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Ever wonder why large computer corps back linux??


h3%5kr3w
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Ok.. So here is the thing that has my mind whirling right now..

It's no secret SUSE is bought and paid for from Microsoft

Just read this article that Intel is 'heavily backing' Moblin

Intel Ports Linux Netbook OS to Desktop

IBM has been behind linux for a long time, and Dell has shown some interest here and there. My question is why? I mean I understand that this is great for the linux community, but sometimes it makes me wonder... Are they really just buying them to clamp them down and make them die? (and look good doing it in the process?)

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They show interest because someone else would be making the money if they didn't. Case and point with Dell on this one. IBM has always been a big player in the unix world, but since no one is buying expensive UNIX kit in large numbers these days, they support Linux as its a lot cheaper and does the same kinda stuff. Intel are pushing Linux because they don't want to be tied to Wintel so much these days, and its a good demo platform for there kit. SuSE wasn't bought by Microsoft, it was a patent and IP deal designed to deal with anti-trust stuff, and Microsoft have even released parts of Windows under GPL in order to help people virtualize linux under hyper-v.

You have to get over this somewhat lame idea that Linux is by the people, for the people, and the Man is trying to keep it down. Linux is a huge commercially backed OS with large portions of the work being done by big companies such as IBM, Redhat, Novel, Canonical and so forth. Its not being put together in peoples basements. While the market is far smaller than Microsoft's, its still a industry with a lot of money to be made.

Another factor is that the general purpose PC is a dying platform, everything is going towards appliance style stuff used to access cloud based applications. For most users the future is going to be about consoles, netbooks/nettops and smart-phones, and this is where linux has the advantage. Its cheap and you can do what you want with it in-house. But even then, while 100% free linux distros have been out for ages, the only time that Linux is successful in main stream society is when its used on platforms like Android, or in TV's or set-top media players. I.E. appliances where everything is hidden from the user behind a slick GUI.

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Gotcha VaKo. Don't get me wrong, I'm not really buying into the whole big bad wolf hype that everyone else is with this, it was just a thought. Actually I thought more along the lines of it being just a PR move. Also to be honest, I would have to say that since some of these things have happened, Linux has made some really good leaps in what it does and how it does it (Canonical/Ubuntu).

I also admit that your right about Linux only being successful on being a discreet platform OS. Hell, look at TomTom. Millions of people are using linux everyday and have no idea :P.

I guess I'm just a person that always roots for the underdog.

Personally, I have an idea that the real reason why Linux will never really be mainstream (as a desktop OS) is the fact that it has TOO many options. That paired with the fact that some of the more pointfull and powerful commands are NOT gui based, and probably never will be.

It is crazy how far it has came in the last couple of years though. Unfortunately though, I think Windows 7 is going to send linux as a desktop platform back to the stoneage soon. It's just better.

Also I do think that the desktop is a dying platform, but I don't think it's going away anytime in the next 7 of years, until manufacturers start making a more high performance/low cost laptop solution, which they already do, but it won't die until they can really make it more of an advantage to game on laptops. After that, desktops will end up being a niche market, and probably all of us hardcore gamers will end up just going to consoles, because I am sure that the next generation consoles will end up running some kind of cloud solution or linux desktop anyway (the PS3 already does)... you know it's actually kind of sad when I think about it... Like the ending of an era.

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+1 to VaKo

Another reason is Licensing. Companies can pretty much do what they want with with Linux without worrying about licenses. If companies used windows for something microsoft didnt like, the big MS could wander along and say stop, who is going to say stop doing that with linux.

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Go spend some time with your non-geeky friends, and see what they actually do with there core 2 duo laptops with multiple GB of RAM. I can assure you that it is pretty much browsing the web, watching iPlayer/Hula, Facebook, AIM/MSN to friends, write a few word docs, load up an iPod with some music, save there photos and upload them to Facebook et al. There isn't anything there you can't do with an Atom and a broadband connection in all honesty. Its only crusty old geeks like us who have huge boxes full of GPUs, terrabytes of storage, fans, and 8 billion wires hanging off the back. Desktops are already a niche product.

