Someone had to say it

Story: Linux Has Not Won, Microsoft is as Dangerous as Ever, Fie on Secure BootTotal Replies: 40
Author Content
djohnston

Dec 04, 2012
7:50 PM EST
And you said it so well, Carla.

tracyanne

Dec 04, 2012
8:20 PM EST
Quoting: Every time you buy a computer that bundles a Windows license just to save a few bucks over buying a Linux machine, you're shooting yourself in the foot. It doesn't matter that you blow Windows away and install Linux-- it still counts as a Windows sale, which reinforces your vendor's belief that they need Windows users and can safely ignore Linux users. It sends money to Redmond. It rewards all the junkware, adware, and spyware vendors that load their garbage on Windows PCs. And it cements the anti-competitive status quo more firmly. Buying Android devices sends a significant revenue stream into Microsoft's pockets-- Linux PCs and bare hardware are almost our only remaining options to avoid paying the Microsoft tax.

Independent Linux vendors like System76 and ZaReason do more than stuff Linux into off-the-shelf machines. They do their own engineering and design, build with quality components, and use hardware that supports open drivers. So you don't need to worry about custom drivers or lockin, but can use your machines however you see fit. You're not going to be plagued with strange errors and bad performance from sub-par electronics. You get good stuff that you control and better service.

It's obvious that no matter how blatantly Microsoft abuses their market clout there will never be a regulatory remedy. The only meaningful clout is the market, which means two things: buy Linux, and tell vendors how you feel. It takes just a few minutes to tell ASUS or Dell or Costco or Newegg or whoever that they lost a sale because you are a Linux customer. They don't get that message when you quietly purchase products that bundle an unavoidable Windows tax.


Exactly. I could not add anything to that. And it is precisely why even at the risk of paying more I search for companies that offer laptops with Linux pre installed or No OS.
jsusanka

Dec 05, 2012
1:08 AM EST
still using my system 76 netbook - it blows most of my works corporate windows laptops out of the water.

so sick of windows I do everything and anything to get it out of my life. apple too.
nmset

Dec 05, 2012
3:11 AM EST
Linux distros should not ship any kind of stuff signed by MS. A guy smart enough to install Linux can disable secure boot and must not be forced to disgust every day. If we say "You can install that Linux distro on Win8 machines", people will continue pay the MS tax. We should say "This machine does not care about you." and "That Linux distro does not care about this machine." Do Linux distro maintainers think that they will get a bigger market share by bowing the knee ? They have not previously. And MS can just revoke the signing key, update Win8 machines via Windows Update and that whole bunch of Linux geeks would be left in the dark. Do not ship any kind of stuff signed by MS !
CFWhitman

Dec 05, 2012
10:47 AM EST
Distro maintainers do not want you to have to be "smart" to install their distribution of Linux. They want you to be able to pop a CD in the drive and run or install Linux with barely any effort to at least try it out. I'm not certain about what, but something is working for the promotion of Linux on the desktop because last month non-Android Linux reached 1.99% of non-mobile hits on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites. That may not seem like a lot, but it would seem to be more than double what it was four or five years ago.

If trying to wake people up to the fact that Microsoft is exerting monopoly pressure on their choice of operating system worked, then Microsoft would not be where it is today (besides Apple and Linux, OS/2 and BeOS were reasonable choices at one time).

Incidentally, hardware keys cannot be changed by Microsoft Update running on the operating system. If they could, that would make Secure Boot so easy to hack it would be a joke. The keys can only be changed from within UEFI before the machine boots.
jdixon

Dec 05, 2012
11:23 AM EST
> Distro maintainers do not want you to have to be "smart" to install their distribution of Linux.

Well, most of them don't. There are a few who might decide to go that route.
caitlyn

Dec 05, 2012
11:37 AM EST
Quoting:Well, most of them don't. There are a few who might decide to go that route.
Some definitely go that way. Cases in point: Gentoo, CRUX.
jdixon

Dec 05, 2012
12:31 PM EST
> Cases in point: Gentoo, CRUX.

I'm thinking Patrick may forgo the boot shim too. We'll have to wait and see.
caitlyn

Dec 05, 2012
12:37 PM EST
@tracyanne: Let me start by saying I, in principle, agree with Carla and with you. In practice it's often better for me personally to buy a Windows box and let Microsoft count the sale.

First, sometimes the price difference is huge. I have a three year old desktop that was a loss leader at CompUSA. It was $150 and still serves me well. At the time my business was doing OK but finances were still very much an issue. I couldn't justify spending three or four times the price just to avoid having Microsoft being able to count my box. I think even among string FOSS/Linux advocates the percentage of people who would be willing to do that is miniscule. As I wrote at the time:

Quoting:However, until Linux systems are available side by side with Windows systems and are price competitive with Windows systems, including loss leaders, I don't see how Microsoft's hold on at least 80% of the market is going to be broken. This is particularly galling when systems that are sold with Windows perform so poorly when compared with the same system running Linux.


