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Who is Going to Buy SkyOS? 118

Posted by Cliff
from the does-it-pique-your-curiosity dept.
An anonymous reader wonders: "With the huge amount of operating systems available (numerous free and non-free Linux distros, Windows, Mac OSX, BSD, etc) who would buy SkyOS? An OS that was once free will now become a commercial operating system with the release of version 5.0. Although 'Porting applications from POSIX operating systems is an easy task', applications will still have to be ported since SkyOS 'isn't based on any other operating system'. This leads me to wonder...is there something about this operating system that I'm missing? Has anyone out there tried SkyOS and why would anyone pay for SkyOS with all of the alternatives out there with tonnes of software easily available?"
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Who is Going to Buy SkyOS?

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  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spcmastertim (782657) <mstrtimespaceNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday June 28, 2006 @10:01PM (#15625565) Journal
    People buy windows when there is a free alternative. The reason is simple. SkyOS does something very well, and people who need that one thing done well will buy it. Don't ask me what it is that it does well...
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bcat24 (914105) on Wednesday June 28, 2006 @10:03PM (#15625574) Homepage Journal
      But that's just the point. People who would use a non-Windows system tend to be a bit smarter (computer-wise). I doubt they'd want to spend money on a system that's incompatable with Windows and Linux.
      • So everybody should toss out those AS400 and BeOS boxes? There is no one answer for all the computing problems out there. Granted, I have not torn apart SkyOS, but the question itsself is a simple one. Why purchase something that is free, and may cause you to change the way you work? Because it is worth it. If a company can speed up repeatable task X by a factor of Y, eventually the cost of the conversion and the OS will pay for itsself. That aside, I am not going to be paying for an OS any time soon.
        • OK, maybe I phrased my post incorrectly. If you want to buy a new OS and use it, more power to you! I just don't think SkyOS would have a wide audience (except maybe in the OS dev community).
        • Quite frankly, Yes they should throw them all out.
        • Re:Why? (Score:2, Informative)

          by enosys (705759)
          Look at what happened to BeOS. It had various innovative features and some people were quite excited about it but it was a failure in the marketplace. SkyOS doesn't even seem to have such innovative features. It's not that nobody will use it. It's just that it doesn't seem to have any chance in the marketplace.
          • BeOS had some issues outside the operating system. When i bought my first computer with a harddrive, the sales man told me I needed a disk operating system. He then recomended D.O.S. by microsoft. Later windows 3.something was all the rave and I bought it. I have heard of OS2 and BeOS but never gave it a though because one needed special hardware and the other didn't work with my disk operating system.

            Marketing and the lack of an availible platform killed BeOS. It wasn't untill around 2000 or so i got the c
            • by dknj (441802)
              BeOS ran on common (read: Apple and Intel) hardware from 1996. And it was marketed as a multimedia OS, but never gained a strong enough hold. Chances are, if you heard of it, you had no use for it. OS/2 was similar because it was marketed for business desktops.

              SkyOS sounds like a slower rehash of BeOS complete to the lack of major hardware support (still no wifi support, for instance)
              • BeOS actually had very poor hardware support. There were many chipsets it wouldn't work on and peripheral support in general was extremely limited. The simple fact is that there's too much hardware out there for one company to go it alone. This is why I believe that the Linux kernel is going to be the basis of every successful alternative operating system in the immediate future :)
              • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

                by jandrese (485)
                IMHO, what ultimately did BeOS in was the lack of full POSIX compatability, in particular with the network code. This ment that BeOS users couldn't use the large and growing library of open source software without first porting it over. Even though porting was fairly easy (assuming the application didn't touch the network), it was a lot of work for the end user and the relatively small developer base.

                The nail in the coffin was the lack of a decent Web Browser for the longest time. Even back in 1997 the
          • I dunno. From the looks of it, SkyOS is going to be cheap. If it isn't cheap, it's a loser. Then again, without a large application base, it doesn't matter how cheap it is. People will pick it up, then wonder why WoW doesn't run on it.
            • I fail to see even how they're going to sell a "cheap" OS, when their competition is a "free" OS.

