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Compaq

Compaq rolling out Linux on the desktop 33

TriangleMan writes "Compaq will be making RH Linux an option on a number of their PCs and workstations. The press release is here and press coverage is already appearing. It also looks like RH and Compaq are going to be enhancing interoperability between Tru64 and Linux, including binary compatibility. "
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Compaq rolling out Linux on the desktop

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  • Seriously, I could care less about Intel products. If I want an x86 box, I'll build it myself. Its quite easy to do, and you don't have to deal with Compaq's desktop line which is known for hardware failures.

    Alphas, however, excite me. I want to see more and more of them, preferably running Linux. If Compaq can start getting the volume up a bit, Alpha prices can become more reasonable, and the platform will become much more attractive.

    --Lenny, who wants an Alpha
  • This is good news, albiet I am not a big fan of Compaq's desktop machines. They build solid, mostly reliable machines from what I've seen, but they seem to be a bit too proprietary for my taste in a lot of their units, particularly machines on the lower end of their line. Unfortunately, this seems to be true more often than not in the big name PC's in general these days.

    While I wouldn't buy a Compaq myself (I generally build my own), I might be inclined to recommend them to less technically inclined people if they offer formalized Linux support.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Check the dell store at www.dell.com, and look at the optiplex's. "Optiplex with Linux" is one of the four major families now.

    PS - I don't have FPS! :-)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Well, as someone who knows people who do the desktop support for Compaq (for the non corporate stuff), I'd have to say that a graphical install isn't an issue. The people who call have a tendancy to need to be walked through a Windows 95 install, nevermind a Linux one.

    So, the installation difficulty really isn't an issue in the first place since its preloaded, and its not an issue after, considering the people calling wouldn't be installing it themselves, they'd be walked through it.

    And for the more adventurous who want to install it themselves, or for the regular Linux folk, I don't think that's going to be much of an issue either :-).

    As for Redhat "taking a lot of flak" its called the bitch factor. If they didn't put a desktop environment, they'd get bitched at. If they did just KDE they'd get bitched at. If they did just GNOME they'd get bitched at.

    They did both. Guess what? That's right, some people will bitch for anything :-).
  • WE HAVE YOUR PROCESSER. GIVE US YOUR FILE SYSTEM.

    Seriously, this is great news. The more big unices we absorb, the more kick-ass hardware we support, the more money I get paid to play with linux.

    Thanks Linus, RMS, and crew!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    maybe because:

    (a) RedHat is the market leader

    (b) OpenLinux is not available for Alpha!

    (c) RedHat's base distribution is practically all free software, while the OpenLinux installer is proprietary
  • It seems like a lot of /.'ers are very opinionated about things, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, when the second news comes out about, say Redhat, people jump all over Redhat simply because they have the most popular commercial division. Now granted, maybe Redhat isn't for you, but why not lay off of them, and accept the fact that their moves in the linux world usually only help our cause?
  • by SoftwareJanitor ( 15983 ) on Thursday June 10, 1999 @07:56AM (#1857038)
    Just out of curiosity, why are they sticking with Red Hat,

    My guess would be name recognition, if nothing else. Compaq may also owe some loyalty to Red Hat because of their support for the Alpha.

    considering that A) Their latest offering has taken a lot of flak about being weighted down

    Maybe among technical audiences like Slashdot, but I doubt this criticism is widespread amongst Compaq's target audience, which includes a fair number of newbies and nontechies.

    with two desktop environments

    Personally, not a bad thing in my opinion. I am not yet ready to limit myself to only KDE or only GNOME, and I may never want to. New machines are big (RAM, HD) and fast enough that space isn't that big a concern.

    and seems rushed

    Then again, much of Compaq's target audience are used to Microsoft's products, which usually suffer the same sort of problems.

    and B) OpenLinux has all the features of Red Hat plus a graphical install,

    For the preload market we are talking about here, a graphical install is much less of an issue. Its not like we are talking about Windows, where the user may have to repeatedly re-install when the OS eats itself.

    etc.

    I don't mean to cause a flamewar here, but think about it...Red Hat seems to be abandoning the desktop in favor of corporate customers,

    I don't know that I see evidence of this happening, and even if it was true, the corporate customer market is Compaq's target, so why not Red Hat?

    and there are better desktop-oriented distros out there

    But history has shown us that too often technical issues about which is 'better' and which is better marketed are different issues. If customers mention Red Hat more often than Caldera, SuSE or Debian, Compaq is likely to go with Red Hat.

