Desktop Linux: The Dream Is Dead

phide

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you are missing what he is saying.
No, I don't think so:
Very few retail or even OEM copies of Windows are sold in ways the general public gets to see.
The general public spends a great deal of time at stores like Best Buy, where boxed retail editions of Windows are displayed quite prominently (and are seen no doubt quite frequently). Perhaps his post was just poorly worded, however, and he had intended for it to be interpreted differently.
 

heatlesssun

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Good to know. Been using it pretty much all day here at the office. I'll go ahead and inform my boss that it's dead and that we shouldn't be using it any longer, though.
I said deader than Linux, one office isn't eaxactly what I would call happening, not compared to the nearly 300,000 MS Office users in my company across the globe, just ONE company.

OO is in the middle being squeezed by MS Office and now the cloud with both Google Docs and MS Office Web.
 

Dan_D

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No, I don't think so:

The general public spends a great deal of time at stores like Best Buy, where boxed retail editions of Windows are displayed quite prominently (and are seen no doubt quite frequently). Perhaps his post was just poorly worded, however, and he had intended for it to be interpreted differently.
Sure they are displayed but rarely do people actually look at them seriously. When they do they'll pick up the upgrade and the full version, walk to the tech counter and ask: "What's the difference." And while the guys at the Geek Squad counter don't know the difference between a processor and a memory module they usually at least know that there isn't really a difference between the two. Since most people either already have a copy of windows on their computer, or know someone who does, they just buy the upgrade version. Believe me I've worked at places like Comp USSR and Worst Buy. I've seen this go down all to often. The amount of upgrades vs. retail copies sold is staggering. In fact the only people who buy full versions are wealthier individuals who just grab it and go.
 

4saken

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eh, ive even dropped my linux worksation at work down to just console access. Tossed the extra mnoitor on my 2k8 R2 workstation. Just no reason for it for work even, let alone a home desktop.

I do all my *nix from CLI anyway, so i dont even bother with having a desktop for it.
 

phide

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I said deader than Linux, one office isn't eaxactly what I would call happening
Alright...
I wouldn't put OpenOffice on a list of successful open source projects; it's deader than desktop Linux.
...it's just stand alone desktops where Linux is dead.
So OpenOffice is deader than desktop Linux, which you just said is dead. Now you're saying that deader than dead isn't...dead? Is it "dead" or is it not "dead"? I need an answer so I can relay it to my boss immediately.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I once heard a statement that I really like, but I don't know who is quoted by this: "Linux is only free if your time is worthless".

I'll just leave this statement uncommented.
This statement implies that there are no efficiency savings from going to Linux.

Yes, Linux is typically more difficult to learn than Windows. Once you know what you are doing, it is no more difficult to use. In some instances there are lots of time savings.

Compare setting group policies in Linux and Windows for instance. A simple command in bash saves diving through pages and pages of checkboxes in the Group Policy editor.

This particular example isn't necessarly a good one for Desktop linux, but the are are many others, it's just the first one that came to mind.
 

LordCalin

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I wouldn't put OpenOffice on a list of successful open source projects; it's deader than desktop Linux. The point that was trying to be made here though was from the consumer perspective and with applications more involved than a web browser. Indeed OpenOffice is a great example. OO is great 8f you're not doing much of any value but for serious office productivity work in the business world the cost savings of OO can EASILY be outstripped in other headaches.
Open office is far from dead, I know many companies using it, I know many universities here in canada that have dropped MS in favour of Open, and I know any time I sell a system people are extremely glad to learn about openoffice when I recommend it after they ask about getting office. The only time I sell MS office, is when someone needs / wants outlook.
 

heatlesssun

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Alright...


So OpenOffice is deader than desktop Linux, which you just said is dead. Now you're saying that deader than dead isn't...dead? Is it "dead" or is it not "dead"? I need an answer so I can relay it to my boss immediately.
Taking things a bit litterally. Obvisouly there will always be Linux on the desktop as well as OpenOffice not matter how small that population is. My point is that if Linux is "dead" then OO is "deader" than that and I don't really see you saying otherwise.

