The Only Thing Missing IsThe DriversBy CWNP On 05/30/2008 - 14 Comments
After many years of networking, one thing I can do in my sleep is load a Windows driver. That's a pretty good thing considering that working in networking means constantly loading and changing NIC drivers - wired and wireless.
Linux desktops are getting remarkably easy to use, Ubuntu being my personal favorite at the moment. Novell, Redhat, and Xandros all make some butt-kicking stuff as well. These Linux desktop operating systems have almost everything known to man built right in, and they are so much like Windows that, with the right skin, they would be almost indistinguishable from Windows itself. I think that rocks. They are easy to install and use, and best of all, they are either cheap or free - my personal favorite being free.
I said all of this to build up to the point where I could start complaining. After having overcome the major issue of software installation/uninstallation, there are still one lingering issue with Linux desktop operating systems that I feel the need to complain about:
Compiling/loading/unloading drivers - especially for wired/wireless NICs
Could this be more of a pain? I think this is a two-pronged problem:
1) Hardware manufacturers need to start building compiled drivers for all of the popular Linux operating systems (see list above as a dead minimum).
2) Operating system manufacturers need to make these pre-compiled drivers easy to install/uninstall
If I could have that, I'd be using Linux for just about everything. You can already run some of your Windows applications natively and the rest in virtual machines, and Open Office (and similar daily apps) are getting VERY good these days. We're "almost" there, and as soon as hardware manufacturers and Linux OS manufacturers get this driver thing right, nobody will be forced to use Windows Vista. That'll be a fine day indeed. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against Microsoft. In fact, I think XP kicks butt (I even have sp3 loaded). But hey, we have to have some direction for the future, and Vista just ain't it.