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Mandriva Businesses HP

HP Starts Pushing Desktop Linux 465

Posted by michael
from the first-hit's-free dept.
iswm writes "HP has supposedly been selling MandrakeSoft Linux on the desktop for a while but has been so quiet about it that for all intents and purposes it's been a stealth operation. That's all about to change, with two new Linux desktops ready for rolling out by HP to the North American SMB market, both boxes to be sold with Mandrake Linux."
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HP Starts Pushing Desktop Linux

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  • Opensource Income? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Takara (711260) * on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:07AM (#8565862)
    The article briefly mentions the fact that Mandrake is going to emerge from bankruptcy and pay off a 3.3 million euro debt. It's made me curious how much Mandrake made from the HP move.
    Did HP just take mandrake with a few modifications and put it on, or was a licence purchased?
  • by Sla$hd0tSux0r (762264) on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:08AM (#8565863)
    I really think this is going to be the Year of Linux!
    • by Bobdoer (727516) on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:10AM (#8565875) Homepage Journal
      Oddly enough, I think this is going to be the year of people stating: "I think this is going to be the Year of Linux"
      • by AKnightCowboy (608632) on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:22AM (#8565935)
        Oddly enough, I think this is going to be the year of people stating: "I think this is going to be the Year of Linux"

        That was 1998.

        ...and 1999, and 2000, and 2001, and 2002, and 2003... yep, we're comin' out, guns blazing. Pretty soon we may even overtake #2 Apple's 5% desktop marketshare spot. Any day now... I have a feeling 2004 is it... 6% desktop dominance.

        • by utahjazz (177190) on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:36AM (#8566003)
          Someday, someone will explain to me why 'We' want linux to be adopted by the other 95% of the market. 'we' all lament what has happened to the Internet since 'they' finally found out about it (and thought it had just been invented). We pine about the good old days of the usenet, when it was like, useful.

          I dread a scenario where, around 2005, everyone and their grandma is buying a Linux box (that new OS that just came out year or so ago). And it all goes to shit. You just know it will.

          Everyone will run as root, open viruses, execute them. All our favorite apps will become add-filled feature-burdened piles of stinking filth rushed to market despite thousands of high severity bugs.

          It willl suck hard and we'll all look back fondly on the good old days.

          • Drivers (Score:5, Insightful)

            by tepples (727027) <tepples@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:40AM (#8566021) Homepage Journal

            Someday, someone will explain to me why 'We' want linux to be adopted by the other 95% of the market.

            More market share than, say, Mac OS X means more chance of getting manufacturers of newer peripherals to put effort into writing drivers or at least into providing free software developers with technical information sufficient to write and maintain a driver. Lack of drivers is the primary reason I'm still on Windows 2000, as the copy of Mandrake I tried a few months ago didn't work with my Radeon 9000 card (except in unaccelerated VESA mode), and Microtek denies the SANE developers any information about my scanner (a Scanmaker 4850).

            • Re:Drivers (Score:5, Interesting)

              by salimma (115327) * on Monday March 15, 2004 @02:59AM (#8566283) Homepage Journal
              the copy of Mandrake I tried a few months ago didn't work with my Radeon 9000 card

              Ironic, isn't it? nVidia gets slammed so often for producing closed-source drivers, and now that ATi has followed suit, I actually specced out the last PC I built with a GeForce FX.

              Now that both makers are forcing us to use binary drivers to get acceleration, at least nVidia has a better track record at updating drivers (and the open-source nv driver is further along too).

              Yes, there are binary-only ATI drivers [ati.com]. No, I don't know how well they work.
              • Re:Drivers (Score:3, Informative)

                by ameoba (173803)
                The kicker is that the Radeon 8500/9100/9000/9200 (all essentially the same chip) is currently the fastest GPU that's well supported by Open drivers (Xfree/Mesa stuff).
                • Re:Drivers (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by rokka (631038)
                  Is that so?
                  I was under the impression that Nvidia had far better performance in OpenGL than Radeon.

                  But whatever. Since you allways have to spend at least half a day installing the Radeon drivers while the Nvidia ones are up and running i 7 seconds, it's really not much of a choise anyway.
                  • Re:Drivers (Score:3, Interesting)

                    by ameoba (173803)
                    nVidia's binary drivers smoke ATI's drivers in performance and general quality. I wasn't talking about the 'official' drivers, just that the Radeon 8500/9000/9100/9200 chips are the best chips that have open drivers. They are directly supported by XFree and Mesa (for GL/3D) without having to rely on closed-source binary-only drivers.

