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Microsoft to release Killer App for Linux, maybe?

By deefer in Technology
Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 04:12:37 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)

According to the last few paragraphs in this article on The Register, Microsoft's new incarnation of Windows does not appear to function properly with either WinAmp or the Real* family of products. Only Microsoft-provided media players and CDROM burning applications appear to work correctly straight out of the box. Microsofts own media delivery systems are to include strong access controls for controlling copyright.

This could be the killer app for Linux.

Normally, this is the Microsoft way; they include technology that other companies are selling and force the third party out of the market - remember Trumpet WinSock and PC TCPIP? Pretty much gone after W95 included a TCPIP stack as part of the OS. And the whole Internet Explorer vs Netscape Navigator has had enough opinion expressed over it.

This is the modus operandi of Microsoft and other large companies, and enough vitriol has been expended on the legality and morality of these actions that additional commentary here would be futile. But this time, the "integrate-everything-into-Windows" mentality may break Microsoft. For those predicting the demise of Real, they have a strong new product; the RealArcade which looks exciting.

The long term consequences of Microsoft-only media delivery systems on Windows are interesting. Even with the trouble that Napster is having currently, it is unlikely that the idea of distributed file sharing will either pass as a fad, or be regulated/litigated out of the game. Despite Napster and others' denials, distributed file sharing will include unauthorised copyrighted medias. Again this is a whole legal minefield to be skipped over here; with the Fair Use doctrine currently in place should you be able to download anything in digital format if you have already paid for a legitimate release?

Microsofts' plan for media delivery on the Windows platform is taking media access management seriously, and looks like it is implemented at a very low level. There may be hacks around it, but it may be more than most home users really want to do, and you can count on service packs to eliminate any vulnerability in the content management subsystem. Effectively, the RIAA and MPAA would now have a much more robust hold over their products; the technology would assist them in their legitimate aim to protect their interests.

Enter Linux.

It is unlikely that Linux will force these content management restrictions on its' users. Circumvention of media access control measures will be provided, similar to the way DeCSS exists today. The code will be written, driven by the hackers love of "sticking it to da man", and because the challenge is there. And although those with an interest in promoting content management may approach the likes of RedHat and Suse to integrate access control in their distributions, they will not be able to prevent the installation of these circumvention of utilities.
Imagine a teenager who wants to pirate free content. His/her parents computer won't let any unverified media play, so what are they to do? Driven by the teenage need to be cool and hip to the latest music and videos, the ability of Linux to play unverified media will be a strong motivation to install it. Similar arguments will apply to students, although through more of a financial standpoint than peer pressure to be in the "in crowd". For the twenty somethings, the sheer inconvenience of verifying the media, expired license tokens and compatibility problems may force them to reevaluate their use of Windows XP, bringing them to Linux. And Linux is getting more and more idiot proof by the month; the bar to self installation is dropping radically.

Microsoft, Sun, Oracle et al all contribute one way or another to academia. Whether it is extra resources for learning facilities, favourable licensing costs or whatever, most large corporations assist educational establishments, reasoning that if they can get tomorrows professionals using their products, it will help sales when those professionals come of age, as well as the feelings of altruism board members will award themselves. So having younger Linux users will ultimately help Linux acceptance in the corporate marketplace. Linux will become cool in the eyes of youth, because it enables the youth culture to get their media for free.

The downside of this is that public perception of Linux will shift to "it's only for pirates". Despite the inevitable PR machines being cranked up to throw mud at the reputation of Linux, it is unlikely that much of the FUD will stick. Corporate players with a vested interest in Linux, such as IBM, will mobilise their own PR campaigns to defend the use of Linux; it will become a battle of PR flunkeys that will be ongoing. And the public will see the Linux upstart taking on the media giants; everybody likes a good David and Goliath battle and most side with the kid with the sling...

The above is an interpretation of the possible outcomes of this situation. It will be interesting to follow the progress of media access management over the next few years, what do K5ers think the effects of Windows XP's media restrictions will be?


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Effects of WinXP providing media access and Linux able to play anything:
o Linux gets the reputation as "for pirates only". 15%
o Linux is seen to be more flexable than Windows. 13%
o Windows XP access control gets hacked then business as usual. 43%
o Content providers will exhaust themselves in a litigation frenzy and win. 4%
o Content providers will exhaust themselves in a litigation frenzy and lose. 8%
o No impact whatsoever. 9%
o Inoshiro. 4%

Votes: 204
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o The Register
o RealArcade
o Napster
o Also by deefer

Display: Sort:
Microsoft to release Killer App for Linux, maybe? | 129 comments (105 topical, 24 editorial, 1 hidden)
A Couple Platitudes In Response (4.09 / 11) (#2)
by greyrat on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 08:22:55 AM EST

Take your pick. Either:

"Never attibute to malice what could be attibuted to stupidity"


"Windows isn't done 'till WordPerfect won't run"

There's nothing new here folks -- move along

~ ~ ~
Did I actually read the article? No. No I didn't.
"Watch out for me nobbystyles, Gromit!"

Fair Use and First Sale (4.14 / 14) (#5)
by streetlawyer on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 08:43:17 AM EST

Again this is a whole legal minefield to be skipped over here; with the Fair Use doctrine currently in place should you be able to download anything in digital format if you have already paid for a legitimate release?

Not fair use. Fair use is a First Amendment (or equivalent) right which defends the production of certain kinds of derivative works (parodies, reviews, critiques, scholarly works, etc) in the name of free speech.

First Sale is a provision of copyright legislation itself (not backed by anything in the US Constitution or equivalents) which creates a supposition that licensing arrangements on books and records should not be so restrictive as to defy common expectations about the purchase of normal physical objects. Not all printed material falls under first sale (example: Operating Thetan Level 3 instructions don't, as the scientologists have expensively proved). It's a much less general or powerful right than is commonly (and somewhat disingenuously) supposed.

I really ought to go on a crusade aimed at wiping out this common misunderstanding, but frankly, poking cheap sexual jibes at Eric Raymond is a lot more fun.

Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever

Is my brain dead? (3.00 / 1) (#9)
by deefer on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 08:50:34 AM EST

Fair use - I was trying to convey the "I can take backup copies, or share among friends" part of CD licensing...
So what should I have put instead?
Anyone, Bueller?

Kill the baddies.
Get the girl.
And save the entire planet.

[ Parent ]
"first sale" (5.00 / 4) (#11)
by streetlawyer on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 09:04:33 AM EST

the first sale doctrine is what gives you the right to do that with a CD or book. With many other copyrighted items, however, there is nothing you could have put because the right does not exist.

Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Cheers (none / 0) (#16)
by deefer on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 09:53:08 AM EST

Thanks for clearing that up. Loved your ESR series, BTW - any more in the pipeline?

Kill the baddies.
Get the girl.
And save the entire planet.

[ Parent ]
statutory (none / 0) (#45)
by cpt kangarooski on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 05:19:00 PM EST

with regards to backups of software, that's also now been granted a statutory exception, along with the creation of necessary copies to run software, both in 17 USC 117.

really makes you wonder what we have EULAs for. oh wait, they're so MS can sue people who post negative reviews of their stuff, right, I forgot.

I meant - it really makes you wonder why people agree to EULAs, and why they're (maybe) considered enforcable.

All my posts including this one are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
[ Parent ]
Better for Linux? (4.38 / 18) (#8)
by Electric Angst on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 08:48:10 AM EST

It shows an interesting bias that you claim this action for Microsoft will prove a 'killer app' for Linux. You seem to forget that there's another company out there which happens to be heavily hyping its product's ability to rip, play, and burn MP3s.

Yep, I'm talking about Apple.

Not only have they recently released some excellent MP3 software for their platform, but they also happened to have a better reputation for, and implimentation of, multimedia in their machines.

I'd love for this action to make a whole new generation of music-loving kids ask their parents for iMacs instead of PCs. (Best of all, if they end up showing a desire to expand technically, they'll have the BSD core of OS X to play with.)

"Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
Better implementation? (3.66 / 6) (#12)
by fluffy grue on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 09:08:50 AM EST

I'd like to take issue with that assertion. Apple's multimedia does seem to be better-implemented on the surface, but IMO that's only because it's so simple and trivial; as far as built-in devices, there's just a DAC and an ADC - not a large array of things to play with, there - and given the still-primitive "multitasking" (which will finally be corrected in OS X), it's not like they really need proper realtime mixing. All of the Macintosh apps I've ever seen which require multi-channel audio (games, sequencers, etc.) have done their own software-based mixing and the like. Basically, yes, Mac audio has worked better in general, because there's not much for Mac audio to do.

Compare this to the so-called PC world; soundcards have built-in MIDI, a myriad conflicting standards and implementations, and all sorts of funky hardware-mixing mechanisms. The specs are seldom open anymore, and if you can even get them they're under a horrific NDA. Even for basic DAC/ADC cards like my ES1868 where you can ignore their vestigal MIDI stuff, you still have proper multitasking to deal with - multiple applications accessing a single sound device requires automatic, transparent mixing, which is where things like esd come in. Yes, esd's implementation could be a lot better, but they're trying to keep things network-transparent (granted, most people don't give a rat's ass about network transparency, but it's easier to ignore network transparency than to ignore the lack of it).

