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The Failures Of Desktop Linux

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the fails-to-play-well-with-bully dept.

Linux Business 882

PDAJames writes "Maybe Linux isn't quite ready for the desktop after all. After an earlier, very positive evaluation of SuSE Linux Desktop, ZDNet UK has carried out a more in-depth review, running the system in a production environment for two weeks, and found it wanting. A key problem area was interacting with the corporate Windows network. When will this stuff finally be ironed out?"

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fp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554678)

fp

Linux is Dying (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554679)

Linux is dying...

Re:Linux is Dying (0)

Scorpion265 (650012) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554697)

I don't know about dying, but desktop oriented people are loosing interest. I also think that media isn't helping at all either, with the hype of DCM and such. Also another problem is that linux is being imaged as the 'hackers' operating system.

Doesn't play well with Windows boxes? (5, Funny)

mu_wtfo (224511) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554680)

Well, the obvious solution is to get rid of all the Windows machines on the network. Presto, problem solved!

Re:Doesn't play well with Windows boxes? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554696)

you have no dick

Re:Doesn't play well with Windows boxes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554709)

Mmm, you sound like some companies I know of, staff difficulties? Get rid of the staff! Not always the best solution.

Re:Doesn't play well with Windows boxes? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554724)

Explain to your boss that your apps aren't 100 percent interoperable between customer machines. Who cares if it saves money if you've managed to frustrate everyone at your company.

A perfect example is a sales and marketing type company with IT setting the standards. When your sales people have to spend more time re-learning the system and less time selling who's going to look stupid? Definitely not the sales team.

Re:Doesn't play well with Windows boxes? (5, Funny)

corgicorgi (692903) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554744)

Get rid of all the Linux boxes and the Windows machines still won't play well with each other.

Re:Doesn't play well with Windows boxes? (1)

PgDn (680979) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554773)

Well let's see here if say my plant was going to get rid of all our windows machines and switch to some nix machines we would have more problems then you might think. Unless your just being a stubborn nix player. You see my plant runs off a Access Database and I know the nix machines can run any Microsoft program but your talking about training hundreds of employes how to use nix every time season rolls around that is jsut absurd. However good nix is on an indvidual basis it is not holding well with a full on coporation.

Re:Doesn't play well with Windows boxes? (2, Informative)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554840)

You can move the database backend to postgres or whatnot, and keep the Access frontend, while you write up a new frontend in PHP or whatever your favorite language is. It's what we're doing, slowly. Of course, some of the databases are jumping directly from obselete Lotus Approach to postgres/PHP, a fine example of the perils of proprietary software lockin.

Re:Doesn't play well with Windows boxes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554849)

access database? wow

do any of them really know how to use windows anyways.

they know how to do a few individual tasks and thats all.

they dont need to know more. they can also be easily converted to the new way.

btw it was fricking joke. get a sense of humor.oh wait, you run access

Re:Doesn't play well with Windows boxes? (3, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554784)

Honestly, I don't see this as a joke. Linux, or any OS, should be evaluated by how well it does on its own merits. Complaining that it doesn't work well with Windows is like ... oh, say, evaluating an early automobile and complaining that there's no place to hitch up a horse. The question should be "Is the new technology inherently superior enough to what we've got now to justify changing?", not, "How well does the new technology mimic what we've got now?" And if the answer to the first question is "Yes" -- well, then, tell the carriage makers they're going to have to find a new job.

I now expect to get inundated with responses telling me that I don't understand the real world, that companies have too much invested in their Windows infrastructure to just switch everything over to Linux on a whim, etc. To which I say: bullshit. Lots of people had a great deal invested in the horse-and-carriage infrastructure. Changing over to automobiles required throwing away a lot of existing technology. But the overall benefit was well worth it.

Re:Doesn't play well with Windows boxes? (4, Insightful)

Ruds (86067) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554839)

Apples and oranges. Linux doesn't revolutionize the desktop, as automobiles revolutionized transportation. Linux's big selling point is that it's cheaper than Windows. If it can't interoperate or be used without more training or something of this nature, then the price advantage disappears.

Besides, the automobile took some time before it caught on everywhere--horses were still used for some purposes in WWI, and I'm sure the army wasn't the only one.

Matt

Re:Doesn't play well with Windows boxes? (5, Insightful)

dspyder (563303) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554866)

Complaining that it doesn't work well with Windows is like ... oh, say, evaluating an early automobile and complaining that there's no place to hitch up a horse

Actually a better comparison would be evaluating a car and saying it doesn't fit on the existing roads. That is a legitimate complaint when you have years and dollars tied up into your existing highway infrastructure. New technology won't be adapted unless there's no significant barrier.

Nobody is going to design a new road just to be able to run Linux... especially not in the beginning stages.

--D

Re:Doesn't play well with Windows boxes? (5, Interesting)

General Fault (689426) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554797)

I love Linux! That said, I have always found the mentioned problem to be a major stumbling block. I admit that I am not a huge Linux guru, but I am a software engineer, and can figure out what I need most of the time. Still, it is never "seamless" to connect my Linux boxes to a windows network. Your solution of "getting rid of all of the Windows machines" is not very practical (and I suspect that you know it, but were being humorous). I have 1 Linux box at work on a huge (500+) machine network dominated by Windows. This is normal. Many companies that develop for Windows have employees that like Linux and try to get it shoved in the company structure once in a while. This is a big problem when I need to devote significant resources to getting the Linux box all set up. I can plug a Windows machine into a windows network and without hardly any effort, that machine is happily communicating with the rest of the network. To get a Linux box on that same network, I need to install SAMBA, configure the .conf file, run some command line utils to join the domain, configure PAM, get the init files working.... it goes on! I know that the real solution (and the beauty of Open Source) is for me to "use the force, read write some source". And for me and the rest of the community, the problem is fixed! The trouble is as always finding time to commit to such a large project.

