Critical Mass

…almost all of the newest hardware coming out has Linux support. The critical mass has been reached. Go download Ubuntu 8.10 and see for yourself what the fuss is about. You won’t regret it”

Dvorak Likes Linux

Dvorak Likes Linux

That’s probably just the sort of thing you’d expect to hear from me right? Perhaps so but it’s not the sort of thing you expect to hear from veteran computer journalist John C Dvorak. I have my issues with Dvorak over certain things, I stopped listening to TWIT long ago but I usually found he was the only one I could agree with on the panel. Well, him and Cory Doctorow of course, he speaks sense on most subjects you care to mention but isn’t on the show that much. Dvorak has never had much love for Linux and he’s been very critical (some would even say derogatory) in the past. So when someone sent me an email saying he’d been writing about Linux again I groaned to myself and thought “another kicking from the mainstream press just what we need”. I was completely wrong though, he seems to love the latest Ubuntu and is even telling the whole world and his mate to go and try it out. This could have a big effect on the uptake as he’s a guy a lot of people listen to and trust for computer advice. If he says Linux is cool people might actually listen. At least the sort of people who would dismiss me as a liberal hippie douche 😀

Here’s a selection of the points he makes in his article:

“For lightweight work, the install disk comes with Firefox for Linux and AbiWord, a credible open-source substitute for MS Word. In fact, there is probably a Linux program that will substitute for just about any Windows programs with as much or more functionality”

“I seriously appreciate the fact that Linux is mostly immune from malware, in much the same way as the Macintosh.”

If I had a small or mid-size company, I’d probably use only Linux and open-source software, just to stay out of the way of the software police and their onerous “audits”—another abhorrent situation that, to me, is intolerable”

Google Android

Google Android

Remember, this isn’t a guy who likes Linux particularly and yet it seems he’s been totally persuaded just by trying Ubuntu for a week or two. That’s pretty amazing. The two words that really stuck out to me in the article though were “critical mass”. Dvorak seems to be saying he thinks the dawn of Linux as a proper competitive option has arrived. That got me thinking, is he right?

There are still a lot of things to iron out with Linux in my opinion, it’s far from perfect and we can always improve but in many ways we are making great progress. We’ve been the underdog for such a long time now, we need to stop thinking like that and start thinking like winners. Year after year we’ve heard the famous old line trotted out “this will be the year of the Linux desktop”, it’s never quite come true and it probably won’t this year either but look at what’s happened in the last 18 months or so alone:

  • The ASUS eeePC arrived, heralded the dawn of the Linux netbook, promptly took over the world and firmly ensconced Linux in a lot of homes where it would never have been seen before.
  • Dell started selling consumer PCs with Ubuntu, specialist manufacturers had done this long before of course but this is a major hardware OEM and undoubtedly a coup for Canonical.
  • The Google G1 phone arrived and though it’s still early days I reckon we’ll see lots more popular smart phones powered by the Linux-based Android OS in the very near future.
Yeah Boyzz!

Yeah Boyzz!

So what am I saying? A question I often ask of myself, as do others. I’m not saying 2009 is “the year of the Linux desktop”(tm) but I do think the momentum is building. It has been for years and it will continue to  do so. I’m not so sure Dvorak is right that critical mass has been reached just yet but the very fact he of all people is saying that is a sign of the times. Real change doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time but mark my words, it’s coming. I doubt we’ll ever see Linux take over the consumer market and dominant desktops but I do think our share will continue to grow. Admittedly that share is still small but the longest journey starts with the smallest step. We’re doing well on netbooks and mobile devices so perhaps the desktop as such is an outmoded concept anyway. There’s never been a better time to be a Linux user and that’s just going to improve I think. So hold your heads up high people and be proud to use a free operating system, not just Linux but BSD, OpenSolaris and others too, we’re in this together. Say it once and say it loud, we’re open source and we’re proud.