I'm not saying that it's okay for Linux's and Windows' multimedia to be perpetually-breaking and higher-latency and such, but those platforms have a lot more to work with than Macintosh does, and that added complexity leads to, well, added complexity. Don't confuse simplicity for
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

don't confuse simplicity for (none / 0) (#44)
by fluffy grue on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 05:06:28 PM EST

Damnit, I forgot to finish the sentence.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Another thought (4.25 / 4) (#26)
by fluffy grue on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 11:36:50 AM EST

It's a lot easier for a user of a Windows machine to install Linux than MacOS. :)
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: Another thought (none / 0) (#32)
by Phaser777 on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 01:23:48 PM EST

Actually I've had more trouble installing and configuring Linux on my Windows machine than on my Mac. YMMV, I guess.

My Windows machine is a HP POS with some unnamed NIC and built in graphics, neither of which Linux will recognise (I tried Mandrake 7.1 I think, haven't tried any other distros yet), so I'm not that surprised I had trouble installing it and getting anything to work. I still haven't gotten the NIC working, and I've given up trying to get the 12x10 resolution I can get in WinME (soon to be replaced with 2000, thankfully). That's what I get for buying non-standard hardware, I guess.

I'm going to try putting some form of Linux onto my laptop (Toshiba Satellite 2805-201) this weekend. Maybe I'll have better luck then.

My business plan:
Obtain the patents for something (the more obvious and general the better)
Wait until someone else adopts the idea and becomes rich off it.
Sue them.
[ Parent ]
That was backwards (none / 0) (#35)
by fluffy grue on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 02:40:09 PM EST

What I'm saying is that it's a lot easier to install Linux on a Windows PC than it is to install MacOS on a Windows PC. That is, last I checked, it wasn't possible to install MacOS on a Windows PC, given that they're completely different architectures.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Oh (none / 0) (#39)
by Phaser777 on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 04:13:48 PM EST

I thought you meant it was easier to install linux on a Windows PC than it was to install linux on a Mac.
My business plan:
Obtain the patents for something (the more obvious and general the better)
Wait until someone else adopts the idea and becomes rich off it.
Sue them.
[ Parent ]
Nope, sorry (none / 0) (#43)
by fluffy grue on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 05:04:14 PM EST

On rereading my comment I see where the ambiguity comes from. I hate English sometimes.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

I take it you've never used an emulator (none / 0) (#88)
by pin0cchio on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 04:03:26 AM EST

That is, last I checked, it wasn't possible to install MacOS on a Windows PC

I take it you've never used an emulator. The SoftMac emulator emulates an older 68040-based Macintosh computer (PowerPC emulation is coming soon) and lets you run Mac OS 6.0 to 8.1. (You'll need to dump your LC or Quadra's BIOS to disk for it to work.)

[ Parent ]
No (none / 0) (#111)
by fluffy grue on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 05:23:01 PM EST

"Emulating" and "installing" are two completely different things. Even if you were to emulate MacOS on a Windows PC, you'd still be running Windows underneath. HUGE difference.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

The line between native and emulated (none / 0) (#128)
by pin0cchio on Wed Apr 11, 2001 at 02:09:02 PM EST

"Emulating" and "installing" are two completely different things.

Exactly; they're orthogonal. Whether you're working on a system where the 68K instructions are implemented in hardware (68040 machine) or in software (PowerPC or x86) or in some strange combination (a la Crusoe), you still have to install the operating system to whatever storage device you are booting from.

if you were to emulate MacOS on a Windows PC, you'd still be running Windows underneath. HUGE difference.

If you were to emulate Windows on a PC whose Crusoe CPU runs a Transmeta Code Morphing operating system, you'd still be running Code Morphing underneath. <sarcasm>HUGE difference.</sarcasm> Heck, even the Pentium 4 processor emulates x86 instructions, using a form of dynamic recompilation into RISC micro-operations.

It has become increasingly difficult over the last few years to distinguish "native" from "emulated" execution of binary code. Where do you prefer to draw the line?

[ Parent ]
But you can buy macs easily (none / 0) (#89)
by Delirium on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 04:36:09 AM EST

But many people might find it easier to just wait (sticking it out with win98 for now) and buy a new iMac for their next PC, rather than installing and trying to learn how to use Linux.

[ Parent ]
OT, sort of, about that RIP, MIX BURN stupidity (2.00 / 1) (#61)
by rabbit on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 08:24:55 PM EST

Not only is Apple dumb, but the people that are "taken" by that add are pretty stupid, too. If you're going to make a mix CD, you don't really want to use MP3s as source, unless they're ripped with at LEAST 160kbps encoding. And how many people use 160kpbs+ mp3s? Not very many. But then maybe it's just me. I don't like my CDs to sound just as bad as tape, so I'm probably pretty weird.

If you're going to rip with the purpose of making mix CDs rip to straight wav/aiff or make sure you use High Quality mp3s.

-- I have desires that are not in accord with the status quo.
[ Parent ]
MP3s (3.50 / 2) (#83)
by Anonymous 6522 on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 12:19:57 AM EST

I don't know a single person who actually encodes stuff at 128kb/s. Most people who I know use at least 192kb/s. Besides, what bitrate you use to encode (as long is it is reasonably high) doesn't matter as much as the audio that you are encoding. I've heard songs that sound great at 128kb/s or even 112kb/s, and others that just sucked at 160kb/s and needed to be encoded at a higer bitrate.

Although I haven't read or heard anything about how exactally Apple's cd burner encodes CDs, they may just be trying to avoid having to have 700MB (of 80min CDs) of free space laying around to make a mix CD. I do agree with you that they should use a bitrate higher than 128kb/s or VBR mp3s.

[ Parent ]

Sampling with iTunes... (2.00 / 1) (#96)
by Electric Angst on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 08:55:44 AM EST

While iTunes is set to rip at a default of 128khz, you can easily make it up to 320khz, perfectly good quality for a CD.

"Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
[ Parent ]
Burning From 128kbps MP3s Is Fine (none / 0) (#105)
by Waldo on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 01:25:33 PM EST

I almost never listen to CDs anymore; maybe once a week. Just MP3s. I've ripped 75% of my music collection, and now I can listen to it from anywhere. I encoded it all at 128kbps, and I've even burned some mix CDs from those. (To listen to in the car, play for friends, etc.) Now, some of my music loving-friends -- especially musicially-inclined Will -- assured me that 128kbps would suck, and that I had to rip at something higher.

But the truth is that I can' t tell the difference. I'm a music fan, I don't have any hearing problems that prevent me from telling good quality from bad. I've got about an average level of music knowledge, and I can assure you that 128kbps is no problem at all for me.


[ Parent ]
Sure, but... (3.00 / 1) (#91)
by Dion on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 05:11:36 AM EST

You are right that Apple has a nice product (or at least reputation) multimedia/UI wise, the major problem is that you can't just delete windows and install macos, but you *can* do that with Linux.

I think there will be plenty of room for macos in a windows free world, because Linux will never be able to be used to exclude apple (or any other platform) as much as M$ tries to with windows.

[ Parent ]
hackage (4.46 / 15) (#15)
by Defect on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 09:44:16 AM EST

The code will be written, driven by the hackers love of "sticking it to da man", and because the challenge is there.

You apply that statement only to linux users, as if users of any other OS can't "stick it to da man." Do you honestly think windows XP is going to be without 3rd party media players? It's just going to take a little extra time to figure out how. Programmers don't just give up when they hit a roadblock like that, they work around it.

And as for the way microsoft is doing this, they are bound to not care what people like us think. Right now they are getting the big media businesses on their side by offering integrated copyright enforcing as part of the OS. But after a user has installed it, if they get around the copyright issues then what does microsoft care? They're just making themselves look like the good guys (to the affected media businesses) at first but they won't give a shit after everyone has their OS installed.

Everything that looks bad about windows XP will be circumvented one way or the other. It always has and always will. Maybe it would be best if people stopped making judgements until the OS is actually out.
defect - jso - joseth || a link
Love it... (2.66 / 3) (#36)
by deefer on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 03:10:26 PM EST


Doesn't seem to be in ESR's Hackers Dictionary / Jargon File... But I like it.

Have a look for one of my other comments here; MS will be like lightning all over this for contractual reasons with the media producers...

Kill the baddies.
Get the girl.
And save the entire planet.

[ Parent ]
Won't happen (3.33 / 9) (#17)
by cezarg on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 09:54:25 AM EST

No it won't. There is no (advanced) effort in Linux to compete with Microsoft's DirectShow. As bad as DirectShow is (I know I've been working with it for almost a year now) it does provide a pluggable multimedia architecture. This means that I can create a set of filters and configure them by taking various components (Microsoft's or third party) and put them together to create a customised filter graph. The advantage of it is that adding more file formats usually means simply writing a new decoder filter, all other parts of the graph can be reused.

There is no comparable effort on Linux that can compete with DirectShow head to head. I heard that GNOME guys had a project of sorts to do just that. However, it's still in its infancy and it will most likely take them years to get where Microsoft is already. DirectShow is where Linux really missed the boat on this one. There is plenty of mp3 players on Linux but none that has a real component architecture behind it.

