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How Hardware Companies Determine Their Linux Base

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  • #31
    Also, many Linux devs and users seem to think that the market should adapt to Linux and not vice versa. I simply find this narrow minded and an inhibitant to making Linux more relevant in the multimedia market.

    But, to quote many kernel and X devs' thoughts: "who cares, we're getting paid anyway." Linux is not a business in the usual sense where the goal is to penetrate the market. The goal is to make Linux work for each company, that's why they pay devs to work on it. So it's not surprising that steps are not being made towards market penetration.

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    • #32
      This is why Nouveau is so important. And I guess also the reason why RedHat is investing in it.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by RealNC View Post
        Also, many Linux devs and users seem to think that the market should adapt to Linux and not vice versa.
        Actually, I don't think that the "market" matters at all, as long as there is a minimum representation needed to keep the ecosystem running. What matters is the number of active developers, and this is not really directly or proportionally related to the market share, since Linux tends to attract many of the more gifted and technical users anyway (those who make good potential OSS developers).

        For many devs and users, this is not a game of winning the market game, but rather an effort to provide a free platform for computer users. As long as the market share is large enough to make Linux relevant, that's all that's needed.

        I don't think that a half-closed Linux with 20% market share is in any way preferable to a fully open Linux with 10% market share. Actually, I think that the former would be a catastrophe.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
          Actually, I don't think that the "market" matters at all, as long as there is a minimum representation needed to keep the ecosystem running.
          Why "market" in quotes? It exists.

          What matters is the number of active developers, and this is not really directly or proportionally related to the market share, since Linux tends to attract many of the more gifted and technical users anyway (those who make good potential OSS developers).
          I don't see how a Linux with a larger market share would stop attracting them, since, as you said yourself, their primary focus is not market share.

          For many devs and users, this is not a game of winning the market game, but rather an effort to provide a free platform for computer users. As long as the market share is large enough to make Linux relevant, that's all that's needed.
          Being able to offer proprietary products wouldn't make the platform itself non-free.

          I don't think that a half-closed Linux with 20% market share is in any way preferable to a fully open Linux with 10% market share. Actually, I think that the former would be a catastrophe.
          Again, why "half-closed" Linux? Who's going to half-close it? The proprietary software is not part of Linux itself.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by RealNC View Post
            Why "market" in quotes? It exists.
            Because it's odd to think of a market for a "product" which is freely available at no cost. There is no exchange taking place when you download Debian or Slackware or whatnot.

            I don't see how a Linux with a larger market share would stop attracting them, since, as you said yourself, their primary focus is not market share.
            It wouldn't stop attracting developers, but a huge share of motivated, hacker-minded tinkering enthusiasts is using Linux already. Attracting millions casual WINE gamers and I-just-surf-the-intraweb crowd will not significantly increase the number of developers. It's nice to have them, but not crucial.

            Being able to offer proprietary products wouldn't make the platform itself non-free.

            Again, why "half-closed" Linux? Who's going to half-close it? The proprietary software is not part of Linux itself.
            Because a GPU driver is not a product, it is a part of the kernel, it is a memory manager, it controls the second most powerful processor in your computer, and because without it, you cannot use any desktop developed this century. The nvidia driver is a part of the kernel that is 5x bigger than the kernel itself.

            When the blob becomes just an optional add-on for people who need it, it will be OK. But this will only happen when nouveau is close to feature parity, and Nvidia is not helping. They want total control of your hardware on your computer.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
              Because it's odd to think of a market for a "product" which is freely available at no cost. There is no exchange taking place when you download Debian or Slackware or whatnot.
              It may be free, but it doesn't mean no one is making money with it. About 90% of the supercomputer clusters in the world run linux, and they sure aren't building those supercomputers just for fun. And what about Android? Where it doesn't move as much money is probably in the desktop space. Still, it's probably enough so that companies like AMD, Intel and NVIDIA actually bother to support it.

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              • #37
                >> "One of the common methods that I know several IHVs use to gauge the market-share of different operating systems -- at least in part -- is by looking at web-browser statistics."

                The only time 99% of Windows user goes to nVidia or ATI's site is to download a new driver. In Linux, most people use drivers from repos... so *never* go to those site.

                Therefore, I think the web-browser stats are vastly skewed in Windows' favor.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by 3vi1 View Post
                  The only time 99% of Windows user goes to nVidia or ATI's site is to download a new driver. In Linux, most people use drivers from repos... so *never* go to those site.
                  It is not as skewed as you would think if you consider most windows users only upgrade their video drivers (if they do at all) from windows update.

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                  • #39
                    Yep. Note that when we talk about web stats we're not talking about our own sites -- there are a number of databases which capture browser and OS info from a much wider range of sites, eg search engines, e-commerce sites, social networking sites etc...

                    Predictably the numbers vary all over the map depending on how you slice them, and whether you include Linux-derived mobile OSes like Android in the Linux numbers or not.

                    Most of the numbers suggest a bit over 1% market share, although if you look at web developers the numbers are over 5%.

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                    • #40
                      Yada yada. By the way I'm registering my new 600w coolermaster PSU now for 5 year warranty.
                      Too bad I can't type linux as area where I use it, but ultimately its os-agnostic, so Im registering it anyway.

                      Because I can; and it gives me profits...


                      And also, if I talk about it here for 4 long pages, it won't register itself.
                      See, coolermaster has created register form? Good.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                        It is not as skewed as you would think if you consider most windows users only upgrade their video drivers (if they do at all) from windows update.
                        Yes, ms did one good copy-paste job on package manager. Wait, they always copy-paste from BSD or Im missing something?

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by crazycheese View Post
                          Im missing something?
                          A grip on reality.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by RealNC View Post
                            But, to quote many kernel and X devs' thoughts: "who cares, we're getting paid anyway." Linux is not a business in the usual sense where the goal is to penetrate the market. The goal is to make Linux work for each company, that's why they pay devs to work on it. So it's not surprising that steps are not being made towards market penetration.
                            The classic open source "scratch an itch" analogy applies to both individual developers and companies.
                            • If it bothers you that software X does not properly support feature Y, then you write a patch to make it happen.
                            • If it bothers Novell that patent-encumbered Microsoft technologies can't be used on Linux, they write Mono and patches for OpenOffice.
                            • If it bothers Google that no mobile OS will send all users' data to them, then they extend Linux into one and call it Android.
                            • If it bothers somebody that Linux does not have enough marketshare, then he will start proposing things like stable kernel interfaces, rant against free software activists, and other such things.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                              A grip on reality.
                              Yes, so true. The hard reality striking in my face with dirty boots. Just as most of hardware companies do with linux. But with windows, no. They are so warm then, so many "preinstalled" users, happy to pay for insecure(av), limiting(eula), devouring(patents), unfair(eee-tactic), closed-source blackbox.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by chithanh View Post
                                • If it bothers you that software X does not properly support feature Y, then you write a patch to make it happen.
                                • If it bothers Novell that patent-encumbered Microsoft technologies can't be used on Linux, they write Mono and patches for OpenOffice.
                                • If it bothers Google that no mobile OS will send all users' data to them, then they extend Linux into one and call it Android.
                                • If it bothers somebody that Linux does not have enough marketshare, then he will start proposing things like stable kernel interfaces, rant against free software activists, and other such things.
                                Windoze Phone and iphone have been phoning home (incl GPS or similar geoloc data) for ages. Just that you know.

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