Who Needs Linux When You Can Get Windows 2000 On The Cheap?

from the not-the-original-plan dept

Back in August, a German court ruled that there is no right of first sale when it comes to software licenses. In other words, a company that bought software from a certain vendor can’t turn around and sell it after they no longer need it. This is obviously in the interest of software companies, though it’s seemingly at odds with the idea that software should be thought of as tangible property. So, either that ruling isn’t being enforced, or the government is free to ignore it as the city of Munich has recently purchased some used licenses of Windows 2000, presumably to the chagrin of Microsoft, which would like organizations to be buying hot out of the oven Vista licenses. Microsoft has ceased supporting Windows 2000 in an effort to prompt upgrades, but this creates an opportunity for third party support for companies that see little reason to make the switch. Going against the law is just one odd thing about the purchase. Recall that Munich has garnered a lot of attention over its decision to ditch Windows and go completely with Linux. That process has been plagued by delays, and claims that the project is failing. It seems that the city is still moving ahead, but it’s clear that ditching Windows cold turkey isn’t an easy task.

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Comments on “Who Needs Linux When You Can Get Windows 2000 On The Cheap?”

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Dam says:

There Is No Monopoly......

Just keep repeating that….Microsoft is not a monopoly.

The fact that the Linux rollout is stalling points out the problem with open source solutions. The majority of the free world is using the non-monopolistic Micro$oft OSes and will continue to do so until PC manufacturers start installing some flavor of Linux. Of course, since few people use it, why would they shoot themselves in the foot?

Microsoft is not a monopoly….Microsoft is not a monopoly….Microsoft is not a monopoly….Microsoft is not a monopoly….Microsoft is not a monopoly….Microsoft is not a monopoly….Microsoft is not a monopoly….Microsoft is not a monopoly….Microsoft is not a monopoly….Microsoft is not a monopoly….Microsoft is not a monopoly….

JediN8 says:

Linux Users

I like the way Linux users act like Linux is such a vable alternative to Windows that everybody is stupid for not switching. Then, when a casual computer user tries to switch and posts a cry for help on the average Linuxforum the answer is always the same. “D00d!! j00 sux0rs…what a stupid question.” and the alternative answer. “Linux is for the l337, l0sr!!”

drjones says:

Re: Linux Users


I read a bit about this project, and they are stalled with delays because they failed to get the adequate training, support, and people for completing the task. They had the money budgeted for it, but decided to be cheap about it and not spend the it. Sending a bunch of Windows admins to do a migration to Linux will always end in disaster.

Really, Linux isnt rocket science at all.. its pretty easy stuff, its just foreign if you’ve come from a Windows world. The great thing is, once you’ve learned Linux, you will feel at home in just about every other operating system in the world, aside from Windows. Windows really is a bizarre, twisted creature that departs from the design principles and foundation that the rest of the computer world has been using, refining and building upon for 20-30 years.

And yes it is a viable alternative, and the probably the preferred alternative to those who know their trade.

And please… try asking for help in #windows on efnet or any of the other Windows Guru “hangouts” hang outs and see how polite they are. Normal people become quite the jackasses when hidden behind the anonymity of the internet. Linux geeks, windows geeks, mac geeks are not exceptions.

Frank J. Mattia says:

Re: Re: Linux Users

PowerMac G5 in front of me. Linux laptop to the right. PC running Windows behind my back…

Those who “know their trade” are aware that different jobs require different tools that not even things like CrossoverOffice and Wine can fix.

I would like to know the last time you’ve ever heard of a Civil Engineer trying to run AutoDesk Land Development Desktop 2006 on a Mac or Linux box…

Heh, or a toolmaker trying to run a proprietary cutting tool design program on anything but windows (or more than likely, DOS).

I do video editing on my mac. Toy with my laptop. And stare angrily at my PC.

wolff000 says:

Re: Linux Users

What forums? I am a member of a lot of different linux forums and the only time anyone is ragged they either A did not search the forum first cause the answer is already there 8 times over or B they are asking questions in the wrong forum. Of course there are trolls on all forums and there is no way to stop that but the majority of linux forum and linusx users I know love to help newbies since they may be another linux convert which will in turn expose it to more people ie all the people the newbie knows. I have never been ragged on in any linux forum for not knowing something. My question to you is 2 parts what forums are you speaking of that no newbie is welcome and how much exposure to the forum have you had other then the one bad expereince you obviously had in them? Back to the story, I don’t see why you can’t resell a license if you own it. It’s still valid and its not like MS will sell you a license3 for an OS they don’t support. We still use 2000 at my work since a lot of the older software we use is not XP compatible and especially not Vista compatible.

chris (profile) says:

Re: Linux Users

I like the way Linux users act like Linux is such a vable alternative to Windows that everybody is stupid for not switching. Then, when a casual computer user tries to switch and posts a cry for help on the average Linuxforum the answer is always the same.

that might have been true in the 90’s when your typical linux user was a refugee from comercial unix and linux was used primarily for cheap servers, but in the last 5 years the linux community has bent over backwards to accomodate newbs.

of course that doesn’t stop disgruntled newbs from making “OMFG linux sucks” posts to support forums.

KarmasAgent says:

Re: Re: Linux Users

I agree with DittoBox. Yeah there are the trolls on forums who will insult you for asking a question they just learned the answer to yesterday – but MY FAVORITE THING about the *nix community is just that – it IS a community. If you ask a question – you get an answer that != snide comment in the process.

I’ve used Linux since Red Hat released that nifty blue and red box back in the mid-to-late 90s. I love it – when it is applicable to the job at hand – it just hasn’t been lately…

But the community – aside from the rabid defenders who are more insulting than helpful – is top notch filled with people who obviously know their game.

And I also agree with the guy who posted just prior to my last post – I have all 3 and use all 3. Mac for my Video stuff and media. Linux as my firewall and number cruncher/processing whore, and my PC to do the stuff I have to do.

They are all viable, some just have broader contexts than others.

But I still think saying Linux is as usable as Windows to the average user is a joke.

And Windows can’t touch Apple…

And Apple cannot TOUCH the UI from Minority Report…

I’ve come to the conclusion that many of the *nix defenders, hell AND the Windows defenders, are more stuck in their camp looking to insult someone who hasn’t had their religious relevation (*nix users on forums are less than tolerant and coming from a place of such (un)informedness the only comparison I can think of is fundamentalist religious zealots who violently defend the Bible but haven’t read it or figured out the true intent of religion in general – do you guys really want to be the Fundamentalist Christians of IT?) and to take potshots at the other that there is a denial of reality – its so cute.

Wolfger (profile) says:

Re: Linux Users

Speaking as a long time Linux user who has just recently switched back to Windows, let me assure all the naysayers out there that Linux *is* a viable alternative to Windows for nearly any sort of business. The only area in which Linux cannot hold its own is in video games. If not for my addiction to video games, I’d still be happily using Linux, as it is actually far superior to Windows is most other respects.

Chuck (user link) says:

I've got a copy to sell.....

that I’m not using because I switched to Fedora Linux. The last straw was Quickbooks Online. Now there is not a single MS small biz app that does not have an equivalent or better replacement costing little or nothing more than a good internet connection.
Fedora 5 is as Boris would say “Strong like Bull.”) and installs like a champ, I’ve heard of other good Linux versions that have matured in mainstream reliability. I’m not a Gates hater, but his OSs are not secure enough and support is awful, like an update service that points to nothing and installs stuff you don’t want (validation).

