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Steam Linux Plans

Steam’d Penguins on the Valve Website has new details on Valve's progress in adding Linux support to Steam and their games. Here's word on their progress on a Linux Steam client and a Linux edition of Left 4 Dead 2:

The goal of the Steam client project is a fully-featured Steam client running on Ubuntu 12.04. We’ve made good progress this year and now have the Steam client running on Ubuntu with all major features available. We’re still giving attention and effort to minor features but it’s a good experience at the moment. In the near future, we will be setting up an internal beta focusing on the auto-update experience and compatibility testing.

Since the Steam client isn’t much without a game, we’re also porting L4D2 to Ubuntu. This tests the game-related features of the Steam client, in addition to L4D2 gameplay on Ubuntu. Over the last few months, excellent progress has been made on several fronts and it now runs natively on Ubuntu 12.04. We’re working hard to improve the performance and have made good progress (more on that in a future post). Our goal is to have L4D2 performing under Linux as well as it performs under Windows.

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48. Re: Steam Linux Plans Jul 17, 2012, 18:42 theyarecomingforyou
 
Dades wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 18:03:
Windows is almost as bad as LED TVs, uh oh!
We're not starting that up again. Wall

Dades wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 18:03:
Do you think Valve decides to commit millions in resources to development on inferior operating systems going nowhere if they could just stick with Windows and not worry about it?
It's a business move designed to increase sales. Both OSX and Linux have support for some high profile games and some indie games but it's a real niche. Valve is trying to get in on that action and really doesn't have any competition to worry about. It doesn't mean that Valve considers Macs or Linux to offer serious competition to Windows - in fact the limited selection of games suggests they don't consider it to be a priority. What it does do is give them experience dealing with multi-platform titles, which will be especially useful if they move into the console world - they've already worked with Sony to do that with Portal 2. Also, I haven't seen any evidence to suggest they're spending "millions in resources" to develop the Linux version - it's more likely a few programmers doing it in as a pet project.

As for being concerned about Windows 8 being a "turd", I don't think that's a serious concern. Windows ME and Vista didn't send people running to Macs or Linux; they simply stuck with the existing version of Windows that they had.
 
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47. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 18:33 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Oh, FFS. I was posting about the childishness and immaturity of pointless OS flame wars, and you morons go off on a childish and pointless OS flame war.

Tone of voice and inflection doesn't carry in text. If you expect someone to read that much from an offhand sarcastic remark, then better to make it explicit. To me it sounded a lot more like a dismissal of dissatisfaction with Windows rather than a commentary on the futility of the OS wars.

Both Linux and Windows have their strengths and weakness, but referring to Microsoft as M$ makes anyone with a brain instantly discard your argument.

I never referred to it as such.

Windows might be a "highly unsatisfying experience" for some, but for most people, it is the tool that gets the job done with the least amount of pain.

I don't disagree here. If you read my other posts you'll find that I acknowledge that Windows is the preferable OS for the corporate end-user environment. My claim is that for people who are naturally drawn to computing -- as opposed to people who use a computer because they have to in this day and age -- then Unix/Linux is the superior OS.

OSX is built on top of UNIX, so pretty much anything you can do in Linux shell can also be done on OSX.

I'm well aware it's based off of the Berkeley Software Distribution. My contention is that the cost, and the closed nature of the system, make it less appealing to tinkerers, hackers, and enthusiasts. And the OSX terminal isn't an exact replica of the Linux shell. You're right that most tasks work the same, but many system administration tasks, for example, do not.

And just for the record, I've been a professional software developer for more than a decade and I've worked on more platforms than you can shake a stick at.... so I'm pretty sure I actually know more about computing than some oik on a gaming forum. And if you really think Linux is "by far the most well designed operating system around", I suggest you take a course is OS kernel design.

