It's for the same reason that Windows and Apple Mac slaughter Linux
Almost, but not quite.
Applications people, NORMAL PEOPLE, not geeks and freaks, are interested
It's really about SERVICE.
If you and your family and all the people you call during peak hours
are on Verizon or Sprint, then the iPhone, which is only available on
AT&T, is probably not a viable option.
Especially if you just renewed a 2 year contract and have to pay $150
to get out.
The iPhone now has over 15,000 applications.
That's a big plus. How many of those are Java applications that run
on any phone?
I'll have to admit, I scuttled my WinCE smart-phone, which I really
didn't like that much anyway, for an LG Env because it had VZ
Navigator. Not only did I get a cell phone, I also got GPS, best
routing, good shortcuts, and fast service.
I was also fed up with WinCE being useless as a Cellular modem. I
eventually got a separate USB Cellular modem, which works on Windows,
Linux, Mac, and subNotebooks - and gives me 200 Kb/second - which I
can get while traveling on a train for 90 minutes each way every day.
I can also get it at a restaurant that doesn't have WiFi, or charges
$9/hour for it.
Keep in mind that the Cellular Modem is a little cell phone, with a
USB interface, that looks like a modem to the computer, and sets up a
PPP interface to the service.
The big problem with a PDA has been that it isn't quite big enough for
real useful applications, but it's too expensive to just use as a
simple device. The HP iPAQ was very nice, because it supported CF,
SD, played music, and ran some nice applications, but it didn't have
GPS. GPS devices are nice, but their applications are limited.
I need a cell phone for getting incoming calls quickly. Outgoing
calls I can make using Skype and WiFi or a Cellular modem. This keeps
my minutes down on the metered service, making the "all you can eat"
service more valuable.
So whatever happened to that Linux based OpenMoko?
There have been several Linux PDAs and Cell phones over the years,
many of which are very nice, very useful, and in many ways very
practical. They interface nicely with Windows, and many give you the
option of cell phone mode or WiFi mode. Which means they can be
"always on" for incoming calls, but use "best service" for outgoing
This is one of the reasons that Cell Phone stores is a good market for
Linux powered NetBooks. Having the combination of services in a
small netbook available simply by lifting the lid and plugging in a
"dongle" in less than 30 seconds is good enough for most people. At
the same time, the core function unique to a cell phone - incoming
calls, is available using a family plan with a more predictable bucket
You know, the phone that couldn't reliably make phone calls.
That was one of the reasons Apple went with AT&T. The only problem is
that there are still lots of places where you can't really make
calls. The main reason I left AT&T was because there were so many
"dead spots" because towers weren't close enough together. Even
talking on the phone while riding home on a train was too much for
AT&T. For that matter, so was making calls from within Manhattan.
With Verizon, the only time I miss AT&T is when I'm overseas. I use a
cheap unlocked phone and buy a SIM card for that country, which is
MUCH cheaper than even one 30 minute call using AT&T service, but
people have to know my local country phone number.
Unfortunately, Verizon is VERY conservative when it comes to
equipment. I couldn't even get the non-windows Treo. It was almost
enough to make me switch to something else, except that my Daughter,
Step-Daughter, Wife, Son, and Father are all on Verizon now. In-
Network calls are free (don't count against minutes).
The iPhone "killer" ?
I remember when Mac came out. The "Killer App" was MacProject. It
was a great tool for planning projects and estimating work, and
getting things scheduled. Of course, even on an SE with SCSI hard
drive, it was slow, and printing a wall sized PERT chart was painful,
but it was a nice tool.
Then Microsoft bought some third-rate project tool from a former share-
ware company, tried to add leveling (which never seems to understand
the concept of burn rates), and ends up having do do everything by
hand. Even then, you end up with key resources working 80 hours a
DAY, and the majority of the staff playing video games for weeks at a
time - according to the "plan". Even after manually balancing
everything, the wrong combination of chances will completely unravel
Has anybody used task juggler yet?
Where is it?
Linux comes up short once again.
If Microsoft had to depend only on the applications that Microsoft
provided, they would be out of business in a year. Fortunately, most
applications are written to run on multiple platforms these days,
including Windows, Linux, and Mac. In fact, there are very few
"killer apps" left on Windows-only. Applications that are not only
unavailable on any other platform, but don't have superior competitors
(for a price) that run on the other two platforms even better than the
WinTrolls like to look ONLY at the GPL applications and claim that
this is the ONLY software that is available for Linux. That's just
the software that comes with the Debian distributions. Many of the
commercial distributions come with very nice commercial software.
Many corporate Linux installs even have some very nice high-end
applications like Lotus Notes 8, SameTime (secure corporate IM), and
are very tightly integrated with the corporate servers.
The main problem is the same problem we used to have with MVS in the
1980s and 1990s. You didn't like paying for the maintenance and
upgrades, but you didn't want to fall too far behind either. You
couldn't get rid of it, because all of the legally binding compliance
logic was coded in CICS/COBOL and running on MVS, and the legacy
archives were on IMS.
IBM eventually hid the ugly "green screen" interfaces by putting
WebSphere on Linux on Z-Series and connecting it to the MVS Back-end
applications using WMQ and Connectors. Even when you are interacting
with mainframes, you wouldn't know it, because you're typically doing
it from a Web Browser.
Eventually, Windows will probably start going the same way. More and
more companies are using banks of Windows servers for certain key
applications because it's easier to configure a few "cloud" machines
and get to them via remote access than it is to try and deploy
infrequently used applications to tens of thousands of desktops.
Many corporations are beginning to adopt the model of putting a user's
corporate "image" on a server, and then letting him "refresh" a
virtualized system running on his laptop. He might not even know that
Linux is running the show underneath the Windows veneer.
I suspect it won't be long before you start seeing laptops and
desktops in corporations running Linux and Windows concurrently,
without the ability to distinguish which applications are really Linux
and which are really Windows.
A copy of "Maximum PC" was very interesting. The promotional
software, for Windows, included GIMP, WinDirStat (the map from
Konquoror), VirtualBox, OpenArena, Pingus, FileZilla, OpenOffice.
Most of which were windows versions of Linux software - probably even
including a cygwin.dll
About the only Windows-only software:
PC Pitstop Erase
PC PitStop Optimize
It speaks VOLUMES. The BIG MARKET for "Windows Only" software is
cleaning up the messes Microsoft's "back doors" have drug in.
The real INNOVATION is happening on Linux and/or Java and is
Think about it. There are something like 300 million Mac users, who
paid premium prices for their PCs, and are willing to pay a bit more
If I write Windows-only software, I might get some small percentage of
the 1 billion Windows users, who would possibly register it as
With Linux, it's possible to provide functional versions in "personal"
format, but provide the SERVICES that integrate the ENTERPRISE
version, giving better high-performance real-time capabilities, and
market them for Mac, Linux, AND Windows.
With Java, I don't even have to specify the version. The same JDK 1.5
based application runs fine on Windows, Linux, and Mac, and I don't
have to recompile anything.