Pluggable Linux multimedia (5.00 / 1) (#28)
by dennis on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 12:49:47 PM EST

There is no (advanced) effort in Linux to compete with Microsoft's DirectShow.

What about aRts?

[ Parent ]

Sound only? (none / 0) (#30)
by cezarg on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 12:53:24 PM EST

I browsed through the aRts website a few time and always been confused by its capabilites. It appears to me to be focused mainly on sound playback and editing. No video capability seems to be a part of it. I might be wrong though. I find the aRts website a bit confusing.

[ Parent ]
True for now (none / 0) (#99)
by dennis on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 11:02:53 AM EST

I couldn't find any reference to video in the documentation. However, that may change. Just as gtk morphed from something for Gimp to a general-purpose widget set for Gnome, aRts has gone from being a specific application to being the underlying multimedia architecture for KDE. All the widgets are still sound but some of the technology (MCOP, like Corba but designed for realtime multimedia) looks like it might turn out useful for video. Also, they're trying to keep it fairly portable.

I'm not all that familiar with it but it looks promising to me.

[ Parent ]

GStreamer (4.50 / 2) (#58)
by MenTaLguY on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 08:05:40 PM EST

GStreamer looks rather promising, actually.

...ceterum censeo delendam esse X11.
[ Parent ]
You're Wrong! Check out SDL (3.33 / 3) (#60)
by rabbit on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 08:17:40 PM EST

Um, no, you're wrong. There is an advanced effort to complete with M$ DirectFoo crap, it's called SDL.

Check it out here

-- I have desires that are not in accord with the status quo.
[ Parent ]
SDL?! (none / 0) (#127)
by oluseyi on Sun Apr 01, 2001 at 11:49:08 PM EST

SDL competes with Direct<anything>?

SDL is primarily a compatibility layer for hardware access and control designed to enhance the development of multi-platform multimedia libraries and applications, especially games. Under Windows, SDL uses DirectX for a lot of hardware access! (which negates the competition argument as SDL isn't Linux-specific). As a matter of fact, SDL was conceived while writing Executor, the Mac emulator. It's intention is not to compete with DirectX, and it doesn't sport a component architecture.

[ Parent ]
Well, there's OGG. (none / 0) (#76)
by dave0 on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 10:13:20 PM EST

The Ogg bitstream format can support multiple codecs. Currently there's Vorbis for audio, and there's a video streaming format called Tarkin in the works. http://www.xiph.org/ogg/

[ Parent ]
The real competition... (4.27 / 18) (#19)
by ucblockhead on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 10:33:33 AM EST

This is unlikely to happen. The real competition that Microsoft has to worry about is competition from its own OSes. If Johnny can't play mp3s downloaded off of Napster under Windows XP, then he won't run Windows XP. He'll run Windows Me, Windows 98 or Windows 2000.

Which is bad for Microsoft, but it isn't particularly good for Linux.

(They've been having an increasing problem of self-competition for years, now, just witness the overwhelming stampede to get WindowsMe. Very bad for them, which is the real reason they are pushing all this subscription crap that ends overt software releases.)
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup

However (4.00 / 3) (#63)
by spacejack on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 08:34:16 PM EST

Microsoft is pretty damn good at erasing all traces of software and documentation they don't want to support any longer. They did a pretty good job of killing DOS dead. Or just try to find old DirectX installs or documentation. Unless people start hoarding copies of 98, ME, 2K it might be pretty hard to find them, especially for home users.

People might be tempted to copy CDs from friends.. but how hard would it be for Microsoft to start doing some checking in Windows Update?

[ Parent ]
You'd be surprised... (3.00 / 1) (#78)
by ucblockhead on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 10:30:48 PM EST

As someone at the end of the chain that supports an application, you'd be amazed at how many people are still using the initial release of Windows 95.
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Yo. (4.00 / 2) (#79)
by flieghund on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 10:52:55 PM EST

...you'd be amazed at how many people are still using the initial release of Windows 95.
'Course, that's only on my little 486, and 'cause it's only got 16 megs of RAM. I haven't booted it since last June (the last time I updated the software), but at the time I had downloaded (and archived!) all of the available updates from Microsoft.

At work, we have a computer-run display set up in the lobby. It runs Win95b, which is moderately better but not by much.

The trick to surviving the deprecation of your OS is to remember to save a copy of everything you ever download/install, so that you could recreate your system in an emergency.

Of course, at this point, I'm not sure if it'd be worth recreating the system on the 486 if something were to happen...

Using a Macintosh is like picking your nose: everyone likes to do it, but no one will admit to it.
[ Parent ]
Nein. (3.00 / 12) (#20)
by rebelcool on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 11:15:15 AM EST

little johnny and teenybopper susie doesnt want to use linux and it's obscurities, difficult commands and funky gui. You're assuming that because a few programs make not work properly for a couple of weeks (about as long as it takes to fix...), people across the world will jump to linux.

Right. Heh, I swear, the linux zealots are as naive as the people who can barely use a mouse.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

Installed Linux recently? (2.33 / 6) (#27)
by deefer on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 12:19:36 PM EST

Genuine question, that one.
I did RH6.2 about 3 months ago. Absolute doddle - in about 45 minutes I was reading my email. And the box wasn't exactly mainstream either - I built it myself.

I also have admin'ed 2000, NT4, 98 and 95. RH6.2 wasn't as easy as 98/95, but it easily equalled 2000 and NT4 for workstation installs.

So you get one local nerd who can play the pirated files. Then all of his/her mates want them to install "the file player thingy" on their PC's... I don't see MS doing an about turn on the media companies that they guaranteed content protection to - media companies have legions of slavering lawyers and I'm sure contracts will have been signed...

OT joke - What's black and tan and looks good on a lawyer?

A dobermann... *rimshot then ducks*

Kill the baddies.
Get the girl.
And save the entire planet.

[ Parent ]

Then there is MY instalation story... (3.33 / 3) (#48)
by CyberQuog on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 05:34:46 PM EST

Linux is still not easy to install, I go to install Red hat 7.0 and forget I need to partition it. Guess what, 99% of all OEM computers put the windows partitions to take up 100% of the harddrive. I have to download a utility to resize a partition, which takes about 45 min. After this, the installation went semi-smoothly, until we went to set up ppd. Again, most computers bought from someone like Dell (think mainstream customers) contain Winmodems. Luckily I have an older comptuer with a hardware IDE modem.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that Linux still has a good long way to go before it will be simple to install for complete newbie users, who don't even know what a filesystem is.

[ Parent ]
Linux installation is *not* easy enough (3.50 / 4) (#53)
by TheLer on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 06:19:20 PM EST

Although people like you and me may find installing Linux quite easy and getting easier all the time, the average person still would have no chance at a successful installation. We're talking about people who seriously cannot grasp the difference between left and right click and have trouble using Windows in general. There is no hope for them on Linux. And another point - most people just don't care enough to use Linux instead of Windows. If their Napster and Winamp don't work anymore, they'll go back to buying CDs.

[ Parent ]
Windows installation sucks too... (4.00 / 3) (#55)
by petard on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 06:55:42 PM EST

Install [Insert favorite GNU/Linux system here... Mandrake is particularly easy] on an entirely blank box. Then install Windows[95|98|NT|2000] an identical blank box. Compare notes. Windows is not by a long shot guaranteed to be an easier install! Installing any OS is not for those
people who seriously cannot grasp the difference between left and right click and have trouble using Windows in general
The bar installing Linux needs to cross for them is buying a preconfigured box that just works. So long as you can't run to the local store and pick up a Linux box, for the audience you mention to use Linux, installing it will need to be easier than just running the OS that sits on their machine out of the box.
The solution: Melissa GNU/Linux. When Joe Sixpack opens an e-mail, it mails itself out to everyone in his address book then installs Linux in the background on his system, carefully preserving all his data of course :-)

[ Parent ]
Pre-installed boxes (3.00 / 2) (#57)
by spacejack on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 07:36:40 PM EST

I don't know about elsewhere, but it's pretty easy to find a shop that will sell you a pre-installed Linux box in Toronto. Heck, I've gotten a few flyers in the mail advertising this from local shops, none of whom would know anything about my computer habits.

[ Parent ]
You still have to *find* them though (4.00 / 1) (#113)
by petard on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 06:36:17 PM EST

Unfortunately, you still have to find a shop that will sell you one, rather than happening across one with a pretty, glossy display running a flashy multimedia demo in Best Buy, Circuit City, Wal Mart, Sears, etc. In our real computer stores around here, Linux boxen are rather common too... though I haven't received paper spam about them yet :-) Unfortunately, the average users that were mentioned tend to go buy their 'puters the same places they get their TVs, DVD players and video games. <sigh>

[ Parent ]
Not about installation (4.00 / 2) (#56)
by spacejack on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 07:32:55 PM EST

It's about being able to buy a pre-installed box and whether or not the Linux apps out there will cover the typical user's needs. Most of my friends work or want to work in the creative industry... so the answer would be a firm no.

