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The Relevance of Windows 301

Posted by Zonk
from the as-long-as-it-plays-games-i'm-cool dept.
Josh Fink writes "ZDNet has up an article exploring whether of not Windows is still relevant. In the age of 'Web 2.0' both older folks who remember the days before Windows and younger folks who have never known anything else are beginning to see Microsoft's offering as old news. From the article: 'Before closing the books on the Age of Windows, however, let's not get too caught up in the fashion of the moment. The water-cooler crowd may take a dim view of "Win-doze" for all the right reasons. Still, Microsoft's archrivals continue to view it as a product with a potentially make-or-break impact on their businesses. In fact, two of them--Adobe Systems and Symantec--are lobbying European regulators to get tough on Microsoft. The European Union already has an unresolved antitrust dispute with Microsoft, and Adobe and Symantec would be silly not to play that card for all it's worth. So this is what they're doing.'"
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The Relevance of Windows

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @09:33AM (#16376983) Journal
    I read an interesting article [applematters.com] about the operating system being dead and it contained the choice between a machine with your favorite operating system or a machine with your most hated current OS but with access to the internet.

    And, you know what? I must admit that I would take the machine that had the connection to the internet regardless of what current OS it had on it.

    So, not only is Windows no longer relevant, but the functionality of the operating system itself may have been trumped by our ability to communicate with other people. This doesn't invalidate operating system arguments but it does cause one to wonder about what is really important when you're getting a machine to work & play on.
    • by jacquesm (154384)
      windows will continue to be 'relevant' as long as it comes pre-installed on many machines and lots of businesses demand their employees use it on a day-to-day basis. Once that hold is broken - or OSX is shipped as a software only product, another option - there will be a chance for third parties.

      Until then windows - no matter how broken - is here to stay. First mover advantage indeed.

      • This argument reminds me of the Ford attitude twards the public when it came to the Model T. They didn't see any need to change with the times and in fact kept producing the same model for about three years after the public and most other car manufacturers of the time had moved on. They had to play catch up. Admittedly this brought about the Model A, but the point is that they (Microsoft) can lead or scramble to get with the rest of the world. Relevance changes very quicly.
      • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@@@hotmail...com> on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:24AM (#16377561) Journal
        windows will continue to be 'relevant' as long as it comes pre-installed on many machines

        The days of that happening may be limited. MS has just announced the pricing of Vista in Australia ITWire [itwire.com.au]. Vista Ultimate will cost us AUD$751, while Office 2007's equivalent looks like retailing at about AUD$1,100.

        That means a fully-loaded home/office machine could attract a Microsoft tax of close to AUD$2,000.

        It's possible to build the hardware component of a midrange machine for AUD$6-700, so the monopoly rent for Win/Office is starting to look pretty scary. Obviously most people will be getting their software OEM, but seeing those sticker prices on the retail packs is going to make your average shopper think twice about what that beige box might cost them without the predatory pricing.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by cyberformer (257332)
          This is why MS is producing so many versions of Vista. The low-end home version will cost some OEMs almost nothing, but it'll be so crippled that it's basically trialware. MS is betting that people will prefer the convenient online upgrade "feature" (just enter your credit card number and unlock an better version) to switching to Linux, hunting for a Vista crack or installing an old copy of XP.

          Vista Ultimate is mostly aimed at the kind of people who line up outside the computer store at midnight the day a
        • by jefu (53450)

          This is always the thing that I wonder about. So Windows pricing has been more or less reasonable up to now (in large part because of the pre-installs from every OEM), but what if a new generation of folks were to take over Microsoft, realize that their monopoly position makes it almost impossible for anyone to come out with a viable competitor in any reasonable timeframe and then raise the price by some interesting factor say to something like $500 for every OEM install and $2000 for corporate desktops.

          • Re:Price (Score:4, Insightful)

            by c6gunner (950153) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @01:00PM (#16379937)
            Sure, there'd be some installs of Linspire and some people running MacOS (and maybe Apple would see this as a good time to make MacOS install on lots of machines), but for hard core gamers and especially for corporate IT departments, it would be next to impossible to switch quickly and they'd end up paying quite a premium.