And I've said for the last decade that if OO does what you need it to then great, use it. It'll never be able to replace MS Office in environments that are big into professional office automation however, I've seen more than one attempt to do this, for cost reasons. It was such a nightmare that the efforts were quickly dropped.
 

heatlesssun

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Open office is far from dead, I know many companies using it, I know many universities here in canada that have dropped MS in favour of Open, and I know any time I sell a system people are extremely glad to learn about openoffice when I recommend it after they ask about getting office. The only time I sell MS office, is when someone needs / wants outlook.
Like I said, taking things too litterally. But really OO development, pretty anemic compared to Office, 2010 was a pretty monster release compare to anything from OO in forever. At least Ubuntu has 6 month releases that do seem to add stuff.
 

xorbe

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It's like the tide ... Linux Desktop is dead, Linux Desktop is not dead ... aaaand repeat ...

I personally think KDE4s recent wrong turn into more eye candy and reduced functionality hurt a lot. They should have never pushed 4 so hard when it lacked many of 3's features and stability. They lost several years of mainstream desktop progress as far as I can tell. And poor Gnome is stuck on the "our way or the highway" mentality unless you can hack obscure text config files.

I've been using VirtualBox to run Linux under 64-bit Windows these days mostly. I need my Emacs and GCC, but I'm not big on the Cygwin thing really.
 

phide

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Taking things a bit litterally.
They're written words. How else am I intended to take them without specific instruction otherwise?

Boss is still waiting for an answer, though. He's on the edge of his seat, biting his nails feverishly from the anticipation. I need it promptly. Will you come through for us, heatless?
 

Cat1yst

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Ubuntu seems to work perfectly fine for me. Finds wireless networks fine, a short google and i can solve most issues that come up, and i love having multipule workspaces.

I'd hardly call it "dead".
 

heatlesssun

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They're written words. How else am I intended to take them without specific instruction otherwise?

Boss is still waiting for an answer, though. He's on the edge of his seat, biting his nails feverishly from the anticipation. I need it promptly. Will you come through for us, heatless?
Being too clever by half again as you should have picked up context of "dead" from the orginal article:

It kills me to say this: The dream of Linux as a major desktop OS is now pretty much dead.
Did the article say that Linux on the desktop was gone forever. No. I'm saying that the dream of OO of having large pentration is deader simply because OO has to compete against install free and client independent cloud solutions, something that Linux doesn't have to face, let alone MS Office. Hell if you can get away with OO, Google Docs of Office Web might just suit one as well.

I was waiting on you, if you and your boss could replace our 300,000 MS Office installs with OO and save the company the cash on the licenses both you and you boss could retire in style after project was done, assuming that you both live that long.;)
 

Emission

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And as usual Microsoft continued to improve Direct3d, so much so even Carmack started using it.

And what did OpenGL do? Sat there and did nothing. Just like most of the OSS projects. Mired down by committee, political infighting and overall just a bunch of ass hats like Eric Raymond and Richard Stallman prove to be time and time again with a bunch of words on the evil of paying for software or making money from software....


And for FUCKS SAKE, DirectX and OpenGL are NOT competitors. DirectX does many many many more things than OpenGL can. Direct3d and OpenGL are competitors and Direct3D is a portion of DirectX.
Man hours are put into making software, it would make sense that someone would want to get paid for it. That's like saying we're all entitled to Ferrari's and shouldn't have to pay for them.
 

soulesschild

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I am a daily user of the desktop Linux OS and I prefer it to OSX or Windows mostly. That said there are a couple things that are holding it back from mainstream use, like it or not:

  • MS Office
  • Adobe Products

I know they are only two software vendors, but most people in business or creative industries use at least one from either stack every day. I know there is OpenOffice (LibreOffice) and GIMP, but they are not MS Office or Adobe, period.

In addition, multimedia (music and videos) for the popular formats (MP3, DVD,...) don't run out of the box easily like it does on Winodw or OSX, I know linux can do it, but once again it is not straight forward for the average user.

Also, software is not easy to install for the average computer user who is used to Windows or OSX. I understand there are linux software repos and they are great, but it's not the same as the download and click to install paradigm as it is with Windows or OSX.