If the government in Munich is having a problem, it’s because it’s a bunch of bureaucrats not the software.

KarmasAgent says:

Re: I've got a copy to sell.....

Name the equivalent Office package please. Making the claim of OpenOffice will quickly get you laughed at because for productivity and interoperability AND collaboration it cannot touch Office 2003, and is lightyears behind Office 07.

Accounting software? Anyone who can operate a spreadsheet can get an equivalent or better money management tool. But most people don’t actually *know* spreadsheets.

Is the GiMP the “equivalent” of Photoshop? Again, you’d get laughed out of the room.

What about the app to use the iPod, iTunes or some other piece of hardware actually relevant to consumer user? Or most wireless or Bluetooth products?

Saying “I’m not a Gates hater” doesn’t absolve you from making unsubstantiated and outright false claims in support of an immature DESKTOP operating system that rarely fills user needs and requires more maintenance and hands on deep OS understanding that is a turnoff to the person who wants to check email, weather, their MySpace page, and download stuff to their iTunes – i.e. 95% of home computer users.

Grow up and accept the reality of doing business in today’s world.

Paul says:

Re: Re: I've got a copy to sell.....

*sigh*… the same old arguments…. here goes:

Name the equivalent Office package please.

OpenOffice is fine for the things most people do in an Office package. If it’s not totally compatible with the MS formats, that’s MS’s fault for making interoperabiltity difficult, not Sun’s for not achieveing 100%.

Accounting software?

There’s a few packages such as KMyMoney available, perfectly fine for

Is the GiMP the “equivalent” of Photoshop?

Yes, it is. If Adobe haven’t yet bothered to port Photoshop to Linux, that’s an issue between Adobe and its users. For many uses, GIMP is just fine, thanks, and packages aimed at lower-end users such as f-spot are also fine for their intended uses.

What about the app to use the iPod, iTunes or some other piece of hardware actually relevant to consumer user? Or most wireless or Bluetooth products?

Bluetooth and wireless work 100% out of the box on my Mandriva system. I use Amarok for music, it totally supports the iPod and is *significantly* better than iTunes for general playback. It doesn’t support purchased iTunes titles, but again that’s an Apple proprietary problem, not Linux’s problem.

Overall, I use Linux for everything apart from gaming, and I’m very happy with everything I use. Evolution, Amarok, f-spot, OpenOffice, Firefox and gaim do absolutely everything I need to do on a desktop system 100% of the time apart from gaming. if you want a *particular* program on Linux, talk to the makers of that program. Otherwise, stop bitching – either you use what’s there or you pay your fee to Microsoft/Adobe/whoever and use the program they provide.

KarmasAgent says:

Re: Re: Re: I've got a copy to sell.....

Let’s see – Open Office – crap.

MS IS the standard and OO’s lack of compatibility IS Sun’s issue if they choose to be relevant.

KMyMoney is a joke – but I’ll give it to you – for the users who purchase accounting software it would be fine since 70% of non-business financial software goes unused after the first 60 days anyway. For users who actually track their finances – crap. Link up to investment houses and pull down your portfolio and track stock measures online. And don’t say “not many users do that.” I know few who don’t above the age of 30.

GiMP – sorry, blaming Adobe for the virtually unusable and clunky GiMP is a cop-out. If you want to talk actual good program design you wouldnt have to compare all of your apps to actually well-used production Apps. “they won’t let me use it… wahhh.” You lose right there – “Your OS isn’t financially viable enough to bother supporting”. I used to teach GiMP classes until guess what – everyone realized photoshop wasn’t only better – by comparison it was actually usable.

Bluetooh/wireless is finally working? Good – it only took the Linux community 3 years to catch up to PC and 5 to catch up to Apple – GO LINUX – you cutting edge OS you.

Your media app argument also loses luster as does any of your other arguments when you say “it doesn’t actually WORK WITH iTunes and iTunes files, it just lets you have access to them”. Please. You AGAIN lose the USABILITY argument (the sole point I was making). And until you quantify “significantly better playback” that’s a hollow strut bolstering a flimsy argument. If it doesn’t support a core feature – it does not work correctly – fin.

And your foot was finished being riddled with self-inflicted bulletholes with the “100% of the time, apart from gaming” which accounts for 70% of Gamer’s computing time telling me the system is actually viable for 30% of the time for people who enjoy games which is actually still a VERY high percentage of PC users. Way to beat down the argument.

And as for the collaboration features of Office most users don’t use? I do. Everyone in my organization does. Oh right, we bother to do training.

Now, before I firmly plant myself on the side of MS as more usable than Linux I’ll try and talk you down from your bad trip by agreeing with you. For ACTUAL computer geeks – power users some call them – i.e. those that don’t need to peruse a menu to figure out what they’re doing – Linux is solid – WAY solid. I created one of the only system’s I’ve ever come across to tackle a Knowledge Management problem using Linux and associated technologies – why? MS required too much of a buy-in and was too frequently changing strategies on KM.

SO the real reason we went with Linux? The truth – we knew it wouldnt change significantly over time. Which, take that as an insult if you will, is high praise for a system with expected longterm viability and reliability.

Paul is obviously a *nix fanboy so defensive about the nature of his fanaticism that he missed my argument completely – usability is the name of the game for normal users (90%+ of the computing population) and Windows wins. Linux loses.

Sure Linux will crunch astronomically complex number sets for you without fear of crashing but tell that to the housewife who wants to check her email in the 5 min she has b/w feeding. Tell that to the exec who has enough time to learn his new computer to figure out where the email is.

Your argument is valid Paul – for a person in a bubble that has time to spend ensuring application compatibility and someone who needs bragging rights on how many OTS software packages they replaced with free builds.

But for those of us who need to produce results in an environment dominated by usability concerns? Its MS – for better or worse. And Linux has a few years before it becomes a blip on the radar in that realm.

Thanks for playing and nice try.

No bitching here sir, just the straight dope.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 I've got a copy to sell.....

“Thanks for playing and nice try.

No bitching here sir, just the straight dope.”

Your missing the real point, Linux software is already good enough for the average user and could easily be made accomatable to power users.

How easy it would be to write in the few extras Office or Photoshops have. You really think it would be that hard?

And once it was done these products would be available to everyone for free. Now that is an accomplishment!

Linux and Open Source is an ideology that far ourtweighs anything MS has ever come up with.

Get with the 21st century and drop your pathetic closed sourced licensed piece of junk!

KarmasAgent says:

Re: Re: Re:3 I've got a copy to sell.....

HA! Yes, I DO hope that in the 21st century all patent issues and closed source software will be done away with. MS is draconic in its licensing, its security methodology, and perspective on its users.

I said nothing of any of that because until Windows has been replaced. I still stand by my original statement that Windows is more usable and relevant to today’s computing environment for 90%+ of all users.

Ideology is wonderful. Ideas are wonderful. I have plenty of both but they don’t have much bearing on the current realities. Yes the IDEA of open source is MUCH more attractive than anything MS has done – i.e. make you pay for their software (we DO live in a capitalistic society. despite my objections no one has listened and changed it).