            Thing is, why would they need to "switch quickly"? With the resource overhead I've seen in the beta version of Vista "hardcore gamers" would have to be retarded to make the switch. It'll only decrease the performance of your games, and all games for the next 3-4 years at least will keep running on XP. Meanwhile it makes no sense for corporate IT departments to switch immediately - any decent admin would wait until at least SP1 before switching. So you've got a good 2-3 year buffer there before anyone would really NEED to switch, which leaves plenty of opportunity for a viable alternative to gain popularity. The only thing MS could do to encourage people to upgrade sooner is stop releasing patches for Windows XP....but that'd set up an excellent opportunity for a class action lawsuit. Therefore, no matter how you look at it, it makes no sense for MS to "raise the price by some interesting factor".
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jesterpilot (906386)
          Obviously most people will be getting their software OEM, but seeing those sticker prices on the retail packs is going to make your average shopper think twice about what that beige box might cost them without the predatory pricing.

          No. It will make them think they've got a bargain, because the box with comes with very expensive sofware.
    • by everphilski (877346) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @09:43AM (#16377113) Journal
      to the following groups:
      - gamers, who have specific games which exist on specific platforms

      - programmers, who have code, and tools, and toolkits, some of which may be platform specific

      - Anyone who has been "around awhile" and has invested dollars in software. For example, software I still use on a regular basis under Windows predates 2000 and I don't see a Linux offering worth giving it up for.

      • by Rachel Lucid (964267) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @09:57AM (#16377251) Homepage Journal
        I second this. As someone who has tried all three 'flavors' (Windows for general use, Mac for art, Linux for development), I can safely say there is still a 'need' each OS provides, that general Internet usage and cross-platform capabilities don't account for. I whole-heartedly think each OS has a strength that 'tunes' itself for a specific task, and so using Linux or Mac for work (while leaving Windows for more time-wastable tasks) is a fair shake.

        I see Windows as an unabashedly 'generic' OS, and hence it doesn't lend the same spark to it that Mac or Linux do. I think people are perhaps taking the WIMP interface for granted, sure, but Windows begs to be fucked-up in ways that the other two don't.

        Windows is fine if it came with the PC. Otherwise, I'd probably use Linux or Mac.
        • by frdmfghtr (603968)

          I whole-heartedly think each OS has a strength that 'tunes' itself for a specific task, and so using Linux or Mac for work (while leaving Windows for more time-wastable tasks) is a fair shake.

          Why? Why should a version of Adobe Pagemaker for Windows work any better or worse than a version for OS X? (I'm making the assumption that such beasts exist for the sake of argument.) Isn't it the applications that make the computer useful, while the OS simply provides an interface between apps and hardware?

          Maybe

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Bluesman (104513)
            It's an oversimplified view from a non-programmer.

            There is always more than one way to do something on a computer. Even Linux has a number of different methods for drawing on the screen. You can use X, bypass it a bit and use OpenGL, use the framebuffer, etc. Each of these methods has benefits and drawbacks.

            Just like any other non-trivial system, trade offs are made in the design to accomodate a certain type of user. At its heart, any unix-like operating system is designed for multiple users to share on
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by mmkkbb (816035)
            Isn't it the applications that make the computer useful, while the OS simply provides an interface between apps and hardware?

            What makes you think this is simple? That interface between apps and hardware has to be sufficiently documented that programmers can use it, sufficiently well-designed so that it doesn't break in weird ways, sufficiently abstracted so that application developers can safely deal with differences between hardware.

            Maybe you're making the argument that it's easier to program certain tasks
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Aladrin (926209)
            Oversimplified, but not necessarily as 'nonprogrammer'. Each OS has its own strengths. Mac is obviously a great desktop. Windows is a good desktop with a TON of software that just doesn't exist anywhere else, including games. Linux makes an excellent server.

            I tried to make Linux (Slackware, then Kubuntu) be my desktop. I love Yakuake, Katapult and K3B. I wish they existed on Windows. But I'm a gamer at heart, and the offering for Linux is sad at best. Even with Wine and Cedega, I couldn't play any g
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by acid_zebra (552109)
        you are forgetting:

        - corporate/enterprise customers.

        It'd be fun to go to my boss and say 'look boss, it is web2.0! you just stash all your sensitive data with all these unknown private companies and off you go!'

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          It'd be fun to go to my boss and say 'look boss, it is web2.0! you just stash all your sensitive data with all these unknown private companies and off you go!'

          It'd be even more fun to to to your boss and say 'look boss, acid_zebra doesn't understand that you'll be able to install these applications on a server inside your enterprise and use them there, so that all your internal clients have access to them but and your data will be stored on the network. He's clearly clueless, you should give me his job.

