Lennart Poettering: BSD Isn't Relevant Anymore
jerry at seibercom.net
Mon Jul 18 20:22:50 UTC 2011
On Mon, 18 Jul 2011 14:44:15 -0500
Gary Gatten articulated:
> I've always been curious why "Linux" seemed to take off so fast when
> other FOSS / non Winblow$ OS's were available for some time with not
> much traction; OS/2, BeOS, *nix with X11, etc.
> Not just on the desktop, but servers as well. "Supported" versions
> of Linux such as RHEL, Suse, etc. seem to have made more headway into
> the enterprise computing environment in the last ten years than *BSD
> did in the last 30.
I think the explanation is rather simple, "Give the user what he wants,
not what you think he wants." You are never going to satisfy every
conceivable user, so concentrate on the core users. Microsoft has done
that extremely well. On the latest Windows 7, getting wireless up and
running is the most effortless thing I have done in awhile. Windows
does everything but fill in the password. On FreeBSD, well lets just
say if that even if they had a driver for the wireless card I have
installed, getting it up and running would be another matter. Correct
me if I am wrong, but even "network manager" is not available on
FreeBSD is it? I have not checked in awhile. I know that there are some
programs listed, but none of them work as seamlessly as Microsoft's. It
is a basic truism in any business that in order to beat your rival, you
have to produce a better product or one that costs less and
still maintains the same basic usability. Simply creating a free product
that is not as usable is not enough. If you cannot accomplish that,
then at least try to create the illusion of it. FreeBSD has failed at
the goal also.
> >From my personal experience - which is relatively limited - it seems
> >applications just work on Linux? When I need to compile an app, it
> >takes a few mins on Linux - but may take me a few weeks on FBSD.
> >Granted someone more knowledgeable with FBSD, Compilers, etc. could
> >do it much faster than I.
> Anyway, if someone has a brief explanation of why Linux has
> apparently triumphed (in so far as installed base, desktop
> penetration, etc.) where so many others have failed (including IBM
> with OS/2) I'd be interested in hearing those thoughts.
OS/2 was IBM's fault from the beginning. They insisted that it be tied
to the 286 processor. Gates attempted to talk them out of it in a
famous meeting in Armonk, NY. IBM refused and effectively wrote it's own
death sentence with OS/2. As with any product, first impressions are
crucial. Their first one failed. Unfortunately, so many FOSS pundits
have not learned this simple lesson.
OS/2 1.x targeted the 80286 processor: IBM insisted on supporting the
Intel 80286 processor, with its 16-bit segmented memory mode, due to
commitments made to customers who had purchased many 80286-based PS/2's
because of IBM's promises surrounding OS/2. Until release 2.0 in
April 1992, OS/2 ran in 16-bit protected mode and therefore could not
benefit from the Intel 80386's much simpler 32-bit flat memory model
and virtual 8086 mode features. This was especially painful in
providing support for DOS applications. While, in 1988, Windows/386 2.1
could run several cooperatively multitasked DOS applications, including
expanded memory (EMS) emulation, OS/2 1.3, released in 1991, was still
limited to one 640KB "DOS box".
jerry+fbsd at seibercom.net
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