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Gartner Slams Linux

CmdrTaco posted about 15 years ago | from the this-aint-good dept.

Linux 453

Porag_Spliffing sent us a choice quote from this well researched Gartner group piece which says "The lack of standards in the Linux community, coupled with a lack of key productivity applications and with Unix complexity, will continue to make Linux a poor choice for the mainstream business productivity user."

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Seems to me (1)

Gothland (34482) | about 15 years ago | (#1614541)

That we have been getting a steady dose of reality from a lot of these sources

I personally wish more of them were wrong, but...

Uggh. (3)

dougman (908) | about 15 years ago | (#1614544)

Ok, this is a rare thing for me, posting 2 sharp-tounged comments on Slashdot in ONE morning, but here goes:

The person who really, truly cares about what the Gartner Group says about X piece of technology is also the person who probably considers his grandest technological decision of the year the large order of CD-ROM labelling devices he made at PC EXPO ("I saved 50 cents a unit by buying 1,000! And they gave me this COOL T-Shirt and stuffed animal!") and steadfastly believes wrestling is real.

Memo to the ignorant: Money = Favourable Gartner Group blurb. Duh.

unreality (1)

paRcat (50146) | about 15 years ago | (#1614546)

"according to Microsoft, Linux has not affected sales of Windows NT."

Um, anyone else see a problem with that statement?

Linux is NOT competing with Unix!!!! (4)

nevets (39138) | about 15 years ago | (#1614549)

I'm sick of this arguement from MS, that "It hasn't effected sales of NT" and "Linux is competing with Unix" this is a bunch of BS.

When I set up a system, there are times I need Solaris, but to interact with it, I'm not going to buy NT! I'm going to use Linux, and maybe SCO and maybe BSD or a combination of them.

Linux doesn't have standards? Then why can I have my Slackware system running fine with another Redhat system, as well as a Solaris, and AIX! But problems always arrive when I hook up a NT to the equation.

Sorry, I'll come off my soap box now.

Later :)
Steven Rostedt

Just my 2 cents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1614552)

The comment would have read creating new standards If they were talking about M$. And furthermore why is it that the missing apps are never named? It would be great but it dosent have "X" What is "X"

Linux too customisable? (1)

Section9 (98240) | about 15 years ago | (#1614555)

The point of a lack of a standard desktop set-up is definately valid. Training lusers how to configure and use a windowing environment can have a large cost. Without some way of heavily leveraging the paradigms from Microsoft, I don't see that Linux will gain market share on the productivity desktop. (Even though users would be more productive without daily system crashes.)

Hopefully Corel's distribution will change this by creating a standard install including an office suite.

Hmm. (5)

MichaelH (3651) | about 15 years ago | (#1614557)

The Gartner Group doesn't seem to be doing the slamming. IDG has interpreted this as a "kiss of death" when what Gartner seems to have addressed is the "desktop productivity" side of Linux. Is that a surprise to anybody? Linux isn't quite there yet on the desktop.

I'm glad they were careful to ask Microsoft if Linux was making a dent in NT sales. Glad to see the Linux threat we heard about in the DOJ case has already been vanquished and it's business as usual for the red-blooded innovators of Redmond.

Michael Hall

What a horrible article! (3)

matty (3385) | about 15 years ago | (#1614558)

Wow, I'm not sure we should even reply to the author on this one, it's so bad. My favorite part is at the end where a 'spokesperson' (no name, of course) for HP says that Linux isn't 'robust' enough yet. If that truly is someone who works for HP, I guess they haven't been to their web page [] lately.

I have a big problem with that statement... (2)

Randy Rathbun (18851) | about 15 years ago | (#1614560)

Okay, sure, Linux may not have MS Office, nor does it have Corel Office, but it does have Wordperfect and Star Office. Isn't this mainly what the typical business person needs?

As I sit here and think about what stuff we run where I work, 90% of it is Word and Excel, which Star Office does just fine.

I really whished I had found Linux sooner. It would be saving me so much headache in the support department it would not even be funny - like all the time I have spent un-fsck'ing a Windows machine that someone who "thought they knew" fsck'ed up. Had I had real security to start with, I would not be wasting my time.

941415926518293950285123123568785948184839358193 948913958495
80124569890476636201512012315668018651125564087489 7980465063

Don't disagree with what it didn't say (3)

dingbat_hp (98241) | about 15 years ago | (#1614660)

Incoming !

Expect hordes of knee-jerking Slashdot readers flaming this article without even reading it. The Sacred Penguin is insulted and so its acolytes must rush to its defence.

What the article actually says is that Linux is taking its market share from the nasty old dinosaurs like SCO and building new share in the home geek market. Desktop Windows in offices, where the vast majority of suit-and-tie wearing people work, isn't affected, nor will it be until Word runs under Linux (and Hell freezes over and and Puget Sound runs with molten lava).

People are running Linux on net-connected servers with little or no interactive desktop usage. So when was this ever a big NT stronghold ?

"Another well-researched", my fanny... (5)

jht (5006) | about 15 years ago | (#1614664)

I'm growing more and more skeptical of analysis firms as time passes. It's easy to produce a piece of research stating whatever the analyst thinks anyways, by simply taking a few points of data and extrapolating it to the absurd extreme. Gartner and their ilk have produced reports that say Linux will, in fact dominate the marketplace, and reports that claim the opposite within short intervals of one another. My own choice is to believe none of the above.

Trend analysis doesn't generally account for some important factors, like goodwill (or lack thereof) towards vendors, or technical obstacles and breakthroughs that may happen in a development effort. They tend to assume that obstacles (like NT's code bloat or Linux's lack of high-quality SMP support) are insurmountable and that the technical status quo will remain indefinitely. This means that, by analysis standards, current trends will continue indefinitely. If some of the analysis I've read over recent years had worked out as anticipated, then:

1: Apple would be in Chapter 7 bankruptcy

2: Linux would either
a: be non-existent
b: have over a 50% market share

3: Novell would be out of business

4: Microsoft Windows NT would have nearly a 100% market share on servers and desktops, and

5: so would OS/2

6: Microsoft SQL Server would have killed off Oracle

7: We'd all have fully interactive TV sets now (shouting at your TV doesn't count - most of them don't answer).

I'm not trying to paint all analysis with the same brush, but I really don't see much good stuff from these companies.

- -Josh Turiel

Moving the paradigm (3)

ewanb (18483) | about 15 years ago | (#1614667)

Surely the point is that alot of compute is
disappearing from the desktop and heading towards
either the laptop or the server with a LAN in between.

Linux fits ideally with the server, and as people
switch to more this sort of computing, the greater
linux's role is. It is the change in people's
computing attitudes that microsoft should
be worried about, not the OS.

(BTW - I use linux on both the server and the laptop, but I know people who can't leave windows
on their laptop, and that will remain for a while).

John Blair... (1)

Squirtle (73289) | about 15 years ago | (#1614669)

... says Linux's main attraction is its price, for heaven's sake.

What an utterly vacuous shot in the dark by an obviously cluefree nong. YTF don't these people get off their butts and go TALK to someone?

Analyst? ANALYST? Gimme a break. This is straightforward professional incompetence.

Of course Linux has X (1)

TheCodeMaster (101307) | about 15 years ago | (#1614676)


Nothing new here. (1)

crumley (12964) | about 15 years ago | (#1614681)

This article did not impress me. While there is little that I would classify as FUD, there are also few details in what Linux's problems are. There are a lot of quotes in the article, but most them are by people with obvious biases.

You've got a Microsoft guy saying Linux hasn't hurt NT sales. An HP guy says Linux isn't ready for high-end servers. And a Linux consultant saying that Linux is cutting into SCO sales. Wow, these statements are shocking! Next thing you know a politician will say kids shouldn't use drugs.

This article isn't damaging, because there is nothing new in it.