    • by 2.7182 (819680) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @09:46AM (#16377131)
      This article is somewhat out there. How can an operating system with such market share be irrrelevant ?
      • Wait a second...

        The ulitimate goal of a technology is to get to a stage that it is so good, it is invisible. Then it's irrelevant, in these terms. It still matters, of course, but there is no differentiation.

        There are plenty of irrelevant things with huge market shares. The point here is that operating systems have been commoditized, and are no longer important - The analogy you could use is that you don't care which brand of gasoline you use, but you care about your car. Of course, as computers evolve, new technologies become old, and then commotized. I cared about the computer architechture, then they all got to be good enough that I cared about by hardware (video card, ram, etc.) Then I stopped caring as long as everything worked.

        I used to care about my OS, then they all became sufficient to get to my web browser and do the other tasks I needed done. Then I cared about my browser, but they all became good enough to use the web apps that I wanted, so I'll mostly stop caring about those as well.
    • by KillerBob (217953) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @09:47AM (#16377137)
      And, you know what? I must admit that I would take the machine that had the connection to the internet regardless of what current OS it had on it.


      And herein lies... I'll take the OS I hate if it means that I can play my video games. And I'm not the only person who thinks that way. Until hardware manufacturers start taking Linux seriously and come up with decent video drivers (the sound and networking drivers for all of my systems work fine), then Linux won't be a player in the games market. Likewise... even if there's decent video drivers for Linux, there's still the problem where game producers don't take either Linux or MacOS seriously. Software like Cedega will probably do wonders for that situation in the long run, but you still have the problem of decent video drivers.

      Overcome those hurdles, and Windows will no longer be relevant. Until that time, though, it's very much relevant, and no amount of OSS evangelism is going to fix that.

      You are right about one thing, though... the connection to the Internet is a deal-breaker. It's just that every OS is the current generation has the ability to connect to the Internet, and a wide variety of options for software that uses it. Heck... most of us can probably get the Internet on our phone. It may be a deal-breaker, but it's an irrelevant one.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by molarmass192 (608071)
        You're focusing on one very specific segment of the OS market, namely games. Even then, the problem isn't hardware, Linux has very good support for 3D accelaterated cards and sound. The problem is DirectX is an MS only toolkit. Cedega kind of addresses that but it's not in the best way possible. Ideally, an Open DirectX project would seek to implement the DirectX interface for non-Windows platforms. On that note, that's easier said than done. DirectX mixes in doses of Windows specific directly memory access
        • by drinkypoo (153816)
          Applications are what sell hardware and new operating systems - so people can run the applications. In the home market, the most common reason to need to upgrade to run a new application is to be able to run games. (Games are Applications, they're just not business Applications.)
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by xtracto (837672)
        I agree completely agree with you.

        Just today I was happily running my Ubuntu based laptop when I saw a notification icon about "available updates". I clicked on it an proceeded to download the updates. Everything seemed right, excepting that there was one package (something called "image kernel") that failed to download and install; besides of that, everything went smooth (or appeared to be).

        Anyway, after restarting the computing the only thing I got was a kernel panic... and I could not even restart in fai
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Linux will always be catching up trying to hack togheter hardware drivers until they agree to play nicely with the hardware providrers.

          The problem is that "play nicely with the hardware providers" is a synonym for "never make major improvements to the kernel again because you'll break a 5 year old driver."

          • by beuges (613130) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @11:04AM (#16378079) Homepage
            There's nothing stopping major improvements to the kernel. As I understand it, the problem is that the kernel maintainers seem to have a specific desire to *not* maintain a stable interface against which drivers can be written, the reasoning being that if the drivers are open source, then the changes required by the new interface will be trivial to implement. So, the kernel maintainers make a point of not bothering to maintain a stable interface for driver developers over the long term to discourage binary-only drivers.

            Guess what - those hardware manufacturers who are releasing binary-only drivers aren't going to suddenly decide to release open-source drivers. They have a lot of intellectual property in there that they either cannot afford to be disclosed to their competitors, or cannot disclose due to licensing requirements from 3rd parties.

