I recently discovered the Dicks Installs page over on Google Plus. Dick Thomas is a FOSS Promoter and pundit who does an amazing job explaining to others how too. So if you have some time take a look.
The guys over at Phoronix reminded me that X11 turns 25 today. That’s pretty awesome news. X11 has been the basis for Windowing on Linux since windowing began there. Many have tried to replace it but so for no one has. It’s modular focus has let it last this long and makes it really hard to supplant.
Let us know what your worst X11 configuration nightmare was?
The question we want to know the answer to is whether this is the next evolution in User Interfaces. Will this be how we replace the mouse/touch pad?
ZDNet has a quick update and first impression of a new Dell Laptop that will be based on Ubuntu. The concept is cool and the laptop looks and sounds usable. The big question is will people switch from Windows to it or will this just eat into Apple’s market share?
You now can buy Linux Mint on a machine straight from the manufacturer. The machines look nice, check it out here. We love seeing manufacturers like CompuLab, who is making this machine, support linux. We love Mint so this should be a pretty awesome machine for browsing or your kids.
So the story all starts with a very misguided reporter, Tony Bradley, failed to give Linux a chance to grow and change. So much so that he declared it dead on the desktop. He tried linux as his primary machine for 30 days. Sounds like a good trial? Well maybe it was but that was almost 2 years ago. In the last two years for example Unity came from Shuttleworth’s dreams to reality. OpenOffice forked and LibreOffice has seen development explode. In general the world of Linux marches on and at an impressive pace. Microsoft and Apple have been around for since the 1970’s which makes them a little more than 30 years old. As everyone will remember Linux just turned 20 last summer/fall. So all things considered it’s amazing how far it’s come with no major financial backers. You can read my own account of my life with Linux. Oh yeah I am still using it as my main OS and using Windows 7 as little as possible. I have found the latest versions of LibreOffice function nearly flawlessly and transparently with their Windows counterparts. I digress though because this is supposed to be about the fact that even his fellow reporters at PCWorld don’t agree. This where things get interesting.
Katherine Noyes wrote a rebuttal that pretty much attacked Bradley for saying Linux only makes up 1% of the desktop market. She goes on to rant amazingly for Linux on the desktop is not dead yet. She makes some great points and finished by agreeing with us on the fact that while Tablets are here we certainly not seeing the end of the PC era as lots of people would like us to believe.
Bradley can’t seem to just let this die and write another even more insulting response. He goes off again about how few people are using Linux on the desktop. He is of course forgetting that Linux is only sold, the numbers he is using, on about 30-40 models of PC’s. Most of those are from Linux Speciality builders not the mainstream builders. This isn’t to say none of them are the big builders, except Apple of course, all have a few PC’s you can buy with Linux. What he is missing is people like me and many friends of mine who are repurposing old PC’s as Linux machines. I know of a few companies that are also doing this for Kiosks, Point of Sale/Service Machines, School terminal servers and Terminal emulators. So while Linux may not be a contender yet they are moving in and picking off the low hanging fruit. So like the improvements we have seen in the interface and easy of install the number of users is growing fast.
At this point I thought the story would be over. Then the Mayor of Munich came out last week and gave an interview about how easy, fast and cheaply they have managed to switch over to their own custom version of Linux called LiMux. Even with them spinning their own version, standing up a development environment, hiring staff to do all of this, they still will save 4 Million Euros in the switch. Then an additional 2.8 Million Euros each year in lowered/eliminated license fees. Then there is the fact that helpdesk calls complaining about the change dropped from 70 a month to just 46 as the number of PC’s running LiMux increased from 1,500 to 9500. It’s stories like these that will make CEO’s and more likely CFO’s sit up and take notice. This isn’t a small business, it’s not a simple environment, it’s a large cities entire infrastructure being converted to Linux. What else comes close to a modern Enterprise.
So in conclusion, yes you should look to see if you could switch out some Windows machines with Linux. The exercise and evaluation of whether it’s possible is relatively cheap, fast and low impact. If you could save even 25% off your Windows related software fees wouldn’t it be worth it?
The folks over at TechNewsWorld.com did a nice job breaking down a recent series of debates about Linux and how good it is. We should all be looking to promote our little underdog and celebrate it’s dominance in the Server and Embedded arena’s.