The Desktop (2)

law (5166) | about 15 years ago | (#1614685)

Seems to me Gardner is talking about the DESKTOP
Not the server side... *shrug* The Desktop is Linux's future, but not for a little while.
(I use Linux on the desktop)
HP and SUN were talking about Server the side, that's there bread a butter, of course they will say it's not ready. Nothing new here.

My $0.02 (1)

DanaL (66515) | about 15 years ago | (#1614689)

First, I don't normally flame articles, but maybe they should have tried to be a little sensational to get some attention. A Gartner Report has "all but put the kiss of death of linux?" A little extreme...

Also, I thought linux was always considered to be competing with NT in the server space, and not the desktop?

And finally, I don't feel my linux use has meant a loss in sales to a unix vendor. Oh yes, I was this close to plunking down a license for Irix or AIX, but then I realized that I don't have several thousand dollars for an SGI box or an IBM server :)

To be fair, didn't the Gartner group recently put out a report trashing Win2000 over it's total cost of ownership? Mind you, I don't remember any articles labeling that the 'Kiss of Death For Microsoft Operating Systems'


Re:Just my 2 cents (1)

ewanb (18483) | about 15 years ago | (#1614692)

I reckon powerpoint is the big missing X.
I *still* use MS powerpoint. Everything else

Re:Don't disagree with what it didn't say (2)

zorgon (66258) | about 15 years ago | (#1614693)

What about the title? "Death knell for Linux" my skinny white *ss. This article is just more FUD, or perhaps more accurately (as you might say) it is being spun as FUD no matter what the article actually says. I think the flames are knee-jerk too but they are none the less justified.

Inherent Critique (2)

debrain (29228) | about 15 years ago | (#1614710)

No one has really critized the model of developing for Linux yet. Why not? Because it is very difficult to critize, given it's success. Critiques of the product are very different from critiques of the model of development. This alone is something to be proud of, reflecting something that cannot be taken away, and idealizing the fact that we have something that is very difficult to usurp.

This article addresses many temporal issues, things that are relevent now, but are bound to change over a given period of time (evolution). It is inevitable that a consistently improving operating system will evolve, when compared to a legacy operating system, which by definition, remains stagnant.

There are issues to be dealt with, and industry spokespeople from magazines and publications provide excellent points, in roundabout ways. Largely, however, the we must be thankful for the time that industry critics provide in giving leverage against corporate dominance of this system.

Everyone should be aware: When Linux reaches a certain level of corporate involvement, it loses the development model.

Unsurprising (0.9 probability) (1)

grepgrep (64043) | about 15 years ago | (#1614713)

Anyone who reads Gartner's tedious drool on a regular basis won't find this very surprising. Gartner writes for IT strategists about as closed minded as you can find. If it ain't a market leader is ain't a winner, and if it ain't a winner I might get in trouble.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~

Time to give up (4)

GnomeAttic (97126) | about 15 years ago | (#1614718)

Alright everyone. I think this quote from some guy has left us with only one option: give up on linux entirely. How can we possibly go on if there is a lack of standards in the Linux community? It's practically pointless to coninue using Linux when there is a lack of productivity applications. I think everyone should just abandon this sinking ship before it destroys us all.

What Linux needs (5)

Ender_Stonebender (60900) | about 15 years ago | (#1614724)

1. Command shell that doesn't involve a lot of learning. "move" should be the command to move a file, "copy" should be the command to copy a file, "delete" and "remove" should remove a file. Joe Blow doesn't care that when all we had was 6 letter commands, using "rm" for delete a good idea. We don't have those limits any more, we shouldn't be limited by them. (My suggestion is to call this DOS, for Dumb Old Shell, and make it work much like the MS-DOS command line.)

2. Plug and Play Everywhere! Joe Blow does not want to mount and unmount CDs himself, nor does he want to figure out the IRQ, base I/O address, etc. for his hardware. So make sure that Joe Blow doesn't have to deal with those things.

3. A good GUI/WM combination that comes default with all Linux distros. Joe Blow does not like command line interfaces and will avoid them wherever possible. So give him a GUI he can use easily and not be (too) confused by.

4. Official suppourt from hardware vendors. If Joe Blow can't buy a new peice of hardware, plug it in, turn it on, install some drivers, and start using it; Joe Blow doesn't want it.

The upshot of this whole comment? Take lessons from Microsoft and from MacOS. They've got the (relatively) painless-to-use CLI and the universal GUI. Just because M$ and Apple are the big commercial doesn't necessarily make all their ideas evil; we should feel free to clone the parts of their interfaces that make computers easy to use.


Lack of standards??? (2)

spodpit (27013) | about 15 years ago | (#1614727)

I would've though a more reasonable quote would've been precisely the opposite! But then the nice thing about Industry Standards(TM) is there's so many to choose from!

However it's interesting to note that HP think Linux doesn't scale beyond 4 processors - kind of fails to track with MS' assertion that Linux doesn't scale *at all!*

Re:I have a big problem with that statement... (2)

Watts Martin (3616) | about 15 years ago | (#1614730)

Okay, sure, Linux may not have MS Office, nor does it have Corel Office, but it does have Wordperfect and Star Office. Isn't this mainly what the typical business person needs?"

Depends on the typical business. I think a business that started on Linux from the ground up could do very well. The business that I'm working at now couldn't make such a switch, though: critical business applications are running on Access, and Excel spreadsheets that Star Office can't handle aren't uncommon.

(For those of you wondering what kind of spreadsheets Star Office can't handle: ones with embedded Visual Basic, for starters. For those of you wondering why we'd use Access for critical business applications: I didn't write it! Don't blame me! It's not my fault!...)

Re:Linux too customisable? (2)

davie (191) | about 15 years ago | (#1614733)

Ah, true, for mom n pop desktops, but in the corporate setting, the admin configures the desktop once, puts all the homes on a server, and users don't have to configure squat.

In addition, this type of setup makes adding new workstations very quick and easy.

Maybe this could be done with Winnders, but at what cost?

Ok, if these are the problems, fix them (1)

Jimhotep (29230) | about 15 years ago | (#1614735)

You people out there that are "gurus" should
stop reading Slashdot and start working on
applications. If that is what "the enterprise"
boys want, get it to them.

you could start with a grammer checker
from the article
"Linux's major disadvantage in the enterprise space is that there are very few currently applications available for it."

it all depends on your view (2)

CormacJ (64984) | about 15 years ago | (#1614737)

True: Linux may not have many standards, but you can standardise on a distrobution. Decide on what one you think is best for your operation then stick with it.

The same argument could be used for Microsoft people. Nobody varies off thier microsoft os once installed - people either use NT, DOS or Windows - you install and then don't change much from that.

Its a well researched article but still echos some well known microsoft FUD: "The lack of standards in the Linux community, coupled with a lack of key productivity applications and with Unix complexity, will continue to make Linux a poor choice for the mainstream business productivity user."

Its unclear what standards they refer to. Is it desktop? is it distros? is it package management? again these are things you pick the one you think works best for you and stay with it. I'm most cases it won't change radically in outward appearance over the years, unlike certain vendors if you go from a 3.x to a 4.x release you won't have to retrain your users because they thought a new layout would be nice, and you won't have to pay out multi-hundreds of dollars to replace all your obsolete development tools to support the new layout.

In all for such a large scale project as linux people have settled into a pretty good set of standards. Most apps will run on SuSE, RedHat, Debian etc...

The arguements put forward in the report are the ones that Linux will have to overcome in the next few years for it to truely succeed.

Finally, I do think the HP spokeman mentioned on the report needs to browse on over to and see what apps are available. Someone needs to point out the vendors that have and will be producing major database apps for Linux. In many cases people are using a Linux engine without realising it, so I think the productivity argument is not a valid one.

Re:unreality (2)

Section9 (98240) | about 15 years ago | (#1614749)

Actually I don't see a problem.

Yes Linux numbers are on the rise. The analogy here is that the "Linux Movement" (not just the s/w) is to Microsoft a Dark Figure looming in an alleyway.