Windows is NOT ready for the desktop (4, Funny)

Rares Marian (83629) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554837)

Doesn't play well with Linux boxes.

Linux is missing integration, ironing out and... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554685)

interoperability between its DEs. I think that says a lot here:
http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=3064 [osnews.com]

Re:Linux is missing integration, ironing out and.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554763)

Thankfully, freedesktop.org is working on this direction, but their work is not done yet, it is years before completion.

Compatibility (1, Troll)

mrpuffypants (444598) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554688)

Forgive me for being so terribly blunt here, but if there major problem is compatibility with Windows networks then get rid of windows networks!

Re:Compatibility (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554692)

Why not get rid of linux.

Re:Compatibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554745)

It's funnier watching the granparent commenter shoot his company in the foot.

Re:Compatibility (2, Insightful)

Magic Thread (692357) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554743)

That's what I thought at first too, but the review begins by saying:

Can you use a Linux system successfully in a Windows-dominated environment? That's what SuSE's Linux Desktop is designed to facilitate.
In other words, SLD is intended specifically for being compatible with Windows networks.

I do object to the "maybe Linux isn't quite ready for the desktop after all" comment in the /. summary. If you use it in an environment that isn't Windows-dominated, the most major problems the review mentions will be eliminated.

Re:Compatibility (1)

mrpuffypants (444598) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554799)

basically you either get the problems introduced by using a Linux box mixed in with Windows PC's or you get the headache that comes with changing everything on the desktop over to Linux.

Verdict: (0, Deadlock)

...an environment not Windows-dominated? (5, Insightful)

vidstudent (674763) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554820)

I kinda wish that existed.


Microsoft, as much as I hate them, is everywhere. The agressive approach to converting people to Linux - forcing them onto Linux computers - isn't going to work all that well. People need to get over their fears of the alien OS, and, to do that, we need to co-exist, side-by-side, until that fateful moment when the M$ system crashes and we're the only one left running.


Seriously, Linux needs to be there in front of the common end-users' eyes for a while for them to start wanting to use it. That means Linux has to be able to work in Windows environments, and it will be graded based on how well it works with other Windows machines and server setups.

MODERATORS??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554843)

How the hell is this 0, Troll, while pretty much the EXACT SAME THING above is 4, Funny?? Moderators are the worst thing to happen to /. since the internet was born.

Not all that bad... (5, Insightful)

26199 (577806) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554690)

The review is pretty positive, really. They admitted they were testing the most difficult situation -- non-technical people using Linux in a Windows environment -- and were impressed on many counts.

The fact is it's probably never going to be possible to switch operating systems without some minor glitches... switching will always cost money and time, so there's got to be a good reason to do so...

Re:Not all that bad... (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554827)

Besides having a good reason to switch, it really helps if you have motivated users.

Other boxen (3, Interesting)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554694)

So, does it work well with OS X better than Windows on the network? I should hope so. It's kinda funny. If there's zero Windows boxen on the network, the OS X and Linux users would probably still have to use Samba. Bummer.

Re:Other boxen (5, Informative)

Scorpion265 (650012) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554721)

Actualy, Linux supports Appletalk, and OS X supports NFS. There really isn't a need for samba in a non windows environment. I also believe there will be support for Rendevous in *nix soon too.

Re:Other boxen (4, Interesting)

curtlewis (662976) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554794)

Apple doesnt' even really use AppleTalk anymore. It uses AFP over TPC, which is the AppleTalk Filing Protocol over TCP.

There is minimal support for this on *nix, but good luck getting it configured and working well.

*nix really needs some kind of GUI client for AFP/TCP much like the Go To Server window in OS X. That is, something that scans the LAN for servers as well as allows direct IP entry of the server if you know it.

NFS sure is convenient but it's a security nightmare and no sysadmin worth his pay will let you set up and use NFS on a network.

I'm no Windows fan, but let's face it, getting rid of the Windows boxes/network is not an acceptable solution to the majority of the world. Windows is there, running, and working well enough for them to not seriously consider migration at this point or they WOULD be migrating.

So any OS needs to work WITH Windows. Of course, to play fair, Windows should work will WITH others, too. The general demeanor is that SMB networking isn't proprietary. It is, very much so. The only OS that uses it natively is Windows and the only reason someone would want to use it is to work WITH Windows boxes. SMB as a general networking technology sucks. With absolutely no physical changes what is shown in Network Neighborhood varies at the whim of the OS and ... Bill Gates? The box is there, the box is gone? It's online and can be reached by \\servername, but not in the neighborhood? What's up with that?

What we REALLY need is a platform agnostic networking solution that works well, is fast, is reliable and works the same everywhere.

Re:Other boxen (1)

treat (84622) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554852)

NFS sure is convenient but it's a security nightmare and no sysadmin worth his pay will let you set up and use NFS on a network.

In the real world, security is not a high priority as long as the environment is secure against a random unmotivated attacker (at least 99.99% of all intrusions). There is no decent (reliable, fast, secure) replacement for NFS. There is no choice but to use it if you need some sort of network file system! What should the sysadmin do, quit in protest?

Re:Other boxen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554862)

Post that in the next Microsoft fileserver bug du jour conversation.

FWIW, the security consultant tagline of late is "most intrusions are internal".

Re:Other boxen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554796)

Except for the fact that SMB, despite its problems, is still a pantload better than either Appletalk or (urgh!) NFS...

Re:Other boxen (1)

dorward (129628) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554844)

While Linux can communicate with a Mac over SMB, it can also speak Appletalk.

http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Net-HOWTO/x2202.html

Hmmmmmm (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554698)

A key problem area was interacting with the corporate Windows network.

No shit! and who's fault is that? If it's a major concern then MSFT customers must insist that Microsoft stick to open standards. What was that key problem area again?

