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Corel Linux to be Bundled w/20 Million motherboards 232

Hos writes "According to this story, PC Chips is going to ship Corel Linux with all of their motherboards. " Basically, from what it sounds like, PC Chips is going to put a copy of Corel Linux, WordPerfect 8 for Linux, and WordPerfect Suite with the motherboards. PC Chips estimates that they will ship over 20 million motherboards over in 2000. Corel will also be doing more on their web site, as well as a "joint marketing campaign." I guess that's one way to get jump start a large user base.
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Corel Linux to be Bundled w/20 Million motherboards

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  • ...as these are possibly the *shittiest* motherboards I've ever seen. I have never, never, ever experienced as much pain with a computer as I have with a PC Chips motherboard. Add to that the horror of trying to fathom out a Linux installation in the pre-GUI with no prior experience and you have a recipe for baldness that I would recommend to anyone wanting more stress in their lives.

    Just to give you a taster:
    1. Mobo runs SS7 chips at exactly half their rated speed. Any BIOS-level adjustment upwards results in kernel panics and signal 11 crashes.
    2. Complete failure to recognise Xfree86 when originally installed.
    3. I decided a couple of months ago to replace the case. So I ripped out the mobo and put it in the new case. Exactly according to the mobo instructions. What happened? No video. At all.

    Finally I decided to cannibalise the machine entirely. The replacement, an Abit BH6 with an overclocked Celeron 400 (-->500), goes like stink and the Linux HDD is so much happier it practically shouts out with joy every time I boot up.

    I hope to hell Corel doesn't end up regretting this. With the current speculation in Canada over the company's future it may be that their marketing department fucked up things yet again. If they actively chose PC Chips as a partner I would take that as evidence of their own stupidity.
  • If you want what your getting, its good. Say Microsoft gave Windows away for free. You get windows.. do you want it? Are you happy that someone who bought a new computer got it, and they stuck with it because they didn't know what of something better? Corel is giving away WP so that users can use their suite, and a lot will merely because they don't have anything better. In that regard, ignorance and laziness reduces choice, where as if you were asked 'Windows, Linux, BSD, Be, or QNX' (like walking into a car dealer and being asked the color).. that's good. A car that comes in 'x' color without choice.. most wont bother (by ignorance but mostly laziness) to change colors. They'll glance, make a fuss if its tangrine and dark purple.. and live.

    Say.. the Windows vs. OS/2 deal. Back in the 80s, msdos was pre-installed on all desktops (well.. or given on 5.25" floppy). For most people, myself included, I knew of Windows because it was the big deal from MS, and I knew of MS only because of DOS. I didn't hear about OS/2 for a long.. long time, and was happily despising windows and using geoworks. Had I known of OS/2, I likely would have switched, as all I did was play games and write essays.. Had I known of Linux, I might have tried it, though without the drive space (anyone remember when it was cool you finally got 10mb free?).. Pure ignorance, because no one told me better and I just used what came and what family had already suffered with, from work or whatever.

    Thus.. that's why I think pre-installing is reduction of choice. If 2 or more OSes are given as options, straight out without any default, and a list provided of others.. or nothing at all.. that's choice.
  • I think that a good point to be made here is that a small percentage of people did appreciate those AOL coasters -- AOL now has many millions of users. This might not be a terrible fate for Linux -- wasn't our goal to take over the world? Shipping 20M motherboards w/a Linux CD could be great news. Hopefully we'll be able to please hardcore hackers and absolute newbies all with one OS, someday...
    David E. Weekly (dew, Think)
  • When I click the link, I get:

    This article has been removed.

    interesting... how valid are these claims?

    Peter Pawlowski
  • I used to work at a couple of companies that do white box noname clones. At those shops they have a hard time keeping up with the big name vendors in terms of value for money. I.e. Dell can put MSOffice, Encarta, Gulf and some other stuff on a $1,000. For the little goy that's $600 worth of software before you even build the system.

    The way out is to bundle free/low cost crap and whatever comes with the hardware. This is why name brand machine might ship with Macafee Anti virus while Mr. noname gets "Dr.Solomaon" ( He has the same bundling deal ).

    This means that A serious number of Noname PCs from small time vendors are shipping to users with Corel Linux installed and running.

    To make matters worse, I am willing to bet that all parts of said board will make it onto the "A" list by the time these ship. For those who don't know it means that the VIA.GRA ( real name honest) boards will come with "LinModems" and that Corel Linux will detect and configure the sound and video automatically and push your monitor to it's limit.

    In short; "This is a good thing" (TM). Even if 90% of them will be dual boot. It will be dual booting with a minimal Windows that only has Corel Office 8.
  • Considering that the CuMine CPUs are apparently incompatible with existing motherboards, the fastest your system is ever going to get is duel-600Mhz. (Worth upgrade to from 2x 500Mhz? Probably not.)

    If you want system longevity, do yourself a favor and don't scrape on components. Otherwise your just signing over your limited budget directly to Intel with the hope that a fast CPU will overcome all your problems. Build the duel 500 system, and when you get money, upgrade to SCSI and a fast disk, give it as much RAM as possible, and get a video card with fast 2D under Linux, like a Matrox. (Only worry about 3D if you play games.)

    (Footnote1: I have a P-133 that's perceptualy faster than low end PPros and Celerons for everything except for booting and hardcore number crunching. The reason is that system has virtually no bottlenecks except for the CPU. Footnote2: I'm getting a duel PII-400 next week.)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I keep hearing complaints about these boards but for a couple years I was buying exclusively Amptron PC-Chips-based boards for myself and friends and never had any problems. Apart from kernel upgrades, uptimes of years were possible without reboots. They did apparently have some problems with Win98 (which failed to recognized the board and reconfigured to safe disk-access mode) but I assumed this was a failure to pay MS-WHQL tax type of problem, not a genuine hardware issue.) I also concede they were not the fastest motheboards, but that could be said for some of Intel's chipsets as well. What I can say is that, in my experience, they were stable and the price was right. I have no doubt that some lousy quality motherboards were produced using these chipsets, but it's important to distinguish between the chipset mfr. and the motherboard mfr. The fake cache episode was inexcusable, but that was the fault of the motherboard vendor, and PC-Chips may be innocent in that regard.

  • That would be a great advertisment of how crappy Netscape on Linux is. People would just draw the conclusion that Linux is a worse operating system than Windows.
  • For some reason, I can't access the original article. The message from Yahoo returns
    "This article has been removed".

    Why? Does anyone know?

