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China Looks To Linux As Windows Alternative

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the going-for-a-billion dept.

China 222

Bismillah (993337) writes "Once again, after the Red Flag Linux effort that petered out this year, China is considering Linux to sort out its pressing Windows XP issue. The Windows 8 ban by China's government procurement agency and promises of official support may help."

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Finally! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47101765)

2014, the year of the Linux desktop!

Wait ... what's a desktop?

Re:Finally! (5, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 5 months ago | (#47101829)

A desktop is that thing you put your tablet on when you don't use it.

Re:Finally! (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 5 months ago | (#47102491)

A tablet is the thing I use to level my desk.

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47101849)

Nope they'll still use pirated Windows.

Re:Finally! (0)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 5 months ago | (#47101861)

Wait ... what's a desktop?

Re:Finally! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47101921)

The desktop is where you fill out your unemployment benefits claim as the West loses more jobs...

Re:Finally! (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 5 months ago | (#47102007)

That was point I made a while back.
Linux for the desktop will only take over, after the desktop usage has declined out of the hands of average user.

The days of the Personal Computer is gone, the Desktop is now a serious Business workstation, reserved for the likes of Engineers, Programmers, Architects, and Finance. Where you need to do a fair amount of processing, isolated from a server so you don't need to share.

Not the end of the Desktop, but a cut in its usages and move towards more serious jobs.

This trend is similar to the Mainframe. Desktop PCs and Desktop based servers took over a large chunk of the Mainframe, Mainframe operators touted simular arguments about how you need a Mainframe for real work and these PC are just toys for kids. However over time as the PC got more powerful, it proven itself to be a good replacement for most of the tasks.
The Mainframe is still around, and it has been relegated to very particular type of work. The same thing will Happen to the Desktop, and in probably 20 year the same thing will happen to mobile devices.

Re:Finally! (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102041)

Where you need to do a fair amount of processing, isolated from a server so you don't need to share.

Or just where convenience of typing is more important than mobility. So, basically any office job.

Re:Finally! (4, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 5 months ago | (#47102105)

The days of the Personal Computer is gone, the Desktop is now a serious Business workstation, reserved for the likes of Engineers, Programmers, Architects, and Finance. Where you need to do a fair amount of processing, isolated from a server so you don't need to share.

No, we still have the days of the PC.

The difference is, we don't need one PC per family member anymore. One PC per family would satisfy most families around - techies will probably go with one PC per adult.

And we're seeing it where PCs are basically stagnating, sitting in the corner unused while tablets and smartphones serve as the daily use model for most people. For the odd task that they don't satisfy, the PC is there.

But I don't see the PC fading like the mainframe. First, mainframes were relegated to special data centers and owned by a few. Whereas most families (at least the ones that matter) have 2 or more PCs - one for mom, one for dad, one for the kids, etc. And that model will change to probably one for everyone to use when they need it - e.g., school work.

The PC still has its uses, but the need for everyone to have their own "personal" one over sharing one has dropped significantly.

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102265)

Single board computers are the future of the home computer(PC) market...:

intel inside the link! :-)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_single_board_computers

Re:Finally! (4, Interesting)

mlts (1038732) | about 5 months ago | (#47102379)

The "desktop PC" is sort of morphing into a server or a media hub. It won't go away because tablets, e-readers, and smartphones are great media consumption devices, but for media production, there isn't anything that is going to replace the role of a decent monitor, large desktop hard drive, keyboard, and pointing device. It might be a tablet in a dock, but the role of a desktop in a home isn't going to vanish anytime soon.

Re:Finally! (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 5 months ago | (#47102623)

Well the "media hub" (or similar) will become less of a PC and more of a device - closed off and in a shiny case. Accessed over your tablet in a nice web 3.0 interface. Same for games - on your console. PCs will become a niche thing, maybe kept alive as gaming rigs or enthusiast machines in the corner, but otherwise banished from the homes of "ordinary" people.