Re:Hmmmmmm (5, Funny)

Ruds (86067) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554810)

Yes, I can see that meeting now:

CUSTOMER: Well, we're having trouble making our new Linux boxes talk to our large installed base of Windows boxes.

MICROSOFT: You don't say.

C: No, really. We'd really like it if you were to make Windows boxes easier to talk to by publishing your heretofore closed standard.

M: So let me get this straight. You want us to make it easier for our competitors to replace us? If we do this, then our market share goes down because the barrier to switching lowers. But if we don't, you'll keep buying Windows because it's cheaper than doing a complete rollover. Let me consider that.

C: Thanks, we'd really appreciate it!

Matt

When will NDS be supported? (4, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554700)

The problem with things like browsing is that MS changes Active directory and the smb protocal quite frequently.

Novell is certainly not dead and has greatly fallen to the fud of NT. NDS and Novell provide the best NOS administration environment period! No lpdad is not an answer because its just a protocal and not a solution.

I use to be a fan of Caldera now SCO because of the promissed Novell integration.

Now lets wait for the next release of netware which is rumoured to have a linux kernel.

Relying on active directory is writing MFC programs and expect to port them to Unix.

From the article... (2, Insightful)

DaBj (168491) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554702)

This was the only stumbling block that prevented us from getting work done, but it is a serious flaw. The quick-moving open source community may soon solve the problem
Considering the age of Samba, shouldn't this have been fixed ages ago?

Then again, it is trying to implement a
Microsoft Proprirety Protocol , and we
all know how well documented (and static) they are...

PPC Linux made me cry (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554704)

I have one of the most common recent macs made (an imac slot loader)

Not one installer has managed to get simple things like graphics, audio, mouse and keyboard drivers to work. first go.

After my last attempt installing Mandrake PPC I was able to fix most of those the same day I installed, but it still sucks.

Mod me down if you like, I just had to vent.

Re:PPC Linux made me cry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554742)

Mod me down if you like

Done, sir. Thank you for your business.

MOD PARENT DOWN. FLAMEBAIT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554753)

Yeah, the subject says it all. Mod parent down.

Re:PPC Linux made me cry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554795)

Your point is interesting when it comes to a certain set of users. Business desktop linux users wouldn't need to worry about installs from scratch or software updates and the like, thats why there are system administrators who have the experience to fix problems like this the instant they happen on no matter what hardware. A single geek by themselves too, is no problem, their very nature makes them able to fix the problem and if they don't know how immediately, how to persevere until a fix is found.

I think some people in the middle really need a good amount of handholding to build linux desktop mass. A person who owns a PC who has a lot of Windows or MacOS using friends, but who has "heard a bit about linux" and wants to try it is going to be very put off. Of course I don't know how good x86 installers for Linux are compared to PPC or other distros when it comes to hardware. You still make a good point that it should be constantly worked on to keep up to date

Silly question, but... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554712)

How does it work the other way round? Is it really a case of Linux not interoperating with Windows networks because of the way Windows is designed, or would it be just as hard to get a single Windows box onto a Linux network?

What I'm saying is: surely the single, lesser box on a network is always at a disadvantage, Macs on Windows, Windows on Macs, Linux on Macs, etc. etc...

Opinions?

Re:Silly question, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554749)

Opinions?

Of my own? Hell no, I'm just a Slashbot.

When will this stuff finally be ironed out? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554714)

When will this stuff finally be ironed out?

Exactly that moment when we see a rapid deployment of Linux in corporate desktops. When large companies start using it, it doesn't matter what software is missing. That 'missing link' software will be developed very quickly.

When will this stuff finally be ironed out?-Starch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554800)

"Exactly that moment when we see a rapid deployment of Linux in corporate desktops. When large companies start using it, it doesn't matter what software is missing. That 'missing link' software will be developed very quickly."

I'm waiting for "Ironing Board 2000" to come out.

It's suppose to help smooth out any wrinkles one may have in deployment.

Re:When will this stuff finally be ironed out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554836)

In addition to the point made above, 'this stuff' will start to be ironed out faster if the people asking the questions decided to help out. It is easy enough to complain, sit back, and do nothing. But on the other hand, if it does not serve you any purpose, there is no need to complain. Unless someone is interested (either personally or financially), I do not see Linux developing as a desktop platform as an important goal.

Not so strange (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554715)

Hi, I'm a Slashbot. Linux isn't the problem, Windows is. So fuck Microsoft, but only when I'm not on my Windows partition playing games. And fuck the MPAA, only when I'm not buying the LOTR DVD. And don't forget to fuck the RIAA, but that's only if I'm not buying music in the stores or online.

~hI~ (-1, Offtopic)

FireHotQuotesTroll (693013) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554718)

I DoNt LiKe U CuZ Ur NiCe
I DoNt LiKe U CuZ Ur PoP
I LiKe U CuZ Ur Da HoTtA ThAtS NoN-StOp

Sounds like..... (5, Insightful)

Nagatzhul (158676) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554719)

It sounds like someone was trying to set up SAMBA without reading the documentation or they were lazy in matching the networks. Having used SAMBA in a mixed SUN and Microsoft environment, it was considered a godsend from both the Windows admins and the UN*X/SUN admins.

Linux readiness (3, Insightful)

$calar (590356) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554720)

Every day I say "when this comes out, Linux will be ready" and then that thing comes out and I find something else to do just that same thing with. The problem is that if we say that coming to the latest advancements of proprietary OSes is all we need, as we have been there many times, then they (proprietary companies) come out with something else. I say Linux will be ready for the desktop when it can outpace the development of its competition. With as many people working on Linux as there is, I think that this shows good promise. I have seen so much in the two years I have used Linux, it is amazing that we have come this far in only two years. In the short term, I think that Linux 2.6 is very important and if you want to know why, then just read some of the articles on 2.6 and that will explain a lot. I think that the freedesktop.org standards need to be fully implemented and now the the linux standard base seems to have eliminated a lot of the RPM incompatibilities, we are on the road to easy software use and installation.