              People who are shopping on the basis of price really like the F-R-E-E word; it's a tough one to beat. The only advantage I think they could have over Linux is better documentation and support, but you can't provide 24/7 telephone support to everyone who buys a $30 CD set (it's just not feasible); so really I don't think they're going to be doing much of anything. Xandros and Linspire are out there for people who
      • Some people are just operating system enthusiasts. I've variously ran versions of DOS, Windows, OS/2, Irix, Solaris, Linux, BSD, AtheOS, FreeDOS, and a few others I can't remember the names of. I'd think about running Sky just to be different. And really, for a small development team, they only need to sell a few thousand hobbyists to stay in business. And who knows, they might even find a nice little niche that that can take ten or twenty thousand copies.
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CherniyVolk (513591) on Wednesday June 28, 2006 @10:43PM (#15625687)
      People buy windows when there is a free alternative. The reason is simple. SkyOS does something very well, and people who need that one thing done well will buy it...

      Why are people dellusional about what motivates purchases?

      People will buy SkyOS becuase there is a cost associated to it. For no other reason, rationale or sentimental, than the fact it has a price tag.

      For instance, take a look at a typical edition of Cosmopolitan magazine. Go ahead, flip through it. Don't worry, the chick next to you in line might think it's hot. There are so many advertisements in that magazine, you'll be hard pressed to actually find "content". The publishing house makes so much money off the advertisements, that they could pay people just to accept the magazine yet, it still has a price tag; so much money infact, they really don't need "content" and much of it is "fluff" to appear as if there's something of value other than the advertisements. Why? The Advertisement Firms insist they maintain a cover price, becuase they feel people will not take the publication seriously (including holding any value to the advertisements within) if the work was was for free. Now, to emphasize how much of that magazine is content, rip out every page that has the smallest blatant advertisement on it. Or, at your whim, hold all pages that have any "content" thereon. Doesn't matter, either way it will be pathetic I garruntee it.

      It's not much talked about, or doesn't seem so, that one of the largest milestones the Open Source community has is convincing someone there is "value" in a "free" product. Especially, if that individual has been raised in such a capitalistic driven society; they literally can not conclude the possibility anyone could produce a valuable product for free without monetary or material compensation. It's out of their grasp, it does not compute. They default to a conclusion that something must be wrong or lacking if someone is willing to just hand it off on someone else.

      Someone will buy SkyOS. Will they be the next Microsoft? I doubt it. But, I know for certain, someone will buy it in high regard and expectation of "quality" becuase sense they purchased the product... that makes the people making it, "professionals". To a Capitalist, ability and capability is soley determined by price.
      • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Vellmont (569020) on Wednesday June 28, 2006 @11:44PM (#15625861) Homepage

        Especially, if that individual has been raised in such a capitalistic driven society; they literally can not conclude the possibility anyone could produce a valuable product for free without monetary or material compensation. It's out of their grasp, it does not compute


        There's this thing that became quite popular more than 50 years ago, and it was given away free! No price whatsoever. It was called television, and a lot of people saw value in it. It had so much value that many people use this service far too much. About 50 years before that the scientists invented something we now radio. It was also, and continues to be free, and many people seem to love it and see value in it. Something like 400 years ago there was a thing called Public Education that was offered for free. People seem to continue to see value in it despite its free status even today! More recently we've invented internet websites, which are largely free.

        People readily accept products that are free as having value, and have for literally hundreds of years. The problem that open source faces isn't that the software has no cost, it's simply that the current software is in an entrenched position. For the majority of people, the costs really isn't about the actual software itself. That's fairly trivial. The costs come in learning how to use new software, OS, etc. For a business that means retraining employees, or re-writing software. For individuals that means wasting your time re-learning to do something you already know how to do.
        • Re:Why? (Score:2, Interesting)

          by MrNaz (730548) *
          And of course, free-to-air television is valued more than pay-per-view, public education is considered superior to expensive private colleges, free radio is hotter than pay-per-song iTunes and nobody ever thought of charging for web content, like, with a two-tiered Internet or anything.

          You, my dear naieve friend, need to realize that until the Open Source movement, few things remained free after a) its value was recognised by business and b) a viable model to charge for it was developed. The Open Source com
          • by egreB (183751)
            And of course, free-to-air television is valued more than pay-per-view, public education is considered superior to expensive private colleges, free radio is hotter than pay-per-song iTunes and nobody ever thought of charging for web content, like, with a two-tiered Internet or anything.

            In fact, in Norway, this is not quite true. The public, state-owned broadcasting in both television and radio is widely regarded as the highest-quality broadcasting there is. They outnumber any private televison and radio
            • Well, thats because Norway gets things unlike the US.