                    The problem is that current-generation Radeons (9500 and up) are almost a completely different architecture and nobody's really figured out how to do much with them yet...
              • Re:Drivers (Score:5, Insightful)

                by krunk7 (748055) on Monday March 15, 2004 @03:40AM (#8566454)
                They don't work as well as the nvidia drivers...yet. I do notice a respectable gain in performance with each new release. Enough so that I beleive they are taking the development seriously. The Radeon 9000 is supported by ATI's drivers, I'm rather suprised the parent's card didn't work.

                It should be said there is not a single device made that is not supported by linux. Now before the onslaught comes let me clarify. . .There is not a single class of devices not supported by linux. Some particular manufacturers do not support their product so it does take a bit of forethought and planning (e.g. checking supported hardware lists). No, you can't just buy device and bank on the drivers being included on a shrinkwrapped CD in the box.

                I'm happy to say that currently I have a fully working color scanner, 9500 pro w/ full hardware acceleration, iPod, CDRW/DVD player, sound cards, network cards (of course :)), ATA 100 expansion cards, digital camera, and other miscelaneous gadgets and hardware. I do know how the parent must feel though, when switching over from Windows I was burned several times by purchasing before planning. Now I've learned that 15 minutes of googling can save hours of migraines.

          • by gid13 (620803) on Monday March 15, 2004 @02:11AM (#8566142)
            One major reason to want free software to be adopted by the rest of the market is so that open standards dominate, and I don't have to choose between MSN and not talking to all my friends. So I don't have to pay for software to read office documents that are sent to me.

            Re: viruses, your worst case sounds no worse than the current state. The favourite apps will not become ad-filled because the base is open. Someone puts an ad in, fork the last one.
          • by rsilvergun (571051) on Monday March 15, 2004 @02:11AM (#8566145)
            ...Microsoft would gladly take away your ability to obtain cheap, Linux compatible commodity hardware (all for the sake of security, of course). If there are lots and lots of companies building Linux boxes, MS will find it a lot harder to do that.

            As for everyone running as root and viruses, how is that different from when they run Windows? As for our apps, I use free ones. I know better than to run some shmuck's pop up blocker when I've got Mozilla and Konqueror.

          • by smallpaul (65919) <paul AT prescod DOT net> on Monday March 15, 2004 @02:14AM (#8566158)

            Someday, someone will explain to me why 'We' want linux to be adopted by the other 95% of the market. 'we' all lament what has happened to the Internet since 'they' finally found out about it (and thought it had just been invented). We pine about the good old days of the usenet, when it was like, useful.

            Usenet is a communications mechanism, not software. When Microsoft put the BSD FTP client on every desktop did that affect you at all? When Winzip became popular did that hurt people who use infozip? Ignore the consumer distributions of Linux and move on with your life.

            I dread a scenario where, around 2005, everyone and their grandma is buying a Linux box (that new OS that just came out year or so ago). And it all goes to shit. You just know it will.

            No it won't. They'll use Lycoris. You'll use Gentoo or Dragonfly or some other 'leet *nix distribution. There will be essentially no interaction between the two. Why do you care? You're like a high school student who is afraid that they won't be cool and unique if everyone else listens to the same music they do.

            Everyone will run as root, open viruses, execute them.

            So what? Why does it matter to you whether these viruses come from computers running Linux rather than Windows?

            All our favorite apps will become add-filled feature-burdened piles of stinking filth rushed to market despite thousands of high severity bugs.

            Sure. Grandma is going to ask for a graphical interface in VI and smilies in Berkley mail.

            It willl suck hard and we'll all look back fondly on the good old days

            The usual elitist blah blah.

            • You're like a high school student who is afraid that they won't be cool and unique if everyone else listens to the same music they do.

              Sometimes, though, artists compromise their music to appeal to mainstream audiences. I used to buy Shakira's Spanish-language albums but her English records have been disappointing. Sell-out.

              Now, some bands manage to get good coverage without losing their uniqueness.. people like the Black Heart Procession, which I heartily recommend to people who like dark, hauntingly mela

            • by utahjazz (177190) on Monday March 15, 2004 @03:16AM (#8566367)
              Don't underestimate the power of the dark side.

              There is a multi-trillion dollar economy out there that is currently ignoring Linux almost entirely. If that industry turns to Linux as it's bread-and-butter OS, all will change, forever.

              Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

              Just as the web became riddled with OBJECT tags and Flash menus, Linux distros will follow the money and be ruled by the desires of the PHBs that control that money. There will be ads. There will be godawful UI's. Talking paperclips. And....DRM!!!

              Finally, we will find out that Linus is Bill Gates' son.
              • by Too Much Noise (755847) on Monday March 15, 2004 @04:23AM (#8566581) Journal
                Just as the web became riddled with OBJECT tags and Flash menus, Linux distros will follow the money and be ruled by the desires of the PHBs that control that money. There will be ads. There will be godawful UI's. Talking paperclips. And....DRM!!!

