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posted by janrinok on Sunday April 06 2014, @08:46PM   Printer-friendly
from the but-not-the-year-of-the-Linux-desktop dept.

A recent poll by The Inquirer asked, "Which operating system will you use after Windows XP support ends on 8 April?"

Among respondents, 33 percent said they will move to Windows 7, 17 percent will stick with XP, 13 percent will switch to Linux, 11 percent will get Windows 8, and 5 percent said OS X.

So most will switch to Windows 7, but many would rather stay with Win XP without support than switch to Linux.

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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by aristarchus on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:02PM

    by aristarchus (2645) on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:02PM (#27165) Journal

    FUD works, everyone knows that Linux is full of daemons! It is better to stick with XP without any security (which is actually not that much of a change) than to go to the dark side!

    (This said, my decision was to abandon Win95 for Linux in around 1995. Have never looked back. And have been persistently bothered by poor programming and implementation of standards by the makers of Windows. It gets better.)

    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:32PM

      Ye gads man, Linux was pretty terrible to use back in 95.
      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by caseih on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:59PM

        by caseih (2744) on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:59PM (#27185)

        True, but Windows was also pretty horrid back then. Also many Windows users, including me, still pined for the good old days of dos. For me the release of kde 1.x was the tipping point. That made Linux easy enough to use that I switched and never looked back.

        Nowadays, Linux is of course much better. But I doubt we'll see huge Linux adoption. Most likely people will buy a new Wal-Mart special running Windows 8, install classic shell and be done with it.

        • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Sunday April 06 2014, @10:28PM

          by Nerdfest (80) on Sunday April 06 2014, @10:28PM (#27189)

          I switched to NT back then, but really should have switched to Linux. It took me another 10 years. I hope lots more take the opportunity now that it's (in my opinion) at least as usable as Windows 7 and more than Windows 8.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Pslytely Psycho on Monday April 07 2014, @12:02AM

          by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Monday April 07 2014, @12:02AM (#27214)

          No, most will buy a new wally world lappy and do nothing at all to the interface.
          Classic shell or even booting into the desktop to avoid Metro seems to be something only the tech sites know of.

          I have Shelled or redone the boot on ALL of my friends computers (9 all total have purchased new equipment since 8 came out. I am not a tech, just that guy they know who's good with their 'puters)

          Everyone, without exception was ecstatic afterwords. Not one had ANY IDEA it could be done that way. None asked me to do it. All of them were me going "You know, you don't HAVE to use that ungodly interface, if you want it to boot strait to desktop, I can do it for you..." All accepted, none believed they had the choice in the first place. NONE had watched the instructional video that appeared when they first turned on their new machine.

          Yes, next time I move I think I have 9 favors to call in....Muhahahahaha!

          --
          Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Monday April 07 2014, @01:11AM

        by frojack (1554) on Monday April 07 2014, @01:11AM (#27235) Journal

        Ye gads man, Linux was pretty terrible to use back in 95.

        Not really.

        We were using it as our file server back then with no particular problems.
        Samba was in its early releases back in 95, and it was at least as stable as Windows and a whole
        lot cheaper than Netware.

        True, its windowing system was primitive then, but for our uses, Linux (First RedHat, then S.u.S.E. in 64) were spot on for the task we needed.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 1) by ko on Monday April 07 2014, @12:28AM

      by ko (3999) on Monday April 07 2014, @12:28AM (#27220)

      I switched a couple years after you did. I think it was RedHat 5.2 at the time. I remember downloading the source to KDE over a dial-up connection and then waiting for it to build. Despite occasionally running a Windows instance (virtual or otherwise) when I really had to use a Windows-only version of software, Linux has been my primary desktop operating system since then.

      The vast majority of casual Windows users (who use their machines for email, web browsing, Facebook, slinging around pictures, etc.) would find all of the functionality and ease of use they're accustomed to in pretty much any modern Linux distribution.

      Oh, well.... Ignorance is bliss, or so they say.

    • (Score: 1) by number11 on Monday April 07 2014, @03:03AM

      by number11 (1170) on Monday April 07 2014, @03:03AM (#27269)

      FUD works, everyone knows that Linux is full of daemons! It is better to stick with XP without any security (which is actually not that much of a change) than to go to the dark side!