Think this through:

Since you don't know his purpose, you don't let them know you are scared. This fear comes from a lack of knowledge of this person.

You immediately tense up, and try to look fierce to ward off a possible attack.(READ: FUD)

When you realize that you would be pummelled by this large hulk-of-a-man, you attempt to make peace. (READ: Carving up the market w/ Netscape)

If you can't beat them, you join them. (READ: MS-Linux)

These concepts are straight out of a street fight, and they definately fit Microsoft's business practices.

Linux is dead? (2)

BlueLines (24753) | about 15 years ago | (#1614751)

This coming from the group that decided network computers and e-money were the hotest tech items of 1998? Or the group that decided TCO of handheld devices was over $2700/year (read through their press releases..they're pretty funny).
I dunno...i think I'd trust a Sesame Street review before I believed these guys....

Re:unreality (2)

swb (14022) | about 15 years ago | (#1614757)

The problem I have with this statement is the total inability to prove or disprove it. Perhaps some poll might identify organizations that have bought *less* NT than they otherwise might have because they used Linux instead for a server of some type. However, so long as NT sales continue to increase it's awfully hard for the MS marketing organization(s) to not make that claim. Besides, even if NT sales were to spiral downward, do you actually think that MS would claim that Linux was hurting sales? It would be a defacto admission of product inferiority in the marketplace.

It would be interesting to see a list of large (> 750 employees) organizations that have migrated completely from NT in favor of Linux.

Robustness (1)

squeakphd (73802) | about 15 years ago | (#1614761)

"Linux does not have the robustness built in it yet for mission critical applications," the HP spokesperson said.
Apparently this spokesperson has never run an HP-UX system -- I'm assuming HP-UX was the OS of comparison there, since there isn't the faintest possibility of someone referring to NT as robust. Just comparing average uptimes of various systems I've used, Linux > HP-UX > NT.

Re:unreality (2)

david42 (84856) | about 15 years ago | (#1614764)

Yep. Have a look at the "Sales Graph" at http://gartner11 []

I don't know if this is the same article referred to in the IDG article but it's worth a look anyhow. It has a large graph of "Server/Host Spending by Operating System". Linux has a very low level of spending compared to NT and the predictions for Win2K. Well obviously! They're overpriced to start with and need plenty of cash for maintainence...

Er.. (2)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | about 15 years ago | (#1614768)

What the article actually says is that Linux is taking its market share from the nasty old dinosaurs like SCO and building new share in the home geek market.

I can't help but wonder.. are you insinuating that many (most?) geeks who now use Linux at home used to use SCO stuff at home..? What, no one who uses Linux on their boxen at home today ever used Windows there in its stead? Or was this just an incredibly badly worded assertation? (yes, I'm honestly confused) =P

Expect hordes of knee-jerking Slashdot readers flaming this article without even reading it. The Sacred Penguin is insulted and so its acolytes must rush to its defence.

I also found it interesting that you chose to preempt any inflammatory comments with an offensive remark of your own. Perhaps you should consider being, more, ah, polite?

Re:What Linux needs (1)

spodpit (27013) | about 15 years ago | (#1614769)

To address your points in turn ...

1) Can be done with aliases in bash, tcsh and zsh (and doubtless maybe others?). ie: alias move mv, alias copy cp, alias delete rm

Admitedly most distributions don't come with those as defaults, but it wouldn't be that hard to add an extra setting in the user creation program "user is stupid" which would auto toggle these (and a few other things) on.

2 Automount(?) should deal with the CDs, floppies are a little harder ... plug and pray is (IIRC) being worked on?

3 GUIs are being worked on - ever heard of KDE / GNOME perhaps??? Besides which, not everyone believes that Linux is ready for the desktop *yet* (which that 'yet' part being important - it's getting there!).

4 Is coming along nicely I believe???

Garner and their influence.. (3)

Weerdo (24976) | about 15 years ago | (#1614771)

You feel angry, you want to fight Gartner about this report.. Don't even think about doing this! It's inmature, it's plain stupid and not a good thing to do. This report is already bad enough, but they also can throw out another (bad) report in days. Don't let that happen.

For those who aren't aware of the power of Gartner:

Garner is one of the 5 largest consultancy organisations around and alot of PHB's are in fact using their advise. Organisations rely on these reports for their IT planning. If Gartner says: "Novell Netware 5 is good" then Microsoft has really something to worry about.

IBM (big blue) felt the power of Gartner. IBM reorganised and drasticly changed their business plans because of a single Gartner report (IBM Mainframes will die was the outcome of that report). IBM was doing well but many jobs were lost.

The only right thing to do is to do nothing about this paper. Don't fight it, don't counter it. Just keep on using Linux and all will be well. Someday Gartner will see it's mistake.

Re:"Another well-researched", my fanny... (1)

Our Man In Redmond (63094) | about 15 years ago | (#1614775)

I do believe the word Rob used only sounded like "well-researched," but it was difficult for me to tell because he was trying to talk around the tongue he had firmly implanted in his cheek.

These guys are basically writing warm fuzzy pieces saying what they think IS managers want to hear -- namely, that they didn't waste their money going to NT. And let's face it, there is a certain amount of truth to this article, but the devil will tell a thousand truths if it will help him put a lie across.

As I read articles like this I get a mental picture. It's of a CNN interview with a guy in the mountains, Colorado or maybe Switzerland, saying that all the experts have agreed that there is no danger of an avalanche. If all you do is listen to what CNN tells you, you might believe there won't be an avalanche. But if you're doing your own research, thinking for yourself and watching closely, way back in the background behind the talking head, you can see the snow shift, just a little.

Re:What a horrible article! (1)

Craig Maloney (1104) | about 15 years ago | (#1614777)

HP is robust because they don't let you compile that pesky GPL'ed stuff on their machines. They'll do it all for you. :)

I think the only surrent system I've ever heard more complaints about compiling source on is the beloved AIX platform. I wonder why IBM wasn't asked about their take on Linux as it relates to AIX. :)

FUD? ... I think yes. (1)

ffatTony (63354) | about 15 years ago | (#1614787)

The microsoft guy (Wilkinson)had this to say: "IDC figures show Linux comprised just 3.5 per cent of PC server shipments last year."

I don't understand how this can be a valuable statistic as the majority of people I know bought a machine with some other operating system installed only to have replaced it with linux.

Does anyone else think that Linux is great because it is so similiar to Unix? I certainly do.

It is really so bad? (3)

LordStrange (19871) | about 15 years ago | (#1614790)

Do we really care if "[Linux] will continue to make Linux a poor choice for the mainstream business productivity user"?

I don't. I'm having plenty of fun with Linux even if I do have to engorge BillG's wallet some more when I'm at work. (And sometimes at home...)

Why should we care or want to be "mainstream"? Linux need only be useful (which it is) to those that like that sort of thing. Why care about those that don't!

Hatred, even directed at those worthy of it (MS), is a poor choice of motivation.

Maybe for the large corporates (1)

Section9 (98240) | about 15 years ago | (#1614797)

I agree that this would be an optimal solution... that's why Scott McNeely and Larry Ellison are pushing a return to mainframes (thin-clients, web-clients).

However, you shouldn't underestimate the number of PC's deployed in small-mid sized companies. Most just have one server and an I.S. person to help people un-box and un fsck systems.

Additionally don't forget that what people use at work, they like to use at home.

They've also said (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | about 15 years ago | (#1614800)

This is the same group that also says to not roll out W2K untill it's up to service pack 3 - unless you want your office to pay good $$$ to be a Microsoft® crash test dummy and donate your time and effort to helping out poor Redmond millionaires. We'll see just how much patience ordinary office workers trying to do a job have with the next paradigm shift!

RHAT ^1/16


Linux and readiness for primetime... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1614802)

I find it interesting that so many people are so quick to bash Linux, stating that it is immature, or that it has a lack of standards. Many negative reviewers are extremely adamant in stating that Linux, as it stands, is not mature enough to take on the desktop or the server market.

