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Apple and Windows Will Force Linux Underground 554

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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  • Re:Is this bad? (Score:4, Informative)

    by eln ( 21727 ) * on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:44AM (#16006904)
    Well, it's bad in that it's based on fiction. First of all, Linux was not "made" for the embedded market, because the embedded market didn't really exist in any meaningful way when Linux was created. Linux happens to do well in embedded devices because it's so highly customizable (without cumbersome licensing costs).

    He also mentions the idea of "embedded" Oracle and IBM databases. While this idea might work in a limited capacity for small businesses, it just doesn't fly for the enterprise clients, which are those companies' bread and butter. Enterprise clients wants to customize EVERYTHING. Trying to sell them a push-button cookie cutter solution just isn't going to fly. It's been tried, and it hasn't worked. You sell them a cookie cutter solution, and by the time you're done making everything just the way they want it, it would have been far cheaper and easier to just start out building a customized solution to begin with.

    As for Apple taking over in the server space, I haven't seen anything to indicate that. No one I know even mentions Apple as a general server solution, much less gives any serious thought to it. Where I work now, we have tens of thousands of servers, 90% of which are running Linux. The remainder are running Solaris and HP-UX, with a very small number running other proprietary Unix-based systems or Windows. None of them are Apples.

    Also, all of our systems are sold to us without an OS, and we install our own custom images on to them, so they wouldn't show up in pre-installed system sales. I would imagine most data centers and large hosting environments would be doing the same thing.
  • Re:skewed vision? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:50AM (#16006953)
    Magazine reader skew seems to cause this as well. Whatever merits a full page ad. in infoPClogJounalgazette must be the next best thing, so you can compare the pros and cons of the "new thing" and write an article about it. It's shortsighted.

    My company has a datacenter with about 200 racks of equipment. 10% misc. (like F5s, and switches) and the rest is Sun and Linux servers. Three years ago the server portion was 95% Sun 5% Linux. Now it's 30/70. The Linux servers have their faults, but they have proven to be on par with the Sun systems (we don't buy the cheap stuff).

    In this case a typical 3/1 cost ratio was the compelling reason to migrate systems to Linux. We would need an equally compelling reason to move to Apple hardware. What would that be? It's not like the people that are currently servicing our infrastructure will become suddenly afraid of the command prompt. What killer-tool will Apple provide that will make administration sooo much easier that the current *ix crowd that services this farm will convince their managers to pay significantly more money for the hardware?

    Whatever that application is, I haven't seen it.
  • Re:O RLY? (Score:3, Informative)

    by pyite ( 140350 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:57AM (#16006996)
    Have you ever tried to get Oracle running on anything but Red Hat?

    A little while ago, I would have agreed that Oracle has the most unfriendly installation ever. But look at the Oracle Express product. Here's how I installed it:
    apt-get install oracle-xe
    I'm not kidding, either. Check it out here []. (The article applies to Kubuntu, I think, but I installed it on vanilla debian just fine)

  • by Erwos ( 553607 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:00AM (#16007011)
    "Slower than Linux or Windows? I'd like to see those numbers, please!"

    MacOS X has infamously bad threading, which makes it an absolute dog for many important server apps. Anandtech, what I regard as one of the most trustworthy hardware sites on the Internet, has an article outlining the problems: =1 []

    Unless MacOS X for Intel has gotten miraculous improvements in this area, and I'm not aware it has, you'd be an absolute fool to use MacOS X for any server apps requiring high performance threading.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:15AM (#16007123)
    And here is another link: []
  • by hector_uk ( 882132 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:26AM (#16007215)
    yes, of cource i'm the flaimbait when the parent is the one with many outraged responces due to his FUD, and it's entirely my fault for pointing out that he's posting completely incorrect information [] OS X is faster than windows followup/index.php [] Macs are in general cheaper or about the same price as equally configured pc's, though this is a hard thing to do if you put some work in to find a truly equally specced machine apples come out cheaper. and the argument about reliable hardware is moot, apple has not switched manufacturers, they still use asus and foxconn, they still use the same high quality pcb and they design all their own motherboards the same as before, the only difference is they order the cpu and chipset from intel instead of IBM/motorola. Some of those things may of been true of apple 10 years ago, but people need to open their eyes and quit with the blind faith, I run OS X windows and linux and each has their advantages, to label OS X a bloated toy thats not a real option is naive.
  • Re:Developing world? (Score:2, Informative)

    by iangreen ( 793707 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:51AM (#16007419)
    well, i have a friend who bought a $500 mac mini the other day, it seems quite nice... so im not sure about the $2500 thing
  • by Erwos ( 553607 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:01AM (#16007497)
    "So, to say the Mac's threading support is "bad", is not consistant with my experiences on OS X. (I will agree that the threading support on OS 9 was really terrible.)"