I'll defer to your judgement and experience then on the merits of the Linux kernel. I still feel however that the Unix approach to solving computing problems is generally superior to the Windows approach. If you feel differently, I'd be happy to listen to your arguments, as you are probably more knowledgeable than I am.
 
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46. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 18:27 theyarecomingforyou
 
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 17:33:
You seem to be making the argument that user-friendliness is superior to utility. A simple tool, while easier to learn, has fewer uses than a complex tool. The reality is that while GUI's are easier to learn, they are by definition less useful. Rather than telling the computer what to do, the computer presents you with options and you pick among them.
You speak as if CLIs are inherently faster and most efficient for everything. If I want to copy files from one folder to another it is much quicker to do so via Explorer than CLI, especially if the folders are several levels deep and have long file names. You also get graphical previews, meta information and selection tools (like inverse select) to speed things up. For most of the tasks an average user carries out (copying, transfers, app launching) it is much quicker to use a GUI than a CLI. So if it's more user friendly and more efficient then surely that's a win-win?

Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 17:33:
Features like job control (if you think multitasking is limited to GUIs, you are wrong), pipelines, input/output redirection, advanced scripting capabilities, work environment customization, online reference, and command completion make the Unix CLI dramatically more powerful than DOS.
As nice as all that it is isn't relevant to 95% of computer users.

Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 17:33:
Again, nearly all serious computing -- whether it be the infrastructure of the internet, financial computing, scientific research, military networks, etc. -- occurs on Unix/Linux and there is a reason for that.
That's very elitist. Yet look at the "serious" uses for GUIs - movie editing, graphic production, 3D modelling, audio production, medical equipment, office work, finance / accounting, print media, architecture, etc. I accept that Linux has a lot of uses but I was obviously framing the discussion from the perspective of average users. I never suggested that Windows would be the best choice for military networks.

Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 17:33:
What exactly is so hard to use about Ubuntu, and what exactly is so unattractive about this desktop?
The link doesn't work but I was going by images like this and this. I just don't think it looks at all refined, from the colour scheme, to the icons and borders, to the top bar.

Whereas I like the look of the Windows desktop, which is very clean, angular and flat.
 
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45. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 18:19 Agrajag
 
ChaosEngine wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 17:57:
Windows might be a "highly unsatisfying experience" for some, but for most people, it is the tool that gets the job done with the least amount of pain.

I think for most people, it's more the case that it's the only tool they even know exists... Or, it's the tool they were handed, and they don't have the desire or knowledge necessary to go looking for a more appropriate one...
 
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44. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 18:16 Agrajag
 
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 17:33:
again, Unix is hard to learn but very easy to use.

The quote I've always liked is:

"Unix is a user-friendly operating system. It's just picky with whom it chooses to be friends." - Ken Thompson
 
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43. Re: Steam Linux Plans Jul 17, 2012, 18:03 Dades
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 08:07:
Linux looks like ass, is more difficult to use, barely supports games, has limited application support, has poor driver support, has a poor user experience, etc. To claim that it is superior to Windows is laughable. That's not to say it doesn't have many merits but if you want to do anything practical with your computer then that pretty much rules out Linux.

Windows is almost as bad as LED TVs, uh oh!

Sounds like you haven't even used Linux in the past five years. Do you think Valve decides to commit millions in resources to development on inferior operating systems going nowhere if they could just stick with Windows and not worry about it? Maybe like many other people, they are worried about Windows 8 being a turd.

This comment was edited on Jul 17, 2012, 18:08.
 
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42. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 17:57 Trashy
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 16:55:
Trashy wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 16:32:
First off I'm a programmer a real programmer not some Web design major, I mostly deal with creating test programs for equipment that test ASIC/Custom Logic Semiconductors. I don't need to use anything Adobe even if I did there are plenty of Open Source solutions that will fit my needs. If I need to make a quick change to an image the Gimp works just fine. Libre Office does everything I need for my general office work and I do some heavy spreadsheet work.
Sorry, that was a mistake/typo. I meant office productivity like Google Docs, which can be done from the browser. I wouldn't imagine web-based programming tools are all that great.