People tell me I’m too optimistic and that in 2 years from now all the worlds computers will be running Windows 7 but I honestly don’t believe that. It’s a defeatist attitude. Turn off the Noel Coward record and lighten up  (great artist btw just depressing). I for one am up for this fight and unlike the people on the other side of the fence, we don’t do this between the hours of 9am and 5pm because we’ve got bills to pay and we’re killing time praying for the weekend to roll around. Oh no. We do this 24/7 because we love it and we believe in it. That’s the crucial difference. Of course there’s work still to be done in providing people with the best open source alternatives possible but I believe it can be done.

So what does everyone else think? Am I just a loony optimist or are things really improving in the open source world? Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading.

Dan

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34 comments on “Critical Mass
  1. Fab says:

    I was really surprised to hear this from John C. As everybody pretty much knows, he’s a huge hero of mine. I really hope this isn’t one of his linkbaiting schemes, because it actually makes sense. Dvorak has been right on many things in the past (and wrong on others, granted), but whatever the case many people read his stuff and this can only be good for Linux. If it is linkbaiting, it benefits us, if not, welcome to the fold at last, brother! (Imagine a Desmond Hume-esque Scottish accent here.) 😀

  2. Dan says:

    @Fab – Yes I suppose time will tell us how serious he really is but I did find his comments encouraging. The fact that he’s not a guy with a history of liking Linux much makes it resonate all the more. I hope others feel the same. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of him but I don’t dislike him either, I’m mostly indifferent. He’s been in this business a long time though, he’s been successful and he must know what he’s doing.

  3. Rob says:

    Linux definitely has a chance. It is totally on the right track. Yes, there are still Windows apps that keep some at bay, making conversion difficult (I’m a little disappointed to see more and more XP netbooks). I think we need to monopolize the phone market, though. In my opinion, our phones will eventually be our computers (synonymous). It only makes sense. Go to a cafe (or anywhere), dock your phone, and use YOUR computer with the provided peripherals. Why carry those extra space hogging keyboards, mice, and monitors with you? The merger may be the end of cellular as we know it and the beginning of Voipbooks.

    • Dan says:

      @Rob – Interesting idea, I have thought that myself at times. Our phones are becoming our computers more and more, I see that at lot everywhere I go. Apple is doing well in this market with the iPhone but people are really interested in the G1 and Android as a platform. I know it’s not as open as it could be in some respects and Google has a monopoly of it’s own but it looks like a decent platform to me. It’s certainly more open than the iPhone and it’s got a Linux kernel under the hood after all. The idea of carrying your computer in your pocket and just connecting it to peripherals when needed is appealing I agree.

  4. Rob says:

    Memory size and processing power and speed technology is probably getting pretty close- just not in the consumer market, yet.

  5. Mel says:

    Yeah I’m very optimistic too. I’ve been a Linux year for a year now and I’m so impressed with Linux. I look back and I say “wow Linux doesn’t walk or run it flies!” It has changed so much in such little time.

    I’ve been testing Ubuntu 9.04 for a while and I’m very confident that Ubuntu is going to put Linux in the spot.

    I know we won’t have 10% of the market in two or three years (but who knows) but I’m pretty sure we will have the greatest OS in a year or two.

  6. bobby says:

    Personally Am not that crazy about mass adoption of Linux. yeah it would be good if that eventually happens but i wont lose sleep if it doesn’t. Linux works for me and i feel its the best OS there is. if 99% of the world think different, their loss, yeah i know that mass adoption would bring in better support both hardware and software wise. but again the Linux community would still exist without this support. I however agree with dan on the fact that linux still has some things to iron out before it can be ready for the critical mass. and Pulse Audio easily comes to mind.