                Sure, but you're talking commercial linux distros here. There will be always the side - Debian, Gentoo, Fedora and the people who care will just (e)merge the good (GPL) parts of the other side and leave the bad ones. I for one don't see Debian and DRM mixing too well >:)

                It's not going to be much different from today - and the GP poster has a point. The "popular choice" will be something like Lindows or Lycoris for desktop users - and remember that Lindows already has those problems, default root and 'windows-type convenience' (hah!) So there will be 'secure Linux boxes' and 'insecure Linux boxes' ... with the possibility of a trend in user education if the vendors will give a damn.

                But the most important part is: if you're using a GPL distro you won't care about commercialized Linux! no, scratch that - you will probably get drivers due to commercial Linux distros, so it's not that bad.
          • by k_head (754277) on Monday March 15, 2004 @02:25AM (#8566191)
            When that happens 'we' will move on the the next greatest thing. Maybe Amiga, maybe plan-9, maybe atheos or something.

            It's like a city. In a city there are the slums, artists all move to the slums because they can't afford to live on the other side of the tracks. Eventually the artists section of town becomes fashionable because all the cool galleries, restaurants and clubs are there and the yuppies move in. Prices skyrocket the artists move the next slum and the whole cycle starts over again.
          • by Anonymous Coward
            "someone will explain to me why 'We' want linux to be adopted by the other 95% "

            It increases my ability to service others computer needs for pay.

            It decreases ANYONE'S ability to monopolize computer related enterprises.
          • by Qa1 (592969) on Monday March 15, 2004 @03:23AM (#8566397)
            The major reason we want Linux to become a popular OS is that more third-party software will be ported to Linux.

            Windows, being the current popular OS, has thousands of independent yet commercial developers and companies investing time, effort and research making cool tools and apps for it.

            As a developer, it's great to have tools like Emacs and Python for free. But let's face it: some top notch tools probably won't be replaced by OSS any time soon. It just requires too much effort, research, and knowledge (much of which is patented by Adobe) to create a graphic suite as powerful as Adobe CS.

            So making Linux popular is the only way to lure all these powerful art and development tools to the Linux environment.
          • by Neo-Rio-101 (700494) on Monday March 15, 2004 @04:38AM (#8566628)
            You're right about one thing.

            We'll see wave after wave of trojan programs that require the superuser password in order to work .... and guess how many people are going to do as instructed?

            Already there are loads of Linux apps that require Superuser intervention... take CD-Roast for example.
        • Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

          by 0x0d0a (568518) on Monday March 15, 2004 @05:43AM (#8566784) Journal
          You're full of it. You are trying to say, with a straight face, that people expected Linux to take over the desktop in *'98*?

          Most of the time in the past was people getting excited about the ability for *geeks* to use exclusively Linux -- Open Office, Samba, etc made it feasible to work with Windows users and still keep using Linux.

          Red Hat's CEO said, what, six months ago that Linux isn't ready for the desktop war just yet?

          This year and last year are big because there are a lot of major open source apps coming out and being *usable*, by *typical users*, at at least a basic level, as a substitute for Windows apps.

          Finally, if you don't think Linux usability has improved massively since '98, you just plain don't remember 98. We had no GNOME or KDE apps. Preference dialogs didn't exist. Widget sets were Tk, and black-and-white Athena. Boxes required a serious sysadmin to secure out-of-box.

          Last year, I agree that there were a lot of people on Slashdot that were predicting big gains on the desktop. And guess what? A bunch of governments and big companies starting transition processes, or at least made it much more easy to move a chunk at a time to Linux. If anything, I'm surprised that things are going this quickly.

          My prediction is that Linux will break 10% desktop market share before the end of 2006. That is a *huge* number of users to move from one platform to another -- perhaps around 100 million users -- , but remember that there's a threshhold effect at which point application vendors, people doing file formats, etc cannot ignore Linux, and once that hump is over, it becomes much easier to move to Linux.

          Web sites are already improving -- I don't see the number of "IE-only" sites that I did thanks to the spread of Mozilla, Linux, and Mac OS X running Safari.

          That being said, I think that as Microsoft gets more worried, they will do whatever it takes to fight back effectively. That may be as far as moving to a Linux-based distribution and porting their products to it. Microsoft is unlikely to die, no matter what.
  • Yeah but how much? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pros_n_Cons (535669) on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:08AM (#8565865)
    I question how much they've been selling cause Mandrake Soft surely wouldn't have had a close shave with bankruptcy if HP was throwing even a bit of its weight behind it.
    • by sumdumass (711423) on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:23AM (#8565942) Journal
      They have been selling mandrake workstations for a while (about a year os so).

      Their financial troubles began when they changed a marketing model that didn't product what it expected to do. It was like playing poker and they didn't know when to drop back to the nickle slot machines.