[ Parent ]
Real must die (3.93 / 16) (#23)
by delmoi on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 11:31:35 AM EST

God, oh god oh god. I hope they die so much. please, please, please :) I don't care how I just can't stand them. Their products blow, and but there's so much content out there (usualy stuff encoded long ago, and that can't be decoded because of Real's bogus proprietary format) that needs. I just don't see it, usually.

Their privacy affronts are even worse, remember the whole debacle of the Real MP3 player uploading your entire play list to RM? Well I do. I won't touch real products with a 10foot pool.

Winamp, on the other hand, is great. And if the current version on the other hand doesn't work with win XP, it probably will later.

And as far as the trumpet Winsock thing goes, well, I think most people would expect at TCP/IP stack in an OS, hell Linux has one in the kernel and has for years.

I'm not a m$ defender, I'm just so giddy at the idea of real going down... hehe : )
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
Well, since Real..... (3.00 / 2) (#47)
by Rasvar on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 05:28:50 PM EST

is the only reliable live video streamer for low bandwidth situations and the only one I can run under linux, I want them to survive. I couldn't give a damn about propieritary protocols. Heck, so are MS's and they suck worse than Real.

The fact is that it is going to be harder to circumvent the protection becuase they are tied to hardware and software. A lot of people can hack code; but it gets more diffcult to do when you have to solder a mod chip onto a hard drive and/or motherboard. Most folks won't want to do it.

[ Parent ]
I prefer ASF (2.00 / 1) (#90)
by Delirium on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 04:43:31 AM EST

Well, I like streaming ASF in Windows Media Player a lot better than streaming RealVideo. Some of this is admittedly due to the player (WMP is much nicer than RealPlayer is; starts up faster, takes less RAM, is more responsive, and has more options). However, the encoding seems better too - ASFs look less crappy when enlarged to fullscreen mode than similar-bitrate RealVideo files do. And I haven't seen them used much, but the *.wmv format appears to be an even better streaming video format (also supported by Windows Media Player; not sure if it's supported by any other players).

[ Parent ]
On higher banwidth... (none / 0) (#94)
by Rasvar on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 08:14:13 AM EST

with less network congestion, I find MS stream better. However, Real does a better job handling congested or slow streams, which tend to be what I deal with. Plus, the realserver is a little more robust in handling network problems between the source encoder and the server then the MS media services does.

Truthfully, neither one is fantastic. I think there is still a lot of "maturing" that needs to be done. I have to admit that I would choose MS over Real for an intranet layout. Also, MS is playing the Netscape game by giving away their server for free. Real is asking for way too much money for some of its more advanced servers.

[ Parent ]
Mod chips (3.00 / 1) (#93)
by Yer Mom on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 06:55:05 AM EST

How many Playstations have been modded to run import/copy games?

I can pick up the local free ad paper and find about five or six ads each week offering mod chips for sale - or they'll fit one for you for a little extra.

Likewise with DVD players - plenty of places (at least here in the UK) who'll take your player and mod it for you, or just sell you a pre-modded one.

If enough people want modded motherboards - and if this scheme goes ahead, you can bet they will - then there'll be plenty of companies willing to do the necessary for a reasonable fee...
Smoke crack. Worship Satan. Admin Unix.
[ Parent ]

Europe/USA difference (4.00 / 1) (#100)
by Ken Arromdee on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 11:31:08 AM EST

Modification of both game systems and DVD players is common in Europe, because the game and movie companies consider Europe as a secondary market and release a lot of stuff late or not at all or just expensive there. In Europe, *everyone* needs modified systems. In America, it only has major importance to us.

You also don't have DMCA or equivalents. (Sony already cracked down on Playstation modification in Australia because of a new restrictive law there.)

[ Parent ]

Why (3.87 / 8) (#29)
by spacejack on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 12:53:06 PM EST

do you think they'd turn to Linux (which they haven't heard of) instead of Mac? Is Apple planning the same kind of protection schemes?

The child in me says "Yay, maybe Apple will win after all!" *smack*

Proprietary hardware... (3.33 / 6) (#41)
by vzzbx on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 04:44:47 PM EST

...is the big obstacle here IMHO. It will be easier for them to try out linux instead of buying a mac first (expensive hardware compared to cheap x86 stuff).

[ Parent ]
Easier? (4.00 / 3) (#73)
by YelM3 on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 09:20:12 PM EST

Easier? More like cheaper to try Linux.

Let's say it's time to buy the family a new PC; your Gateway p3-500 is starting to feel slow and besides, none of your pirated mp3s work with that new Windows upgrade. What will Joe Average do?

Given the choice of a) Learning and using Linux or b) Paying $2500 and getting a Mac, some (most?) people would simply rather pay the money for the Mac. My parents have been using Windows for 7 years and still haven't a clue how to, say, format a floppy disk or repartition a hard drive. I have no doubt in my mind they would go for a more expensive Mac any day than try to learn Linux. They don't have the time nor the desire.

Anyway, if this XP copy-protection thing really turns out to be as bad as it seems, it could potentially be a big mistake for MS and the number of new Mac users could begin to offset the cost of Mac hardware before long.

[ Parent ]
Cheaper sometimes == easier (none / 0) (#80)
by elefantstn on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 10:54:41 PM EST

$2500 is way more than most people these days expect to spend on a computere. Only rich people who like fashionable computers buy Macs for home use anymore ( <- gross exaggeration). For most people, the time taken to learn Linux (not long, really), is far less than the time taken to earn $2500. And besides that, if they're going to have to ditch the old p-3 anyway, there's no cost associated with throwing Linux on it.

[ Parent ]
disagree (none / 0) (#114)
by YelM3 on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 06:47:26 PM EST

"For most people, the time taken to learn Linux (not long, really), is far less than the time taken to earn $2500."

I would argue that this simply isn't true. Most people? Think about that. The largest age group in America are senior citizens. AOL has how many tens of millions of members now? Most people have no interest at all in learning Linux, and even if they did, it would be a substantial undertaking.

[ Parent ]
Not True (2.00 / 1) (#107)
by Waldo on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 01:44:48 PM EST

See Wilfredo Sanchez's Advogato diary, this September Daemon News story, CNN's November story, and the OSXonIntel page.

Oh, yes, OS X runs on Intel.


[ Parent ]
Apple (1.33 / 3) (#50)
by darthaggie on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 05:47:16 PM EST

Is Apple planning the same kind of protection schemes?

Of course.

I am BOFH. Resistance is futile. Your network will be assimilated.
[ Parent ]

Two conflicting statements (4.25 / 12) (#40)
by theR on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 04:18:48 PM EST

You make what, in my opinion, are two conflicting statements. First:

There may be hacks around it, but it may be more than most home users really want to do, and you can count on service packs to eliminate any vulnerability in the content management subsystem.

Then you go on to say:

Circumvention of media access control measures will be provided, similar to the way DeCSS exists today. The code will be written, driven by the hackers love of "sticking it to da man", and because the challenge is there.

So, why would Joe User switch to Linux if the reason to leave Windows behind is that s/he doesn't feel up to the task of using the hacks for Windows to get around the problem? If somebody who is a Windows user can get Linux up and running, then they certainly are capable of implementing a Windows hack that somebody else has provided, and if there is actually a need when the shipping version of XP comes out, there will be plenty of hacks available.

It just does not make sense to me that people will leave Windows because it is too hard to get around this restriction, and that is assuming these programs still won't work in the final release of XP, which seems unlikely to me. It also seems unlikely that these same people, if they no longer use Windows, would choose to go to Linux. There are many valid reasons to use Linux, but using it as a desktop OS for an average non-technical user does not seem very high on the list.

Explanation... (3.33 / 3) (#54)
by deefer on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 06:25:42 PM EST

1st comment referred to getting around existing, closed source code it on Windows.
2nd comment referred to building it from scratch on Linux.

The reason to switch is in the article. I've highlightde it for you here:
"There may be hacks around it, but it may be more than most home users really want to do, and you can count on service packs to eliminate any vulnerability

Kill the baddies.
Get the girl.
And save the entire planet.

[ Parent ]
You're entitled (3.00 / 2) (#67)
by theR on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 08:55:22 PM EST

You're entitled to your opinion, but being closed source by no means prevents hacks from happening, as is so often pointed out by the vocal crowd admonishing people that Windows is insecure because of it's closed source and Linux is more secure because its source code is available. The fact is, even if these programs continue to have problems running on the final release of Windows XP, I'll put my money (figuratively) on plenty of people being able to hack their way around any artificial barriers Microsoft adds to their OS. I would also put my money on those same hackers making their work-arounds widely available.

I also strongly believe that, once XP is more widely available and developers have had more time to work with it, this won't even be an issue. If it is still an issue after XP has been released to the public for a short time, then there will be something to talk about. As of now, it is not an issue to me. Complaining about something you don't like, before the makers of the product have presented it as finished, does not make a lot of sense to me unless a person thinks those complaints will influence those making the product to .

[ Parent ]
Nobody cares. (3.46 / 15) (#42)
by Bob Abooey on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 04:48:06 PM EST

You are living in a bubble, you read the tech sites and you stay up to date on who is doing what.. your a techy. 80+ % (magic number pulled from my arse.. it could be higher) of computer users don't understand tech sites, they don't care who is doing what. They could care less. Regular people care about their laundry and getting groceries, they worry about if the new bathroom tiles will match the new wallpaper, they care about killing that patch of crabgrass that sprouted up on the back lawn. They will use whatever comes with the computer and as long as it pretty-much works, they will never think twice about it. That my friend is the hard cold reality you must face if you choose to compete with the boys from Redmond.