              The public broadcasting here is actually pretty damn good (to to mpr.org and find the streaming version of 89.3 The Current) but outside of exceptions like the aforementioned station, nobody listens to it compared to commercial radio or commercial broadcast/cable TV. For education...there are a ton of state owned schools and community colleges...most of them suck. The good ones are actually quite good (a lot of the flagship state universities in the m

              • by egreB (183751)
                Well, thats because Norway gets things unlike the US.

                Well, actually, on a general basis, Norway don't. But quite a few things is kind of different to the better.

                While I am at it, let me just give you a link to The Current because it is simply amazing.

                I'm listening to it right now, and I am truly amazed. Suddenly, they now play a tune by Kings of Convenience (a Röyksopp remix of I don't know what I can save you from). Kings of Convenience and Röyksopp (being somewhat better known) are band
                • I actually have the Kings of Convenience album and its quite good (though the only place I have heard it played here other than the friend who introduced me to it is on the current)

                  I really would love to go to norway sometime...I spent some time in denmark a few years ago (I'm half danish so there are lots of relatives and the such) and had a great time.

            • by MrNaz (730548) *
              And that, my friend, is exactly why Norway is not considered "capitalist" in the way of the US.
        • by l3v1 (787564)
          Public Education that was offered for free

          I don't think I want to go into the other ones, but do you really think public education is for free ? Do you think internet websites are for free ?

          For individuals that means wasting your time re-learning to do something you already know how to do.

          No, they don't. They only know how to do it one way on one OS, with one software. And it's not re-learning, it simply learning. And yes, today's people - most of them - are just too lazy to learn, they don't want t

          • I don't think I want to go into the other ones, but do you really think public education is for free ? Do you think internet websites are for free ?

            They're free in the same way software is free, that is "I didn't pay anything for it". That's what we're talking about here, so that's the operative definition of free. If you're trying to argue the "there's no such thing as free lunch" point, I think that makes a good speech to grade school kids but everyone else knows that, thanks.

            And yes, today's people - m
        • by rklrkl (554527) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @04:17AM (#15626565) Homepage
          Ever since I've been alive, television in the UK has *never* been free and I'm not talking about the "obvious" case of advertisements funding the media. In the UK, every household with a television has to pay an annual television license (and several other European countries are similar). This funds the BBC and allows it to run with no advertisements across all its properties (hence why the BBC Website is ad-free for example, though that's about to change with the "international version" I believe).

          For a long time, the UK TV license also covered radio as well, but I'm not sure that's the case now (i.e. if you have a radio, but no TV, you no longer need a license). So that's not always been free either. If you really must go on about "free television and radio", please qualify it with the country you're talking about and, of course, feel free to ignore how they aren't actually free anyway (advertisements/sponsors fund them, which ultimate comes out of the public's pocket).
          • The original argument was about whether people saw value in free things, not whether all television was free in every country. You're right that nothing is "free" in terms of cost, but we all know that, and it's also irrelevant to the discussion.
          • "feel free to ignore how they aren't actually free anyway (advertisements/sponsors fund them, which ultimate comes out of the public's pocket)."
            Well there is always NPR and PBS which are closer to free by your definition the do get some tax money but if you are poor enough or young enough to not pay federal taxes then it is free.
            Dude Slashdot is owned by a US company, run buy US citizens, and is in English. The vast majority of people on this board are from the US.
            Getting bent of Slashdot posts being US cen
        • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

          by 1iar_parad0x (676662)
          Television isn't free -- they sell commercials
          Radio isn't free -- they also sell commercials
          Public education isn't free -- they use our tax money to support it
          Even PBS and NPR require donations.

          OSS is actually free. The programmers may get a bit of extra experience that they can leverage into a job. Some even spin their software into a business. However, OSS is essentially free. Truthfully, most of the internet is free because it has deep roots in academia. Scientists and engineers (to a lesser extent)
          • PBS and NPR "require donations" about as much as a lot of OSS projects do. That is, they don't require it, but ask you for donations and generally use a rhetoric of "if you use the service or software that you should pay something for it."
        • Nice try, but extremely flawed thinking.
          In the US; TV, Radio, and Education has never been free. Each product is funded through every person in the form of taxes.