            If the kernel wasnt such a moving target, it would be easier for hardware vendors to release one set of drivers that will work on a large range of kernel versions. I'd imagine having to maintain multiple releases of the same driver for different point releases of kernel contributes a lot to the perceived apathy of hardware vendors towards linux. Before this gets marked as a troll, think about the number of 'i upgraded my kernel from x.y.z to x.y.z+1 and ABC stopped working' comments that accompany so many kernel release announcements
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              If more of your value is in your drivers than in your hardware, you make crappy hardware. Good hardware yeilds drivers that don't disclose any secrets about your product because all you need is an interface. Cheap hardware offloads what should be happening on the hardware to your CPU. That's the difference between Winmodems and real modems.

              If you manufacture good hardware there isn't a reason in the world that you should be timid about releasing open source drivers. This has baffled me forever. Even
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by RidiculousPie (774439)

          "your computer ACPI is broken"... which is stupid as "the ohter" operating system can hybernate and suspend without problems.

          Your ACPI probably is broken. Many laptop vendors compile their ACPI information using the Microsoft ACPI tools, which are not standards compliant. You do not have an ACPI laptop - you have a MSFT-ACPI laptop. You can try checking the DSDT [sourceforge.net] list to see if someone has provided a "corrected" ACPI. Ubuntu probably has instructions for using this.

          Guess you have 1GB or less of RA

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by drinkypoo (153816)
            Guess you have 1GB or less of RAM, otherwise Win XP has problems hibernating reliably.

            I'm using XPsp2 on a Compaq nw9440 with 2GB memory and the only time I've had a hibernation problem it was related to my port replicating dock.

            Ubuntu is the first linux that hibernates correctly for me, but out of two machines I've tried it on (IBM Thinkpad A21p and Dell Dimension D600) only one of them (the dell) is hibernating correctly. Same exact OS...

        • by drinkypoo (153816)
          For what it's worth, I put ubuntu 6.06 LTS on a dell D600 and it detected and is operating everything but the modem. However, the OS is still lacking a GUI tool to let me configure many aspects of X configuration, for example TV-out (if it even works!) and wacom tablet support.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:59AM (#16378013) Homepage Journal
        I'd be happy to change to a non-Microsoft operating system right now. I'd even spend some money to do it, but I've got a handful of programs that I just can't run on anything but Windows, and that's a stopper for me.

        If I can't load Adobe Premiere, or Sonar or Eve-Online in Linux or OSX, it's no good to me. I'd even be happy to switch from Sonar back to Logic Audio Platinum and I can run Premiere on a Mac, but still there's Eve-Online.

        If I even have to WORRY about whether I can run my favorite apps, I'm not going to change to a different OS, even if there are lots of reasons for me to do so.

        I know from experience that I can work longer, with less fatigue, on a Mac than on Windows or Linux. I prefer the look and feel of OSX. I love the idea of open source operating systems, and I like the way Linux can be made bulletproof without sacrificing all sorts of performance and resources. But still... I can't run my favorite apps.

        So who's got to change, me or the manufacturers? Am I supposed to switch to Linux with the hope that if enough of us do so the software manufacturers will start to port their apps over to Linux? I don't have time for that.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anivair (921745)
      In ten years most people won't have an operating system period. Why would they? Even now you can do anyhting that you cna do on your home OS on the net. Email, word processing, spreadsheet, presentations, calculations, photo storage, watch movies, etc.

      The only thing you really can't do is install software, but once we get away from the need to do that (and we will) we'll be set. the only people that will have home systems are hardcore elite gamers and IT pros (and the etremely paranoid).
      • IT pros (and the etremely paranoid)
        You repeated yourself. IT pros and the extremely paranoid are the same people ;-)
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Rhipf (525263)
        So I supose that those of us unlucky enough to still be on dial-up (with no other option available other than satelite which to me is no option) are going to be left behind in this new OSless world? You will always need an OS as a computer won't operate without one but trying to do all of these wonderfull "Web 2.0" things on a dial-up connection just won't work.
        I realize that high speed Internet access is becoming very common but there is still a large segment of the population that just don't have access
    • by MECC (8478) *
      "getting a machine to work & play on."

      Work, play - I used to know the difference.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yeah, if I wanted to surf the internet or chat online, I'd go for the OS with internet access. However pretty much every OS has that now.

      Now say I want to do some programming and the choice is an OS with compiler tools out of the box (Linux, BSD, MacOS X) or not (Windows). I guess I'm going to use one of the former. Maybe the prettiest one, or the one where I can install required libraries easiest. But oh noes, my client wants a Windows application. I could program against Wine I guess ...

