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White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 8, 2013 7:10 UTC (Tue) by patrick_g (subscriber, #44470)
Parent article: White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

White paper with registration required. Created with Adobe InDesign on Windows.
I hope those responsible have been sacked (Monty Python style).


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White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 8, 2013 10:46 UTC (Tue) by Neowin (guest, #93001) [Link]

Windows rocks on desktop. Even The Linux Foundation uses it.

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 8, 2013 21:33 UTC (Tue) by dashesy (guest, #74652) [Link]

You mean it rocks on a dead platform? As soon as I can connect my phone to the big screen, plug in a keyboard, and compile code there, desktop (as we know it) is no more.

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 8, 2013 22:22 UTC (Tue) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

That's only true if you never want to upgrade anything, never need more connectivity, don't need an optical drive, don't need much or very fast storage and that the small device + docking station is cheaper to buy

so far all the predictions of the end of the desktop have fallen flat because these conditions just aren't true.

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 8, 2013 22:44 UTC (Tue) by dashesy (guest, #74652) [Link]

So far yes, but nothing prevents the mobile to be connected to wall socket, it could even switch to an Intel core then. Also an optical drive could be connected to USB or Bluetooth or BLE or 802.11.

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 8, 2013 23:59 UTC (Tue) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

sure, you could build it with multiple cpu's, but you can't fit as much of a heatsink in a mobile device as you can in a desktop (let alone the fan to move air across the heatsink), so you are always going to be more limited in the mobile form factor, which translates into more expensive components and less power.

for some people the convenience is worth the higher price and lower power, but for others (either because they want more power, or because they don't want to pay as much), it's not worth it.

all the people predicting the end of the desktop (either in favour of tablets or in favour of laptops) are forgetting this

the big thing that's causing sales of desktop machines to slump is that the systems are remaining 'good enough' that they aren't being forced to upgrade to keep running, and the weak economy means that they have other things to do with their money.

It's not that there are far fewer desktops in use (although some businesses have switched a lot of people to laptops), it's that they aren't being replaced as frequently, so the sales per year is lower

any market is going to have a slowdown when the market gets saturated, and that's what's happened here.

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 9, 2013 5:54 UTC (Wed) by khim (subscriber, #9252) [Link]

for some people the convenience is worth the higher price and lower power, but for others (either because they want more power, or because they don't want to pay as much), it's not worth it.

Sure, but since low-level smartphone is cheaper than low-level desktop second category will leave when low-level smartphone will be “good enough” and as history showed first category is just not large enough (see: RISC workstations).

Of course it could be noted that workstations finally died just a couple of years ago thus we can be sure desktop will be with us for decade or may be even slightly more if history is any guide, but eventually it'll die, there are no doubt.

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 9, 2013 6:01 UTC (Wed) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

a low level desktop can be had for a couple hundred, a phone is about double that, not counting the docking station.

This is excluding very low-level 'desktop' systems (the raspberry pi level)

the workstation market didn't vanish, it was just replaced by newer systems that outperformed the old ones. High end workstations are still around, they just have x86 chips in them that outperform the RISC based chips that were there before.

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 10, 2013 0:24 UTC (Thu) by khim (subscriber, #9252) [Link]

a low level desktop can be had for a couple hundred, a phone is about double that, not counting the docking station.

Low-level phones are already below $100. They are not very functional, though. Add the fact that you can replace desktop with a phone (if phone is fast enough) but can not replace phone with a desktop… the writings are on the wall.

the workstation market didn't vanish, it was just replaced by newer systems that outperformed the old ones. High end workstations are still around, they just have x86 chips in them that outperform the RISC based chips that were there before.

Ah, no worries, then. Desktop will not die, just Windows/X/Wayland/etc will die. We will all use Android-based desktop but it'll be just a replacement of desktops with a newer systems which outperform the old ones. Got that. Makes sense.

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 10, 2013 1:48 UTC (Thu) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

Ok, if you are saying that the workstation has vanished, what exactly is the difference between a 'real workstation' and a current high-end PC running Linux?

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 10, 2013 9:27 UTC (Thu) by khim (subscriber, #9252) [Link]

“A current high-end PC” was never supposed to run Linux. It was designed to be used with Windows. Old “RISC workstations” were designed with UNIX in mind. You can as well call XBox360 “a Linux system” because of the existence of Free60.

If your point is that people will grab Android devices and try to adopt them for their needs in the future and will even produce something desktop-like, then you are probably correct, but that does not change the equation much: when people talk about “death of something” (be it workstations, steam cars or desktop) they talk about “normal users”. The fact that British Steam Car Challenge set a new record for steam cars in 2009 does not mean steam cars are not dead: of course your can find some enthusiasts who will try to present curious devices of the era which is long gone, but this is totally separate question from the evolution of mainstream.

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 11, 2013 20:41 UTC (Fri) by Wol (guest, #4433) [Link]

I'd like a Pi in a 10cm x 10cmm box that bolts onto the mounting points at the back of a TV. Coupled with a USB wireles keyboard and mouse, presto - one vanishing desktop. I only need a TV.