And let's face it. Linux has a number of areas that need improvement-- user-friendliness, installation (though I *still* think Slackware and RedHat are a damn sight easier than 9x and NT), and maybe some of the device support (*maybe*).

But that's why Linux changes. Device support? Lucent is even going to be coming out with Linux drivers for their Mars and Mars-2 chipsets. User-friendliness? RedHat, Caldera, SuSE, etc. are all working on that. Ditto for installation. The 2.4 kernel will take on issues of multiprocessor scaling. IPv6? We've had that covered for quite a while, now.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: Linux, as it stands, is a great solution for tech-based companies (even high-tech). It *does* have areas that need improvement, but Linux is *not* a static product. Reviewers *consistently* find some nagging detail (no USB support!), and developers frequently rise to the challenge and implement it! User-friendliness complaints are being decimated by Gnome and KDE. Lack of Office-like programs are moot, given StarOffice and WordPerfect-- which are *still* being improved. Compatibility with other operating systems has *long* been a goal of Linux, hence SMB, NFS, and IPX support (yes, Novell is technically a suite of applications, but you get the picture).

So, please, tell us what we need to improve. We'll do it. That's why we like Linux: because we *can* do it.

Gartner amazes me with correctness, for once (5)

Zigg (64962) | about 15 years ago | (#1614805)

It was a shock to me when I had to agree with the Gartner Group's analysis of anything. They have been so steadily wrong for so long that I had to double-check outside for any horsemen of the apocalypse. :-) Regardless of whether this month seems to be Microsoft's to launch attacks on Linux (see this article [] ) -- it would be a logical conclusion that this is another Microsoft-paid opinion piece from the Gartner Group -- there are very good points here, and I think clarifications should be made.

Gartner's piece states that Linux is to be avoided for business-productivity applications. Let's not forget what a "business-productivity" application is. It's Word, it's Excel, it's Access, it's PowerPoint. All of these are targeted at single-user applications. (Some might try to say that Access can be used for multiuser applications; let me tell you from experience that you can only get up to about five people before it really starts bombing out. Where I used to work, an Access-based application was totally corrupted by someone leaving their computer on overnight. I don't consider that a multiuser application.)

The problem is that there is really a pretty sad offering along the lines of single-user applications in Linux-based, and indeed other open source systems. I have a Linux workstation here and love it to death, but I'm an administrator and a developer. I have StarOffice for firing off memos, of course -- but there is simply no way I could effectively get the rest of the office to use Linux, even if I had the authority to send out a mandate from on high that Microsoft was to be abolished. (Now, perhaps I could get Macs in here...) :-)

Where Linux as well as other UNIX clones and derivatives do excel is in multiuser applications. I don't care if you have figures showing that IIS performs better; I can do more and I can do it more effectively, and I can do it on an OS that was designed from the ground up to be shared among multiple users. To turn around a key point from that previous Microsoft piece (paraphrased: "Linux was not designed with a GUI in the core"), Windows NT was not designed with multiple users in mind. Its design is based on an OS that still really only can be effectively used by one person at a time. (Want proof? Go into \WINNT sometime and look at all the .INI files -- one person's settings easily override everyone's.)

Let's not also forget the key benefit of free or open source software. I can change it if I need to. I've done so on quite a few incidents, to fit my needs when the stock configurations didn't. My NT system on the other corner of my desk goes largely unused for several applications because I can't change its applications to do what I need them to.

What would it take to bring Linux to the desktop, or as Gartner puts it, the "business-productivity" market? Quite a bit. The latest round of GUI stuff is getting there but there are still so many key points to sweat out. Printing a memo off is still not a no-brainer on your typical Linux system unless it's been set up by someone with a clue. But in the meantime, Linux and other UNIX derivatives are what I and other administrators and engineers swear by for our desktops. We just can't get away from the power. :-)

"The Desktop" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1614808)

Obviously those "research sources" have not witnessed the reaction of the uninitiated when exposed to a KDE screen:

"OOOH! What's that??"

and immediately after they start using it:

"KDE works great"

Software is a lot like clothes. People might not want to learn things, but they can't help wanting new stuff and new looks. Inconsistency is OK with humans. And being most people quite irrational..

KDE screenshots everywhere!!!

Re:Time to give up (2)

Tower (37395) | about 15 years ago | (#1614811)

I hadn't realized it before either... I'm so shocked. I'm not only going to throw away all my linux cds and diskettes, I'm going to print all of the kernel and X source, so I can burn while waving my big M$ Standards list in the air. Oh, it will be a joyous day when the penguin and the BSDaemon finallly end their foolish attempts to be a real OS. I mean really, I can't even get a nice GPF bluescreen from KDE or GNOME, and I *know* that C/C++ included with M$ VC++ is SO much more standard than any of that gcc ansi crap. Repent all ye CLI users, your day is through. Last but not least.... aiiiieeeee

Re:unreality (in more ways than one) (1)

aphr0 (7423) | about 15 years ago | (#1614813)

Not in any significant amount. Sure, maybe 1,000 copies of NT weren't sold in the past year. Why should Microsoft care?

And even if linux should become the holy grail of the server operating system, Microsoft will not die that easily. They're into far more things than simply NT. Linux users serverly underestimate Microsoft. Just because you drop NT sales by 2% does not mean MS will shut down it's entire OS devision to commit itself to working on linux. Microsoft didn't become this big by sitting on their asses while competitors waltz in and steal their markets.

Sheesh (1)

Zoltar (24850) | about 15 years ago | (#1614816)

You know what really kills me about this..

1) the "Linux is the 'hype du jour' line. The MEDIA is resposible for the hype, that does not have a single shred of relevance on the quality of the operating system.

2) Also the whole Unix comlexity thing...come one.. it's like saying that books will never overtake movies in the entertainment department because it's so much more difficult to read a book. Pure Crap

3) The whole "the only reason it;s popular is becasue it's free blah blah blah" Well..I've payed for my last two copies and I'll continue to pay for them in the future. There are many reason that Linux has become popular, I'm guessing the low /free cost issue is a very small part of it. I'm guessing the fact that IT WORKS is a big part.

Why is so hard for some people to realize that there is plenty of room for different OS's.

Re:Just my 2 cents (3)

bmetzler (12546) | about 15 years ago | (#1614828)

I reckon powerpoint is the big missing X. I *still* use MS powerpoint. Everything else linux.

Oh, close, very close. The missing app is the ... Dancing Paper Clip. Linux will never make it into the mainstream with that important piece of functionality missing.


Re:What Linux needs (2)

davie (191) | about 15 years ago | (#1614832)

1. Command shell that doesn't involve a lot of learning. "move" should be the command to move a file, "copy" should be the command to copy a file, "delete" and "remove" should remove a file. Joe Blow doesn't care that when all we had was 6 letter commands, using "rm" for delete a good idea. We don't have those limits any more, we shouldn't be limited by them. (My suggestion is to call this DOS, for Dumb Old Shell, and make it work much like the MS-DOS command line.)

alias copy="cp"
alias move="mv"
alias delete="rm"

We call this a shell, and it's smart enough that it can accomodate just about any user.

But... (2)

Aqualung (29956) | about 15 years ago | (#1614834)

Their big "success" benchmark seemed to be server sales, i.e. more workstations sold with WinNT compared to the "3.5% Linux server sales". If I'm reading this correctly then they're not taking into account all the people that delete WinXX off their computers and install Linux themselves, rather than buying it pre-packaged, or people that build their own systems. If I'm correct, then these statistics are disregarding a majority of the Linux systems out there. I'm not going to scream FUD since this could have been a simple oversight, but one that shows that these people obviously have no clue about Linux.

All hail Discordia!

Pardon, but.. (1)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | about 15 years ago | (#1614837)

How precisely do you reconcile points 1 and 3? Joe Public won't use a CLI if a GUI can save him from it. Moreover, suggestions that one should "dumb down" a Unix-type shell are inflammatory and absurd. Do you honestly think I want to type in "remove" rather than "rm"? Besides, have you ever heard of aliases? If they really wanted to, computer makers could preconfigure your system to allow for these magical things, aliases.

