I've had an X1650 for nearly a year now. I've watched update after update for windows XP and Vista. I've installed update after update for Ubuntu and basic Debian lenny. I've heard promises and more promises from ATI. I've heard there is an ATI representative reading here. Hopefully you hear this, and pass it on.
For me It comes to this, support Linux or I'll never purchase another ATI or AMD product again.
I think the lack of good working 3D support, including VIDEO PLAYBACK in Linux is a political move to do as much as possible to prevent Linux from flourishing more than it has, especially as a desktop operating system.
It's no secret Microsoft is threatened by Linux from a marketing viewpoint but it makes no sense that a hardware manufacturer would drag their feet this much in providing full support for an obviously flourishing operating system like Linux. I have no doubt this is not a technical issue, it's a political issue and in not solving it you've tried to moved the issues with Microsoft to the desktop of those who want to get rid of their dependence on a single company for all their software needs. Watching this card perform in Vista compared to Ubuntu makes me ill...
Windows is supposed to be an OPERATING system, not an EMPIRE system. It's now become an application restriction system. it's supposed to provide an environment to support those products I choose to purchase and install on MY COMPUTER HARDWARE, not limit my choices to ONLY MICROSOFT products or those products that have the "stamp of approval" from Bill Gates.
So, ATI / AMD, by not FULLY supporting the fastest growing operating system in existence while at the same time providing outstanding support for Microsoft based products, I have to assume there is some kind of collusion between AMD and Microsoft and that means you are aware of the issues and that you've chosen to try to support the ONE SIZE FOR ALL approach to computing based on attempting to control what I do with the hardware I've purchased.
What are you all going to do when hardware contains it's own software?
Why do we even need to "install" a driver. Why can't the industry agree to create a common hardware video language and then embed the whole thing on a chip so we don't need software drivers at all. Why is Microsoft even involved in writing or installing code that supports a hardware video device? Why does Microsoft have anything at all to do with hardware drivers? It's sheer insanity, unless you think about the marketing implications of loosing "control" of the hardware industry.
Seems the limiting factors in this industry are no longer technical restrictions but fear based, politically motivated, marketing driven, user manipulation and it's ME, the purchaser of the hardware that looses. And that bugs me.
Eventually you'll have to make a choice. Hardware that is dependent on a specific operating system significantly limits the scope of it's use. At present Microsoft is the largest "application software distributor", and both XP and Vista are applications, not operating environments, but they won't be forever. The more they try to control what software I install and use, the less enticing their products become and the more their market share drops... How many times has Microsoft been sued for breach of contract or unfair business practices. Does anybody remember Netscape?
Are they really the kind of company you want to be in league with?
Think about it.