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Harvard Concludes Linux Will Remain Second Best 460

watzinaneihm writes "A Harvard Study which uses formal economic modelling to determine "Will OSS ever displace traditional software from its market leadership position?" came to a (not so?) surprising result. Linux is likely to remain second best as long as Microsoft has a first mover advantage."
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Harvard Concludes Linux Will Remain Second Best

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  • Re:From TFA (Score:4, Informative)

    by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @09:53AM (#16075389) Homepage Journal
    ``That's because MSFT had a goddamn 10 year headstart.''

    Did they, really? Slackware 1.0 was released in July 1993, years before Windows 95. Being Linux, it was 32-bit, had proper multi tasking, separation of tasks, permissions, the ext2 filesystem, etc. It also had X, and there was a dos emulator included, so you could run old DOS programs. Basically, a lot of features that Microsoft's offerings would only have years later.

    I think GNU/Linux was there just didn't have the marketing that Windows had.
  • Re:OSX (Score:4, Informative)

    by frogstar_robot ( 926792 ) <> on Sunday September 10, 2006 @10:10AM (#16075449)

    OS X has some minor issues, like having no "show desktop" button that I'd have to get a script for that doesn't always work correct.

    I largely agree with you but OS X DOES address that one. If you have the Expose stuff turned on, press F11 and all the Windows will scootch to the sides. Do whatever you have to do and F11 pulls them back in.

  • Re:OSX (Score:4, Informative)

    by countach ( 534280 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @10:13AM (#16075457)
    You can also use Active Corners. Configure it so that you move the mouse to the corner and the desktop appears.
  • Stealing Windows (Score:5, Informative)

    by twfry ( 266215 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @10:24AM (#16075502)
    Interesting paragraph from TFA

    In addition to this main result, we were also surprised to find that piracy may end up increasing Microsoft's profits. To understand why, notice that there are two types of pirates: those who would not have bought Windows in the first place because it is too expensive, and those who would have bought Windows but now decide to pirate it. The first category increases Windows' installed base without affecting sales. As a consequence, this group increases the value of Windows. And thanks to these pirates, Microsoft is able to set higher prices in the future (because the value of the system goes up). In addition, having these pirates means that Linux's installed base does not grow as much as it would have if piracy weren't there. The second type of pirates (those who in the absence of piracy would have bought Windows) reduces Windows' sales and profit. Thus, if the proportion of first-type pirates is sufficiently large, Microsoft's profits will increase with piracy.

  • Re:OSX (Score:5, Informative)

    by alanQuatermain ( 840239 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @10:51AM (#16075610) Homepage

    It isn't exactly 'minimizing', but there's always 'Hide [AppName]' and 'Hide Others' on the Application menu. So you can switch to Firefox and choose 'Hide Others' to reduce your clutter to only incode Firefox windows.

    There are also various little extra things you can do with, for instance, the Option key. Click on an application window whilst holding the Option key and the target application will be activated while the current will be hidden. Hold down the Option key and click the minimize button on a window (or while pressing Cmd-M) and all windows in the application will be minimized. While you're looking through the menus in may applications (chiefly it's the Apple ones that actually implement this, so try Finder & Safari), tap the Option key. You'll likely see some items change -- Minimize Window becomes Minimize All. Close Window becomes Close All Windows. The ellipses after things like shutdown, restart, logout, and empty trash all disappear (meaning it won't put up an 'Are you sure?' prompt).

    On the whole, the Macintosh interface is designed to make the things you need readily accessible -- in the words of Penny Arcade's Tycho, it's goal is that of "exposing functionality" -- and it does this pretty well. However, you'll likely find yourself surprised at the amount of more advanced functionality that's tucked just out of sight, yet always close enough that it isn't difficult to reach. The Option key is very often involved here, enough so that I sometimes just try doing normal things while hold Option, just to see if something different will happen...

    Hope this helps,

  • by g2devi ( 898503 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @11:35AM (#16075827)
    Any ERP worth its salt has a Unix port and Linux is easy to port from Unix, so this shouldn't be a problem. Since 2000, most ERPs have moved towards web based solutions, so this should be even less of a problem on the client side. WINE is just a wrong-headed approach. It's nothing more than a stop-gap for a reverse engineered moving target that changes at Microsoft's whims and for Microsoft's convenience. Win32 is also becoming less and less relevant in the MS world as .NET starts exerting its influence. I'd have a hard time justifying Linux for enterprise-wide deployment if I had to rely on WINE as an argument. If your ERP is deep in bed with Microsoft and you don't plan on changing, there it's likely that your vendor is also deeply int .NET. If that's the case, then its your job to petition that your vendor to fully support Mono 1.x or Mono 2.x on a non-Microsoft platform. It's not perfect, but it will buy you freedom and security. If they don't do that, then I strongly suggest on finding a vendor that isn't so shortsighed and ignores its customers and migrate towards that vendor. Ultimately, you'd be better off.

    > often NONE of them support Linux.

