My Take on Linux - Will it Ever Beat Windows?

Yeah, yeah, yeah… take this for what it’s worth, or flame me. Don’t really care, but here’s my two cents worth…

I've worked technology for 20 years, done SAP consulting in particular since 1994.  Started out as a CNE, then went MS.

Here's my take on Linux:
1.  Spectacular product
2.  Not practical for use.
3.  Will never effectively compete with MS until it can take over the corporate desktop.
4.  Can never take over the corporate desktop until the user experience is less technical and simplified.

That's it in a nutshell.  I spend more time setting up, tweaking, adjusting, and working through OS issues than I spend doing any kind of productive work.

Install was far better than previous versions, but still much further to go.  YAST repositories to a non-Linux user would be foreign, and even being a tech consultant, the need to set up multiple repositories is a pain.  

The whole experience is very technical in nature, as a result adoption by the average corporate or desktop user, which is what is needed to promote widespread adoption won't happen until that is changed.

I've watched Linux for several years.  Tried it out many times, and this release (11.1) is certainly a huge advance, but there is still a long way to go.

Great product but not ready for primetime for me.

Flame away all you want.  That's what fascinates me the most.  I've seen others post genuinely thought provoking opinions, who have been trashed...  So be it.  

Take it for what it's worth...

If you want to beat Microsoft, be realistic about simplifying the user experience.  After all, NO company, and NO individual gets an OS just for the OS (except in the Linux world), they get it to serve as a bridge to the applications and hardware they want to use.

Simplify the user experience, find a way to make OS interaction "transparent" and simple to the end user so they can focus on the tasks that the OS enables and you will finally beat MS and take over the desktop.

There is one last thing to consider that I have learned from all of the large companies I've done consulting work for over the years, IT maintenance.  If it is a pain for the IT staff to maintain then it will not be adopted.  

Simplicity is the name of the game.  Linux distros are very powerful OS's.  Even with some of the great advances, and even some of the especially useful features they are still a long way off being widely adopted by the user community that will finally kill MS Windows.

Bill Wood - President
R3Now Consulting
SAP Solutions that Produce Results

First, let me say Welcome to openSUSE forums.

Thank you. As a Linux user, I happen to like it.

Tell that to the Movie industry who have Linux clusters to make animated movies.

Tell that to aerospace who have Satellite control systems running linux, who have satellite simulators running on Linux …

I use a Linux PC on my business trips, which are very practical.

No practical use for you. … I suspect so. You forgot to add “for you”.

I’ve effectively used Linux on a desktop on corporate business trips for over 4 years. … Should I throw it out now? …

ditto my above note.

hmmm … did I mention how much time my wife has wasted trying to get Vista to work? The time on Linux is dwarfed in comparison. Wireless still does not work on our Laptop for Vista.

Agree the repository concept is foreign. A claim that repositories are a pain to set up strikes me as malarkey. For openSUSE one needs only 4 repositories. OSS, Non-OSS, Update and Packman. The 1st 3 are already setup. There is guidance for the 4th here (for 11.1): Repositories/11.1 - openSUSE-Community Again, just those 4. OSS, Non-OSS, Update and Packman. No others. I fail to see the pain.

But I definitely agree the concept is foreign.

My 83 year old mother is far from technical. Yet she is managing well with Linux. So I guess you are saying the average corporate desktop user is less computer savy than her? … Hmmm … I guess I will have to tell her that. She is suffering now with a sore knee and that might cheer her up.

Fair enough. I believe we should all use the computer operating system that suits us best. I have many friends who are winXP fans, and some that are MacIntosh fans. We don’t rant and flame each other for our respective operating system use, but as friends we enjoy telling each other about some of the neat things we can do.

I notice this is only your second post here.

If you have trouble with openSUSE Linux, please post in our help areas, and we have many volunteers who will try to help you. We do NOT package openSUSE here, nor do we have Novell packagers provide support here. Rather we are just volunteers and some enthusiasts who try to help.

Note - I am going to edit/remove the URL from your post. That can be viewed as spam.

Actually, Linux is replacing a lot of corporate Windows desktops RIGHT NOW :wink: IBM has done it internally, various Police offices have done it all over the world and there are others too who are either doing it right now or are planning to do so in the (near) future.