  • "20 million. Wow, that's impressive," we all say. Well, not really. Any OEM manufacturer that's buying motherboards (if they're like Dell, or any other modernized PC maker) already has a system to put them into, which in all likelyhood means they already have a preselected OS to put onto that system. Think about it - if you are making computers and you recieve and order, the customer already has an OS chosen. Getting a free copy of Linux with your motherboard is great, but for a PC maker it's pointless - it's too late to change anyone's mind. I think this will lead to a whole lot of extra copies of Linux laying around from companies that install Windows software exclusively. This will amount to hugely inflated sales figures for Corel ("Hey, we shipped 20 million copies of our OS last year, what did you do RedHat?"), but little added value to the end user. Of course, this might be of interest if they were to bundle it with retail versions of the product - where someone might actually see all this free software they've gotten and decide to try it out - but for OEM I think it's just a backwards attempt at forcing the distributors to adopt your product.

  • The jist of your post is that PC BIOSes suck in multifaceted ways, the largest two being that they're completely retarded when dealing with multiple OSes on the same computer, and there's no configuration/updating interface from any OS more modern than DOS.

    Unfortunately, the fish rots from the head down, and it's probably going to have to be Intel/(Microsoft)/Compaq/IBM/Dell that will have to solve that problem, not "PC Chips".

    That having been said, it would be nice if a FreeDOS boot disk creator was included with Linux distributions to make handing BIOS and setup issues easier.

    (Also, IBM gets points for including a "PS2.EXE" DOS/OS2 commandline program to make BIOS settings. Perfect for batch files)
  • ummm

    vi /var/spool/mail/username

  • Yup... but that wasn't the issue... Amptron exclusively sells relabled PC Chips mobos, and can only be considered competition in the _marketing_ space if anything. Of course they sell a lot of other things too, such as monitors (someone i know swears by their 15" ones) etc.

    This is the only explination why the Amptron dual board needs an APIC module, as only PC Chips would dare build dual boards without the APIC chips soldered on...

    I know VA dosen't build their own components - I'd be suprised if they _weren't_ using Intel-made mobos for instance, esp. since Intel bought a stake in them IIRC. I wouldn't find getting an Intel board upsetting at all though. :) (In fact, I'm writing this on an AST PPro200 with an Intel mobo _and_ case. Nice box.)

    This sorta thing happens all over the place... for instance in a lot of places the same company owns the (aparently) competing radio stations in the same genre and making it _look_ like a non-monopoly.

  • I just hope that cluless people don't try installing Linux on their systems and then make bad press about Linux being too hard for them to install and such.
  • I think pre-loading is a Bad Thing; look at Windoze. The only reason windoze is on so many systems now is that it was pre-loaded and people were too lazy or ignorant to take it off. Then M$ got lazy too. Since nobody switched to anything else, they figured they could skimp on the product and charge more and make a fortune (which they did).

    Also, from a technical standpoint, it might be hard to make an installation that would work on every system you put it into. I suppose you could have some sort of setup utility that figures everything out for you, but still, you would have to have the information needed to run on many different types of machines on the drive already, each system info section would waste disk space for all systems but the one it was designed for. It just seems like a waste of perfectly good disk space to me.
  • I e-mailed Nicholas Peterly years ago with the suggestion that Netscape distribute free copies of RedHat with their browser in order to combat Microsoft's decision to bundle IE with Windows.

    He wrote back immediately saying he thought it was a great idea and he'd like to use it in his column...he never did though.

    I still think it's a great idea for companies to bundle free copies of Linux with their products. Obviously not every product, but there are many that it wouldn't hurt to bundle a CD or two with.


    ?syntax error
  • If you don't want Linux with your Motherboard, take your business somewhere else. Unlike with top-tier PC's, you do have a choice in these matters.
  • It would be OK if microsoft bundled a FREE copy of windows with every computer. Preferable not installed, just a free CD like an AOL CD. Throw in a free Corel Linux CD in there and even a free BeOS CD and life is beautiful.

    It's not that we're biggoted against Microsoft, but merely resenting that we're forced to BUY windows pre-installed.
  • The inclusion in this case is nowhere near as bad as it is with microsoft. Microsoft threatens the computer companies into having their license canceled. This isn't good when you are a major marketer of home PCs. And microsoft doesn't have their hardware packaged as cheap software with motherboards. If you want their software, you have to spend $200 on it. Microsoft would never dare distribute windows this cheaply. It's simply not profitable. Whereas in this case techie users are being offered a free OS at little or no cost that is only optional (Windows isn't optional very often). It's basically what GPL says (most likely), that they can charge for the cost of the media. And if WordPerfect is being distributed with motherboards, it can't really cost that much. At least, not as much as Office (or windows) would cost.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    These mobos are very popular with VAR's , the corner pc shop screwing together noname pc's for Ma and Pa Kettle. The Var's will see the potential here to advertise systems at a price advantage vs. their MS-only neighbors. It'll be scratchy but the economic incentive works on too many levels to fail. You drive out to the store that advertises the lowest price for a complete sytem @ a given cpu speed + RAM. This cuts $50-60 from system cost, 10% or more in many cases. In fact I am expecting PC Chips' main competitor, Amptron, in the integrated mobo field to do something similar. Hey Amptron, go with Mandrake! Let's make this a race! Beyond that, you have the FICs and DFIs and Wintechs that produce boards one rung above these (some integration of components) and they'll be pressed to defend the perception of value in their products as well: More Linux, more WordPerfect, more StarOffice.

    This is a brilliant move by Corel. Too bad Redhat hasn't been this aggressive towards the enduser retail space.

  • they're going to need a really big box.
  • OS bigots?!?!? Us? ;-)
    Anyway, the rationale is simple. When you purchase a new PCChips motherboard, you're not going to be paying for the copy of Linux that comes with it. On the other hand, if I walk into and purchase a new computer, I am paying for the pre-installed copy of Windows. If Microsoft were pre-installing FREE copies of WinXX with the computer, or better yet just bundling a free Win CD and not pre-installing, I wouldn't have a problem with it.
  • I admit that their motherboards are well, crappy.
    But try to imagine this scenario:
    I am poor student here in Mexico, and I need my own computer badly. What should I do?
    Of course I go and buy the cheapest motherboard I find, if it has integrated things even better.
    Now, with this motherboard comes a CD with Linux, and Wordperfect, so instead of "borrowing" WinXX I install it and start playing around, after some time I may even like it, and I can carry the CD wherever I go, and never be called a "pirate".
    Remember, this is the thir world... few T1 connections, no easy way of finding the latest distros (not for free at least).
    And belive me, there are a LOT of PC Chips motherboards around here

    Just trying another point of view
  • I can only offer you a lowest estimate of the yearly growth - according to the "linux-counter" [li.org]it is more than 60%. All other estimates give much higher growth rates.

    My best guess is that less than 1% and more than 0.5% of the linux users register with the "linux counter"- that would be 12-24 Milions of the linux users today. You can download my graph showing the linux-counter growth together with RH-estimates here [univie.ac.at]

  • They might well have said that, and the interesting thing is, they'd have been right. The people at Slashdot aren't stupid.

