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Will The Linux Desktop Soon Be Irrelevant?

Some of us are still waiting for the year of the Linux desktop. Some think it's already here. One thing is certain however, Linux does not have a majority desktop market share. By the time we get there, perhaps the entire idea of what a Desktop is will have been re-defined, thanks to "The Cloud".

We’ve all been hanging out for the “year of the Linux desktop” (whatever that means) but we’re still waiting. Let’s face it, we’re going to be waiting for a while.

Is it because Linux isn’t yet good enough? Hardly. These days there are few barriers to adopting Linux, primarily issues relate to the requirement for a specific Windows based application, proprietary devices, or perceived complexity of this strange new system.

Is it because Microsoft has too strong a hold on the market? Well, that certainly does help to hinder Linux adoption. Whatever the reason, in the end it might not actually matter at all.

Up, up and away

You see the world is once again changing, this time we’re moving away from the thick client. You might think it’s a joke, but it’s true. How many of you keep your email on “the cloud?” We access most of our information via the Internet and we can use web applications to create just about anything. As we speak, I’m typing this up using an online word processor, yet my machine has numerous text editors and of course a fully blown office suite (or two). It’s not that individual, powerful machines are going anywhere, but rather that our focus on localisation is disappearing.

OK, so we’re not there yet, but think about this – how many people actually use an email client on their home computer? I honestly don’t know the figures (and I’m sure it’s still a lot), but the last time I used one was about 5 years ago and even then it was Mutt via SSH to my local mail server. Could we expect to see email clients dropped from default Linux installations over time? Heck, Ubuntu even got rid of GIMP because it’s not cool.

“The Cloud” reminds me of “.NET” and “Web 2.0″ where no-one really knew what they meant at the time. Distributed computing has been around much longer than this idea of “the cloud” which sounds like some new fancy, happy place. All that doesn’t matter though, things are going to the cloud, a place where all your dreams can come true. Or where anyone can steal your information. Well, I’m sure it’s one of those anyway.

What is a desktop? An interface and system for managing and performing tasks via user applications? So, what if the majority of the tasks you traditionally perform on a desktop were available online. Like, your music collection was stored online and streamed to you at will, you could create any kind of document, store and search for files, manipulating photos. None of these things have to be done on the desktop. These days more and more people upload their photographs to places like Flickr or even Facebook, they don’t store them on their machine – not long term anyway.

Mindshare

It’s not that the Linux desktop isn’t cool, nor that it won’t get even better. KDE is great, as is GNOME, Xfce and a myriad of others. Will they disappear entirely? I doubt it, it’s more that it will become less relevant. As long as Microsoft continues its stranglehold on the market, Linux simply won’t be available on lots of consumer products. So, users will continue to use Windows because that’s what came with the machine.

People have a perception that a desktop PC means Windows.

“Hi, I’m a Mac.”
“And I’m a PC.”

If you’re not running a PC, then you’re running a Mac. That’s all there is, right?

It’s more than that though, Windows, despite all its widely known flaws, is familiar. As they say, “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t”. So while companies like Canonical continue to fight for adoption of Linux on the desktop, by the time they might achieve this, it won’t really matter.

In the mean time, free software developers will continue to make great free software for free software users. Their goal won’t be to entice Windows users over, and nor should it be. Nevertheless, this will still happen thanks to distros like Ubuntu, because that’s where the market share is, and that’s what they need to build in order to make money.

So maybe Linux won’t be the default installation on new PCs any time soon, but where it does do really well is as an appliance. Routers, hand-helds, phones, ebook readers and netbooks. OK, so netbooks aren’t quite yet appliances, but the trend is heading that way and when it does, they’ll work really well (we hope). It will be interesting to see how much netbooks and “the cloud” change the way we use computers, over time. Right now there are some valiant efforts like Jolicloud to bring a “Cloud focused” operating system mainstream. While this is laying some important groundwork, it’s not quite ready for mainstream yet. Or perhaps rather, mainstream isn’t quite ready for it. Could you live with everything you did solely online? Have you even tried?

Still the emphasis today is still on thick client, that’s for sure, and in this space the Linux desktop is already highly competitive. Once it’s normal for users have gigabit access to the Internet from their home, that’s bound to change things (and Google is working on just that).

Meet my needs

The popularity of services from the likes of Google and Facebook shows that users don’t care about their own privacy (perhaps they don’t yet know its value). So that’s really a non-issue. As an example, people use web based email systems like Gmail because they work well. You can access it from any computer with a web browser (if browser != IE6), your work machine, your home machine, a laptop and even your mobile phone.