Re: Easy software use and installation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554787)

No!! Then I'll be out of a job you insensitive clod. ;^)

Should have used Lindows (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554722)

(Christ, I'm going to get flamed for this)
I just got my hands on a copy of LindowsOS 4.0 (Thanks eMule) and installed it on my laptop.
Wow.
Coupled with apt (I ain't paying for Click-n-run), it is one hell of an OS.
I mean, a Debian install that just *works*.

Re:Should have used Lindows (2, Interesting)

Nagatzhul (158676) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554768)

Except for the main account being the admin account, I can't argue it. Of course that whole admin issue simply leaves the system pretty vulnerable in the long run. I might recommend it for my mom cause it is easy, but I would never use it myself, except maybe the internet specific box for my kids.

Oh, right, I forgot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554821)

I created a seperate user, I know better ;-)

As much as I like dicking around in Linux, sometimes I just want it to work. Mandrake is pretty good at this, but there's so much bloat.
I guess I could have done a HD Knoppix install, but I just had to check out Lindows. Maybe I'll wipe it in a few days and do a normal Debian install.

Wha..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554729)

That's not a short-coming of Linux! That's a short-coming of Windows, you silly asshats!

As if things would be easier... (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554733)

Have anyone tried intracting with a Linux network using a Windoze box? Now THAT's a challenge.

Re:As if things would be easier... (1)

jafac (1449) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554778)

. . . it's called Cygwin. . .

Re:As if things would be easier... (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554802)

well, that's cheating.

what "normal" office computer user would be able to install that?

Slashdot Trilogy (4, Funny)

borgdows (599861) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554734)

Episode 1 [slashdot.org] : Microsoft is a failure
Episode 2 : Linux is a failure <-- YOU ARE HERE
Episode 3 : SCO is THE failure (soon on /.)

I POST IMG-TIMELINE AND AM A FURRY YIFFY FAGGOT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554805)

nt

Well What Does? (0)

MojoReisen (218327) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554735)

And just how well do Windows desktops "interact with the Corporate Windows network" ?

When will this stuff finally be ironed out? (4, Insightful)

IchBinEinPenguin (589252) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554737)

When the target stops moving.

Which will be roughly about the same time Bovines achieve lunar orbit.

When? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554740)

In a word. Never.

Windows is constantly evolving and moving forward. Linux is not now nor has it ever been able to keep up. The gap is ever widening. When Longhorn is released, the gap will double in size over night.

A lot of sour-grapers claim that this is MS protecting their monopoly, but the fact is, MS is not going to be stifled because Linux does not have the workforce or the focus to keep pace.

If a large enough company with enough money and programmers could take all of Linux and transform it in to their own product, it might have hope. But the GPL almost prevents the possibility of that ever happeneing. Said company would need to make back the money it spend in development and if the next 2 man group down the road comes along and takes it all and sells for pennies (becayse THEY didn't DO anything and yet are under the GPL entitled to everything they didn't do) well end of that idea.

If IBM actually took over Linux in it's entirety it might have a chance, but unfortunately IBM has a history of dropping the ball on things like that.

So no, Linux will continue to struggle, until there is some REAL progress in controlling it's direction and development as an ENTIRE package at once.

(And, no, Red Hat is not even CLOSE to the magnitude of what I am proposing will be needed)

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554754)

Did someone say gap [goatse.cx] !?

Re:When? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554786)

What's funny is that people seem to think that MS is the ONLY person that can possibly make any software that makes a WIndows network interoperable with UNIX. In fact there are many MANY third party tools that allow this to happen, why does MS itself need to do /everything/?

Re:When? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554789)

FULLY agreed. The Linux devs don't have the universal focus, neither they agree into things. Standards are good (e.g. freedesktop.org) but only when people are using them.

MS will continue to evolve fast, Gates said recently that some 5 billion will go into R&D. And Red Hat and linux DEs will continue the struggle to keep up.

the real problem is... (4, Insightful)

73939133 (676561) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554741)

and found it wanting. A key problem area was interacting with the corporate Windows network.

Well, actually the real problem is that Windows server software is wanting: it fails to conform to standard protocols and formats. If Windows server software was built from the ground up around IMAP, XML, HTML, HTTP, WebDAV, and other such protocols, then Linux desktops and Mac desktops would work well with it. While Windows currently nominally supports many of those protocols and formats, they are second class compared to Microsoft's proprietary protocols.

What's the solution? Get rid of the Windows servers. That also lowers licensing, administrative, and maintenance costs. And Windows clients can talk fairly well to Linux servers running open source software.

Re:the real problem is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554853)

Actually, the key technology for Microsoft's server software *is* an open standard -- DCE RPC.

However, there is no open source implementation, but that doesn't make it any less of a standard. (A greater question is if one even wants DCE RPC for anything other than interoperability.)

Well, duh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554752)

Linux doesnt even have the "Stability" argument going for it anymore. The thing goes down more than a 2 dollar whore!

No kidding... (1, Insightful)

donnz (135658) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554757)

After a challenging start, the system generally performed so well that it was easy to forget the underlying technology being used.

Let's see, after 20 years rolling out IT solutions I can apply that statement to how many successful projects...oh, that's right 100%.

Haveing RTFA I can't see how they arrive at this conclusion...

However, the problems we did come across (particularly the apparent limitations of Samba), and the amount of tinkering required to solve them, raised serious doubts about recommending Linux for widespread office use just yet.

Quite bizarre.

knoppix still pretty good. (1)

Comsn (686413) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554759)

i think knoppix has filled a hole where windows is missing... all of your settings and whatnot on a cd that can be used on any computer within a matter of minutes.