As for “never effectively compete” with MS, that’s bollocks. Linux is making a killing at the high end space… (file, web, DB) servers, mainframes, clusters, etc a lot of them belong to Linux. It is actually MS that is struggling to keep its position there

And we’re NOT concerned with “beating” Microsoft. We want to provide a free alternative to Microsoft, where people have the choice not where the company chooses for them. Yes, you’re right, Linux certainly needs work on wrt to desktop and such but it’s moving at a huge speed in this area while MS has introduced in their past two OSes (Fista and 7) nothing really that"ll make you go drooling. In fact, MS has made lots of things even worse and they have certainly copied some things from others too

The goal of linux is not taking down Windows. The fanboys may confuse you but it is not. The goal is improving Linux and the projects connected with it. As someone in the forum said before -we don’t want unhappy Windows users, we want happy Linux users.:slight_smile:
Also you are not talking of simplifying the user experience. You are talking of making it more windows like because most of the people are using Windows. But this doesn’t mean the Windows way is better.
And last the repos. Well it is not that hard. I’m not that deep in Linux stuff. I’m using Linux for about a year and openSUSE for about 8-9 months but even in the begining it wasn’t hard. It is written very well in the documentation so even a beginer can do it. Being stupid is not an excuse (i’m not addressing that to you). If you want to use Linux you must learn the Linux way of doing things. The same is with Mac. If you want it you must learn the Mac way of doing stuff;)

Hey Siminin, you left one out:

If you want to use Linux you must learn the Linux way of doing things. The same is with Mac. If you want it you must learn the Mac way of doing stuff

If you want to use windows 7…gotta learn it just like you gotta learn linux…

And I suppose I must fork out $300 or so for the so called “business” edition of windows 7 before the new wave of computers hits the stands with their compulsory win7 oses. I never bought a vista for myself, and that puts me at a disadvantage now. I’ve heard some techos saying it’s stabler and less quirky than vista, which would be a blessing for we who make a living thanks to microsoft and softwares that run on it (like e.g. sap).

I guess one of the points emerging in this thread is that it’s a real world out there. It’s fine to be a fan of Linux, like me, but I have difficulty with the reality lodged in the minds of ppl who would (say they) hate microsoft while concurrently enjoying all the benefits of its ubiquitous presence.

Just my non-contentious 2cents worth

Well Windows 7 is not that different from XP. I would compare it more to switching from KDE 3.5 to KDE 4:) But everyone should talk for himself.
Financial side is a whole other thing. You decide if you want to pay (or piratelol!) for something you know or for something free and better but takes a little effort to change your Windows habbits.

> If you want to beat Microsoft

i can’t imagine why anyone here would wanna “beat” them…

they make pretty good systems for the technically challenged and
gamers…but, their servers and back office stuff is just not up to it
(i can’t understand why the US government keeps buying their stuff,
and having huge department web sites go off the net, or Navy ships
that can’t…laughable, really)

nope, no one on earth could beat them better than they beat themselves…

give’em time and they will roll out some more Bob, Vista, BOSD,
botnets and etc…and, some more pretty good game boxes…


No flame just a observation.

I would be upset if I had to deal with Saps. Most of them are hairy and drag their knuckles on the floor. And the stuff they throw around… well best not to touch that one.

If you are having difficulty why not simply ask for help? Many folks here and at other Linux Forums are happy to volunteer their time and expertise. As for usability for Linux, it works probably better in a Corporate setting than it does at home. The Corporate world doesn’t generally worry about media playback and getting the bargain basement after market hardware to work with their systems. Nor would they wish more programs downloaded from Repos that were not previously approved by the IT Staff.

So really your points are without merit. Not to say that Linux does not have many issues, just that your post did not cover them (In my opinion).

I smell a troll… though am not entirely certain yet… I need to sniff some more lol!

Thanks for the quote and insight.

If the Linux community would step back and think about it, they wouldn’t have to work to dominate the OS arena.

Stop and think about the "corporate" groups that have adopted Linux.  Hollywood graphics and animation artists (and I would bet that Macs dominate there more than Linux), Boeing, and IBM (to name a few).  And what do all of these organizations have in common other than Linux?  They are highly technical and engineering oriented.  

That is my point, Linux is a powerful a OS, however it is not widely adopted by the end user because of the things that long time Linux users take for granted.  The "do X and that solves the problem"...

Frankly EVERY Linux commandline "fix" or requirement should be converted to a script that is attached to an iconic semaphore (i.e. a graphic image representing the command) so that it is more useful.

For widespread adoption an end user should never have to use the command prompt.  Wanna make it useful?  Convert every common command line requirement to a script and attach a meaningful icon.  That would go a LONG way...

microchip, it takes one to know one, I hear it told. lol!

I used to think that Linux could not compete with Windows but OpenSuse 11.2 KDE has changed my views considerably. The key to Linux being successful is quality. Too many distributions release half finished work. Lets look at what is needed to succeed.

  • The system needs a professional look and feel.

  • The system needs to be reasonably quick and responsive.

  • The system needs a reasonable level of hardware support.

OpenSuse 11.2 KDE has a professional look and feel, even the tools maintain the look and feel of KDE 4. Everything in the system flows together and that creates a good impression. First impressions are important because it creates interest in the system to begin with.

The 11.2 KDE edition boots up and shuts down pretty quick now. There seems to be an emphasis on boot times lately and 11.2 is delivering on this respect. Application launch time is good and this isn’t even a final release yet!