Not only that, but are you trying to insinuate that MacOS has a CLI? Isn't one of the main knocks against MacOS the notion that all it has is a GUI? Maybe I just haven't played with Macs enough.. And who in the hell do you think really uses the CLI on a Windows system? Joe Public? Suure.. By the way, there are already major inroads into making Linux "pretty" with graphical "point-and-click", or do you not keep up with current trends?

err.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1614838)

C++ is _actually_ crap, regardless of where it comes from.

But it's true: VC++ is bad by implementation, in addition to crap by specification.

lack of scaleability? (1)

PimpSmurf (20322) | about 15 years ago | (#1614841)

Lack of scaleability beyond 4 CPUS?
thats incorrect. I thought linux supported 16 cpus... basically... this article doesn't appeal to me, but there is no use arguing.

just my 200 pesos

Gartner & Dataguess (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1614844)

You're absolutely right. Gartner has -never- been a good source of analysis, as far as I'm concerned. They are only second to the 'kings' of ill-informed analysis, Dataguess (infamous for their consistant praise of Windows and slamming of OS/2 and others).

It's hard to imagine anyone making an educated decision about technology based upon these supposedly independant 'reports' by groups like Gartner. Just who are these people, anyway? As an IS manager I could care less what the opinions of some suit-and-tied 'analysts' are.

You can guarantee that this 'analysis' will be on Microsoft's front page before the day is out.

Re:Just my 2 cents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1614846)

Star Office has a powerpoint type thing, it even loads powerpoint files, which came in handy cuz my college didnt really teach anything, just told us to download the powerpoint shit and read them heh

Re:Just my 2 cents, ... Dancing Paper Clip (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1614848)

> Oh, close, very close. The missing app is the ... Dancing Paper Clip. Linux will never make > it into the mainstream with that important piece of functionality missing How is the "Dancing Paper Clip" any different from Xeyes, Oneko, Xant, Xroach, or any other X toys?

Gartner==PHB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1614849)

You are actually taking ANYTHING by the Gartner Group seriously? I thought only PHB types paid any attention to their drivel. Where I used to work Gartner was GOD. The managment types hung on their every word. The thing is, unless something was BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS, they were generally wrong. They covered their BS by making very broad, general statements so they could later claim they were misunderstood. This a case in point. "Linux is not ready for the desktop." Duh! It is best as a server, FOR NOW. Another year or so and look out! Cpt_Kirks

Eh, nothing new... (1)

knife_in_winter (85888) | about 15 years ago | (#1614857)

This article (yes, I read all of it) is really nothing new or even worth getting all excited about.

It has the same amount of information and misinformation we should expect from a mainstream publication (net or otherwise). In fact, it is inane enough not to deserve my own comments.

However, I wanted to say one thing. We have all heard it before. We all know it's true. But a lot of us seem to forget it when these types of articles float to the top of the murkey sea of Linux awareness.

Whatever Linux lacks, it will eventually get. And if Linux does not get it, it is because we did not want Linux to have it. Linux is not stable enough for you? That's okay, we'll make it more stable. Not scalable enough? We'll make it more scalable.

I for one think that we should drop the idea of Linux versus Microsoft or Linux versus FreeBSD or whatever. Instead of asking "How can we make Linux better than NT or Win2K", we should ask "How can we make Linux better, period".

As for making Linux "better" than the BSDs, I think that is irrelevant. The two are so similar that any differences are rapidly becoming more and more meaningless. Whether you use Linux or BSD (or Solaris or *gasp* NT) is simply a matter of choice. Remember choice? Free will? Maybe the choice is carefully made or poorly informed; but it is *your* choice, not mine.

And that is partly what free software is all about: freedom and the opportunity to choose an OS that works best in a given situation.

I know I digressed off topic, but I think these are issues we all need to keep in mind whenever we read any article for or against Linux.

Nothing can possiblai go wrong. Er...possibly go wrong.
Strange, that's the first thing that's ever gone wrong.

Why do we want Linux on the business desktop? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1614862)

As I was reading through all the posts about this article I got to wondering why there seems to be a movement to put Linux on every desktop in the first place. I personally believe that there are technical reasons why it would be a superior choice, but I also think that there is the possibility that the end, non-technical user simply doesn't care.

If this is indeed the case, and the non-technical user only cares about spreadsheets, word processing, and e-mail, then why should we be adament about changing the platform that they do it on? In essence, why do we care? The joy of Linux is that it is a system for the geek in all of us, the one that allows us to change anything on a whim. I would imagine that as the desktop enviroments improve it will only reflect this idea further, with massive amounts of customization that will please its writers but will alienate the non-technical business user.

I say the desktop should be written for the Linux community first, with the emphasis on working well, even if it isn't terribly easy for today's business users. Write it for those who do care.

Point of Information: MagicPoint (1)

tmhsiao (47750) | about 15 years ago | (#1614863)

Friend used it for his thesis presentation.


Re:Hmm. (2)

bmetzler (12546) | about 15 years ago | (#1614865)

I'm glad they were careful to ask Microsoft if Linux was making a dent in NT sales. Glad to see the Linux threat we heard about in the DOJ case has already been vanquished and it's business as usual for the red-blooded innovators of Redmond.

Yes, Microsoft is *so* K-RAD. They are the elite of the marketing powers. A threat which threatened to doom them for eternity can be evaded by just posting an "'X' Myths" page.

What'll we see next? ;)


Re:Powerpoint (1)

rnturn (11092) | about 15 years ago | (#1614867)

``I reckon powerpoint is the big missing X. I *still* use MS powerpoint.''

Yah... it sounds like the Gartner consultants couldn't switch from anything that didn't support their beloved Powerpoint. Maybe they don't have much else to do but give presentations.

Applix has a module that's pretty much the same as Powerpoint. I guess it depends on what you do with your PP presentations. If you schlepp them around on your laptop then you could switch. If you have to share with MS users you may have problems switching. Sorry, but I don't know if it can import Powerpoint files. The last time I had to mess with PP was a presentation that I did some time ago so I count myself as an extremely infrequent PP user at work -- Some people live in the damned program! I've only played with the demo files that come with the Applix presentation module. I usually do slide presentations using the Gimp or xv. I'm not interested in giving presentations that have to include bullet points that fade-in or slide around the screen (If that's what the audience is interested in seeing... well, you know).

It's not like you couldn't be totally MS free...

Some predictions for Linux (5)

Paul Johnson (33553) | about 15 years ago | (#1614868)

According to the article Linux has 3.5% of the server market and is doubling every few months. This roughly agrees with my own research.

So in another 2 doublings or so, say about nine months, Linux will have 10% of the NT Server market. This is a psychologically important figure. At that point lots of press stories will be printed pointing out that Linux has now started making significant inroads into M$ revenues.

The thing that keeps M$ on top now is its reputation for invulnerability. Its certainly not its reputation for quality or value. But this is a very brittle thing. Once it cracks it will crumble and collapse.

So I predict that Linux will reach 10% market share next July or so, and that this will be seen as a major event. Once you hit 10%, 80% is only three more doublings away. So Linux should achieve market dominance some time around mid-2001, and Bill Gates will no longer be the richest man on Earth. Microsoft will probably be taken over some time in 2002.


Re:Linux too customisable? (1)

angelo (21182) | about 15 years ago | (#1614871)

A read-only, NFS based theme would be good for this. Not everything in an Windowing system should be customizable, esp. in an office. It would be nice to have a uniform desktop.