The “few extras” MS Office and Photoshop have are more than a “few” it would take close to a year w/ a shop of developers to bring open office to 100% compatibility with MS Office – and that is CERTAINLY not worth anyone’s effort since the catch-22 of your plan… er.. IDEA is that in order for that to be viable someone would need to invest the time and resources to do so then turn around and give it away.

Uhm, wake up? NO ONE would do that at the cost incurred. Both in legal fees for ripping off Microsoft (i disagree with patent law, just stating the facts) and in development, maintenance, and support costs.

And as for adding Photoshop functionality to the GiMP? You’d have to get a coherent UI first and foremost then you can try and bring the GiMP up to speed with Photoshop 5.

And no, I haven’t missed the point. Linux may be good enough for (I’d argue overkill for) the average user but the applications are, 99 times out of 100, poor substitutes for the Windows/Mac originals. The classic case was Linux fanboy above trying to bury my argument with his iTunes clone. “it doesn’t play iTunes purchased files but…”

“But” nothing. 99% of iPod/iTunes users will ditch the product the first time they try to acquire music or play existing music. Again, I am not the one at a loss with reality. I understand your perspectives on Linux, but like communism – it works VERY WELL on paper but has yet to produce a valid implementation that can compete with the current ways of doing things.

It’d be nice if the world would hold hands, sing cumbayah (sp), and throw Redmond into the Pacific but 1) it aint gonna happen and 2) we’d then lose the manufacturer of (and more importantly the support center of) the largest software distributor in the world.

Granted we’d have to go to Bangalore to ACTUALLY get rid of the call center but you get my point.

reed says:

Re: Re: Re:4 One more reply, I swear!

“HA! Yes, I DO hope that in the 21st century all patent issues and closed source software will be done away with. MS is draconic in its licensing, its security methodology, and perspective on its users.”

Glad to see your willing to look critically at Windows.

“The “few extras” MS Office and Photoshop have are more than a “few” it would take close to a year w/ a shop of developers to bring open office to 100% compatibility with MS Office – and that is CERTAINLY not worth anyone’s effort since the catch-22 of your plan… er.. IDEA is that in order for that to be viable someone would need to invest the time and resources to do so then turn around and give it away.”

But thats what is wonderful about Open Source. You don’t need to hire the developers, they are everywhere willing to give their time often for free.

A whole year? I would like to see you qualify that because last time I checked (and I work in a office everyday) the features that MS office has are not that different and are often just annoying.

There is no catch 22, anyone who wants good software would use the open source method. It is already happening in 60% or more of software development labs.

Why spend money on developing something to give it away? There are millions of good reasons to do this and only one stuck-up money grubbing reason not to!

Profits are not the most important thing, community is! Thats what Linux offers us, a real community that cares about the wants and needs of its users. No closed source for-profit software scheme has ever come close to this.

“But” nothing. 99% of iPod/iTunes users will ditch the product the first time they try to acquire music or play existing music. Again, I am not the one at a loss with reality. I understand your perspectives on Linux, but like communism – it works VERY WELL on paper but has yet to produce a valid implementation that can compete with the current ways of doing things.”

You go from being a little reasonable to going completely over the edge. Sometimes it is hard to admit we are wrong, but time will prove how pathetically wrong you are (my opinion).

PS: Linux doesn’t just look good on paper anymore and MS’s model of software domination is far closer to the way communism was practiced than Linux is to the concept of communism. 😛

JB says:

Re: Re: Re: I've got a copy to sell.....

Name the equivalent Office package please.

OpenOffice is fine for the things most people do in an Office package. If it’s not totally compatible with the MS formats, that’s MS’s fault for making interoperabiltity difficult, not Sun’s for not achieveing 100%.

OO does 90% of what 90% of people need. That’s about 80% compliance–not bad. But, once you venture into the realm of needing to be productive, nothing touches MS Office on Win. The payback on $200 or $500 or whatever MS Office costs is nearly instanteous (less than a day of work per employee). If all you need to do is write school reports and put your grocery list in a spreadsheet, then OO is fine. If you need to make an OLAP cube or hook your spreadsheet up to a relational database on the backend, you’re firmly in MS territory. If you’re anywhere in between, why futz w/ something “nonstandard.” (If I’m wrong about the cubes and dbs, let me know. I’m willing to look at an alternative to MS O.)

As for the MS vs Sun rant about compatibility, that’s going to wash really well with my clients. Essentially I would be blaming them for being like the other 99% of the world in using MS Office instead being in my virtuous parallel universe of OO. Avoiding that conflict right there is worth $500. Maybe it’s an unfortunate situation, but it is THE situation the world is in. Trying to get the world to change to follow you is an unreasonable approach.

another linux user says:

Re: Re:

ahh… the lovely smell of arrogance in the morning.

Yes, you are right. You are being arrogant. You obviously have never tried to move away from solitare. I’ll admit windows has it’s pluses, but linux has more pros than cons, unlike windows.

is it arrogance or ignorance on your part? Or, the more likely, both?

MadJo (profile) says:

Re: There is no viable OS for the desktop

I want to say this: “There is no viable OS for the desktop!”
And I’ll tell you why:
– Windows is unweildy, clunky, bizarre at times.
– GNU/Linux is unweildy, clunky, is bizarre at times.
– MacOS is unweildy, clunky and is bizarre at times too.

It just depends from which viewpoint you come from, and what exactly you need from your computer.

Try switching from Windows to Mac, and you’ll encounter a lot of WTF-moments.
Same goes for switching from Windows to GNU/Linux, GNU/Linux to Mac, GNU/Linux to Windows, Mac to GNU/Linux, Mac to Windows.

It all depends on your experiences with computers and OS’ and what exactly you need.

I’ve switched from Windows to GNU/Linux, and I like it. But that’s just because all I use my computer for is surfing the web, downloading email, do some word-processing, listening to music, and playing some games.
And I figured, why pay about a half-month pay for an OS (and other software), when I can get an OS, that does everything I need/want, for free?
I could have gone to Mac too, but that would have been more expensive for me.
So switching for me was a no-brainer.

The question is not whether it’s viable for the desktop, but if $OS_of_choice is viable for _you_! What you want from your computer is something different than what your neighbour wants.

misanthropic humanist says:

first sale

I suspect the doctrine of first sale has subtly different interpretations in Germany than it does in the UK or in the USA. It exists for consistency with other laws, such as the right to dispose of your effects like share cerificates in a will for example.

The way some try to get around this to make the contractual terms of non-transferrence. But this is a grey area. The contract ceases at the point of resale. I remember a ruling where someone won against London Transport who claim you may not transfer your weekly travel card for the underground (metro system). I think it was later overturned on appeal, but as you point out, the fact remains non-transferrence is incompatible with centuries of established property law. It’s hard to see any moral justification for it either as the vendor is not losing anything, the purchaser has already paid up front for the goods/services. A lost potential sale is tough titty, but it is not the same as actual lost revenue. Secondhand bookstores exist despite the arrogant assertions of some publishers that their titles are not transferrable. It’s just unenforcable and generally laughed out of court.

As for Linux vs Windows; Linux is a superior operating system. If anybody disagrees I will fight them 😉 Any takers?