Hardware support in 11.2 is very good out of the box and wifi issues will most likely be resolved by the final release if things continue to progress as they have been. No operating system supports every piece of hardware out of the box but OpenSuse is doing a good job with hardware support compared to other alternatives.

I see something in OpenSuse KDE that is very competitive with Windows 7. KDE 4.3.1 looks better and is much more flexible to customize than Windows. The Novell tools that are provided are well organized and have a native look and feel in KDE 4. I think the tools are easier to navigate and understand than the tools in Windows 7. Windows does not have their tools in a very organized fashion and you have to dig to find some features.

OpenSuse comes complete and ready to use, Windows 7 does not come stock with an office suite and all of the other applications you need to be productive. OpenSuse is secure and the tools that provide that security are well built. Windows is not secure and requires a lot of maintenance to keep it running properly.

I was loosing faith in open source getting anywhere on the desktop but OpenSuse KDE 11.2 has renewed my enthusiasm because of the way it is developed and the resulting quality I am seeing. Too many people expect Linux to be just like Windows and do not take the time to learn how things are done in a Linux distribution. I strongly feel that if high quality standards are in place and maintained that Linux can get more market share in the desktop and corporate environments.

I like what I am seeing in OpenSuse 11.2 and appreciate the Developer’s decision to go with an 8 month development cycle. I see organized development practices and I see improvements with each developmental release of 11.2. I know that Novell wants to be more competitive in the enterprise and if the quality I am seeing in 11.2 is an indication of the overall quality of Novell products then Novell is clearly heading in the right direction.

The bottom line is, build a high quality product and they will come to you. OpenSuse 11.2 might just have what it takes to beat Windows, it might not happen instantly but it very well could be the beginning of the end for Microsoft.

Trolls need company too rotfl! :stuck_out_tongue:

Actually, Macs do NOT dominate when it comes to commercial film production. There are some good web sites on this, … it might be worth reading up on it if you are curious.

… but getting back to the quote, would you say those companies you quoted are putting Linux to practical use? If so then I assume you would want to qualify, or perhaps re-word this quote:

For I believe Hollywood graphics and animation artists, Boeing, and IBM (to name a few) try hard to be practical. Hence your own examples points Linux is practical for use.

I think you intended to say “not practical for corporate use” ? But maybe not. I’ll let you phrase what you intended.

I’ll be sure to pass that to my 83 year old mother as well. She has no degree … she did not finish high school, although while we were children she did via correspondence class managed to get her high school equivalence. … I’ll point out to her she should not be using openSUSE-11.1 Linux because she is not technical enough … but I’m not sure I want her to be within hearing range when I try to delete her openSUSE Linux operating system because she is not technical enough to use it … Have you ever truly upset an 83 year old grand mother? … :slight_smile: Its a site to behold and fear. :shame:

The desktop PCs where I work are mostly WinXP based. The same for the OS of the desktop PCs where most my friends work. And you know what? Our organizations will give NONE of us administrator permissions. Which means we are not allowed to setup anything on WinXP. We have to use the software on those WinXP PCs as setup. We are not allowed to tune things, … but only IT support are allowed. Why would that same philosophy not work with Linux?

So clearly, if that is the way corporate treats their users (ie no need to configure) then does it really matter if one uses Windows or Linux?

Why would the average corporate user have to use command prompt on Linux? Why? Corporate IT will NOT allow it, because if corporate IT is consistent with the policy they have in place for WinXP computers then they will also lock Linux computers.

There are cities in Europe where the governments have adopted Linux on mass. So I do not believe it as cut and dry as you note.

There IS a reason for Microsoft Windows dominance, but I believe the reason is elsewhere.

Catchy, but not really accurate. I guess the computer I’m typing this on is not very useful? I guess my friends who use Linux are not using useful computers? I guess the Boeing, IBM, Novell, … etc … are not using useful computers?

I’m sure you have some good points, but to articulate them requires more than catchy phrases.

Microsoft with Windows does have a monopoly in computers. And it has a monopoly for good reasons. But I don’t believe your post has really picked up on the reason for it. But thats IMHO.

Still, note again, this is a support forum of volunteers. If you have had problems with openSUSE Linux, please post in one of our support areas, and likely you will have a number of users try to help you. Soap box is only a very small part of our forum, and indeed only an incredibly small part of when this forum is about. We are here mainly to help users, not debate with those who only join to post on Soapbox.

You’re right… lets see, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ (IIRC), the Tokyo Exchange, various major banks in the world (actually most of the bigger ones), the FTSE too (which is moving over to Linux soon), the French Police Force all use Linux. On the “consumer” side, Autozone, GM, The US Postal Office, Audi, a US discounter, etc all use Linux… oh wait, you’re wrong lol! This is only a few out of the horde that’s using corporate Linux

Frankly EVERY Linux commandline “fix” or requirement should be converted to a script that is attached to an iconic semaphore (i.e. a graphic image representing the command) so that it is more useful.