      Mandrake has always been a financialy sound company, it was just a couple of bad decision by new blood that caused them to dip.
  • by fuzzdawg (671742) on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:09AM (#8565867)
    Strange alliances indeed. This is prolly gonna scare the craap outta Microsoft.
  • by Patik (584959) * <cpatik AT gmail DOT com> on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:09AM (#8565870) Homepage Journal
    Doesn't MS cut their deal with PC manufacturers (i.e., Dell) when they sell Windows-less machines?
    • by craXORjack (726120) on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:21AM (#8565928)
      The same PCs can be had with Windows XP, by the way.

      Thats what I was thinking about too. In the past MS has had exclusionary contracts with the hardware vendors that only Microsoft's Windows would be pre-loaded on a line of computers. So if HP sold Linux or Solaris x86 or whatever on a line of computers then they had to pay full retail for any copies of Ms Windows they sold with that line. (IIRC about $200 for full license of W9x as opposed to ~50 OEM pricing.) Are those kind of exclusionary contracts prohibited now by the anti-trust settlement?

    • by LnxAddct (679316) <sgk25@drexel.edu> on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:21AM (#8565929)
      No, Microsoft's policy is that their PC Manufacturers cant sell a computer without an OS. Implying that the only OS that people would want is MS's, if they did what you said, well then they'd have been in court years ago...or wait..they were..but not for this exactly:) Thats why Dell ships some computers with FreeDOS, so they dont break their agreement with Microsoft.
      Regards,
      Steve
      • Uh huh. That's why most owners of Hitachi FLORA Prius machines never even knew that OS was on their computers, and no bootloader was preinstalled. Hitachi just wanted to do that way. Right.

        The DoJ was aware of this and decided, in their infinte wisdom, not to include it in their antitrust action.

        Booting BeOS on Hitachi [beatjapan.org]

        KFG
    • by Xenographic (557057) on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:23AM (#8565939) Homepage Journal
      Actually, if I remember correctly, it was that they charge them for a copy of Windows whether they install it or not (and is thus part of the "Microsoft tax" in that it's hard to get around paying for a copy of Windows even if you do not want one at all). So the agreement, insofar as I've heard about them, is that the OEMs buy a copy of Windows for every PC they sell, period, according to their OEM agreement.

      The justification for that deal, if I remember right, was that they would under-report the number of PCs they installed Windows on and cheat Microsoft out of their due.
    • by Soko (17987) on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:25AM (#8565949) Homepage
      IIRC, they can't do that or they'll be in direct violation of the deal with the DOJ that Judge Kolter-Kelly approved of.

      Microsoft has gotten away with some underhanded skuldudgery it seems (*spares the /. readers a link to a page about SCO*), but punishing HP would be out-and-out defiance. That would bring on a legal smackdown, I think.

      Bill and Steve better but some more asprin - I think they'll need it in the not too distant future.

      Soko
      • by steve_l (109732) on Monday March 15, 2004 @07:51AM (#8567098) Homepage
        Remember that an HP PC executive was the first person quoted in the MS antitrust findings, "if we had a choice, you'd be second".

        There is no love lost between parts of the company, especially the original HP. Compaq, on the other hand, have thrived for years by sucking up to the man, and been very good at it. Yet if you look at the workstation and server lines, they have been certified for linux distros for a while (usually redhat 'premium' stuff), and been orderable with the OS. No retributions yet :)

        The biggest risk with MS is that they will cut the company out of some big special, like a new product, like getting so many people on longhorn beta test, etc. They would probably do that today except that MS know they dont have a choice. The HP/Compaq PC line is a big enough chunk of sales that they dont dare walk away.

        At the same time, I can imagine a lot of high level voicemails going back and forth :)
  • Off topic yeah... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Amiga Lover (708890) on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:12AM (#8565881)
    ...but every deployment of linux in a large scale like this makes me smile and go "up yours SCO. one more victim to sue to drain your warchest"

    So I'm petty. sue me. There's lots like me
  • HP is on a roll (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Str1derv7 (614229) on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:12AM (#8565883)
    Wow, HP is really doing everything right so far. Signing deals with Apple, Starbucks, and now Mandrake. My respect for the company has shot up within the last few months.
  • by pdxdada (684092) on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:13AM (#8565888) Homepage
    What really surprises me is that companies seem to always introduce Linux to their low end computers (Walmart anyone?). A lot of high end Unix workstations are still being sold out there, why aren't more companies pushing a high end Linux workstation?
    • Because the uber-cool super-fast computers get bought by gamers who want to play games and think that Linux is that funny thing that doesn't run any of their favorite games. These guys haven't heard of WineX or the like. HP, Dell, and all the others cater to the mainstream like good little corporations because it makes more money. We can't really expect them to do otherwise in this market.
      There is nothing wrong, of course, with building your own computer and putting a distro on it. And if you do it like I
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:53AM (#8566071)
        Because the uber-cool super-fast computers get bought by gamers who want to play games and think that Linux is that funny thing that doesn't run any of their favorite games. These guys haven't heard of WineX or the like.