The server can go too, replaced with cloud storage or processing. Why do you think all the big players are giving you Office in the cloud (ok, apart from the regular revenue). Its because they see people using these traditional desktop softwares used over the network, if not on a tablet then on a keyboard and mouse plugged into the same tablet. (or look at the Surface, docking station = desktop).

The desktop will go, replaced with a on-demand processing in a datacentre somewhere.

Re:Finally! (3, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | about 5 months ago | (#47102697)

That is true... however, in the US, Canada, and other places, bandwidth isn't increasing, but fees are, so having everything in the cloud can get very pricy. This is why the LAN/WAN model will probably be around for a while. LAN-wise, having a machine have the role of the desktop and the server. With the current climate of ever decreasing data caps, it may end up pricy enough for even "landline" service that one is just better of not using any cloud services whatsoever and having the backups and such handled by a device on the LAN with removable hard disks or a tape drive.

I can see one device taking up multiple roles. For example, a MS Surface can function as a tablet, a server (when docked and some drives attached), and a desktop (when docked or used with a Bluetooth keyboard.) However, until WAN bandwidth becomes inexpensive, the role of a server on the LAN may not go away anytime soon.

Re:Finally! (2)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#47102479)

One PC per family would satisfy most families around

Unless multiple kids need to type up homework. Or would most families have multiple tablets each with a Bluetooth keyboard?

Re:Finally! (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 5 months ago | (#47102813)

You didn't mention the workplace either, which is where the majority of us still use PCs. I don't see tablets taking over the roles of PCs for many of us that use them daily in our work.

Tablets are fine for small stuff, but for work? In my opinion the screens are too small, and typing on them is horrible, wireless is slower than hard wire and less secure, and storage is much smaller than an internal HDD/SDD. Obviously you can buy extra devices for your tablet to give it most of those things, but you are not saving anything when doing so.

Sales guys may benefit from some of the tablets assuming they can lug around the extras. Most of us at a desk are better with a docked laptop or desktop still.

Re:Finally! (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 months ago | (#47102239)

The computing unit will only grow smaller and smaller, to the point where the form factor is dominated by the interface but no smartphone will give you a huge screen, full size keyboard or beat a person with a mouse in an FPS. I do expect that at some point you just come home and your smartphone hooks up to your TV/monitor via MHL, your bluetooth keyboard/mouse and the phone drives your "desktop". I mean a quad core 2GHz ARM processor, 2GB RAM, 32+128GB storage with microSD... specs from a recent high end phone, it would have been a decent desktop not so long ago. And docked it's only heat limited, not battery limited so you could probably make it not just a dock but heat sink/fan/extra processing power combo too.

Re:Finally! (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 5 months ago | (#47102407)

growing smaller and smaller...

But what you just described is how MS envisions the Surface being used.

Re:Finally! (1)

riis138 (3020505) | about 5 months ago | (#47102263)

Don't forget gamers/enthusiasts. The amount of money that this segment pumps into the desktop/laptop market is astronomical.

Re:Finally! (3, Interesting)

mlts (1038732) | about 5 months ago | (#47102271)

Linux as a desktop instead of Windows can bring some advantages. However, China has some problems to be solved:

1: Windows has one big advantage -- Active Directory and GPOs. It is relatively easy to manage tens of thousands of desktops with the tools provided. Yes, one can use Puppet, Chef, etc... but Windows's GPO provisioning is still ahead and the expertise is available almost anywhere to deploy this.

2: F/OSS alternatives to AD and Exchange that are scalable. This means a mail server that probably sits on top of PostgreSQL or MariaDB and uses that for its main mailbox engine, with full replication, hub/edge nodes, the ability to send out SMTP externally, but keep things in the DB internally, backups, restores, different mailbox replicas in different geographic locations, etc. Exchange handles so much communication, and is pretty much the only game in town for large scale messaging except for Notes. Google Apps doesn't count in this instance.