Using Slackware 9 ... (1)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554760)

Well, Im not using what one would call "made for the desktop" Linux distro's, but I am using GNU tools, Linux Kernel 2.4.21, XFree86, and KDE as my desktop PC. And, my opinion is that we have a bit of a way to go before Linux is really ready for the desktop. There are certain quirks that continually bother me, like when programs are loading, the KDE bar will freeze until the application is totally loaded. This is a royal pain in the ass since it limits my ability to switch between applications, especially when loading OpenOffice.org.

On the bright side, I havn't paid Microsoft a cent, and programming a game under Linux has brought SDL to light (before then, I was just using DirectDraw). OpenOffice.org has been very helpful, although somewhat lacking in the UI department. WINE has come along nicley, although I would like to see more DirectX support in the main branch, not just in WineX.

--LordKaT

Investing in user training. (1)

argan0n (684665) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554761)

When will this stuff finally be ironed out?

When companies get off of their butts and realize that they must invest in good IT admins and actually expect to have to train their employees to use computers correctly. To many firms that I've worked for somehow expect the software to magically solve all the problems and that somehow all the employees are (by this same magic) supposed to be proficient.

Computers and software are Tools fer gods sakes, not magic wands, and it takes a measure of skill to operate and maintain them.

Re:Investing in user training. (1)

echo (735) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554833)

Hell, even Harry Potter and his friends have to GO TO SCHOOL to learn to use thier magic wands. :)

Re:Investing in user training. (1)

IM6100 (692796) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554847)

So, you're saying 'Don't use Windows. Try this desktop OS instead. Oh, and by the way you'll also need to spend more money on training and administration, because this isn't an OS that any dummy can just use.'

Wow. That's quite a sales pitch.

Linux is the Rolls! (1)

dokebi (624663) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554766)

> if Windows desktop systems are cheaply-made, assembly-line automobiles, more or less well-built, all exactly alike aside from the odd optional leather seat or cup-holder, then Linux can feel more like a hand-built Rolls Royce, using more or less the same parts as another Rolls, but fundamentally an individually-crafted machine.

Since when is Linux Rolls Royce, and Microsoft a Ford? Maybe that means FreeBSD is a Ferrari!

Re:Linux is the Rolls! (1)

malfunct (120790) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554863)

Thing is linux tends to be alot like a hand built Rolls Royce where the creator opted not to include the steering wheel because he felt it impared the cars use and limited people to a single driving paradigm. Instead he recommended you have people sitting by the wheel wells kick the tires left and right as the driver signaled them frantically.

It does however give the driver the option to create his own steering wheel if so desired, but most of the time the steering wheel looks different that anyone elses and works in a unique way so that a driver who gets into someone elses car will crash a few times before they get it right (if they don't give up after the first crash).

Not exactly fair (4, Insightful)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554767)

Try sticking a Windows box in a totally Linux environment, and see how that goes.

No NFS support, broken kerberos support, no NIS support that I know of, no ssh client or server, no X server so no remote apps. Sure, some of these things can be purchased and installed, but most of the windows versions subpar when compared with the real thing.

This study is like putting Michael Jordan on a special olympics basketball team, and then wondering why it didn't make the NBA finals.

Linux is a server, Windows is a desktop (-1, Troll)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554770)

I used Mandrake 9.1 which is a very polished desktop distribution for about 3 months. Then I just got sick of tweaking, I wanted an OS that was a real desktop OS. Needless to say, I went back to Windows XP.

Windows is far from perfect, but it is getting much better on the desktop. Linux with KDE installed is a far cry from what Windows XP offers.

If you want a real open source desktop go hack on OpenBeOS. BeOS was designed to be a desktop OS and this is the project most likely to give you a real open source desktop OS.

Still not quite there... (5, Interesting)

JayBlalock (635935) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554771)

I've been watching Linux for ages, and about once a year or two, I'll get a copy of a distro and give it a shot. This year I actually tried two, which are supposed to be the more user-friendly ones: RedHat and SuSE. While for the first time I managed to quickly set up a Linux desktop environment which did everything I needed, I still found it a bear to work with. RedHat didn't like my soundcard, the forums weren't much help. It took me two weeks to get SuSE to accept nVidia's drivers (because ONE character in ONE source code was off), and then after a week, it decided to stop using the drivers again. Never got Quicktime and most other video formats working. Opera for Linux isn't as good, and I've never cared for Moz. After a couple months of fighting with it, I finally gave up and went back to Windows. It's CLOSE to being desktop-ready, but barely a day went by that I didn't discover something I couldn't automatically do in Linux, and would require a day's tinkering to get working. And this was, as I said, after trying to different distros. Maybe next year... (braces for flames telling him he's stupid and evil)

Re:Still not quite there... (4, Insightful)

ctid (449118) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554818)

This isn't a very meaningful comparison, because you're focusing on installation problems. Try to imagine a world where Linux is installed before you get your PC. That's more like the world of the business desktop where Linux is heading.

Having said that, my Suse 8.2 distro recognizes everything in my box, and I've got more software than I know what to do with. There always seems to be an alternative if I can't get what I want. I've recently had to do a lot of work in Windows, and day after day I find it a major struggle. This is because I've been using Linux at home since 1996 and I don't do very much in Windows. Believe me, Linux on the desktop is more a matter of your current experience. If you're not used to Windows' particular way of doing things, you wouldn't find Linux difficult. But you might if you were required to install it for yourself.

Text Editors (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554775)

How about getting rid of the 37 different text editors and giving me one that WORKS? (You know, doesnt fucking seg fault every few minutes?)