Due to the sensitivity of my work I can't use google docs nor any other cloud based storage site that would put any kind of work specific data outside of the corporate firewall, It's in my company's corporate policy. Even if I could, I wouldn't trust google with handling any of my work.
 
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41. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 17:57 ChaosEngine
 
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 03:01:
ChaosEngine wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 00:55:
Yeah, fight the power! After all these years, maybe you'll finally defeat the evil M$ and maybe even lose your virginity too.

If you actually know anything about computing, then by and large Windows is, and always has been, a highly unsatisfying experience. Macs are a bit better but they're too expensive, are a closed system, and are permanently wedded to the GUI, which is hardly the power user's native environment. That leaves Unix/Linux, which also happens to be by far the most well designed operating system around. With all that in mind, it makes sense that serious computer users who also happen to be gamers would love to finally be free of Windows once and for all. It's not about fighting the power -- although maybe it is for some people -- it's about not being stuck with an inferior OS simply because you like to play games.

Oh, FFS. I was posting about the childishness and immaturity of pointless OS flame wars, and you morons go off on a childish and pointless OS flame war.

Both Linux and Windows have their strengths and weakness, but referring to Microsoft as M$ makes anyone with a brain instantly discard your argument.

Windows might be a "highly unsatisfying experience" for some, but for most people, it is the tool that gets the job done with the least amount of pain.
OSX is built on top of UNIX, so pretty much anything you can do in Linux shell can also be done on OSX.
Meanwhile, Linus dominates the server space and with good reason; it's fast, cheap and reliable.

And just for the record, I've been a professional software developer for more than a decade and I've worked on more platforms than you can shake a stick at.... so I'm pretty sure I actually know more about computing than some oik on a gaming forum. And if you really think Linux is "by far the most well designed operating system around", I suggest you take a course is OS kernel design.
 
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40. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 17:33 Scottish Martial Arts
 
I was basing it upon the latest version of Ubuntu.

What exactly is so hard to use about Ubuntu, and what exactly is so unattractive about this desktop? My first impression of ubuntu, which happened to be the first distro I tried, was the exact opposite: attractive and with immediately intuitive interface conventions. Once you learn the shortcuts and the extra functionality that Gnome has -- such as extra workspaces and one click copy and paste -- it becomes really difficult to see how the Windows GUI is in any way superior. That isn't to say Windows is bad, just that I don't see how Gnome or KDE is in any worse.

No. I dealt with CLIs back in the DOS days but I really have no interest going back to that. They may be more efficient for some tasks but that goes in the exact opposite direction of a user friendly experience.

You seem to be making the argument that user-friendliness is superior to utility. A simple tool, while easier to learn, has fewer uses than a complex tool. The reality is that while GUI's are easier to learn, they are by definition less useful. Rather than telling the computer what to do, the computer presents you with options and you pick among them. Now those options have to be limited, otherwise the GUI quickly becomes cluttered and is no more user friendly than the CLI. You simply can't do as much, as well, and as fast with the GUI as you can with the CLI.

So why the Unix CLI over DOS? Features like job control (if you think multitasking is limited to GUIs, you are wrong), pipelines, input/output redirection, advanced scripting capabilities, work environment customization, online reference, and command completion make the Unix CLI dramatically more powerful than DOS. It's even easier to use in my opinion -- again, Unix is hard to learn but very easy to use. Plus, it's just plain fun.

Again, nearly all serious computing -- whether it be the infrastructure of the internet, financial computing, scientific research, military networks, etc. -- occurs on Unix/Linux and there is a reason for that. For your average office worker who just needs to use Office and send email, Windows is perfectly adequate, and maybe even preferable. But if you really want to access the power of your computer, and really want a tool that complements your own brain when it comes to solving problems, then Unix/Linux, and particularly the Unix/Linux CLI and utilities, is the way to go.
 