Although, for most home users desktop linux would actually be fine, since OpenOffice and a web browser is all most home users employ today.
Ding ding ding. MS Office and Adobe suite are basically critical pieces of software used in the businesses that Linux has not been able to come up with a suitable alternative. And let's face it, MS will probably never make a Linux based MS Office and I seriously doubt Adobe would either.
 

heatlesssun

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Ding ding ding. MS Office and Adobe suite are basically critical pieces of software used in the businesses that Linux has not been able to come up with a suitable alternative. And let's face it, MS will probably never make a Linux based MS Office and I seriously doubt Adobe would either.
ITAWTP. Without out MS Office you might as well tell everybody at my company to go home, it's THAT important and intertwined with our business. And yep, safe to say that Linux MS Office will NEVER happen and why? No one would buy it since OO is so great right?
 

Exavior

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They're written words. How else am I intended to take them without specific instruction otherwise?

Boss is still waiting for an answer, though. He's on the edge of his seat, biting his nails feverishly from the anticipation. I need it promptly. Will you come through for us, heatless?
Hate to break it to both of you but it is dead. It went on its merry way and now LibreOffice has taken its place.
 

velusip

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This article keeps mixing topics (the broad term Linux with Ubuntu's desktop) and answering questions using information from incorrect time-frames (missing the pre-installation bandwagon on netbooks due to media playback issues, which were completely solved at the time). It's really annoying. The article is not well thought out and simply filler.


Besides, Linux is about choice and people cannot handle that. If you don't like the desktop environment/window manager there are others to choose from, but people would rather be spoon-fed so ultimately Linux is not for them.
 

H@RD5

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I would have to agree, it's dead. The Linux kernel developers spend too much time arguing about esoteric technical and legal issues and not enough time solving problems to make a modern OS.
^this
 

heatlesssun

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Besides, Linux is about choice and people cannot handle that. If you don't like the desktop environment/window manager there are others to choose from, but people would rather be spoon-fed so ultimately Linux is not for them.
I agree, I think choice is a wonderful thing. if desktop Linux offers people, no matter how many that may be what they need then more power to desktop Linux. But if desktop Linux did that, provide people what they needed and wanted easily it should have laid waste to Windows YEARS ago since it's "free".
 

ianken

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The desktop is going bye, bye.. Pretty soon, no one will know or even care what OS is running in the background. It will all be about apps that will work across different platforms. The cell phone industry is moving in on the traditional "desktop pc" and laptop area's. The things people use to do on a PC will be moved to the phone or Ipad type of devices, running some "unknown" OS to the user. All they will see is a pretty interface and an APP store. The OS on these things will be windows, linux and OSx based and the end user would not care.

LOL. you will still need a thing in which to host and run those apps. Those apps will still need hardware access (hard to decode H.264 video in hardware in the cloud).

All of that is why we have operating systems. The shape of the device does not matter. You need an OS to host the environment. if that environment is in the cloud, it till needs to be deployed to the user.

As we see now with iOS vs. android, the box may be small but the OS still matters.
 

heatlesssun

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As we see now with iOS vs. android, the box may be small but the OS still matters.
I think he was trying to say that the desktops and laptop are dead and will be replaced by phones and slates. Phones and slates have a LONG way to go before doing this at least with productive computing tasks.
 

rudy

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The article was good and it really hit one thing that was important. OSX by basing itself on unix and implementing x windows was thought to be a great thing by the linux community. But in the end like everyone else they just took it over and pushed linux off the cliff. I know alot of people who for one reason or another used linux and almost all of them are switching to macs. And for the few of us left like myself I only run linux in a VM now.

This is a major problem linux has they cannot protect their own interest with their license. Same with the mobile sector. There are no Ubuntu phones coming out. Only phones based on linux because those companies found it more profitable to base their OS off of linux then to build something from the ground up. of course it makes sense. But years from now when the underdogs have been killed and the winners are declared they will just keep pressing their OS forward in its own direction and they will not bother to keep in sync with the linux developers.

Basically linux gets abused and comes back for more. The one chance in history they had to make in roads has passed with netbooks, they allowed the very corps they condemned to bend them over bastardize the OS and ruin it. People will always go back to linux but only has a slave back to break in the process of climbing a ladder.