In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554777)

...the corporate Windows machines have trouble interoperating with the GNU/Linux enviroment

Why fight for the desktop (0)

Scorpion265 (650012) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554783)

I've been an avid user of linux for a while now, almost 9 years, slackware 3 was my first distro I used. Why fight for the desktop? Linux will never become a desktop OS. Now if I were redhat/debian/slackware or any distro at all I would be fighting for the midserver range, light webservers, file servers, etc. You won't be able to take the desktop from microsoft, unless they do some major bungling with longhorn. (I personaly am dreading that day.. DCM, blech) Even though I am a Linux user, I am also a windows user, there are just some things that linux can't do.

/.tted. I'M KARMA WHORING! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554790)

ZDNet Review 28 July 2003

To investigate SuSE's Linux Desktop, which is based on the company's Linux Enterprise Server technology, we ran it alongside a number of Windows systems in a 'live' editorial production environment for around two weeks. The idea was to see how well this business-oriented operating system/application software bundle worked for a moderately technical user working in a Windows-dominated world.

We emerged from the process having had some pleasant surprises, but with some reservations too. After a challenging start, the system generally performed so well that it was easy to forget the underlying technology being used. But when problems did crop up, they tended to take some time to solve.

Installation & setup

The first troubles we ran into were in re-installing the software from scratch onto a dual-boot system with Windows XP running on a separate hard drive. This step was needed, according to SuSE, in order to install a feature that had been forgotten in an earlier installation -- the LAN browser. But several attempts to install SuSE Linux Desktop (SLD) failed to result in the appearance of the elusive feature, while other system components mysteriously disappeared, leading to much head-scratching and many further installation attempts. In the end, this seemed to be down to a combination of bad install CDs and a bad CD-ROM drive; the software installed without problems on two other systems.

Once SLD was successfully in place, we faced our next problem: finding a way to communicate on the Yahoo Messenger network used by ZDNet UK. Yahoo supplies a Unix client, but SuSE users must use a package designed for Red Hat's distribution. This does not get on at all well with SuSE's package installation tool, YaST2.

As is often the case in the Linux world, an open-source alternative to the proprietary software is available -- in this case Gaim, a chat client compatible with the messaging networks of AOL, Yahoo and others. Gaim was even included on the SLD setup CDs, allowing YaST2 to add it with a couple of mouse clicks. Unfortunately, the version on the CD was out of date, and a bug kept it from signing onto the Yahoo network.

This is where SuSE's online update feature comes into play. The online update is not designed to install new programs, but if you need a quick upgrade to an existing application, this feature will often be able to provide it, as well as the latest operating system bug fixes and security patches. Access is through a paid support deal with SuSE, which most organisations will have as a matter of course.

In our test, patches were downloaded and installed with a minimum of hassle, although we were instructed to restart a process by typing in a shell command -- something that would scare many users.

Automatic software installation

The online update tool is not guaranteed to have all the latest software, however, and does not completely solve what can still be a major headache for Linux users: installing software. Fortunately there are several alternatives available.

If Windows desktop systems are cheaply-made, assembly-line automobiles, more or less well-built, all exactly alike aside from the odd optional leather seat or cup-holder, then Linux can feel more like a hand-built Rolls Royce, using more or less the same parts as another Rolls, but fundamentally an individually-crafted machine. One of the side-effects of this situation is that an application packaged for one distribution won't necessarily install flawlessly on another, or even on another version of the same distribution -- as we discovered when poking around for a more recent Gaim package to install on SLD.

Applications can generally be found in the form of a package, using a format such as RPM (Red Hat Package Management), which includes all the components needed to make the application run on a particular distribution. However, if no package is available for your particular distribution and version, you may find yourself hunting down those components yourself.

Much of the time, the problem can be avoided by sticking with what's on vendors' CDs, vendors' online updates and ready-made packages. However, in those inevitable cases when you need a piece of software and can't find a ready-to-install version of it, there are third-party installation programs that can deliver a wide range of up-to-date applications and which work across different Linux distributions.

One is Ximian's Red Carpet, usually distributed as part of Ximian Desktop, which offers a Gnome-based interface that standardises the look-and-feel and behaviour of all applications. Red Carpet allows users to select from a list of installable programs, and puts all the other bits the program needs into place as well. This theoretically eliminates the difference between, say, a Red Hat server and a distribution someone has built in their garage out of spare parts.

Another option is the Advanced Package Tool (APT), which originated with the Debian Linux project and has been ported to SuSE. Like Red Carpet, APT looks to an FTP source where a large number of packages are stored, and installs everything a package needs. One notable difference is that you can specify whatever source you like, including one you create yourself, adding another level of flexibility. APT is generally controlled through the command line, but graphical user interfaces such as Synaptic are also available.

SuSE does not officially support APT, but some of the company's engineers help maintain APT repositories -- the project is 'smiled upon', according to a SuSE spokesperson.

It took a bit of searching to find versions of APT and Synaptic for SLD, but setting it up was a matter of installing a couple of packages with YaST2. Synaptic offers a clean and intuitive interface, with a list of applications available for installation or upgrade. To install the latest version of Gaim was a matter of selecting it from a list; everything downloaded and installed in a few seconds, and there were no lingering dependency glitches, as there had been with Yahoo's client. The new version of Gaim had no noticeable glitches and worked in much the same way as Yahoo Messenger.

This way of installing programs is actually far more convenient than the familiar Windows method of finding an installer file, downloading it and running it locally. It is, of course, only possible in the open-source world, where there are no legal barriers to prevent the creation of large, downloadable repositories of free software. Lindows.com offers users an APT-style installation tool called the Click-N-Run Warehouse.

In a large organisation, the administrator will tend to install whatever software is needed by users, but the existence of tools such as YaST2 Online Update, APT and Red Carpet mean that users can do some of the work of updating themselves, if need be.

OpenOffice.org

All the other applications we required were supplied on SLD's five installation CDs, including email client Evolution, the Mozilla browser, a Palm-compatible address book and CrossOver Office, which provides access to Outlook, Excel, Word and other Microsoft applications. As outlined in our original desktop Linux feature, setting up networked printers, handheld computers, CD burners and the like was problem-free.