If companies like Google can do the same for a suite of what are traditionally desktop applications, what’s to stop people from using them? And once they use them the desktop they use becomes irrelevant, but the right environment becomes important. You could access these services on a full blown desktop machine with Windows, Mac or Linux. Or you could get the same experience on a mobile phone or 10″ hand-held. As users realise they have less and less need for a desktop, they’ll start buying other things – like a Linux based iPad-like device. It won’t matter, because it will be an appliance (and let’s face it, Linux as an appliance reigns supreme). One that just works, and gets them where they want to go, fast.

Just take a look at what to expect from HTML5 and the sorts of things that are possible. Also check out what you can already do with Javascript. Who knows what the world will look like in ten or twenty years!

So really, the main piece of the puzzle is a massive online market of web based applications. A central account with a provider where users can subscribe or buy access to a photo editing program, online music player, whatever else you would currently use a desktop for. No doubt it’s coming.. Take a look at the amazing amount of products Zoho offers for free. Even traditional programs like Quicken are moving online (and you can even something for free), so there’s no need to get it running under Wine.

Games are the obvious exception to the rule where desktop is likely to remain king, but moving these online will be possible one day. Even if not, once everyone has everything online, perhaps we’ll also then see the death of the gaming PC and where gaming means console. Even so, we’re not talking here about killing the desktop, merely transforming it. A graphical shell environment with basic functionality such as mounting removable media, sound, video and printing (although who doesn’t “print” to PDF these days?). There’s nothing to say that it can’t also play games.

The future?

The idea of a “desktop” is old and fast becoming irrelevant. At least, what we think of a desktop as – a thick client that does all the heavy lifting. That’s still the current trend and it’s not going to change any time soon. Users today still want to purchase a machine with something familiar. In the not-to-distant future however, when the only ones buying computers are the Web 2.0 generation (yes, I made that up), could the “desktop” well be replaced by a shell operating system, a few interfaces and a browser? Quite possibly. Then, whether you’re running a cut-down version of Linux underneath, or indeed even Windows or OS X, won’t matter any more.

We’re not there yet, primarily because the complete array of services required to replace a desktop haven’t yet been developed. That’s changing. HTML5 will someday be ratified, some amazing stuff can already be done with Javascript (and browsers don’t crawl to a halt processing it), and toolkits like that from Google help to make the web an easy place to centralise and deploy applications. Don’t be surprised that if by the time Linux even manages majority market share on the desktop, it simply no longer matters.

Comments on "Will The Linux Desktop Soon Be Irrelevant?"

sstory

Google already has this concept…an OS that boots quickly (I think perhaps Linux)but then only loads Chrome. There are people for whom this would be perfect, especially on a netbook which can be connected wirelessly to your in home internet connection. It is perfect for sitting a recliner, watching TV and getting internet information at the same time. You don\’t have to worry about OS issues at all I\’d imagine. Since all of your data and apps are online..you don\’t care if anything happens to it. I think it has its place and for a lot of people will be plenty.

As a complete replacement, I disagree. I for one will NEVER trust Google, Microsoft or anyone else with all of my data and want to give up all of my quick apps.

If Linux would run all of the apps I want to use that I run on Windows without a lot of hassle, I\’d definitely switch to it–probably CentOS. It is a really nice OS. The average user doesn\’t even know what an OS is, though.

neondiet

I\’m surprised you managed to write that article without referring to Google\’s Chrome OS as what you described is exactly what they intend to do with it. Namely, all your computing needs serviced by online resources using a Chrome OS appliance.

Even if a sizeable chunk of the world were not moving in that general direction and we could pretend for a moment that the thick client days are as strong and bountiful as ever, Linux would still struggle to get a better grip on the desktop than it has. In recent years the incumbents (MS and Apple) have been moving the goal posts towards a desktop experience that relies more and more on GPU acceleration to ease the burden on the cpu and (for mobile devices) improve battery life. We\’re still years away from having a single stable, solid interface on Linux that all the different vendors (Intel, S3, ATI, Nvidia, etc) and open source developers can write drivers for. I\’m hoping that Gallium3D will do the trick. But maybe by the time we get there everyone else will be running around with Star Trek like tablet appliances running a mix of Android, Chrome OS, iPhone OS and some flavour of Windows Mobile.

znmeb

We\’ll just have to wait and see what ChromeOS and MeeGo look like, but I\’m guessing that the days of \”fat desktops\” are numbered. The hardware and software costs are just too high. To be honest, I\’m surprised there\’s even a market for Office 2010, given Google Docs and OpenOffice. Even in bulk buys from Lenovo or Dell, the economics just aren\’t there for Windows workstations any more.

au5mounty

Dare I say it but I am from the old school, I believe it is the right of the individual to choose where the information that the person creates is stored. In my case right here on my own PC. I for one will not be using more than 49% of cloud based applications because for the point of security.