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Also I do think that the desktop is a dying platform, but I don't think it's going away anytime in the next 7 of years, until manufacturers start making a more high performance/low cost laptop solution, which they already do, but it won't die until they can really make it more of an advantage to game on laptops. After that, desktops will end up being a niche market, and probably all of us hardcore gamers will end up just going to consoles, because I am sure that the next generation consoles will end up running some kind of cloud solution or linux desktop anyway (the PS3 already does)... you know it's actually kind of sad when I think about it... Like the ending of an era.

Yeah, I think in 10 years desktops will be rare, even now they are dying everyone wants portability, look how cheap notebooks have gotten in the last 5 years. Everything will be going into the cloud. We will be using low power portable computers and be accessing everything on the internet. If company's like OnLive actually end up working, gaming people won't need powerful desktops or notebooks. Or even consoles really, I think they will end up dying too, Game developers really don't like have to develop games for 4 different platforms. If everything is going into the cloud, OS does not matter, I can't wait to see what company's like Microsoft will be like in 10 years.

*Edit* Man If OnLive actually works, what won't they be able to do, imagine just renting software like autocad, photoshop, soldworks and having it with in seconds working right there on a low power cheap computer.

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I'm already using remote application virtualization at work, we have software that won't won't run on Windows 7, so its easier to publish the application from a terminal server and use Terminal Services RemoteApp to deploy an application level RDP session to the user. Boom, Microsoft cloud.

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I guess most of you have seen the Steve Balmer "develop, develop,develop" video ?

By supporting Linux you get (potentially) millions of developers working on a project, mostly for free .

You can't buy that kind of commitment for money ..

..and you don't have to pay an army of weasel-lawyers to sort out the IP-rights issues :)

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Why support linux? Well while repeating what has already been said is passe, I'll risk it.

1. No lisencing fee. You can save millions on that alone.

2. It's yours to do with as you wish, in every sense of the word.

3. Bugs tend to get caught, and fixed, very quickly.

4. It's tested near constantly and tweaked by developers (part of 3 really).

5. People all over the world work on it and make sure it works with as much as possible.

So at the end of the day why go with linux for infrastructure? It's simply better overall.

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Now come on, Linux is good but for an actual desktop OS its still pretty crap. Especially in enterprise usage, I've still not seen anything as good as Active Directory/Exchange combination from the linux world. Windows or OSX are still better OS's for most people.

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Now come on, Linux is good but for an actual desktop OS its still pretty crap. Especially in enterprise usage, I've still not seen anything as good as Active Directory/Exchange combination from the linux world. Windows or OSX are still better OS's for most people.

This. The AD/Exchange combo makes Microsoft a dominating force. That's not to say that Apple and Linux aren't going to get there, but the integration is a big deal to a lot of companies, both big and small, especially when you start looking at an IP perspective and some of the DRM capabilities offered by AD/Exchange. Unfortunately, you pay for it one way or another, and the same is true of OS X-based or even Linux-based networks. It's just the way it is.

That said, most of the end-users for the company I am contracted to are obliviots. They truly are oblivious idiots. They can barely handle Windows XP, I would dread the idea of having to retrain them for the differences in a Linux-based distro such as Ubuntu, or even OS X.

But, at the end of the day, I have to agree with what others have said with companies such as Dell and IBM backing Linux. It makes sense, especially in a day and age where people want alternatives to everything.

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When we all go to the cloud, why would you use microsoft other than just for deploying the cloud itself? I mean think about it, it's like what you said VaKo. You just use a terminal session to stream apps to clients. Hell sooner or later, the client will just need to be a gateway to the cloud.. What better way than with some kind of Linux Client. It's hard as hell to implement AD into a Linux SERVER, but the opposite way around (so I have heard) is quite easy.

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let me better clarify about the whole linux client thing though... I know you can make linux submit to an AD. So you just make 1 linux remaster, lock it down, put what is needed on the client (which would not be much at all) and then make it look fisher price easy... Moblin would be a dead ringer for this, since a 2 year old could use it easily. That's the real beauty of linux though. it can be as easy or as hard as you want it to be. Do it once and it's over. To top it all off, it can be uber small.. Imagine in a full cloud computing environment... Client goes down and needs a reload? That's easy. A 40 to 80mb file over gigabit (should all be gigabit in about 5 years anyways if not 10gigE) is NOTHING for the network. Client is down for what? 5 whole minutes? Not even enough for a smoke break. They get back to work, and not even miss a beat. That's what I am talking about. :D

But on the server side of things at the end of the day.... I think we can all agree that Windows Server IS the only viable option.