        Are you high? Why would I go out and buy a $3K PC to run games, and then turn around and run those games under WineX? That'd be like buying a Mac just so I could run all my Windows apps in Virtual PC... You buy the right tool, and install the right OS, for the tasks you want to accomplish. Unless you're a zealot or something.
    • by nelsonal (549144) on Monday March 15, 2004 @03:00AM (#8566296) Journal
      Is this [hp.com]not high end enough for you? Kidding aside, the biggest reason more workstations are sold with Linux is that there aren't enough professional applications (design stuff like ProE, The pSPICE family (at least Cadence and Synopsys, etc) haven't all been ported to linux yet. Most made it to Windows a few years back. Keep in mind that it took some time for the software to make it over to the Windows world, and that was for a 50%-75% cost savings. Moving from Windows to Linux doesn't bring the same one time cost savings, and workstation buyers aren't afraid to spend a signficant amount of cash if it means that their employees will be more productive by not retraining on new application software if a different version exists.
  • by bhny (97647) <bh@NOsPAm.usa.net> on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:13AM (#8565893)
    mandrake wasn't installed. they just included a mandrake disk.
    there was some minimal linux install just so you could boot it.
  • I''m glad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bishop, Martin (695163) on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:15AM (#8565898)
    While Mandrake may not be the best distro, it is probably the best for new users, and at least a better alternative than that FreeDOS Dell offers
  • by challahc (745267) on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:19AM (#8565914)
    Time for Microsoft to crank that brain-wash ray up to full power.
  • by KingJoshi (615691) <slashdot@joshi.tk> on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:19AM (#8565917) Homepage
    I've found Mandrake to have the best visual user configuration programs out there. I do think it's the most user friendly. However, I also think it's less stable than some of the other distrobutions because of staying on the edge of new software releases. Obviously we don't want a Debian stable for the desktop user, but I think Mandrake is less stable than Windows XP.

    The new users won't necessarily care how far the strides GNU/Linux has made, but realize that it's still not as easy to use as Windows and (IMO) not as stable as XP either!
    • by lone_marauder (642787) on Monday March 15, 2004 @02:10AM (#8566136)
      I think Mandrake is less stable than Windows XP.

      I run XP and Mandrake 10 (beta) on my laptop at work. My experience with using both OS's on a daily basis makes me wonder what facts you base that statement on.
  • by TheAxeMaster (762000) on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:22AM (#8565932)
    As much as I hate HP desktop machines ....... and believe me I HATE HP DESKTOPS........ this sounds like a really good thing. Maybe they decided that windows had a little too much overhead to run on their crapboxes so they switched to something that ran more efficiently. People will not have a problem with mandrake if they sit down and use it a little.

    I have always found it funny when people, especially older people like my parents, shy away from non-windows systems because they think it is too hard to use, and then I have to show them how to use IE in windows and how to dial up (yeah, modem) to the internet.
  • SMB Market? (Score:4, Funny)

    by V50 (248015) on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:26AM (#8565958) Journal
    Could somebody explain what an SMB market is? The first thing that popped into my mind was Super Mario Brothers market, but that can't be right. :)
  • by Neo-Rio-101 (700494) on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:31AM (#8565984)
    At the moment, Linux is viewed as good enough for the desktop of people who only use their computers as a glorified communications device. We're talking Internet, Mail, and Office utilities. These users want to do these three things without viruses, spyware, hardware upgrades, and crufty Operating Systems that crash. As for users who want to use a PC for gaming, music, and multimedia... Linux is probably not the best choice. However, when it comes to getting work done without all the nonsense, Linux is where it's at.
    • Gaming yes, but that's not true anymore w.r.t. music and multimedia.

      I watch videos (using Gentoo's win32 codecs ebuild) and play MP3s all the time in Linux. The only thing inferior I have to put up with is the gtk file selector that xmms uses.
  • Win/Win (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:33AM (#8565991) Homepage Journal
    A distro that constantly gives back to the commmunity, provides free isos for download, concentrates on the desktop, and manages to make a profit? Who'd have thought?
    With this corporate support, you can go out and buy a -supported- HP/Mandrake desktop. Which means you have Linux supported hardware if you don't like Mandrake.
    All sorts of good things in the future...
  • by dark404 (714846) on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:34AM (#8565994)
    *Insert Plethora of Pro-Linux, Anti-MS Comments Here*

    Mod me down and bury your head in the sand if you can't take the truth, but...