I operate a small computer consultancy business and the confidentiality between my clients & myself remains a paramount. I deem this a point of \’Big Brother\’, don\’t get me wrong I am not a conspiracy freak however I have to draw the line somewhere.

Neondiet has another point, concerning hardware api\’s we have seen from examples of MS Windows based video drivers the sheer size of the core modules needed to drive the Direct3d & OpenGL. You expect users in regional areas to have to wait half an hour before they can even have a desktop display in the situation of booting into the cloud? I think not!

To be quite blunt I foresee the same issue arising as MS had found when they mentioned that they could see the Internet shaping to be using server based applications only, everyone went into a furore and now that Google (et al) are attempting the same thing everything is fine. What is the difference?

I will stick with my own PC with dual boot environment (being Mandriva as primary choice) where I have control of my own intellectual property.

My 2 cents worth.

cantthinkofanickname

I do not like the idea of having a thin client and everything in the \”Cloud\”. I will end up paying piecemeal for applications that I now have on my laptop and due to costs I will have to be limited to one. Open Source will probably die in that environment. Also, I do not think the cloud will have enough speed or power for many years to deliver reasonable speeds. And at least I can do work if the internet is down as my work is local. No way will I store personal stuff online. Anyone suggest what a reasonable evolutionary path might be?

skyel

I hope you have a difference between desktop and workstation. The \”cloud\” is nice only if you forget to read all the legal part of it, also if you are about to share everything with everyone. Is a path too informal and for the parts of the world where connections are as cheap as crisps.
Linux is a friendly OS, just a little ticky about who his friends are.
OSS is most of the times better than proprietary, just needs more marketing work to be popular.
From the south hemisphere, best regards.

shawnisalk

Your comments about the cloudy future are interesting in general, but your comment that Linux might become less relevant discounts the popularity of Linux in third-world countries, and southeast Asia, in particular (where, I am told, it is big and growing).

Since entering the Linux world, I have encountered many instances of self-pity and taking the open source vs Microsoft battle too personally. If this sort of thing underlies your article, I don\’t think it is helpful nor does it, I suspect, represent reality.

three_jeeps

As I was reading your post, I had to ask the question \”What do *you* do with your PC?\” It certainty reflects a very different perspective than what I do, and for me, the \’cloud\’ is an abstract pipe dream. Or at best, a recombination of old ideas aimed at trivializing the driving force that drove the desktop/workstation development: my tools that run in a timely manner. I say that, even though I do some research work in a related area. The \’cloud\’ existed long before the current version got so much \’ink.\’ One cobbled together a lot of punch cards, threw them into the opening of the cloud (aka, the \’job window\’) and after a few hours of flashing lights behind the glass encased walls, after the program ran locally and perhaps talked to the mother ship at the main campus, the output appeared in a rolled up listing attached to the deck of cards. Certainty seemed like a cloud to me. I know this is the pedestrian viewpoint, but the crux of \’cloud computing\’ is having applications scattered about in the computing ether and either attaching to those services or having some instantiation locally for the length of the task.
I use my PC for real work – constructing sophisticated control algorithms and simulating the devices they control, doing circuit design and evaluation, reading research papers, and performing the usual administrivia (reports, presentations, email, calendar, etc.)
I could never envision doing any of this in a cloud, so for me this entire concept is so abstract and for the most part, useless to me, I can\’t understand why it continues to live. Perhaps because the most exciting thing the current generation perceives and does with computers is facebook, itunes, and googleing. From my perspective, people wanted to do things on *their* machines, create things on *their* machines, and be the master of *their* machines, thereby controlling ones destiny. Perhaps that is why Linux will not become irrelevant, until real productivity becomes irrelevant…at which point we become part of the mindless minions gathering firewood for some higher power.

