by companies for inability to run Windows 95
        are converted to Linux.  Some are sent to 3rd world countries.
        100,000 machines sent to Mexico City.
        Red Hat announces project which leads to formation of NGO.
        The NGO converts and ships 10 million machines per year in the
following years.
        Biggest customers are China, India, Brazil
           - countries with nearly 1/2 the worlds population.
   Support for 64 bit processors, including Alpha, MIPS, PPC, and
Itanium simulator.
  Microsoft had
    Windows 95B
    Fat 32
    IE 3.0 bundled with Windows.
    Limited Java support..

By 1997
     Red Hat 4.0 was InfoWorld's product of the year.
     Self configuration fully operational.
     VMWare and Win4Lin available.
     WINE capable of running many Windows programs.
     SAMBA provides Microsoft compatible file/print services.
     Several countries officially endorse Linux as platform of choice.
     Conversion to NT 4.0 frees up 50 million more corporate machines -
to be shipped
        to 3rd world countries as Linux machines.
     Windows NT 4.0 released.
     Microsoft admits sabotage of Cyrix in court.
     Stable with SP3 in September.
     Microsoft attempts to offer NT 4.0 as replacement for UNIX.
     Windows NT 4.0 workstation sales are too slow.
        Microsoft offers to throw in 5.0 for free.
     Bill and Melinda Gates form the Gates foundation.

By 1998
       IT CIOs "discover" that 17% of their servers are running Linux.
           TCO was so low that most servers were configured using
surplus equipment and
            petty cash license purchases.
       Linux Servers expand into middleware markets, utility servers.
       By the end of 1998, IBM has officially endorsed Linux and
promises to offer
             all products on Linux as soon as possible.
       IBM announces intent to invest $3 billion into Linux support and
       Oracle officially endorses Linux and offers Linux support.
       Numerous other Microsoft competitors announce Linux support.
       Corel offers Word Perfect and other products for Linux.
       NT4 based server projects - 75% are running 300% late and 500%
over budget.
              1/2 of these projects are ultimately cancelled.
       Remaining projects require more servers than originaly expected.
 Many companies
              find that it takes nearly 30 NT servers to replace 1
low-end Solaris machine.
       Microsoft found guilty of contempt of court, conviction
overturned on appeal.
       Microsoft charged with Sherman Act and Clayton act violations in
25 states.
           Clinton administration consolidates into one case.

By 1999
       Red Hat goes public - IPO offering is too small and stock soars
to $250/share.
       Corel announces Linux distribution, stock soars from $3/share to
       Motherboard manufacturers get Corel Linux for 50 cents/copy.
       Even though Microsoft prevents the preinstallation of Linux by
           most machines can be converted to "Dual boot" configurations
in 30-90 minutes.
       Millions of "Linux Ready" machines are sold.
       Netscape changes browser signature to Linux
         - 1% of the newest commercial distributions are "found" by
statistics collectors.
            Remaining clients are identified as "other".
       Linux officially endorsed by China and Brazil.
       Widespread Linux adoption in Asia, Africa, South America and
Eastern Europe.
       Sony releases Linux for PS/2.
       Nearly all attention is focused on surviving Y2K.  Microsoft
publishes a number of
       Mandatory Y2K fixes which do not play well with 3rd party
       Microsoft executives admit, under oath, to numerous criminal
          Including sabotage, fraud, extortion, blackmail, and
obstruction of justice.
          They cannot be prosecuted due to limited immunity agreements.
       Corel sues Microsoft and culls up more discoveries.
       Judge Jackson ends Microsoft's intimidation of Witnesses
            (having MS lawyers present during questioning).
            DOJ is flooded with filings and depositions.
            Most cannot be presented due to Judge Jackson's 25 witness