    Off the top of my head, I can think of at least five good reasons why Linux "monopoly tactics" cannot be equated with Microsoft ones. They should therefore be regarded in a completely different light:

    1. Microsoft has >90% market share. Linux doesn't. It doesn't take much economic savvy to realize that competition is good in a capitalist economy. Anything that helps even up the market share is a *good* thing.

    2. Microsoft is a single profit-making organisation. It has a financial incentive to create a Monopoly position for itself and screw everyone else. The vast majority of Linux zealots have little to gain personally from a Linux monopoly beyond the point whan it achieves widespread application and hardware support. If/when Linux reaches 30% market share, the zealots will probably have everything they want.

    3. Linux is open source free software. Monopolies are harmful if they charge a price above marginal cost. Linux clearly will always be available for free - even Red Hat et al. are charging for convenience and support more than anything else.

    4. There are many Linux distributions competing. Even if Linux was the only OS in the world, there would be no monopoly power because the distributions would compete. It would also be very easy for new distributions to spring up if the big players got too lazy.

    5. The Open Source movement is genuinely trying to make things better for everyone. Even if you don't agree with the method, those goals are pretty laudable. It's good to see that kind of philosophy advanced.

    Finally, I don't see how you can regard Linux supporters as hypocrites. On the contrary, they are usually brutally honest. They like fair competition, freedom to choose and thinking for themselves. That particular mindset squares quite nicely with lending their support to the open source movement and opposing anything that smells of monopoly power.
  • This may be troll, but.. I'm glad to see this. Another step in the broadening of horizons, the sharing of knowledge, the diversifying of the desktop. Now, if only more companies would offer alternative OSes as the OS with their computers.. not necessarily Linux, of course, but BeOS (is it default with any systems?), *BSD, OS/2 (maybe? for the heck of it?), more.. that I can't think of right off hand. But there are many more alternatives, I know, and I wish that at least some company, somewhere, would start a trend; so that you could walk into a computer store and select any of a cornucopia of OS for your new computer. Wouldn't that be grand?
  • by jd ( 1658 )
    That's a LOT of motherboards! And, if they pull it off, would certainly help maintain the exponential growth that Linux has had the past 4-5 years for a bit longer.

    (Brief aside: I mis-read the title, first time. Pity. That would have been one hell of a Beowulf! :)

  • Well, what's most amusing about your suggestion, and what took me by suprise, is the fact you want Netscape to include with their browser for Windows (they don't sell Netscape for Linux), a copy of a Linux CD.

    That makes no sense for anyone involved, and here's why:

    1) If the person is buying Netscape for Windows, they're relatively clueless. Hell, does Netscape even sell boxed copies of Communicator any more?

    2) Why would a person want a copy of an OS they can't run their newly purchased version of Netscape on? Yes, any self-respecting Linux distribution already comes with Communicator, but if that's the major selling point, which is likely since you can't keep a straight face while saying Linux is more stable than Windows when the app to be used is Communicator, they've just bought Communicator anyway, why are they interested in a free version of it? Did that make any sense?

    3) Do you really want to explain to this person who probably also bought their WinModem equipped computer from the same store they bought Communicator why they can't go online? Or in that same vein, explain why AOL doesn't work on Linux?

    4) "Yes, hi? Netscape support? Yeah, Netscape just disappeared.. No, I bought the boxed version with support. Yeah, I installed the Linux distribution included, and am using Netscape there now... What do you mean you don't do tech support for Netscape for Linux? I paid $(20-40) for this thing and you don't support it? Well then why did you put the CD in there if you're not going to support it?"
  • Excellent point. The magic about Open Source is the ability to produce better software that benefits everybody. Marketing, dare I say, is not the movement's strong point. There is still a case for evangelising and gaining user base in that it raises awareness, builds the open source momentum and encourages further development. But my point would be that we don't want this to happen too soon. Much as I like GNU/Linux, I still don't think it's "ready for the masses". Giving Linux to the average user before it can match Windows on superficial ease of use is a bad idea. It will just create a bad impression when the poor sod shoots himself in the foot. Far better, I think, to concentrate on making Linux as good as possible and attract people on board when it becomes too good to resist. People will come when they are ready, which is exactly what we want.
  • Theres advantages to this, but also disadvantages. How many of us actually looked at the motherboard cds when we got our boards? I know I didnt till I needed that pesky driver to run my least favorite OS. On the other hand, corel tossing its weight behind linux is great. Also, I know there were issues with corel and licensing for their betas, I assume these have been resolved, although I dont know. Finally, if a typical user gets a cd that says linux on it, can we really assume they'll have a clue? Linux is doing great in getting to be as easy as windows, but it's by no means there yet. I doubt that this will increase the usage of linux significantly, but it certainly is nice to see another major proponent of the OS.
  • Urgh..aren't they the crummy cheap motherboard with integrated stuff makers? A friend of mine has one of their boards..and while they're economical...eh... do those crystal audio chips even work with Linux? I think Corel would have better exposure if they went with a higher quality motherboard manufacturer
  • Yea I agree that that would be great, but no huge companies are interested in any of those. I'm not putting down Be, BSD, or anything else, but as long as linux has the media coverage, linux will be the os that companies port stuff to, linux will be the os that companies publicly support, and linux will be "the only contender" to microsoft in the unknowing public's eyes. Just My $0.02.

  • This has got to be a good thing for both Corel and Linux in general.

    1) Better drivers. With all the Cds out there for motherboards that come w/ Windows only drivers, they are going to have to make Linux drivers now too. Good Thing (tm).

    2) If you've ever tried to replace the mb of a PC before, you know that Windows cant take it. Everything is fsck'd up. Why would your bit smarter than average joe user reinstall old out of date Windows 95 1 again, when you can have the latest version of Linux and not have the hassle.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • Hey -

    I ahve to say - in PC Chips defense, I picked up a barebones system with one of their Mobos in it - built in Sound (Yamaha OPL3), Graphics (SiS530), Network (DaviCom 9802) and Modem (don't care, not using it). And guess what? Mandrake 6.1 installed fine on it. The only problem was the network driver... However, I contacted the author at DaviCom, and got an updated version the next day (the version on their web site only ran under 2.0 kernels).

    Yeah - the graphics aren't the fastest (as a result of it being a UMA) - but it runs OK, and should make for a nice little backup machine... Heck I am even considering putting one together for my mom - but since I am pretty sure the modem is a WinModem, it might not be suitable.

    In short their M599LMRT is fine for a low end terminal capable of web browsing, email, word processing, etc. And that's about 90% of what most people do anyway. It's a "Super Socket 7" motherboard capable of running a 100MHz FSB. They make similar mobos for Slot1 and Socket370.

    Oh - and this is the hardware behind most of the $199 - $399 PCs out there that come with Windows98 and can be had "for free" with the purchase of 3 years of internet service. Wouldn't you rather see Linux being sold on those systems so that people wouldn't be paying the MS tax?