We decided to install the OpenOffice.org office suite rather than StarOffice, and were surprised at how much better OpenOffice seemed to be -- or, at least, better than the particular version of StarOffice included with SLD. We had previously opted to use Microsoft Word running on CrossOver Office rather than StarOffice, which we found to be clunky and rather buggy. OpenOffice seemed much more stable, launched quickly, and presented an attractive interface. It still doesn't include a macro recorder, but the user experience was such an improvement over StarOffice and Word that we didn't mind the sacrifice.

The only Microsoft software we needed in order to work with the Windows network was Outlook -- and even this could have been eliminated if we had elected to buy the Ximian Connector, which allows Ximian's Evolution to connect to Exchange.

Ease of use

With the machine set up, what was the experience of working with it over an extended period? Surprisingly unremarkable, actually -- which is in itself rather remarkable. Most of the time, it didn't seem to matter that we were using Linux and not Windows, since everything worked more or less in the expected way.

However, over time a few annoying quirks did begin to show up. Individually, they made little impact on productivity, but taken together they made us question just how easy it would be to migrate to Linux desktops en masse.

Most of these quirks were minor. For example, there were difficulties cutting and pasting text to and from Mozilla. This can be seriously frustrating for online editorial staff, whose jobs tend, sadly, to involve lots of cutting and pasting to and from Web browsers. The problem seemed to be solvable by reloading in Mozilla or restarting the browser, but this way madness lies.

We also found the personal information management (PIM) tools flawed, at least when used with a Palm. We could not get KDE's address-book tool to display all the needed fields for some entries. KDE's Palm synchronisation tool worked well, but there was no evident way of editing Palm memo entries -- a significant omission. Of course, in the open-source world nearly anything can be accomplished with enough tinkering, but mainstream business users are unlikely to have the time, inclination or technical ability to tinker.

The only major roadblock we came up against was transferring files to or from the office server over the LAN browser, which runs on a technology called Samba that communicates with Windows networks. Samba had difficulty navigating the way permissions were set up on the network, and was unable to authorise us to read or write files on the server, although we were able to browse the network. After much tinkering, it appeared that the solution would be to change the way the network's permissions were set up -- something many companies would find unacceptable.

This was the only stumbling block that prevented us from getting work done, but it is a serious flaw. The quick-moving open source community may soon solve the problem, but that will not be good enough for companies wishing to install Linux desktops today. It's worth noting that Apple, with its Unix-based Mac OS X, has already implemented a working solution to this problem -- OS X had no trouble browsing the office network and reading and writing files.

Samba acquitted itself better when we tried sharing files. In the file browser, you can right-click any folder and set it as a shared folder. We were able to share files between Linux and Windows desktops using this method. However, this also presented some mysteries: for example, the shared Linux machine was not visible on the network, and could only be found by performing a search.

Conclusions

In a real-world production environment, we found that SuSE Linux Desktop worked surprisingly well, and supplied all the software needed in a typical office. In fact, some of the software was better than its Windows equivalents, such as the XMMS media player, which imitates WinAmp but is somewhat easier to use. In general, we did not find using Linux in a Windows-centric environment to be a handicap, which is saying a lot.

However, the problems we did come across (particularly the apparent limitations of Samba), and the amount of tinkering required to solve them, raised serious doubts about recommending Linux for widespread office use just yet. Matt Broersma Printer friendly version

Networking Aside (1)

borkus (179118) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554792)

It was interesting that one of the problems was running Yahoo messenger. While it seems like a lot of trouble to find the right packages, people go through the same thing when they upgrade Windows - some apps require a different client and others require tweaking. The experience that the writer went through with his PC running SUSE would not be repeated in an organization with decent support staff. The staff would go through the discovery process of finding the best client, then distribute that client to all Linux desktops.

In short, software incompatibilities like that are an issue for one or two users, but less of an issue with a larger user base.

When will they learn.... (4, Insightful)

Usquebaugh (230216) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554803)

companies that is.

You have this wonderful multi user OS and you use it on a single PC, arghhh.

Centralised computing is where most companies should be at, cheap disposable terminals on the desktop and a beast of a server under lock and key.

Linux will rule the enterprise desktop when companies grasp the mainfram had the right network architecture. Until then they're just wasting money.

Re:When will they learn.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554815)

blah blah blah Centralised... blah blah blah enterprise... blah blah blah network architecture...

Modem and internet connection in Linux (0, Troll)

civilengineer (669209) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554804)

I can't do it! I want to use linux for my e-mail and web surfing at home but don't know how to configure my modem. I am sure there will be millions like me. Unless connecting to internet from linux is as easy as doing it from windows, linux won't grow. If linux has to grow on desktop, this is one area they need to make immediate progress on. Also, many ISPs dont support linux. (eg Netzero). Who would want to use an OS that can't get to www these days easily?

I can see how this is a problem (0)

Pinguu (677142) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554812)

A key problem area was interacting with the corporate Windows network
Without the Windows source code I'd imagined it would be extremely difficult coding Linux to interact with the Windows network. I wonder if it's easier to get Lindows to interact with the Windows network than with other distros?

Linux Desktop switching (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554813)

Switching will always cost money and time, so there's got to be possible to switch operating systems. There's got to be fully implemented and now the the linux standard base seems to have eliminated a lot of the RPM incompatibilities,we are on the network? I should hope so. It's kinda funny. If there's zero Windows boxen on the network, the OS X and Linux users would probably still have to use Samba. Bummer. Isn't a need forsamba in a production environment for two weeks, and found it wanting. A key problem area again? The smb protocal does not fail quite frequently. Novellis certainly not dead and has greatly fallen to the fud of NT. NDS and Novell provide the best NOS administration environment period! No lpdad is not an answer because its just a protocal and not a solution. I use to be fully implemented and now use linux, we are on the road to easy software use and installation. on my laptop. Wow. Coupled with apt (I ain'tpaying for Click-n-run), it is "a failure -- YOU ARE HERE network" ? Which will be ready for the desktop after all. After an earlier, very positive evaluation of SuSE Linux Desktop, ZDNet UK has carried out a more in-depth review, running the system in a mixed SUN and Microsoftenvironment, it was considered a godsend from both the Windows admins and the UN*X/SUN admins. All I want is a sales and marketing type company with IT setting the standards. When your sales people have made me a happy. It's a difficult situation -- non-technical people using Linux in a Windows environment -- and were impressed on many counts.