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39. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 16:55 theyarecomingforyou
 
Trashy wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 16:32:
First off I'm a programmer a real programmer not some Web design major, I mostly deal with creating test programs for equipment that test ASIC/Custom Logic Semiconductors. I don't need to use anything Adobe even if I did there are plenty of Open Source solutions that will fit my needs. If I need to make a quick change to an image the Gimp works just fine. Libre Office does everything I need for my general office work and I do some heavy spreadsheet work.
Sorry, that was a mistake/typo. I meant office productivity like Google Docs, which can be done from the browser. I wouldn't imagine web-based programming tools are all that great.
 
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38. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 16:52 theyarecomingforyou
 
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 14:53:
Theyarecomingforyou, have you even used a modern Linux distro? Nearly all of what you said is demonstrably wrong, particularly on the useability/attractiveness front, which leads me to believe you're arguing based upon old stereotypes as opposed to any practical experience.
I was basing it upon the latest version of Ubuntu.

Verno wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 14:58:
For example Linux has a massive driver database spanning decades of hardware, just like Windows. It's current driver support that often suffers but thanks to USB many of these problems are moot nowadays. Quite a bit of people do audio mastering on Macs and Linux as well. Saying one is inferior because it doesn't have a driver for something you use is just as dumb as the guy who said Windows was inferior to Linux.
My point wasn't to pick out a single piece of hardware that doesn't work - it's more than no commercial multi-track audio recording hardware comes with Linux support. The Linux driver situation is dramatically better than it used to be but it simply isn't as robust as the Windows ecosystem.

Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 14:53:
For that matter, have you ever used the Unix Command Line Interface? I do most of my Linux work in the CLI, and I have to say that nothing in the GUI world quite matches the computing relationship that forms between you and your shell of choice. The Unix/Linux CLI is powerful, flexible, fast, highly customizable, elegant, and, although it's hard to learn, is incredibly easy to use (think about that for a moment: it's not a contradiction).
No. I dealt with CLIs back in the DOS days but I really have no interest going back to that. They may be more efficient for some tasks but that goes in the exact opposite direction of a user friendly experience.

Agrajag wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 14:10:
But, guess what ChromeOS really is underneath? Linux... So is Android... There are your mainstream user-friendly Linux distros right there!
I'm aware of that. But Android on a mobile phone is an entirely different affair to when you're talking about tablets, where Android just doesn't hold up as well - certainly not when compared to the upcoming Windows 8.

Verno wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 14:58:
You in particular seem to get really defensive when other peoples usage choices in hardware/software differ from your own.
Not at all. In fact I'm all for Linux doing well and don't deny that it has its strengths, particularly when talking about servers. But where I am highly critical is when someone paints Linux as a better operating system despite offering huge drawbacks over Windows systems. As I said, my workflow and leisure time is fundamentally incompatible with Linux. That doesn't mean it won't work for other people but this is a gaming site, focusing on PC news...

Agrajag wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 14:10:
Meh, one man's "productivity software" is another man's "useless garbage"... ;-)
There's no denying the appeal and functionality of the software that I listed. I'm not talking about a niche app for a fringe activity. And again, it's software that is fully supported on Mac but not on Linux.
 
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37. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 16:32 Trashy
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 13:40:
Trashy wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 08:27:
Also Linux for me is more of a office work and programming platform which if you need to get shit done you do it in Linux.

It doesn't support most productivity applications - from Adobe's Creative Suite to DAW software like Cubase or Protools. It supports office apps and programming but those are achievable via web browsers anyway and the Windows alternatives - like Office - are better than the Linux offerings.

First off I'm a programmer a real programmer not some Web design major, I mostly deal with creating test programs for equipment that test ASIC/Custom Logic Semiconductors. I don't need to use anything Adobe even if I did there are plenty of Open Source solutions that will fit my needs. If I need to make a quick change to an image the Gimp works just fine. Libre Office does everything I need for my general office work and I do some heavy spreadsheet work.