          You may not be supporting the local TV or Radio stations with the latest music, but your federal tax money is being used to support these products. Even the main stream TV and Radio is paid for through advertising. Is it free to joe bloe public? Not really, because if you didn't buy the items being advertised, then that funding would go away
        • There's this thing that became quite popular more than 50 years ago, and it was given away free! No price whatsoever. It was called television, and a lot of people saw value in it. It had so much value that many people use this service far too much. About 50 years before that the scientists invented something we now radio. It was also, and continues to be free, and many people seem to love it and see value in it.

          I've read the replies below your message. They point out things like taxes, advertising, pai
      • Ahhh.. that must be why Opera is so popular!
      • To a Capitalist, ability and capability is soley determined by price.

        I am not sure if Vogue readers are hardened Capitalists, but I doubt that -- for the real ones, "ability and capability" is determined by profit, which is related to price in an (almost) linear way, but with a negative-sign coefficient... ;-)

        Paul B.
      • The A is the C (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Judge_Fire (411911)
        There are so many advertisements in that magazine, you'll be hard pressed to actually find "content".

        In lifestyle magazines, the ads are often the content. The odd column or feature are nice extras, but fluff.

        J
      • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Phreakiture (547094)

        For instance, take a look at a typical edition of Cosmopolitan magazine . . . The publishing house makes so much money off the advertisements, that they could pay people just to accept the magazine yet, it still has a price tag . . . The Advertisement Firms insist they maintain a cover price, becuase they feel people will not take the publication seriously

        There is a counter-example, though.

        Many metro areas have a free newspaper. In Rochester, NY, it's City; in Albany, NY, it's Metroland; in Toronto,

      • Re:Why? (Score:4, Informative)

        by donscarletti (569232) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @10:30AM (#15628142)
        For instance, take a look at a typical edition of Cosmopolitan magazine. Go ahead, flip through it. Don't worry, the chick next to you in line might think it's hot.

        I totally agree, I absolutely love Cosmo for these reasons.

        • Cosmo is full of pictures of beautiful, glamourous and often scantily clothed women.
        • Cosmo is full of really filthy articles about doing the nasty.
        • Cosmo is full of really filthy articles about female masterbation.
        • Cosmo is full of interesting information about women.
        • Almost every second week cosmo features an article on women's anatomy, with pictures of exposed breasts and other facinating bits.
        • Cosmo is just like a men's "stroke mag" in most ways I can imagine.
        • Cosmo can be read by a man in broad daylight, in mixed company and women will admire him for emersing himself in female culture and female perspective, completely oblivious to his motivations, as long as he hides his erection well enough. Wives, girlfriends, mothers, sisters, daughters and every other type of woman in a man's life just seem to not see it. Sure, men might look at you funny, until you show them the double page feature on breast implants, giving you 30 exposed real, large breasts and 10 fake ones to tell apart complete with answers and close ups on the next page (real article, I kid you not).
        Cosmo is HOT HOT HOT and women don't get why enlightened men love it so much. Occasionally it has a male glamour shot for the target demographic to admire, which isn't my cup of tea, but it seems to be always tastefully done and never demeaning to the man involved. Cosmo, though obviously female biased in its outlook doesn't have as much latent misandry as other womens publications either, so I can feel good about myself while reading it.

        I am so tempted to go out and get a subscription.

        • by jandrese (485)
          I don't know about your female aquantences, but all of mine consider Cosmo something of a smut mag, for precisely the reasons you mentioned. If you're a guy and reading it, they assume it's because you're looking for the smut, not because you're really interested in women. That said, it's the only smut magazine many 13 year olds have access too (right in the supermarket checkout!), although that doesn't matter nearly as much as it did before everyone had internet access.

          If you really wanted to impress w
          • The idea is not to impress women, but to get away with reading naughty filth.
            • If you feel like you need to "get away" with reading "naughty filth", I think you need to find a new girlfriend, one who isn't so prudish.
      • Well, this capitalist has a little something to say. My expirience is that if I pay for something, someone has some responsibility for whatever it is I bought. Can I download some linux distro for free? Sure but, do I have someone I know I can hold accountable if I have problems with it? No Way! Oh there's forums galore and books but, nothing that says "if you need help, call here:". When I purchase software, which I do often for my job, I have somewhere I can bitch when I have a problem (which always hap
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

      by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @12:11AM (#15625943) Journal
      People buy windows when there is a free alternative.
      There's a free alternative to Windows? But it [reactos.org]'s only in alpha.
    • SkyOS does something very well, and people who need that one thing done well will buy it. Don't ask me what it is that it does well

      No one seems to know what it is that it does so well.

