Internet Week: Linux Makes Some Inroads on the DesktopJun 28, 2000, 22:25 (1 Talkback[s])
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"While many industry observers remain skeptical about Linux on the desktop, IT professionals like Phillipe Welsh are equally skeptical about conventional fat-client implementations. "We have to give our users all the desktop tools they need to do their jobs," he says. "But there's no reason to go broke in the process."
"Welsh, who works at Cassens Transport, a trucking company in Edwardsville, Ill., has deployed diskless PCs on his users' desktops. All desktop apps are accessed from workgroup Linux servers running VistaSource Inc.'s Applixware software suite, which includes word processing and spreadsheet tools. Welsh says the thin-client solution is extremely cost-effective and easy to manage. "We can support 17 simultaneous users with full GUI application functionality using a 233-MHz Pentium II server," he says. "That's a very low-end machine." Desktop hardware costs are also kept to a minimum, since users don't need hard drives or constant RAM/CPU upgrades."
"Like other IT managers who have taken an open source approach, Welsh says many companies are missing the boat because they've bought into a mindset that has failed to change with the times. He says many managers latched on to PC computing as a counter-reaction to IBM's heavily centralized architecture. But Welsh says all the administration associated with client/server computing simply replaced one set of burdens with another."
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