hibrium

All this dreams (the us citizens loves it since James Dean) come true until the next botnet (they\’re more efficent and have some years ahead) implode the cloud and open yours secrets to the WEB citizens … I think this is a real thing now, I guess.And the secure way is charged (more and more). Off-line … rain and others natural disarters keep away yours data, photos, jobs …. and you stay alone in island … buy a portable radio too … and some gallons of water … RIP

bobt

I think three_jeeps nailed it pretty good. The cloud sounds like that room where they used to keep the 360. Why would I want to give control of my computing resources back to the priests of the cloud??!!

hhemken

I, too, concur with three_jeeps. Only a fool would store critical information out in some no man\’s land that can disappear or be compromised in an instant. Anybody who does work that entails processes that run for hours to create images, video, music, number crunching, simulations, etc. looks at the notion of the cloud with a mix of perplexity and terror. It is nonsensical, and little more than an iterative rehashing of a business model that still has not caught on save for casual users.

If all you do on your computer is visit Facebook, listen to music, watch videos, send and receive email, and other such things, then sure, the cloud is for you. If you use it to create digital assets or perform lengthy data-crunching and intellectual property creation, it is just a sappy marketing ploy. Frankly, if I never hear another word of Cloud BS again, I won\’t miss it.

csmart

I didn\’t mention Chrome OS for fear of being labelled a Google lover or something – plus I knew that you, our awesome readers, would bring this up in the comments ;-)

Yes, I too don\’t trust Google enough to hand my entire life over to them however, the idea of putting all your stuff on \”the cloud\” doesn\’t mean it has to be under the control of a company such as they.

Indeed, you could run your own LOCAL \”cloud\” and connect your machine to that – when you\’re away, you connect to your home machine over your internet connection.

What I\’m hoping to see is a freedom driven cloud service whereby all your stuff is under your control. A market of free (libre) applications which you can plug into your own instance.

@three_jeeps, yes, that\’s why I said desktops won\’t go away any time soon. I also mention that \”the cloud\” is nothing new.. Sure, right now you can\’t see yourself using \”the cloud\” for *anything* (really??), but who knows what will happen in 20 years time? You could use far more computing power on \”the cloud\” than you could on your own machine.

I\’m not sold on \”the cloud\” myself, but I\’ve already been using it for years with Internet banking, email, etc.. I never could have imagined myself doing that 20 years ago.

-c

ptang

I personally think we will see a gradual shift, with the open-source movement offering more server side \’cloud\’ applications, which interested users will run either locally on their own servers, or on rented dedicated servers/virtual hosts.

I do not see this as the death of the Linux desktop, nor even its becoming irrelevant. If anything, it is the more mainstream desktop OSes who would be likely to lose some of their market, as more and more casual PC users pick up lightweight clients (i.e. running Google\’s ChromeOS, etc.).

cram2linuxmag

I think those changes could happen but currently in countries like Venezuela, the desktop OS will be important for a while.

alanmaher1kiwi

I live in a rural community, and (thankfully) being near to the exchange, I am blessed with a quite reasonable DSl connection.
Most of the people that I work with are still living with dialup hell.
And the \”cloud\” does not mean a thing to them.
Youtube is wishful thinking etc.
They are \”connected\”, but not as we would \”know it\”.
Spare a thought for these people, because they not only exist,
they are quite numerous.

Alan
NZ

wytcld

Here\’s why this may be partly wrong: when we\’ve all got 100meg or even gigabyte pipes, we\’ll be moving much fatter stuff through them. And we – or the teenagers of that time – will be wanting to originate much of that stuff. Working with huge blobs of information will always, in general, be faster on a local workstation than over the pipe. The transmission distance and bandwidth will always be better over a local bus.

Now, it might be that after putting together the framework of what you want to compose, you send it out to a render farm elsewhere to be completed overnight. But the framework assembly itself you\’ll still want to do locally, because it will be quicker, more responsive, because you\’ll be working with quantities of bytes that exceed the fatness of your pipe, and that benefit from not having the latency of hundreds of miles of transmission.

However, when you\’re on the road, you\’ll still want remote access to your workstation. And you might even migrate a snapshot of it to someplace nearer in the cloud, if your netbooky thing doesn\’t have the guts for it. Still, the primary user workstation will be with us for a million years. It will always have local capacities that exceed the pipes.

cosmotopper

Kudos for writing this article. You may be right, open-source desktops may become obsolete, but if so, it will be a tragedy for the global network and the inalienable rights of billions of human beings. (IMHO) We have allowed three decades to slide by during which the most pernicious monopoly in modern history has attempted to consolidate it\’s hegemony over desktop computing. Thanks to the remarkable success of the open-source business model, and to the Web, Microsoft has failed in that attempt (so far, at least).