      I have been reading through the SkyOS website and various other SkyOS related sites, and I have yet to find what its killer features are. The closest I could find was automatic indexing of file metadata in a SQL database. Very neat, but surely that functionality could be added to established OSes?

      • None of them new though, but well integrated and there by default.

        1) An automatic media playback/manipulation framework. Nothing new here (see DirectShow, gstreamer, Quicktime) but it's more transparent, easier to configure they way you want to, it's an OS-level service, and it comes with lots of filters and encoders/decoders out of the box.

        2) SQL metabase for your files. Very similar to WinFS or beagle/inotify in style. You write plugins to extract metadata and it indexes it when you make FS changes. And s
    • What is it's unique selling point anyway?
      The tour showed some nice functionality, but nothing you can already find on other OS's.
      This OS has very few productivity applications with the only excuse sounding like "You can do some work and port applications which already work perfectly fine on Linux".
  • I looked through it quickly, and saw that although it was "free as in beer", it was apparently not "free as in speech" - neither GPLed nor open-source in any way. And now it is going fully commercial. Which is too bad, but I am still interested in if this is still a good OS.

    It says the it's not a *nix, which is interesting. Nowadays you only have *nix or Windows for desktop OSes, you hardly see any other types. Does anyone with experience on the OS care to tell just how the system design and philosophy is d
    • It's not "free as in beer" since 4.0
    • It's neither Free (as in speech) or free (as in beer); their FAQ is pretty clear that it's both closed-source and "commercial."

      Maybe they'll get a clue and open source it when they're trying to divest themselves of all their assets when they go bankrupt...but I doubt it.

      It's too bad though, it would be interesting to have multiple open source OSes which had radically different theories about the underlying design of the system. Right now, we're basically in a situation where OSS==Posix. (Or, I suppose, Reac
  • by Hoolala (976766) on Wednesday June 28, 2006 @10:13PM (#15625613) Homepage
    Without app support, an OS, if it comes in reinforced box and a heavy manual, is at best a doorstopper. The success of a computing platform depends on the success of its OS which in turns depend on the available apps.
    • So, what you're telling me is that an Operating System that lacks the ability to "operate" is worthless?

      Wow. You sir, have blown my mind. Kuddos.
    • Depends on how much is built in. It looks like SkyOS will be great for my grandparents.

      On the other hand, Ubuntu would be as well, provided I set it up beforehand.
      • What about SkyOS looks like it would be better for your grandparents than, say, Lindows? Or Xandros?

        I'm really looking for a reason to like SkyOS, not trolling...what is it that you think that it has, which is in any way superior to other OS' offerings, in a way that would be relevant to actual users?
    • Which is why we need an OS independant API/ABI... A neutral abstraction above the OS layer, that can allow applications to be written/compiled once and then executed unmodified on any OS running on compatible hardware.
      Like java, but with native x86 code running at full speed on the hardware.

      There is a project underway called X86ABI [x86abi.org], but it's in a very early stage.
  • What for? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by VGfort (963346) on Wednesday June 28, 2006 @10:14PM (#15625619) Homepage
    I used to periodically checking up on SkyOS until about 2yrs ago or so when it they announced they were going to be a commercial OS. I dont have anything wrong with them being commericial, it just lost my interest, cuz I'm not going to pay to check something out. I think most people that are into tinkering around with computers or OSes might be into it, just to see what ideas others are up to. I personally think Syllable, ReactOS and Symphony are more likely to take off than SkyOS.
  • by cgenman (325138) on Wednesday June 28, 2006 @10:14PM (#15625620) Homepage
    I'm actually rather fond of Sky OS. The interface is great, and the OS hasn't acquired the kruft of a mainstream OS like Windows, Linux, or OSX.

    That having been said, it doesn't run on a lot of hardware, and it doesn't run a lot of applications. Their best bet is either selling it En masse to computer manufacturers as an alternative to linux, or putting it on well-designed hardware as an elite os. Maybe work their way in with specialized hardware makers, like Car manufacturers, to build up a following.

    I'd also recommend pre-loading it on USB thumb drives, for those who can boot from a USB thumb, to help people get experience with the OS.