I'm sorry, but most people just don't give a rats arse about all this fuss over MS being an illegal monopoly or their abuse of power, they have other *real* problems to worry about.


Comments on politics from a man whose life seems to revolve around his lunch menu just do not hold weight. - Casioitan
XP (4.80 / 5) (#46)
by ucblockhead on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 05:20:16 PM EST

What you are missing is that this new registration stuff that Microsoft is proposing will annoy exactly that sort of user. When a guy goes down to Best Buy to by the new harddrive because junior is complaining about the lack of space for games, he's gonna get real ticked off if suddenly he has to call Microsoft to get everything working again.
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
And it's happening already. (none / 0) (#64)
by static on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 08:36:43 PM EST

My brother and his wife can't use an Office CD-ROM they purchased second hand off her sister. Why not? Because MS won't let them register it. Who are they mad at? Microsoft.

Okay, so it's tame and they aren't interested in going to Linux, but using something other than (Microsoft) Office is about their only solution to that and they haven't yet said they won't do that. (I've offered them Star Office, if you were curious.)


[ Parent ]

Fair enough (none / 0) (#69)
by Bob Abooey on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 09:00:38 PM EST

The example you give is one that Microsoft has thought through. If Jr. has a computer for playing games then they are locked into MS as a platform. Jr has no choice but to stay on Windows because that's the platform the games are developed for. Unless jr wants to play nethack and XBill. Ms doesn't care if dad is hacked off because he has to call them to reinstall his OS, what else is he going to do? Microsoft may be a lot of things but stupid isn't one of them. They are either going to cater to the mom and pops who want to do things their own way, and in turn leave themselves open to piracy, as well as pissing off the multi-billion dollar entertainment industry... or piss off a few mom and pops and cater to the mult-billion dollar Ent. industry. I can tell you which option makes more sense to the bean counters.

Maybe people are a little hacked off at MS at first, but they (the majority of them, which is all MS needs) will soon just accept it and go on with their lives. After a few years people just accept it as the way things work and don't even think about it. Meanwhile the hackers will do their own thing, which they are doing anyways, in such small numbes that it is meaninless to MS. If you want to pirate stuff you will use an alternative system or do whatever you have to do and they realize that.

Going back to my original point.... I submit to you that you are in such a minority here that it might really surpirse you with regards to your technichal know how. Most computer users have very little clue and just don't care to know more than they have to. Most people just want to be able to send their emails and write letters and surf the net... they don't care and there is nothing wrong with that, it just they way it goes.

Comments on politics from a man whose life seems to revolve around his lunch menu just do not hold weight. - Casioitan
[ Parent ]
The real competition (none / 0) (#77)
by ucblockhead on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 10:29:10 PM EST

You are wrong and right. You are right that they won't go to Linux. Where you are wrong is in assuming that they'll just go along quietly. They'll just figure out that they don't have this problem if they stick with Windows 98. It doesn't take any tech savvy to realize that you don't have to upgrade. This is already a problem that Microsoft has, just look at the stampede to get Windows ME. This XP stuff is just going to make it worse.
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Big Picture (none / 0) (#97)
by Bob Abooey on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 09:32:19 AM EST

I agree with you on that point. There are still a lot of users of are using Win95, people don't upgrade just for the sake of upgrading anymore. Heck, I have a friend who thinks he running Windows 97 (because he has Office 97) so again I restate my point that most people don't really know or care. Most people *aren't* tech saavy. Besides, upgrading is a complicated and daunting task for a layman to do, if their system is working then why bother?

However, every new machine that is sold in a retail store will come bundled with this new and exciting Windows XP, plus you can be sure MS will tie some uber cool feature into some .NET service that will require XP or 2000... or something along those lines. Perhaps they will break some backward compatible feature in Office XP to try to force business people who need to use it into upgrading, it's the MS way. Also it's important to remember that MS knows Windows is going away, that's why they are moving their business model to the whole .NET subscription model. The subscription service was what Bill wanted from way back. I read an old interview with him (before he was the evil leader of the free world) where he talked about your computer being like cable TV where you pay a monthly fee for all these great services... At that point as long as MS owns the "subscription services" which would be .NET if they pull it off, then that becomes their cash cow. They are prety much stalling for time right now, waiting for that to happen. Sadly, I don't see any competitors who will stop them. Surely not Sun or Apple... but I digress.

Comments on politics from a man whose life seems to revolve around his lunch menu just do not hold weight. - Casioitan
[ Parent ]
Customers (none / 0) (#103)
by ucblockhead on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 12:34:34 PM EST

Customers can stop them. Remember "Microsoft Bob"?
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
right-o (none / 0) (#106)
by Bob Abooey on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 01:36:30 PM EST

Yes... indeed. Well, for the sake of humanity lets hope the free world has enough sense not to dance with the devil. We all know what happens when you do that...


Comments on politics from a man whose life seems to revolve around his lunch menu just do not hold weight. - Casioitan
[ Parent ]
Oh, they'll care... (4.00 / 4) (#49)
by darthaggie on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 05:45:45 PM EST

I'm sorry, but most people just don't give a rats arse about all this fuss over MS being an illegal monopoly or their abuse of power, they have other *real* problems to worry about.

They'll care when they can't listen to the MP3's the ripped using RealJukebox, or duplicate CD's on their CD-R so they can throw it in the car.

I am BOFH. Resistance is futile. Your network will be assimilated.
[ Parent ]

Will they care? (none / 0) (#120)
by Minuit on Sat Mar 24, 2001 at 10:15:45 PM EST

...Or will they think "Gee, RealJukebox must be broken because I can't play the MP3s it makes"? And then, rather than instantly see the complex social and legal issues behind why that has happened, they will run to Windows Update, get a new version of WiMP and carry on.

Remember, this is the same "most people" who has put up with complete operating system crashes for years, even when there was a simple way to fix it just because "That's the way computers work".


If you were my .sig, you would be home by now.
[ Parent ]

Ouch! (3.20 / 5) (#51)
by deefer on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 06:13:02 PM EST

magic number pulled from my arse..

If you've got magic numbers up your arse, does that mean you are the goatse.cx bloke? Man pulling 90% out could _really_ hurt... >)

Kill the baddies.
Get the girl.
And save the entire planet.

[ Parent ]
It all really comes down to one thing.... (4.14 / 7) (#52)
by jester69 on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 06:16:33 PM EST

How well will Microsoft implement copy protection?

If they do a really good job and make it well nigh unhackable for anyone but a god, then people may be motivated to try something else. If they fuxor it up and its full of holes, people will just go get the hambo crack for XP and be on their way.

I dont think business desktop use will change for a while, too much of what i do at work integrates with windows. But, what do home users really do at home that cant be done on linux? 90% of the time we web, IRC, burn CD'd, listen to MP3's etc. Nothing too platform specific.

Linux keeps getting easier all the time, I installed mandrake last night and it was very simple.(couldnt get FIPS to see my HD right, decided to use disk drake and just kept going...) I even have pretty bleeding edge hardware, and it went in with no fuss. Now, making changes after its installed is another issue entirely... But i think with some help even my mom could use a linux box that i had configured for her.

take care,

The jester

Its a lemming thing, Jeep owners would understand.
Hook idea (4.07 / 14) (#62)
by spacejack on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 08:26:06 PM EST

Let me preface by saying I'm pretty much ambivalent about the whole thing. I don't really care if the public goes for Linux, Windows, Mac, BeOS or whatever. They could dump computers tomorrow as an old fad and I really wouldn't give a shit. Now, that said..

What Linux needs is a hook; something to get Joe sixpack to give it a whirl. If people don't want to give up their Windoze apps, games, etc., but they want to use Linux to play "unauthorized" mp3s, maybe they could use a dual install. (I haven't tried this, but presumably you can install Linux on the same drive as your already-installed Windows OS). So the community needs to do 2 things:

1. Decide on a Joe Sixpack distribution. Not your favourite distribution, but what's best for the newbie. I'm beginning to think the Linux community is incapable of this simple task, but if they could do this, then they could..

2. Pass around a "Get Linux" button -- just like the "Get Netscape" and "Get IE" buttons that were ubiquitous a few years ago. Put it everywhere you can. If you run a porn site, put up a message "this website best viewed with Linux" alongside that button. Put it on your home site. Put it on your work site, your celebrity fan sites, your music sites, your game fan sites -- anywhere you can find a place Joe Sixpack is likely to visit that you have the freedom to do this. If it's a spiffy button, other Linux sympathizers will pick it up and the whole thing could snowball.

Now, that button must take the user to the dead simplest download/install site ever made in Linux history, with absolutely zero techie info. No in-jokes. No M$ jokes. No "open source software" advocacy. Just pure fucking propaganda written specifically for Joe Sixpack. Massage his ego. Tell him he's the greatest. Slogans like "What does he want to do tomorrow?", etc., etc. Every single thing they need to know should be in plain English on this page. No links to lame howtos, no mention of "recompiling kernel". Sandbox them in, entirely away from any of the existing Linux websites.