Also to the guy who said its all about cross platform apps, I would love for that to be true but your own example of cell phones is a counter point. All these cell phones run apps for everything that are specfic to that phone. When most of them could be running a web based or flash based system. So far there has been no convergence it has actually turned out to be divergence.
 

Cerulean

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The IT industry is increasingly in greater demand for Linux nerds and geeks. Unfortunately, the available nerds isn't exactly increasing as compared to Windoze-based solutions. Actually, sentence previous to this (second sentence in this paragraph) is partially an assumption, but do you realize how much demand and/or lack of availability there is of people who are fluent with Linux? I think this goes to say a little something about how unpopular Linux is.

Now I don't hate Linux, but I love it. I'm not fluent in it, but I definitely wouldn't advise anyone to use it as a desktop OS unless they knew what they were "up against" and were willing to face the challenges that lay ahead (without my full support since I am not fluent in Linux).

It's almost like the Mozilla Firefox AD/Group Policy support thread in Genmay Soapbox. The developers are too stupid to realize that they're cutting their own throats -- but this is most likely just a factor amongst many others that contribute to the situation.
 

Cerulean

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Now I don't hate Linux, but I love it. I'm not fluent in it, but I definitely wouldn't advise anyone to use it as a desktop OS unless they knew what they were "up against" and were willing to face the challenges that lay ahead (without my full support since I am not fluent in Linux).
Not that it matters much, except for credibility purposes (for those fanboys out there), I do plan on attaining or working toward getting a CompTIA Linux+ certificate within the next 2 years, and my workplace is 100% Linux-based. ;)
 

stevedave

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When / If Microsoft fully eliminates piracy and other methods of getting Windows for free Linux will have a huge fan base and will pick up momentum.

But Microsoft is a smart company so they know this that is why they don’t try “too” hard to stop piracy just hard enough that everyone doesn’t do it.
 

DeathFromBelow

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But Microsoft is a smart company so they know this that is why they don’t try “too” hard to stop piracy just hard enough that everyone doesn’t do it.
I can understand the motivation for anti-piracy features in things like games, but why does Microsoft bother with activation on desktop versions of Windows? 90% of their profit comes from sales to big OEMs. Activation schemes just aggravate people and don't actually stop piracy.
 

heatlesssun

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When / If Microsoft fully eliminates piracy and other methods of getting Windows for free Linux will have a huge fan base and will pick up momentum.

But Microsoft is a smart company so they know this that is why they don’t try “too” hard to stop piracy just hard enough that everyone doesn’t do it.
This has been a long standing unofficial policy of Microsoft, I believe both Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer have gone on record saying as much.
 
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I wonder if anyone has seen the rebuttal to the assertion that Linux on the desktop is dead, posted by Katherine Noyes this morning. http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20101019/tc_pcworld/reportsoflinuxsdesktopdeatharepremature_1 She raises some points that I think are valid. How are we to know how many Linux installations there are? Since only Linux SUPPORT is actually sold, and since Linux is freely and legally distributable, many if not most installations might fall under everyone's radar. At this moment, I type this reply in Firefox under Linux Mint 9 (a derivative of Ubuntu Linux 10.04). I downloaded my copy. Many users do likewise. How do we establish how many installations stem from these downloads? After all, there is nothing to prevent a user from downloading a distro, installing it, then passing the CD or USB key to a friend to install from.

I can tell you that I have had some issues with Linux Mint 9 (most notably drivers for my AMD/ATI X1550-based video card), yet even so I rarely venture back into Windows for any reason. For that matter, since resolving my video card issue fairly satisfactorily, I can now get LM9 to provide me with desktop effects that I never heard of for Windows. How easy is it for a Windows user to get his windows to wobble and shake when moving them, maximizing them or restoring them from maximization? Does this capability come stock with Windows, or is a third-party program necessary? If you need a third-party program, don't you take a risk of installing malware along with it? Is it even possible?