      It's a threatening change for the average non-techie user. The ones in corporate environments ask "Does it have Outlook?" The individuals, "Will my MSOffice [2003|2007|2014] work with it?" AFAIK LibreOffice doesn't have ribbon menus. Not that I'm complaining, but I deal with some people who are remarkably resistant to change.

      However, I see that some places (e.g. the UK gov't) have contracted for 12 months more support for XP. What do you figure the chances are of those patches becoming generally available? If not from MS, then from someplace else that has access to copies of them? I'd lay money that the patches will be on Pirate Bay a few hours after they come from MS.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07 2014, @04:57AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07 2014, @04:57AM (#27294)

        the UK gov't) have contracted for 12 months more support for XP

        ...and perhaps more than that.
        The per-machine numbers on that are just STUPID. [googleusercontent.com] (orig) [theregister.co.uk]

        Someone deserves to not simply be fired, but publicly flogged.
        (I just took someone to task about medieval behavior, but in this case it's completely deserved.)

        -- gewg_

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by dilbert on Monday April 07 2014, @12:59PM

        by dilbert (444) on Monday April 07 2014, @12:59PM (#27433)

        I'd lay money that the patches will be on Pirate Bay a few hours after they come from MS.

        You're probably right about this, but I see two problems here.

        First, there will immediately be copycat patches available that are actually rootkits.

        Second, assuming an XP user was clueful enough to find a non-rootkit update for XP on TPB, wouldn't that imply they understand tech enough to not be using XP in the first place?

      • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Monday April 07 2014, @02:45PM

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Monday April 07 2014, @02:45PM (#27520) Homepage Journal

        AFAIK LibreOffice doesn't have ribbon menus

        IMO that's one of its strong points; lack of having to deal with MS Office any more is one of the nice things about being retired. I'm using Open Office to write my books as L.O. won't do full justification.

        I love KDE and Linux but some OS software can be maddening. GIMP's interface is a mess, and I tried to turn a text log file into a table. I finally gave up in frustration; O.O. would only open it in Write, its spreadsheet won't import a text file and its database requires Java, which I refuse to install on my machines.

        I'm happy with O.O. Write, but does anyone know of a good open source spreadsheet or database?

        --
        mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
        • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday April 07 2014, @03:13PM

          by tangomargarine (667) on Monday April 07 2014, @03:13PM (#27550)

          GIMP's interface is a mess,

          GIMP is the poster child for bad interface design. If there's a more horrid interface out there, I'd be interested to hear about it. "Funny" enough, there actually used to be a single-window plugin for it that they dropped. Did they finally compile that option into the mainstream release yet?

          and I tried to turn a text log file into a table. I finally gave up in frustration; O.O. would only open it in Write, its spreadsheet won't import a text file

          My first thought is to wangle up a bash script to make the log into a CSV and then import that...but I'm pretty sure I just heard "normal" computer users everywhere scream out in agony at bash-caused melty eyeballs. Barring bash, I'd think you could do a find-and-replace to CSVatize it.

          --
          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
        • (Score: 1) by GmanTerry on Monday April 07 2014, @05:14PM

          by GmanTerry (829) on Monday April 07 2014, @05:14PM (#27625)

          Does Office still have those super annoying paper clip and dog animations? They were so annoying.

          --
          Since when is "public safety" the root password to the Constitution?
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12 2014, @09:54PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12 2014, @09:54PM (#30612)

          does anyone know of a good open source spreadsheet
          Bookmark this link as a boilerplate for future needs:
          search?q=site:alternativeto.net+intitle:Excel+inur l:Linux [google.com]
          Resulting page [alternativeto.net]

          or database?
          search?q=site:alternativeto.net+intitle:Microsoft+ intitle:Access+inurl:Linux [google.com]
          I'm shocked that as a Linux user you haven't encountered pointers to that site before.

          [LibreOffice's and OpenOffice's] database requires Java
          Keep an eye on LibreOffice. They're working like Hell to get rid of that dependency.
          LibreOffice Calc also recently got a new engine.

          -- gewg_

      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday April 07 2014, @03:06PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Monday April 07 2014, @03:06PM (#27543)

        AFAIK LibreOffice doesn't have ribbon menus. Not that I'm complaining, but I deal with some people who are remarkably resistant to change.