IANAL yet says:

Re: first sale

There are lots of examples of tangible property that is not-transferable, e.g. prescription drugs. Law students learn that property isn’t tangible at all, but is rather a collection of rights and relations between people (or companies, govts) regarding the thing. Modern property law is closely related to contract law, and a EULA that includes non-transference is completely enforceable.

misanthropic humanist says:

Re: Re: first sale

“e.g. prescription drugs.”

Excellent example. It has good reasons for the mostpart. But, in practice many prescription drugs are resold or transferred, eg in an emergency medical situation.

“Law students learn that property isn’t tangible at all, but is rather a collection of rights and relations between people (or companies, govts) regarding the thing.”

Students of Marxism learn a similar thing 😉 (I’m goading you)

“Modern property law is closely related to contract law.”

Indeed. But is it not correct that a contract is an agreement between two parties. While you can write anything into a contract it must be reasonable and meet a number of criteria to be upheld. Consider the following,

1) A passport

2) A dangerous prescription drug that could kill anyone but the intended patient.

3) An airline ticket

4) A book

There is a spectrum here that defines a dimention of “reasonability”. Profit alone is not a reasonable position, which is why I mention those cases where the contract has been found void. Right now the watershed exists somewhere between airline ticket and book depending on your locale.

” a EULA that includes non-transference is completely enforceable.”

A EULA is not a contract. It is an end user licence agreement. To my knowledge no EULA has been successfully defended in court where the buyer could not read (and potentially reject) it before buying the product. Neither does a EULA offer consideration, which is an essential component of a valid contract.

TruceKill says:

My momma

Well My momma runs linux, seriously. Of course im her tech support but I’ve been her tech support since she was running windows. It has been a lot easier supporting my mom on gnu/linux than it was with windows. No spyware, no viruses no license keys. I was even able to help her from 2000 km away. Thank you OpenSSH.

wary says:

Re: My momma

That’s not exactly a miracle of modern Linux, there, trucekill.

I set my own mothers computer up on WinXP Pro before I moved out a couple years ago. I set up the router’s firewall, and she used Kaspersky at first but not long after I discovered the greatness of NOD32 and installed that for her via Remote Desktop.

Every time I come home, I run a spyware and virus check. Absolutely clean as a whistle. Office has given her zero problems (a couple crashes, but it recovered her work, usually just fancy letters), and even though IE7 is relatively safe I keep her on Firefox just to err on the side of caution.

Meanwhile, perhaps six months ago I tried relentlessly to get Ubuntu to work on my new Compaq laptop. Lo and behold, zero compatibility with its wireless and card reader, and its control over power options was flakey (I’m not even sure it actually was scaling the processor speed on demand or not) at best. When I went to reinstall Windows XP MCE 2005, all of it worked upon booting.. but of course worked better after new drivers were loaded.

Linux is great for older hardware, those that like to feel like they’re special somehow, or great for servers. But for power users that just want to get stuff done on their home computer in the real world without a thought of compatibility, then Windows is hard to dispute.

wary says:

Re: Re: My momma

Just to be clear on my laptop, when I said zero, I meant zero. I went to the forums, I searched. Search came up with a few possible methods that a small number of people had success with. I was not among them. I managed to get help from the minority of extremely helpful linux wizards and they, in quick order, let me know I was out of luck. They suggested I just use the NIC, but unfortunately, in the real world I was being silly for even wasting my time, as my stuff needs to simply work, not be slaved over.

So yeah. Compatibility at that time was zero. Could blame it on the hardware maker for not supporting Linux, or could blame Linux for not being marketable enough for system makers to see any profit potential in it. If it was worth anything on desktops, it’d be put on desktops, and then more hardware makers would have a profitable reason to make better drivers. But the free market says its inferior, so its not on many new desktops, and so driver support bites, and no one to blame but itself.

PhysicsGuy says:


Yes, you are right. You are being arrogant. You obviously have never tried to move away from solitare. I’ll admit windows has it’s pluses, but linux has more pros than cons, unlike windows.

is it arrogance or ignorance on your part? Or, the more likely, both?

part of the problem is i have moved away from solitaire. gaming aside, apart from most people being unable to maintain a smooth running windows install there aren’t that many cons to windows. the only problem card any linux fanboy plays is security. sure, windows security sucks ass yet I’ve never had a problem with viruses or a compromised system. however, you can’t judge windows based upon the ineptitude of the majority of its users. the majority of people are morons and wouldn’t even know how to run a command prompt based linux. now that linux is moving towards pretty guis that don’t actually promote any functionality, i’ll guarantee the same people who have problems running windows would have problems running linux.

so now, please, inform me of all the negative aspects of windows outside of security. and the ineptitude of the majority of the user base is not one in itself… i’m certainly no windows fanboy, i do enjoy linux and i personally think an operating system shouldn’t itself be run by the user through a gui. however linux has too many hurdles that are too high for it to clear to become a viable alternative to windows.

chris (profile) says:

Re: Re:

please, inform me of all the negative aspects of windows outside of security.

1) windows is not well documented. the tough answers in windows don’t come free. try configuring 2003 server for the first time without an exam cram book. there are not many places that you can post a config file (or in the case of windows, a screenshot) and ask a volunteer to tell you what you are missing in a timely manner. want a tutorial or a guide? forget about it. plus, most of your serious fixes come in the form of registry edits which is way more cryptic than a bash prompt and a text editor.

2) (you’re going to love this) windows hardware support is lousy. load any modern distro of linux on a desktop machine and it’s mostly ready to go. put windows on the same box and you need driver disks for the MoBo, video card, NIC, sound card and sometimes even the monitor. lose those discs and you are relegated to hours of web searching. 75% of windows instability is crappily written drivers written for cheap components. yes there are far fewer drivers available for linux and they don’t come out nearly as fast as they do for windows, but what’s available is nearly bulletproof.

3) pre-installed applications: to make a new windows install usable i need to install: an office suite, firefox, a bit torrent client, jabber/AIM, DVD playback software, CD burning software, winrar/7-zip, a useful text editor, an SSH client, anti virus software, anti spyware software, a java VM, a codec pack, and a bazillion updates. don’t get me started on the tweaks i have to do by hand after i’ve downloaded and installed everything.

with ubuntu i install from one ISO, run automatix and check a few boxes, get rid of the stock kernel if i’m feeling freaky and i’m ready to rock. ubuntu has a new release every six months, so my ISO is never more than a half year out of date. xp pro is how old?

BTW, want to hear what’s wrong with linux stability and security? ask an openBSD user.

Aizen says:

Re: Re:

the only problem card any linux fanboy plays is security.

And you’re not a fanboy of windows?
Everyone is a fanboy of something or another, especially you since you’re fighting so arrogantly for windows.

I dual boot and use Windows for games only and Linux for when I want to get work done. How many Linux vendors treat their customers like criminals as Microsoft does (i.e. black listing product keys on valid computers)

You might want to wait on further posts until after you graduate.


