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Apple and Windows Will Force Linux Underground 554

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the still-neat-on-the-server-right dept.
eastbayted writes "Tom Yager at InfoWorld predicts: 'At the end of the decade, we'll find that Apple UNIX has overtaken commercial Linux as the second most popular general client and server computing platform behind Windows.' That's not a gloom-and-doom omen for the ever-popular Linux kernel, though, he stresses. While Apple and Microsoft will grapple for dominance of client and server spaces, Linux will be 'the de facto choice for embedded solutions.' And by 'embedded,' Yager means 'specialized.' With a push of a button and a flip of switch, he predicts, you'll be able to create a configured database and a mated J2EE server — all thanks to Linux."
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Apple and Windows Will Force Linux Underground

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  • Embedded. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HugePedlar (900427) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:28AM (#16006769) Homepage
    Well, whatever may or may not happen on the desktop, I sure would rather see Linux dominating the embedded market than Windows or Apple. The whole concept of embedded Windows seems ugly to me - like dressing up a nightclub bouncer in a pixie costume.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:29AM (#16006776)
    OSX is a vendor lock-in solution, and not many people like that.
    OSX is substantially slower on most benchmarks than Linux and Windows.

    OSX isn't a serious solution.

    -bms20
  • Is this bad? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by joshetc (955226) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:29AM (#16006777)
    Is this prediction really such a bad thing? Most predictions I've heard as far as the future of computing goes point to us eventually moving to solely imbedded solutions. Powerful cellphones, smart washing machines, etc. A computer chip in every device.
  • by kabloom (755503) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:30AM (#16006783) Homepage
    Apple UNIX will overtake Linux at the expense of whose market share? Windows? or Linux?

    And have they figured out how to count Linux installations yet? (A very hard problem since you can just download Linux off the internet for free, so there are many more ways to get it)
  • skewed vision? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Recovering Hater (833107) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:31AM (#16006789)
    I can't help but think this guy got all hyped up because of an Apple conference and just had to gush over it in print. Not to sound flamish or trollish, but what he fails to take into account is that Linux is seldom sold pre-installed. People generally buy the machine they want and then install linux post purchase. It is short sighted to only take sales into account when comparing OS use.
  • Re:Not really (Score:4, Insightful)

    by neonprimetime (528653) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:33AM (#16006802) Homepage
    How again was this modded insightful? I could think of a few other things to call it, but insightful wasn't one of them.
  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:34AM (#16006806)
    Despite the way most professional and commercial buyers see it, Linux is, as a colleague helpfully reminded me, a kernel, not an application platform. Linux is a backplane for device drivers, file systems, protocol stacks and low-level programming interfaces. It is a substructure for application services.
    And that is different from any other OS ... how?

    Apple's UNIX (who knows what it'll be called by then) will overtake commercial Linux in rate of revenue growth by the end of 2007. By mid-2008, Apple's sales of systems with factory-installed Apple UNIX will exceed the total combined sales of x86 systems factory-shipped with commercial Linux. At the end of the decade, we'll find that Apple UNIX has overtaken commercial Linux as the second most popular general client and server computing platform behind Windows.
    Why?

    You're making "predictions" without explaining the "logic" behind them. Why will all those countries / governments / cities currently deploying Linux drop it?

    If they don't drop it, why will other ones go with Apple?

    I believe Big Software vendors such as IBM and Oracle will use Linux to give unwieldy enterprise solutions the George Jetson treatment: Push a button, you've got an enterprise database, configured, loaded with sample data and listening for connections. Want a J2EE server with that? Flip this switch, it'll unpack itself, sniff out that database you installed and mate with it.
    And this will fail to drive Linux adoption ... why?