That said, I would still keep one humungous PC as a home server. My existing system has been maxed out with 16Gb (4x4Gb) RAM, and two 1Tb disks - I don't (yet) need a disk upgrade ... and 3 cores was a lot a few years ago :-)

Cheers,
Wol

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 12, 2013 4:32 UTC (Sat) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

> I'd like a Pi in a 10cm x 10cmm box that bolts onto the mounting points at the back of a TV. Coupled with a USB wireles keyboard and mouse, presto - one vanishing desktop. I only need a TV.

http://www.adafruit.com/products/986

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 9, 2013 4:25 UTC (Wed) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198) [Link]

While what you say is true, the conditions haven't been met, there is no evidence that the conditions _can't_ be met. I think that future is closer than you think, desktop sales have been falling for a long time and now laptop sales are falling, what is growing is sales of phones and tablets. That future where the traditional desktop OS is marginal and not the centre of the market is in the foreseeable future.

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 9, 2013 4:36 UTC (Wed) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

> there is no evidence that the conditions _can't_ be met.

actually, for some things I think it's very clear that they can't be met

you are not going to get a large heatsink and fan on any mobile.

The storage available is always going to be much less (and no, an Internet connection does not replace storage)

and there is always a price premium on being small

you are mistaking turnover for use. the turnover of desktop systems is dropping (and to a lesser degree, turnover of laptop systems). No question there. But that just means that the R&D focus of the hardware vendors isn't going to be in that area, not that the traditional desktop OS is marginal.

if everyone keeps a machine for twice as long, the sales will drop by half, but the number of people using the systems remains the same.

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 9, 2013 8:17 UTC (Wed) by dgm (subscriber, #49227) [Link]

> and there is always a price premium on being small

The new small is watch sized. In a couple of years a tablet or phone is going to be considered medium sized, and laptops just "big". And the desktop (actually deskunder) box I use is going to be considered frigging-super-computer-sized.

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 9, 2013 8:48 UTC (Wed) by job (guest, #670) [Link]

Only a part of the platform could ever give in to cheap phones, netbooks and their likes.

A surprisingly large part of desktop users wants to scan, print, use 3g modems, projectors, cameras, synthesizers and a number of other peripherals I can't think of. Just enter a regular home electronics shop. They're filled with them.

The reason why cheap phones seems to have such a momentum and work so well is because they don't implement support for any of these peripherals. That also means they will always be a complement to, never take over, desktop computing.

(See also: "Computer desktop war, why Linux never won" in our future history books.)

Phones and their cultural lookalikes are popular right now because there the area has grown so fast. But there will come a day when they too will become stagnant. That's when we will see which of the large players will die from following this distraction.

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 9, 2013 10:29 UTC (Wed) by NAR (subscriber, #1313) [Link]

I've had a quite surprising experience couple of weeks ago. I had to scan some old photos and send it to a Facebook chat. I put the photo into the scanner, which has WiFi connection, then using an app on my Android phone I scanned the photo and when I tried to save the picture, I got an option to "save to Facebook Messenger". I've selected that and the photo was sent immediately. All of this without turning on the desktop.

I can also print from the very same application. 3G modem and camera is integrated into the phone. I heard that (high end) projectors can be also connected to phones, they find the presentations on the filesystem of the phone. That leaves only synthesizers from your list...

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 9, 2013 10:49 UTC (Wed) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

> That leaves only synthesizers from your list...

one "word": iRig :D

http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irigpro/

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 9, 2013 15:54 UTC (Wed) by dashesy (guest, #74652) [Link]

Well, those "3g modems, projectors, cameras, synthesizers and a number of other peripherals" were specifically designed to work with desktops.
How many new R&D projects or startups do you know who target desktops-first? On the other hand increasingly more and more target mobile-first, and some do not even target desktops, or try to adapt/port their already available mobile solution (am looking at Hybris myself) to desktops. Porting to desktop is considered a nice-to-have, and is usually promoted by developers. IMO, as soon as mobile form factor gets big screens and keyboard, developers too will follow.
The market will adjust itself to lower the cost of mobiles, even at the expense of more expensive niche market desktops.

Why linux never won ...

Posted Oct 9, 2013 17:47 UTC (Wed) by Wol (guest, #4433) [Link]

Actually, I think linux WILL win. It can't be killed by the economic downturn, and the environment is ruthlessly competitive.

Microsoft can be killed by a downturn, and is not used to a competitive environment.

As others have been pointing out, a LARGE part of a modern off-the-shelf PC is the Windows/Office licences. It only takes something to break the tie-in (which imho is illegal...), and linux will take over the home desktop in months, not years!

Cheers,
Wol

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 9, 2013 9:39 UTC (Wed) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

Much more likely is that the firm they hired for the layout uses this.

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 8, 2013 12:28 UTC (Tue) by torquay (guest, #92428) [Link]

Created with Adobe InDesign on Windows.

Perhaps this is a case of "the right tool for the given job". Is there an open source package that is both stable and has equivalent set of functionality?

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 8, 2013 12:53 UTC (Tue) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

> Perhaps this is a case of "the right tool for the given job". Is there an open source package that is both stable and has equivalent set of functionality?

http://www.scribus.net/canvas/Scribus

This is a capable desktop publishing solution. More then enough for cranking out the sort of low-grade publishing quality that you see in typical white papers.

Besides that there are a whole host of extremely capable, best-of-bread, tools for editing a wide variety of mark-up languages and the creation and manipulation of PDFs, depending on how nerdy you want to get about it.

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 9, 2013 9:40 UTC (Wed) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

Doesn't make sense to have a permanent designer/layout person on hire just for this. Usually you just hire a company to do this for you and they make a layout. Normally the layout+design is more important than the tools used. :P

White paper: the economic value of the Long Term Support Initiative

Posted Oct 12, 2013 10:37 UTC (Sat) by lsl (subscriber, #86508) [Link]

Pff. Troff or maybe LaTeX are just fine.


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