    I'm going to guess you're talking about like 2-5 threads. I'm talking about many, many more than that, like any normal web server would have.

  • by segedunum ( 883035 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:04AM (#16007519)
    I'm not the biggest optimist for Linux, especially on the desktop, but this article is just ludicrous:

    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.

    And what the fuck is that based on? Fresh air? Given the fact that Apple has showed no signs of being able to get this mass growth at any stage, largely because, oh err, they have their own proprietary hardware which can't hope to compete with the massive supply of the Windows and x86 Linux world......... Everybody who knows anything about the computing world, and professes to write about it, should know this.

    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....Plug in a drive, and within a few milliseconds you have a self-contained instance of an enterprise application. If you need more database instances, put in a blank flash drive and tell the existing database instance to replicate itself.

    There are no words.

    Jesus H. Christ. I'm definitely in the wrong job. Feel free to sign me up for a job as an online 'technical' journalist where I can stick my finger in the air and throw whatever shit that comes my way from the pulpit.
  • by Courageous ( 228506 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:13AM (#16007590)
    It's written right here in the summary : commercial Linux.

    So you just have to ask Redhat, Mandriva, Suse...

    Not true! I can install my commercial linux several times without telling them. This "commercial linux" is nevertheless still GPL'd!!!!

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:18AM (#16007634) Homepage
    Wanna see those numbers? really easy.

    install linux on a G3 or G4. Massively faster than OSX on that hardware.
    On it's own hardware, ubuntu kicks OSX arse hard.

    Graned you dont get the nice-y OSX and I do like OSX. but it takes a killer machine to handle it.

    Dual G5 2.5ghz runs it nicely.
  • by andyross ( 48228 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:26AM (#16007712)
    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.

    That is a rather different definition of "lock-in" than is typically meant. Here's an example: a company has a six-year-old core application stored in an Oracle database on rapid aging Sun hardware. All the other applications at the company have long since been migrated onto Linux servers and x86 hardware, except for this one.

    The company wants to move the application to modern hardware. They'd prefer to use their linux hardware, but they can't because the oracle license is for Sun. Or they could upgrade to modern Sun hardware and keep the existing license. Either choice is very expensive, and not in keeping with the long term goals of the company's IT department, which is to move to a different platform and software choice.

    This is called "vendor lock in", and it's just plain not applicable to the free software world. Application migration is always an option with free software. Sure, if you pick, say, MySQL as the basis for your application, then you are stuck with MySQL (the software) until you make the effort to port it to PostgreSQL or whatever. But you are not stuck with MySQL AB (the company) as a gating factor in doing your own IT tasks, like needed hardware and software upgrades.

  • by Nevyn ( 5505 ) * on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:52AM (#16007969) Homepage Journal
    Actually, it all depends on the workload. Some would say that Processes are a Unix hack, because they didn't think about threads.

    Actually, not so much []. Saying you "didn't think about threads []" is like arguing that you went with protected multi-tasking OS and "didn't think about DOS". Adding memory protection and compartmentalisation is the only difference between a thread and a "process". In most cases, you just don't care anyway ... all you want is to not block, and threads are the worst fix for that problem [].

  • Re: Not a server OS? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:10PM (#16008130)
    Unix-based OS X is "not a server OS?"

    I think OS X Server operations like this [] disagree with you.
  • by Random Walk ( 252043 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:33PM (#16008327)
    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.

    I've yet to see any 'mere mortal' who really can USE Windows without guidance from some friend or relative that happens to know a bit more than this 'mere mortal'. I think it's quite telling that people choose Windows over Mac because they are afraid of problems, and feel more comfortable with an OS that is used by more people (and thus the chance of finding a helpful hand is higher).

    I'm not trying to argue that Linux would be more usable, but I think the usability argument is a joke.

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