    • by OmegaBlac (752432) on Wednesday June 28, 2006 @10:45PM (#15625693)
      Their best bet is either selling it En masse to computer manufacturers as an alternative to linux
      I dunno, there this little company up in Redmond, Washington that also sells an alternative to Linux and they have been having a tough time breaking the Torvalds/Tux monopoly on the PC desktop. ;)
    • by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Wednesday June 28, 2006 @11:23PM (#15625800) Journal
      That having been said, it doesn't run on a lot of hardware [...]
      Yeah. A little note to the guys who run the website: Before you expect me to pony up 30 dollars, do me a favor and tell me what hardware is necessary for this thing to run. I was pretty sure it wouldn't run on my PowerMac G5, but I couldn't find any hardware specs to give me an idea as to what it would run on.
      • I was pretty sure it wouldn't run on my PowerMac G5, but I couldn't find any hardware specs to give me an idea as to what it would run on.

        Then RTFF(FAQ) [skyos.org]!
        • The Sky Operating System, or SkyOS, is an operating system written for x86-based personal computers.

        While you're correct that there are no easy links to detailed hardware compatibility, this alone should tell you that your G5 can't run it, unless you have Bochs or do they still make Virtual PC?

        LK

        • by bjb (3050) *
          I believe the parent was referring to the idea that he has no idea if his x86-based machine will work with SkyOS. Not all x86 machines are created equal; before the operating system has a chance to abstract away everything into a single API, it has to know the differences between the GPUs, sound cards, network interfaces, IDE interfaces, SCSI interfaces, etc. That is why you have to install drivers for everything you plug into your computer.

          If you want an idea of why the parent's question is valid, downlo

  • If you change your point of view - maybe the develop of SkyOS is hoping that another corporation will buy out SkyOS and use the source for their own product(s)... embedded OS maybe?
    • That's the only future I can possibly see for them ... but is there really a market for this?

      I mean you already have Linux and the embedded Linux derivatives, Windows CE, ultra-lights like vxWorks and eCos, even OS/2. There are probably dozens of others that I'm not even aware of.

      It just seems like that's a pretty saturated market, and there really isn't a screaming demand for another embeddable OS. Maybe one of the big players (Wind River) would buy them just to take them off the table as possible competit
  • Right... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 28, 2006 @10:32PM (#15625665)
    $30 for a bebeta OS with limited application and hardware support, with expectations of a "community" rising en masse to do the necessary work to make it usable? I wish Robert and Kelly all the luck in the world, while saying that anyone who freely gives away their work to this for-profit enterprise needs to come to work for me.
  • by martinultima (832468) <martinultima@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 28, 2006 @11:11PM (#15625759) Homepage Journal
    As a lot of other posters have said, there's not very much software for it other than what they themselves provide, but there's another side of it, too – hardware. If I remember right, last time I saw anything about SkyOS (I will admit it was a while ago) there was very little hardware or software support. Couple that with the high price tag – i.e., any price tag – and lack of publically-available source code, and I honestly just don't see any reason other than the hell of it.

    Personally, if there's any "alternative" OS I hope takes off, it would have to be either Linux [insert obligatory reference to Ultima [ultimalinux.com] here], or one of my favorite "pet" projects, ReactOS [reactos.org]. The nice thing about the latter is that it (will eventually) support the same software running on Windows, so if not the most ideal system – obviously, if it runs the same software, a lot of vendors may not see any reason for an open-source, Linux-compatible, etc. version of their product – at least it (will be) a somewhat practical one than a Linux system. And OpenBSD [openbsd.org] is totally kick-ass, although honestly I'd say it's probably in exactly the right place right now; those who can understand it can use it, and everyone else can stick with something better suited for them.

    DISCLAIMER: I will admit I'm a Linux dev / distro maintainer and there may be some bias here...
    • "if it runs the same software, a lot of vendors may not see any reason for an open-source, Linux-compatible, etc. version of their product"

      I'm getting tired of this argument. There's not a lot of Linux-compatible, open-source, etc. versions of most software now. Do you really think there's about to be this massive amount of previously windows-only commercial software GPLd as long that darn ReactOS doesn't come around and screw things up?
      • As I said earlier, it's kind of both a good and a bad thing that ReactOS exists. It's definitely not going to help get very much Linux software available, which probably isn't a good thing for people like us. But the point I was trying to make is that creating an alternative operating system compatible with existing software would at least be a bit more practical in the long run, if not very ideal, because the existing software applications could continue to run (eventually) without problems, and there wo
    • Perhaps SkyOS would benefit from adopting the BSD driver model. Then they'd be able to support a lot of hardware for little work, and continue to support new hardware without any added effort.