    If anything, that would seem to me to be something that would drive Linux adoption.
  • by Falconwmua (537564) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:34AM (#16006809)
    Considering the number of enterprise companies that have invested in Linux and do exert some influence over kernel development(IBM, Oracle) and I don't see Apple letting Dell, HP, or IBM build XServes I don't see this happening. Does Apple make a good, stable product? Yes. Is their client (desktop version) more user friendly than Windows or Linux at this point? Yes (I use all 3, Macbook being less than a month). Will Apple carve out a decent chunk in a few different markets? I hope so but I don't see them moving linux out of the data center.
  • Apple Picking (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mhazen (144368) * on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:41AM (#16006873) Homepage
    What is it with the high percentage of Apple stories that make the front page? For the 95% of us who aren't drinking the Kool-Aid, it's getting ridiculous. Everything Apple does seems to make headline news. What's next, "Jobs visits executive washroom"? It's starting to make the front page look less like an amalgam, and more like Apple marketing.

    With all of the Mac crowd self-gratification going on, perhaps it's time we stopped calling Cupertino's golden child "Apple", and instead refer to them as "Fapple".
  • by fistfullast33l (819270) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:42AM (#16006879) Homepage Journal
    Not to mention that you have a hardware lock-in because Apple probably won't support you if you use hardware other than what they sell. Add to that the expense of purchasing an Apple versus a Dell server and I think this is a gigantic laugh of an article. Plus, now that Apple is using Intel hardware, the whole maintence argument that Apple parts last longer is out the window.

    If you want to talk about Apple on the desktop versus Linux then I'd listen to the argument, but in the server world you can't compete. I really just wanted to respond to this article with a gigantic Simpson-esque "HA HA".
  • by Oz0ne (13272) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:42AM (#16006884) Homepage
    Linux *is* underground for all intents and purposes. Ask a bloke on the street if they've heard of Linux. If they're not in IT, web design, or a related field chances are they have not.

    Ask a bloke on the street if they've heard of windows, or apple. Even if they don't own a computer, they probably have.

    Linux has made great strides in the past 10 years, but let's not confuse what it is. Linux is the survivalist to windows' soccer mom.
  • Developing world? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jschottm (317343) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:46AM (#16006916)
    As the second and third world countries continue to develop, they will increasingly use computers. Apple's market strategy cannot support that need - a company whose main desktop starts at $2500 just can't work in a country where the average worker makes that in a year. Even a Mac Mini is far beyond the reach of most people and companies in that area. On the other hand, those people will be far more likely to use recycled low-end x86 systems and inexpensive RISC systems (China's homegrown chip springs to mind) and the OS of choice on those systems will be Windows (quite likely pirated), Linux, or xBSD. That will create both a huge user and developer base for Linux.

    The article also fails to explain why companies such as IBM and HP, who've invested much in the server side of Linux, would just walk away from that investment. I'm sure that IBM consultants will sell Apple products in the times where they are the exclusive fit for the need, but they can't control or steer Apple's direction the way they can Linux, which is one reason they push it so hard.
  • Duh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CaptainZapp (182233) * on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:47AM (#16006918) Homepage
    Apple's UNIX (who knows what it'll be called by then) will overtake commercial Linux in rate of revenue growth by the end of 2007.

    Well duh, Apple OSX (or whatever it's called by then) costs 100$. Ubuntu Linux (for example) is free as in gratis. How many Ubuntu licenses do you have to sell to reach the revenue of one "Apple Unix" license?

    By mid-2008, Apple's sales of systems with factory-installed Apple UNIX will exceed the total combined sales of x86 systems factory-shipped with commercial Linux.

    That's very well possible, since there are hardly any systems (specifically in the Desktop realm) which come pre-installed with Linx. Usually you flatten the hard disk of a Windows taxed box, or you build from scratch if you want to run Linux.

    You sir are either dim, dishonest or just a plain old idiot.

  • Re:skewed vision? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:48AM (#16006932) Homepage Journal
    It is short sighted to only take sales into account when comparing OS use.

    Absolutely. Sales data!=Market share.

    And just to bring that point home, OS X fans believe OS X's share of the market is rising because Mac sales are rising. One does not lead to the other.