But I really don't know if the community has it in them.. or if they even want to do it. Microsoft is not going to do it for them, that's for sure.

ha ha (2.00 / 1) (#66)
by kubalaa on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 08:52:42 PM EST

That was both funny and educational. You've definitely hit it right on the, er, button, and I think Linux is getting technically capable of pulling it off, even if nobody wants to put together the documentation and utilities to make it happen.

[ Parent ]
Then what? (2.00 / 1) (#70)
by YelM3 on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 09:05:22 PM EST

I don't quite follow your logic. You want to essentially trick large numbers of people into trying Linux to play their pirated media, give them a no-brainer install, and then what?

Sure, don't mention anything about kernel recompiles on the distro web page -- but they'll still have to recompile their kernels to get their sound cards working. A large percentage of your Joe Sixpacks are AOL users who have no clue how to use Windows Update, let alone how to keep a Linux system up-to-date.

Linux is a long, long way from being easy enough for the masses to really use at home. There is a lot of work to be done before a 'hook' will do it any good.

[ Parent ]
No (3.00 / 2) (#72)
by spacejack on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 09:19:54 PM EST

I don't quite follow your logic. You want to essentially trick large numbers of people into trying Linux

Trick people? WTF is marketing? I'm just saying they should do the same damn thing Microsoft and Apple do.

to play their pirated media,

Christ, I didn't say that. I said "unauthorized" in quotes. If Windows disables your favourite mp3 player, or won't let you play mp3s you ripped from your own CDs 2 years ago it could be very useful.

give them a no-brainer install, and then what?

Then they have a computer that doesn't tell them they're stealing whenever they try to play a piece of media that may be perfectly legit. Or what the hell, maybe they'll just like it because it's different. Why does the average Joe like anything?? I dunno. Who cares?

Linux is a long, long way from being easy enough for the masses to really use at home. There is a lot of work to be done before a 'hook' will do it any good.

This is exactly why I described a dual install -- they use Windows for whatever they need Windows for, and they use Linux for whatever they like about it. Maybe they hardly use it. So what? I was just describing a possibility. Microsoft originally said the internet would not be a big deal. It didn't stop millions of users from installing and using Netscape.

[ Parent ]
POINT Taken (4.00 / 1) (#98)
by CaptainBoom on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 10:43:01 AM EST

Look it's as simple as this. Linux is tough to use. Why just recompiling the kernel to get your sound card working is ridiculous. Have any of you ever heard of the OOB or Out of Box Experience. Linux should OOB or at Least during Install configure EVERYTHING FOR YOU. Not to say I personally don't know how to hack config files but my mom certainly doesn't. Linux Greatest failing is that it is Hard to use. Yes it's technically better and yes it doesn't crash. But think of it this way. When you go to buy a car do you buy the 15-year-old Junker and take it home to fix it up or do you go buy the flashy new Camero with all the trimmings built in. The simple fact is that allot of people simply want to use there computer and not fiddle with the inner workings in order to make it do something that windows can do OOB.

[ Parent ]
Recompiles are no longer needed (4.00 / 1) (#108)
by infraoctarine on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 04:04:24 PM EST

Sure, don't mention anything about kernel recompiles on the distro web page -- but they'll still have to recompile their kernels to get their sound cards working.

Distributions nowadays come with everything compiled as modules, the installer will recognise your hardware and load the correct modules. There is very seldom any need to recompile; a non-techie user definitely would not need to. I run my computer with a stock Mandrake 7.2 kernel, it does SMP, graphics, sound, CD-R etc. without recompilation.

A large percentage of your Joe Sixpacks are AOL users who have no clue how to use Windows Update, let alone how to keep a Linux system up-to-date.

If they can learn how to use Windows Update, they can learn how to use Mandrake Update. It requires about the same level of knowledge.

[ Parent ]
Joe sixslack (none / 0) (#71)
by thePositron on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 09:18:54 PM EST

Maybe Slackware's Bigslack or zip slack distributions will do the trick? Both of these distributions require minimal effort and work to get started.

Maybe it could be called joe sixslack?

[ Parent ]
Joe Sixslack (4.00 / 1) (#75)
by spacejack on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 09:28:53 PM EST

Hehe. Probably not a good idea to refer to your audience as Joe Sixpack. But yeah, there are undoubtedly several distributions vying for "easiest to install". The problem is the community choosing one. I installed Linux last month for the first time, but I wasted a full day or two surfing around looking for an easy download, reading readmes, howtos, navigating through FTPs. I wound up picking up "Linux for Dummies" at the bookstore which came with a Redhat 7 install CD and the book took me through it step-by-step.

I don't use it for much.. not yet anyways. We'll see I guess.

[ Parent ]
I agree (none / 0) (#86)
by Fluxcore on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 02:33:25 AM EST

As a new convert to Linux. I found it very hard and frustrating to use. I would ask what distro to try, and get 10 different answers. Even after I installed Mandrake, I found a lot of peoples attitudes in IRC help channels to be rather snobish. I think we really need to embrace the new user. Try to help them as much as possible and spread the word.
Pathetic! Let me put that in a sentence for you. You are Pathetic.
[ Parent ]
More needed for JSP (joe six pack) linux... (none / 0) (#125)
by tchuladdiass on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 01:06:51 PM EST

The biggest probelm with the various linux distributions isn't necissarily installation (it's getting better, but not yet perfect), but the fact that it is next to impossible to guarantee that a particular application (binary or source) will work on all in-use distributions (not only the currently shipping versions, but also the previous 2-3 versions of each distribution.

This is due mainly to library incompatibilities. I.e., libc.so.6 may be linked to glibc-2.1.3.so on one system, but on another it is linked to glibc-2.1.2.so or glibc-2.2.x or ... Therefore, if a binary is dynamically linked against a libc.so.6 which was pointing to one version of glibc, it may or may not work if it is pointing to a slightly different version.

The Linux Standard Base is supposed to take care of this by putting a stake in the ground at a particular set of releases for the various libraries, but the problem with standards is that they move slower than what the various distributions want. Therefore, what I propose is that instead of the LSB defining which set of libraries and binaries go into a particular LSB-compliant distribution, that these libraries instead go into a seperate directiory hierarchy, such as /usr/lsb-1.1/lib, /usr/lsb-1.1/bin, etc. Then when an app vendor releases a binary, it will be linked against the lsb versions of the libraries instead of the main system libraries, allowing the two to peacefully co-exist. Also, this allows ANY distribution to become compliant with a particular version of the LSB by just installing the approprariate /usr/lsb-x.x directories.

[ Parent ]

Again we go through this.. (4.20 / 5) (#65)
by doormat on Thu Mar 22, 2001 at 08:42:37 PM EST

Isnt this the same crap we went through back in the days of DOS? MS would code their OS so that third party programs and utilities wouldnt run? Now they are doing it all over again. I think Linux will gain mainstream support soon, but I dont think it will be due to MP3s or DivX movies, etc. It will be that people dont want a subscription to an OS. Do I pay for a subscription to my hardware vendors (I get driver updates, dont I)? Well what if they are not connected to the internet and dont get updates from MS, then why should they have to pay a subscription....

God forbid (3.50 / 2) (#104)
by jxqvg on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 12:53:58 PM EST

...writing software that isn't 100% backward compatible with every previous release of a similar product. What possible incentive does MS have to look out for the interests of WinAmp(assuming it actually doesn't run - this is the Register, after all) beyond the ways in which it can benefit MS? Any corporation that deviates from this rule is doomed to failure. Sorry, it's just a cold, hard fact of business.

[ Parent ]
Motive (none / 0) (#116)
by doormat on Sat Mar 24, 2001 at 02:27:08 AM EST

MS has plenty of motive to make sure that winamp doesnt work, one being is that WMP will play audio files, and that they can try to get the music industry on board using secure digital distribution. Once winamp is broken and the OS wont play anything that isnt digitally signed, then MS has a monopoly on media playback (because MS doesnt have to let anyone else know how to play digital audio). Plus Nullsoft is owned by AOL.

[ Parent ]
another... (none / 0) (#121)
by use strict on Sun Mar 25, 2001 at 05:57:36 AM EST

another good point is that they've already done this to real, before, IIRC. Created a bug in win98 (SE perhaps?) that caused RP G2 to crash consistently.

But hte first poster is right, it is the register. IMO they have no journalistic credibility. The register has one nice thing, BOFH, and that's only good on occasion :)

[ Parent ]
Nooooooooo! (1.25 / 4) (#82)
by Hazmat on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 12:18:35 AM EST

Point 1. Realplayer SUCKS. Badly!
Point 3. Im running windoze and linux, so this doesnt affect me much... I just keep windoze cuz there arent that many games for linux. '
Point 4. I usually listen to my own music whilst playing said games.
Point 5. I do not like running two OSes at the same time
Conclusion: Damnit.

