Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (4633 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] 'Goes along with those mad at Novell/SUSE and leave.
  • From: Robert Smits <bob@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 24 Dec 2006 23:22:16 -0800
  • Message-id: <200612242322.16543.bob@xxxxxxxxx>
On Sunday 24 December 2006 19:39, Randall R Schulz wrote:
> On Sunday 24 December 2006 19:03, J Sloan wrote:
> > ...
> >
> > Unfortunately, it's not about being mainstream anymore - at this
> > point, it's about viability, period.
> >
> > If linux can't achieve enough of a critical mass on the desktop to
> > matter, microsoft will be able to leverage control of all the
> > onramps, so to speak, to the "information highway", and then it's
> > game over. Unless of course, you're content to use linux on a
> > hobbyist basis, without meaningful access to the most internet
> > content, constituting nothing more than small islands of hopeless,
> > irrelevant rebellion in a microsoft world.
>

Joe is absolutely correct to be worried about the future viability of Linux
software. Of course, it's not game over today, but if you've looked at the
implications of a future where every device, every piece of hardware has to
meet DRM specifications or the media will not play he's correct to be
worried.

I suggest you start with this article that talks about the implications
http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
that Microsoft Vista has for equipment suppliers.

We (Linux users) are at what 4-5 % of computer users? Much of our current use
of hardware is based on adapting hardware made for Windows equipment to
Linux. What if we come to the point that we can't buy graphics cards without
Windows DRM that relegates linux users to low resolution graphics?

I'm not suggesting that the sky is falling today, but I do think there are a
lot of black clouds on the horizon that we should be concerned about.

> Anyway, I don't believe that desktop acceptance has anything to do with
> Linux's long-term viability. One simple example among many, the fact
> that Amazon.com runs almost all of it's on-line systems using Linux, is
> enough to show that Linux has a secure future.

If regular Linux users can't get access to hardware because it's DRM crippled
and all you want to do is run servers on it, OK. If the rest of us who
currently use our our Linux boxes to store and play audio, video, and all
kinds of other files, maybe not.

> Software development is far more efficient under Linux or other
> Unix-oriented systems. The only time one would use Windows is when
> writing Windows-specific software.

Or when you're forced to because everything is contaminated with DRM.

> The personal computing world will not end if Linux does not gain some
> minimal market- or "mind-" share. Look at the Macintosh. It has a small
> minority of the installed base of personal / desktop and server
> systems. But it remains eminently viable.
>

Yes, but there's a crucial difference. Apple is every bit as proprietary as
Microsoft, and every bit as DRM laden. They wouldn't care if the world
adopted the sort of DRM Microsoft is proposing because it's also to their
advantage. It's the rest of us with open source software that might be locked
out.
>
> The sky is not falling on Linux.

I'm not suggesting that the sky is falling today, but I do think there are a
lot of black clouds on the horizon that we should be concerned about.
Microsoft may well have over-reached itself and it's DRM laden Vista may fall
flat on it's face. I hope so, but when someone with that much firepower takes
aim it's prudent to take cover. (And plan counter-measures!)



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Bob Smits Ladysmith BC Phone 250-245-2553 Fax 250-245-5531 Email bob@xxxxxxxxx
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