        I think you're saying they're now resistant to switching away from the Ribbon, but that still makes my eye twitch.

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 2) by etherscythe on Monday April 07 2014, @05:00PM

        by etherscythe (937) on Monday April 07 2014, @05:00PM (#27618) Journal

        The ones in corporate environments ask "Does it have Outlook?"

        Funny you should mention that; (some) Office applications are the support mussion for WINE (feature parity is the v. 1.0 spec).

        --
        "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by bucc5062 on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:11PM

    by bucc5062 (699) on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:11PM (#27171)

    The title of the story was a bit sensational so I had to check the article link and to be clear, it was a poll of Inquirer readers. That gives a little bit more perspective (and dang it editors, potential click bait to get people to comment? We're better then that /sigh)

    It's like taking a poll on SN and reporting that over 80 of people polled prefer Linux to Windows. Perhaps true, but a little disingenuous. It would be great if more of the public was exposed to the best that Linux provides, but with Microsoft still retaining the Majority of desktop systems, I don't think the general public will be switching over any time soon.

    --
    The more things change, the more they look the same
    • (Score: 1) by kwerle on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:14PM

      by kwerle (746) on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:14PM (#27172) Homepage

      Editors, please edit.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 06 2014, @11:53PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 06 2014, @11:53PM (#27210)

        Editors, please edit.

        That happened. My title, as submitted, was
        Poll: More Will Switch to Linux Than to Visduh8
        ...and both you and the GP seem to be unaware of the limit on the length of article titles.

        -- gewg_

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by hamsterdan on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:25PM

      by hamsterdan (2829) on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:25PM (#27177)

      " We're better then that /sigh"

      You misspelled /.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Tork on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:28PM

      by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:28PM (#27178)

      To be fair, it's simply logical to stay on XP or move to 7. All your software will still work and the learning curve is minimal. A move to Linux or Mac requires a good deal more investment, be that money or time. Better marketing for Linux and less for Microsoft (you'll notice how low 8's number is....) does not alter that fact.

      --
      🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
      • (Score: 1) by jasassin on Sunday April 06 2014, @11:03PM

        by jasassin (3566) <jasassin@gmail.com> on Sunday April 06 2014, @11:03PM (#27200) Homepage Journal

        To be fair, it's simply logical to stay on XP or move to 7. All your software will still work and the learning curve is minimal.

        I agree with you. I would love to run Linux, but the driver support doesn't work as well for me as Windows 7. I sincerely hope by the time Windows 7 EOL's there will be something more amazing than we can imagine now. The answer might be Wayland, but the problem I see is a whole group of buggy incompatible compositors. Maybe they'll have that all figured out by 7's EOL.

        --
        jasassin@gmail.com GPG Key ID: 0xE6462C68A9A3DB5A
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07 2014, @12:14AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07 2014, @12:14AM (#27216)

          I agree with you
          I don't. After the final Patch Tuesday, XP should only be used air-gapped.
          Expect a whole raft of exploits that are being held back to be turned loose shortly after the 8th.
          You can expect to be another node on the latest botnet before you can turn around and spit.

          Linux[...]driver support doesn't work as well for me as Windows 7
          Stop buying crappy hardware from crappy manufacturers with crappy support.

          -- gewg_

          • (Score: 1) by monster on Monday April 07 2014, @07:04AM

            by monster (1260) on Monday April 07 2014, @07:04AM (#27312) Journal

            So your solution to bad drivers is going backwards in time to buy some other hardware?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07 2014, @10:24PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07 2014, @10:24PM (#27826)

              I assume that at the time the GP bought his kit, the reputation for a lack of support for that gear was common knowledge.
              People who buy single-purpose gear then whine when that doesn't work outside those narrow bounds get no empathy from me--only scorn.

              Standard practice to determine if the gear that has caught your eye is open/compatible is to take your bootable ISO with you to BuyMore.

              Boot-to-a-usable-desktop media has been available all of this century.
              (Anyone who isn't aware how far back KNOPPIX goes has been living in a cave.)
              Indeed, this meme goes back to the Lose95 era. [googleusercontent.com] (orig[1]) [linuxjournal.com] ...and even before. [googleusercontent.com] (orig) [wikipedia.org]

              The ultimate form of this test is to use a doesn't-support-any-closed-code distro for that. [soylentnews.org]
              That distro is called Trisquel.