Re:Don't disagree with what it didn't say (1)

TicTacTux (99149) | about 15 years ago | (#1614873)

As I switch off my PC in the evening, I don't really care if it has an O/S on it that crashes once every 24 hours. It's just a vehicle driving my applications, no more, no less.
BUT: I do care about an O/S crashing every so often if that's running (or crashing) on a server with some tens or hundreds of users. Or if it does some humble but important tasks like DNSing and/or gatewaying. Then it matters and then some *X-like O/S is better than NT and even OS/2.
I don't mind Gartner et al telling the average computer illiterate (who can't even tell the difference between tip and end of his text marker) to stay away from Linux. It's a decision like buying a car with automatic vs. manual gear. Bo' come from A to B, some even from B back to A. Anyone with that 'one size fits all' dream is just lying to him/herself.
So I'd rather stay among the chosen few...

Re:Ok, if these are the problems, fix them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1614875)

Umm... before we start with a grammer checker, how about a spelling checker....

Re:it all depends on your view (1)

PigleT (28894) | about 15 years ago | (#1614876)

"True: Linux may not have many standards, but you can standardise on a distrobution. Decide on what one you think is best for your operation then stick with it."

The problem is, that's not true. We have RFCs, just like everything else. Some stuff implemented on linux doesn't live up to the RFCs in question (dhcpd 2, for example, doesn't implement DHCPINFORM), but then again it also implements some stuff far better than mere standards-compliance (gnutar, bzip2, a whole gamut of decent shells).
And other OSs are just as bad - solaris not shipping with bash, nobody shipping with zsh, HPUX having a binary for 'll' but nobody else (aliases only!), the dhcp server on NT doesn't do DHCPINFORM *either* (and it's a hell of a lot harder to port beta 3 from the ISC to NT than it is to any unix)...

So what we have is selective reporting - masking half the facts in order to spread FUD.

As far as standardising on a distribution goes, I don't think it's the best solution. People should be able to run whatever they like, and everyone should know how to operate stuff, or not try to use it.
Example: I run Debian on here, two folks run RedHat and we don't have any SuSE users yet. The main unix server boxes are in a mess because HP-ignorant twerps will play with HP boxes, Solaris-ignorant twerpettes with solaris boxes. If anyone dares to touch my linux box, they'd get a severe beating for trying to use 'rpm' instead of apt. BUT the fault is not with me for using the 3rd-most popular distro, but with those who don't know how to use it themselves, but presume "oh it's linux", "oh it's unix".

Other things: there are productivity packages around (I don't believe in them - they're too Dilbert/PHB-ish, but they exist), and there's always StarOffice (been running for 3 days non-stop on here!).

"Scalability of its support model"? Does that by any chance translate as, "I don't understand Usenet ettiquette and would rather pay megabucks per annum for someone else to come round and fix it"? How much contempt am I allowed to exhibit before being marked down as flamebait? ;)

There ought to be an HTML verson of "don't feed the trolls!" by now, just for this... :)

Re:Uggh. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1614880)

No, you're wrong. The people who care what Gartner group says are people who make large Operating System purchasing descisions. In other words, people who have the power to ultimately advance Linux acceptance or forever ensure that it is an underdog, a hobbyists tool. If linux wants to be taken seriously, it needs to adapt to the emerging demands of the large enterprise. In real terms, this means more than just simple web serving; it means Message Queueing, Application Serving, Data routing and Transaformation and Object Brokering. The only way Linux will get this capability is by there being the chance of a large or at least reasonable return on the investment needed to produce this software. That chance comes from greater acceptability. The Linux community can't produce everything. Most hackers are only concerned with the lastest cool feature of a GUI or producing yet another window manager. Large enterprise suppliers are coming on board - IBM, SGI etc. In order to persuade the rest, Linux does need to be seen to be a more mature product and part of that image comes from greater business acceptability. When Gartner speak, they may not be speaking to you or I, but I suggest that if anyone cares about the future of Linux beyond hacking the latest kernel, then they need to care about what the likes of Gartner Group have to say. After all, Microsoft does and they sense the threat - not in the desktop market - but in the Enterprise tools market hence the recent covert FUD onslaught. Maybe the community should care.

Re:What Linux needs (1)

IsleOfView (23825) | about 15 years ago | (#1614882)

1. Command shell that doesn't involve a lot of learning. ... (My suggestion is to call this DOS, for Dumb Old Shell, and make it work much like the MS-DOS command line.)

I challenge you to find many "Joe Blow"s who even knows how to use the DOS command line anymore. I deal with corporate users every day, and if they can't set up something with a "wizard", then they're totally lost.

2. Plug and Play Everywhere! Joe Blow does not want to mount and unmount CDs himself, nor does he want to figure out the IRQ, base I/O address, etc. for his hardware. ...

This is fine, as long as it works. As far as installing, I have recently installed Linux on 3 different machines with 3 modern, end-user focused distributions (RedHat, Caldera, Mandrake). None required me to have any knowledge of IRQ's, etc. (as long as the hardware is standards based--i.e., on the HCL). Gnome now even comes with an automounter daemon, so CD's can be mounted automatically.

3. A good GUI/WM combination that comes default with all Linux distros. Joe Blow does not like command line interfaces and will avoid them wherever possible. So give him a GUI he can use easily and not be (too) confused by.

As noted above, all 3 modern distributions came with a KDE option -- KDE is very easy for a Windows user to understand (it practically is windows explorer). All the installations had the option of always starting up in the GUI mode.

4. Official suppourt from hardware vendors. If Joe Blow can't buy a new peice of hardware, plug it in, turn it on, install some drivers, and start using it; Joe Blow doesn't want it.

Amen. Actually, Joe Blow doesn't want to have to install drivers either, but that's a different story. Unfortunately, this will not be the case until hardware vendors see a positive economic return on their investments into Linux driver development. They're in the business to make money, not to give it all away.

Does this mean we just give up on the desktop? I don't think so. As noted in another post, with distributions like Corel's and Caldera's, we are now going to have totally operational systems (from a business standpoint) being installed by default. I think these are a great help to the cause and will help make the difference.

Micro$oft(R) Windoze NT(TM)
(C) Copyright 1985-1996 Micro$oft Corp.

Anal is a part of analysts (1)

toofast (20646) | about 15 years ago | (#1614883)

Let's not forget what analysts are good at: being anal. Most of these "analysts" don't know their knee from a knot in a tree. It's to be expected that they make market predictions based on their wet dreams.

HP must be Silly Billies (2)

GC (19160) | about 15 years ago | (#1614884)

Quote the HP Spokesperson:

"Linux does not have the robustness built in it yet for mission critical applications."

Why... thank you for your comment. Now can you tell me why you are using Embedded Linux Systems in your L and X ranges of HP Entria Thin Client stations and X-Terminals.

Story is here []

Re:Linux IS competing with Unix!!!! (2)

grumpy_geek (97488) | about 15 years ago | (#1614886)

You can't tell me that companies aren't putting Linux in place of "traditional" unix workstations. Linux is competing with all OTHER operating systems, if you look at bit closer the Linux distributions are even competing with each other! There are lots of Sys V unix vendors out there, and they compete with each other.... oh, but Linux surely doesn't compete with Unix, Linux is the only exception to the whole entire marketplace.

Standards... well then tell me the standard way to install a package that works accross all Linux distributions?

I'm not bashing Linux, but you haven't convinced me at all.

What was that quote again? (2)

otis wildflower (4889) | about 15 years ago | (#1614888)

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." (M. Gandhi)

(Sounds like M$ is between the laughing and fighting stages...)

No argument (1)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | about 15 years ago | (#1614891)

Seriously, would you recommend that the people you know currently using Windows switch to Linux? I think it's a pretty clear "no," though in a few years the story may be different. I'm a longtime UNIX user, have a CS degree, and have been programming since 1982. Still, I haven't gotten Linux to be as reliable as Windows 95 on the same machine. For example:

1. Accessing the Zip drive frequently locks up the machine, requiring a reboot.
2. I had to wait six or more months for a driver to show up for my Voodoo Banshee, then that driver resulted in a black screen about 20% of the time I started Xwindows, requiring a reboot. Eventually this was remedied, thank goodness.
3. I still have problems with fonts in an rvxt window leaving pixel garbage when I scroll. I figured that might be a Banshee driver problem, but I've tried three different versions from two sources (including Creative) and it hasn't gone away. A bad font, perhaps?
4. No luck getting sound working. I'll probably have to shell out $20 for a reliable driver.