    - Porter
  • I guess my concern is who is going to be guying those motherboards. Are they a brand that is primarilly purchased by computer manufactureres, who are likely to use the Corel Linux CD's like everyones favorite coaster, 'the free aol CD'. Or will the CD's actually get to a consumer who will say, "hmm, a free os on this cd, let's give ita try."

    This could be really cool!
  • Hmm let's see I've treated quite well by Linux. I've had nothing but gripes about GPF this crash that Exploder this.

    And I'm the bigot?

    And don't give me the show me don't tell me argument. There's 40 distros to choose from. Do it yourself.

    "Computers should be ... tools... (siglim 120 chars)" Like cars... to the office no more no less.
  • Wow, this is huge huge news. All the numbers I see are two years old, and they are around 10 million users.

    How many people use Linux now?

    It just occurred to me that hard drives are shipped blank. Maybe we can get Seagate to pre-load Linux on their hard drives at the factory! Just pop the hard disk in the machine and boot it up. If you want to put the disk in a non-Linux capable machine, no big deal. Just format and install whatever you want on it, exactly as if the drive was blank.

  • That is definitely a way to increase user base, but that would only count as copies shipped. It doesn't mean that they were used, which is what "User Base" defines. Sorta like M$ saying Personal Web Server and IE were the two most popular tools of their fields. They counted numbers shipped rather than actual usage.
  • Believe it or not, IBM is still putting out DB2 for the OS/2 platform (with a free developer version eval). Of course, that is in addition to versions for NT, half a dozen UNIX variants, and (last but not least) Linux. Information can be found out here [ibm.com]. (yes, that's the DB2/Linux link, but you can find it from there)
  • Sure, AOL pulled of amazing success with the same sort of deal, but then to install it all you had to do was D:\install.exe and punch in your credit card info. Although I've never used Corel (r) Linux (r), Im going to assume its similar to many other flavors out there, and isnt as simple to install as D:\gimmelinux.exe, even RedHat requires some tweaking and general knowledge of whats in your PC. The market they are pushing this to, though, is good. Your more likely to get some converts if you push it at the hardware putter-togethers(r). If I had never used Linux, got this Motherboard to build a computer and it came with Linux, Id be thinking to myself "Hrmmm, I've heard an awful lot about this OS, maybe Ill give it a try. Besides, this is a new system, if I dont like it Ill just format and install good ole Windows." But, on the other hand, I feel that you need more then a little taste of linux, and right out of the box it isnt that appealing to the windows clan. I personally installed RedHat 4.0 way back before I had even used any form of Linux, and quickly got rid of it. After I started playing with shell accounts, etc, I really began to love it and made a somewhat slow transistion over. Firs the shells, then a partition on my system for it, then I converted an older box to it, then I built a Dual p2 300 with Linux in mind. So overall, while it really seems like a good idea, sending out all those CD-ROMs propably wont convert near as many people as one might thin; it may even turn them off to the idea. Unless they get introduced gradually, or had access to a fully configured system with all the goodies. Sincerely, Good Ole Judg3!

  • 2. Unlike MS/AOL/etc who will stick a freebie copy of anything anywhere, this actually targets potential Linux users.

    What difference does it make for AOL to put a disk in a magazine or send them to a list of people who've bought modems in the past 12 months? They're just as much "a potential user" as are buyers of motherboards are to linux.

    It is cool though, that they're doing this. A big deterent probably is the hassle of downloading a distro, followed by actually spending money (no matter how little) on an OS you have no idea if you'll even use. If even 10% of the buyers decide to try out the free OS that came with their Motherboard, it'll make a huge difference
  • Somebody, somewhere, is already selling hardisks pre-loaded with Linux, I forget who. Check the mall. Don't know if they work. Anybody tried one?
  • Let's face it, not everyone who buys a motherboard with a Linux CD with it will install it. But still, let's play by Microsoft rules. They count all preloads of Windows 98 as installed base.

    For example, as a college in the Select program, we get NT workstation for about $40. We buy a ton of computers, all preloaded with Windows 98 whether we want it or not. We reformat and install NT on it. But Microsoft counts each machine as two, one for 98, one for NT, in their stats.

    Determining a true install base stat is impossible, but many will try. Now the Linux camp can fudge numbers with the best of them. If someone has a Linux CD in their possession, assume they actually installed it!

  • doesn't really pan out at $200 a copy of Windows, and $0 a copy of linux.
  • This is what I was wondering too. For instance, if PC Chips sells 5 million motherboards to Compaq, and ships linux CDs with each one, it doesn't mean Compaq is going to pre-load linux into the boxes it makes.

    I guess it makes a big difference to hobbyists and small PC makers, who get an OS for free and thus may be intrigued to try it out. But as far as brand name PC makers are concerned, they will pursue their own marketing strategy, and getting free linux CDs should not make any difference to them. After all, they could easily get their own linux CDs if they wanted to ship linux with their million+ PCs.

    A bigger win for Corel, I guess, to increase its marketshare. What distro do they use?

  • Has anyone heard when they are going to release a public beta? Last I heard it would be in October...
  • That's installed base. I said earlier about how they counted the installed base of PWS and IE as user base, artificially raising their numbers

  • It made a lot more sense back in '95 or '96 when I made the suggestion. Netscape worked pretty well for me in Linux up until Communicator 4 came out. It's been downhill from there.

    I can't deny that these days Netscape would be a poor choice. And yes, of course if they had done it they would have wanted to make sure there was a copy of Netscape for Linux on the Linux disc--isn't that just common sense?


    ?syntax error
  • A lot of people have been posting about the horrid quality of PC Chips motherboards. Well, maybe I got lucky again, but I just don't see that.

    I own 2 PC Chips M571 (Socket-7) motherboards. One I gave to my grandmother for her first computer. All she uses it for is web browsing.

    The second one I kept and have installed FreeBSD on (so I can learn learn learn!:) I've not gotten very far with it, but it does run Xfree86 without any problems and the machine has been rock solid since I installed FBSD. It's a Pentium 166 that's overclocked to 200 and 32 Megs of RAM. I bought the motherboard for around $52 (US). A perfect choice in my opinion. It lets me play with FreeBSD and I didn't have to spend a fortune to do it.

    I had the same results with Packard Bell computers. So many people had terrible problems with it, yet I was using my Pentium 75 (O.C.ed to 90) up until 1998! In fact the machine is still being used by a friend of the family for some small network functions on his home LAN. The only thing that went wrong with that machine was the combo sound/modem card went bad after 3 years.

    I also have a PC CHips 571LMR board sitting at home waiting to go into my new file server.

    My point is that "you win some, you loose some." I guess that I've gotten lucky with these products and some people have not. I do have the feeling that PC Chips has done a lot to improve quality from previous years. They still are not ABIT or ASUS, but they offer inexpensive alternatives. I doubt I would use one for a mission critical piece of hardware, but who is going to be using Corel Linux for anything mission critical anyway?