See: http://broadcast.oreilly.com/2010/09/loss-leaders-and-linux.... FWIW, the vendors Carla cites are rarely if ever price competitive and I do NOT buy into her claim that the hardware is superior. It all comes from the same few places in China and the components are comparable. I do agree that they use components that support open drivers which is a definite plus. However, for most of us paying the bills trumps that advantage when off the shelf stuff mostly just works. UEFI Secure Boot will change that for some people, but not for most.

The other issue I've had with the boutique vendors is that I was looking for a system that didn't match up with anything they sold at a given time. If they don't have the sort of hardware I want then my hands are pretty much tied.

Have I bought with Linux preloaded? Yes, from HP, when they offered netbooks that way. If it isn;t a bunch more expensive or if it doesn't force me into a hardware spec I don't want then, of course, I'd rather buy from a vendor that supports Linux.
tuxchick

Dec 05, 2012
1:31 PM EST
Quoting: FWIW, ... I do NOT buy into her claim that the hardware is superior.


You are wrong. There is considerable variation in components and many choices, and as I said in the article many independents do their own engineering. What I didn't spell out exactly is they work directly with the manufacturers on specifications and design, though that was clearly implied.

You're also wrong about not being able to get a system specced to your needs-- ZaReason, System76, Penguin Computing, Pogo Linux, and many others will customize a system however you want. The price differential is not 3 or 4 times.

You always argue for pinching pennies, and that's your privilege. It's ultimately self-defeating as I already pointed out.
jdixon

Dec 05, 2012
1:37 PM EST
> It's ultimately self-defeating as I already pointed out.

It's only self defeating if you have the money to do otherwise, TC. Some people don't have it at all, while other people have far more important uses for the money they would have to spend.
tuxchick

Dec 05, 2012
2:38 PM EST
jdixon, it's self-defeating if you want a competitive marketplace, more Linux OEM choices, and better pricing. It's obvious that if a person wants Windows, or has a limited budget, then of course they have to do what fits their situation. I'm not interested in complaints from Linux users who want more choices in the marketplace, but aren't willing to do anything to influence vendors.
caitlyn

Dec 05, 2012
2:43 PM EST
There are lots of other ways to influence vendors. I'm not convinced buying from an itty bitty boutique vendor makes one bit of difference. Buying from a tier 1 vendor when they offer Linux is another matter. That does help.

Sorry, TC, it's not your way or the highway.
jdixon

Dec 05, 2012
3:08 PM EST
> It's obvious that if a person wants Windows, or has a limited budget...

Most of the people I deal with on a day to day basis have a limited budget for computing. I can't in good conscience direct them to a Linux vendor for their needs. For most of them, I recommend the off lease PC shops, some of which give you a choice of OS.

> Buying from a tier 1 vendor when they offer Linux is another matter. That does help.

It does? We bought a consumer class netbook running Linus from Dell. Dell no longer sells them, or any consumer class machine running Linux. We also bought one of the early Asus EEE's with Linux. Those seem to be gone too.

I'm sorry, Caitlyn. I'd like to agree with you, but on this particular point history doesn't seem to be on your side.

If you have the money to spare, I'd say TC is right and you should buy from a Linux vendor. Unfortunately, most of the people I know don't have that kind of money to spare or have better uses for it. I'm pretty much in the latter category.
nmset

Dec 05, 2012
3:16 PM EST
>"a limited budget for computing"

Could be that software needed later on would finally cost more than the hardware !
tracyanne

Dec 05, 2012
3:58 PM EST
want money to spare, then wait till you have it.
jdixon

Dec 05, 2012
4:11 PM EST
> Could be that software needed later on would finally cost more than the hardware !

Not if they get a Linux machine.

> ...want money to spare, then wait till you have it.

In which case they'll never own a computer. Yeah, that'll help the market for Linux a lot.
tracyanne

Dec 05, 2012
6:15 PM EST
Of course they will own a Linux machine. At the moment all they are achieving is instant gratification. As it is most simply wait until the price of the windows machine is a on sale price, so if they can wait for that they can wait and continue saving.

But that's the thing 'everyone' wants instant gratification.
jdixon

Dec 05, 2012
7:57 PM EST
> Of course they will own a Linux machine. ... As it is most simply wait until the price of the windows machine is a on sale price, ...