To be fair, the Windows mouse driver locks up about once a week, requiring me to use keyboard shortcuts to restart the machine. But that's actually less frustrating than the Linux problems.

That's no FUD, just an honest (and unfortunate) personal experience.

Re:Don't disagree with what it didn't say (1)

twit (60210) | about 15 years ago | (#1614892)

I recall that the (inter|intra)net-connected server market was NT's big marketing goal only a couple of years ago. But I might recall incorrectly.

Still. If you need NT to provide a decent single user workstation it's a great failure of design; it should be massive overkill given its technical roots (VAX, OS/2). Rather, if all NT can provide is a decent single user workstation, it's massive overkill. Which is fine so long as you have the resources, and most corporations can and do fork up the cash on an ongoing basis.

This specific report is referring to a single sector of the computing market: business productivity platforms, or desktops running MS Office. There's no port of Office and no analogous system which provides 100% compatibility (and/or superior functionality), so the verdict will be negative, will have to be negative. It's phrased in such a way that there is no alternative.

Is that dishonest of the Gartner group? Well, yes, it is; it implies that a valid comparison is possible. The preconceptions intrinsic to the question are (or seem to be) so strong that starting from a level playing field is impossible. Nor would it be possible to fairly compare other unices/unix-like OSs on the same question.

At the same time: it's nothing that a linux user doesn't already know, and it's nothing that any current linux user should worry about. (Nor does it say anything that you couldn't find out in ten minutes of asking questions and searching and thinking ... but YMMV, once again).


Pick it apart (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1614893)

>coupled with a lack of key productivity applications
coupled with a lack of Microsoft products...

>and with Unix complexity
and with Unix power

>a poor choice for the mainstream business productivity user.
a poor choice for somebody who wants to run Word.

>Linux will ... appeal ... over time, to broader audiences
I'm sorry, that's the kiss of death? That Linux will get bigger?

>according to Microsoft, Linux has not affected sales of Windows NT
Lie. Even one lost NT sale means it HAS affected sales of NT. Duh.

>"it's having some success in fairly defined areas, such as education,
>technical environments and some ISPs," [Microsfot said]
A fairly defined market? Excellent. Better than a vague market.

>"The NT market is so huge and powerful
Oh, how very concise. No FUD here.

>While the operating system is generally not free at an enterprise level
Not free? Since when does the price change depending on who's using it? Lie.

>Most enterprises will go to one of the top three or four suppliers
Self-evident. "Most people buy from the places that sell the most..."

>Most Linux users are people who don't want to use Microsoft's products,
>Blair said. That means the OS most likely to suffer because of Linux's
>success is Unix,
And how does the first sentence imply the second? I'd argue Unix will PROSPER because of the rising popularity of Linux.

>Linux's major disadvantage in the enterprise space is that there are
>very few currently applications available for it.
That's exactly what they say about Macs when they're dismissing them. Good thing Freshmeat doesn't exist.

>Linux does not have the robustness built in it yet
>for mission critical applications,
Like when you really need a Navy ship to stop dead in the water.

>lack of scalability beyond four processors
Like Win9x, or WinNT was it? NT scales well to how many CPUs? Oh right, 128 CPUs, huh?

Geez. I'm a Macintosh user, and even I can pick apart the report.

Re:"Another well-researched", my fanny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1614894)

I'm growing more and more skeptical of analysis firms as time passes.

Ah, because you haven't been on the recieving end. In some ways, you still haven't.

The maddening thing about this is that as a bystander, the reports look objective unless you are already an expert.

Try and get a retraction after a magazine article is printed that is critical of your product not supporting a feature that it has had since version 2!

Drop by a used book store, and look for any book that was published 10+ years ago and attempts to tell what the future will be like. That will pump up your ego as you laugh to yourself. Now, write your own predictions and wait a while. Sometime's I'm impressed, other times I'm humbled.

Re:Just my 2 cents (1)

bigboy (75633) | about 15 years ago | (#1614898)

>I *still* use MS powerpoint. Everything else linux.

Star Office seems to work just fine with powerpoint presentations.

Badge of Honor (1)

wardk (3037) | about 15 years ago | (#1614899)

To be slammed by the Gartner Group is a good sign. Perhaps MS may actually be getting a bit worried about Linux?

At a large financial firm I worked some 8 years ago, the Gartner group faxes were read like biblical dictates from above by those who were making the strategic decisions, i.e. looking for reasons to wait for "Chicago".

this aricle is just chock full of insightful revelations like the next paragraph....

"Linux will continue to appeal to its devotees and, as it improves over time, to broader audiences,"

where do I pay for more?

Re:Time to give up (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | about 15 years ago | (#1614907)

I mean really, I can't even get a nice GPF bluescreen from KDE or GNOME

Actually, you're wrong here. Try the 'Black Screen of Death' screensaver in KDE 1.1.1.. It comes with BSODs for both NT and 95! As well as some of your old favorites from Amiga, Mac, and IIRC Atari..

Er... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1614908) would seem these authors purposefully dumb themselves down when it comes to Linux or Unix (or any OS they don't like or are paid not to like). Another way to say "Unix Complexity" is to say "Consumer Stupidity" according to these guys. I am completely self taught on Unix and find Linux excruciatingly elegent and ordered. Installs are a refreshing breeze with only one little reboot at the end. Networking all but sets itself up. It's simply a matter of taking a few moments to verify your hardware compatibility (NT is the same) and follow the simple yellow-brick road. This has been the same since the first floppy disk install of Debian, Zip disk install of Slackware on to Redhat and Mandrake. Now I can jump on an RS/6000 and service AIX with little problem. I expect the same of ANY Unix I work with. Your "lack of standards" is purely fictional - Linux is build from the ground up on several cooperating standards - that's why it works and scales so well.

By comparison, NT and Windows in general is a farce and merely an extension of a product that was supposed to be a "Home PC" from the beginning. Windows is merely a response to Apple's gui OS, not a product that was designed from the ground up to be functional. This opinion is from someone who makes a living servicing Win32 machines...their breaking all the time keeps food on my table. Meanwhile my fileservers and print servers and database servers running Linux haven't needed service for months.

Dataguess and the Pentium division bug (1)

BlueUnderwear (73957) | about 15 years ago | (#1614909)

Isn't that the same dataguess that made the news few years ago by producing an analysis showing that the Pentium bug was irrelevant in practice, just days before Intel themselves finally gave in?

Re:No argument (1)

GC (19160) | about 15 years ago | (#1614910)

1. I have no problems with my ZIP drive
2. If you have hardware that isn't supported then you can't expect it to work
3. This problem is most probably related to (2)
4. Still a hardware problem

All your problems appear to be hardware related. You can only compare the two operating systems on hardware that both are at home with.

I understand you have problems with Linux, and am sure that you will get more advice from friendly sources about how to resolve them, which you have to admit, is a darn sight more than you would have from Microsoft.

What do you mean..? (1)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | about 15 years ago | (#1614911)

I had a 64-processor Solaris setup at home for months until someone finally clued me in on this `Linux' thing..! ;)

There's a point, but ... (0)

cah1 (5152) | about 15 years ago | (#1614912)

The majority of users use the systems that's put in front of them and if it's comfortable to use, then great. Most people's desktops will have a few "Office" applications, an email client, a web browser and any proprietory systems that they specifically need to perform their job.

There are word processors out there for Linux that are as "easy" to use as Word. There are spreadsheets out there that are "easy" to use as XL. There are plenty of different databases available. The integration is a key feature of Office and Smart Suite - but that's achievable too.

The availability for Linux of email clients and web browsers is not an issue.