3: An easy mechanism to push out patches, check logs, ensure policies are set, healthchecks, etc. Again, standard fare in the Microsoft world, but not often used on the UNIX side. Similar to #1. There are tools for this, but Windows has all of this built in.

4: Better/universal file sharing permissions. All UNIX variants have additions past user/group/other, but there will need to be better UI tools to allow a group in one domain access, but disallow people in another domain access (due to separation of duty), and have that go down the directory structure. Again, doable, not not as seamless as in Windows.

5: File-based cryptography. We have BitLocker and such, but UNIX doesn't really have a file-level encryption protocol like EFS that encrypts on a user/file granularity. One can use CFS/EncFS and mount directories, or TrueCrypt and mount volumes, but there isn't anything that one can select a file, encrypt it, and have it only accessible to a set of users/groups in AD/LDAP.

6: Enterprise level recoverability. LUKS is a good encryption protocol, but part of a large scale desktop need is being able to store recovery keys, similar to how BitLocker keys are stashed in AD. This isn't impossible, but would need some programming to do on a large scale.

None of these are major hurdles, but because UNIX tends to be a server or appliance OS, there hasn't been as much a focus on a desktop infrastructure compared to the Windows ecosystem, since the NIS/NIS+ days at Sun.

In a way, I hope China can solve these problems, as it would mean some action in the desktop arena, a place that has been stagnant for decades now.

Ubuntu for smartphones looks good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102401)

The version of Ubuntu Linux for smartphones looks good: http://www.ubuntu.com/phone

At this point it seems like the holy grail of Smartphone/tablet computing is having a tablet/smartphone that can dock and have a graphic chip good enough to power a higher resolution monitor as well as an OS that can make the switch. Although the current 1080p isn't too bad for most desktop type use.

Re:Finally! (2)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 5 months ago | (#47102403)

If you lump laptops and desktops together, I don't think it's time to say those days are 'over'. It's just when:

the hardware you can get for 400 dollars at Walmart is relevant for running 99% of all the applications the average user wants
the hardware you can get for $900 dollars can pretty much run the next 4-5 years worth of games at pretty much maximum resolution and quality
There is virtually no incentive to upgrade.

Compare this to the late 90's and early 2000's Year on year the performance gains of GPU's and CPU's was pretty much exponential. A computer could very much be outdated within a year.

N=1 example, my family bought a 486/66 with 8 megs of ram in 1995. By 1998 we upgraded to a Pentium 233 (MMX? fuzzy on the exact specs) with 32MB of ram, and some kind of Riva video card. Nowadays a 3 year old computer could likely play just about any game you throw at it, and the latest OS.

People (and especially businesses) are not buying new PC's because they don't need to upgrade.

Re:Finally! (5, Insightful)

dannys42 (61725) | about 5 months ago | (#47102539)

This is also why the GNOME's insistence on designing for (what I call) "the mythical grandmother" was always flawed.

Re:Finally! (2)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 5 months ago | (#47102011)

My fortune cookie says Year of the Penguin, biiiiitch!

Re:Finally! (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 5 months ago | (#47102583)

My fortune cookie says Year of the Penguin, biiiiitch!

Fortune cookies are American, not Chinese. Since they were first made in California, they have spread to other countries, but not to China. Most Chinese have never seen one, or even heard of them.

This is similar to the situation with Cinco de Mayo, which most Americans consider a Mexican holiday. But the celebration on that date originated in the United States, it is still primarily celebrated in the US, and most Mexicans have never heard of either the celebration or the obscure historical event being celebrated.

Wha Hap To Red Lunix? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47101807)

Figered the chinaez wudad this alredy?

Good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47101831)

This shouldn't affect Microsoft's bottom line much because 99% of all MS Software in China is pirated.

Re:Good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47101845)

Or hasn't updated since 2002.

