Strategy for fixing Bug #1

Wes Morgan cap10morgan at
Wed Dec 27 17:20:07 UTC 2006

You know, after doing a little digging, I think ESR may be smoking the cheeb
on one of his points here. He claims that Vista is still a 32-bit OS. Upon
first reading of the essay, I took his word for it. I figured that, like
Windows 95 wasn't _really_ a 32-bit OS, neither was the "64-bit" version of
Vista that comes in the box w/ every edition sans "Starter." Like, maybe it
was "64-bit" but still limited the amount of memory you can address or
something (the lower-end 64-bit Vistas DO in fact limit you to 8GB of system

However, upon further digging, it seems that Vista 64 is the Windows-64 that
ESR says doesn't exist. He claims that the 64-bit transition will be foisted
upon the market once all systems are shipped with more than 4GB of RAM.
Seems reasonable. Except that he sees our opportunity in the fact that MS
doesn't have an OS ready to handle that. That assertion, it would seem, is
patently false.

Does anyone know what else he might be referring to there? He doesn't really
back up his claim that Windows-64 doesn't exist.

If he is just wrong, then I agree 100% with your 2nd paragraph. People will
be transitioned via hardware purchases and the monopoly will roll on.

But I think there has to be something I'm missing here. For all the flack he
gets, ESR's not _that_ daft, is he? Maybe I'll drop him an email to see if
he can clarify that in a future revision of the essay.


On 12/27/06, mikecorn <mikecorn at> wrote:
>  I don't disagree with your reasoned points.
> Perhaps all I advocate is a change in priorities: PC vendors will not
> pre-load Linux until it is better standardized and supportable. Therefore
> bellyaching about lack of pre-loads is pointless. The same point can be made
> about lack of hardware support: vendors of printers and wireless LAN cards
> are not interested in supporting 100 different distros, or even the top 10.
> They get 95% of the market by supporting only one: Windows.
> By 32 to 64-bit transition, do you (and ESR) mean XP to Vista? I see this
> as the real window of opportunity in the next few years. But Vista runs both
> 32 and 64 bit apps, so users may not feel any pain from this transition. 90%
> will transition when they buy a new computer with Vista pre-loaded, and most
> of their old apps will run.
> The problems I mentioned seem much smaller in the Windows world: it has
> tight standards, excellent documentation (technical and user), integrated
> apps, no issues about supporting multiple distros, fewer obscure or hidden
> error messages, etc. I question whether Linux can gain market share before
> it becomes more excellent and uniform itself.
> If Ubuntu were to get 50% of Linux desktops, perhaps that would serve to
> set a standard that vendors could go with.

"Small acts of humanity amid the chaos of inhumanity provide hope. But small
acts are insufficient."

- Paul Rusesabagina, Rwandan and former hotel manager whose actions inspired
the movie Hotel Rwanda
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