    (Corel's version of debian should be interesting, to say the least).

    True, but isn't that targeted towards StrongARM? Corel has taken a fair bit of flak on Slashdot for doing 'yet another distribution', so I am not sure Compaq would be well served by doing their own distro or building their own variant.

  • I can see why Compaq went with RH for their Alpha CPUs. But why does Dell and the others? Not to start a flame war, but it sure would be nice to have the option of Caldera or RedHat. Yes RedHat has the name recognition, but no wonder with all these announcements. If these announcements included Caldera or another distribution I would bet they would have just as much 'name' as RedHat.

    I like choice, do you?
  • I agree it is great that Compaq and others are pre-installing RedHat. This fact alone will mean that just about any distribution (modern updated one) will run on Compaq hardware. Hopefully in the near future we will have a choice of dists :-)
  • IMO its because RH executives have the balls to sell thier product to the movers and shakers of the industry.
    We all know that debian is the superior dist, but who is selling debian in the board room?


    this is purely opionion. take your flames elseware
  • by weloytty ( 53582 ) on Thursday June 10, 1999 @07:58AM (#1857042)
    When Joe Sixpack hears Linux, he probably thinks:

    f) The Charley Brown character with a blanket

  • The annoucement lists AlphaServers, Proliants (x86 servers) and the Professional Workstation XP1000, which is Alpha based. No support even for the Intel workstations.

    My Intel based Deskpro EN6400 runs just fine with SuSE 6.1. But I admit, I would not have bought it myself, but my company did.

  • by IntlHarvester ( 11985 ) on Thursday June 10, 1999 @09:28AM (#1857046) Journal
    Hold your horses -- this isn't an announcement of Linux support on your common Compaq Deskpros, laptops, or home machines.

    The annoucement lists AlphaServers, Proliants (x86 servers) and the Professional Workstation XP1000, which is Alpha based. No support even for the Intel workstations.

    (As a side note, Compaq has to be about the worst vendor for releasing their machine specifications. I was considering buying a used PPro Professional Workstation, but the most I could get from the spec sheets was "integrated SCSI-2UW" and "integrated NetFlex 10/100 ethernet". (Some digging found that they use different chipsets in the same model line.) In the old days, Compaq made their own very good SCSI and Ethernet equipment, but I guess now they are just trying to delude their customers while packaging cheapo commodity equipment.)
    --
  • by GypC ( 7592 )

    I might consider buying one... if I wanted to pay $30/support call. Ummm not thanks, I'll stick with the "off-brands".

    Probably pretty nifty for the newbie who wants a linux box, tho.


  • Since you will have the choice between Windows and Linux the only people that would want a refund would be people wanting another distro or *BSD. This type of people probably won't buy compaq computers so your point is moot.

    On the other end we didn't knew how much a company was paying MS to put Windows(and that was different for each company). I've read somewhere that redhat would receive about $6 per installation. The price involved to have a refund may be higher than the price of the refund.

    Of course I suppose you just maid this post either for fun or for a flame war (I hope and think this was the first choice).
  • RH markets and pushes for a big name much more than Caldera. It isn't surprising that they are getting all the big contracts because aggressive marketing is how M$ crushed apple with Win95. I don't want to be flamed about this please, I am just pointing out that RH is always out front making sure that people know who they are and what they do. Also since RH has the most users it would make more since to work with rh, but they should shoot for general linux compatability.
  • "Do you want Microsoft or Linux with that server?"
    br. sounds a little to much like "would you like frie with that?"
  • On the marketing front, the agreement will set in motion initiatives involving Compaq's ActiveAnswers and Red Hat's Kick Start programs, and will focus on training for the Compaq sales force and channel partners; documentation and tools to improve serviceability, performance and ease of installation; and customer-focused activities such as seminars, trade shows and the ever-popular telemarketing
    Q: What has Microsoft had that Linux never has?

    a. Bugs
    b. A Dork Lord of the Sith
    c. A Bigger Marketing Campaign than God
    d. All of the Above

    Well, the answer is clearly D, but answer B is the important one from the PHB viewpoint. I'm hoping this will really start to address the issue of marketing linux on a large scale. One thing customers like is choice. Sales people know this. Even if they choose Microsoft 90% of the time at first, at least they will be hearing the phrase, "Do you want Microsoft or Linux with that server?"