              [1] The significant text for your text search is Fall '95.

              -- gewg_

              • (Score: 1) by monster on Tuesday April 08 2014, @07:11AM

                by monster (1260) on Tuesday April 08 2014, @07:11AM (#28012) Journal

                Usually it's not so simple. When you buy new hardware it's common to go near the 'bleeding edge', at least in some components. Many times the hardware isn't supported at that moment, but gets a driver later (we have to assume it, Linux is a second class citizen for many companies, specially on consumer hardware). In those cases you are betting that your hardware will get the drivers you need, but you really don't know. If later the company decides to not support Linux properly you are screwed, but you had no way to know it before.

                Also, company reputation for support is not always the same. Take HP, for example: Their old printers worked flawlessly with Linux, with many of them you could send a PS file to it and call it done. Then, new models arrive and the support is somewhere between defective and half-assed, like the HPLIP ones, or the drivers are crippled and don't support all the functionalities of the printers.

      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Monday April 07 2014, @12:59AM

        by frojack (1554) on Monday April 07 2014, @12:59AM (#27231) Journal

        To be fair, it's simply logical to stay on XP or move to 7.

        To an extent, I agree.
        You would be suprised how many people continue to run systems that are no longer under maintenance.
        It is simply not that big of a problem. Win98 and Win2k is still in active use in some parts of the world. (In my day job my company sells software to these areas).

        The anti-virus vendors will continue to support XP, because they will continue to make money doing so.

        However, you make too much if the learning curve.

        The people who use XP by and large did not install it themselves. (They bought it installed). If or When someone offers to move them to KDE and shows them that it works virtually the same way, without the need of virus checkers, they can instantly be as productive as they were with WinXP.

        Most people use email, web, maybe a writer and occasionally a spread-sheet. The learning curve on the opensource equivelences of these features is very low,

        The learning curve for windows 7 is at least as high, and for Windows 8.x is much higher.

        To this, you have to add that everyone, including your grandmother, has been through at least one totally new OS when they got their phone, tablet, or iPad. The days when people couldn't handle change are over. Its not Y2K any more.

        In spite of Ubuntu's drive for a simpler desktop, KDE still is easier for nubies to learn than Gnome.

        The only requirement is that someone install it for them, (same as it was when they bought the machine). Because, try as they may, the Distros have never gotten this to the point where is is guarenteed to work out of the gate.

        The biggest problem is people like YOU. You are making linux seem way harder than it really is, and you are spreading the FUD farther than you think. You never called Microsoft for help. Why do you think you need a Linux company to hold your hand.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by edIII on Sunday April 06 2014, @10:32PM

      by edIII (791) on Sunday April 06 2014, @10:32PM (#27190)

      I think it is disingenuous because not many consumers are running Windows XP. For a consumer you receive your license and operating system when you purchase your device. You purchase a new laptop and you didn't so much as migrate to Windows 7/8.1, but just purchased a new computer. How many would actually go out of their way, or pay extra, to have Windows XP installed instead?

      People will go out of their way to get Windows 7 installed versus 8.1, but not out of their way to get XP installed. That is entirely because of how terrible Metro and 8.1 is on a new system.

      The real interesting numbers, which I believe are the bulk, are the decisions by the businesses. We all know a company or two that has dozens or hundreds of XP machines still in operation. Businesses can make bulk purchases of hardware and migrate the XP licensing repeatedly. I don't know a single business that has ever given Microsoft anything but the finger over that limitation of how many times an OEM license can be transferred from equipment to equipment either. In fact, I know plenty businesses with "pirated" installs to get rid of the GA and associated crap and they just put COAs in a folder kept someplace safe. I use a razor blade to cut them off the machines myself if I have to do so. Screw MS, they got paid money, and many IT techs I know feel the same.

      Now that XP will truly no longer be supported, and it's getting a little ridiculous at this point using XP, those businesses are making a decision. I would have been sincerely surprised if businesses would have opted to use the 8.1/Metro disaster instead of the relatively well performing Windows 7 Professional. Not every desktop is a freakin' tablet Microsoft!