Unfortunately, there are numerous other powerful forces moving aggressively to re-establish their ability to impose a variety of corrupt authorities, all of which are threatened by open-source software, open-access to bandwidth, and most of all by a desktop-centric data storage model. So-called \’Cloud Computing\’ is one of the tools by which they hope to accomplish that.

There\’s nothing intrinsically wrong with thin-client systems development, the problem lies in the assumption that the provider of thin-client application services must (or is entitled to) take a proprietary interest in the physical database infrastructure it requires, and particularly in the common user identification layer of that database.

I would suggest that while Microsoft remains the most obvious member of the Corporatocracy intent upon asphyxiating open-access and uses of the global computer network, Apple, Google, Adobe, Symantec, Comcast, Sprint, and AT&T are all in the hunt (just to mention the most obvious examples). Counting heavily on their success (domestically): organized labor, the entire defense industry, the public employees industries (including educational institutions at every level), Too Big To Fail, Inc. (Wall Street), every US government agency, Congress, and the Executive branch. Add to that the governments of every industrialized nation on the planet, and the global banking system (for which most national governments are merely surrogates in any case), and you have an idea what \’we\’ are up against.

Who is \’we\’? It\’s those of us who recognize the necessity for Darwinian collaboration, open data pathways, protecting the natural evolution of standards, and the exclusion of proprietary IP legal intrusions into the abstract regions of the global network. Crucial to our success has been, and will continue to be the neutrality of companies like Intel, AMD, and Cisco in pursuit of faster processing, non-proprietary packet exchange technologies, and open hardware standards in virtual processing.

What is at risk? The future of the global computer network as either the guarantor of the Sovereign Rights of Man: our \”unalienable rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness\”, or as the instrument of an Orwellian future, in which billions of human beings are suffocated by the corrupt authorities of a privileged few.

Our chance of success? At this point I\’d rate it a tossup.

zman58

Linux desktop is not going away anytime in the foreseeable future. The cloud will never replace the need for a productive desktop–how could it. Hardware continues to become cheaper and desktop software continues to provide ever more to the user. With FOSS, you can create and deploy solutions to your hearts content. The ability to distribute and install fast and effective solutions in a blink is the key–FOSS provides this.
The cloud merely provides more options into the mix.
Doing business on the cloud requires giving up quite a bit of control and allowing you or your business to be restricted to only what another chooses to provide. Do you think metered use is right for you? Do you want to pay to use something each and every time you use it? Do you want to own the data you create or have someone else owning or controlling it?
I see no reason that the Linux desktop will fade away. What I continue to experience is that it will continue to provide even more productive systems when used along with the specific and restricted services we typically associate with the \”cloud\”. I am leveraging the use of LAN based cloud services in my home now with a home server. I can do that in a very cost effective way because I use FOSS. The cloud can work in everyone\’s favor, not just for services provided from afar.

golding

The main reason I see for the Linux Desktop not gaining traction is when important (to me) sites keep changing their design so that the common Linux browsers don\’t work properly.

Case in point, until the 17th of March, about a week ago, I was a happy user of the Australian Govenments CentreLink Online Services. It worked very well and I had no problems doing my business with them entirely online. On that date the service changed its website design and now I cannot logon.

I borrowed my fathers netbook with MS XP and the site worked perfectly, however, on my machines, both laptops and the desktops, it fails completely. I tried to contact them regarding this and I received the usual response, \”It isn\’t Windows, we do not support Linux\”.

The bit that really gets me is this is the first time I have actually run into a problem that stopped me cold on Linux in the entire time I have been using it, around 12 years.

Chris, you work, and play, in Canberra, want to go around and kick some one up the arse for me?

golding

Oops, just checked when I started using Linux, was when Win95 started beta testing and I was handed a copy of RedHat 3.x so is actually 16 years, and have been exclusively Linux for 14yrs, I didn\’t like the way \’95 locked down the user … eep!

vanniekl

Well, \”The Cloud\” is a great concept for a first world country with ample and cheap bandwidth. The assumption is made that the whole world is on the same standard and that everyone will be able to use this \”Cloud\”.

I live in a third world country where only 4.5 Million people have internet access of about 50 million people and only about 10 – 15% of the 4.5 Million has access to broadband. That makes things a bit cloudy for \”The Cloud\”.