Re:Good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47101883)

But if China is successful in its quest to tame Linux, other govts might consider it as well. You know, by putting money into govt-funded Linux/other FOSS programmers you can potentially steer the software in the way you need in the term of support, functions (or they absence), security, spying, propaganda and etc.

Re:Good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47101905)

You do realize that the citizens of China could give fuck all of what OS the government uses, right?

Re:Good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47101967)

You realize that in China most corporations are government-funded and probably will be forced to use Linux if government says so, which means millions of people will be exposed to it in their workplaces (oh, gosh, I hope it isn't contaminating)?

Re:Good for them (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 5 months ago | (#47102157)

You realize, that I said the same thing ten years ago when they announced Red Flag Linux, right?

Re:Good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102285)

Which will mean fuck all when their home computer comes with pirated Windows. People are not going to switch OSes because they use it at work.

Re:Good for them (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 5 months ago | (#47102723)

You realize that in China most corporations are government-funded

Only about 3% of companies are SOEs (state owned enterprises), and that number is declining. The SOEs tend to be big rust-belt companies, such as steel mills, and shipyards, that use relatively few computers per employee, compared to the private companies in the tech and service sectors.

not quite (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 5 months ago | (#47101969)

Considering that XP is pirated in China to a significant percentage less than 99%, you're missing that if everybody is using Linux nobody is going to be buying MS anything at all. Effectively total market lockout. Which can affect the NSA as well.

Truthfully, this probably won't affect anything.

Re:not quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47101999)

You're right. In China, XP piracy is way down ever since Windows 7 was released.

Poor Linus.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47101869)

Torvalds raging at Asian kernel patches in 3.. 2.. 1..

Re:Poor Linus.. (0)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 5 months ago | (#47101965)

No mod points, otherwise +1 Funny.

Good. (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | about 5 months ago | (#47101885)

Good. They should be considering Linux. We all should be.

Re: Good. (-1)

cjjjer (530715) | about 5 months ago | (#47101901)

The problem is it is unlikely that their version will ever be useful outside of China and it's not like they will be honoring the GPL at all.

Re: Good. (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47101917)

Chinux?

Re: Good. (2)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about 5 months ago | (#47102005)

Rinux?

Re: Good. (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 5 months ago | (#47102435)

Considering even the most culturally illiterate westerners have heard of Bruce Lee, Jet Li, and probably Chun-Li, I have no idea where the notion that the Chinese can't pronounce 'L' came from.

Oh wait, yes I do. [youtu.be]

Damn you, Jean Shepherd.

Re: Good. (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 5 months ago | (#47102667)

Rinux?

The R/L confusion is Japanese, not Chinese. In Chinese, R and L are distinct, but some of them have problems with phonemes that don't occur in Chinese, such as "th" and "v". Of course, most native English speakers also mangle Chinese when first learning to speak it.

Re: Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47101987)

The problem is it is unlikely that their version will ever be useful outside of China and it's not like they will be honoring the GPL at all.

The first part doesn't matter all that much, and even the second not so much - if you add a few hundred million Chinese users, and only a few of them develop some universally useful GPL'd software, or contribute back to the kernel, it's still a net win.

And over time they will likely discover that it's easier to give back to upstream than to maintain a fork.

Re: Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102063)

The question is though, would the main kernel accept changes from the Chinese government? There's no way they wouldn't try to hide some backdoors and/or other surveillance mechanisms in the code, especially if this is something they're going to be using on a government level.

Re: Good. (1)

ilparatzo (3627897) | about 5 months ago | (#47102065)

"if you add a few hundred million Chinese users, and only a few of them develop some universally useful GPL'd software, or contribute back to the kernel, it's still a net win" And if a few of them also decide to make a minor modification, close the source and then sell it to a few million of those hundred million for a tidy profit? Still a net win?

Re: Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102237)

Yes, already happening (Cisco, linksys) and is not much of a problem.