      The /core/ OS is a
    • So, not only is Windows no longer relevant, but the functionality of the operating system itself may have been trumped by our ability to communicate with other people. This doesn't invalidate operating system arguments but it does cause one to wonder about what is really important when you're getting a machine to work & play on.

      Unfortunately, with the rise of Ajax and inept web programmers / short-sighted companies who only develop for and test on one browser, what's really important is going to be b

    • by suv4x4 (956391)

      I read an interesting article [applematters.com] about the operating system being dead and it contained the choice between a machine with your favorite operating system or a machine with your most hated current OS but with access to the internet.

      And, you know what? I must admit that I would take the machine that had the connection to the internet regardless of what current OS it had on it.

      Your favorite OS has no access to the Internet, or... ?

      You see, the problem with judging Windows relevancy based on bias

    • if you had both, then I'd use the machine with the hated OS as a router for the one I liked. I could then enjoy watching the windows box getting haxxored to bits from my smug ivory tower.
  • by BlueCodeWarrior (638065) <steevk@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @09:38AM (#16377057) Homepage
    Every computer still needs an operating system. Microsoft has huge amounts of mindshare and vendor lock-in going on with plenty of companies, and that's where the real money is.
  • that doesn't mean that i want to have to use it for anything. it's ms' right to include whatever they want in their os, in my opinion. it's also my right to prefer os x or linux (or my old vic 20) to using windows.

    i think the software companies involved in the whining are just trying to save an obsolete business model, kind of like the music companies complaining about itunes selling music too cheap or the movie studios trying to keep anyone from hacking the encryption on their dvds.

    as far as the security
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @09:42AM (#16377101)
    Symantec!?! These guys have a business that depend entirely on Microsoft continuing to deliver a horribly insecure OS. They're not arguing that Microsoft is unfairly competing with Symantec's "market" - they're really complaining that Microsoft is finally fixing bugs that never should have existed to begin with. They should have known that their "patches until Microsoft fixes it" (which is what AV software really is) product wouldn't be a big-money business after Microsoft (eventually) fixed things. And Adobe - it seems like formating a text document hasn't been innovative since TeX - and if Microsoft makes that easier, I say more power to them.

    Don't get me wrong - I don't love Microsoft - but I'd hate to see Adobe make pretty-printing proprietary in Linux or Windows - and I'd hate to see Symantec claim that patches are proprietary for Linux or Windows.
    • Obviously the OS is not obsolete to the people who make virus protection software, even if we're eventually all using Web 2.0-type stuff. Which I doubt, because who the heck wants to be constantly bombarded with advertisements in their word processor, and to not be able to write documents AT ALL when the Internet is down?

      Still, it's not quite as simple as you say, because many people have suggested that it may be necessary to use MULTIPLE spyware/adware removal tools. So if Microsoft is trying to prevent
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by AVryhof (142320)
        I have mod points...but here I go wasting them on this.

        PDF is a simulation of printed documents on Screen. The idea is that it will look the same on screen as when it's printed... on any computer that supports the format.

        Why would you want to see page breaks that are irrelevant to the content? Because you want to see if those page breaks are going to cause your content to annoy the reader on paper when printed.

        Metro on the other hand is going to be another proprietary format that will work on Windows... m
    • by rs232 (849320)
      "Symantec!?! These guys have a business that depend entirely on Microsoft continuing to deliver a horribly insecure OS"

      The anti-virus industry have been living parasitic like off Microsoft for decades. But what's the difference between paying Symantec or Microsoft for Live OneCare.
  • The headline (Score:2, Informative)

    by syn3rg (530741)
    ... is misleading. It should read "The Relevance of History" Since all TFA discusses is Microsoft's willingness to "Embrace, Extend, and Extenguish" competition. Recounting the demise of Netscape, and the decline of 3rd party memory managers, disk defragmenters, and other utilities, that are now a part of Windows, it seems that Adobe and the security comunity (PDF, AV, AntiSpyware, ect.) are now in the same boat.
  • Deja Vu? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Deathlizard (115856) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @09:45AM (#16377129) Homepage Journal
    Maybe I'm getting my history wrong, but weren't analysts saying the same thing during the age of "Web 1.0"?
  • it was written..
    "The European Union already has an unresolved antitrust dispute with Microsoft, and Adobe and Symantec would be silly not to play that card for all it's worth."