  7. xutre says:

    I beg to differ folks; comments drawn from the original article such as:
    “For lightweight work, the install disk comes with Firefox for Linux”, “with as much or more functionality—with the exception of Adobe Photoshop”, “While the various Linux desktops generally aren’t as polished as Vista, they are functional and easily as slick as Windows 2000”, and “Linux is mostly immune from malware, in much the same way as the Macintosh” are a bit naive and shallow for my literary taste and illigitimately define Linux based distros at a far lower level of aptitude than is fair or warranted. Firefox is hardly “lightweight” as he calls it, Gimp’s functionality in self-selected areas can be improved beyond that of Photoshop given an individual with the programming skills since the source code is easily procurable (Cinepaint used by major film studios is a prime example and I personally far and away prefer the multi-window setup of Gimp and Cinepaint over the single window affair of PS/CS), the slickness and/or polish of a desktop must be noted as his own personal opinion whereas an individual used to the look and feel of ones own adapted desktop might have a totally different view (I personally find my desktop has better looks, polish, feel & flow ((interactivity) especially with multiple desktops and the 3D effects to enhance that flow enabled (eg using the corners and edges to do things like showing all windows or zooming out to show all my desktops (6) running different apps in a filmstrip so as I can quickly flip as required) than any Vista, XP or 2K desktop I’ve used so far). Whilst many people I come across deem free (as in beer) software to be vastly inferior given their experiences on their own platform, we all know that this is not the rule and derogatory and misleading statements do not help to right the wrong.

    • Dan says:

      @xutre – Yes I agree that a lot of what Dvorak says isn’t 100% true, the comment about lacking polish compared to Vista had me thinking “has he seen Compiz?!” but I still think the overall tone of “it’s good, you NEED to go and try it” will be helpful. I don’t like Dvorak much as I said and it’s clear he doesn’t know a lot about Linux but I think we need to help people in the mainstream press and welcome them into the fold, not chase them out of town. In the past he would just have said “Linux is crap, don’t go near it!” and his fans (of which there seem to be many) wouldn’t. I agree with you his article isn’t all positive and there are subtle undertones but I still think the general sentiment is good, his raving over the fact the Ubuntu has a live CD shows he doesn’t know that almost every distro does that now and has done for 2 or 3 years. Free Software is not inferior to proprietary software in any way, that’s why I said we need to hold our heads high and be proud that our OS is as good as anyone’s, in fact better than most. With the speed of development in the open source world we’re sprinting at a relentless pace while fat, overpaid pigs like MS are struggling to move. 7 years to make Vista, 7 years are you kidding me??! It won’t be too long until we leave them in the dust in technical terms. I don’t know if the general public will realise this and try Linux because we don’t have the multi billion dollar ad campaigns of an Apple or and MS but uptake is increasing. I still think the future is looking good 🙂

  8. Mike Riley says:

    I think that the economy might end up being the most prevalent out of the reasons people are moving towards open source adoption, free is always good.

    • Dan says:

      Ok folks, had a DDOS problem before so had to suspend the site for the sake of other sites on the server. Everything is back on now and I’m hoping the worst is over. We’ll see. Thanks to everyone for reading, those of you who could load the page that is 😀

  9. Zac says:

    I have been using Ubuntu for over two years. There are only a few programs I want (not need) to use Windows for, so I use Ubuntu 95% of the time. It is perfectly ready.

    Linux will take off when the OEM’s is not controlled by Microsoft.

    • Dan says:

      @Zac – Possibly, I know Dell are leaned on pretty heavily by MS. They cannot sell Linux on certain machines because of it. It’s very sad, this monopoly has to end for the good of everyone. They bleat about the free market but they don’t want a free market, they want a lock in.

  10. Yonah says:

    Dvorak is an idiot who’s been wrong MANY times before. I understand that as a Linux zealot you will often bend the truth or use unsavory people to prove your point, but don’t think that using half baked computer pundants like Dvorak goes unnoticed by the rest of us. It shows a serious lack of class on your part.

    For the record, Abiword has been available for Windows since day 1.

