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Hi, Will Linux be the target gaming platofrm in the next few years? I think it should be adobted by at least the leaders in the industry. I still cannot understand why Windows rules. Is it DirectX? or is it the dummy users who prefare to run it on their Pentium? Need your feedback.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
At the moment Windows is likely to prevail in the desktop scenario market, because of marketing, because for the average user it is easier to use than linux, people generally associate quality with the expenditure of money, microsoft''s lobbying of PC manufacturers and the fact that it generally just about fits their percieved requirements. As long as this situation persists developers of products they are likely to buy will continue to develop for windows as their main platform with others coming a distinct second - a kind of viscious circle.

Once (if?) linux becomes user friendly to install & use, and if the linux community can give it enough awareness then it could become the platform of choice. Examples of good things under linux are the KDE config plugin for Samba, under Gentoo emerge is in many ways great, although to make it end-user friendly it should have a gui. Things that aren''t great, why do I have to restart the X server to get a different resolution or colour setting? messing about in text config files is fine for geeks ... but your average home user? Linux also needs greater hardware support; projects that can use windows drivers and integrate them into linux will help, but in the end consumer hardware manufacturers must be persuaded to provide production quality drivers.

Don''t get me wrong, Linux is a great OS, but at the moment the end user is likely to end up finding it hard to operate, especially installing and configuring software and devices and until this happens it is likely to remain the preserve of geeks and professionals who need reliability and can deal with the difficulties implict in setting linux up.

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Things that aren''t great, why do I have to restart the X server to get a different resolution or colour setting?

You don''t. The XRandR extension (implemented in XFree86 4.3 and onward) allows changing the size of the root window and it''s integrated in the big desktop environments already. Changing the bit depth may someday be added to it, but it''s not a big concern. The size of the viewport could always be changed without effort (as you likely know).

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I would like to remark at this point that in my opinion Windows is the more difficult OS.

I say this because Windows has more effort needed to keep it working correctly (who hasn''t had to reinstall? and of course spyware, virii, disk defragging, the list goes on and on)

linux can be a bear to get working properly, but then so can Windows

As a Windows user, you know all the tricks needed to get Windows functioning, so you think it is easy. I spent the past couple of days working with a small rack of Windows machines at work, and as someone who hadn''t used windows much in over a year, it was amazing how difficult many tasks are -- people are affective at what they know.

And as for the mythical "average user", they don''t install Windows either -- they have relatives/aquaintances or tech support do it for them -- which can be done as easily with Linux.

The main thing holding Linux back at the moment, IMHO, is marketting and inertia.

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one word: market.

Linux still has to become one. And linux users still have to get used to buy things for it.

Big software companies (adobe, discrete, microsoft<-why not?) should all, for once, start porting their applications to linux. That will mark the beginning of linux as a real end-user market.

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as i said -- marketting and inertia
but inertia can be over come, and several major firms like Novell and IBM are pushing Linux now, and are working on the marketting angle
basically, the next few years are going to be interesting
maybe today Linux isnt taking over the desktop, but it might take over faster than you think -- i mean, WALMART sells linux preinstalled on computers now

programming for computers is trying to hit a moving target -- if you arent prepared for possible moves, you could find yourself in deep trouble down the road

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If you look at the Google Zeitgeist, Linux''s desktop userbase doesn''t seem to be going anywhere. It''s been at about 1% for years now.

The main reason I like to target Linux as well as Windows is simply because a theoretical OSX port would be a very small step from that. (all I need now is Mac hardware!)


"Without deviation, progress itself is impossible." -- Frank Zappa

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Will Linux be the target gaming platofrm in the next few years?

No.

In a few years, the PC won''t even be the target gaming platform. Oh, I know, blasphemy and all that. Truth is, for the majority of the market, the consistency and hassle-free nature of console game is by far more desirable than the "Does it meet minimum requirements?" and "Do I have to upgrade - again - to play it?" cycle of the PC. Hell, I''m getting an Xbox!


I think it should be adopted by at least the leaders in the industry.

On the basis of...?


I still cannot understand why Windows rules. Is it DirectX?
or is it the dummy users who prefare to run it on their Pentium?


If you can''t figure out why Windows rules the desktop, well, you might as well give up any sort of meaningful commercial analysis. It''s been done to death. It''s obvious. It''s so blatantly apparent that it stares you in the face: usability.

Windows is more usable than any graphical environment for Linux. Windows is more consistent than any graphical environment for Linux. Windows is more coherent than any graphical environment for Linux. And don''t underestimate the import of graphical environments; developers may want/accept/like command-line interfaces, but Average Joes most definitely will not.

Worst of all, Linux graphical environments are forever playing catch-up to Windows. I mean, look at all the current offerings: they''re reimplementations of Windows-like schemes with minor differences. Why wasn''t the opportunity taken to explore truly alternative options? Because the 800-lb gorilla had set the expectations bar, and only it can shift the paradigm (as Paul Thurriot keeps breathlessly telling us Longhorn will - bull).

