Tag Archives: Windows
This is the season of new OS releases from all major vendors. Microsoft with its over hyped Windows 7, Apple with their new streamlined, but expensive, line up of Macs and OS and Linux with Ubuntu, Fedora and others releasing their upgrades. While Apple and Microsoft are aggressively marketing their wares in trade shows, TV, Internet and even (paid for) print articles in leading magazines, it seems Linux will have to use the community to market its new releases through RSS feeds, blogs, websites and youtube.
In this media marketing war, we decided to bring back an old advertisement announcing Linux as a viable desktop option. The commercial was paid for by Novell but it is too good to pass up. So here it is for Linux fans.
So this video is circulating on the internet where some blokes in Australia show off the latest KDE as if it is Windows 7.
Check it out and get a kick out of the responses of the ordinary people.
Now here is a wacky idea! Would that not make Bill Gates have sleepless nights, even though he no longer runs Microsoft. One such company and a set of brilliant entrepreneurs are doing just that at ReactOS. They might risk getting sued by Microsoft or some Unix folks in the coming months for mimicking some proprietary features or patent infringement, but if everyone keeps their cool then it is as wacky as it is brilliant. Here is why.
The operating system under consideration, ReactOS, is based on the earlier versions of Windows. Hence, it is not really directly competing with Vista or even XP. Hence, we wont be seeing it running on modern PCs anytime soon.
The PC world still has hundreds of millions of old PCs being used around the world dating back to the original Pentium machines when Microsoft’s Windows 95 actually cameout. Such PCs rely on Windows 2000 or earlier versions to run smoothly as they lack the processing power and memory among other limitations to run anything newer. However, Microsoft does not officially support any versions older than XP and even XP will become unsupported within a couple of years. Now, those PCs that were manufactured for XP and earlier hardware will suddenly be without a supported OS unless they do an expensive upgrade to run newer OS like Vista. Hence, many of these old boxes end up running one of the Open source Linux distributions, like Fedora, Ubuntu or SUSE. Since Microsoft does not want to support its older OS versions, ReactOS would be an ideal choice for folks to switch to rather than migrating to Linux. Another important aspect of supporting ReactOS is for legacy software applications. The moment Microsoft stops supporting an older version, the software applications written for them are also lost and slowly die out with time. But letting companies like ReactOS grow, the legacy applications will enjoy a new life and a new set of users worldwide.
A third important factor is the developing economies around the world. Most of these economies do not purchase any licensed software as it is way too expensive to buy Microsoft products which at times can cost many months salary of an average individual. Once again ReactOS could easily be used in such markets and introduced to users as a viable alternative for MS-Windows. Once they are affluent enough to purchase a license they can easily switch to Microsoft. Till then, MS can hope to keep them loyal to one of Windows clones rather than losing them to Linux or worse to pirated Windows.
In hindsight, Microsoft should support such operating systems as it will only create a healthy competition for Linux based distributions. Besides, there is a good chance, Microsoft team might learn a thing or two about making their OS more reliable and scalable.
So keep an eye out for ReactOS and other such wacky startups as they might change the way windows is used in the coming years.