Another example: I have no buttons representing applications on my taskbar! Instead, I can use a window list to restore or shift between windows. This is a great way to promote screen privacy. If I walk away from my machine, I can hide any open windows from prying eyes simply by minimizing all windows. Once it's done, little or no hint of their presence shows anywhere on the desktop. This power is included in LM9. Can you do that in Windows? If so, how much does it cost?

I'm very happy with LM9. For me, at least, the dream lives! :D
 

heatlesssun

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I can understand the motivation for anti-piracy features in things like games, but why does Microsoft bother with activation on desktop versions of Windows? 90% of their profit comes from sales to big OEMs. Activation schemes just aggravate people and don't actually stop piracy.
Activation however does a pretty good job stopping casual copying which really was the goal of Activation. And it does help end users identify when they've been hustled as well. Windows is the most pirated piece of software on the planet and counterfeit copies of it are sold by the boat loads. Activation isn't just about being a nag to customers but to system builders and software resellers.
 

heatlesssun

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If I walk away from my machine, I can hide any open windows from prying eyes simply by minimizing all windows. Once it's done, little or no hint of their presence shows anywhere on the desktop. This power is included in LM9. Can you do that in Windows? If so, how much does it cost?

I'm very happy with LM9. For me, at least, the dream lives! :D
You're joking right? Auto-hide the task bar, that's free.;)
 

Redmist

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I never did understand why Linux on netbooks was so popular at first, and then suddenly every netbook I looked at had Windows XP instead.
 

3far4shot

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Linux is a good kernel, i run Windows 7 as well as Ubuntu, and they're both awesome. Granted, i use the Linux install mainly as a quick backup OS in case something screws up my Windows 7 install or a piece of software is causing serve instability.

It's just not a very competitive platform against what is currently out on the market, and i really don't think it's supposed to be anyways.
 

rudy

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I believe that web pages you access record which OS and browser you use. Which is a major source of statistics as well as firms which study this for consulting. Also you dont have to know exactly the numbers but when you walk around and see no one around you is using linux it is hard to dispute the authors claims. 5 years ago I could walk down apartment complexes or through public building and see mostly Windows, a few macs and a few more linux machines. Now days I can do the same and the macs have come way up and the linux has gone way down. There was a short time where I did see a number of linux based netbooks. But I think few people really recognize that apple killed any chance linux had. It will never go away but as the author said, but something big must change in order for linux to be given another chance. And the next time linux better be better at capitalizing on it.
 

Cerulean

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I never did understand why Linux on netbooks was so popular at first, and then suddenly every netbook I looked at had Windows XP instead.
A netbook I came across had a pixel-perfect Windows XP Luna theme, but was actually some sort of Linux distribution (made by the netbook manufacturer for netbooks).
 

phide

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I never did understand why Linux on netbooks was so popular at first, and then suddenly every netbook I looked at had Windows XP instead.
Wrong distributions. There are some damn nice netbook-centric distros available now that weren't available during the height of the netbook's popularity (or were in such a terrible state that they just weren't worth using).

It's unfortunate that the netbook craze has died down so severely just when Linux-powered netbook-centric distros are starting to look pretty good, though at the same time I doubt any of them would have kept up the netbook's inertia for very long.
 

PGHammer

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I think he was trying to say that the desktops and laptop are dead and will be replaced by phones and slates. Phones and slates have a LONG way to go before doing this at least with productive computing tasks.
There will *always* be a need (demand) for desktops and workstations simply due to the biggest bugbear facing the cloud - bandwidth.

Some things simply are impossible to do without lots of bandwidth (merely viewing HD video is one of them, and I'm talking merely 720p) - ask any iPhone or iPad user with a 3G-only contract. To solve that, you need local storage, and video is a behemoth eater of storage space (and uncompressed HD is worst of all). That is utterly improbable to store on all but the burliest notebooks (or power netbooks, such as HP's Pavilion dm1z) - in that arena, a tablet or slate-device will be, at best, a niche or afterthought device, as opposed to replacing even a traditional notebook. Phones are, if anything, even more challenged in terms of local storage than tablets and slates.

However, the same reason why iOS is truly no substitute for a full-fledged OS X (even Leopard, let alone SnowLeopard) is why Android (or most Linux distributions) are no genuine threat to Windows (and not even XP, let alone 7).

