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Mozilla & Gnome may go after Longhorn

By Julio Franco ยท 13 replies
Apr 28, 2004
  1. As Microsoft focuses on merging its Web browser and operating system software, open-source competitors are mulling a proposal to join forces and beat the software giant to the punch.

    Representatives from two open-source foundations, Mozilla and Gnome, met last week to consider a joint course of action aimed at keeping their respective Web and desktop software products relevant once Microsoft releases the next major overhaul of its Windows operating system, known as Longhorn.

    Read more: CNet News.
  2. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    I'm getting pretty impressed with Suse 9 with Ximian Gnome and Mozilla. Its really getting close to a product that's a legit desktop for normal users. Well, in a manner of speaking ;)

    But why are they going to bother? Companies will still spend $M on Windows licencing for desktops because they can't be assed with the hassle of the changeover to Linux / added expense of retraining people / new collection of security problems, etc , etc....

    Normal users don't want a new operating system to deal with. Either because that's what they know already or if they have never used a computer then they want to be compatible with other people that they know.

    However, the above point becomes moot when we consider a large scale change in GUI design for Longhorn. If Windows is changing anyway, then this is a chance for Linux to score a goal and win users over to their side. So the plot does thicken.

    So in fact what Gnome and Mozilla might want to do is good. But its probably not enough. Linux needs to get its act together and produce some kind of "standard" of sorts that's much more clearly defined than what we have now. There needs to be one Linux to rule them all if they ever want to stand a change of taking a shot at evil old Microsoft.
  3. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Microsoft Rules!

    No, but seriously, the average pc illiterate person has enough problems using windows, so Linux would cause their head to explode. Linux is for geeks, and Microsoft is far from evil. We all know windows is over-priced, and if Linux was priced the same, then no one would touch it. Longhorn is likely to be a significant improvement over windows xp, and Linux is alien to most users, so I can't see why anyone would want to move to Linux instead. Linux is a dinosaur, and will remain so simply because it is open source and so isn't profitable to invest in. The competition is good and it also seems to be forcing Microsoft to deliver a better product with every new release. Lets just hope they don't increase their prices for Longhorn, despite it's monumental development cost.
  4. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    Microsoft aren't really evil. I just said that to be geek cool. And it was a cheap shot at that.

    Linux might well have a shot at the server side - I'm sure its the future as far as that sort of thing is concerned. I work for a multinational investment bank with a highly complex server structure and we are running Solaris and looking at a possible move to Linux in the future.

    But we are sure as hell not moving the corporate desktop to anything other than XP. Its XP, Dell, same software titles, over and over again in the whole company.

    Yes, people do have Linux boxes but they have them if they are really tech savy people who know the power of the OS - not because it has a better GUI. It doesn't really and it won't any time soon unless some people really get their act together, and even then its not going to make a dent in Microsoft anyway...

    Bottom line: Linux should concentrate on the server market where it has a good chance of dominating and keeping Microsoft out, thereby confining Microsoft to the desktop market alone. Microsoft can and will produce better GUIs and desktop operating systems so let them do it, and concentrate on making IIS, MS SQL Server, Exchange, etc other Microsoft server applications things of the past.
  5. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper TS Rookie Posts: 407

    i cannot see linux running on Joe Dell's computer. at this stage, the OS is not as user friendly as MS because MS generally does not want the user to know anything about what the computer is doing. Microsoft's product is behind the scenes so to speak than Linux.

    people who are just trying to install a game do not need to know how to use commandline. they just want to pop in the cd and start gaming. an advantage that MS OS's have is that they dumb down OS for the novice computer user.

    i agree that Linux can be a great server OS. many businesses are using Linux servers.

    most non-tech savvy people that i have met think that open source is very inferior to proprietary products. in some ways it is but the same can be said of proprietary products.
  6. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Linux does have a chance & is making advances in the desktop market because home users do not account for a major portion of the desktop market.

    Most of the desktop market consist of users that do not play games, do not watch DVDs, do not install software other then what is allready installed.

    A good example is the secretary type of user. All she needs is Office ( or any look-a-like as StarOffice ), Outlook ( or Evolution or any Email program ) IE ( Mozilla, Opera or Konqueror can imitate IE quite well ) & she's happy.

    She will not fiddle with anything nor try to find out what the system is doing. & in that type of situation, you can replace a Windows machine with Linux without any problems.
  7. me(who else?)

    me(who else?) TS Rookie Posts: 387

    I agree with Phant and Nic. If you give linux to the average PC user, you can bring serious havoc to the table. I have a bud I gave a set of Linux CDs to, showed him how to install the OS and now he calls me every day to ask me how to install a tar.gz file to his computer. He even went overboard and installed it on his laptop too, so now I've got to help him get rid of the bootloader so he can reinstall Windows.

    Before I thought that anybody can navigate the RedHat 9 desktop with ease, but here I see I was wrong.

    Of course, if you don't want them to change anything, they can be logged on as a user, but they can't figure out how to get a prompt, so they can't seriously mess anything up.
  8. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    The only problem with that Didou is we're in an increasingly global market....and along with that comes compatibility needs regarding documents, spreadsheets and so on. As long as M$ keeps a strong global presence (specifically with large organizations) then people will stay with them simply from a compatibility angle.
  9. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Indeed & as such OpenOffice's ability to open Microsoft Office XP documents does help a lot.:D
  10. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    I'm not familiar with OpenOffice so please pardon my ignorance. Is it possible to edit said document and return it in a format capable of being opened by the originating application (in our hypothetical case, Office XP)?
  11. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,946   +200

  12. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    I've modified with OpenOffice writer documents created with Word & documents created with Powerpoint in OpenOffice Impress.

    Everything works fine until you start using loads of layers & transparencies & such. The document does not get corrupted if you modify such a document ( one with transparencies, etc ) with OpenOfficeor anything it's just that it's not always properly displayed in OpenOffice.

    No problems at all with OpenOffice Math & Exell though.
  13. me(who else?)

    me(who else?) TS Rookie Posts: 387

    I thought that Microsoft's Office files were all stored in proprietary formats. Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought that Micro$oft would have filed a lawsuit if they saw Linux using their propriatary formats.
  14. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    Actually, they wouldn't be using their formats as such, just translating up and back.
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