The question of proprietory systems is the thorny one, though. If your transaction processing system or whatever is based around a Windows app then porting to Linux may be viable but it's a chicken and egg situation that's not really so dependent on Linux standards but on a corporate IT strategy that has a project manager with teams of workers weaned on Gatesware and with business critical apps that would cost a fortune to port.

That's the crunch. You can't port the apps if people haven't got Linux machines to run them on or the time to support the learning curve and you can't give them Linux machines if they haven't the apps to use on them.

There are niches developing, there has always been a place for *ix in many corporations, it might be able to extend but it does need a focussed strategy. MS has that focussed strategy and its worked wonderfully albeit with a flawed product. No-one's saying that Linux doesn't have it's flaws and at the moment, one of those flaws is no realistic champion.

Re:What a horrible article! (2)

bmetzler (12546) | about 15 years ago | (#1614914)

My favorite part is at the end where a 'spokesperson' (no name, of course) for HP says that Linux isn't 'robust' enough yet. If that truly is someone who works for HP, I guess they haven't been to their web page lately.

The article was a little confusing because the journalist was jumping rapidly from one market segment to another. One minute he was talking about low-end servers, the next minute high-end servers, with distinguishing between the thoughts.

The HP spokesperson was not saying that Linux was not viable at all. In that statement Linux was being compared to their HP-UX product. HP-UX is a high end enterprise OS, which doesn't even compare to Linux. Linux supplements HP-UX, it doesn't/shouldn't/will never replace HP-UX.

So Linux isn't robust enough to replace their HP-UX product. However, as you pointed out, they do believe it is robust enough to replace NT. It's all about markets. Linux has been designed to compete in the market that Microsoft has generally focused NT in, not the HP-UX market, or the Solaris market.


Tho it's fair to disagree with what it DOES say (3)

jd (1658) | about 15 years ago | (#1614915)

"Death Knell to Linux" - uhhh, but Linux has been growing, and the rate of growth is, itself, increasing. If that's a "death knell", we need more of them.

Desktop Windows acutally -is- being affected. If it weren't, you wouldn't be seeing sales of Applixware or Star Office. For that matter, Sun wouldn't have -bought- Star Office. They didn't do that out of the kindness of their heart, they did it because there's gold in dem dere hills! (KOffice is vastly superior to MS Office, anyway.) Besides, if you want to get technical, Word DOES run under Linux, if you have Wine installed.

Actually, most of the Linux installations I've seen are desktop, or combined desktop/server. I've seen VERY few dedicated Linux servers. Not because that's not a good configuration, but because Linux can handle both tasks extremely well.

Productivity software - methinks Oracle, Informix, IBM DB/2, Code Warrior, Star Office, Applixware, KOffice, Klyx, BMRT, PoV-Ray, The GIMP, URT, Emacs (!), the complete KDE suite, Enlightenment, the complete GNOME suite, GNU Plotutils, the various Linux PIM suites and FlightGear prove that all the bases that Microsoft claims for NT are covered by Linux. (FlightGear beats the socks off Excel's FS, any day!)

unfortunately I have to agree (2)

Mad Hatter (16140) | about 15 years ago | (#1614917)

I have been using Linux for a couple of years now and I am a real advocate (but not rabbid) and I definately have to agree with the consistency issue. It can be really annoying to have to stop and think "hmm, now which modifier did this program use for hotkeys, was copy 'control c' or 'alt c.' That is my one major annoyance with Linux (and Unix in general), it would be really nice for there to be a set standard for hotkeys. On the Mac I know that no matter what program I am in 'command c' is copy and 'command v' is paste, on Winblows I know 'control c' is copy and'control v' is paste. It definately adds to the user friendliness of a platform to have a few simple standards like those.

"Trouble is, just because it's obvious doesn't mean it's true"

Lack of productivity software? (1)

ColonelNorth (71286) | about 15 years ago | (#1614919)

Damn, I'm about ready to bust this guys nut. There is more than enough good productivity software available for Linux, and more is always on the horizon. For the lazy of us who don't want to go downloading stuff, we can usually find pico, emacs, joe, or whatever for word processing. Maybe some people don't like those apps very much, but the output is more portable than a stupid .DOC file. Then for your more powerful environment, look at StarOffice. Now that is a nice office suit without too much of the BS Microsoft has. Quick and functional, mostly. :)

Re:Just my 2 cents, ... Dancing Paper Clip (2)

bmetzler (12546) | about 15 years ago | (#1614927)

How is the "Dancing Paper Clip" any different from Xeyes, Oneko, Xant, Xroach, or any other X toys?

Hehe, that's easy. Xeyes didn't have Millions of Dollars spent in R&D to create it. Er, I mean they weren't developed by Microsoft.


predefined linux bashing templates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1614928)

This seems like just another story right out of the box that is designed to bash Linux. Sounds too familiar to the "Linux Myths" page posted earlier by Microsoft and if you look carefully some of the key arguments are actually taken verbatum from that and from Microsoft. Not to mention that their facts are all wrong about Sun releasing their source code. The damn thing isn't available yet. Again, The Gardencrap group was not very original with their comment relating to few applications being there for Linux. How can any article like that assert such claims without proof. It was spoken just like a Microsoft add for NT Server and offered us no facts or reasons to believe it. If Gardencrap says it then it must be true...right?

your gartners showing (0)

harenet (53151) | about 15 years ago | (#1614929)

plays well into the M$=BSmediaHYPE theory. the old guard IS rattled.

Huh? (1)

Ishamael (5447) | about 15 years ago | (#1614930)

This doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me:

"Most Linux users are people who don't want to use Microsoft's products, Blair said. That means the OS most likely to suffer because of Linux's
success is Unix, he says."

Wouldn't this mean that _Microsoft_ would be the one to suffer from Linux's growing popularity?

Maybe I just DGI.

Re:Gartner amazes me with correctness, for once (1)

GC (19160) | about 15 years ago | (#1614931)

I don't like NT either, but ini files should only exist in WINNT for two reasons:

1. badly coded applications
2. 16-bit applications

For all other cases you should use the registry, which you know has separate sections for each user and you shouldn't run 16-bit applications on NT.

A fool and his(her) money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1614932)

Actually, the right thing to do is:

1) Look at what Gartner is telling PHBs to use.

2) Learn enough about whatever that is to pretend to be an expert.

3) Go to PHBs and pitch consulting services related to what Gartner said they should use.

4) Wave the Gartner report around, use it to bludgeon competing consultants who suggest alternative, superior technologies.

5) Laugh all the way to the bank.

A fool and his money are soon parted. Some people feel a moral obligation to participate in this process.

Ohmygodthisisawful!!! (1)

vr (9777) | about 15 years ago | (#1614933)

One question: DO WE CARE?!

Personally I couldn't care less if Gartner Group slams Linux or not. I don't care if Linux becomes a "mainstream" OS or not.. as long as Linux keeps on being the kick-ass OS and development platfor it is.

No productivity apps for Linux? Who cares? Who needs 'em? Not me.

Business-speak (1)

Corydon76 (46817) | about 15 years ago | (#1614936)

The <blah blah blah> will continue to make Linux a poor choice for the mainstream business productivity user.

Translation: Linux is not suitable for idiots.

Of course, from the kind of idiots I've had to support, I'd say that computers are unsuitable for use by "business productivity users".


Re:FUD? ... I think yes. (1)

minkyboodle (102239) | about 15 years ago | (#1614938)

I work for a young e-commerce company. We started out using NT servers and within 3 weeks of crashing and horrible performance we went with all linux servers the increase in performance was amazing. I already convinced my boss to let me install linux on my workstation.

Re:Linux IS competing with Unix!!!! (1)

QuMa (19440) | about 15 years ago | (#1614940)

well then tell me the standard way to install a package that works accross all Linux distributions?

tar xzvf name.tar.gz;cd name;./configure;make all install

And what's the standard way to install on win? Run install.exe and hope it works? Yeah, that's a lot better.

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