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Ubuntu 8.04 Will The Hardy Heron Bear Fruit?

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With the problems of Vista, the end of the availability of XP, and the lack of Apple to see the light and open up OS X to non-Apple hardware, much is expected of the next release of the most popular consumer Linux distribution. The release expected in April is code named Hardy Heron, and it is not by accident that this release includes more than passing reference to being ‘ready for the big show’. If Heron is indeed hardy, it could be the most important release of any non-Microsoft operating system ever.

With so many disgusted by the poor performance of Vista, and Microsoft’s poor efforts at removing the problems with that OS, it remains to be seen how the purchases of many will shake out over this year. Many who don’t have large hardware investments may make the jump to the sanity of Apple and OS X. Others will not want to sell or give away older hardware that is networked in their houses, and will also not want to give up the ability to tinker with both hardware and software.

Ubuntu has shown such progress that many already use it occasionally, and it will only take a small nudge to get them in the habit of constant use. Once a level of comfort is established, the user base will grow beyond the expectations of anyone.

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Apple has the right idea

Apple's unwillingness to 'open' its OS to non-Apple hardware is the key to its OS's reliability. Conversely, MS & Linux both suffer robustness issues because of their all-things-to-all-people ethic.

Let Apple be Apple.

Maybe, but that's not the reason Apple suppresses clones

Apple's unwillingness to open its OS to non-Apple hardware is due to the fact that it makes a lot of money selling hardware.

Apple did allow official clones briefly, from 1995 to mid-1997 (source), in an attempt to achieve greater market penetration.

(The ability of Compaq and others to successfully clone IBM hardware, circa 1982, arguably led to the success of both Microsoft and Intel.)

But shortly after Steve Jobs came back to the company, he squelched the official clone licensing program, because hardware sales made up so much of Apple's revenue. (Afterwards, Power Computing, a Mac clone manufacturer, put a 2-page ad in MacWorld announcing, "We lost our license to speed!")

In any case, I haven't seen much in the way of "robustness issues" with Linux. IMO, the fact that it can run on a variety of mass-produced hardware is a plus, not a minus. The article's author touches on one reason Linux doesn't have more market penetration — it's so foreign to new users.

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