Re: Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102001)

it's not like they will be honoring the GPL at all

Right, I bet those monkeys don't even have the hieroglyph for intellectual property. What a pathetic losers, we probably should ban them from using our internetz.

Re: Good. (2)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 5 months ago | (#47102185)

Actually, I doubt it would even work, *unless* they honored the GPL. They need it to work on all sorts of different computers with different devices and what not. There isn't a good way to do that with linux, without providing the source.

Individual small manufacturers can get away with not releasing their source code for their customized version of linux, because it has a small scope and doesn't need to be supported on anything else. This would need to be supported for a long time, on a wide array of devices.

Re: Good. (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | about 5 months ago | (#47102195)

Of course I don't know, but I think it's likely that they will eventually honor the GPL to some extent because of the inherent non-legal punishment for not honoring the GPL: increased maintenance costs.

If I take your code and build my own version, making changes, and then you make substantial improvements to your code, then I'm left with 4 choices:

1) Ditch my changes and use your new code.
2) Go back and re-impliment my old changes on your new code, possibly needing to rewrite my changes to account for changes in your code.
3) Live without the improvements of your new version.
4) Submit my code to your project so that they become part of the parent project, and then I can continue to get updates from you without additional work.

Unless you have some reason to keep your changes secret, option number 4 is actually pretty attractive.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47101909)

Well, if anyone could figure out how to use any relevant software on the platform, there would be a lot of people considering Linux. As it is, it is nothing more than a a toy for geeks. I for one like being able to download the .EXE and just run it - no questions, no problems.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47101985)

Good. They should be considering Linux. We all should be.

(opens door to Linux room and peeks inside)

"GNOME!!!"

"KDE!!!"

"NO, I SAID USE GNOME!!!"

"FUCK YOU, I SAID USE KDE!!!"

(quietly closes door)

And you wonder why we aren't more interested in Linux after listening to this shit for years.

In the meantime, OSX beat the shit out of Linux and went mainstream by making a fucking decision already.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102133)

GNOME

Your Linux room is a time machine as well.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102179)

That ginormous whooshing sound going over your head is you missing the point.

Re:Good. (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 5 months ago | (#47102733)

That would be the point that, if you tell users often and loudly enough, they'll come to believe that choice is somehow bad?

Re:Good. (0)

DogDude (805747) | about 5 months ago | (#47102019)

I did. For about 30 seconds. There is no software that I need available on Linux.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102231)

Virii? I miss them as well.

Re:Good. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#47102241)

A short sighted man thinks "there is no software I use for this". A wise man thinks "can this accomplish the tasks need."

Do you need software, or do you need what the software does?

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102315)

An even wiser person realizes that the time sink of learning new and foreign software rarely pays off in productivity gains. This is why people tend to reject dramatic UI changes.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102297)

I've had Linux as my primary desktop for over 10 years now. It can be done.

Re:Good. (1)

michrech (468134) | about 5 months ago | (#47102541)

Unless, of course, you wish to play games that are Windows only (and don't want to suffer through making Wine work, and then hoping your game actually functions properly in Wine)...

Fix that issue, and you'll start to see more Linux converts.

I've had Linux as my primary desktop for over 10 years now. It can be done.

Didn't I see this on /. last week? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47101907)

Sounds familiar...

os agnostic (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#47101911)

This is dumb. They shouldn't be considering alternatives to a locked in OS. They should getting rid of the entire premise and going OS Agnostic. Then they can switch OS's at will.

Re:os agnostic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47101935)

Do they also ride prancing unicorns in that fantasy land?

Re:os agnostic (1, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | about 5 months ago | (#47101953)

Then they can switch OS's at will.

Why?

Competition Yields the Best Price (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 5 months ago | (#47101925)

The upstarts with lower cost and equal or better OSs will take the customer's business. No surprise. Bundled deals to keep the price up will also fail.

