Will Desktop Linux Ever Prevail in the Enterprise?

These past two weeks I have been interviewing people from all over the industry about the state of desktop Linux in the enterprise. After using Linux on my own desktop for years, I wistfully assume that Linux's advantages are enough to give it momentum to succeed. However, after these discussions with people who are on the front lines (e.g. Canonical, Novell, etc.), I am frustrated with the progress of desktop Linux penetration in the marketplace. Sure, there are very interesting case studies, but most of the desktop Linux implementations are either in small organizations with an effective Linux/FOSS advocate or in the public sector. Don't get me wrong, this is fabulous. What I was hoping, though, was to start seeing this avalanche of private-sector companies who see Linux as a pure competitive advantage and are making hard-headed decisions based on their bottom line and their interests. Sadly, examples of the latter are few and far between.

I'll be rounding up all of my impressions on desktop Linux in the enterprise in a forthcoming Linux Journal article.

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James Gray is Products Editor for Linux Journal

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