    Every time some manufacturer has linux somewhere and it makes the Slashdot news there are always the same comments, but the main hold back for wide adoption of Linux isn't getting manufacturers to sell PCs with it or public recognition. The main hold up is the mantra of any highschool composition class, "Who is your audience?" Who is the audience? Geeks? No, Geeks can and do already use linux. The audience that needs to be targeted is the average user, and no it is not 'joe six-pack', or at least not entirely. The primary audience for wide-adoption consists of your parents, your grand parents, your neighbors and friends who call you to fix their systems, children, etc. People who want to use their computer with a minimum of fuss, and who DO freak out when they get an unexpected pop-up, and DO run anything sent to them in an email, and DO use their first name as their password. Advances in Linux performance and functionality are great, but for wide adoption to ever succeed usability and intuitive design must take precedence. And as long as there is anything that requires a text file to be edited in linux, Windows will remain king.

    • The primary audience for wide-adoption consists of your parents, your grand parents, your neighbors and friends who call you to fix their systems, children, etc.

      For the home market, yes. There are, however, also the business and educational markets. There you have the same users, but they aren't necessarily doing all the install/config themselves.

      And as long as there is anything that requires a text file to be edited in linux, Windows will remain king.

      Mandrake's visual config is clunky, but it'
    • by k_head (754277) on Monday March 15, 2004 @02:40AM (#8566236)
      You are 100% absolutely wrong. You could not be more wrong if were actually trying to be wrong.

      The primary audience is the CEO. Linux desktops are ideal for the corporate environment. That's where they will rule first and foremost. Linux gives businesses more options and more freedom when it comes to the desktop. This means a business may choose to run thick or thin clients, they can centralize all software so upgrades are a snap, they can effectively lock down desktops and won't have to worry about their users clicking on emails or web sites that carry virus payloads. Of course they also get to save a buttload of money and dictate their own upgrade schedule too.

      Once the corporate desktop belongs to linux then the home users will also adopt it so they can take their work home.

      that's what happened to windows, that's what's going to happen to linux.

      Look at what HP is doing, they are selling these PCs at small businesses not Joe Shmoe. IBM and SUN are also selling linux to the corporate desktop.

      Here is my prediction. By the end of 2005 Linux will have reached critical mass on the corporate desktop. By that I mean around 20% of all corporate desktops in the world (not the US though) will be running a linux desktop. It will double in 2006 and then the growth will slow down because the US businesses will be very slow to migrate to it.

      • You're both wrong (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gad_zuki! (70830)
        Windows is a platform for running windows software, billions of dollars of windows software. The amount of savings to migrate to non-windows apps would have to astronomical for any CEO/CIO to take Linux seriously as a desktop replacement on the level you suggest.

        MS Office isn't just software, its how businesses are run. Its a brand, a religion, and a cult all rolled into one. We all know it just consists of a word processor, spreadsheet, etc but to users its all they do - and ALL THEY KNOW. Heck, most user
    • Listen dork I manage 100's of linux desktops in a corporate environment. Not once has a single one of my users had to modify a config file and I would care to guess that most of them have alot less skill with a computer than you do. In a corporate environment Linux desktops are deployed thin client and in a totally controlled environment. If they want something installed or configured I do it. If they need a desktop icon I put it there. If they have to add a printer it is done for them.

      A hp desktop preload
  • Hey HP! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:35AM (#8566001) Homepage Journal
    How about Mandrake laptops? With wireless, ACPI, etc, already supported?
    • Re:Hey HP! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jadel (746203)
      My 6 month old HP NX9005 is now basically fully supported - CPU throttling, ACPI and 3d acceleration all work fine. I found this page [consultmatt.co.uk]to be invaluable.
  • by Killswitch1968 (735908) on Monday March 15, 2004 @01:55AM (#8566079)
    I heard Mandrake was one of the easiest distros to use in terms of configuration and drivers. Sp I gave 9.2 a shot after getting the isos on FTP sites.

    THE GOOD
    1. Much prettier interface. Everything from the icons to the taskbar, to Konqueror was top notch
    2. All my hardware worked right away; sound card, mouse, keyboard, video card, with exception of my Palm Pilot cradle. I had some monitor problems as you'll read about as well.
    3. Speedy as hell. You'd run a program and it would actually run within a reasonable time.
    4. Internet worked right off the bat. Awesome.
    5. The video player played a lot of files easy-peasy and I didn't have to fight with codecs.
    6. I could still access my Windows folders. Another great benefit.