You really have no idea what level of disposable income I'm talking about here, do you? It's not a question of waiting. They're NEVER going to have the money for a machine from a site like ZaReason. In many cases they can't even afford the low end machines from the Windows shops. The get reloaded hand me down machines or refurbished machines from the off lease providers.

tracyanne

Dec 05, 2012
8:09 PM EST
JD I have no problem with the fact that there are people who will never afford a new computer. They are going to buy a used machine (with or without Windows), and they are not the issue here, the used computer when resold isn't a Windows sale, or at least won't be if the reseller is simply passing on the machine after cleaning it up, and it can just as easily be a Linux sale.

We are talking about people with disposable income, such as you and me, and my income ain't all that great these days, as all I earn is a carers pension (which I can tell you isn't much), but even on that I can still afford to save for a new computer even at the $50 to $150 extra to buy it from ZaReason. So anyone who has an actual job isn't going to feel much or any pain to actually support a Linux pre installer.

Mostly we are talking about excuses for not spending the extra to support a Linux pre installer, rather need.
jdixon

Dec 05, 2012
8:42 PM EST
> We are talking about people with disposable income,

You may be. I wasn't, and noted such. And if you think I have the disposable income to buy a ZaReason machine over building my own or buying used, you're mistaken. There are far more important things than computers for that money to go to.

> ...even at the $50 to $150 extra to buy it from ZaReason

I wish. The ZaReason Breezes is $450. I can pick up a serviceable machine from CedarPC for about $110 (some with Linux) or a DIY machine from NewEgg for about $220. At $50, I'd actually consider it, as that's about what the preload is worth to me.
tracyanne

Dec 05, 2012
8:57 PM EST
@JD, buy used by all means, it's not a Windows sale when you buy used. Build your own by all means, it's not a Windows sale when you build your own. All that is being asked is that one not buy new wih windows pre installed, because that is a Windows sale.

Those that can afford it consider seriously spending the extra to buy a new ZaREason or other Pre installed Linux, rather than going for the cheaper Windows pre install.

Oh, and whether you can afford a new machine or not, when you don't buy a new machine with Windows, let the OEMs know that you didn't buy from them, because Linux wasn't an option.
user1100100

Dec 06, 2012
2:09 AM EST
Quote from article:

Every time you buy a computer that bundles a Windows license just to save a few bucks over buying a Linux machine, you're shooting yourself in the foot. It doesn't matter that you blow Windows away and install Linux-- it still counts as a Windows sale, which reinforces your vendor's belief that they need Windows users and can safely ignore Linux users. It sends money to Redmond. It rewards all the junkware, adware, and spyware vendors that load their garbage on Windows PCs. And it cements the anti-competitive status quo more firmly.

- - - -

It touched a nerve because I am this type of notebook consumer. I can't find a good compromise as I like and support AMD based systems, especially the latest Series-A combined cpu/gpu platform. I can't find a vendor/distributor who sells AMD based notebooks loaded with linux; so, I end up going to newegg.com and grabbing a Toshiba, HP, or Samsung, and loading one distro or another. I occasionally review zareason, system76, los alamos computers, AVA, or ASA computer sites but never find an AMD-based notebook preloaded with linux.

I find the Radeon drivers in AMD systems can be configured to work very well and are not sub-standard compared to Intel or Nvidia graphics.

I simply don't know what to do to stop paying Microsoft, and get the laptop/notebook hardware I want.
nmset

Dec 06, 2012
5:14 AM EST
> "They want you to be able to pop a CD in the drive and run or install Linux with barely any effort to at least try it out"

Yep, but most buyers have chosen a PC ready to use to avoid having to prepare it for use. The few others can deactivate that secure boot setting.
tracyanne

Dec 06, 2012
6:27 AM EST
user1100100

Quoting:I simply don't know what to do to stop paying Microsoft, and get the laptop/notebook hardware I want.


Buy from someone like ZaReason.
jdixon

Dec 06, 2012
6:36 AM EST
user1100100: I occasionally review zareason, system76, los alamos computers, AVA, or ASA computer sites but never find an AMD-based notebook preloaded with linux.

tracyanne: Buy from someone like ZaReason

It's like people are talking right past each other.

Yes, people, every one admits that it would be better if we could all get our machines from ZaReason, System76, et.al. Not everyone can. They don't carry what everyone wants/needs, and they're simply not an option for cost conscious buyers.
user1100100

Dec 06, 2012
7:35 AM EST
@tracyanne -- As stated in my original post, when I review the specs. of each notebook offered by zareason http://zareason.com/shop/Laptops/ there are no AMD based systems to choose from. The same goes for system76, los alamos computers, AVA, or ASA. LinuxCertified.com has a few links to AMD Turion cpu notebooks but those models are well over 2 years old.