One problem Linux distributions have is considered its greatest strength - there are so many ways to accomplish a task. That has led to endless forks, mods, and fragmentation, even within distributions groups, such as RPM and Debian. (Ubuntu is itself a fork of Debian; however, there are forks of Ubuntu as well; even Gentoo, a customized and practically custom-compiled fork of Debian, has started begetting forks of its own, such as the scary-slick Sabayon.) Windows, on the other hand, while largely (but not entirely) a product of one company (Microsoft contributed most of the vision, but not all of the core code; some of it came from Symantec, while other pieces came from other companies, including Diskeeper Corporation, for example), there is a single overarching vision.

"It just works."

That vision has held up, despite a shipload of applications, games, commercial software, shareware, utterly non-commercial free software, etc., from every continent except Antarctica (and that is only because I have no idea what software the National Academy of Sciences has written while they have scientists deployed there), including in countries where Windows itself is deemed a threat to the nation's interest (such as Cuba). Microsoft isn't why Windows has gotten where it is today.

Windows staying true to its vision is why. (And, to some extent, that has been despite Microsoft.)
 

TheCommander

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I can understand the motivation for anti-piracy features in things like games, but why does Microsoft bother with activation on desktop versions of Windows? 90% of their profit comes from sales to big OEMs. Activation schemes just aggravate people and don't actually stop piracy.
They stop casual pirates. I remember when Microsoft was offering Windows at a discount to those who had a pirated version of Windows. MS will gladly make money where ever they can.
 

Pylon

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I've been running Ubuntu as a main OS since about March or so. Main reason? I accidentally wiped my Windows XP partition while installing the 7 RC, and I also lost my recovery disks. So when the 7 RC expired, I decided that shelling out $100 for a license for a P4 machine from 2002 just wasn't worth it. So to Ubuntu.

I've been pretty happy with it actually, mainly for the customizability. I can mess with fonts, change the window colors, hotkeys, shortcuts, and icons at a whim. On windows, that stuff would be harder, and potentialyl might need to edit config files and what not. It's also been stable enough, though there's still a bunch of issues.

I think Linux works pretty well for a basic user, armed with some technical knowledge and without fear of command line and txt editing (both are pretty simple once you use it a few times). All I do is internet, word processing, and a bit of light photo editing. Firefox, OOo, and GIMP suffice. I occasionally play with 3D editing, font design, etc., and the open source stuff works good enough. That being said, GIMP's algorithms are fairly poor, and OOo has a few issues (no one wants to save in a stupid .odt file), but that's easily forgivable for the fact that everything was free.

I think that Linux really needs to get the small details right. One of the mistakes in 10.04 (and a bit before that actually) was with the windows close, maximize, and minimize buttons. Moving them to the left was a big mistake. With the old position on the right, at least it resembled Windows, and the symbols are more or less the same. On the left, they mainly cater to OSX users, the symbols are unfamiliar, and they're in the wrong order. And editing them requires txt file editing. Lose-lose for an average Joe user.

Other complaints about Ubuntu:
-General instability. My computer has issues waking up from sleep or hibernate since 10.04. The Notification applet disappears on a regular basis.
-System monitor hogs CPU like no tomorrow. Goodbye, accurate readings.
-Excessive missing with txt files for a lot of problems (e.g. my scanner had issues with XSane, so I had to edit a bunch of txt files)
-Stuff that should not be changing change between releases. Locations of menus, windows buttons, etc.
 

heatlesssun

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Wrong distributions. There are some damn nice netbook-centric distros available now that weren't available during the height of the netbook's popularity (or were in such a terrible state that they just weren't worth using).

It's unfortunate that the netbook craze has died down so severely just when Linux-powered netbook-centric distros are starting to look pretty good, though at the same time I doubt any of them would have kept up the netbook's inertia for very long.
While I do agree with this it was more than the wrong distro. No Word, Excel, iTunes or other DRM content delivery, issues with Flash, sound, etc. When people buy computers they expect all this stuff like this to just work and it simply doesn't on Linux desktop, not without a LOT of effort at best.
 
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