  • I dunno what's wrong with Caldera's distro, but I got Debian 2.1 to run just fine on my wife's IBM Craptiva with shared video memory... :)
  • I just tried to read the story and I get a "removed" notice.

    Possible theories as to why:

    1. Not true and parties involved asked to have to it removed.

    2. I have really, really bad Karma today.

    3. Slashdot effect!
  • by bob ( 73 )

    Although they aren't my favorites, I've used a couple of PCchips mobos, a VXpro model that my wife uses with a K5-200 (yes, K5; a few were actually shipped) to run WinNT 4.0, and a TXpro-II (SIS 5598 w/built-in VGA) that I've used to run everything from DR-DOS to Slackware 3.6. The XFree SIS server worked fine, although it was (duh) a little sluggish. As $50 motherboards with built-in SVGA and sound go, I'd say that they can't be beat. ;-)

    However, What I would hope to come out of this is that PCchips may actually start to pay attention to whether or not Linux runs on their motherboards; it would be kind of embarassing if they shipped the boards with an OS that didn't run on them (yeah, I know that they haven't seemed to have all that much shame in the past). Still, from this perspective, this deal probably offers about as much hope as we have any right to expect that Linux can be expected to run reliably on some of the cheapest & nastiest little PCs available on the market -- hell, maybe even the sound will work. This is not a bad thing; heretofore, the only thing they would have cared about would have been a basic level of Windows compatibility.

  • Still "removed" as of an hour later. This eliminates your theory #2, leaving us with [withdrawn] or [slashdotted]. Surely of all servers, Yahoo.com could handle a slashdot story?
  • Ahh this is the same outfit Corel made a deal with last year to include WP8 with all their Motherboards. The press releases from Corel came spewing forth as they do now.

    The Present PC Chips boards are a substandard performer found in the very Low End systems. At 120 CDN for a combo including sound Net and Modem and integrated video.

    Mfg problems are evident as the ram sockets vary from batch to batch and a Sledge Hammer is required to install ram on some of the borads.

    Seriously, The CD's wont be of much use on the current production batch with the onboard video with shared ram. Even Caldera 2.3 cant install on these babies.

    Mind you i am prejudiced. Corel can sign all the deals they want to include their product but will this result in increased use of their products only time will tell. FWIW OEM Corel Office 2000 OEM CD's are going at $20 Cdn each. Shows you what the product is worth.

  • Free cd's of any type are like cannon fodder; they're delivered to the field with the knowledge that most will go unused, much less browsed through.

    The point, however, is not to target users; it's to get a copy into everyone's hands, to overwhelm the natural inertia of computer users and unwillingness to pay for one more thing, much less one more thing that they don't know much about.

    Of course, it'll be a pain for Corel to support. Those are the breaks. It's the consequence of sending out your distribution as cannon fodder, to preach to the unwashed masses.

  • ... And so any given single step is not going to have any vast effect on things.

    But the only way there will be a "death of MSFT" is via the Death of a Million Paper Cuts that involve not a single "killing" blow, but rather a whole array of tiny, relatively independent injuries that add up.

    Other comments have suggested that a more logical step would be to push for Linux pre-installed on (say) Seagate hard drives.

    Put all of these things together:

    • Some copies getting deployed via bundling with motherboards
    • Some copies getting deployed via bundling with disk drives
    • Some copies getting deployed via being preinstalled by one of the fifty-odd Linux VARS [hex.net]
    And it starts to add up to "a few paper cuts."

    And the point is not to "beat Microsoft;" that would merely be a convenient sideeffect of doing useful things with Linux.

  • Many hard drives are already loaded with Windows...something to do with the verification software the HD manufacturers use. An old argument about selling systems without Windows is that it would cost more to install Linux (or any other OS), rather than just plugging in a HD with Win already installed.

    I think that if a HD came with Linux installed will have a bigger impact than just shipping a CD with a motherboard. For example, you can get a copy of AOL or Compuserve with almost any computer item you buy, but that doesn't mean we are all using them as our ISP.

    Also, I would hate to see a Linux CD be elavated to the drink coaster status like AOL CD's.
  • No because you don't have to buy *THAT* brand of motherboard. I have no objection to *SOME* pc's shipping with windows. I object to almost *ALL* PC's shiping with windows. Also the charege will probably be on the order of $2/board or something.
  • I think Corel is really hiting the ground running with their Linux distribution. This is just another (great) way to get linux out there.

    In case anyone's interested, here's an overview of Corel Linux (i'm a beta tester). This is all based on the 2nd Beta Release.
    The thing that struck me the most about this distribution is that with the "default" install it asks you exactly 0 technical questions. Even the partition tool was pretty simple, though you can just put it on your current DOS partition and bypass all that. I got through the installation without seeing even a glimpse of the console. In fact, an average windows user could easily use this distribution for years never knowing there even _was_ such a crazy thing. While this may cause some of us who like linux for the things that CL tries to "hide" to shudder, this is exactly what Linux needs. Microsoft (from a marketing standpoint) knew what they were doing hiding DOS behind the clouds... it's the same thing. I'm not saying that with a few minutes of tweaking you can't get the normal linux feel back, just that newbies won't have to deal with it until they're ready. As soon as it was through and I was in X Windows, I clicked on the big Netscape icon out of perhaps morbid curiosity, and to my surprise I had an active connection to my LAN. On other distributions this took alotof tinkering. I think this is what splits the line between computer users... those who want it to work so they can look up a recipe or what have you, and those of us like myself who actually enjoy the process of getting everything to work. In a more philosophical mood I would probably make some journey vs. destination remark. It was a weird, almost empty feeling siting in front of a linux box that had been "auto-configured." Yes, i've tried Caldera, and it has its strong points... but what Corel has done could really make linux approachable to everyone (I would literally trust my grandmother to install CL... just stick the CD in, reboot, and hit next a few times). Hopefully Corel will continue to market this like there's no tomorrow... it could really bring linux to the mainstream.

    And besides, this would make up for sending celene dion (think www.corel.ca) ;-)
  • The cost of a "Linux Tax" isn't $50-$100 per machine. And you will most likely have a choice on opting out of it.
  • There are a lot of OS/2 boxes out there today. While OS/2 tanked in the consumer market, it did pretty well in vertical market applications. Back when Egghead Software (may it rest in peace) refused to sell OS/2 applications, their in-store server ran OS/2! That was pretty typical. Those sorts of installations don't change rapidly, so while I doubt that anyone is buying much in the way of new OS/2 boxes, I am sure that there are a lot of running OS/2 systems out there right this minute.
  • by technos ( 73414 ) on Monday November 01, 1999 @10:58AM (#1571888) Homepage Journal
    No. If Microsoft were giving out FREE Win XX CD's with PC Chips mobos, we'd be jumping around, yelling things like
    'We've killed the beast!'
    'I always knew m$ was worthless!'

    'Micro$#!t hit the fan 'cuz they can't compete!'