For widespread adoption an end user should never have to use the command prompt. Wanna make it useful? Convert every common command line requirement to a script and attach a meaningful icon. That would go a LONG way…

LOL you gotta be kidding me, right?. You do realize that there are thousands of command line utilities, yes? And you’re gonna create “images” for all of them then stuff them under a submenu or put them on the desktop? And how are you going to do complex regex with a script that needs clicking on? What input are you going to give that script for the program to execute, considering that regex can be highly complex and have virtually endless combinations, not even mentioning that some of the command line utilities have hundreds of options. This is ridiculous and you shouldn’t talk about things you don’t know about

You’ve been baby-fed with GUIs and are hopeless without them. This is what MS has done to you in all those years. And saying that “regular” non-techy people can’t use Linux is bollocks, as you’ve just been proven wrong by my girlfriend who happily uses both Windows and Linux and does not have a problem with neither of them, nor does she have a problem with the command line when needed

I worked for a very large corporation at one time, we had well over 1200 computers at 4 locations. I took care of 300 machines not including the computers on robots and testing equipment that I helped union labor repair.

If I were still in this position I believe I could make a solid case for a CIO to look at OpenSuse 11.2 KDE. The site I worked at had a 6.5 million dollar IT budget and they complained it was only half of what they needed! Imagine the savings going with OpenSuse 11.2 KDE! Even the learning curve could be easily addressed because they had a training room with 32 computers.

I am not in IT where I work now and the majority of the computers on our machines run proprietary software written for Windows. The stations on the moving assembly lines could run Linux because they work off of an sql database but our wire cutting machines use proprietary software and would be difficult to get working, they seem to use an Access database and I am not sure how it interacts with the machine itself.

Anyway, I think Novell/OpenSuse stand a good chance for success in the enterprise.

Will Linux beat Windows, maybe/ maybe not! personally I don’t care. Linux is a very powerful tool (OS) which means I don’t have to rely solely on Windows (OS), it’s continuous crashes and problems. Linux is secure, Windows isn’t. Linux handles business and enterprise extremely well and INEXPENSIVELY, Windows handles business somewhat fair but at an inflated cost. Linux is upwardly adaptable, Windows is core rigid.
It was said you are a consultant in SAP, so then you should realize that in accordance with SAP programing model you have serious limitations on what you can do with-in a system. IBM introduced SAP back in 1972 as a cross network means of handling inter-business accounting, profiling, inventory management. It was re-implemented from big blue machines to Unix in 1983 with a few enhancements and implemented as an extremely cut down version sometime after 1991 to Windows based servers. Under each rendition, IT departments are responsible for deployment and granting SAP maintainer rights. Anyways, the UNIX versions of SAP can be run on a Linux server.

So, an OS is an OS is an OS. Some work good in some aspects other do better in other ways. I guess we could talk CISCO too but Linux distro’s are just that a powerful tool with community support, community contribution, and growing popularity.

Just as an FYI, SAP was created by a couple folks who LEFT IBM because IBM wouldn’t support their proposal for an integrated business system. And as for Linux / Unix support of SAP, that goes way back. Frankly, part of the reason I’ve periodically installed and evaluated Linux is because of the ongoing support by SAP to run their application.

As for all those who think I’m just a “troll” and so they dismiss the comments without careful consideration, so be it. I could give a rats @&&. Fact is if they can’t see the genuine constructive suggestions and not just blind-sided criticism then it is plain foolishness and a testament to why Linux isn’t more widely adopted. When someone raises genuine issues for consideration and ears are plugged, well, that’s about all that will happen.

As for the “thousands” of commands, my comments, IF they had been read carefully, were the COMMON commands. The COMMON things that must be done in various situations that require shell commands.

Will Linux beat Windows, maybe/ maybe not! personally I don’t care.

Linux forces Microsoft to improve their product. Weather Linux ever gets more market share depends completely on the quality put into Linux distributions. Look at Mozilla, and how much of the browser market they have gained by making a better product. Microsoft controls the market by creating proprietary standards and getting people used to using them, get people to use open source standards and Microsoft would be dead in the water.

Considering your tone I was surprised you actually did get consideration of your comments in a fair and productive manner. I see no ears plugged in any of them. So failing to get a rabid reaction are you amping it up with this last posting? Exactly what constructive suggestions did you make? Logical arguments that start from a faulty premise can never be proven anything but false. So you find that you do not understand Linux, prefer Windows and assume your experience must be Universal. Must be a shock to see that ordinary folks have no problem with using Linux.

I think you failed to prove your point and this upsets you. Hey it is life (shrugs) perhaps if you try your post in some other Linux Forum you will get excoriated to your desire.