    Everyone I know who's 'switched' to a mac has bought it expressly to run windows. Sad, but true.
  • US-centric outlook (Score:5, Insightful)

    by non (130182) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:49AM (#16006945) Homepage Journal
    His opinion only reflects corporate/consumer use in the US. In the rest of the world Linux use is growing at the expense of Windows.
  • by ElleyKitten (715519) <.kittensunrise. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:54AM (#16006974) Journal
    OSX is a vendor lock-in solution, and not many people like that.
    Most people get into a vendor lock-in solution without knowing or caring. The only people who wouldn't consider OSX because of vender lock-in have already switched to Linux (or BSD, or whatever)

    OSX is substantially slower on most benchmarks than Linux and Windows.
    Yeah, and if companies can save money on technical staff by having an OS that's more user friendly, they'll do that. That means more to most businesses than benchmarks.

    OSX isn't a serious solution.
    OSX is a potential solution to anyone using Windows who doesn't like it. It's more secure, more stable, and doesn't require the technical retraining (or rehiring) that a migration to Linux would. Sure, some people and companies require more power and freedom than OSX has, but many don't. As OSX becomes more popular for personal use, it will become more popular for business use.
  • by Anonymous MadCoe (613739) <maakiee@NoSpam.yahoo.com> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:00AM (#16007009) Homepage
    I often read about vendor lock in, and wonder if people actually realise what they are saying.

    ANY choice made in IT means some kind of lock-in. If I go all OSS I lock myself into something else. Of course one could argue that with OSS you can alwais "fix or change it yourself", but then again, most companies and users do not want to do that, they want to use functionality. By chosing OSS you lock yourself into that path, which is effectively no different from the vendor path.

    Sometimes it can me more cost effective to do this, sometimes the option with "evil vendor lock in" is actually more cost effective.

    The longer I am in IT the more just pick the tool for the fucntion. looking at the staff available, strategy of the company etc..

    Vendor lock in as such is a myth, there is alwais a path that's being closed with every choice of tool...

    To be honest, in a lot of cases MS actually provides a good sollution...
  • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:03AM (#16007032)
    Weeee... another troll.... Who modded this up?

    OSX is a vendor lock-in solution, and not many people like that.

    It's still more Open Source [macosforge.org] than Windows.

    OSX is substantially slower on most benchmarks than Linux and Windows.

    On the server?
    On the destkop?
    Care to elaborate?
    Links perhaps?

    OSX isn't a serious solution.

    Really?!?! Based on all the facts you provided I suppose we will have to believe you!
  • This is YOUR fault (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shaneh0 (624603) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:08AM (#16007076)
    I've been a slashdotter for a long time. Not a beginner, but certainly not a newbie. Check out my number.

    When I found this place I didn't even know how to SAY linux. I said it "LINE-ix."

    Over the past 6 or 7 years I've heard a ton of predictions about linux breaking into the home market. A million reasons have been given, and later, a million excuses.

    I use linux lightly in my (development) job. I'm occassionaly tasked to do website stuff and all of our webservers run LAMP.

    I enjoy using it. Partly because I'm an elitist prick who likes things that other people don't know much about. Also because it's sort of straight-forward. Things are a heirarchy, not an unorganized collection of windows, tabs, dialogs, and buttons.

    I enjoy windows, as well. I make a living developing windows software. And there is absolutely no question in my mind that for the huge portion of users, Windows is a superior platform to Linux. If for no other reason then it's actually USABLE by mortals.

    My point in this is not to make 1000 people hate me. My point is that SOMEONE needs to do to linux what NeXT/Apple has done to BSD.

    Yes, I know that Linux has shells, but these are after-thoughts. They don't come close to the experience of OSX or even Windows XP.

    If all the OSS guys HATE microsoft so much, and they think Microsoft sucks so badly, then why the hell can't they build an OS that is actually able to beat windows at its own game?

    The strength of Linux is in it's stable and secure kernel and low-level "plumbing." The same as BSD. An OS that includes a "Windows" experience on top of this solid foundation would for teh first time attract real attention and a real user base.

    I know this isn't easy, but look at all the time you've had. People slam MSFT for taking 6 years to put out a consumer OS. How is it better to take six years to NOT put out a consumer OS?

    Right now Linux is like a Hamm Radio. Adored by hobbyists but foreign to the public. Everyone has a radio, but it's closed-source. They can't tinker with it. They can't do much at all, except press its buttons and turn its dials. The Hamm operators know that their setup is superior, but that's a fact that's lost on the population as a whole.