    • Dan says:

      @Yonah – I never said Dvorak is right, I don’t even like the guy. Read what I said. I said other people seem to like him and lots of them will follow what he says, like him or not (which I don’t) he gets attention. It will mean a lot more people trying Linux which I happen to think is a good thing, you are free to think what you want and call me what you like, I really don’t care. Thanks for reading and commenting

  11. Bri says:

    I detest the windoze OS monopoly but apple’s hardware/software monopoly is far worse.

    The thing keeping users away from Linux are the programmers writing the apps and drivers for Linux. The number of times you need to go to the “Terminal” to change fstab or some other config file is unbelievable, it’s a simple enough job for the app installer to do the task automatically so why is it expected that users, not geeks, are expected to master the “Terminal”, do the developers/programmers expect users/car drivers to be admin/mechanicsas well?
    I would love to be able to introduce computer users to Linux but I know I would be taking on a time consuming dependent.
    Since win95 came out the dos prompt has disappeared for computer users, ask the average windoze user what the dos prompt is and you will get a blank look, what’s that, it’s only users of Linux that are still expected/forced to use the cmd prompt or “Terminal”, a ludicrous situation.

    How long does any one last when using a Linux distro before they are googling or searching forums for an answer to their latest problem that countless other users have already encountered.

    I think the Linux kernel and Open Source are true wonders of our age but badly let down by sloppy software developers. Please can the emphasis be on basic functionality, installation, not more bells and whistles.

    I think the browser will become the screen form for more and more apps written in JavaScript etc that make them platform independant but not necessarily only working in the cloud.

    I’m a working class guy unable to make sense of manuals but I was mentored by a data base guy and learned to tweak screen forms for an app he wrote for me in dos in the early 90’s and I developed an interest in menu’s the most versatile I had come across was the tree structure as in bookmarks, File managers etc but recently stumbled upon an add-on for Firefox called Speed Dial and think this is a game changer as it has depth and can also “Launch” apps/JavaScript from the underlying OS. I used to have a 3MB bookmark file but I rarely use bookmarks now, if it could run with Firefox in kiosk mode then that truly would be something but it’s early days yet. 😀

    Sorry to whinge so much but nothing would please me more than Linux distro’s being usable for your normal computer user
    I like this site, it’s uncluttered and pleasing to the eye
    bri

    • Dan says:

      @Bri – Thanks for the comment, I’m glad you like the site design 🙂 I’ve been using Linux full time for a few years now and I rarely use a terminal for anything, I think this is something of a myth that you have to use the terminal all the time in Linux. I haven’t experienced that with most major distros in a couple of years, a few years back it was true. I’ve never had to mess about with the fstab for anything, I plug in my USB drive formatted to NTFS it pops us on the desktop. Perhaps I was lucky but I have introduced many friends and family to Linux distros like Ubuntu and Mint, they all tell me they find them easier than Windows to use. My brother is a bricklayer and not a tech guy by any means but he uses Ubuntu on his computer because he likes it and finds it quicker and more usable than Vista or XP. If I asked him to open a terminal he wouldn’t know what I was talking about and he’s a full time Ubuntu user and has been for over a year, he’s never needed to open the terminal once and not because I’ve been round and fixed things for him I haven’t, nothing has needed fixing. I think Linux has suffered because for 10 years people said it was ready for ordinary users when it just wasn’t, we cried wolf a few times and people got pissed off, rightly so. I think in the last 2 or 3 years though things have become pretty easy to use and we’re fighting the misconception that Linux is still like it was 6 years ago. Do we have more work to do? Hell yeah we could make it better and more usable, we need to keep working on that. I don’t think Linux is perfect, far from it, all I’m saying is we’re no less perfect than anyone else.

  12. Harold says:

    I have been using linux for 9 years, and just last year killed off Windows for good because I can do everything I need to on linux. The hassles of keeping Windows safe were causing me to use it only once a month, and when XP SP3 failed to install on my laptop, I installed Mint XFCE over top. My desktop has been running first SUSE and now Ubuntu only for the last three years.

  13. Yakov says:

    “Is this the year of the Linux Desktop?”

