Will 2008 Be The Year Of The Linux Desktop?

from the probably-not dept

People have been declaring the Year of Desktop Linux for years. Linus Torvalds himself declared the Year of the Linux Desktop way back in 2004, a prediction that now appears to have been a bit optimistic. Now, Forrester is predicting that 2008 will be the year that Linux becomes a "credible threat" to Windows. Color me skeptical. The suite of Linux desktop software—especially the excellent Open Office—has definitely improved over the years, with Ubuntu getting a lot of buzz over the last couple of years for putting out a polished and user-friendly product. But desktop users, and corporate desktop users in particular, tend to be very conservative. They want software they trust, and that they know will be compatible with other peoples' software. Unless Linux-based products offer compelling features that the Windows alternatives don't, it's just not going to be worth the risk of abandoning trusted software. Moreover, a lot of companies have a suite of specialized business software that was built around Windows that would be very costly to convert to another platform. Eventually, the cost savings may be compelling enough to get a significant number of companies to switch. Windows and Office are expensive, but switching your whole company to software that has unanticipated flaws is a lot more expensive. So the process of evaluating, testing, and transitioning to a new operating system is likely to take a decade, not a year. So I doubt that a significant number of companies will be providing Linux desktops to their (non-geek) employees by the end of 2008.

Filed Under: 2008, desktop, linux, operating systems

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  1. identicon
    Angelo, 4 Dec 2007 @ 5:16am

    Ubuntu, Redhat, Susse and Mandriva

    Tried all of these on a little Via 12V System with a touch screen. None of them can make the touch screen work. All have issues of some sort or another.

    Ubuntu users should beware, a system where you can't change the root password is a HUGE security risk. Passwords are your first point of protection for your data.

    No doubt that all the free stuff out there is great and there was nothing that my Linux box could not do better than Windoze and faster EXCEPT RUN THE TOUCH SCREEN and no one out there knows how to get them to work so back to WINDOZE for me.

    The sad truth when I asked the vendors of commercial versions of the above none would commit to getting the screen to work. The Windows driver that came with the screen ofcourse works and there is the difference. It all works in Windoze maybe not 100% but works in an acceptable manner most of the time. LINUX to date doesn't.
    Gates charges like a wounded bull but thats the price you have to pay.

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