    I would LOVE to have a real alternative to Windows. But I don't. Maybe I never will, at least not in the form of linux. But the way people grasp linux with religious fervor makes me wonder why they don't do what it takes to actually build it into a windows-killer.

    Maybe linux-devs and linux-fans really don't want to supplant Windows. As crazy as that sounds, I think it has some merit. What I'm suggesting is that you work to "dumb down" linux a bit. Build a linux that appeals to the novice. But I think the linux camp is waiting for the novices to "smarten up" and adopt linux. I just don't think that's ever going to happen.

    Before you slam me, understand that I'm advocating linux. Yes, I'm criticizing the Linux community, but I'm doing it because I (somewhat) agree with the goals of that community.

    I would love to see a world where Windows has a 75% market share.
  • by 10Ghz (453478) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:09AM (#16007078)
    "Plus, now that Apple is using Intel hardware, the whole maintence argument that Apple parts last longer is out the window."

    Are you saying that Apple-products lasted long because they used PowerPC? Now that they use Intel, they are more likely to break?
  • by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:09AM (#16007084) Journal
    And by "embedded," Yager means "specialized." With a push of a button and a flip of switch, he predicts you'll be able to create a configured database and a mated J2EE server -- all thanks to Linux."
    I've done a bit of embedded work myself. Driving hardware from microcontrollers, communicating via SPI ports, sampling A to D comverters, even hacking small linux boxes. And in all that time I've never had a need for a database mated with a J2EE server. In fact, despite playing with embedded systems, 20 years programming experience and currently being a Linux developer, I have no idea what such a beast is. Since when did "embedded" come to mean something that sounds like the kind of weenie stuff ecommerce people might use?
  • Missed the point (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pravuil (975319) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:12AM (#16007101) Homepage Journal

    First off, the headline for this article has flamebait written all over it.

    Secondly, I've seen some interesting things from Linux in terms of how they're handling support issues. I think the press about the whole community driven support is intended to speed up the development process more than that of providing adequate technical support for commercial use. If you really want commercial support from Linux you're going to have to pay between $50-$2500 depending on your needs. I think the article attempts to state an opinion yet can't carry any depth into how Linux vendors are handling their attempts towards market share. Call it free, call it community, call it whatever, in my opinion it's an open development for a business model continuing it's pursuit to perfect itself. If that makes it underground then I think someone missed the memo.

  • by soft_guy (534437) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:16AM (#16007133)
    Not to mention that you have a hardware lock-in because Apple probably won't support you if you use hardware other than what they sell.

    There's no "probably" to it. Why would Apple support something they didn't sell? They don't qualify MacOS X to run on anything but their own hardware. This is not to desparage Apple - it is their business model.

    Oh, you do realize that the entire article is just a troll to get Mac fans and Linux fans angry at each other, right? There is no factual basis for this arguments presented in the article at all.
  • by alexhs (877055) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:21AM (#16007175) Homepage Journal
    It's written right here in the summary : commercial Linux.

    So you just have to ask Redhat, Mandriva, Suse... without any consideration for Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Slackware, Gentoo and others...

    Worthless if you ask me. I wonder if Apple hasn't already more market share than combined commercial Linux distributions (in units) (*). And the end of the decade is in four years. Big deal.

    Now IMHO, the whole author opinion is worthless...

    (*) From what appears in some web hits statistics
  • Re:Apple Picking (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kanweg (771128) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:24AM (#16007196)
    It is important, because the services and hardware that Apple introduces have quite a chance to end up in the software/hardware for your preferred system. This even happens if Apple isn't the first to come up with it (for example, USB took off only with the bondi iMac, which had no other option). This dates back a long time (even the 3.5" floppies; CD-ROM). So, while you may not be a Mac user, looking at what Apple does may give you a glimp of what you may use in the future.

    Of course, practically speaking you're absolutely correct that you don't need to read about it if you don't want to add a Mac to your fleet of computers. After all, when it is available for your system, you'll read about it anyway.