  • by NovaX ( 37364 ) on Monday November 01, 1999 @11:01AM (#1571889)
    I agree.. last time I bought a hard drive pre-loaded with anything.. it was a virus (no.. not windows. Thank ontrack.. 2nd time in 3 years.)

    Pre-loading reduces choice anyways, because then your pressured into using some product. Plus.. not everyone uses x86... it would be more annoying than anything else.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Actually, the chairman and CEO of Be Inc. does offer the BeOS for free to any OEM who provides it as the default OS on the computer. It would be oh so easy to set up a BootMan (the BeOS Boot Loader) menu offering BeOS and Linux or Windows (with Be the default).
  • I don't know what their quality was like a couple of years ago, but I've built 3 PCs with their boards in the past year and all three have worked quite well. I can't get the onboard sound to work under NT or Linux, but it works fine with Win95. The only problem I ran into was Win95's bug with AMD chips over 350mhz. I'm typing this on a system built around an AMD 350mhz TXPro board that is overclocked to 400mhz. Nothing spectacular, but it runs well (especially for $130). I'd buy another one if I needed a motherboard.

  • They have an audio version still up right here [yahoo.com] for those that missed it. Took a little searching. :)
  • Yes, but then that page at Red Hill is something of a relic. The VXpro rant was written about two years ago, while the rest of the page was written one year ago, in October of 1998. The link that they give to a rant at Carl Industries is dead -- Carl Industries has been shuttered since July of 1999. I recall, however, that even the page at Carl Industries had been softened somewhat before it disappeared; the author said that, to his surprise, he found PCchips to actually be responsive to the problems that their OEM customers faced, and that the quality had markedly improved since he first wrote those words.

    I think that a lot of people have had bad experiences with PCchips boards some time ago, or with old boards sold recently and have (with good reason, clearly) stayed away from PCchips boards since. Just like with people who once had a bad experience with a certain brand of car, however, such people will bad-mouth the manufacturer for the rest of their lives without ever trying out the latest models to see if anything has changed.

    Just about all boards -- even Tyan and Asus models; heck, even Sun Microsystems boards -- have non-zero early failure rates (AKA "Infant Mortality Rate" or "IMR"), and you can expect that a brand such as PCchips that is cutting things a hair's breadth from the edge will have higher rates than others. A small-time PC assembler that is leveraging low labor costs somewhere can afford to suffer that failure rate as long as the aggregate cost of all the boards that he has to buy to get the required number of good boards, together with the labor costs to do the testing and rework, is substantially less than what it would cost him to buy boards with significantly lower IMRs. If you compare a $40 PCchips board with a $100 Tyan board, it is likely that the assembler will only have to get around 50% good boards to come out ahead, and he probably gets much better than that -- I'd expect that better than 90% of PCchips boards work OK.

    As an individual buying a single PCchips board, however, you're entering into something of a crap shoot. Still, as long as you (a) get at least a 90-day warranty, (b) understand the risk, and (c) view price as being much more important than performance, you will probably come out ahead with something like a PCchips board. It's all a matter of trade-offs

  • You've forgotten one of the basic rules of software:

    All software will become sufficiently advanced so that it may read mail. The only thing that is in question is the development timetable.

    Proof? What is the oldest bit of continually maintained application software you've seen? Does it read mail? 'Nuff said.
  • I may try it. More importantly, it may convince some of my win-centric colleagues to give it a go. (I probably wouldn't use it day-to-day, though - my preference for a gui consists mostly of a stack of xterms and dvi/ps/pdf/img viewers for whatever I am hacking up at the time.)
  • I own a motherboard from PC CHips, and I wouldn't get too excited. I have only had it a couple of months and it has been replaced once already (IDE 0 fried for no reason). I have also never seen any of these motherboards (Alton) reviewed on a website (Sharky Extreme, or some other equivalent). This is just another way for PC Chips to get rid of the motherboards they make.

    "Am I the only one using a Celeron and not overclocking it???"-Me

  • Yeah Yeah... I know, it is different.

    Yes I'm an OS bigot too... plus I'm an application segragist. Only mail readers should be able to read mail. Not my editor, web browser, cell phone ( with web browsing technology ), toaster and french poodle.

    Really though, this is good for the community, at least get people to ask wtf is this cd?
  • and what better market to hit than the people who already put their own computers together...
  • AOL has been doing worse than that. Mass junk-mail addressed to 'postal-patron', not to mention blow-ins in magazines such as Vogue, Elle, and Ladies Home Journal. They're stabbing at air for new business! I suppose you could call this targeted advertising, since AOL does occupy the 'clueless section' of the ISP world.
  • I know it would work with me. I'm one of those guys who buys motherboards. I almost never buy complete systems. When I started playing around with Linux, I had one concern: cost. Having only a 28.8 modem, I went out and got the cheapest distribution I could find.

    Had the motherboard come with one, I would have installed that, no question. I understand the distribution wars, but for me, it doesn't really matter. I'll work with what I've got, assuming it isn't utter crap. Put a free disk in front of me, and I'll use that until it becomes clear that it is not working. That's why I'm a Red Hat guy right now. It was cheapest and it works.

    If you assume that there are a lot of people like me, then this is very smart on Corel's part. They'll get a lot of marketshare.
  • I'm going to take a wild guess that the target market is the low-cost pre-builder (rather than the person upgrading their homebox).

    Think about it...rather than worry about licensing issues, they can pre-install Linux (I'm over-simplifying, I know).

  • I think pre-loading is a Bad Thing; look at Windoze. The only reason windoze is on so many systems now is that it was pre-loaded and people were too lazy or ignorant to take it off. Then M$ got lazy too. Since nobody switched to anything else, they figured they could skimp on the product and charge more and make a fortune (which they did).

    Ah, but Microsoft had no competition. This is good for Linux, because, should Corel start getting lazy, the OEM's would quickly go to Red Hat or someone. Microsoft had no such incentive.

    And, as you mentioned, everyone is to lazy or ignorant to use something else, so they just use what's pre-installed. That means more marketshare for Linux :)

  • Sure. Just return the CD in its original, unopened package, and they will gladly refund you your $0. :)
  • You know what worries me?

    Corel floods the market with their breed of Linux, starts offering modules or enhancements that are non-standard to linux, then figures a way to work in some sort of mechanism to keep the other vendors a step or two behind from those enhancements. (Hell, even doing things in a way that the Linux community will not accept, so they don't get on board.)

    What we are looking at is the true beginnings of the commercialization of linux.

    What to look out for is the massive budgets of organizations like this. All they have to do is dedicate enough of their resources to linux advancement and development and the original developers will not be able to keep up.

    Major corporations will begin to run the development process. Original developers will complain, Torvalds will object, the companies will continue. A new central authority will be established to control kernel features. Torvalds will object. Porgress outpaces linux developers, and many get hired by the corporations continue their work. They go along, figuring they are still doing the same thing, just now getting paid for it. Torvalds dissappears, and rumors about a Transmeta experiment gone wrong surface. The remaining linx developers either move to BSD or application development and wostfully think about the good old days. The GPL becomes pointless to the rapid development efforts of a few select corporations now running the show.