      I would have suggested using the Linux driver model, but the viral licensing issue would kill the company.
  • Sky-what? (Score:5, Funny)

    by (pvb)charon (685001) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @12:01AM (#15625919) Homepage
    Once they add decent NETworking capabilities (and rename their product accordingly), I'm sure there's quite a number of people who just can't resist.
    charon
  • Taking a casual look at screenshots immediately reveals [skyos.org] icons "borrowed" from KDE. Hmm... I don't think those were in public domain. Gods of GPL won't be pleased with it, for sure. With this attitude, I wonder if the entire OS is truly written from scratch and not a single file from any other project covered by GPL was "incorporated." Because if it was, that would be a shame. And it would create significant issues for the SkyOS developers if they try to sell the product.

    As for the viability of the proje

    • by Anonymous Coward
      from the web-site:

      "...This is the Crystal icon pack created by the very talented Everaldo, used in SkyOS with his blessing. This icon set is also used by KDE for Linux, which is why the icon sets look similar."
    • by Phil John (576633) <{moc.dtlsratsbew} {ta} {lihp}> on Thursday June 29, 2006 @01:18AM (#15626114)

      As another posted pointed out it was with the creators blessing, however even that wasn't needed.

      The Crystal Icon Set is licensed under the LGPL, so basically, as long as the SkyOS team supply you with a copy of the LGPL license and a written offer of the "source" (e.g. original pngs) they can use them in a commercial application.

      There is a common misconception with some people that (L)GPL=no commercial usage. If it's GPL you can still charge (however your clients can turn around and distribute your app for free, so you'll get further charging for support). If it's LGPL you can distribute the rest of your app as closed source, as long as you provide the LGPL license and provide the source of the LGPL'd component(s) in some way for at least three years (you're even allowed to charge a reasonable fee for providing it under the terms of the license).

      • If it's LGPL you can distribute the rest of your app as closed source, as long as you provide the LGPL license and provide the source of the LGPL'd component(s) in some way for at least three years (you're even allowed to charge a reasonable fee for providing it under the terms of the license).

        And you have to make it possible to link your commercial app to modified versions of the LGPL'd library. A dynamic linker usually takes care of that, although you have to be more careful in embedded systems where

  • Wonder what OS their server runs on....?
  • What about QNX?? QNX is easier to obtain than SkyOS from my experience.
    • Yes, you can still get QNX from here. [slashdot.org]

      The web page is kind of confusing. If you download "QNX Neutrino RTOS x86 host", you get an .ISO image of a bootable CD-ROM for installing QNX. There's a 30-day trial key, and when the trial runs out, you can't use some of the development tools, primarily the Eclipse IDE. But you still have GCC and all the usual command-line tools. If you download it and install it onto a PC, you get a desktop PC running QNX, with web browsers and the usual stuff. There's Firefox a

  • Whats SkyOS? (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Johnno74 (252399)
    Never heard of it. Is it what skynet runs?
  • by master_p (608214) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @03:11AM (#15626392)
    ...at a time that Windows was not established like it is today, yet it failed to grab an important market share. SkyOS would have to be a truly superior O/S in order to have any success...but that is highly unlikely, because both Microsoft and Apple have tremendous horsepower to back their O/Ses up.

    I have no idea how SkyOS operates, but it seems like another O/S based on processes/scheduling/filesystem. Isn't it time to move beyond those? todays needs are much more dynamic than the current 40-year-old O/S model offers.
    • What would you suggest to replace processes, scheduling, and a filesystem?

      The process/scheduling/filesystem paradigm is essentially a conversion of the problem of running an arbitrary number of virtual Turing machines on a single Turing machine. It's a straightforward reduction from the simplest abstraction of a general computer. If you can come up with a better system, you'll get a PhD and a Turing prize pretty much immediately.

      But let's look at this in more detail.

      We have processes: that's what is current
      • The Turing machine may be 70 years old, but the model of processes/scheduler/filesystem is not that old.

        Anyway, my proposal is:

        1) replace processes with components.
        2) replace the scheduler with parallelizing operators.
        3) replace the filesystem with collections.

        What are components? components are computational units that are maybe composed from other components and that accept an input and produce an output. The difference with processes is that components can be combined at run-time as the result of computa
        • "Anyway, my proposal is:
          1. replace processes with components.
          2. replace the scheduler with parallelizing operators.
          3. replace the filesystem with collections."