    I’ve seen this question posed for the past 3 years, each by multiple authors, and each year the arguments are the same. Linux can do almost everything Macs and Windows do. (true). Linux is free (true). Linux is easier (arguable)

    Every year it’s the same, and yet Linux as a true desktop alternative – that is, as an operating system that consumers ACTIVELY PURSUE IN SUBSTITUTION FOR OTHER SYSTEMS – remains a small player in a market dominated by large companies that have the resources to maintain their market shares.

    As a rather OS-apathetic individual, I often ask myself why more users don’t use Linux. I suppose my answers are as such:

    1) Most people don’t care. They have what they have, and they don’t want to switch. They don’t want to have to learn an entirely new system with new applications. They deal with Windows or Macintosh, and they do what they need to do.

    2) They don’t even know what Linux is. The idea that hardware can run different alternatives is amazing to them. People my age and younger (20-25) are amazed when they see that I am able to build my own systems AND use non Windows or Macintosh operating systems. They’re convinced that computers are magic boxes that big companies produce.

    3) Linux is not ready. It’s not. There’s spotty support still for many wireless devices, even in the big players like Ubuntu and RedHat. And it’s not just wireless. Want to use a cool new keyboard that just came out? Good luck, its specialty buttons probably won’t work. Want high definition audio from an expensive audio card? I hope you’re willing to spend time researching and typing in Terminal. PEOPLE DO NOT WANT THIS. They want an effortless experience.

    4) Too much choice. Ubuntu itself has a billion damned derivatives. Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, Mythbuntu, LinuxMint, etc. etc. Then we get into Debian, RedHat, Fedora, DSL, Slackware….AAAAAH!

    People complained about Windows XP Pro and Home as being too confusing. That’s TWO choices. The linux community will have to rally around one or two distributions if they want to make it.

    5) Linux simply doesn’t look that great. People like flash. They like smooth fonts and cool effects. Gnome looks outdated, and KDE 4 confuses the crap out of new users. Gnome needs to polish itself up, and KDE needs to move back to 3.5 and spiff that up. It’s too extreme for users who are used to beautiful Aqua or Aero.

    6) Application and Package consolidation. Open Office? KOffice? AbiWord? HUH? A new user has no idea what he/she wants or needs. There are too many types of everything, poorly named, poorly categorized and too often poorly maintained. It does a disservice to the geniuses who maintain Ubuntu and RedHat.

    So much more.

    Is this the year of the Linux Desktop? No. Linux will continue to slowly gain market share, but there will never be a YEAR OF LINUX. We’ll soon see Ubuntu make its way into the mainstream, but any Linux success will be slow, and will require patience and continued efforts.

    • Dan says:

      @Yakov – I agree with a lot of your points but not all of them. I certainly never said this is the year of the Linux desktop, I said people have been too preoccupied with that in the past. I’m sck of that line. I don’t think it will be the year and like you say who knows if that will ever happen. I said things will continue to improve and I do believe they will, it won’t be quick and it won’t be easy. We have work to do for sure. I disagree that Windows and Mac look better though sorry, Aero cannot compare to Compiz. KDE 4 is confusing I agree and Gnome could do with some cosmetic work perhaps but I use Gnome with Compiz 3D desktop and as I’m working away on a train or somewhere else people regularly come over to ask me what that those cool looking animations are. “Is that some new kind of Mac?” is something I hear a lot. I’m under no illusions that we have a long way to go, we’re far from perfect but we’re getting better and pace is gathering. I don’t think we’ll see a significant share of the desktop market in the near future, as you say most people don’t care but so far everyone I’ve given Ubuntu or Linux Mint to has had no hassle. It’s not true in every case I admit but there’s a lot of hassle on Windows and Mac that people choose conveniently to forget about. The amount of times I’ve had to sort out drivers or configuration problems with friends Windows machines is not any less that I would have had to help them with Linux. Thanks for reading and commenting, I appreciate it

  14. Rio says:

    Linux is fine, as long as all your applications are covered.