@ Seshan -

. If everything is going into the cloud, OS does not matter, I can't wait to see what company's like Microsoft will be like in 10 years.

Trust me, they have seen it coming for years. They have had much debate about it on the inside and out, but I think they are just trying to figure out how and more importantly when to be the innovator, or at least one of the pioneers of the cloud.

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Novell eDirectory (formerly called NetWare Directory Services, NDS) & GroupWise?

GroupWise has to be one of the worst email clients I've ever used tbh. eDirectory is OK, i've done helpdesk work in a eDirectory environment at a university but this was just before a migration project that was to switch everything to AD. eDirectory just seems clunky in comparison, especially on Windows machines, but if you operate a heavily mixed environment then eDirectory has a few advantages, but I don't like that your only real support option is often calling Novel.

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Yeah, I dunno.. Time will tell I am sure, but the thing that makes me curious is Intel and AMD's stance on the issue. I don't think especially Intel would like itself to end up in a market basically making crap chips for peanuts so everyone can get on the cloud.. I mean it would be great for them in the short term, but long term I see it as really grim in that market because you wouldn't need any more technology than what is already around now, so there would be no real innovation needed, which in turn would end up putting them into something like the bic pen market.

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let me better clarify about the whole linux client thing though... I know you can make linux submit to an AD. So you just make 1 linux remaster, lock it down, put what is needed on the client (which would not be much at all) and then make it look fisher price easy... Moblin would be a dead ringer for this, since a 2 year old could use it easily. That's the real beauty of linux though. it can be as easy or as hard as you want it to be. Do it once and it's over. To top it all off, it can be uber small.. Imagine in a full cloud computing environment... Client goes down and needs a reload? That's easy. A 40 to 80mb file over gigabit (should all be gigabit in about 5 years anyways if not 10gigE) is NOTHING for the network. Client is down for what? 5 whole minutes? Not even enough for a smoke break. They get back to work, and not even miss a beat. That's what I am talking about. :D

But on the server side of things at the end of the day.... I think we can all agree that Windows Server IS the only viable option.

@ Seshan -

Trust me, they have seen it coming for years. They have had much debate about it on the inside and out, but I think they are just trying to figure out how and more importantly when to be the innovator, or at least one of the pioneers of the cloud.

If set up correctly, most corp computers don't even need a hard drive. Couple gigs of ram and they can pxeboot windows, or linux. With the data being served off a big ass file server what you mention will work over 100Mb networks. Take a look at ltsp.org.

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If set up correctly, most corp computers don't even need a hard drive. Couple gigs of ram and they can pxeboot windows, or linux. With the data being served off a big ass file server what you mention will work over 100Mb networks. Take a look at ltsp.org.

Thin clients, the idea that will always be big next year lol. You don't even need a machine with a couple of gigs of RAM for them to work, I've worked with some HP units that ran Windows CE and in later models Windows XP embedded from a flash chip, no moving parts at all. All they did is boot up and launch a rdp session to a terminal server. You could build your own using some AMD Geode based devices quite easily for about half the cost of a regular budget PC.

The only issue I see with thin clients and cloud computing is the same issue we've always had with them, what you want to do with them is always slightly more than what you can do with them.

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The only issue I see with thin clients and cloud computing is the same issue we've always had with them, what you want to do with them is always slightly more than what you can do with them.

hmm... this is quite true

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  • 2 weeks later...

Personally i think big corporations look to linux for many reasons, Rkiver hit on most of them. ill add to the list.

-Its cheap and worth all the money if you actually pay for a non-iso disc

-Lack of viruses (the only other OS that comes close in the big three is OSX)

-Linux-based networks are very close to the pinnacle of security

-Funny side statment, no need to do restrictions on game instals because most games dont exist on linux paltforms (unless the person knows what theyre doing).

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You have to look at TCO when comparing Windows and Linux, not just TCA which Linux fans love to cite. Microsoft have a far more mature enterprise ecosystem than pretty much every linux distro other than Novel and Red Hat, which cost about the same, if not more than Microsoft's offerings.

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