Microsoft has no choice but to lower prices, significantly. That is the real world of competitive business.

Re:Competition Yields the Best Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47101955)

Because you think the Chinese government or its citizens actually pay for Windows? +5 funny.

Re:Competition Yields the Best Price (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102009)

They do. Disks available from street vendors for about $1.

Re:Competition Yields the Best Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102391)

Should have said pay Microsoft for Windows.

Oh China... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47101983)

You think NSA didn't backdoor Linux?

Re:Oh China... (1)

watcher-rv4 (2712547) | about 5 months ago | (#47102119)

China replaced it with it's own.

Time to change the terms of my licensing... (0)

mi (197448) | about 5 months ago | (#47102059)

I currently disallow [algebra.com] usage of my software by people owning Che Guevara T-shirts and other items bearing the scumbag's liking. Perhaps, it is time to make the license more encompassing by prohibiting all Communist-sympathizers...

Re:Time to change the terms of my licensing... (4, Interesting)

KiloByte (825081) | about 5 months ago | (#47102181)

Somehow, Nazis got a press so bad even Wolfenstein won't show a swastika, yet we have hammer&sickle proudly displayed on major government parades, Stalin and Lenin widely worshipped, and so on. It's scary how investing in some propaganda can whitewash even the most murderous ideology in world's history.

Re:Time to change the terms of my licensing... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#47102279)

what ideology is that?
BTW the hammer and sickle predated Lenin.

Re:Time to change the terms of my licensing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102423)

Somehow, Nazis got a press so bad even Wolfenstein won't show a swastika, yet we have hammer&sickle proudly displayed on major government parades, Stalin and Lenin widely worshipped, and so on. It's scary how investing in some propaganda can whitewash even the most murderous ideology in world's history.

That has to do with German laws about swastika display. You either support swastika _and_ non-swastika versions, or use some alternative emblem if yo want to distribute in Germany.

Re:Time to change the terms of my licensing... (3, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | about 5 months ago | (#47102499)

"Somehow?" The difference is: Hitler lost the war and Stalin won it. He was very popular with most of the people he was oppressing during his own lifetime. Political prisoners in Siberia would write letters to him asking for help, sincerely believing that if only he knew what was going on... Not sure what to draw from this, except the idea we were given as kids that Chinese and Russians secretly envy us and can't wait to throw off their shackles are mostly baloney. And that people really love leaders that make them feel strong.

Re:Time to change the terms of my licensing... (2)

farble1670 (803356) | about 5 months ago | (#47102663)

um, what? the hammer & sickle is a labor / union symbol. of course it was used as the symbol of communist USSR, but they hardly have a monopoly on murderous ideology.

Re:Time to change the terms of my licensing... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102743)

It's scary how investing in some propaganda can whitewash even the most murderous ideology in world's history.

Christianity?

Re:Time to change the terms of my licensing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102203)

Your license seems pretty effective at barring anything but personal usage.

Re:Time to change the terms of my licensing... (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 5 months ago | (#47102211)

That's a cute license but it could never be upheld. You can't prove damages from someone owning a shirt. Moreover you have to be a lot more specific about how licenses are responsible for determining whether Che wearing people are using your software.

Re:Time to change the terms of my licensing... (1)

mi (197448) | about 5 months ago | (#47102277)

That's a cute license but it could never be upheld.

It is only meant to raise awareness and let the healing begin. Please, don't hate.

Re:Time to change the terms of my licensing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102433)

Please, don't hate.

From someone hating Che Guevara T-shirts. How ironic.

Re:Time to change the terms of my licensing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102317)

Whew! Good thing you didn't specify prohibiting people with Che Guevara tattoos, or we'd never be able to liberate that software from an imperialist jackal like yourself.

Viva la Revolución!
iViva el Che!