    When was the US antitrust suit settled?
    Last I really knew about it, they managed to get it all tossed out except the monopoly ruling, then
    George Bush came to be.... and they got a 'get out of jail, free' card, so to speak.

    So, when was this all settled?
    According to the Wikipedia article on this... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft [wikipedia.org]
    • So, when was this all settled? According to the Wikipedia article on this... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_antitrust_c ase [wikipedia.org] It has not been finalized... so.. Perhaps they should be lobbying here in the states too.

      Any chance they're waiting for a perhaps more favorable clime for antitrust lawsuits? Not that the upcoming midterm elections will change much in the judiciary in the short run, but there is a presidential election looming.

      The make-up of the nation's courts may be significantly different

  • Words and words. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by suv4x4 (956391)
    Words about Windows relevance or irrelevance are easily thrown out in the plublic without thinking of what they really mean.

    I imagine a world where Windows is banned and replaced with Ubuntu (for the sake of argument). Imagine your family installing and updating software from CLI or giving up your favorite software or games.

    Imagine relearning all they know about their desktop in a Linux environment.

    Windows also has a lot of software not offered on other platforms, such as Photoshop, Flash (the IDE), Dreamwe
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lumpy (12016)
      I imagine a world where Windows is banned and replaced with Ubuntu (for the sake of argument). Imagine your family installing and updating software from CLI or giving up your favorite software or games.

      funny, I have installed hundreds of apps under ubuntu and never EVER seen the CLI. have you even touched ubuntu?

      Second, most people outside games dont have a "favorite" software. they use what does the task and what they are used to.. Microsoft Works is the #1 request from people because that is what comes
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by naelurec (552384)

      I imagine a world where Windows is banned and replaced with Ubuntu (for the sake of argument). Imagine your family installing and updating software from CLI or giving up your favorite software or games.

      I do a lot of support for *nix, Mac OS X and Windows. Even if the end-user doesn't frequent the CLI often, it does provide a very quick and easy way to support them. With Windows, doing phone support is horribly ineffective. I spend a significant amount of time navigating the user around the interface and the

    • by ElephanTS (624421)
      The Mac platform is a lot worse than Windows where I'm locked not only into proprietary OS (which is outdated every year and you have to re-buy it), but also proprietary hardware which you can't upgrade any better than a laptop (add some RAM, a DVD.. and that's it.. wanna faster processor on your iMac? throw away the whole machine and buy a new one).

      There is some truth to that but it's not the whole story. It IS possible to buy processor upgrades for Macs and has been for a very long time. They are as hard/
    • by stealie72 (246899)
      When are geeks going to figure out that 90% of people don't upgrade their computers. I've been using the same mac G4 at home for almost 4 years now. Hell, I AM a geek, and all I've done is add an HD and some more memory. It's JUST starting to slow down a little bit with some of the newer fancier apps.

      Meanwhile, I'm currently replacing all of the 3 year old PCs at work.

      Some people just want a box that works out of the box. Apple gives them that.

      Having said all that, I can't wait for a decent bios-residen
    • Imagine relearning all they know about their desktop in a Linux environment.

      Sorry ??? Who makes me re-learn everything for each upgrade ? Windows does ! All tools change their names, there's no consistency in the programs naming scheme, and you're on your own to discover what those pesky radio buttons do in each and every config panel. On the other hand, when you face any linux flavour, you know that at least your CLI works the same, and basic things like an editor and a handful of other utilities will w

    • This is, quite frankly, a pretty trivial comment.

      If there was a huge requirement for Linux that was "grandma friendly," Linux distributions that were even easier to use than they are today would be created. Nonwithstanding that I have serious doubts that you've ever used Ubuntu or any of the other current 'easy' distros (where you never need to use the CLI to install software), the approach that they take towards ease-of-use is a reflection of the people who are interested in them: computer enthuasiasts and
    • by Bert64 (520050)
      I always found macs to be more upgradeable, not only can you get a faster processor of the same type, but some companies specialised in producing upgrade cards to upgrade your processor to a whole different class (g3 -> g4 etc)...
      Obviously an upgraded machine wouldn't be as fast as one that really had the faster cpu to start with, slower motherboard and memory etc...