          Sounds a lot like a Lisp environment to me... That means that the "components" are actually function references, which can do fairly much anything. The environment then consists of a set of object references, which is definitely like your notion of "collections."

          I'm not so sure about the notion of "parallelizing operators;" concurrent progra

          • Indeed, it is a tough road, but sooner or later we've got to take it. I do not expect big corporations to do it though, due to their policies, but it is a fine opportunity for independent open-source developers to leave their stub in computer history.
        • So a component is exactly analogous to a function?

          "The difference with processes is that components can be combined at run-time as the result of computation."

          The components themselves can be combined, or their return values? The latter can be done simply in most shells; the former can be done simply in most shells. Unless you mean that I can combine functions of one program with functions of another without touching a compiler. Which I can already do with scripting languages, and don't want to do unless the
    • "seems like another O/S based on processes/scheduling/filesystem. Isn't it time to move beyond those? todays needs are much more dynamic than the current 40-year-old O/S model offers."

      Running on von Neuman architecture hardware, which is 70 years old (based on Konrad Zuse's work).

      Running a graphic interface with a mouse that is 38 years old (1968 was the mother of all demos year), developed by Douglas Engelbart.

      Unix showed up in 1970, making it 36 years old. But it was modelled on Multics, which in turn was
  • It does not appear to come with Source Code, and that's going to be the big show-stopper.

    If you don't know what Source Code is, and why it's so important that you should have access to it, then you probably will just use Windows and wallow in your own ignorance until you drown. If, on the other hand, you do know what Source Code is, then you almost certainly will want to be running an Operating System that includes the Source Code. If you buy an operating system knowing full well that you cannot repair
    • No kidding. I might buy an obscure proprietary operating system for $30 if it came with source code. But without source code, why bother?

      Of course, it wouldn't surprise me if they had someone in management who didn't understand the differences between "source-available" and "open-source" (since they seem to have confused "proprietary" vs. "commercial")

    • It does not appear to come with Source Code, and that's going to be the big show-stopper.
      No... The show-stopper is that the OS can't do the things that most users want to do. As others have pointed out, it is not a question of source code, it is a question of supporting hardware and running applications that people want and can get easily.

      If you don't know what Source Code is, and why it's so important that you should have access to it, then you probably will just use Windows and wallow in your own ign
    • If you buy an operating system knowing full well that you cannot repair any faults you may find in it, nor adapt it to meet your specific requirements then, not to put too fine a point on it, you're an idiot.

      OSX?

      It's pretty easy to adapt an operating system to meet your needs without source. You don't want to go around forking things every time you need a design tweaked. 99.99% of users will never edit anything. And the ones that do will suddenly find themselves with a maintenence headache.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It does have the befs. The Haiku project recreated the file system of BeOS, and SkyOS beta testers voted to use it, although it hade to be modified to be able to boot it with grub.

    It has live queries, and meta data journaling. It also come with an mp3 by Kelly Rush.

    Last time I checked it was Say It Ain't So as written by Weezer. I doubt they're paying the ASCAP performance fee.

    We of haiku are happy to have SkyOS use our stuff.
  • by rudy_wayne (414635) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @05:39AM (#15626712)
    From the "System Requirements" FAQ:

    USB Devices/Hosts are currently not supported.
    Wireless Networking is currently not supported.
    SATA drives are currently not supported (if you have such an option in BIOS, try using SATA->PATA emulation).
    Printers, scanners, digital cameras and webcams are currently not supported.

    • The lack of SATA support is a bit of a surprise since the chipsets work just about the same for PATA and SATA devices. It's not hard to support if you already have PATA support. ATAPI is much harder to deal with.
  • This is better than Fedora Core 5 in what way? The current Linux distro's do a nice job of detecting hardware and simply "working." I will be watching to see how they "truly" differentiate themselves.
  • Sounds like the Hurd to me. Nothing is supported, but its all new and cool, so you must like it, else you're not a geek.

    Wake me when it supports my USB mouse. Yes, I know, I'm picky.
  • I thought this was a project to keep Be alive. Looks like I was wrong.
  • I think SkyOS author (Robert Szeleney) is trying to make his operating system better than others. It's about freedom of choice, if you don't like Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, you may go for more alternative operating systems. Also he is trying to catch up with latest eyecandy like compositing, transparency and shadows. If he got reasonable pricing also, his operating system might be good for hobbyists using computers for simple task like e-mail, web surfing, IM etc.

There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly. -- Publius Terentius Afer (Terence)

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