So…. I think the Linux desktop is here to stay for a little while still.

linuxfan62

I agree that this is a discussion that we should be having so that we aren\’t blind sided after ignoring developments until it\’s too late to adapt.

@cosmotopper, I hope everyone who comes to this page will go back and read your comments on page 1. You hit the nail on the head in so many ways. I encourage everyone to also read up on \”Trusted Computing\” and read Richard Stallman\’s warnings about it. There\’s a possibility that this new technology could create a world where we couldn\’t send or receive anything to or from the net if it weren\’t first approved by the \”Authorities.\” If someone is deemed to be \”anti social,\” i.e. having an independent spirit and an unwillingness to blindly follow the Great Leader, that person could be isolated from the wider world as easily as from the local community. Of course, such technologies will always be sold as a way to keep us \”safe.\” Before we lost our nerve, our motto was \”Better Dead than Red.\” Now, we\’re quaking in our boots and muttering amongst ourselves \”Better Red than Dead.\” Take Red to mean a subject of an authoritarian regime, rather than a free citizen of a democracy.

@ Golding, Ouch! I feel for you. I experience something similar all the time, if not to that extent, in the way web pages often garble the text, overlaying words over words. Everything looks normal here at Linux Magazine, and I\’m sure it also looks normal in Windows too. So what\’s so hard about it? I\’m not a web programmer, so I don\’t know precisely why our web experience is problematic, but I can\’t help but feel that the monopolist is playing games with the little OS that could.

MS signs on to industry-wide standards and then fails to live up to its commitments to abide by them. Then everyone else has to go along with the non-standard standards. But woe to the those in the free software community who write code according to the standards, expecting everyone else to do the same. There are times, I\’m told, when Linux programmers waste a lot of time trying to figure out why their code is \”buggy,\” when it\’s really MS\’s sloppy practices that are creating de facto standards that \”outsiders\” only find out about the hard way. Knowing the predatory history of the company, it\’s not too far a stretch to suspect that this behavior isn\’t entirely the result of bad programming.

It may be wishful thinking on my part, but I\’ve been keeping an eye on a little project that may help us out when we\’re shut out by the monopolist. It\’s the React OS project. They\’re creating from the ground up an OS that they\’re designing to natively run Windows programs. I don\’t see any reason to leave Linux any time soon, but there are occasions when being able to run a Win compatible OS would be useful. This could be a boon to those who won\’t move to free software only because they won\’t be able to use their Win-only games, Photoshop, etc. They should be in beta sometime in the next 12 months, so keep that in mind. Linux can only benefit by such a new player, as can the rest of the world. I just hope that if they\’re successful in getting to a release version that MS won\’t pull the rug out from under them in ways they\’re so good at.

x95tobos

To linuxfan62:

First, can\’t help myself for the pun: your \”better dead than red\” is so red. And I mean it in both senses (former ussr and us reds)! Now about the issue at hand: I completely agree the cloud is just a way the Carnivores out there may have an easier/more effective job, be it (them)government or corporate based. Why on earth would I want my whole intellectual property signed off to Google or MS or Citrix? I think this is an attitude problem: case in fact, math displaying software- linux has tools that are on par or maybe better than MS tools like Equation Editor.. but we don\’t use them because of fear of \”incompatibility\”. What if we dared to write our meaningfull stuff in KOffice or OO for that matter? Then, they would have to follow.

Sincerely,

Larry (Laurentiu) Tobos

redkom

I agree to the change towards a \”thin\” client, but with mutimedia capabilities for the most of desktop users, but have you noted the importance of visual efects of a user interface?. For somewthing there is a desktop OS called Vista…
I have tried a very \”thin\” Linux distro, Elive, that it is so thin that can be installed on a USB memory disk or pen drive, to boot it from there, but is extremely visual and multimedia oriented, doing so because is not Gnome or KDE based, instead is based on Enlightment graphical environment, and as a curious issue, doesn\’t have a e-mail client installed in the last release (elive 2.0 Topaz), wanting to say, we all use web based mail. Other feature is the Essence streaming client preset to an online radio with nice music. I would say it is \”an experience\” to use this Linux distro.

Jorge

ngativ

Now people call Gmail ‘cloud computing’? its just an email service!
facebook? it is just another way to share information. People had been doing this since internet became available.

The So called ‘clod computing’ is just a another marketing caché.

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