My Herald on Sunday column about Dell's decision to offer Ubuntu 7.04 as an alternative to Windows Vista on some models of its consumer PCs in the US. The graphic below shows three examples of open source software platforms that have achieved widespread adoption.

(Graphic: Phil Welch Herald on Sunday)

Some feedback to the piece:

From Milan:

Good on Dell for offering the choice of Ubuntu Linux, but I'm afraid Linux will never get much market share.

Windows is entrenched; it takes a lot of effort for the average user to switch; and people worry about what software they can get before other issues such as will it work.

I'm no Windows fan, but the Open Source hype bugs me even more. Supposedly Open Source is taking over, but the figures are relative. Novell's all ga-ga over their Linux sales growing to $70 million a year - that's only about a tenth of what they were making when NetWare was going all guns blazing! And Oracle's foray into Linux was a total failure.

I'm getting some people to change to Mozilla Firefox. But apart from that i'm seeing no sign that Linux is making significant inroads.

From Art:
It is worth downloading Ubuntu's 7.04 version now on general release. As a Red Hat user I was instantly converted. It stands on its own as a useful computer OS for workstations as well as servers.

It can easily replace XP for office/internet applications but there remain some things that Windows is better at.

What I find real interesting is how Google, Opera and others have basically implemented many of the Windows Vista flashy features like gadgets with little fanfare or fuss. And they run under Ubuntu as well as Window XP.

From Peter:

Hi, thanks for your positive article on Linux. Sadly, it is rare for the mainstream media to be other than biased in favour of Microsoft.

I'd just like to point out that the previous version of Ubuntu is 6.10, not 5.10 as stated in the article. Ubuntu is released about every 6 months, so version 7.04 (meaning 2007 April) is the third release since v 5.10.
The article mentions how 5.10 is no longer supported. If long term support is required, then 6.06 is the version to go for, as it is supported to 2009.

But these are minor points. Overall, it is just great to read about Linux in the mainstream press.

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