You don't know my work environment I live in a Unix/Linux world.


 
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36. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 16:17 Agrajag
 
Boston wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 14:57:
C programmer here as well. Honestly, it's not THAT bad on Windows. It's just the matter of installing the right tools (cygwin/mingw/gvim/whathaveyou).

Like I said, there are Windows ports of the good Unix/Linux software, but the post I was responding to claimed that MS's own native alternatives were superior to those... That's what I disagree with...

And Visual C++ isn't too bad either - most of C99 features you can already use under C++ mode and I can live with that (unless you need to cross compile).

No, C++ doesn't do some really useful plain C features... Like auto-cast void* for you... Also, no compound literals, designated initializers, variable length arrays, flexible arrays in structs, stdint.h, long long, variable argument macros, etc... I'm not sure how many of those have made it into C++11; I don't keep up with C++ at all... But, the void* one is what always gets me anytime I've tried writing C++ code in the past... "You want me to cast the return value from fucking malloc()?! Screw you, brain-dead compiler, that's your fucking job!"
 
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35. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 15:29 Scottish Martial Arts
 
It might be technically superior in most ways but that doesn't make it as commercially viable.

Absolutely. To be clear, I wasn't advocating for people to abandon Windows en masse, nor do I believe that the corporate world should suddenly embrace open source software and convert everything to Ubuntu or Fedora or some other free distro. The corporate end-user world is entirely different from say, the world of database administration or the private computer enthusiast. For corporate end-users, Windows, with its world class support and near universal familiarity (i.e. you don't need to train someone to use Windows), is the clear platform of choice because it's has lower long run costs and thus will best support the profitability of the company.

I do firmly believe however, that Unix/Linux, on its technical merits, and particularly on the power of the CLI, is superior to Windows as an ideal. In other words, Windows has relative superiority in certain key areas, but Unix/Linux is the better operating system in general.
 
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34. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 14:58 Verno
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 13:40:
Extremely cumbersome post

Yeah I'm not taking on that mountain of text, good grief. Your assertions don't match your "evidence" is what I will say. For example Linux has a massive driver database spanning decades of hardware, just like Windows. It's current driver support that often suffers but thanks to USB many of these problems are moot nowadays. Quite a bit of people do audio mastering on Macs and Linux as well. Saying one is inferior because it doesn't have a driver for something you use is just as dumb as the guy who said Windows was inferior to Linux. Linux and Windows have drastically different purposes, comparisons of anything but their actual subsystems is totally pointless and a bit childish. Windows is stupid because it doesn't run my million iOS apps derp derp type childish.

You in particular seem to get really defensive when other peoples usage choices in hardware/software differ from your own. Linux, Mac OS X and Windows all run a wide variety of applications and it really comes down to what people are comfortable with that also meets their needs. I'm not sure why you even care. If some guy wants to say Linux is superior, he might be right. It might be technically superior in most ways but that doesn't make it as commercially viable.
 
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33. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 14:57 Boston
 
Agrajag wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 14:10:
I would very much disagree in regards to the programming, at least... I write plain C code all day, and I'd kill myself if I had to do it in Windows... Mainly because I really couldn't unless I wanted to live in the ancient past of old-school ANSI C, since last I heard MS still doesn't support C99 and has no plans to support C11... They seem totally focused on C++ only... Plus, I can't live without vim! (Yes, I'm sure there's a port and of gcc, too... But, you were talking about MS's own native offerings being superior here...)

C programmer here as well. Honestly, it's not THAT bad on Windows. It's just the matter of installing the right tools (cygwin/mingw/gvim/whathaveyou).
And Visual C++ isn't too bad either - most of C99 features you can already use under C++ mode and I can live with that (unless you need to cross compile).
 