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Consoles are the ideal development platform. You know exactly how something is going to run on them because the customer''s hardware and software setup will be virtually identical to your test hardware. PC''s are a gigantic step away but are still fairly reasonable, generally due to a certain OS''s prevalence.

Now onto Linux. Making sure your program will work correctly on the majority of Linux and Linux derivitives is just a joke. There are so many software factors and related hardware issues that its borderline pointless. Linux just has so many available flavors that are becoming increasingly polar. UT2004 is probably the best example of the problem, I don''t know of a single Linux user that has not had at least ''some'' issues with UT2004. Epic/Atari were intelligent to state up front that there would be no customer support for Linux users.

I predict the opposite of the OP''s suggestion. Windows is likely to become even more pervasive in the PC gaming market. DirectX is becoming increasingly popular as programmable hardware becomes the standard. As .NET becomes the standard with the release of Longhorn, cross-platform support will become even more of a burden unless projects such as .GNU/Mono can keep up.

The whole point of Linux is to have a very open platform with no restrictions on what you can do. You can even recompile the entire kernel to fit your specific desires. This really is just the opposite of what a developer wants. You want to be able to know, as closely as possible, exactly what an end user machine is going to be like.

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There will always be a market for PC gaming. Sure the consoles will take their share in genres that are more suited for that type of input. The development platforms for consoles don’t mean anything to your average user. They don''t see, Windows/DirectX or Linux/PS SDK. They see a game they want to play. The only people who care about the environment used to make the game are the developers and we are a definite minority. Windows will continue to offer their wares to the general public in a consistent manner. They have a perfect strategy; give something away for free and make a majority dependant on it. Worked with Internet Explorer and it is working with DirectX. Linux is a great experiment but until there is a "standard" that is easy for the general user; it will continue to be a super users toy.

What it boils down to is exactly what was previously posted. The market controls who leads and who fails. Until there is a reason for the average Joe User to give up what has been working for years, and is comfortable with, he is going to need more than an occasional lock up or reboot. And the facts are the facts. When you go to most stores that sell software, you are guaranteed to find some windows software. We can''t say that about Linux. Maybe in a few years the Linux community may mature but I just don''t see it.





"If you are not willing to try, you will never succeed!"

Grellin

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Thing is, the XBox is kind of dependant on Windows success. If Windows starts to lose market share to say Linux, people like sony can jump-ship with their SDK''s where as Microsoft can''t. They would either have to completely redesign the XBox line or start porting DirectX over to Linux... just a thought.

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I see linux as a hobbiest OS. Linux is also for those who would rather struggle with the install than pay microsoft $300 for all their integrated spyware. I myself use linux (slack + kde) and I find it just as easy to use as windows, but that's probably cause' I'm special : )

The real reason windows is so popular, though, is because it comes pre-installed on all PC's and most people don't know/care about alternatives, thus windows becomes the standard. Then microsoft tries all it can to lock in its market by getting people hooked on microsoft only technologies, and once people get hooked they end up paying the microsoft tax when a new windows comes out and an old one becomes obsolete.

Lucky for windows users though, Longhorn has become such an albatross that it'll take the windows devs another couple of years to get it working correctly.

edit: oh, and about the PC market being dead? Tell that to ID software, Valve, 3drealms, Blizzard, and I'm sure they'll switch over to consoles right away!

[edited by - clayasaurus on April 23, 2004 7:53:04 AM]

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First: Usability arguments

Yes, we have all seen them. over and over again. but the thing is, many of them that blast linux are actually not using modern linux versions, and very often you can trace the payment of the study to those who have a reason to not want Linux to be a major computer platform. Try it for yourself sometime. Install a distro like Fedora Core, or Mandrake, or SuSe and see the results. If you think Linux is ''too hard'' it will be an eye opener.

Second: Difficulty to develop for

I must say I flatly disagree. I have 3 closed source/commercial games installed at the moment: Diablo 2 under WineX, Unreal2K4, and Never Winter Nights (with both expansions). They were just as easy to install as under windows. Linux exposes a brilliant set of APIs, and as long as a developer actually uses the standard APIs (POSIX, SDL, etc) then it is easy to develop for. The only issue at times is version dependancy issues, but there are ways to avoid that (proper dynamic linking, for example) and companies that do it correctly release software that will run on any linux system (well, maybe not any, but the people who are capable of creating a custom setup so odd that it wont work know what they are doing and have to accept the problems they are causing themselves).

Third: Preinstalled Computers

Go to HP. Heck, get in your car and go to Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart now sells linux computers right on there site -- for example: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.gsp?product_id=2592736&cat=3951&type=19&dept=3944&path=0%3A3944%3A3951%3A41937%3A86796%3A132690

If you disagree I can find references for my arguments. Trust
me, its not that difficult.

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