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Date:      Fri, 22 Jul 2011 09:39:53 -0500
From:      Reid Linnemann <lreid@cs.okstate.edu>
To:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Subject:   Re: 2020: Will BSD and Linux be relevant anymore?
Message-ID:  <CA+0MdpO=L1nV3gHfbFBiQO0rPxfQSctgVgeg0dus7Cow10Jk0A@mail.gmail.com>
In-Reply-To: <20110721211856.GA69737@guilt.hydra>
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On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 4:18 PM, Chad Perrin <perrin@apotheon.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 02:06:04PM -0400, Daniel Staal wrote:
>> On Thu, July 21, 2011 1:11 pm, Chad Perrin wrote:
>> >
>> > If all they want is a toy with a Web browser and an email client, I gu=
ess
>> > that works for them. =A0I don't know if they really count for purposes=
 of
>> > discussing the possible replacement of desktops and laptops, though,
>> > because what they really need is not a general-purpose personal comput=
er
>> > at all.
>>
>> One of the people I know uses this as his work laptop, running Excel,
>> Powerpoint, Outlook, Word, etc. =A0(Of course, he's not running Android =
at
>> that point...) =A0The 'laptop' is a tablet in a case with a bluetooth
>> keyboard. =A0He uses this _at his desk in the office, next to a desktop
>> computer._ =A0(Because he can then take the work home with him, or bring=
 it
>> to a meeting.)
>
> Frankly, I'm of the opinion that an office suite is just more toy
> software. =A0It just happens to be toy software with ungodly resource
> requirements and a veneer of "professionalism". =A0Until I get the kind o=
f
> development environment I have on my FreeBSD systems, ability to run test
> environments (Web servers, for instance), and so on, I don't call it a
> full-power OS.
>
> If all you're doing with it is email, making slides for another pointless
> presentation, and updating your resume, you're still using a toy, or
> maybe an appliance.
>
> I suppose others might disagree.
>
> --
> Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]
>

I for one wholeheartedly agree. "Office" tasks and games are the realm
of the appliance, the plug-in-and-go black box for the user that wants
no interaction with the underlying architecture, which traditionally
has never been the target audience for FreeBSD (and nor should it be,
IMO). FreeBSD's strength is in its kernel, especially in its advanced
features and early adoption of powerful tech like ZFS, and its liberal
licensing that lends itself to embedded systems. It's third party
software pool is exactly that of Linux, including Xorg, so from a user
perspective FreeBSD has nothing to offer that the existing umpteen
trillion linux distros can't in the desktop realm. It's  really quite
pointless to jump in that ring, unless FreeBSD miraculously got
wholehearted vendor support overnight from all wireless and 3d
vendors, and Microsoft gave up the fight to dominate office document
standards. No, the server and the embedded system will continue to be
important and that's where FreeBSD shines. Of course, I'm a nobody,
but I really appreciate the unique properties of FreeBSD that make it
not Linux, OS X, or Windows; though I use all four routinely.



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