"Obscenity is the crutch of inarticulate motherfuckers." -Anonymous.
M$ has abandoned all pretense... (4.28 / 7) (#84)
by shimatta1 on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 12:33:07 AM EST

M$ has abandoned all pretense of being on the side of the consumer. Sure, they claim they're fostering innovation and productivity, but frankly, from the looks of their "innovations", they're really just trying to herd the mass market like so many sheep. They should change their motto to "Where would you like to go today out of our pre-selected list of destinations? And please be sure to obey all guidelines and restrictions on your journey."

Let's look at the "innovations" in XP...

Innovation: Simplicity. Simple is not always better. Simplicity, taken to extremes, curtails flexibility and versatility. "Make it simple enough that a fool can use it, and only a fool would want to use it." (Largely expemplified by AOL).

Simplicity is great! People will know how to use Win XP without having to know anything else about a computer!

This cannot be a good thing.

The average user nowadays knows more about what goes on inside their car than what goes on inside their computer, despite spending more time with the latter. If, say, a legal issue arises that would affect driving, most drivers would be qualified to give an opinion backed by experience or knowledge. If a legal issue arises that would affect computers, many casual computer users would not have the experience necessary to provide a valid personal opinion (i.e. one that they aren't just repeating from someone else). Part of the problem is that the topic of Computers has gotten too broad for most people to have had experience with a broad portion, but, more disturbingly, a significant percentage _refuse_ to learn more than absolutely necessary about their computers...as long as it works, that's all they care about. (If you doubt me, try working Tech Support for a few years).

A simpler-to-use Win XP wil broaden the computer appeal to the more technophobic groups, and those technophobic groups are much more likely to provide people who will remain willfully ignorant of everything outside of their minimum necessities.

Now, between an experienced user who is intimitely familiar with computers and a technophobe who voluntarily wears blinders, which one do you think would make a better sheep for Microsoft?

Innovation: MS (Insert well-known app or service made by another company but now cloned and appearing in Windows). MS Winsock! MS Internet Explorer! MS Media Player! MS Quisinart! (Hey, it could happen). All this wonderful value bundled with Microsoft Windows!

Let's face it, this isn't innovation. It's copying something that someone else found out first that customers would want. 'Cept now it's worse. In the old days, these clones had to be at least adequate. If MS's Winsock hadn't been decent, Trumpet Winsock would have walked all over it. Internet Explorer, at its inception, actually had competition. Now, the Media Player that comes with Win XP better be at least adequate, 'cos nothing else is going to work for a while! Probably a short while, but during that update time, MS gets the full attention of any Win XP users, and there's a dire advantage in that.

With the swarm of dubbed, censored, and sometimes severely mangled Japanese animation (aka "anime") appearing on cable lately, I've noticed that, no matter how much better the subbed, uncut, unmangled anime is, some people will prefer the mangled version, apparently on the grounds that it's what they saw first. Quality is irrelevant, it's all a matter of what you're used to. So, give a large number of new users (who will, coincidentally, more closely resemble sheep than any previous wave of new users) a week exposed to Microsoft's solutions to all their problems, well, why would they want to go anywhere else? "Four legs good! Two legs bad! Four legs good! Two legs bad!"

Innovation: Copy Protection. This is the most blatently non-consumer-oriented "upgrade" to the OS. The consumer has extensive rights to "fair use" of copyrighted material; unfortunatly, MS and others have decided to make it impossible to exercise those rights. Copying a CD can be used to make illegal copies for piracy; therefore, irrespective of the possibility that what you are copying may be legal, you will not be allowed to copy CDs. Oh, sure, they'll include enough exclusions that it may _appear_ that your fair use rights are uncurtailed, but no program that even _pretends_ to protect copyright would be able to properly allow all fair use; in order to "protect copyright", significant chunks of fair use will be sacrificed.

And you know what? They'll get away with it. Those new sheep will assume that if their OS doesn't allow copying CDs, then copying a CD that way _must_ be illegal. They won't look up the law to find out otherwise. Therefore, anyone using an OS other than Win XP to make copies _must_ be pirates. Even if someone explains to them the concept of fair use, they'll still look at non-Windows users with suspicion. And one word from anyone remotely resembling an authoritative source (such as the media, or Microsoft) that reinforces their belief that copying CDs is illegal, they'll be convinced that Linux users are pirates. "Four legs good! Two legs better! Four legs good! Two legs better!"

Well, this is just my hopefully-non-sheeplike opinion about this developement. It's probably irrational; I'm feeling rather sick right now, and my head hurts more ways than I care to think about right now (thinking about it is #16 on the list, btw). And if any of this turns out to be even remotely true, I'll go conquer Antarctica if it means regaining my rapidly disappearing freedom.

Jon "Shimatta" Baxter; gotta go catch my running nose.

Which sheep are you talking about? (none / 0) (#122)
by skiprosebaugh on Sun Mar 25, 2001 at 03:33:29 PM EST

And you know what? They'll get away with it. Those new sheep will assume that if their OS doesn't allow copying CDs, then copying a CD that way _must_ be illegal.
These sheep are the very same people who will today, upon hearing that you "know stuff about computers", will walk up to you and ask you to "fix my Napster so I can burn a N'Sync cd!" Today's people are VERY used to violating copyright, believe me.

[ Parent ]
The division of factions (3.80 / 5) (#85)
by jyhad on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 01:48:46 AM EST

As soon as I read about all the controls in Windows XP, I started feeling like the division is coming. We keep hearing about the technology haves and have-nots. Well, if you are reading this site you are probably a have or pretty close. There are a large number of people that could *never* install linux in its current form. These people are content to use Windows because they almost have to. These people may even be the large majority. Now, we have other options. Linux, FreeBSD, etc. Most people who use these have some higher level of tech understanding. Now Microsoft knows this and also knows that the general Windows user feels lost, frustrated, powerless when their machine dies or otherwise acts up. We know this is bad code from MS and you shouldn't stand for machines crashing all the time losing your 20 page Word Doc. They don't. They blame themselves. They don't think this is a cruddy OS that did this too me. It must have been that app I installed or some Voodoo. Now, you have two parties. One really has more control. The technical people could unionize and take over. We could stop industry and you should know this. The have not's want some of that control back. They want to feel like they are avid/expert computer users too. So what does MS do? They need to make us the enemy. I can just see people assuming that because we use some other OS that we use it to pirate music and other such evils. This is not just MS we are talking about but the music industry and the Software Publishers Association. This is schools (censorware) and corporations. Just how bad could it get? I'm not sure, but given the anti-napster tools they are making, the kids getting arrested overseas for using Napster, I think it could get pretty ugly.

(almost) TOTALLY INCORRECT! (4.12 / 8) (#92)
by bradenmcg on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 05:40:27 AM EST

Shame, shame, shame.

I once thought much higher of k5.

I would think that all of you would take anything you see on theregister with half a pound of driveway rock salt. It is the largest rumor mill in the industry.

Did any of you even read the article, or is this an excuse for some old-school MS bashing?

Some of it was true. Partition magic and many other disk utilities have become broken from NTFS 5.1. Ghost doesn't work, the primary annoyance to me.

Please note that I am running Windows XP pre-beta 2 build 2428 and am very much "on top" of the whole "beta scene" surrounding the product.

I'm currently running (cracked) Plus versions of both RealPlayer 8 and RealJukebox 2, as well as Winamp 2.72 (0.01 below the "Current," which was just released on 3/22.)

I haven't tried the cd burning functions in RealJukebox yet, however, I prefer to burn from my burning software and thus probably never will. Didn't try installing Easy CD Creator 5 platinum - 4.0x pro worked fine, although DirectCD 3.x has some issues. (Packet writing sucks anyway though.) Nero 5.x installed and works flawlessly, as does CDRWin from goldenhawk.

Lesson: never believe TheRegister. ®

<leonphelps>Yeah, now, uh, "sig," what is that?</leonphelps>

Killer apps alone won't make Linux triumph (3.87 / 8) (#95)
by yannick on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 08:46:44 AM EST

The scariest part of all of this is that despite the overwhelmingly negative feedback it has received about all the 'features' it's including in WinXP, Microsoft doesn't really have to worry.

Microsoft Windows is the most popular OS not because it is technologically the best (duh) but because it has inertia. It has a massive user base, which brings more software developers and more hardware support, which in turn brings more users. It's a self-perpetuating cycle. And when I say software, I'm referring to packages like Office, 3DSMax and the like -- not low-end stuff that can be cobbled together over the weekend by a lone hacker.

I like Linux, both technically and ideologically. I would love to run Linux full-time. Instead, I'm writing this comment from IE, running on Win2k. Both Windows and Linux have software that will satisfy my needs. But the Windows software satisfies it better. So until an equivalent is produced under Linux (realistically, I have neither the time nor the knowledge nor the inclination to write the programs myself), I'm stuck in Microsoft's world. My next computer will, no doubt, come preinstalled with Windows. Yech.

The other factor that creates this inertia is precedent. My father, for example, has used MS software for as long as he's used computers (circa 12 years now). Windows does the job well enough for him, so he will continue to use it for the forseeable future. He, like countless millions around the world, has no reason to abandon Windows for something else, and he will fork out the money necessary to get the latest and greatest (and hopefully less buggy) version of Windows when the time comes.