@jdixon -- Well said. It appears my only choice to terminate support for Microsoft is to buy used AMD notebooks from ebay. Who knows, that may well be where I turn. Buying used is a great way to keep the stuff out of landfills.
dinotrac

Dec 06, 2012
11:50 AM EST
FWIW ---

Linux may not have won (unless you count Chromebooks and all those Android tablets and phones), but Microsoft has definitely lost.

Microsoft is not longer considered one of the "cool" tech kids. Those are now Apple and Google.

Microsoft is withering. It'll take a good long while, given the size of the beast, but it has lost and lost big.
jdixon

Dec 06, 2012
1:19 PM EST
> Microsoft is withering.

So was IBM for a time. They came back in a big way. The same still could happen with Microsoft. Of course, it would require competent leadership, which they haven't had for some time.
Fettoosh

Dec 06, 2012
2:03 PM EST
Quoting:Microsoft is withering. ... So was IBM for a time.


There is substantial difference between the two.

MS is a software product oriented company while IBM always had a trio of products, Hardware, Software, and Services. All three complemented each other and helped IBM to survive multiple down turns. MS software products are being replaced and doesn't have much in hardware or service to survive as an IT company. Financial company is its only avenue.

jdixon

Dec 06, 2012
3:48 PM EST
> MS is a software product oriented company while IBM always had a trio of products, Hardware, Software, and Services

Software oriented, yes. But they do have both hardware and services.

They've pretty much always made mice (pretty good ones too) and keyboards almost as long. Add in the XBox and possibly the Surface tablet, and you've got a fair hardware base.

As for services: Hotmail, Bing, and Office Live; just to name those I'm familiar with.

Now, they've never been any good at making money from these, but that's where competent leadership comes in.
tuxchick

Dec 06, 2012
3:56 PM EST
Quoting: Now, they've never been any good at making money from these, but that's where competent leadership comes in.


The best zingers are the quiet ones :)
CFWhitman

Dec 06, 2012
4:43 PM EST
Last I knew, Microsoft mice were made by Logitech. I would imagine the keyboards are made by someone else too.

Of course, Microsoft has a currently very successful game console, the Xbox 360. I believe that is making some money for them.

Microsoft is in a position where it has plenty of time, considering the current dependence on Office and Windows by businesses, in which to find a way to remain relevant. If they are going down, they are going down very slowly. Of course, if they are too insistent on everyone switching to Windows RT based apps, then they could accelerate their decline.
jdixon

Dec 06, 2012
4:56 PM EST
> Last I knew, Microsoft mice were made by Logitech. I would imagine the keyboards are made by someone else too.

Lots of companies outsource their manufacturing. That doesn't mean they can't sell them at a profit.

> Microsoft is in a position where it has plenty of time..

Yeah, that they do.
CFWhitman

Dec 07, 2012
11:16 AM EST
Quoting:Lots of companies outsource their manufacturing. That doesn't mean they can't sell them at a profit.


I didn't mean to imply that it did. It's just that the impression I've always had about Microsoft mice and keyboards was that not only was manufacturing outsourced, but design was outsourced as well. In other words, they basically have a deal where they say, 'make some good peripherals that we can brand.' On the other hand, the Xbox and Xbox 360 are actually Microsoft projects, though I believe they still outsource the manufacturing.

In any case, they certainly can make some money either way. I just don't know if the Microsoft name would really have so much clout on its own as a computer peripheral manufacturer. I think they've got a lot more when it comes to the Xbox.
jdixon

Dec 07, 2012
11:19 AM EST
> I just don't know if the Microsoft name would really have so much clout on its own as a computer peripheral manufacturer.

I've known people who swear by Microsoft keyboards and mice, so I wouldn't assume they wouldn't.
Fettoosh

Dec 07, 2012
11:54 AM EST
Quoting:But they do have both hardware and services.


True, but in comparison to IBM's scale of hardware and services, MS's hardware and services I believe are still inconsequential.

jdixon

Dec 07, 2012
1:44 PM EST
> MS's hardware and services I believe are still inconsequential.

You consider hotmail and the Xbox inconsequential? I could only wish to be so inconsequential to so many people. Now, they may not compare well to IBM, but then very few businesses, even highly successful ones, do.
Steven_Rosenber

Dec 07, 2012
2:02 PM EST
In a related matter, I want this: http://zareason.com/shop/UltraLap-430.html
Fettoosh

Dec 07, 2012
3:33 PM EST
Quoting:You consider hotmail and the Xbox inconsequential?


Yes, as I said, compared to IBM's. Hotmail? who still use that piece of junk?

jdixon

Dec 07, 2012
3:58 PM EST
> Hotmail? who still use that piece of junk?

Lots of people, perhaps unfortunately.

Posting in this forum is limited to members of the group: [ForumMods, SITEADMINS, MEMBERS.]

Becoming a member of LXer is easy and free. Join Us!