    Now, i'm not saying this will happen, but when greed and money get into the same boat, it usually sinks. Corel might not take this route, but they will have to take an active role in not letting this happen. Corporations will believe it is in their best interests to continue development in a fashion that best helps their bottom line. The developer is answereable to a manager, the manager to another manager. This continues up until the board of directors, and ultimately the stockholders, who are becoming a very fickle bunch. Concepts and ideas are summarized and distorted as they progress up the chain of command. Most of the higher levels will not even necessarily agree with much less subscribe to the ideas and ideals coming up from below. Their primary concerns are, how will this affect the company, the stockholders, the profitability.

  • Is everything that gets linux into the hands of end users good exposure? I know everyone thinks yes at first, but bear with me.

    Is mass distribution of linux a good thing? Right now the ignorant public may have heard of linux, but most have not used it or installed it first hand. If they suddenly get a linux cd and install it and they can't get it working or it is too complicated for them, then they just had a bad first impression. Millions of bad first impressions could really slow down the awesome momentum that linux has built up.

    As others have pointed out, the mass public aren't buying motherboards to pop into their new case or use with their new Athlon. So this argument might not apply to this distribution of linux.

  • By that logic, I count for... eight Linux installations:

    - Slackware 7.0 (preordered, but ordered nonetheless)
    - Slackware 4.0
    - Slackware 3.6
    - Slackware 95
    - Stampede 0.86
    - Debian 2.0
    - Red Hat 5.1
    - Red Hat 4.2

    Woohoo! :)

  • I formally worked as the senior technician at a major southern california computer retail store which sold few pc chips motherboards. I can honestly tell you that pc chips is the LOWEST quality crap i've ever seen. From built in video, to built in sound, to built in modems....sigh.....and the failure rate on these boards is in the 20% range in the first month. Also, PC chips was caught a few years ago using and making fake cache chips on their motherboards. Corel should bundle the OS with abit, or asus, or tyan. But PC Chips?? bad idea
  • Of course, neither of these choices really make sense, because you can't install an OS without a keyboard, monitor, power supply, and either a CD-ROM or floppy disk drive...

    Exactly. You've almost answered your own question (to some extent). Every system starts with a CPU and a mainboard. While every part of a system is scrutinized and benchmarked (witness the plethora of hardware sites dedicated to getting every ounce of performance from stuff), if you had to pick two absolutely essential parts of the system, it would be these two.

    The logical choice is a hard drive, but when you think system, you don't think hard drive. Besides, with all the OEM HDDs I've seen, most don't ship with anything (except maybe a small utility disk). Also, the simple act of throwing a CD in a mainboard box is pretty simple.

    Geoff Wozniak
  • gad_zuki wrote:
    The next wave of Linux users WILL be cheap people who buy cheap gear. "Linux? Free software?!? Kewl doods!!!! Hey Microsoft I want my sixty bucks back!!!!!"

    This is not necessarily bad. In fact, I think it would be interesting if Microsoft were forced to explicitly position itself as the "luxury" OS, compared to the "cheapies." But the cheapies are likely to soon include not just the various full-featured UNIX-based Free / free OSes, but also the rumored-but-vaporous "non-MS machines" which so many vendors are talking about to run their cheaper-than-the-same-weight-of-dirt Internet Terminals, WWW Appliances and whatnot.

    Interesting because a) it might make MS OSes better than they are (I'm no fan, but they do some things fair, middlin' or well -- and it'd be nice to see that aspect continue) and b) I don't think they could actually hold the "luxury" ground very well, which would make for Interesting Times (my favorite chinese curse ...). Note: for refrence, the things I'm thinking of defining "luxury" in this case are the same ones that MS has been trying to own for a while: ease of installation (Mandrake wins for me, YMMV), easy upgrades (ja RPM!), utter hardware support (MS wins, so far, but the lead is narrowing), and reliability (I'll let you draw your own conclusions).

    But hey -- if Linux can be made to work with lowest-common denominator machines, Great! I think the owners are going to wish for upgrades in the form of faster machines, not "That grand vision of an OS that Microsoft has but that we couldn't afford a few years ago when we bought this piece of junk PC that came with Linux ..."

    At least, that's my conjecture.



  • My father has a PHD from standford and would never begin to understand what to do with linux.

    But would he understand what to do with a motherboard? We aren't talking OEM, purchase at Best Buy, type systems here. Assemble-yourself motherboards required some bit of technical know-how. People buying motherboards would tend to be the type of people who would be interested in Linux.

    Therefore, Corel is marketing to the right group of people. Whee! Good for them.

    I hate it how everytime someone (other them Microsoft) tries to market their goods, everyone pooh-poohs them. Hehe, Microsoft doesn't need to win the anti-trust trial. If the people around here had their way, MS wouldn't have anyone competing with them. Who needs enemies with friends like these.

    Oh, wait, maybe they are enemies. More "grass-roots" effort straight from Microsoft, perhaps?

  • This will get Linux into many more hands; you can't go to a small PC store without tripping over those cheap integrated PCChips motherboards.

    I personally use a PCChips m750i dual processor motherboard [cpureview.com] with two Celeron 300A's running at 450 - makes a kick-ass Linux box (currently running Mandrake 6.1 [cpureview.com]) - although I am going to put a different video card in it.

    Normally a lot of small shops sell PC's without an OS, and in small print have "+100 for Windows 98" - now they can say "Comes pre-loaded with Corel Linux + WordPerfect (add Windows 98 for $100)"

    I expect Linux to keep growing; don't forget about the Mexican governaments project for Linux labs in all Mexican schools - just think of all those millions of new Linux users every year!

  • It's exponential. For every b units, a new unit is added (b is the base). So Y=k * b^t , where k is some positive constant.

    If you take the logarithm of something that's growing exponentially, then you get a straight line. That is, use a logarithmic display/graph paper to see exponential growth as a straight line.
  • I don't know if I like this. I use WordPerfect 8 for Linux and like it, but it's not up to the standard of WP8 for Windows.

    I'm afraid 20 million people will try Linux with the old WordPerfect and get a bad impression.

    I'd feel much better if they'd wait until WP9 for Linux is available and shipped that.

  • by Booker ( 6173 ) on Monday November 01, 1999 @10:21AM (#1571951) Homepage
    PcChips? I think those are the motherboards they sell at our local cheaper-than-dirt computer store, with the "VXPro" and "TXPro" chipsets. They're distributed under many different names.

    I've never gotten Linux to run reliably on them (granted, these are older Socket-7 era motherboards). If you're looking for technical info, good luck. Their web site [pcchips.com] is slower than molasses, on a 56k modem or something... There's even a (tongue in cheek) PC Chips Lottery [fernuni-hagen.de] site, in which you can attempt to guess your motherboard model, and if you "win," you get a feeble amount of info on your board.