PhysicsGuy says:

Ahh the fresh smell of ignorance in the morning.. it doesnt work for you “outside its niche” so it cant possibly work for anyone else, right?

i never said it doesn’t work outside its niche. i just alluded to the fact that windows is all around better outside of the server area. linux is slowly catching up but windows has too much market share for it to actually catch up. see, i’m not saying windows is a better constructed os than linux. you’d have to be a fool to think such a thing. we’re talking about viability here… warp yourself back to the early 90s, which os was most viable for use in the design field? … does this mean the mac os used was inherently constructed better than linux or does it mean that the software that the mac os supported was geared more towards design?

reed says:

Time for a Linux Alternative

I have been using Ubuntu and other Linux distros for several years now. I can say that not only has Linux caught up with Windows, but is has far surpassed it already.

To all those who think otherwise, I dare you to download the latest verion of Ubuntu (6.10 codenamed Edgy Eft) and give it a try. It is a fantastic OS that can do almost anything you can imagine.

I also run a free computer consulting business with the open source model and I have personally installed Linux on over a hundred computers now.

Simply put, Ubuntu is a better product that Windows XP due to the large amount of drivers and open source software available. (No more installing SATA drivers from a floppy, yeah!)

A base install of Ubuntu comes with everything an average user needs for free. It is a better and more complete solution than XP which requires you to download numerous pay applications to do even simple things like unzipping a .rar file or reading a PDF.

Microsoft cannot compete anymore and in 3 months when most Linux distros will have composite by default Vista will have a hard time fashioning itself as the “best” OS around.

Open Source isn’t an idea, it is a revolution. Do you want to be in the known (Windows) or do you want to explore the unknown (Linux) and find out the wonders that open source can accomplish?

Chronno S. Trigger says:

Re: Time for a Linux Alternative

OK I’ll try Ubuntu. douse it play half life 2? douse it play Doom3? douse it play diablo? how about sim city? How about this Douse it play MP3’s out of the box? I had fedora 5 on a VMware partition (Ran really smoothly I must say) but I could not get it to do anything. Nothing at all. It took me 30min just to get it to play music. You have to download the player. Then somehow find it. The only way I actually got it to work is I had a Linux friend on the phone and it still took a half an hour. and putting all the install files under bin or userbin with no directories underneath them is not a viable alternative to anything.

As a person working with computers since the DOS days linux is not easy for a windows user to pick up. as my Linux friend told me “To use Linux your expected to know how to do it from the command prompt” that is not a line I want to hear.

PhysicsGuy says:

Time for a Linux Alternative

A base install of Ubuntu comes with everything an average user needs for free. It is a better and more complete solution than XP which requires you to download numerous pay applications to do even simple things like unzipping a .rar file or reading a PDF.

since when do you need “pay applications” to unrar .rars or read .pdfs? last i checked that software was free. why microsoft doesn’t include their own utilities? i cannot say for sure but microsoft gets into enough anti-trust trouble with the software it does include, so yea, i’m sure they want to include support for .rars causing more software company’s software to become obsolete. and why would microsoft include an adobe reader with its own software? last i checked it was microsoft, not microsoft and adobe…

Simply put, Ubuntu is a better product that Windows XP due to the large amount of drivers and open source software available. (No more installing SATA drivers from a floppy, yeah!)

so windows doesn’t have a large amount of drivers and open source software available?

Open Source isn’t an idea, it is a revolution. Do you want to be in the known (Windows) or do you want to explore the unknown (Linux) and find out the wonders that open source can accomplish?

so many things wrong with that statement i won’t even bother… i take it you don’t develop software…?

again, i think linux is great, it just has a lot further to go before it can compete in the market with windows…

KarmasAgent says:

Re: Apples to Apples

I’d agree with the statement that Linux isn’t user friendly. Windows isn’t user *intuitive* either but it is FRIENDLY to the way people currently work.

And for the F-15 to Chevy Nova comment – you’re right. But if 99% of mobility seekers seek it to go to the grocery store the ability to bring down a Russian MiG is a wee bit of overkill.

Aspects of functionality may be light years ahead of Windows – but Linux fails on making all those disparate advanced functions usable. GREAT server operating system.

I think the crux of the argument is “sure I can create a nice doc set in LATeX in a month or I can use [Framemaker, InDesign, Publisher (ick)] or any variety of publications tools that present functionality in a way convenient to users whose primary function is not being a computer savvy geek but someone who creates a publication – Windows wins hands down in usabilty and “features apt to be used” so sure, brag about your fighter jet that likely won’t ever leave the garage since its overkill for EVERY possible need 99% ever have or brag about the fact you got to the store and back w/o requiring 1000 hours of flight training first.

KarmasAgent says:

Those crazy Germans...

Now to actually reply to the article…

They decided to go with OSS out of a reactionary stance towards Microsoft without properly preparing for the realities of Open Source.

Good or bad – it requires preparation (just as *nix to Windows does) that MUST HAPPEN or else the project will fail or lag horrendously behind schedule.

Kudos to them for trying, boo on them for being a bunch of whiners who failed to prepare for the consequences of their actions. Kudos to them for creatively selecting a platform they are comfortable with AND for exposing the hypocritical nature of intellectual property/retail software licensing.

Boo on them for blaming OSS OR MS for their obvious lack of preparation for either or for technology in general.

tracker1 (user link) says:

From an ubuntu user...

I’ve been using Ubuntu for about 8 months now, as my primary desktop. I had to use wireless at one location I was working from, and have to say it (Ubuntu) is seriously *NOT* anywhere near close to ready wrt wireless support… via NDIS Wrapper, and a *windows* driver, you can get most wireless cards to work… however “work” doesn’t include any kind of encryption support, or decent network/scanning options.

Go a few steps farther, getting media support was a bit of a painful experience as well, “Easy Ubuntu” was probably the easiest, but after already trying a few other how-to’s I was already several hours into the process. (After 5 hours of attempting to get wireless support working)

I had an interest in video editing, so I installed the handful of programs synaptic even had listed, all were buggy and grosely incomplete. As for my iPod, I actually like gtk-ipod, I can say from experience that most would prefer something closer to itunes… the default Rythmbox music player doesn’t work well with the ipod, and had trouble with it all around. I liked banshee a lot, that had a similar interface, but the latest version f’s up vmware (which I need to run windows for some things I need for work, that and paint shop pro is way ahead of gimp).

I still don’t have a working Java implimentation that runs as a browser plugin without crashing the browser… (I have an older telnet applet, and irc applet that tend to crash things, and these are made with sun’s jdk)…

All around, for email, and web browsing, it’s great… it offers most of what office does (OOo), and works halfway decent. I spend most of my desktop time in it (outside of work). It doesn’t come close to windows in terms of usability though. Not to mention, there is no way the current linux mindset will support COTS (commercial off the shelf) software nearly as well as windows. Windows will still run most software made for windows versions more than ten years old. Try getting any linux gui software from 10 years ago to run under a current version without a recompile… no other OS can say that. Not mac, bsd or linux. All of them break compatibility at every major release *FAR* more than windows ever does.

For the record, the reason I am running linux on my desktop, is I don’t like a lot of MS’s political moves.. the activation crap pisses me off (treating legit customers like criminals), and I refuse to purchase any more copies of windows. I have to run it for work, and some other projects. My windows VM is pretty much for visual studio, and paint shop pro for work.. that’s it.

tracker1 (user link) says:


I also have to say that I *AM* willing to purchase software if it suits my needs better than what is available… I would pay twice as much for a paint shop pro version that will run in linux.. hell in wine would be nice…

I also tried a couple commercial video editing packages for linux, one was pretty feature complete, but crashed several times, and the UI was very clunky.