    Bert
  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:43AM (#16007358) Homepage
    No, it also becomes a problem with users. Because windows and Mac OS are different enough that even users, not just administrators will have to be retrained, or people who know how to operate Mac will have to be hired instead. I used the Admin example, because they should be more familiar with computers and more able to move to another operating systems than other users (or this is the way it should be, i've seen plenty of incompetant admins in my day), who have no idea what's going on half the time in an operating system they are used to. However with users it takes even more retraining than it does with admins.
  • by Combatjuan (693131) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:47AM (#16007377)
    Read his/her post carefully. First, he didn't say that Apples do last longer, but rather that some have made that argument. Second, the switch to Intel involves a great deal more hardware than a single chip. Intel chips go on Intel compatible motherboards. I can't quote any statistics on hardware failure rates but between the CPU and some part of the motherboard, I'd guess you have a pretty high percentage of desktop computer hardware failure rates. But he is not making that argument, others have. So once again, in answer to your question:

    Do you REALLY think that since they changed CPUs, their quality is going to suffer? That changing CPUs magically makes their RAM (for example) worse than it was with PPC?

    I would guess that your parent poster would answer 'No. I don't think that. But those who would make that argument, have a much weaker argument to make.' But that's just my guess. The point is, settle down and be graceful with the posts of other people.

    -Combatjuan
  • by hackstraw (262471) * on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:47AM (#16007379)
    ANY choice made in IT means some kind of lock-in.

    Sure, but its what you are locking into and to what degree.

    UNIX and Linux (excluding OS X) is much more stable in terms of APIs, backwards compatibility, open standards, and the like than Apple OSes or Microsoft OSes. No, this is not absolute. Yes, I've frantically debugged some code I wrote after applying patches to an AIX box. Yes, I have had much more issues with Windows and OS X (with and before OS X) with gotchas after updates.

    To put this in perspective, Sun has a current patch set for Solaris 2.5.1 that came out August 16th of this year. 2.5.1 came out over 10 years ago. Where I work, it takes months to validate a Windows service pack and document its gotchas. When I update my Macs, its a crapshoot if everything is going to be OK.

    UNIX and Linux are THE OSes for server side "real work" (TM). Migration within and between them is relatively easy. You are making some kind of a lock-in, but that is a generic platform lock-in, not a specific vendor lock-in. Apache or any other web server will run just fine on any UNIX or Linux box. Sure, it runs on Windows too, but there are tons of gotchas and differences between UNIX and Linux vs Windows. NFS is basically the same on AIX, Solaris, *BSD, Linux. NFS is available on Windows too, but its going to cost you and its robustness is going to be on your reputation, not mine.

  • by ricotest (807136) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:49AM (#16007396)
    While I do Linux development at work, I like to have an enjoyable experience at home.
    As I recent migrant from Windows to Ubuntu - I found Linux to be far more enjoyable than my iBook (or Windows) ever was. And this is not a grab for karma, I have more than enough already. Just look at the stuff modern Linux has:
    • XGL/Compiz - more impressive than OS X, although admittedly in alpha.
    • Screensavers - (don't laugh, apparently new computer users spend a lot of time messing with these) xscreensaver comes with dozens of impressive, customisable screensavers.
    • Installation - on Ubuntu, almost everything installs with one click of the mouse, with browsable game/app libraries.
    • Game support is a little lower than OS X but neither are worth mentioning compared to Windows.
    • Takes the better parts of OS X (Expose, Spotlight/Beagle) and drops the ones I personally dislike (Dock, Finder)
    • Unique apps like Amarok, which is more enjoyable to use than iTunes; Tomboy, etc.
    Plus if you're into development and compiling stuff yourself, you get the rewards that come with that as well. I was a long-time Windows user, and I've tried a whole bunch of distros that were completely horrible to use, or bug-ridden, or bad at detecting my hardware. But I really believe that desktop Linux is beginning to emerge now, and it's actually becoming that can be used by your average consumer (if it weren't for MP3/etc. licensing restrictions). Apple will always have the lead in music/video/graphic production, but for desktop use, Linux is rapidly catching up to OS X, and considering the price difference, I don't see the scenario in TFA happening.
  • by ScriptedReplay (908196) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:50AM (#16007409)
    I know you're just flamming, but hey, you made my morning laugh. So ...

    try actually configuring an equal dell to any mac and it'll come up more or it'll have a serious disadvantage, like a laptop being 2" thick with a 45 min battery life, try acctually checking the facts before posting apple flaimbait as the mac pro and soon to be released xserve are very economic choices.