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32. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 14:53 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Theyarecomingforyou, have you even used a modern Linux distro? Nearly all of what you said is demonstrably wrong, particularly on the useability/attractiveness front, which leads me to believe you're arguing based upon old stereotypes as opposed to any practical experience. And this isn't the first time I've seen you repeat factually wrong claims in a Linux thread. Show me on the doll where Linux touched you.

For that matter, have you ever used the Unix Command Line Interface? I do most of my Linux work in the CLI, and I have to say that nothing in the GUI world quite matches the computing relationship that forms between you and your shell of choice. The Unix/Linux CLI is powerful, flexible, fast, highly customizable, elegant, and, although it's hard to learn, is incredibly easy to use (think about that for a moment: it's not a contradiction).

The only claim of yours which has any merit is the lack of support for gaming. There's actually a thriving gaming community on Linux -- as a flight sim fan I really dig Flight Gear -- but it most definitely is not the world of AAA, major publisher funded gaming. And that's why I continue to dual boot Windows, but should commercial gaming ever take off on Linux, I'd see absolutely no reason to continue using Windows.

There's a reason nearly all serious computing occurs on Unix/Linux and it's not because IT folks want to fight the power.
 
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31. Re: Steam Linux Plans Jul 17, 2012, 14:32 Dev
 
wtf_man wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 07:51:
Games on Linux (Desktop) make about as much sense as games on OSX... and I've had an iMac for my non-gaming needs since 2007. I run zero games on it.
And because you don't game on it no one else needs to game on it either. Got it.
 
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30. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 14:16 Beamer
 
Agrajag wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 14:10:

I would very much disagree in regards to the programming, at least... I write plain C code all day, and I'd kill myself if I had to do it in Windows... Mainly because I really couldn't unless I wanted to live in the ancient past of old-school ANSI C, since last I heard MS still doesn't support C99 and has no plans to support C11... They seem totally focused on C++ only... Plus, I can't live without vim! (Yes, I'm sure there's a port and of gcc, too... But, you were talking about MS's own native offerings being superior here...)

Agreed entirely for coding. If I was still a coder I'd still be dual-booting into Linux.
From an office productivity standpoint, though, nothing compares to Office. Yeah, Word kind of sucks (but is rarely used in a corporate setting, having been replaced by PP) but there's absolutely no comparison to Excel that's even moderately close (Excel is near-perfect) and PowerPoint is lightyears ahead of competition, even with its warts (man, image editing really needs to be better built in! At least Win7 has some ability built in to help, but at work I'm on XP...)
Office 13 looks to really hit Google Doc's main feature, too, the cloud workstream ability. That's always failed for me, anyway, as people stop agreeing to update shared docs with me when they realize what a hassle it is to cut-and-paste from a shared spreadsheet into a PowerPoint doc.
 
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29. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 14:10 Agrajag
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 13:40:
It doesn't support most productivity applications - from Adobe's Creative Suite to DAW software like Cubase or Protools.

Meh, one man's "productivity software" is another man's "useless garbage"... ;-)

It supports office apps and programming but those are achievable via web browsers anyway and the Windows alternatives - like Office - are better than the Linux offerings.

I would very much disagree in regards to the programming, at least... I write plain C code all day, and I'd kill myself if I had to do it in Windows... Mainly because I really couldn't unless I wanted to live in the ancient past of old-school ANSI C, since last I heard MS still doesn't support C99 and has no plans to support C11... They seem totally focused on C++ only... Plus, I can't live without vim! (Yes, I'm sure there's a port and of gcc, too... But, you were talking about MS's own native offerings being superior here...)

But if that's the case then you might as well just use Chrome OS and do away with the rest of the operating system altogether - just have the web browser.

Sure, and I might've gotten her a ChromeBook if they had been around at the time she got her most recent machine... But, guess what ChromeOS really is underneath? Linux... So is Android... There are your mainstream user-friendly Linux distros right there!
 
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