    That, IMHO, is a big win for our team.

  • I can see why Compaq went with RH for their Alpha CPUs.

    Someone else has mentioned that Compaq has a small investment in Red Hat, so that might have something to do with it. Compaq might also have a side agreement with Red Hat exchanging Red Hat's continued support for Alpha for Compaq promoting Red Hat's distribution on their x86 boxes as well.

    But why does Dell and the others?

    That is probably a better question, since they may not have quite as many obvious reasons.

    Not to start a flame war, but it sure would be nice to have the option of Caldera or RedHat.

    It would be nice I suppose, but you still have the choice to install Caldera over the top of Red Hat if you want. The fact that Compaq will be doing the homework to make sure the components they put in their machines are Linux friendly will still be a big advantage even for those who choose a different distribution.

    Yes RedHat has the name recognition, but no wonder with all these announcements. If these announcements included Caldera or another distribution I would bet they would have just as much 'name' as RedHat.

    Maybe, maybe not. Red Hat seems to actively court more media attention, and advertise more widely than Caldera. Red Hat may be more actively seeking out this sort of relationship with companies like Compaq and Dell than Caldera, we really don't know what is going on behind the doors here. A lot of name recognition has to do with how good a company is at promoting themselves, and Red Hat has done a pretty good (albiet not perfect) job there.

    I like choice, do you?

    Sure, which is why I run Red Hat on some of my machines, SuSE on others, and even have a machine running Caldera (albiet an old version) and one running Slackware. However, I am not a typical Compaq customer. Unfortunately, a lot of the PHB types are actually afraid of choice. For them picking Linux is already a big decision, and having to pick between distributions might just tax their wee brains too much. :-)

    Frankly, just having a choice other than Windows is enough of a step in the right direction I have trouble complaining too much about Compaq.

  • Will the pricing for same hardware be less for the Linux box vs. other OS?
  • (As a side note, Compaq has to be about the worst vendor for releasing their machine specifications. I was considering buying a used PPro Professional Workstation, but the most I could get from the spec sheets was "integrated SCSI-2UW" and "integrated NetFlex 10/100 ethernet". (Some digging found that they use different chipsets in the same model line.) In the old days, Compaq made their own very good SCSI and Ethernet equipment, but I guess now they are just trying to delude their customers while packaging cheapo commodity equipment.)

    This is definitely true, the last place I worked used Compaq desktops exclusively, and they changed stuff around from shipment to shipment of the same "model" machine. Graphics chipsets were our problem.. also they changed case design quite often in the same model. Some of the cases were fantastic designs. Others were terrible. Plus it looked kind of weird when every machine in an office was a different shape. :-)

    But, as someone else said, I roll my own anyway, so I don't care. Nice to see that the people who want/need to buy from a big vendor will have one more big vendor option for Linux..

  • When I saw the post I said to myself, "COMPAQ?! The company that sold me this computer for a song, without telling me the modem was INDEED a WinModem, the printer was a Windows-only Lexmark (which takes 3 minutes per page black & white in Windows ANYWAY), and the sound card.... forget about the sound card! Could THEY be opening the door to Linux?!" Wait, nope. Just on server machines. Presarios will continue to provide flawless mule-excrement emulation.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    As someone who has evaluated both, and has kicked Windows out of my workplace and replaced it with Linux, I offer my experience:

    We had to decide between StarOffice and Applix. We decided that if we wanted something like StarOffice, we could stay with the MS Office package. Not that it is bad, it's just way too much. Caldera can't run Applix because it's missing the libcrypt files. Point:RH

    Caldera had some other whoopsies, and generally, it is tougher to configure because of it. It's prettier, but that's only at boot up. kde runs the same under either.

    We also needed our Apache server, and to talk to Postgres with php. Caldera is workstation oriented and omitted some stuff I need to recompile php. Point:RH

    I use Linux for the modem/print/file server, and again the workstation oriented Caldera is missing a couple of things. Point:RH

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