    In short, if I were Corel, this is NOT the sort of relationship I'd be looking for. :)

  • > Astroturf doesn't get thick. In order for it to get thick, it has to grow.

    No, you can stack it as deep as you want. Provided that you can buy enough of it.

    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • Minimal perhaps... but price is irrelevant. Low-cost or not, it's still a tax. Isn't that what we're always complaining about with M$?

    No, a "tax" is where you don't have any choice, because (in this case) Microsoft has crippled the market into forcing you to pay for Windows. The tax isn't the simple fact that they sell Windows, it's that they prevent anyone from not selling Windows.

    In this case, even if PC Chips has an exclusive contract, you could go to another vendor. You can't do that with Windows. Now I suppose if Corel had licensing with all Mobo makers, so that even if I wanted to run FreeBSD, I had to pay them their $12, then I'd be upset. But they don't

    I don't see exclusivity contracts as bad. I see them as bad when they are used to force OEM's to capitulate in other contracts. If Corel was using its dmoniance with Wordperfect to force OEM's to pay for Corel Linux, that'd be bad.

    But to license their product to be included with all mb's, that's not a problem.

  • it's still a tax. Isn't that what we're always complaining about with M$?

    The difference I see here is that the motherboard manufacturer is going to have to ship some sort of CD anyway (for drivers and stuff). Most likely it would otherwise be mostly empty. If they can cut a deal with Corel to fill that otherwise wasted space with Corel Linux+WordPerfect, then it isn't so bad. It may not really be a 'tax' per-se if this is a mutual advertising swap, and no money changes hands. I can see Corel doing it just to get market share and potential future upgrade earnings. For the motherboard manufacturer it offers them the opportunity to get some product differentiation in a market where that is a difficult thing to find, and also a nice way to make their CD bootable at a much cheaper price than what they'd pay to do that with Microsoft -- potentially that could save them some $$$ in the tech support area.

    in most manufacturing environments it costs more to leave something out than to just make everything the same.

    Although when it comes to fabbing CD's, it costs the same to press a full CD as opposed to a mostly empty one. You are correcrt if you are talking about whether it would cost more to stock a seperate 'driver only' CD or to sell motherboards with or without a CD.

  • by beme ( 85862 )
    Too specialized? What difference does it make? Plenty of hardware comes with bundled software that's pretty specialized. Video cards, scanners, cdr/rw drives, sound cards, etc. Many products come with software that only works in Windows, and sometimes only Windows 95/98. I myself probably have 10 or more software products that I have never used that came bundled with hardware. I'd wager they're only planning this to generate some hype and it has nothing to do with what they think of Linux.

    Off-topic, but if you had a product that people might use to compete with a Microsoft product, would you make a lot of noise about it, or would you quietly work on it while saying it's intended to co-exist with Microsoft's product?
    Me, I'd do my best to stay off Microsoft's radar screen until I had something that was really ready to compete, for fear of being FUD'ed out of a job.
    Just me, though.

  • I like the concept a lot. I would rather have any Linux distro than the AOL CD that comes with my Sunday newspaper anytime.

    I just hope that it is a well done distro. I'd reather see something conservative but reliable than some of these cutting edge distros that have a lot of rough edges.

    Now all we need is RedHat + SuperMicro, SuSe + ABit, etc.

    Maybe that's what the new RedHat non-profit should be doing? Stuffing the Sunday newspaper with cheap Linux CD's?

  • Let's assume that exponential growth has continued this year, as it has in previous years. At the end of last year, I believe the numbers were around 15-20 million users, growing at a rate of around 100% per year.

    If this is the case, then at the end of this year, there may be as many as 30-40 million users.

    As for installing Linux at the factory - they wouldn't do it the way you describe. Too slow. It would be much better if there were a low-level HD formatter which formatted the disk with Linux.

    (All HD's are low-level formatted at the factory, and formats aren't restricted to just punching sector headers.)

  • Me, I'd do my best to stay off Microsoft's radar screen until I had something that was really ready to compete, for fear of being FUD'ed out of a job.

    No matter how great an OS is, it's going nowhere without applications. And Be, maybe unwittingly, has such a strong position on itself being a media OS, that it could actually be discouraging non multimedia programs from being developed for it.

    Face it, in order to grow in this market, you really need to be blatant about it, otherwise you'll just be pushed aside.

    Not you as in you, but a company, okay?
  • by gad_zuki! ( 70830 ) on Monday November 01, 1999 @12:55PM (#1572012)
    I can see it now, the new license for every free distro is going to be, "If the machine you use this OS on has a CD-R you are obligated to make 20 copies of the OS and put them in some public place."

    Linux will be crawling around like roaches at a flophouse. Sure, 99.9% of them will be microwave ammo and coasters but at least no one can give the old, "It's such a long download..." excuse with a straight face.

    and of couse the obligatory, "101 uses for Linux disks." Scary.

  • The single worst thing about the 'Open Source movement' is that it is bringing about an army of marketers.

    Come on guys! This what the marketing department of Corel and Microsoft do! "Hmmm. So, will this increase our user base?"

    "Yes but will they find the software usefull?"

    "Herbert! Get the new guy out of here now!"

    I pity what the Open Source movement has turned into.

    Linux? That's GNU/Linux [gnu.org] to you mister!
  • I agree that people buying motherboards would be the doityerselfer type who would probably be interested in Linux. But aren't those same people the ones who would probably want to choose their own distro, or already have a distro they want to use? I wonder if it would/will do anything for user numbers at all.

    You have a good point. It's a strange market, those who would be predisposed to useing Linux are probably already using Linux, and those that aren't probably won't

    Okay, but this does 2 things. #1, it gets Corel Linux into the hands of those who probably wouldn't have chosen it to begin with. #2, there are still thousands of "hackers" still using Windows. It's time to give them a chance to feel up Linux.

  • The next wave of Linux users WILL be cheap people who buy cheap gear.

    "Linux? Free software?!? Kewl doods!!!! Hey Microsoft I want my sixty bucks back!!!!!"

    Don't say I didn't warn you.

  • OS/2's all but dead, so far as i can tell. Does IBM even have OS/2 installed anywhere within their organization? Seems to me they're all AIX, Linux and Win2000.

    BeOS is much to specialized an OS to consider giving away with motherboards. And it's Be's fault. Back when they were on the Mac platform and had hopes of being bought by apple, they really did try to provide a compelling alternative to the MacOS. Now that they're on Microsofts platform, they tiptoe around in hopes of not in anyway offending Microsoft. Gasse (sp?) doesn't even try to spread the hope that BeOS will ever be a viable substitue for windows, unless you happen to be a multimedia professional, in which case maybe you'll be able to make do.

    Linux still has that hope of growing into a platform for all, with the bonus that no one owns it (aside from Linus...) and even he can't change the licensing terms.

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes