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November 28, 2002


Posted by Mike on November 28, 2002 12:18 AM

m sent me a link to another dismal Lindows is going to destroy Microsoft review.

I've been out of the "Linux space" for a long time now... almost nine months, and I still feel a stirring of outrage over Lindows.

Michael says it "seems to be a 'dumb people's Linux,' like a Swiss Army knife with a few major blades missing and random charges for using others..."


I had a few thoughts, too, on both the product and the review...

1. When you run Lindows, you're root. Period. In other words, WinXP
has a better security model.

2. They want $99 to subscribe to their click-n-go library. What's the
lifecycle on WinXP? And if Robertson is right and computers are
commodifying to the point of being appliances, where's the benefit
of paying $99/year to use apt-get on their servers when you've
already got an OEM-bundle of Windows for much less than $100 on
your "toaster" PC? At $119 for the box + your $99 year for
click-n-go, they've got you for the price of WinXP Personal if you
buy it on the shelf for full price (and who does that?) Robertson
says the value proposition is in not paying $450 for OfficeXP.
O.k. Remind me again of why I'm not going to just run OpenOffice
under Windows if I can't pay for MS Office?

3. They've finally admitted WINE is a miserable bet for low-powered
machines (which is where they're pushing Lindows) so they're trying
to claim OpenOffice is "just as good" as Microsoft apps. They'll
be right 90-95% of the time when it comes to opening MS OFfice

Other areas where those low-powered machines running Lindows will make
life hard: gaming, multimedia (I've run QuickTime via Crossover on
machines that are similarly spec'd to what WalMart's pimping... it
sucks), and, of course, peripheral support.

A Lindows user wandering into CompUSA or Fred Myer's software section
won't know whether the stuff lined up on the shelf will run or not, or
how well. Robertson says they don't worry about running Windows
software anymore and the reporter lets him get away with it. Ironic,
considering the entire point of Lindows when it was announced was that
it would allow users to pop in a Windows-based CD and start running
its contents. It's like LandRover announcing that it's not worrying
about the part where its trucks don't bust an axle going over small

I guess I think it's bullshit. If I were that reporter's editor, I'd
tell him to take his advocacy elsewhere and I'd send him back to his
word processor. Claiming objections to Lindows are some sort of geek
elitism is just a cheap way to beg a lot of questions.

Lindows is the maybe/maybe not software and (peripheral) hardware
support of Linux with the rotten security and dumbed-down
straight-jacket interface of Windows... worst of both worlds,
guaranteed to alienate end users who will eventually come to despise
being told that their $50 software purchases and cheap peripherals
won't work and piss off nerds who simply don't need anything this
stupid to use their computers.