      The Amiga was always very good for upgrading, you could upgrade even the oldest/slowest Amigas to use the fastest available processors, amig
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by AeroIllini (726211)

      like Gimp, where you can't even draw a rounded rectangle without installing specially crafted Script-Fu commands

      That's funny, I just select a rectangle, go to Select -> Rounded Rectangle..., choose my radius and click OK, go to Edit -> Stroke Selection, choose my stroke options, and click OK.

      Rounded Rectangle is a Script-Fu, it's true, but it came in my standard install and is integrated directly into the UI. Where are you getting this strange copy of Gimp without standard Script-Fu scripts?

      The Gimp i

  • If adobe was serious about fending off Microsoft they would offer a linux and bsd binary version of their creative suite. along with providing official support for use with at least one common disto.
  • by Carcass666 (539381) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @09:53AM (#16377203)

    Adobe and Symantec are perfect examples of why Windows isrelevant. Software companies are not properly supporting other operating systems. Although Adobe still builds graphics apps for the Mac, they support for Linux is, at best, tepid; they rarely even bother supporting Mac on non-graphics applications, such as Audition (formerly Cool Edit Pro, which they acquired years ago). Symantec's support for non-Windows operating sytems is anything but legendary (ex. management console for corporate AV is all Windows).

  • Lawyers for losers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @09:53AM (#16377207)
    two of them--Adobe Systems and Symantec--are lobbying European regulators to get tough on Microsoft

    1) People who drag lawyers into a tech contest are already on the losing end. (Like you, SCO.)
    2) If many people feel the need to get a whole continent's regulatory arm fired up about X, then yes, X is relevant.
  • by w0lver (755034) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:03AM (#16377331) Homepage
    First, this idea of a web-only network computer type world is great for the readers of Slashdot and ZDNet where complaints of my 6Mb pipe getting enough throughput. People tend to forget that broadband is not universal in this country even for businesses. 70% percent of all US businesses are less than 10 people which equates to 1 Trillion dollars in revenues, this is the foundation of our environement. Only about half of these small business have broadband access, so you expect them to dial up to use a AJAX version of QuickBooks? Go out side the US and it gets worse, there are major manufacturing firms in Asia and India who power is still an issue let alone bandwidth. ASP, SaaS, and Web 2.0 is not an option for a large segment of businesses worldwide and will not be for years to come. Local OSes will be needed for the decade to come for most businesses. Businesses drive the majority of software revenue.
  • I don't know if people on Windows only use word processing and spreadsheet programs, but I really don't see programs such as iMovie or iDVD running in a "Web 2.0" environment (or even a higher "version number"). Especially if Microsoft keeps dragging its feet with web standards support in their browser.

    The faster our computers get, the more relevant Java might become. Or even Flash (shudder).

  • by jpellino (202698) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:09AM (#16377395)
    He reiterated the basic difference in philosophy between Sun and MS take on what your computer is. He did a demo of his JavaCard and walked up to a random workstation what became his within a few seconds. he went on to explain that MS believes the physical computer you hold is all your informatio, Sun believes the network is the computer. His analogy was that you don't carry all your money around in a briefcase, you put it in a bank and then access it when you need some of it. But we're perfectly happy carrying all our information around in a box, typically with little or no safety net. It looks like it may not be Sun who points us towards the information appliance with their name on it, but maybe Web 2.0 services that make it so that I can have my info (where-ever) and get it where I need to. I have to say with NeoOffice and Google Writely and Spreadsheets available, not to mention possible links to new Mac apps and .mac services, I can't imagine why I'll be paying full price for Office 2007 Now With Ribbons. And I'd love to see my Java Ring gain all that functionality.
  • I find that most people can barely tell the difference between Windows, OS X, and Linux for day-to-day usage. Some of the applications are identical (OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbid, Gaim), and others are pretty similar (web browsers, chat programs, etc.). The biggest difference is in system management and software installation. Windows loses in that regard hands-down. Mac and Linux are comparable, with each having their own strengths and weaknesses.
  • In the age of "web 2.0", I still do not want to use a web browser as a runtime for:

    - Word processing
    - Spreadsheets
    - Gaming
    - Email
    - Photo/Video editing
    - Pretty much any application that needs a rich UI

    While DHTML/AJAX are nice technologies for web applications, there are far too many applications in which I do not what to use a web browser for. I even post to blogs via a smart client, and I wish you could reply to forums to do the same. Sure, I can use a Mac or Linux for these things, but for now at least I
  • It's too popular.