    What's that about laptops again? the GP was talking servers, are you running your servers on MacBooks? And speaking of facts-checking, do show me a 4P+ XServe, please. I'll not even ask for heavy-hitter systems with almost everything being hot-pluggable. Yeah, XServe is a very economic choice - if money is your main concern.

    And to justify my 4P request - the hot thing nowadays is server virtualisation (you know, more efficient use of resources and all that jazz) and 4P-8P systems are just what the doctor ordered. Running ... you guessed it, not OSX (Linux and Solaris, most typically)

    apple has always been reasonably priced they just appear expensive due to the face they don't do the low end tower which best buy flogs for $299

    Again, you seem slightly confused about what server hardware is. Let me fix that for you: "Apple does flog low-end servers (well, they will as soon as they start shipping xserves) at $2999". The funny thing is, Linux is making a killing in that market and Apple has nothing to stop it.
  • by dk-software-engineer (980441) * on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:53AM (#16007434)
    ANY choice made in IT means some kind of lock-in. If I go all OSS I lock myself into something else.

    Let me explain the difference with an example (If it's too long just skip to the last two lines):

    "Hi, we bought your product X but we have a serious problem with it..."
    "Sorry, that product is discontinued."
    "But it is mission critical to us!"
    "You must exchange it with something else then."
    "Sure, we will. But that takes time and costs millions. Until then..."
    "Good luck."
    "No, I mean, can't you help us with the problem?"
    "No, that product is discontinued. We don't touch it anymore."
    "We'll pay you lots of money!"
    "Uhm... Well... No, sorry."
    "You really don't care about it?"
    "No. Please buy our new product or go away."
    "Can we have the source and get someone else to fix it?"
    "No."

    With open source you're not locked to the vendor. It's just a bit of scotch tape holding the door, not a lock.
  • by forand (530402) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:05AM (#16007532) Homepage
    While the article you point to may, in the end be true, there is at least one very significant problem with they did: used gcc to compile the test code. As far as I know there are problems with gcc and vectorized code, a fact that is even mentioned in the article you linked to but not further discussed. If that is the case then what the g5 was designed to do and run as was not being properly tested.

    I would also expect things like this to change a lot when you change architechtures as Apple recently did.

    The above is not ment to say that Apple is great just that the article the parent linked to might not be up to date or ever a reasonable comparison.

    As for Anandtech being trustworthy I would suggested looking around the web a bit, they have been having problems lately although I don't think this article would be one of those.
  • I don't think so. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sloth jr (88200) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:07AM (#16007544)
    Much as I love MacOS X, Apple is clearly committed to a war on the desktop front, not the server space. For boring ol' mission-critical server apps, Linux is likely to keep its fingers in that particular pie for some time to come, wrestling with Windows.
  • by chazwurth (664949) <cdstuart@ u m i c h . e du> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:16AM (#16007616)

    As OSX becomes more popular for personal use, it will become more popular for business use.


    That depends entirely on what you mean by 'business use'. Those of us running high-traffic and/or computationally intensive services in our data centers are unlikely to switch to the Apple brand of Unix any time soon. The fact that many of us are using it on our laptops and desktops doesn't make us any more likely to use it on our servers. It just doesn't perform. And the GUI -- the only real selling point of OS X, IMO, is that it lays a great GUI on top of Unix -- doesn't matter a damn in this part of the market. We aren't managing our servers through GUIs anyway.

    I also think that those using Windows in the server space are unlikely to consider OS X seriously in the near future. Those people aren't just locked in to the operating system -- they're locked into the application stack. I know so many people whose companies function on a day by day basis around Exchange, Outlook, AD, etc. The cost of migration for those people would be very, very high, even if there were an alternate solution on another platform that did everything they need.

