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Why Google needs to get serious about a mainstream distro for desktops

post #1 of 31
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I'm going to get flamed for this but I believe that if linux is to taken seriously in the consumer world, we need ONE distro to rule all others. Google is a major company and would be taken seriously because it has the resources to develop an OS that could rival Windows and Mac. Hardware makers would have a reason to get serious about making drivers for it. I can see no reason why this couldn't be possible. If Microsoft can do it, why can't a major company like Google?

Google's attempt to integrate it's OS into specific hardware, like netbooks, is failing miserably. Recently they released a desktop shell for the OS to make it less of an OS-in-a-broswer and more like a real OS.

It needs a proprietary package management system that sets the standard..
It needs to be as user friendly as Windows and Mac. Doing things in the terminal is just not an option.
It needs to have commercial-grade quality software.
It needs widespread support of hardware vendors.
It needs to have a custom repository of software. Maybe it could also install Linux software but it has to have a much higher standard.
It could use this tight integration of software as a way to harden it and keep it virus-free.
It would have good support.

The OS itself could be free but the commercial-grade software could cost very little. Unlike Windows where the OS is expensive with free software and a plethora of viruses/malware masquerading as software. and unlike Mac where the OS and software are essentially free after paying an arm and leg for the hardware to run it, a Goole operating system would be more or less free with paid add-ons, much like we have now.

do you ever see this happening or is Google stuck with netbooks? Would you be willing to use it in place of your current Linux distro if it was free and had the same security and customizability?
Edited by aweir - 5/24/12 at 6:37pm
post #2 of 31
I'd like to see a third option on the OS front. But it will take nothing short of a miracle for a third OS to come on the scene and get support from all the vendors and such. Just look at linux now and you can see that it has tried very hard and still is 1% or so of the market. And by the numbers linux probably has more people coding it / working on it than microsoft and apple combined. Even if it had google's name on it it wouldn't do well. Windows and OSX are to heavily entrenched, it would take extreme tabloid news to even think about bringing them down.

I'm having this exact problem myself right now. I've been trying linux for the last week or two and I'm doing ok with it but the more I use it the more I ask myself why i'm using it. I think lately I have become just an average user, I browse the internet, manage my movies rips and music with itunes for my phone, email, yahoo voice chat and skype with the girlfriend. I am having a hard time justifying learning a whole new operating system for those simple things when windows is already doing everything I want and doing it flawlessly. I don't think people will magically flock to a google OS. Can't fix what isn't broke and to 99% of computer users either OSX or Windows just works fine, what motivation would they have to switch.

Yes it being free is a motivator I suppose... But linux has been free for as long as I can remember and it still isn't taking over anything other than servers. I highly doubt fear of command line is the reason it hasn't taken the world by storm.
Edited by Tadaen Sylvermane - 5/24/12 at 6:55pm
 
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post #3 of 31
It would take a lot of advertising. And I doubt Google would be the one to do it, unless they start helping Canonical. And Google already has ChromeOS which would need a lot of work to be good for desktops. Netbooks and smaller notebooks that are being used mainly for web stuff, then it's fine. But I think Canonical is going to be the one to push Ubuntu ( many OEM's have either already offered and gave up, or still are offering Ubuntu on many machines ).


And the good thing about OEM's supporting it is, like with Apple and it's products, will be on a limited amount of hardware which means they can fix up some good drivers for a few specific models with slight variances, so issues on compatibility become less of a headache. Then it just comes down to mainly the programs. Which more support may come if OEM's can help kick things off.
post #4 of 31

I would agree with shrak, I think Ubuntu/Canonical is the more logical choice here for something like this than google.

 

I haven't played with Chrome OS much, but i wasn't too impressed with its concept (even tho i believe that is the direction computing might be going in the near future).  As for android, what can be said about it, its a good Phone OS, but i don't want it running my tablet or desktop.

 

I don't think if google did come out with a desktop version of chrome OS or (shudders) Android, that it would become the defacto "ruler" for all other distro's to fall in behind.

 

I think its very important to keep Linux's "choice" intact, even tho i wouldn't mind a universal package and central repo, that all distro's package managers can connect too and use, but I wouldn't want that to be the ONLY choice there is.