  • Why? Heres Why (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ukdkbr123 (1011663) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:27AM (#16377613)
    This is why windows will still be relevant, I just ordered my mom a dell system with a monitor for $500. It comes with windows, I unpack the computer hook it up, install office, subscribe to anti-virus subscription, and make sure windows updates are set to automatically download and install. After this I bet I will never have to touch this computer for her again until she is ready to buy a new one. She will be able to telecommute to work, she will be able to surf the internet, get email, do her taxes, edit he pictures from her camera and do it quickly, reliably, and with no hassle at all. For most people this is the reality of windows, it isn't this unstable, BSOD throwing, pile of crap everyone makes it out to be. With a little caution towards security on the users part there is nothing it cant do for the average computer user.
  • This again? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ravenscall (12240) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:42AM (#16377795)
    I remember all of this going around during DotCom boom 1.0 right before Win ME and 2000 came out.

    Then the dotcom crash happened and people quit asking the question, as Microsoft was one of the few stable pillars of the IT industry for a year or so.

    I predict pretty much the same thing this time around.
  • by klubar (591384) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @10:43AM (#16377809) Homepage
    With a 95+% share of the overall market and a nearly 100% share of the corporate (250+ employees) windows remains very relevant. There is a whole "ecosystem" of windows that will keep it around for a long time.

    Yet with less than 5% share and almost 0% of the corporate market, the ./'er argue about the relevancy of (pick one) Mac OS X, desktop Linux, Amigas, etc. The real question is should anyone care about the Mac? Will that be around for the next 5 years?

    There seems to be a "distortion effect" on ./.
  • If you think today is "Web 2.0" then wait until vista launches. The Avalon, XAML, WinFX, .NET 3.0, Messenger, Live Anywhere and other frameworks being designed & implemented on this platform will blow you away and make the "web 2.0" look like web 1.1.

    I'm not sure what vision you see, but the one i see unfolding in front of me seems rather healthy, visionary and exciting to be a part of.

    I see it for linux as well, but lets not fool ourselves into thinking this "Web 2.0" is a new paradigm when we haven't
  • Yeah, I'm pretty sure that Netscape and Java reduced Windows to a collection of buggy device drivers [forbes.com] about nine years ago. Oh, wait, that didn't happen? Hmm...
  • When mini's came along they said mainframes were irrelevant.
    When PC's came along they said mini's were irrelevant.
    The irrelevance of UNIX based OSes is repeated often.
    M$ claims Linux is an irrelevant fad, and everyone is waiting for M$ to become irrelevant. During the dot-com boom, they said the web would rule, and PC's were irrelevant.

    Will Windows become irrelevant? Not likely, although some versions (like Windows 2.x, etc.) may become a foot note in history.
  • If this question is being asked, Windows is the new mainframe - the irrelevancy of the mainframe has been predicted as long as I can remember, and it just gets bigger and bigger.
  • I still keep an xp box so I can play games and troubleshoot problems with my clients who all run windows. My normal websurfing and daily use pc is running Ubuntu. I have already decided that XP will be my last MS Operating System, I am just not very interested in Vista. I think MS is severely underestimating the need and interest in Vista. I have already had one client ask me about alternatives, I am now "evaluating" desktopBSD as a possible solution for them. Another expressed concern about Microsoft
  • by shaitand (626655) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @12:00PM (#16378965) Journal
    Symantec has an extremely hefty investment in the windows platform. Symantec has put out fud here and there about open source security precisely because the software is too secure. If an alternative to windows were to gain substantial market share that would mean lost marketshare for Symantec since their AV products wouldn't be needed, used, or even available on that platform.

    At the same time Symantec wants all that juicy system internal information that microsoft won't share or charges them out the arse for now.
  • by Money for Nothin' (754763) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @08:11PM (#16385873)
    It still runs about 95% of the world's desktops and laptops that are used to access all the "web 2.0" stuff we all love so much and which is currently being hailed as "the end of the operating system"...

    So long as web servers, web clients, etc. have the dependency of requiring an OS to run on, OSs will remain relevant -- just as the hardware on which the OS runs remains relevant. Like hardware, OSs just aren't "hot" or "trendy" anymore among us software people, that's all...

Everything that can be invented has been invented. -- Charles Duell, Director of U.S. Patent Office, 1899

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