    THE BAD
    1. My mouse was uncontrollable. XP has both a speed and acceleration option that is great for mouse control. The mouse options box in Mandrake didn't have these options and it was frustrating to use the mouse, even after twinking these settings for an hour.
    2. By far the biggest problem: Installing programs. In XP it's as easy as double clicking an icon and picking a directory. Not so with Linux. You can read my post on the newbie forums
    here [linuxquestions.org].
    I have no idea where anything installs to, nor the best way to uninstall things. Inevitably I have to use the command line. Even as an X-MSDOS user I found it very frustrating.
    3. Despite claims of stability, Konqeror crashed repeatedly. I can not say why.
    4. After installing a program, finding where it installed to would be like pulling teeth. Making a shortcut would be even worse.
    5. Installing the correct driver for my soundcard was very complicated, even after reading the INSTALL file. I eventually gave up.
    6. I got a sync out of range message when I first tried running Mandrake. I left the monitor settings on default during install. This took hours to discover and fix.

    But above all installing programs is a pain. This means, once the desktop is setup, Mandrake is a dream. But configuring it requires far too much expertise, at least it seems like it. I found myself posting time and time again on the forums. They were very helpful people but their answers often left me more confused than I started.
    I'm not trying to flame, just provide constructive criticism and ways to help make Mandrake better. I wish them the best.
    • You should try Lindows next. Click N Run is pretty effortless. It's based on debian so you can't really go wrong.
    • But above all installing programs is a pain.

      I agree, for me that's one of the most annoying things about most distros. While legalities and shortages of people to make new packages are understanable, I still hated either installing from source on an rpm based system or trying to make updated packages based on how mandrake did it. That's why eventually I settled on Debian Unstable. What it lacks in configuration utilities it more than makes up for in available packages. I use the command line for it since
    • Until Linux desktops adopt an installation/uninstallation standard beyond the simple RPM-alike crap that's around now, Linux will always be an experience like that.

      An installation API needs to exist that allows for software makers to have a simple installer on their CDs, just like in Windows, that allows them to install binaries, create shortcuts on the menu, and allow for proper uninstallation.

      Doesn't look like that's gonna happen any time soon, though.
    • by StarTux (230379) on Monday March 15, 2004 @04:09AM (#8566533) Journal
      That answer someone provided you confused me as well lol. Seemed to do with nothing about your question.

      Don't use ./configure until you're a lot more comfortable with the command line and I rarely use it apart from installing bleeding edge programs.

      KDE has Control Center that has Peripherals that also lists mouse, this is where you can change the mouse tracking speed, make sure to hit apply after each change.

      You say your soundcard worked, then say it didn't in the next section as you wanted to install the correct driver?

      Are you sure you're not running to the commandline quicker than needed?

      Not sure on Mandrake, but most root installed programs end up in /usr/local/ that are built from Source. Quite a few times installing from source requires a few more development packages to be installed.

      Sometimes you're better off getting Linux as a box set, at least with SuSE you'd get plenty of manuals that show how to use programs and to do installations, the price alone is almost worth it for the manuals alone.
    • by buchanmilne (258619) on Monday March 15, 2004 @06:16AM (#8566880) Homepage
      1. My mouse was uncontrollable.

      Most likely you selected the wrong driver for your mouse during installation. The 2.6 kernel now makes this a lot easier ... so Mandrake 10.0 should get this right.

      2. By far the biggest problem: Installing programs. In XP it's as easy as double clicking an icon and picking a directory. Not so with Linux. You can read my post on the newbie forums
      here.


      Your problems are *precisely* because you think WindowsXP does things right, which it doesn't. You should not be downloading arbitrary packages from the internet WHEN THE PACKAGES ARE PROVIDED BY THE DISTRO!!!!!

      Don't install ALT Linux packages on Mandrake, when Mandrake provides packages.

      Don't go looking on the net first for packages, USE THE PACKAGE MANAGEMENT TOOLS PROVIDED!!!

      Mandrake has it's own pilot-link packages, and you can install them in the Mandrake Control Center->Software Management->Install software, or you could do it with 'urpmi pilot-link'.

      Just becuase you're used to XP only providing 20% of the functionality you need out-the-box doesn't mean Linux is like this.

      If you have downloaded a Mandrake RPM, double-clicking on it should actually install it for you. Did you actually *try* this? It's worked every time I tried it.

      I have no idea where anything installs to

      Why do you need to know? Everything is installed so that is just works. If you really need to know, the package management tools will tell you.

      , nor the best way to uninstall things.

      Use the package management tools (Mandrake Control Center->Software Management->Remove software).

      3. Despite claims of stability, Konqeror crashed repeatedly. I can not say why

      Well, unless you tell use what you were doing, there's not much we can do to find out what the problem was ... or whether there is a solution.

      4. After installing a program, finding where it installed to would be like pulling teeth. Making a shortcut would be even worse.

      Well, if you don't use Mandrake packages, this is what happens. The equivalent would be compiling and installing all the files on Windows, and when last did you do that?

      5. Installing the correct driver for my soundcard was very complicated, even after reading the INSTALL file. I eventually gave up.

