For the 1st part: partially yes. All these HW vendors could make sure and pressurize the chip people to deliver some specs. One cannot blame Linux(kernel team, SANE, CUPS,... development) for not havin reverse engineered these billions of different chips out there. You see the Noveau free 3d driver? I followed that when I still used my Geforce 3 hoping that this one would bring me grace and joy. Huh, I have ATIs now running here nicely with a free driver while those poor guys still have to celebrate a first HW rendered triangle. With no pushes from nvidia itself this will take many more years.
Originally Posted by stevea
The problem is, and you can see that when you follow GregKH or Harald Welte for example that some HW vendors just do not understand free software. Somewhere either must be a lack of communication or some stupid folks in the decider level of an enterprise (latter is more often the case I guess).
Some enterprises fear to release a single spec. Either cause they think everybody else then would copy their HW - which ain't true or they violated *tada* some obsure patent *tada*.
But this is slowly changing after some large vendors gave specs or GPLed/free drivers. You can really have a system work out of box with Linux when there are specs for the machine.
Besides - I have enough experience with MS Windows to see that it also has a lot of driver issues. Be it crappy drivers bluescreening it, lack of support for older windows or newer windows versions for quite a bunch of HW.
Also driver installation ain't easy often, or vendors pack them with tons of useless stuff. Ever saw a download for Creative's soundcards? 200M package, while a driver should be at max 500K and maybe some userland prog to adjust this and that which is supported by default in windows sound volume manager.
So they had all sorts of buggy, useless and whatever badware along with the driver and one had a hard time to fuddle the pure driver out of that package.
For the 2nd part:
The argutment with the software is partially sadly true. But if you have a look around you'll find a lot of
* system independent software
* an equivalent part on Linux for a Windows software
Of course the lack of some special fields software is a p.i.t.a. and the lack of games. But then I hate most modern games also on Windows cause they have no real game design (same shit over and over again, no play-fun, just graphics) and a horrible copy... no... play protection which prevents the paying customer from playing.
The average user should be able to find something to fit his needs, besides the game side if one's into gaming.
But then it is a matter of Software vendors to port their stuff to Linux or make it at least more WINE friendly. Strangely they're not so picky when it comes to MacOS.
Well, yes. But it wouldn't cost them to release some specs. As GregKH promised they will care for everything when given the specs. What can you want more?
You can't blame the hardware and s/w mfgrs for catering to 95% of the end-user market first either.
Give them the specs, have them make and care for the driver in all eternity and have a whole platform supported and being seen as a Linux (BSD/...) friendly enterprise.
Well, heh, the only "con" would be that you cannot just stop supporting a hardware and fore people to buy your newest cards/whatever.
Yes and no.
We haven't convinced enough ppl to give up MS products.
I think it is not "our" fault. Didn't we cry loud enough? Nah. Really, when I ask if I can buy a laptop without windows I get to hear the strangest explanations why I can not.
Do some research and you'll quickly find out about MS and their contracts.
The average user sometimes does not even know about the alternatives. Their computer is running an OS called "Word" and such. Y'know. Even the minist...ress (?) for schools and science from Poland once said "no we don't use the text processor Linux".
When you look at large towns like Munich in Germany for example, they give reports on the LinuxDays often about their state of migration. And (no) surprise the baddest problem often was just the people crying all the time when something new is being introduced.
Like: OMG. I cannot work. The button there is green instead of blue. And the internet is gone cause the blue "e" ist not visible. And so on.
It's a matter of high tolerance to suffering the Windows EULA and all W32 related weaknesses, a matter of inflexibility (and yes, it took me some time to get used with Linux when I had years of DOS/W32 experience) and these solid concrete walls Microsoft has built in the market (using FUD, evil contracts and sueing people for FAT patent stuff, see TomTom e.g.).
Because a lot of people think of Word DOC format as being a "standard". Every computer's OS is "word", you remember, right?
We aren't we all comlplaining when the government has non-competitive bids for systems with OS, or when they distribute and keep information in proprietary formats.
At least esp. in this public sector most visible change is happening today.
And I do complain.
Still I can blame Asus and have the right to dislike that behavior of going to bed with MS. And for threatening MS with this "we go Linux" just to lower the prices and then return gladly to MS and give Linux a slap in the face.
I'm also not fond of all these "enterprise X recommends Windows Vista business for its laptops" stuff you can read sometimes even when they give you the free choice. Of course they all receive a lot of money for this single sentence from MS.
Well I wouldn't be so upset if they really give you a choice. I mean everybody to his/her liking but I definitely want to buy my machines without Windows (and you can't build laptops from parts yet).
But see what happend in case of the EEEpc. Suddenly no Linux versions available anymore and the hardware often far inferior the the Windows version. Then whole model series without a Linux version. Nah, not nice.
(and besides I'm very picky with all these things havin that horrible mirror above the keyboard so there's barely a choice)
And some of the heard complaints that more Linux devices would be returned instead of the Windows ones is false rumor or due to the fact of shipping an inappropriate, misconfigured distribution with the HW. I mean, hey, if I'd put a plain windows without cfg and additional driver installation on a netbook I'm sure people would come complaining, too.
Stop TCPA, stupid software patents and corrupt politicians!