    Really. How about the following list: IBM, SAP, Oracle Corp. PeopleSoft ERP , and Lotus?
    (see,1895,1730276, p [] , /0,289142,sid4_gci817266,00.html [] )

  • Re:OSX (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 10, 2006 @12:16PM (#16076055)
    It isn't exactly 'minimizing', but there's always 'Hide [AppName]' and 'Hide Others' on the Application menu
    Better yet, just option-click on the app you want in the dock. Bazaam -- other windows gone, only that application's shown.
  • by epee1221 ( 873140 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @12:58PM (#16076258)
    In case people haven't noticed, linux has not only caught up, but surpassed Windows, in terms of stability, modularity, customizability, ease of install, maintainability of the code base, etc.
    In John Q. Public's mind, Linux will only surpass Windows regarding ease of installation when the hardware vendors sell computers with Linux preinstalled.
  • Re:OSX (Score:3, Informative)

    by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @04:20PM (#16077184) Homepage Journal
    Triple booting doesn't work on Intel Macs yet. you can have Linux and OSX, or Windows(using BootCamp) and OSX. The trouble is BootCamp currently doesn't function if you have more than 1 partition. And Windows can't really boot without BootCamp without doing some risky BIOS reflash.
  • Re:OSX (Score:3, Informative)

    by jZnat ( 793348 ) * on Sunday September 10, 2006 @05:28PM (#16077446) Homepage Journal
    Separate desktops are separate logical screens for putting running programs in, not for icons/wallpapers/etc. For instance, you could make a desktop for your IM conversations, another for your web browser, another for your e-mail and other PIM, another for programming, another for photo editting, and so forth.
  • by timothy ( 36799 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @05:31PM (#16077462) Journal
    ... it's the thought-process that goes into it.

    As others have pointed out, the conclusion here is overstated in the headline and over-mitigated in the research; "number one until not number one" doesn't have an overwhelming ring.

    But the idea of "better" when it comes to software is not the simple "A v. B" comparison that some people would like it to be. Whether something's better *to you* is the most important thing, and your reasons may seem like dream-logic to me (or mine might to you), but them's the breaks.

    A coarse for-instance: There's lots of griping about when Linux "will be ready for the desktop" -- to which I have to admit bafflement that such a question can even be asked seriously. It's been ready for *my* desktop for the past 8 or so years, ever since I bought my first non-Mac computer on which to run it, and spent 1 kajillion hours frustratedly copying boot/root floppy pairs from a CD that came along with The Linux Bible or similar giant book.

    I'm afraid I'll never be a real power user, and I sure run into hurdles all the time, but compared to Windows, the frustration level of Linux is ever so much more bearable, and I like the way the various desktop interfaces let me control the look and behavior of my desktop. (Sloppy focus, auto-raise, multiple desktops ... Mac OS X has finally gotten multi-desktops, which is nice) YMMV. I also like the apps I can get (free, open source) for Linux; many of these are cross-platform (GIMP, OO.o), and for others I suspect there are work-a-likes** (and I'm sure some of them inspired the Linux analogs I know and use), so a workable desktop can be made using mostly free software on Windows these days, BUT, my Linux systems all crash less than my Windows computers have, don't need drivers for most mainstream peripherals, don't get cluttered with stupid-ware,* and generally (to my eye) look nicer, whether using fluxbox, KDE, Gnome, Enlightenment, or a few other choices.

    Mac OS X fans like to gloat that it "just works," "is more intuitive," etc; maybe that's true for them, and for a lot of people; Apple certainly hires smart people and makes a visually appealing desktop. But until the next version's out, what if the thing I want to just work is "virtual switch to desktop 3?" Or "let windows be selected and automatically raised if the mouse hovers over them"? Or (and this one's not fair, but it's my point) what it I want it to look more like ... NeXTstep, or like the GNOME desktop, or like blackbox? OS X is a perfectly nice looking interface, but being able to choose is nicer yet, since there's no accounting for taste. [NOTE: am I wrong about auto-raise? Was stil true when last I used OS X, I think ...]

    timothy (using the currently ready-for-the-desktop Gnome 2.14 on a ThinkPad, running under Debian/GNU Linux, installed using the ultra-slick, laughably easy Kanotix installer. Hey, it works pretty nicely for me, despite a few glitches. Certainly nicer than the Windows XP which arrived on this machine.)

      *(Like the useless "Printer Status" pop-up window that comes up every time on my Windows XP laptop to tell me that ... my printer isn't connected. Thanks, I still know that, yes.),

    ** Still no Tomboy for Windows, though perhaps there's some decent similarly functional program.

  • Re:OSX (Score:2, Informative)

    by BillPosters ( 823347 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @07:36PM (#16077873)
  • Re:OSX (Score:3, Informative)

    by cagle_.25 ( 715952 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @08:24PM (#16078038) Journal
    What?! It's the opposite of splitting my attention: I have a coding area; I have a compiling and running area. When I code, I'm focused on the code. When I test, I'm focused on the test results.

    Do you somehow think it's *more* focused to have all of your windows on one desktop?

Did you hear that two rabbits escaped from the zoo and so far they have only recaptured 116 of them?