Woh, this review was very positive (3, Insightful)

ACK!! (10229) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554817)

Not sure why the poster got so bunged up over two interoperability criticisms.

The yahoo messenger thing and the outdated version of gaim is a bit of pain in the ass for a newbie but not a sysadmin. Good points all the way around on that one.

The LAN integration thing was interesting. I always end of with minor annoying bits of trouble with Windows networks until I load up LinNeighborhood and set the permissions on smbmnt and smbumount correctly for that app to work. We do this on the developer's desktops. We have tried all the KDE and gnome browsing tools and all that stuff. No go. Only LinNeighborhood really fit the bill.

Ok, what Windows browsing tools do you use?

I am using the samba browsing tool with Nautilus on Ximian Desktop2 as a try-out but I am already feeling the itch to get LinNeighborhood back.

What about you?

Biggest obstacles in my office: (1)

deano (23308) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554819)

After much experimentation and testing over the years, I've found the following are always the hardest bits:

1) GUI Internationalization issues.

Sure, you can web browse multi-lingually in Linux, but just try* to set up a machine to support multiple input methods. More recent distros are very* close to getting it right, but I still experience the "if you want to input in Japanese and English, you have to have your menus/interface in Japanese" issue.

2) International file formats.

This is mostly related to MS Office... but, I haven't yet found a Mac/Linux Office product that could properly read/format/write to Japanese Excel documents.

3) Minute aspects of everyday app use.

Okay, great. I can open any Powerpoint doc in OpenOffice. But, nearly everything comes up as a 'flattened' slide, with the internal text/boxes/images wholly unmodifiable. How am I supposed to collaborate with a Windows user on a Powerpoint presentation when I can't go in and fix all their mistakes? ;)

Basically, from what I can tell, Desktop Linux has arrived in terms of ease of setup/use, communicating and filesharing over a network, printing, etc... But, there are still too many gotchas for it to go over in an established office environment.

I'd love to see out of the box, GUI-based remote client administration for desktop linux... Something along the lines of Apple Remote Desktop.

Wrong target! (3, Funny)

Montreal Geek (620791) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554822)

Regardless of the relative merit of the various OSes from Microsoft, it's about time that reviewers stop equating "ready for desktop use" with "works like Windows".

Just imagine the result if, say, movies were judged on how close they are to the common denominator!

- Well, Gene, Schindler's List was tought provoking and great storytelling. Thumbs down.

- I agree, it's not worth seeing unless they edit it to add at least a gratuitous sex scenes that doesn't advance the plot. A few random car chases wouldn't have hurt either. Two thumbs down.

Feh!

If the only "problems" left with a Linux distribution are that "it doesn't do X like Windows" or "it doesn't interoperate with X of Windows" then it may be time to take a long, hard look at Windows.

-- MG

Ease of Use (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6554842)

Put the default installation in front of your grandma. If she can't download and install software, it is too complex. This means no command line BS. Double-clicking an icon should run an installation wizard.

Even the CS majors at my university(who have always used windows) have trouble using Linux, what does that tell you about ease of use?

PDAJames ==~ bagdad bob (0, Offtopic)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554846)

I have to laugh at the fact that PDAJames rips it in his comments on ZDNet's site and at slashdot, even though the reviewer themselves seem to like it.

Windows as a Moving Target (1)

tillemetry (223556) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554850)

M$ needs windows to be a moving target.
Otherwise they can't charge for periodic upgrades.
Whether corporate America can be convinced they don't need Microsoft is a good question.

Whether some IT organizations can be convinced they don't need Microsoft to be a moving target is also an interesting question. Many IT people seem to believe a moving M$ means job security, and advise their bosses accordingly.

"When will this stuff finally be ironed out?" (2, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554854)

Well, Mr PDAJames, maybe you could start by telling use what you've done to help iron it out.

What good is Open Source if you do is wait for others to fix things?

Failure? (1, Redundant)

Arandir (19206) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554865)

The title of this Slashdot article is "The Failures of Desktop Linux". Yet this is NOT a failure of desktop Linux, but rather a problem "interacting with the corporate Windows network".

Big difference!

I'm not using Linux in a corporate environment, but I am using FreeBSD, which has exactly the same "desktop" software. It interacts with the mandated corporate Windows network just fine. There are some problems, but nothing that couldn't be easily fixed on the IT side of things.

For example, I can't use Outlook Calendar, and sometimes I need to schedule meetings. I can't use Korganizer or Ximian Connector, because they require the Outlook servers to turn on WebDAV. But all it would take for it to work would be for IT to click one single checkbox in the server configuration screen. This is by far the biggest pain I have, but it's one trivially solved if IT wanted it solved.

There is some minor problems with MSWord documents, particularly those with tables and form elements. But in the two years I've used FreeBSD at work, I've never had to boot into Windows to open a Word document. In fact, the ONLY time I boot into Windows is to run Outlook Calendar, and play Quicktime LOTR trailers...

If there are problems interacting with the corporate Windows environment, then blame the environment, and not Linux, BSD, Apple, or anyone else. Saying Linux is a failure on the desktop because it isn't a Microsoft product is like saying the Dodge Neon is a failure as an automobile because it doesn't use Ford Taurus parts.
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