    Once you have ONE application that you can’t live without, that simply doesn’t have a comparable Linux version…. Windows will always win the battle.

    At the moment, a lot of them “computing basics” type of programs are available for Linux, however, there is a lot of specialist software out there that demands Windows.

    Personally, I’d love to run Meta Trader 4 on Linux. It’s barely possible with WINE – but if I had a Linux device running ARM? Forget it… it’s back to Windows.

    • Dan says:

      @Rio – I agree there are a lot of specialist programs that developers are only making for Windows. The likes of Adobe but they’re not tied to Microsoft so if there’s a viable market out there on other platforms they’ll use it. Of course MS is never going to let it’s own programs be developed for Windows and WINE is a mixed blessing at best. I’m a musician and sound engineer by trade, I still have XP in a dual-boot on my studio machine while I work out some hardware and software issues but I use Linux even there 90% of the time.I find it faster and more stable, plus I don’t have to worry about security and viruses all the time. My main problem is my firewire audio interface only has Windows drivers. It’s pretty old and not in development any more. I’ve been going through the process of replacing hardware and it’s still a work in progress. I’m not complacent and Linux has a lot of work to do, I just think the overall attitude in the mainstream media is one of Linux as it was 5 years ago. It’s not the reality any more and to see someone like Dvorak change his mind in this way will signal a change public opinion I hope. It may not happen but like I said I’m an optimist. More companies are selling Linux in an OEM capacity and more and more new hardware is coming out with Linux drivers from the off. I think Microsoft are very worried about the threat of Linux growing which is why they push their FUD campaigns and try to say Linux is illegal in some way. That’s bullshit. Ballmer even told a recent shareholders meeting he sees Linux as a bigger threat than Apple. Is this true? I’m not so sure, who can tell with Ballmer it could all be some kind of mind game but it’s interesting. He wasn’t saying this 2 years ago was he? I think momentum is growing like it never has before and this is a great time to be a Linux user, that’s all I’m saying. Things are getting better and I wanted to counter the doom and gloom attitude I hear in some quarters. I may prove to be wrong, time will tell.

  15. Ben says:

    This ‘WAR’ is already over, bar the shouting. Linux still has a huge distance to cover – and it really is huge, the task is monumental; however, the same goes for Mac and Windows – there is no limit to innovation and development – but when you look back over the last few years, since 1990 – let’s look at the rate of change for these operating systems and decide who is showing the most, the fastest, and the best rate of improvement.

    How can this be halted? The war is not really one of the Operating System, but one of the Law. If ever Microsoft is prevented from all forms of unfair business practices, then there is no further competition – Microsoft will take it’s place as a minor buggy OS suitable only for running applications that really won’t work on Linux or Mac OS.

    With the argument about ‘distributions’ – I feel that this is largely irrelevant. I can run my applications on any distribution can’t I? The desktop is largely irrelevant as long as you can launch your applications and do your work – so I have no issue with many choices. With Windows, if you fancy a change to the Windows 7 desktop, what will you do?

  16. Hugo says:

    I love the “Is that a new mac” or I did not know Hp made macs” comments

    I have an Hp laptop

    Linux for me just works. Most drivers are on the kernal or with Linux mint it downloads automatically so I have less work to do.

    Terminal problem? I hace had to use CMD more to configure networks than I have had to use terminal

    System update actually updates the whole system and program in one hit. unlike windows and no restarts.

    I hated when vista would take 20 mins installing software when i was shutting off and needed to get going so i would have to carry it on as i moved in m hands while it drain my battery.

