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For six years, the Internet Nexus served as my technology blog, but I've since started blogging at the SuperSite Blog instead. If you're looking for the blog, please head there. --Paul

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Wall Street Journal tackles 'Year of Desktop Linux'

Now, even the Wall Street Journal (print version) is hopping on the "Year of Desktop Linux" bandwagon:
The Linux operating system, having made inroads into corporations' backroom server computers, is showing hints of inching into a much broader market: employees' personal computers.

The much-hyped notion that Linux would be viable software to run desktop and notebook PCs seemed dead on arrival a few years ago. But the idea is showing some new vital signs.

Some CIOs are taking new interest in installing Linux on workers' PCs as well, for certain narrow applications.

The allure of desktop Linux is the low entry cost: A typical license for Linux from Novell is $50 a year per PC versus the $299 Microsoft charges for Windows to businesses that don't have a long-term contract with the software maker. (Contract customers, mostly large businesses, pay less than $299 for Windows; Microsoft charges $199 for an upgrade.)

Linux still goes into only a tiny proportion of the desktop and laptop PCs sold. [No percentage is given, though a lot of space is wasted on "growth" discussions. Clearly, this is under 1 percent. --Paul]

Whether Linux gains a stronger footing in PCs depends partly on whether PC makers start supporting it more strongly. To date, neither Dell Inc. nor Hewlett-Packard Co. have offered PCs preloaded with Linux. But Dell has been soliciting input from its customers to help guide its plans for Linux -- which some industry observers say could lead the company to start making Linux PCs. Today Dell will start a formal survey on its Web site to determine what Linux products and support customers want, says Bob Pearson, a Dell spokesman.
So there you have it. In the end, this article is just another reaction to Dell's customer feedback Web site. Curious. There is a cute (and realistic) quote at the end, however:
The State of Illinois in recently consolidated its IT systems onto Microsoft software -- and has no interest in using Linux, says Paul Campbell, director of the state's Central Management Services department. "We don't have time for science projects in state government," he says.


[ Posted at 9:25 AM | Permalink ]


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