    So my suspicion is: us Unix people can run our server applications on OS X but won't, and the Windows people can only run their applications on Windows and for the most part will continue to do so.
  • by teh_chrizzle (963897) <kill-9@noSpAm.hobbiton.org> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:24AM (#16007688) Homepage
    vendor lock in is not nearly as big an issue as vendor lock out.

    the trouble with being locked in to a certain solution is the possibility of getting locked out of your own data. if you have a whole series of business processes that are built around an app, or series of apps, and that app becomes unavailable for any number of reasons, you end up in a situation where you will have to pay to keep using your data in one of the following options:

    option 1) keep using your older computers and software and pay increasingly higher prices as parts and service become more and more rare
    option 2) keep using unsupported software and pray that your new computers and OS's will still be able to run it
    option 3) pay a consultant or other vendor to convert your data to a new application and change all of your business processes

    you see this a lot in healthcare. for example, in the early 90's a hospital fielded a database system and clients based on a 16bit app and database. as the years go by, the vendor changes direction in order to "focus on it's core business" or gets bought by a competitor and has it's product line retired or just plain goes out of business, and you have hundreds of thousands of records tied up in a database that is no longer supported. first, the hospital resists upgrading (option 1), spending money to keep the replacement desktops replaced in 1998 alive until 2002. then, the company decides to move to more modern infrastructure to reduce support costs (option 2), and finds that the dos app does not run well on xp, and decides on 2000 professional. fast forward to 2007, with no more support for 2000 professional, the company decides to embrace vista and SQL server (option 3) and pay thru the nose to have the old proprietary database converted over to SQL (or SAP even) and have a new front end created. plus the retraining costs for the changed processes.

    at least with FOSS the company could have gone straight to option 3 and saved money on licensing, not to mention having source code access to fix bugs and add new features should the need arrive.
  • by dragonsomnolent (978815) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:24AM (#16007690) Homepage
    You do bring up some very valid points, and I will give credit to you for that. Most linux distros are too complicated for the average user. Ubuntu is wonderfully simple to operate and configure, I think the only drawback there is that the installer goes way over the head of most users, though so too did Windows not too long ago. I have worked in shops where the SOP for a hosed Windows was Fdisk, Format, Reinstall. This process, too, is over the head of most people, which is why companies started to make system restore disk sets, to do this for you. With a similar setup, I think it would be very possible to put Ubuntu into the hands of someone who never used a computer, and they would find it very freindly (although they might get mad because game X says only runs on windows). Personally, I'm a nerd, I prefer SourceMage or Slack, but that's just me.

    Yes, the Linux support community is a stretched a little too thin, and getting support for Linux from a real person can be tricky at times. That, in my opinion is the thing stopping most people from adopting Linux on the desktop. I always like to say "No one ever got fired for buying Microsoft" just like no one ever got fired for buying IBM. Linux is getting there, but look at how long it took to get from Win 1 (1985) to XP. The linux kernel was started in 91, so in 15 years a people have volunteered (most as a side project) and created a great OS. In the same amount of time(85-2000), a HUGE corporation (the founder of which is now the world's richest man) we went from Win1 to WinXP (I know MS-DOS was probably around a little longer than Windows, if anything that only furthers my point that Microsoft has had more time to iron out the bugs than Linux). I'm not dogging XP, its a decent OS, give credit where due and all that, but the only real problem with Linux on the desktop is people. Either lack of support fot the hundreds of Linux distros or the unwillingness of people to change. Linux on the desktop is a real possibility. It is no harder to use than Windows, just harder to set up initially (though pre-imaging installs w(c)ould easily take care of that).
  • by Gilmoure (18428) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:25AM (#16007696) Journal
    Linux will always run on pc hardware. Too many people have too much fun with it. And don't forget NetBSD. It'll run on anything. As long as a single hacker has a single finger, there'll be free software. And porn.
  • by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:30AM (#16007748)
    By chosing OSS you lock yourself into that path, which is effectively no different from the vendor path.

    If I choose Linux as my server platform, I can run it on hardware produced by Dell or HP or IBM or any one of about a hundred other OEMs, in any combination I choose. I can choose Fedora Core, or Ubuntu, or Debian, or any other distro.

    If I choose OS X as my server platform, I can run it hardware produced by Apple, or by Apple. I can use either this year's model, or last year's model. If they still offer it.