 

This unifying package would be essential for commercial developers, as this is very fragmented approach, it would also be easier on the end user as well, cause when i first started using linux, i didn't know the difference between a deb, rpm or .tar.gz. I think ubuntu's approach with the software center (offering not only a graphical front end to a package manager, but an easy to browse, search, and install from one, that has user rating and reviews available), is a step into the right direction, and other distro's have already started to adopt concepts such as this.

 

So looking back at what linux was like  5 years ago when i started using it, and what it has become today, its night and day differences, I expect 5 years from now, it being that different as well.

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post #5 of 31
To be honest, I really don't care if Linux succeeds on the desktop. I don't even care if people install it nor which distro they install. All I wish is if idiots stop posting the typical "QQ I failed at Linux because I'm thick and now I'm going to declare desktop Linux as dead".

Such articles are usually backed up with meaningless stats about estimated market shares (usually skewed in favour of Windows due to the way how Linux users usually end up buying Windows with laptops / pre-builds and how Linux doesn't have a centralised download database). And those articles are usually written by people who spent all of about zero seconds reading up on Linux best practices. I mean seriously, it's not that hard:
  1. don't install manually, use repositories,
  2. don't worry about install locations nor file system hierarchy,
  3. try open source alternatives before whining that xyz isn't available for Linux.
  4. the command line is neither a kernel nor required to maintain a desktop. People just give you CLI code as it's easier for you copy/paste test than for us to talk your through a GUI when using non-real time communication mediums (such as forums). If you can't deal with that, then use the phone and ring for support.
But instead of doing the sensible, such morons hack about aimlessly as root then complain like a thousand mother-in-laws on Sunday.

Quite honestly, I can do without supporting the technologically inept and "blind typists" like above. Such users would struggle on any platform but as they get Windows pre-installed, never have to worry about the complex task of clicking "English", "auto-partition", and then "Install".

So as long as I can continue to choose which OS I want to run, then I couldn't give a flying duck what others choose just so long as they don't preach to me that the OS I've been running on my desktop for over a decade isn't desktop running.
post #6 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post

To be honest, I really don't care if Linux succeeds on the desktop. I don't even care if people install it nor which distro they install. All I wish is if idiots stop posting the typical "QQ I failed at Linux because I'm thick and now I'm going to declare desktop Linux as dead".
Such articles are usually backed up with meaningless stats about estimated market shares (usually skewed in favour of Windows due to the way how Linux users usually end up buying Windows with laptops / pre-builds and how Linux doesn't have a centralised download database). And those articles are usually written by people who spent all of about zero seconds reading up on Linux best practices. I mean seriously, it's not that hard:
  1. don't install manually, use repositories,
  2. don't worry about install locations nor file system hierarchy,
  3. try open source alternatives before whining that xyz isn't available for Linux.
  4. the command line is neither a kernel nor required to maintain a desktop. People just give you CLI code as it's easier for you copy/paste test than for us to talk your through a GUI when using non-real time communication mediums (such as forums). If you can't deal with that, then use the phone and ring for support.
But instead of doing the sensible, such morons hack about aimlessly as root then complain like a thousand mother-in-laws on Sunday.
Quite honestly, I can do without supporting the technologically inept and "blind typists" like above. Such users would struggle on any platform but as they get Windows pre-installed, never have to worry about the complex task of clicking "English", "auto-partition", and then "Install".
So as long as I can continue to choose which OS I want to run, then I couldn't give a flying duck what others choose just so long as they don't preach to me that the OS I've been running on my desktop for over a decade isn't desktop running.

 

i'm not blind :) i know what i'm typing :)

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post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Transhour View Post

i'm not blind smile.gif i know what i'm typing smile.gif

laugher.gif nicely done
post #8 of 31
Android will make its way to x86. Quote me on that.
   
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post #9 of 31
Google is a browser and a search engine for me. Nothing more, nothing less.
And in my opinion, that's what they should've kept on doing, instead of venturing in the smartphone market...
 
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post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artikbot View Post

Android will make its way to x86. Quote me on that.

Android has been available for x86 for quite some time already.
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