In 2000
      Linux growth is exploding.  Server growth expands to all support
      Linux programmers and consultants are in short supply.
      Linux Clients beginning to surface in Gartner and Forrester
      Microsoft executives state, under oath, that Linux has 14% of the
client market.
      Netcraft starts tracking Uptimes for servers.
          Linux server uptimes average 100 days or more.
          Windows server uptimes average less than 30 days.
     StarOffice purchased by Sun.
     Embedded Linux adopted by Linksys, D-Link, and Netgear.  Others
follow quickly.
      Thousands of Y2K programmers laid off.  Attempt to pass as "Web
      Microsoft offers Windows 2000 "Enterprise" and "Data Center"
         Prices are 10 times higher per processor than NT 4.0.
         Servers that are upgraded are replaced to get maximum
         Most of the replaced servers are converted to Linux machines.
         Corporations resist upgrading to Windows 2000 (due to
     Judge Jackson issues Findings of Fact, citing Microsoft for
numerous violations.
         Findings of  law reduces the number of charges.
         During Remedy hearing, Microsoft tries to restate facts -
essentially accusing
           the judge of being too stupid to understand the facts.
     Judge Jackson issues findings of Law, orders divestature.
          He restricts Microsoft's business practices in the interim.
     Judge Jackson grants interview in which he calls Microsoft
Executives "Criminals".
     Supreme Court refuses to hear case because Microsoft promises not
to appeal.
     Full Panel Appeals court overturns 2 charges, upholds 2, increases
restrictions on
          Microsoft's behavior, remands to lower court.

       Linux support is exploding, Linux-ready machines can be ordered.
       Linux machines on display at Frys sell quickly - can't keep up
with demand.
       Linux installation getting easier and easier.
       LiveCDs from Knoppix eliminate the need for dual-boot
           Hundreds of millions able to "test drive" Knoppix Linux.
       Knoppix CDs used to evaluate PCs for Linux compatibility prior
to purchase.
       Releases Windows ME.  Sales are much slower than expected.
       Bush administration takes divestature off the table.  No
negotiating leverage left.
       Bush administration accepts toothless settlment.
       Microsoft ignores many provisions (retaliations against OEMs
that offer Linux).
          Bush administration ignores them.
       World Trade Center bombing shifts attention away from Microsoft.
       Judge Kollar-Kotelly accepts settlement - her hands are now
       Prices of Windows ME PCs plummet.  Prices of "Linux Ready" PCs
remain stable.
       Microsoft releases the Xbox.

        Linux is becoming ubiquitous.
        Licenses deployed in everything from routers to Tivo boxes.
        There are more Linux deployments than PCs running Windows.
        OEMs begin to split market into "Linux Ready" and "Linux
Hostile" machines.
           Linux Hostile machine sales are far below expectations.
        Microsoft wins remaining appeals from Mass.
        Microsoft tests restrictions and finds it can ignore most of
the rulings.
        Microsoft pushes IHVs for "Windows Only" devices.  Promises
them XP platform
        Microsoft provides kickbacks to OEMs who use Windows Only IHV
        Microsoft loses Antitrust rulings in EU.

        Windows XP released, Microsoft triples price of support
        OEMs, Corporate customers, and others looking at Linux
migration strategies.
        Most begin planning a 12 to 36 month migration strategy which
will allow them
        to switch to Linux on almost no notice in less than 6 months.
        Windows XP Released.  Security was not as good as promised.
        SP2 breaks numerous 3rd party software packages.
           Many companies refuse to apply SP2.
        Many companies refuse to upgrade, remaining with Windows 2000
and no support.
        Other companies sign 3 year contracts at reduced prices.
Expire end of 2006.
        Microsoft announces Longhorn with delivery in early 2005.

       AMD offers 32/64 bit chip, Linux offers 64 bit version ready to
       AMD offers 64 bit processor, Linux ready to run on that chip as
       Linux offers ability to run Windows XP under Bochs.
       Linux offers ability to run Windows under Xen.
       VMWare offers full support for Linux and Windows on same
       Numerous LiveCDs released - making Linux test drives trivial.
       Attempts to ignore judgements are marginally successful.
       Contracts designed to exclude Linux are still ignored by courts.
       Court ordered disclosures omit critical details.
       Microsoft helps SCO get $50 M funding for lawsuit against IBM.
       Microsoft buys full nonexclusive unlimited rights to UNIX for $7

       HP Introduces AMD-64 based laptop and desktop machines.
            Includes SUSE "driver disk".  Drivers included on SUSE 10.0
       HP AMD-64 sales exceed expectations - sales are "disruptive".
       Machines that are "Linux Hostile" drop to 30% below production
       Machines that are "Linux Ready" hold their price.
       VMWare Player released.  Linux can run on Windows machines using
free player.
        Changes Longhorn, which has become a Steer, to Vista. Maybe by
late 2006.

        Numerous Linux "appliances" are offered for VMWare Player.
        3rd party vendors offering Linux appliances with software
        Offers Virtual PC, but no support for Linux "Appliances".
         Vista now expected in 2007.


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