The more I think about it, the harder I find it will be to break Microsoft's dominance. No alternative to Microsoft, be it Linux or *BSD or MacOS, has built-up enough inertia to overcome the tendency people will have to continue using Windows. The cycle I described above is as harmful to upstarts as it is beneficial to the current leader.

So yeah, we can dream about Microsoft shooting itself in the foot with copy protection schemes that nobody will want. But the unfortunate reality of it all is that people will swallow whatever Microsoft dishes out. My patience with MS is running out, and Linux is looking more attractive day by day. I know I'm not the only one, but I won't delude myself into thinking that we're enough to break Microsoft's dominance.

Or maybe I'm just being pessimistic 'cuz I need more sleep.

"Myself when young did eagerly frequent / Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument / About it and about: but evermore / Came out by the same Door as in I went." -- Omar Khayyam

What else is new? (1.06 / 16) (#102)
by wedrownis on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 11:42:16 AM EST

Just another reason not to install Microshit products. Don't buy, Don't install, Don't use, Maybe Microsoft will get a hint. As for now I am happy with linux, the suprior OS hehehe.

The Real Issue: Control. (4.50 / 4) (#109)
by meldroc on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 04:05:04 PM EST


I'm talking about control of your computer, control of your information, and control of your privacy. Microsoft, the RIAA, the MPAA and other corporations and organizations are trying to take control of your computer away from you.

Well, I paid good money for my hardware, and it is my property. Any information stored, processed or executed on my hardware is done so at my sufferance. Therefore, I reserve the right of absolute control over ALL information that resides on my property. Copy control measures are an attempt to take that control away from me, and I will not tolerate that.

The corporations are essentially trying to impose controls over computer and other devices that are similar to the rules in the Soviet Union. Permits were required to own a computer, photocopy machine, printing press, or even a typewriter. Any unauthorized usage of those devices resulted in harsh penalites that typically included execution or relocation to a gulag. If anyone gives the slightest shit about freedom in the US and the rest of the world, the will oppose this kind of crap at all costs.


This story is an outright lie (3.75 / 4) (#112)
by DeadBaby on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 05:33:57 PM EST

I am using Winxp right now using both Real player, Quicktime and several CDR packages. AS far as I can tell this story is an all out lie to scare people away from products by a company they dislike.

How can Kuro5hin allow stories on the front page that are total lies?
"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
RE: This story is an outright lie (3.00 / 1) (#115)
by GregMiller on Sat Mar 24, 2001 at 01:01:39 AM EST

How can Kuro5hin allow stories on the front page that are total lies?

Kuro5hin doesn't allow the posting of stories...it's readers do by voting what goes to the front page. Perhaps you should have voted -1 on this one.

[ Parent ]
TCP/IP stack `warfare'? (3.00 / 1) (#117)
by mattbee on Sat Mar 24, 2001 at 05:08:58 AM EST

Normally, this is the Microsoft way; they include technology that other companies are selling and force the third party out of the market - remember Trumpet WinSock and PC TCPIP? Pretty much gone after W95 included a TCPIP stack as part of the OS

I hardly think this is one of Microsoft's more devious ploys-- I mean, IP network stacks are surely one of the most essential parts of any modern operating system. It's not as if anybody could be making a profit off selling one any more, especially seeing as they based their implementation on the BSD code which anybody can use. Exactly the same happened with Acorn's RISC OS platform: the widely used Freenet network stack was largely obsoleted by the inclusion of functionally identical code in the OS ROMs.

Where's the point? Killer App? (3.00 / 1) (#118)
by novajerk on Sat Mar 24, 2001 at 02:09:08 PM EST

This article should not have made it to the front page. Maybe after a revision, it would be worthy. My biggest gripe with this post is it is unclear exactly what the author is trying to say. I believe what deefer is trying to say is: Microsoft is trying to prevent pirating copyrighted material, and because of this people are going to start using Linux to sidestep MS's efforts. If this is the argument, the author should say so concisely, enabling the rest of us to have an topical discussion.

The title and the pseudo-topic sentence "This could be the killer app" suggest a killer app. Where's the killer app? Past killer apps include the web browser and word processors. These applications compelled people to buy computers which had these programs. If the author is saying the "killer app" is Windows Media Player, then shouldn't it be the "anti-killer app" since it repels users instead of attracting them.

Please post articles that clearly say something (i.e. use a topic sentence(s).) Some readers may feel that I sound like an English Compostition teacher. However, if the article writer doesn't explicitly state his/her argument, the following discussion will degenerate into offtopic drivel. Throwing out words like killer app, Linux and MS without being specific is a invitation to problems such as: trolls, senseless MS bashing, Linux fanaticism, and other offtopic posts. I am pleased that the posters to this article have, for the most part, posted on topic. If k5 posts start posting articles without strong arguments or specific topics, it is likely the discussions will degenerate into ones like Slashdot has.

Please make an argument concisely so that we may discuss a specific issue.

People want ease of use (3.00 / 1) (#119)
by novajerk on Sat Mar 24, 2001 at 02:46:55 PM EST

Microsoft's attempts to stop pirating copyrighted material is unlikely to have a major impact on what OS users will choose. Most average users (ones that I know) want a computer to email, surf the net, and write documents. As far as multimedia is concerned, they want to trade photos and view online movies/animation. These users want to be able to accomplish these tasks easily. They could care less about copyright protection. For instance, not many non-geeks know about DeCSS.

The masses want what MS offers. Windows Media Player is easy to use, works most of the time and comes preinstalled.

Today it's true... (3.00 / 1) (#123)
by titus-g on Sun Mar 25, 2001 at 04:05:26 PM EST

but nu generation etc.

this time MS is doing the PR for the wrong side :)

ok it doesn't have the ease of use yet, it doesn't have the stability (workstation) , or the compatibility, but give it a year or two.

probably not the revolution, but worth watching.

--"Essentially madness is like charity, it begins at home" --
[ Parent ]

I agree, Linux is becoming easier (none / 0) (#126)
by novajerk on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 03:13:30 AM EST

I agree that Linux will become earier to use. In fact, over the past few years it has improved greatly as a desktop machine. Gnome, KDE, and apps like StarOffice give linux the functionality needed for a desktop machine. Also, the installation of linux is really easy now. However, linux is behind when it comes to motion video, at least "out of the box." There are probably some folks who get their linux machine to play video well, but I have not. In addition, Internet Explorer is superior to Netscape. I was depressed after first used the much anticipated Netscape 6. It is bloated and slow. Maybe Opera can fill the hole that Netscape probably won't.

Really, I prefer Linux. I use it for software development and as a server. I beleive in the Unix philosophy of using small, simple tools to accomplish larger tasks. The directory system makes more sense. It's more secure. Also, since Unix has been around for decades and Linux borrows from it, much of the OS is rock solid.

For years, people have been saying that Linux will replace Windows on the desktop. I used to believe that it would make a significant dent in the PC market. Unfortunately, I do not think it will happen. Most likely, if an PC OS does dethrone Windows, it will be something other than Linux. Of course, this is just my opinion. It would please me greatly, if a few years from now ordinary users, like my mother, where booting to something other than Windows.

[ Parent ]
Huh? (none / 0) (#124)
by Elendale on Sun Mar 25, 2001 at 11:21:17 PM EST

Even if this were true (and it appears to be untrue, though i haven't actually used the thing) it wouldn't make a difference. The users would just use whatever MS shoves down their throat. Even if it has some sort of copy protection or whatnot they'll use the default over a downloaded (and probably somewhat difficult to get working assuming MS tries to break it) media provider. Just the way these things work.


When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.

New Paradigm (none / 0) (#129)
by ozjimbob on Fri Apr 27, 2001 at 01:50:58 AM EST

What needs to happen is for someone to put out a Linux distribution that isn't LINUX! basically do to the linux kernal what Apple did with BSD...use the powerful, stable, core of the operating system to build something new. Most people using MacOS-X don't know they're using Unix, and they don't need to, coz it works!

Someone needs to take the linux kernal...build an entirely new graphical interface (get rid of X, create an integrated interface from scratch that's fast, easy, and does the job, and which isn't layer-upon-layer-upon-layer of code like the current XF86/Window Manager situation). Create a simple binary file installation proceedure. People are used to clicking "Setup.exe" to install software, and I don't blame people if having to extract .tar.gz's and compile them turned them off. All that can still operate at the basic level, like it does in MacOS-X, but for the normal user, they just want to click it, install it, and find it sitting on their desktop / in their menu. So far no Linux distribution i've seen does this. Even the better one's like Mandrake are highly inconsistant, and installing software, even from RPMs, is a pain in the ass.

We also need to stop giving people 27 text editors, 15 configuration tools (none of which work well), 8 window managers, and hundreds of megabytes of crap like latex etc. that no "Typical" modern computer user would even want to look at. Cut things back to the basics. That's why windows is successful...You just install it, and use it, and if you want to improve your system, just download and install new software. Look to BeOS as an example of the right way to make an OS (just ignore Be Inc.'s apparent decision to stop developing it).
I still believe in revolution, I just don't capitalize it anymore.
Microsoft to release Killer App for Linux, maybe? | 129 comments (105 topical, 24 editorial, 1 hidden)
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