I also wish there were development tools closer to what Visual Studio offers… PHP does not compare to ASP.Net … MonoDevelop is decent for desktop apps, there’s also KDevelop and a few others, but nothing is as complete a package… and yeah, I’d be willing to pay for it…

The crux of the situation is commercial software has more incentive to be usable and complete than F/OSS … sure open-source software is great in a lot of respects, but a remarkable small segment of it is a complete software… Firefox, OOo, thunderbird, evolution and maybe 3-5 others are very nice to use.. most of it is clunky crap.

PhysicsGuy says:


1.) specific details of the kernel are not documented. everything else, insofar as configuring is concerned, has documentation (online or elsewhere) or is relatively self evident. i do agree, though, that windows should come directly with all of this documentation..

2.) actually, windows supports an enormous amount of hardware. after a fresh install of windows you can use your pc. of course you WANT to install the mobo drivers, graphics drivers, ide controller drivers, etc for optimal efficiency. do you seriously think the preloaded drivers on a linux distro provide optimal functionality of your hardware? hardly.

3.) yes, there are also many reasons for this and frankly this point of yours has serious flaws insofar as being a valid negative aspect of windows. you’re diverting attention away from the fact that windows directly supports superior 3rd part products. yes yes, you can use windows emulation software but do i even need to get into the problems with that?!?! frankly, this point of yours is the most irrelevant and it’s sad to see you have to reach this far for a negative aspect of windows. optimal software is not free, you shouldn’t expect it to be…

Anti-Penguin says:

What about...

I’ve tried several Linux builds and hate them all. I’ll switch to MacOS before ever using Linux every day.

And what the games for Linux? Oh, yeah! There’s like 3! Unless you count the ones that come with it. My Atari 2600 has better graphics and is more fun!

The Open Office software is decent if you want to type a letter to mom or put your CD collection in a spreadsheet.

I’m not a M$ fanboy, just anti-linux.

Raptor85 (profile) says:

Re: What about...

ahh, windows 2000, how much i hate to support you…. I for one will not be sad to see the day it goes the way of the dodo. Granted It wasnt a bad OS for it’s time, hell, i’ll admit it used to be my OS of choice for laptops…but that was a long time ago.

now to go COMPLETELY off topic…

I’ll just put my little disclaimer here first that im a linux user, a programmer, a govt. contractor, and a heavy gamer. (min 3 hours a day 🙂 )

First off, though im a bit pissed at them now, an out of the box install of SuSE 10.1 always worked perfectly for me, and I installed it on friends and family machines with default installs no problem. Not one hardware problem, even though a laptop i installed it on had problems installing XP. (creating the NTFS partition always failed with no error code, tried two different hard drives too…)
I’ve put it on friends and family’s machines and enabled the “redmond” theme in the built in theme manager (all gui based in kde) and voila, they’re none the wiser that it isnt windows, their office works, their internet works, their video’s work, etc… and that’s what users really want. the ONLY problems with the install were licensing issues, NOT technical ones. Installing the mp3 codec (a download and one click + pw installl) and Installing the WMV codec( same as mp3). Not a as big a point as most normal users would never install windows themselves anyways. The machine’s have been being used heavily by NON TECHY users for a long time now with absolutely no problems. and hell, it’s helped me too, not a single call (“i think i have a virus”, “my internet stopped working!”, “everything’s running slow!”). Hell, now i have to call and check in, and actually ask them how it’s goin.

also, linux not good for games? hell, someone complaining about that earlier mentioned a few games that have linux native versions! My UT2k4 came with the linux and window’s installs on the cd, doom3 does require you download the client from id and install it. (easy rpm install, no harder than double clicking a .exe, just with password 🙂 ) Others i’ll admit took about 2 more clicks than in windows, though there was no performance hit. The $9 i spent on cedega was way worth it, run cedega installer, insert game cd, install game, poof, it plays. Half life 2, battlefield 2, world of warcraft, ultima online, neverwinter nights is native linux. Wireless lan? works great on my cards, no drivers needed. no virus scanners on my system, no spyware blockers or other resource hogs. Got my hardware firewall and good practices, cant do much more than that on any os.

No, linux isnt perfect, its far from it. but this “not an alternative” crap gets old.

come online and get owned sometime, my fav ut2k4 servers…www.rosebum.com and fat jimmies vctf, uo shard origin

Anonymous Coward says:

I love all the generalizations made here about Linux. It’s just *grand*. It’s not Linux’s job to be friendly. It’s the distribution’s job to be friendly. Sometimes you’ll even hear “Linux is not an OS”, mainly because it’s not really an OS by itself until a distributor slaps the good stuff on it. It sounds to me like all these generalizations are made by people who tried one distro they didn’t like and decided it sucks.

Heck… I’d even say Ubuntu 1 year ago was utter crap compared to Ubuntu 6.10.

I’ve tried a few LInux operating systems, and most of them have been a bit frustrating. And yes, it’s a problem that there are too many options – which distro, which desktop manager, which this, which that. That’s a problem that should be solved, but that doesn’t mean “Linux is stupid”.

Ubuntu by itself is noob friendly enough for tasks that most people want to do. I hear it has issues with wireless still, but I don’t know about that in particular. For the average desktop user, though, who does their finances, word processing, web browsing, and email 99% of the time they use the computer, Ubuntu will serve just fine out of the box with, and the support people are very nice.

Don’t blame Linux because your distro sucks. Do blame Linux because there are too many friggin distros.

Someone says:

I love reading linux v windows flamewars. So many hyperbole, so may uninformed or fundamentally wrong statements. So many idiots getting so overexcited.

I run Fedora on my server, Ubuntu on my main pc and Windows on my laptop. Fedora as I need good server support without paying for MS servers. Ubuntu as its a robust Desktop environment with everything I need (it does have ipod support, and if GIMP isn’t god enough for you (which I can only imagine is the case for professionals), Photoshop runs ok in wine), and windows on my laptop because it has better wireless support and better power saving support (and also as there are some things that do need windows: checking webpages in IE, using random bits of wird hardware that only have windows drivers, and playing games), not to mention a faster boot to save battery time.

OpenOffice is a perfectly servicable suite, and most people (and by most I don’t mean all but a few, just the majority in some sense).

Wireless support is more widespread in windows (though the linux guys are constantly catching up, especially with ndiswrapper, though this is no good to the first time user with little know how).

There is not much good CAD software on linux. A real lack. Same for midi, and other sequancing/music creation things. (this seems to be the area which is most behind, which seems strange. Dunno why it is).

Windows does seem to have a more integrated look and feel, whereas if you want to run gnome on linux you’ll have apps such as Amarok looking slightly different to the rest of the stuff.

The Bash shell to me is a godsend, along with the way applications work together in linux with pipes and similar things. There are a great many tasks which I do on linux with a single line in a BASH that’d take me ages on windows, but they are things that a lot of people just wouldn’t want to do.

In my experience linux is more stable, but again it depends on what you do. Linux things crash too, and it just depends on the software you use on linux and windows as to how often they crash.

