Welcome to another edition of Crystal Ball Sunday! This week my predictions center around system builders and integrators and their use of Linux to lower costs, standardize hardware offerings, and provide a new systems to buyers that are ready to go to work.

Acer has already discussed Linux being the key to the low-cost laptop market. Most major laptop system builders realize that Linux is the key to maximizing usability while minimizing costs. Laptop computer have a short life and buyers just aren't willing to pay huge dollars for them. They are basically seen as throw-away units with a projected life expectancy of 2 to 3 years. The use of Linux will likely extend the life expectancy of hardware that lasts beyond the 3 year mark since its hardware requirements are far less than that of Windows.

The low-cost laptop and low-cost desktop system market is very competitive and builders and integrators are looking to put inexpensive systems into the hands of buyers with as much functionality and as little hassle as possible. Linux is the key to their success.

If builders and integrators pre-install Linux on systems, most of the user-related complaints disappear completely. Users enjoy 100% functionality as soon as they power on the system. Wireless networking, wired networking, video, sound, and a well-designed and intuitive interface with hundreds of free productivity programs await buyers who take the Linux option plunge.

Not only will Linux be an option for buyers but it will be the default option while Windows will be a pricey add-on. And don't forget Microsoft Office to bring the price up even more.

Linux, you may have found your newest niche: An operating system for a stressed economy.

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Member Avatar khess Practically a Master Poster

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jwenting 1,649

Keep on dreaming. As long as Linux SUCKS when it comes to software support, as long as people expect their machines to run Windows software (which they quite logically do, that being the vast majority of available software, with Linux and Mac versions being usually unavailable and if available more often than not more expensive than the Windows version), as long as Linux support for hardware is as bad as it is (the hardware in that box isn't the only hardware people plug in you know, there's such things as printers, network routers, DSL and cable modems, scanners, digital cameras, etc. etc. all of which have very limited if any Linux support unless you're willing to modify driver source code, compile things (which often means installing new kernels and compilers from source), etc. etc., all things users aren't going to want to do), Linux isn't going to make a major impact on the end-user desktop (let alone the professional desktop).

People are more likely to buy Macs, if Apple gets their head screwed on straight and stops expecting customers to pay several times the price of a Windows based system just because it has the Apple branding.

khess 95

FYI - Mac OS X is FreeBSD - another free open source OS like Linux with Mach64 (NeXT) pretties added in. Linux does have a chance and it will take over a large number of desktops, both professional and home, in the coming days.


Branding and marketing. I can not say it enough. Linux software support is fantastic. But you can not really go to the store to buy your add on software for it.

That has NOTHING to do with the technical ability of software. Not to mention the fact that software on a CD sitting on a store shelf is sooo 1990's. Out dated does not begin to describe it even in the ultra slow to develop propritory universe.

Asus is now putting GNU+Linux on their mother boards for the BIOS. I think that means that device support is only going to get a lot better and very quickly. Besides that most of the devices that are plugged in to a laptop are going to be USB. That has a certain ubiquity to it. Especially in the media player and camera market. Some of those media players run GNU+Linux as well. Lastly if the external storage of what ever sort recognizes as a portable hard drive then minus a propritory password loggin option, the device will work out of the box.

One more thing. With things like your DVR, Razor phone and Sony Internet able TV. You probably already run GNU+Linux and do not even know it.

jwenting 1,649

The Linux crowd has been saying that for over a decade Ken, it ain't happened yet and I don't see it happening any time soon.
As long as they're as anal about doing things different from Windows for no other reason than to be seen as being different, and are as hostile as they are towards outsiders trying to get help, it's never going to happen.

Support is a laugh. The highest level of support I've ever gotten from a Linux support forum or IRC channel was a "read the f*cking man-page".
I've seen people get that sneer when asking how to use the man command...
These people have a massive god-complex. They think they're "better" than others for being Linux "experts" and think that sneering at others and putting them down is the way to show that superiority.

khess 95

It's true that some people can be that way but forums and IRC things are sometimes pretty harsh on those who ask questions that seem simple to them. There does seem to be a bit of that Linux elitist attitude around. I'm not one of them. I once walked a guy through installing Linux over the phone at 11pm when I had my consulting business. Of course, I never got paid for that but it was sort of an investment in his future so I did it...gladly.

You have to connect with the right people to get your questions answered in a non-hostile way. It shouldn't be so but it is.


I have been using GNU+Linux for 5 years on multiple disros. I am still the biggest n00b you ever wanted to meet and I have never EVER been told to read the F*** whatever.

If that happens to you, you are just in the wrong community. Sorry to be so blunt but it is the truth.