      I would be willing to bet that *many* will be migrating to Linux. That's the natural consequence of embracing SAAS. The desktop is turning back into a thin client, and you don't need a full Win7 to be running a thin client just for remote desktop/SAAS operations. There are quite a few competitors in that space. Every flavor of Linux, Android, Google with Chrome OS, and Microsoft have operating systems vying for use on embedded systems and thin clients. Wasn't there a story recently about how Microsoft will be making their OS free for some systems? Probably a good bet that a Microsoft subscription to their SAAS services in the future will come with free licensing for the thin clients with a thin client targeted version of Win7/8.1

      That won't hold true for every use case at the moment, but those use cases are increasing every day, not decreasing.

      --
      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
      • (Score: 1) by iamjacksusername on Monday April 07 2014, @12:24AM

        by iamjacksusername (1479) on Monday April 07 2014, @12:24AM (#27218)
        I agree. Metro really sunk 8 as a viable desktop solution. Which is a shame because MS put a lot of effort into some incremental improvements over 7 for businesses... lower HW requirements, secure boot, ALSR and mandated DEP come to mind.

        I have moved a lot of companies to 7 but I see a lot of businesses stripping away core infrastructure and going to SAAS. While some are .net apps, more and more are just generic web front ends. As you said, I think MS is going to start to move to "Free" client model... the endpoint client is included with a Server CAL or similar.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07 2014, @12:34AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07 2014, @12:34AM (#27223)

        you receive your license and operating system when you purchase your device
        That hasn't been true for me since 1992 (DOS 5.0).
        Since my first box, I've picked up used gear and flogged it till it drops dead.
        Gratis and libre software has been a godsend for me.

        People will go out of their way to get Windows 7 installed
        Not interested. My apps don't require a EULAware OS.
        There are hundreds of millions like me.

        versus 8.1
        Not even at gunpoint.

        -- gewg_

      • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Monday April 07 2014, @02:52PM

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Monday April 07 2014, @02:52PM (#27527) Homepage Journal

        The biggest problem with XP's EOL is banks. Something like 95% of ATMs run on XP. A third of computers on the internet are running XP. Ending support only six years after the last computer rolled off the assembly line with XP is incredibly irresponsible of Microsoft.

        --
        mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
        • (Score: 2) by edIII on Monday April 07 2014, @10:43PM

          by edIII (791) on Monday April 07 2014, @10:43PM (#27837)

          While I agree with you on the EOL, I also submit that putting XP on an ATM machine was fantastically more irresponsible on the part of the banks.

          Microsoft has always been Swiss cheese security. We all know this. That's why firewalls and ALG's are so critical. How on Earth can you justify all that cruft and bloat that only served to provide additional attack surfaces that absolutely should have been vetted before pushing an image into production?

          A hardened security version of Linux would have been far more appropriate, and "fanboying" aside an impartial person would have realized that Linux was not being taken apart to find exploits nearly as much as XP. The objective choice should have been Linux with security experts paid to damn near cripple it from doing anything other than designed.

          I would almost go as far as to say ATM machines should have had custom circuits and programming, but that may not have been economically viable. Putting together an industry group to spread the costs of development for a hardened Linux ATM version would have been viable.

          --
          Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
          • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Tuesday April 08 2014, @04:33PM

            by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Tuesday April 08 2014, @04:33PM (#28269) Homepage Journal

            I also submit that putting XP on an ATM machine was fantastically more irresponsible on the part of the banks.

            I don't think it was the banks, I think it was Diebold, who built them and chose the OS. Of course, after all the security problems Diebold voting machines have had, using Diebold seems irresponsible, at least now.

            --
            mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday April 07 2014, @03:16PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Monday April 07 2014, @03:16PM (#27553)

      90% of users prefer Linux!*

      *Disclaimer: we only polled crazy people.

      :)

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by ticho on Sunday April 06 2014, @10:33PM

    by ticho (89) on Sunday April 06 2014, @10:33PM (#27191) Homepage Journal

    If they really took a random sample of population to ask, most of them would not even know what an operating system is, and would respond "I will use whatever is on my new computer, and call my $familymember to fix it up for me."

    • (Score: 2) by threedigits on Monday April 07 2014, @07:24AM

      by threedigits (607) on Monday April 07 2014, @07:24AM (#27315)

      That would also apply to corporate desktops. "We use whatever came with the new computers and call IT to fix it for us."

      And, of course, corporate IT just installs whatever means less work for them.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by iamjacksusername on Sunday April 06 2014, @10:59PM

    by iamjacksusername (1479) on Sunday April 06 2014, @10:59PM (#27199)
    On the desktop side, I do not see Windows going away for a long time. That said, the non-desktop market and backend systems are most definitely up for grabs.

              Case in point, I am completing a project where I am replacing the Windows 2003 backend at a small company with Linux servers. I went the route of licensing the Novell Open Workgroup Suite so you get a lot of the bits and pieces of things wrapped up into nice pre-configured installers with lots of documentation. It is taking over all of domain functions as well as the desktoop management, file and print services. That said, we are keeping Windows (Win 7) on the front end because that's what people are comfortable with; technically, we could have tried to do things with Wine but it is a ROI issue at the end of the day.

            The other side is tablet / smartphone market. I have several non-technical friends who only use a PC at work and do everything else on their iPhone or tablet. They all had PCs at one point but they broke down or got infected; they know some things are a lot slower but they do not care because they do not want to be bothered with managing a PC. They have given up on laptops and desktops and have no plans to go back. They can do everything they want to adequately with the tools at hand. Those customers are never coming back. My parents, after having PCs (Mac and Windows) for years, now do all of their personal business on their tablets. The got the tablets in 2011 and the PC only gets turned on once a year when my father uses TurboTax. And this is someone who got his first computer at work in the early 80s and routinely designed his own batch reports because the mainframe ops were busy.

              A lot of businesses are buying Chromebooks as cheap citrix receivers - compared to the cost of maintaining the equivalent Wyse (purchase + software maintenance), the $200 Chromebooks are a steal.

              I think this is what will ultimately be the upgrade path. As things become more centralized, the desktop will become less relevant. Microsoft sees this (finally) which is why they fired Ballmer and are going full out on Azure now and being able to link that to your own hosted stuff. Ballmer,at his core, was a widget salesman. To his credit, he was a very good once. But fundamentally, if it was not a widget he could sell, he just did not understand it; he just wanted to keep selling his Windows and Office Suite widgets because, when he and Bill Gates started the company they were in the business of selling OS and then, a few years later, Office application widgets. Microsoft never sold services (well) - in fact, they relied on their service partners as a sales force. Compare Microsoft to any old line industrial manufacturer - the manufacturer makes and documents the product, then relies on 3rd party integrators, designers and resellers to specify and install the product.

    Ballmer did not see the change to providing services, though he talked a good game. The Windows App store came about because he saw the iTunes app store and said "hey we can sell apps too but they will just be for Windows so then people will definitely have to buy our tablets!". It was not part of any strategic shift in their thinking; it was just another avenue to sell their Windows and Office widgets. Which is ok but that is not the future. I mean, the Office team actually said, when they did the initial release for Office on iOS that the Windows Phone version would have a richer experience. I mean, seriously? Total WTF moment.

              I am a old Novell hand since the 3.12 days so I still have soft spot for them. I think they have found a great niche with their "private cloud" strategy. On the Suse side, they Suse Studio for manufacturing VMs for a company's internal customers. The Novell side has Filr which is basically a DropBox but one that you host and Vibe which is slowly getting better... It's sorta kinda Sharepoint like but not really. It does similar things but in a less insane and Rube Goldberg-ian way. And iPrint which is their print services which sounds kind of boring but... all of these things have apps for Android and iOS. They implemented all of the things to get working file sharing, document collaboration, transfer, team calendering, discussions and printing services for your company on your phone and tablet and did it so you can host it all internally without outside services. The only company that has come close to having all of those pieces is Citrix. That is the future.

              The downfall for Microsoft in all of this is bottom line dollars out for their customers - if I am making a product to sell to a client, why would I use something that would require me to either 1) pay a big licensing fee so I can sell an appliance or, b) require my customer to get expensive licensing. I could just as easily build my product under CentOS or OpenSuse as an appliance and then offer my customers a version certified under RH or SLES if they want. Either way, me and my customer come out ahead. And that is what Microsoft should be afraid of - once the applications move away from the desktop, they now have to compete on a level playing field.

    This turned into a bit of rant. Sorry. Just my $.02.
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Nerdfest on Sunday April 06 2014, @11:08PM

      by Nerdfest (80) on Sunday April 06 2014, @11:08PM (#27201)

      They should be worried about the desktop too. My dev team all use Ubuntu at work, and several other teams are switching over to it as well. There have been no problems except with a poorly written Lotus Notes app (*shiver*) that trys to load a DLL. We can accomplish the functionality through a web interface instead though. There have been no problems using any of the Libre Office replacements for the MS Office functionality we need and maintenance is a breeze.

      Yes, these people are mostly developers, but developers are frequently the leading edge of change. Many other people see how easy these desktops are to use (people use Gnome Shell, Unity, and KDE) and how much prettier it is than Windows. They *ask* to have it installed, which we can't do yet, but only for political/maintenance reasons.

      Really, once you break free of the MS office stranglehold, the rest is pretty easy.

      • (Score: 1) by iamjacksusername on Sunday April 06 2014, @11:58PM

        by iamjacksusername (1479) on Sunday April 06 2014, @11:58PM (#27212)
        You are not wrong. Honestly, I could see Visual Studio being available as an RPM in the next years. They have an extrordinarily IDE that is a platform for a market - how many devs just have Windows VMs so they can run VS for their .Net work?

        I think the challenge on the desktop side a bit more than MS Office. A large company can afford to have admins to put things in Wine environments or to specify "must be a Java app, work under SLED or Ubuntu or whatever". It's the small companies using vendor software. There are 10's of thousands of packages like that in every industry - tanning salons, retail, real estate, etc... The vendor says "needs windows pc" and the company says "ok" because they just spend $50k on new tanning beds (which is almost all of the company's profits for the year and so they had to get financing from the bank on a 5 year loan to afford it) so they don't care what widget makes the beds go. If I had to take a guess that segment will probably take another 20 years to transition.

        Going forward, I do not see a tech company using Windows as their platform from day 1. I saw a stat once that any truly complicated piece of software - think kernel or ERM system - takes 10 years to mature. Well, I think the push for apps and the subsequent transition to Mac or Linux as a primary development platform has started. So, maybe in about 6 - 8 years we are going to see a real change.
    • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Monday April 07 2014, @03:43AM

      by Reziac (2489) on Monday April 07 2014, @03:43AM (#27280) Homepage

      Actually, the first time I heard of Microsoft banging the services drum was at the Win2K promo event, which I attended in Los Angeles. The presenter went on and on about their vision of SAAS and cloud storage (tho it wasn't called that at the time), whereupon the audience of some 1000 professional IT types all developed identical angry frowns.

      --
      And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
  • (Score: 2) by istartedi on Monday April 07 2014, @01:53AM

    by istartedi (123) on Monday April 07 2014, @01:53AM (#27254) Journal

    I've been considering a live CD (or boot from USB thumb drive if I can get it to work). I'd use Linux for network oriented stuff, and boot into Windows for stuff that doesn't need a network but "just works" and I don't want to change. It's like a great big game of chicken we're playing with MS here. I'm not going to swerve off and buy new hardware unless I absolutely have to. The bit with UK health services looks like they're starting to swerve. Now if they'll just swerve for the rest of us, we can keep using our perfectly functional hardware and software for perhaps some reasonable fee, like $20/yr. I'd put my credit card in right now if they offered that.

    --
    Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
  • (Score: 1) by IgrokU on Monday April 07 2014, @02:32AM

    by IgrokU (3719) on Monday April 07 2014, @02:32AM (#27262)

    I am the only person that reads this website that likes W8. whatever. To each his own.

    --
    All my opinions belong to me... that's why they are mine.
    • (Score: 1) by dilbert on Monday April 07 2014, @01:17PM

      by dilbert (444) on Monday April 07 2014, @01:17PM (#27446)

      I am the only person that likes W8. whatever. To each his own.

      FTFY ;)

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07 2014, @02:26PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07 2014, @02:26PM (#27496)

      Nah. I really like Windows 8. 8.1 in particular. Barely ever look at Metro. Works just like Windows 7 really; except it's a little faster.

      • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Monday April 07 2014, @02:59PM

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Monday April 07 2014, @02:59PM (#27538) Homepage Journal

        Works just like Windows 7 really; except it's a little faster.

        Are you sure? If your drive hasn't been wiped and W7 reinstalled it will certainly seem faster; I'm about to put Linux on this notebook because it's gotten so slow. It's that damned registry probably. Uninstalling software almost never removes registry entries and the bigger the registry, the slower Windows will run.

        XP was advertised as being faster than W98, but I'd just reinstalled 98 when I put XP on it, and XP was slower. I suspect that's what you're experiencing.

        --
        mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
  • (Score: 1) by wonkey_monkey on Monday April 07 2014, @07:37AM

    by wonkey_monkey (279) on Monday April 07 2014, @07:37AM (#27320) Homepage

    How many of them will have given up on Linux after six months and grudgingly gone back to Windows?

    --
    systemd is Roko's Basilisk
    • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Monday April 07 2014, @03:02PM

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Monday April 07 2014, @03:02PM (#27541) Homepage Journal

      I'd say almost none that go the KDE route. Their computers will be faster and the interface completely familiar. Switching to KDE from any version of Windows (except perhaps W8) is far less of a change than switching from one flavor of Windows to another.

      --
      mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
  • (Score: 2) by gringer on Monday April 07 2014, @09:57AM

    by gringer (962) on Monday April 07 2014, @09:57AM (#27357)

    What I find interesting is that there are a number of PCs out there that have XP and don't fit the requirements for Windows 7 (or 8.1). I've recently shifted someone over to Puppy Linux because they only had 512MB of memory. This person only used Wordpad and Firefox, so there wasn't too much difficulty shifting to Linux with Abiword and Seamonkey (no complains yet, but I expect a few in the future). However if I encounter someone with similar computer specifications who spends a lot of time with more serious Microsoft products, I'd probably recommend that they stick with XP and swallow the risk.

    --
    Ask me about Sequencing DNA in front of Linus Torvalds [youtube.com]
    • (Score: 1) by bwintx on Monday April 07 2014, @01:30PM

      by bwintx (1281) on Monday April 07 2014, @01:30PM (#27454)
      Another good choice for low-RAM PCs is LXLE [lxle.net], a derivative of Lubuntu. My wife was using our ancient home PC (512MB RAM) just to Web-surf on Chrome in XP, and I converted it from XP to LXLE a few days ago. I put her favorite bookmarks on Chromium, and she's happy. In fact, she likes it better because there's no longer a RAM-sucking anti-virus app running in the background.
      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday April 07 2014, @03:20PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Monday April 07 2014, @03:20PM (#27558)

        I've heard of LXDE before...what's the second L supposed to mean?

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by cmn32480 on Monday April 07 2014, @12:15PM

    by cmn32480 (443) <{cmn32480} {at} {gmail.com}> on Monday April 07 2014, @12:15PM (#27412) Journal

    The next round of Windows Updates that come out on April 8 will add a significant change to the Windows 8.1 interface.

    From some other reading (http://windowssecrets.com/top-story/what-you-shou ld-know-about-windows-8-1-update/ [windowssecrets.com]) All users that do NOT have a touch screen will boot directly to the desktop, and those with the touch screen will continue booting to the interface formerly known as Metro as far as I can tell.

    So far nothing that I have seen mentions the traditional Start Menu, but I'm also not a Win 8 user, so that may have been addressed previously.

    --
    "It's a dog eat dog world, and I'm wearing Milkbone underwear" - Norm Peterson
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07 2014, @03:02PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07 2014, @03:02PM (#27540)

      I've been using Windows 8.1 for a few months now, and I quite like it. The look and feel is very similar to Windows 7. It's much snappier though. A few tweaks were needed initially to boot to desktop enabled. Once that was done, I have barely seen Metro.

      • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Tuesday April 08 2014, @08:27AM

        by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday April 08 2014, @08:27AM (#28029) Journal

        I've been using Windows 8.1 for a few months now, and I quite like it. The look and feel is very similar to Windows 7. It's much snappier though. A few tweaks were needed initially to boot to desktop enabled.

        Suure you have. OK, out with it!! How much are they paying you to say this? No one in their right mind could say this unless they were getting paid to. So how much is it? And who do I contact to get paid?

  • (Score: 2) by Boxzy on Monday April 07 2014, @11:23PM

    by Boxzy (742) on Monday April 07 2014, @11:23PM (#27846) Journal

    Most people will stab themselves in the eye with a fork rather than use Win 8.

    --
    Go green, Go Soylent.