I’ve tried Windows AERO and linux XGL/Beryl, and to be honest theyre both jokes; the only useful things they do are make window switching better (seeing the contents of windows as you alt+tab). AERO has very few features, Beryl has lots but they’re hell to configure, and it only has one useful one over AERO, the Mac style zooming out o sitch windows. AERO is smoother, beryl has more effects and customisations. Both are litle more than eye candy (but I bet some peolpe said similar of GUIs when they were new).

Wine will run many windows apps, some better than others, and many more not at all. It runs some perfectly, and some are just not quite so nice looking, easy to use, or functional in wine. On the other hand theres CYGWIN, with identical problems.

Bottom line, some people will always hate linux and vice versa, for varying reasons. However the ones who like windows are not all idiots and the ones ho like linux are not just doing it do be different and for the sake of it. Some people are just going to be able o get more done, or get in done faster on linux and some on windows. If you have the time, or no money, try linux. If you find its what you need, excellent. If its not, no harm. To the linux squad, don’t neglect windows JUST becaus its MS, it is the right choice for some.

BTW, Ubuntu forums is the place to go for help, the people there are friendly and won’t yell at you just because you don’t know how to burn your linux install CD in windows (seriously that question gets asked a lot).

To those that hate windows: It does things well. Not everything, but it supports most hardware, and there are a few types of software that its essential for.

To those who hate Linux: the same, but replace essential for better. Be aware that if it weren’t for linux and firefox many features in IE and Vistas just would be there. They took a lot from what OS software has come up with (and rightly so, its designed by vast swathes of people, so why shouldn’t MS take the best ideas and integrate them or attemt to improve upon them).

PS, fir the record I really hate windows, it gets my goat, and I think its too big an organisation with too big a monopoly, but thats not why I use linux. I started just to have a look, and learn more about computers (i’ve learned a lot that I otherwise wouldn’t), and decided its pros actually outweighed its cons for my purposes. But I still use windows for a good bit of stuff.

hazard says:

It’s amazing how often people base their OS vs OS arguments on software and drivers. The software and drivers are *not* aspects of an OS, and really have no bearing on the debate. I’ll admit, freely, to being just a hair below zealot on the Linux side, but I also don’t have a beef with people using Windows. I do, on the other hand, get a wee bit tired of people using software and driver issues to prop up Microsoft. Microsoft has paid (and paid quite well) to keep hardware manufacturers from opening up to open source developers. They do that because the know quite well that the moment hardware manufacturers start working with open source developers, the dream ride is over. Until then, those developers have to reverse engineer the products to develop drivers. Besides being difficult, it also means they need the hardware to work with, which can be cost prohibitive. I guess my point is that regardless of how well informed a person *seems*, if they are using third party software, and driver issues, to support their claims that MS is better than other operating systems, it’s an illusion.

SomeDude says:

Re: hazard on Jan 4th, 2007 @ 3:23pm

Software and drivers are 2 of the three most important aspects of an OS to me. The third being user-friendliness (see productivity).

I don’t really care ‘how’ or ‘why’ drivers or apps are more available in one OS over another.

If my hardware doesn’t work on an OS. I won’t use it.

If I can’t run my desired kinds of apps, I won’t use the OS.

And finally, if I have to struggle to do the mundane on an OS, it’s not worth my time.

So, technically, operating systems could be compared without weighing drivers or apps. However, in practice, without apps or drivers, you have absolutely no need for the damn OS to begin with.

Here’s a helpful hands-on experiment to prove my point.

Run an OS without drivers or apps, and let me know how useful it is.

PhysicsGuy says:


actually, i’m not a windows fanboy. i’ve stated numerous times that linux is a great operating system and i very much enjoy it (not the shitty gui builds either). i would even go to say linux is a better structured os all around. this, however, does not make linux more viable than windows. i recommend you take some english comprehension courses, as you’re severely lacking in that aspect.

PhysicsGuy says:


Photoshop runs ok in wine

yea, photoshop 6 runs ok in wine, maybe 7 depending on your cpu performance and ram latency… that’s REAL helpful… (and i’m not technically a “professional” in some regards… i do get paid for my artistic abilities in the digital realm so, sure, some could consider me professional but considering it’s not my career i would say otherwise)… also, even with wine you still severely lack in performance compared to running the software on the platform it was compiled for (mac or windows photoshop versions)… you will NEVER have equal performance on equal hardware with emulation … EVER… it is an impossibility…

Raptor85 (profile) says:

Re: Someone

WINE (Wine. Is. Not. an Emulator.)

intel code is intel code, runs the same on linux or windows, wine only trapps the “windows only” calls and routes them to the linux equivilants. It’s as much an emulator as directx & opengl emulates graphics card functions.

It is perfectly possible, and does actually happen quite often where Wine can execute windows code faster than windows can.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Someone

Yup, physicsguy, this is exactly what I mean. People geting overexcited. Look at all those capitals. Huh.

If you read the other bits of my post you realise that I said Wine isn’t perfect and my general point was that no OS is, and different OSs are good for different people. Actually for a lot of people having photoshop (and other things) run in wine is very helpful indeed. People who prefer the things that get the job done for them in linux can do a 10 minute job in a windows app without restarting or resorting to VM (which has serious slowdown). I wouldn’t want to use it in wine all day what with the lack of antialiasing on the menu fonts and all, but i’d rather do it for 10 minutes than than reboot twice. Oh and the guy above was right about wine not being an emulator. the only slowdown wine gets (other than for not-yet-implemented features, bugs, and of coure if it even runs the software at all, that is) come from system calls.

PhysicsGuy says:

What about

ummm… any direct x only game must be run through an emulator, and i’ll repeat again: you will NEVER have equal performance on equal hardware with emulation … EVER… it is an impossibility. if the game supports open gl, then there’s a good chance you can find a linux build (i know carmack always uses open gl compatibility for this very reason, whoever said doom3 isn’t linux compatible is a moron. carmack is a god)… either way, many games do not have open gl support anymore, they’re completely dependent on direct x apis… and if you don’t understand that emulation degrades performance i suggest you do research on computational algorithms and find out why…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

but a quality of windows is that it better enables one to use the software written for windows. It really doesn’t matter to most people wether the driver or software they’re using is part of the OS or not. What matters is wether or not they can use their wireless cards and use their software. Thats what makes one OS more viable, easier and faster to use, run, and work with than another. Do you have a better definition of better?

PhysicsGuy says:


WINE (Wine. Is. Not. an Emulator.)

interesting… considering WINE stands for windows emulator. your post is fairly accurate insofar as wine not being a cpu emulator and it’s a set of libraries assimilating the compiled code from the native windows apis into x86 assembly code. however It is perfectly possible, and does actually happen quite often where Wine can execute windows code faster than windows can. is rather inaccurate, while it is possible and does happen, the scale on which is happens is blown greatly out of proportion by yourself. wine OCCASIONALLY executes code faster than windows… which i’m assuming falls on either notepad or calculator. however, wine is still essentially an emulator of the windows apis. a translation must still occur (whether by the software or by the programmer), translation results in more cpu time and/or inexact replication. the wine creators blame this on windows having optimized their code. that’s what it comes down to in a nutshull. optimization… however, without the use of the actual windows libraries how is wine anything but just an emulator? sure, it’s not a software emulation of hardware, it’s a software emulation of other software which still falls prey to the same algorithmic downfalls (of course not to the same degree). it also differs greatly from directx and opengl, if the reasons allude you then i’m sorry…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Someone

WINE (Wine. Is. Not. an Emulator.)

interesting… considering WINE stands for windows emulator.