    OSS gives the customer many times the options of integrated/proprietary solutions, beyond just "modify the source and compile it yourself". I do not consider that to be lock-in.
  • by Gilmoure (18428) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:43AM (#16007871) Journal
    I've been bugging Apple to create an Apple home server, that will serve up user home directories, be a central iTunes and movie server. I've done this on my own, but would really like a turn key box for all this.
  • by vadim_t (324782) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:55AM (#16008001) Homepage
    Are you kidding?

    Here's a real world example to you: VB6. Thousands of corporate internal programs are written in it. And there's no more support. It's dead. Now all those companies have to rewrite their code, or keep using it and hope it still runs on Vista or whatever comes after that. If Vista happens to break something important (say, ADO, or some big vital third party component) you'll be stuck in a very nasty situation.

    Compare with say, C. MS may drop their C compiler, but so what? You have lots of others to choose from. It might require minor changes to make it build on GCC, but it's something perfectly doable without rewriting the whole thing in the beginning. Should C disappear completely and GCC development end, the source will still be there. If something prevents GCC from working on a new system you can fix it.

  • I'm not sure why he thinks OS X has a big future in the server market.

    * It doesn't run on generic server hardware, like all of its competition do.
    * It's much easier to administer through a command line than Windows, but far harder than any other modern UNIX platform.
    * It shares Windows' poor support for "headless" operation.
    * It is missing a lot of APIs that its competitors have retained, including the ability to easily run native servers chrooted and standard UNIX tape drive interfaces.
    * The native file system, HFS+, is far more fragile and easily damaged than the typical modern UNIX file system like UFS. It doesn't have Linux' wide variety of file system support.
    * Its NFS support is extremely nonstandard, and running a normal automounter on it is a recipe for disaster.
    * It's missing the "super-chroots": things like FreeBSD's jails and similar facilities in Linux that give you the encapsulation advantages of virtualization without the overhead.
    * The Mach kernel still gives it far more system call overhead than its competitors.

    All in all, OS X is a mediocre server platform when compared to other variants of UNIX, even if the inability to run it on generic hardware wasn't holding it back.
  • by Archibald Buttle (536586) <steve_sims7@@@yahoo...co...uk> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:48AM (#16008453)
    You know what I think the real problem with GNU/Linux is, and why it's never going to topple Windows?

    Lack of ambition.

    The aim of all the GNU project was to re-create Unix. It wasn't to create something new and original that's significantly better than what has come before - it was to create free versions of the tools that made up a typical Unix system. Sure the tools got tweaked and improved, but the same basic model was followed. It was a project aimed at making tools for hackers, not for making a general purpose computer systems usable by everyman. This was not really ambitious.

    Linus wrote the Linux kernel because he wanted essentially to recreate Minix. The ambitious part of this was to do it by himself, but overall it was not really that ambitious, since it had been done before.

    The aim of most projects written for GNU/Linux is to recreate something that has been done before. This too is of course not all that ambitious.

    It is quite possible to produce something that's newer and better than Unix. It's possible to create a new UI system that is newer and better than X-Windows, Aqua, or Windows...

    I could continue, but I think I've burnt enough Karma for now. :-)
  • Re:Not really (Score:3, Insightful)

    by idsofmarch (646389) <pmingram@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:21PM (#16008729)
    It is not a 'server OS'?
    Well then, I better go tell the guys who maintain our Xserves to shut them down and throw them in the trash. Yep, the RAID arrays too. Oh, and the mail server.

    MacOS still remains a consumer OS for people unwilling or unable to understand the guts of a microcomputer
    I agree, that's why I removed all the gauges on my car's dashboard too, after all gauges still remain for people unable to understand the guts of an engine. Oh wait. That's not right. Gauges are useful. And so is the GUI layer on OSX Server.

  • Re:Not really (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NateTech (50881) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @05:29AM (#16014357) Homepage
    Name one major advance in router/backbone technology that wasn't pushed by bandwidth.

    Then determine what percentage of the backbone bandwidth is porn.

    Also determine who the only paying customers who had significant levels of traffic on the early commercial Internet were.

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