Re:Time to change the terms of my licensing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102349)

I currently disallow [algebra.com] usage of my software by people owning Che Guevara T-shirts and other items bearing the scumbag's liking. Perhaps, it is time to make the license more encompassing by prohibiting all Communist-sympathizers...

I have used your software to generate images of Che Guevara and it does so very well. Thanks!

Re:Time to change the terms of my licensing... (1)

farble1670 (803356) | about 5 months ago | (#47102653)

hello? this is 1980. i want my cold-war rhetoric back. thank you.

Re:Time to change the terms of my licensing... (1)

mi (197448) | about 5 months ago | (#47102773)

Communism is just as evil in 2014 as it was in 1934 or, indeed, in 1980. Thank you.

Not Gonna Happen (3, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | about 5 months ago | (#47102061)

MS will not allow this. Look for them to give China whatever they have to, including a few billion in bribes to keep Linux from becoming the official OS.

Re:Not Gonna Happen (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102481)

Things may be changing. In the past, the right palms greased would allow things to pass, but if nationalism starts taking off, no amount of bribes will overcome having a PRC-owned and maintained OS. Plus, as per previous Slashdot articles, China does have Windows's source code. China does have the ability to make their own edition of Windows if they so chose, so going with a Linux variant isn't the worst of all possibilities.

In fact, if multiple groups look at the OS to make sure there are no unexpected surprises, it might become the "lingua franca" of the desktop/server OS world, similar to how Android has ended up the de facto OS in the embedded arena on a number of fronts.

An internal, well-vetted, tested, and certified OS that is open source? Sounds like a winner, especially if it came with scalable AD, Exchange, SQL Server substitutes.

Re:Not Gonna Happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102673)

According to the article, the Chinese suspects foul play (Or atleast want it to look so), might be difficult to bribe your way out of this one.

On the other hand, the Red Flag failure indicates that it might not be quite as easy as the politicians wants it to be.

Why worry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102161)

They can just use the POS registry hack [slashdot.org] to get support. ;-)

China might be smart moving to Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102215)

Given the fact the NSA is in everybody's business these days. From Google, Microsoft and Apple. I think China moving to Linux might be a way to avoid the nasty spying of the NSA and its American partners. Yes, I truly believe the big tech companies are in bed with the NSA. Does this mean Linux is going to take over desktops and laptops? I highly doubt it. But given the fact some of America's companies are still using XP like Cummins diesel technology which I happened to notice the other day. Only makes me wonder how easy it probably is to steal American technology from companies like Cummins who still cling to Windows XP.
It boggles my mind how America that once was the technology giant of the World has companies who still today use XP. We have no reason or right to laugh at China when our pathetic industries are just as bad or maybe worse about adopting new computer technology. At least China might be thinking since Linux is free and that China could develop its own national distribution of Linux that it could be a good way to stay current with a OS. While the US is still working to spy on all its citizens, China is looking at disconnecting to some extent from the mercy of the Microsoft's, Google's and Apple's of the world.

No ban on Win7 and MS just extended sales to China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102225)

And Lucy pulls the football away again. http://www.theverge.com/2014/5/21/5737366/china-bans-windows-8-from-government-computers-over-security-concerns

You can't cheat the laws of thermodynamics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102305)

The desktop will never go away for a handful of very simple reasons.

The desktop has a power and thermal budget that is virtually unlimited, when compared to mobile devices.
Because of the above the desktop PC can have orders of magnitude more computing power AND be less expensive at the same time.
The desktop PC beats all other platforms for work ergonomics.
The desktop PC has the most screen real estate, and can be easily expanded for multiple monitors. (This is a huge productivity booster)

Why doesn't China pump some money into ReactOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102311)

The way I see this, it seems the better solution would be for China to throw a few million dollars at the ReactOS development team.

At the very least, I would be contacting the ReactOS lead developer 'Alex Ionescu' and sit down with him and talk about China's requirements and listen to what Alex has to say; he is a guru on the workings of the Windows operating system; he can give you (China) great advice.