No, actually I’m afraid that WINE does in fact stand for Wine Is Not An Emulator. It doesn’t ‘assimilate the compiled code from the native windows apis into x86 assembly code,’ not least of all because that series of words doesn’t actually mean anything.

It just runs the code natively, looking out for system calls, and when it finds them, passes them instead to its own library. Oftentimes the reason why things run faster is that some system calls are not handled, as the aplications is trying to do something with or to the OS that doesn’t make sense on linux. If its something that isn’t really needed for the running of the program then it can be seen as a performance increace. if it is, it can be seen as a bug. The ‘many things faster in wine’ is a litle misleading, but I think it would be fair to say that AMONG the things that work perfectly in wine, many of them run the same or faster in wine that on windows.

PhysicsGuy says:


I agree with your assessment that no OS is perfect. Sure, photoshop in wine’s helpful but it’s still not a viable solution to actually running it on a windows based machine. also, there are many downfalls with trying to approximate the windows apis, which is what greatly shows when running programs such as photoshop cs2 and whatnot (hell, try 3d studio and see how well that treats you in comparison to running it on a windows system). I’m a fan of linux and i’m a fan of windows, but for the majority of the population, despite what the linux fans think, windows is the best solution outside of linux’s little niche in the server arena.

hazard says:

I don’t think I’ll even bother responding to the person who responded to me, but I did want to point something out to you, Physicsguy. I agree with most of what you’ve said here (and elsewhere, I’ve read many a post from you), but I wanted to point out that I think you’ve made a small error. According to everything I’ve read, including winehq’s page, WINE is indeed a recursive acronym for WINE Is Not an Emulator. They do tend to add (CPU) in explanations though.

PhysicsGuy says:

a bunch of Re:'s

i concede, popular consensus shows WINE to stand for Wine Is Not an Emulator. However, my statement certainly means everything… wine introduces an extra layer above the system. this is the “translation”… the “assimilation”… frankly, it comes down to wine approximating the windows apis. one inarguable result in this is that quite a few applications are not compatible, however, theoretically this also causes a performance decrease. i’ve yet to see a benchmark that demonstrates the performance of a program run through wine compared to the same program run on windows. until there is demonstrable proof the theory lies in that wine falls prey to (partially) the same problems with emulators, an extra layer over the system… 😛

Chronno S. Trigger says:

Better question

In my last post I asked a few questions that I already knew the answer to. I know that Doom 3 has a linux version and I believe that Half life 2 douse as well. the good question is why should I switch to any linux when my computer runs all I have fine now.

All I have seen in the previous 60 posts are
Linix may run the games I want to play
If not WINE may (And may run them faster or slower)
Linix probably douse not run the other software I use
There may be software that douse what I want but it may or may not run as well
NO ONE has said that any Linux software works better than the windows counterpart.
WINE is not an emulator (Sounds like one to me)

I want to switch from Microsoft. Since They have implemented the activation thing I probably have talked to them more than my mother. (sad but probably true) But if the alternative doesn’t have any (and I haven’t seen any) good selling points then its going to stay 5% of the market (I’m including mac in that number since its now built on unix)

This part is just from me as a linux newbe. When I install something on windows I can find it. There is a path I can put in to the installer. by default software goes into program files in there own directory where it can easily be found latter.
Linix (and I have seen this for myself) the installs can go into (as far as I remember) /bin or /usr/bin and there are no directories. Finding the MP3 software that I just installed from that rpm file. Just a one click install? I like knowing where my software went. Or in the case of AVG for linux that the install failed. Took me an hour to figure that one out. (install said it completed successfully but in reality it stopped half way threw.)

in conclusion, I want an alternative but have yet to find any proof that this is it. (Same with Mac, I have that conversation with a coworker every week) Oh and ambiguity is not security. (I also know a few windows and linux users who think its easier to hack linux, not my opinion just theres)

Before any one flips out, I have taken Linux classes. I like how I can just restart one aspect of linux, instead of restarting the hole PC. I also like how it douse run better on most PCs. I don’t like how it comes with so much preloaded software (I know windows douse the same thing and I hate them for it too)

sorry about the rant. If you want I can tell a really cool story about a walled over unix box that ran for 4 years before any one noticed.

hazard says:

Re: Better question

It sounds like you picked the wrong distribution to try Linux with, if you think it comes preloaded with too much software. You can get as little, or as much, as you like by checking out a few different distributions. I, personally, use Gentoo. I have to basically build it from the ground up, but when I’m done, it does exactly what I want, nothing more, and does it as long as I can keep from mucking with it. (usually not long, I can’t help but tinker)

I know the story of the walled in box. 😉

drjones says:

You guys are still misunderstanding WINE

WINE doesnt add any “extra layers” to anything. It adds roughly the same “layers” that windows has built in.

WINE is a collection of the windows API’s built from scracth, to run natively on Linux. Windows API’s are very well documented… we all can easily find out what functions and classes are in the Windows API, and what values they return. The WINE project has used that information to write their own native linux API’s with the same functions that return the same kind of results. Execution of Windows binaries can be compiled right into the Linux kernel. Hence, in a broad sense.. it DOES emulate Windows, but not in the common sense that most people think of when they think of software emulators wich usually emulate a hardware platform, and translate those system calls to the host OS system calls on the fly. Depending on how well they implement the functions of the Windows API, they may be faster at the same task, they may be slower.

Anonymous Coward says:

ubuntu for the newbie definately. I’ve used it for years, and gentoo as well. Fedora just doesn’t cut it for everyday use IMO (although I run it on one machine).

To answer some things for Trigger. Yes there are linux apps that are better than their counterparts. I could tell you what my faves are but its often a matter of preference. Go to ubuntu.org and download a livecd, try it out without installing to see what you think.

If you are desperately worried about lots of games, stick with windows or dual boot. Doom, UT, UT200x, Q4 HL2 among others are fine, but theres certainly no garuntee.

If your using ubntu (and most similar apps), you don’t go to a website to download the software you want (you can, but theres a better way), you use a program called synaptic (or something else in other distros). It has about 20,000 software packages listed, you can search the names and/or descriptions. You install a package, and the package manager (part of the system, not the package itself like in windows) installs what you need. If you remove it in the same way it gets rid of ALL of it. It will indeed install things to various points, and you don’t need to worry about that, you’ll never need to go and look at them. Install an mp3 player and it’ll appear in the menu or just type its name on the console. can’t remember its name? look it up in synaptic. All in all its a much neater system.

PS, don’t use avg on linux, there are better solutions (although personally I don’t bother.)

You can always resize the partition (may be a little effort, go to the forums at ubuntu) and dual boot with windows, just to dabble your feet. Or theres liveCDs to do the same.

Chronno S. Trigger says:


I have downloaded ubuntu-6.10-desktop-i386.iso and will be installing it on a VMware partition. (Screw dual booting when I have a system that can run them side-by-side.)
If it douse install the software to the menu then it is a step up from Fedora.

back on topic of this article, Did they really cancel support for windows 2000? that’s not going to be good for our clients who still use it. Or me who has 2000 server on multiple PCs at home.

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