    Wifi- 2 clicks unlike 6 with windows if not more

    yeah its not perfect but its getting there

    I been using Linux for 9 months and I love it. it just works oh and forget ubuntu Linux Mint is the distro to get behind of

    • Dan says:

      @hugo – I’m really glad to hear Linux works for you. I’m not behind Ubuntu as such I just quoted those lines from Dvorak. He seems to be behind Ubuntu. I’m not behind any one distribution. I distro hop and review most of the time. I was running Debian Lenny last week and I’m just about to try Arch. I do like Linux Mint a lot and it’s always my first suggestion for new users ahead of Ubuntu. It has a lot of things like codecs done for you out of the box which is great. People keep telling me Windows is easier but the last time I had to install XP for a friend I spent 5 times as long doing it because I had to add all the anti-virus, media codecs, office applications and even software to burn CDs after installing the OS. All of that is done for you with something like Mint and I think the main stream media and so called tech experts need to acknowledge that and not imply to people you have to compile your own kernel to run Linux.

  17. Eric Mesa says:

    Hey Dan,

    Go here via Digg – your bandwidth must be taking a pounding. Love Linux Outlaws – Keep up the great work!

    • Dan says:

      @Eric – Oh thank you that’s very kind. I think the bandwidth is coping now that I worked out how to use Super Cache, it turns out you have to set it up, not just install it 😀

  18. mario says:

    That’s an outdated rumor. This isn’t the year of Linux desktop breakthrough, just because Dvorak says so. He’s a little late for that proclamation.

    It has actually been 2008 that marked the maturity of Desktop Linux. While the uptake in the US might be still very slow, here in Europe the accelerating demise of Windows’ dominance has pretty much begun (last year).

  19. Great news that Dvorak is recommending it. I actually hear instances on TWiT that happen two often where the group is discussion software or problems they have, stuff like that, and I’m there on the subway saying to myself Linux does that!

    As far as adoption your absolutely right that having a defeatest attitude makes us turn people away from Linux. We, as the people who know a damn thing about Linux, need to do what we can to support Linux, at every single step.

  20. Mark Hyde says:

    This is just more evidence to me that Microsoft just isn’t the powerhouse it though it once was.

    People from all IT backgrounds are discovering the growing maturity of Linux and the flexibility of open source license ‘nixes and Unix-a-like because it gives them solutions they can USE and ADAPT.

    Instead having to tailor you whole hardware infrastructure around how Microsoft insists you do it to effectively use their OS technologies and paying exorbitant license fees in the process people and organisations can craft their own solutions.

    That’s gotta be win/win for everybody. 🙂

    (Well not Microsoft, but they should be ‘put in their place’. )

    • Dan says:

      @Mark – Interesting points, I think MS still has some power but it’s slipping through their fingers the tighter they grip. You can’t spend 25 years going around stomping on everyone, making enemies and generally being the bully without it coming back to haunt you. Karma and all that. They’ll reap what they’ve sown eventually.

  21. jbruced says:

    @Dan,

    These are some of the best comments I’ve ever read concerning Linux, I couldn’t stop reading.

    You have a great knack (and motivation) to answer many comments in a thoughtful, non-reactionary way.

    For me, Linux is my choice. I dual booted (training wheels) for close to a year, but I can’t even remember what I needed Windoze for anymore.

    IMHO, there many Linux distros that are better for the Grandmas AND the power users than the “popular” OS. No deterioration of your system due to bit rot/malware etc. for Grandma, and the power users have EVERYTHING that a PC can possibly do at their disposal, and it’s FREE. Think about that one. Source code, free documentation, tons of high powered apps. FREE. Beer and speech. Makes you wonder how this could ever have happened in a capitalistic world.

    I’ve followed (casually) Dvorak for years. Not a fan, not a hater, but I’ve somehow always trusted that he believes what he says (not full of BS). Good or bad, us users listen to someone of his stature. I think he’s stepped out a little on limb for GNU/Linux, and I for one appreciate it.

    Thanks for a great website, I’ll be checking back soon.

    Bruce

    • Dan says:

      @jbruced – Thanks for the kind comment I appreciate it. I hope Linux adoption will continue to grow but time will tell on that front. Hope to see you again 🙂

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