There is a good chance that Alex might say something to China along these lines:
"...We are not far away from totally reverse engineering the Windows operating system functionality ....If you offer us 'X million dollars' in support and supply us with 'X amount' of your own skilled software engineers, then we can achieve this goal very soon.....what you (China) get in return is a fully open source operating system which will natively run Windows software....the other benefit you (China) get from this is that ReactOS allows your IT Engineers and Security Experts to reverse engineer and study the workings of proprietary closed-source Windows software to a much greater detail, thus giving you the ability to root out back-doors and other hidden 'goodies' buried in the software coming from the West."

Yes, if I was China I would do the above first, before thinking about a Linux solution (which is good too mind you, but not quite now).

Deja Vu (3, Interesting)

ikhider (2837593) | about 5 months ago | (#47102381)

I thought this was a Slashdot story from years ago when China was supposed to ditch Windows...so here we are again and China still has no viable homegrown distro. I thought years ago they phased out Windows and used GNU/Linux. Not so. I know a Chinese insider who tells me that the Government handed out bales of cash to develop a GNU/Linux distro of their own and all Red Flag Linux is, is Fedora with a some Catonese/Mandarin. It was a scam of public funds. They really did not develop their own GNU/Linux distro properly. was interested because, in a racist way, I thought--wow, Asians doing GNU/Linux, it must be AWESOME and kick the other distro's ass. Asians are hard working and fastidious and the distro will intall without a hitch and it will be great. Not really. One of the issues with investing in China when it comes to business are corrupt officials and lack of accountability. In China, you pay off the right people, you do what you want--until you get caught and are made an example of for the press. Linus Torvalds mentioned something about how GNU/Linux could not really come out of places like India and China as the peole are far too concerned about trying to survive, and Linux is something that came about 'just for fun'.

May not be such great news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102397)

The more people adopt Linux, the more incentive there is to exploit it. You'll have three-letter gov agencies working their asses off to find and even insert vulnerabilities. The linux community was ecstatic when one German municipality decided to deploy it on all their city gov workstations. Imagine how much more important linux will become when the Chinese gov does the same thing. And by important I mean 'ripe target'.

Sudden outbreak of common sense? (1)

alexandre (53) | about 5 months ago | (#47102427)

I don't even understand why china, of all places, is not 100% Linux wall to wall already...

Key to this. (1)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 5 months ago | (#47102455)

People forget. One of the biggest reason businesses have for sticking to MS is that their customers use MS and they have to be able to exchange documents in MSs latest format. Well, with China using Linux companies are going to have to use document formats friendly to Linux.

Goodbye a large chunk of vendor lockin.

Reverse Engineering. The problem is the ecosystem, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102531)

A concerted government initiative to adopt Linux is great, but what about reverse engineering Windows? You also have to consider compatibility with the Windows applications that already exist in greater numbers than comparable Linux/Unix applications. The Russians did something similar with the reverse engineering of DOS back in the late 80s and early 90s. They developed a closed source DOS for their military and industry. This might sound fanciful, but I'd be more excited about governments (not only China) supporting open source projects like ReactOS than yet another Linux distribution that will get needlessly forked with disparate programs and toolkits in userspace. Maybe it's a good idea to consider a reverse engineered Windows compatible OS as a way of compelling people to adopt open source. Some people here on Slashdot may not like the idea of shifting development towards clean reverse engineering of Windows, but I think it's closer to what people want. Many non-programmer professionals will never adopt Linux and they will hate you if you impose it upon them. It's not the OS that's the issue, it's the ecosystem. Windows ecosystem > Linux-based ecosystem. ReactOS or something similar is far more utilitarian then yet another Linux distribution.

Serious Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102683)

Why is there not more adoption of the BSDs? In all honesty, BSD development is a much saner process than in Linux, is arguably more stable from my personal experience, and the license is much more forgiving.

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