      Unless you are using a card with proprietary drivers, the chances are you already had the driver installed, either:
      -the card was muted by default (ALSA does this to prevent damage), and Mandrake hadn't been provided with the necessary information to unmute your sound card on first boot (as it does for most cards, since users have provided the necessary information)
      -your card works better with a different driver WHICH IS INCLUDED!! You could have run draksound to switch drivers and give the other driver a try.

      6. I got a sync out of range message when I first tried running Mandrake. I left the monitor settings on default during install. This took hours to discover and fix.

      Essentially the same problem. Mandrake includes information on all monitors it can. But, if no-one bothers to report their hardware settings, nothing can be done to fix it ...

      See how you can help here [mandrakesoft.com].

      But above all installing programs is a pain.

      Then you are doing something wrong, and you should be careful not to give out false information when you haven't got enough experience to tell if you are just doing the wrong thing.

      Forget what you learned about the easy way to do things on Windows, they are WRONG! Things are much easier on Mandrake, *if* you are prepared to actually change your habits ...
  • dx2000 specs (Score:5, Informative)

    by Johnny Mnemonic (176043) <mdinsmore AT gmail DOT com> on Monday March 15, 2004 @02:10AM (#8566139) Homepage Journal

    dx2000 Specs from HP: [hp.com]
    • Linux - Mandrake 9.2
    • Intel(R) Pentium(R)2.80A GHz/533MHz
    • 256MB DDR 400MHz (2X128)
    • Integrated Intel(R) Extreme graphics2 (64MB equivalent)
    • 40GB PATA/100 5400RPM
    • 16X/40X DVD-ROM Linux and audio cable for Linux
    $627

    Choosing Linux instead of XP gets you an upgrade to a DVD player from a plain CD, and saves you $21. Hum.
  • iTunes for Linux? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ericdano (113424) on Monday March 15, 2004 @02:11AM (#8566147) Homepage
    Does that mean we will see iTunes ported to Linux? Bundle that with Linux, and you might drive sales of the HP iPod......
  • SCO-proof, too (Score:5, Informative)

    by violet16 (700870) on Monday March 15, 2004 @02:12AM (#8566150)

    Plus every HP Mandrake PC comes with free indemnification against SCO lawsuits! [newsforge.com]

  • by Schlemphfer (556732) on Monday March 15, 2004 @02:25AM (#8566189) Homepage
    There's been a lot of interest in the top PC companies coming out with Windows-free desktops. Probably the biggest move so far has been Dell, which allows you to buy most of their machines equipped with pro-dos instead of Windows. But here's the surprising thing about the Dell offer: I'm unaware of a single case where a pro-dos equipped model is any cheaper than the same model shipping with Windows XP.

    Now, with this HP development, I have to wonder if we're going to see more of the same, particularly since there's no mention that the Mandrake-equipped boxes will be any cheaper than their XP counterparts. Granted, there are some people who, for whatever reason, feel some dislike for Microsoft ;) And these people might be willing to have their computer ship without an XP license solely to deprive Microsoft of a few dollars.

    But I have to think that most people, if they can't get a discount by going without Windows, would want to receive XP. After all, why turn down something that's free, and something you might decide to install later -- if only to make the machine more valuable for resale?

    With this in mind, the option of ordering Linux boxes from major manufacturers just isn't all that exciting unless there's some kind of discount involved. Once you have the option to save thirty dollars by ordering your HP or Dell without XP, that will really be news.

    • For use... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SuperKendall (25149) * on Monday March 15, 2004 @02:48AM (#8566258)
      But I have to think that most people, if they can't get a discount by going without Windows, would want to receive XP. After all, why turn down something that's free, and something you might decide to install later -- if only to make the machine more valuable for resale?

      You have a good point, but I cannot resist noting that between dealing with spyware, a future SP2 release that may break who knows what software, and product activation worries that there is an old quote with a new twist that seems very applicable:

      "Windows XP is only free if your time has no value".
  • by pjrc (134994) <paul@pjrc.com> on Monday March 15, 2004 @03:12AM (#8566344) Homepage Journal
    Reading the article (yes, I must be new here) mentions several street prices for various HP models.

    Anyone know how those compare to the same machines pre-loaded with a Microsoft operating system? Are HP's linux customers getting the same price, higher or lower for buying Mandrake instead of Windows?

  • Are they charging for preinstalled Linux on their machines?

    Will there be a "Linux Refund Day"?
  • Figures (Score:5, Informative)

    by MC68040 (462186) <<henric> <at> <digital-bless.com>> on Monday March 15, 2004 @09:26AM (#8567430) Homepage
    Good to know:
    One should not trust that HP figures for sold linux desktops represents actual new linux users.

    As there is no windows license fee with the machines, my organisation buys (last batch around 15000 units) these configurations and then use our select/corporate windows license on them. This cuts us a great deal of costs from the otherwise mandatory per. computer windows license.

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