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AS400 Network: Will Interface Issues Keep Linux off the Desktop?

Dec 01, 2000, 14:50 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Anna Brown)

"...desktop Linux actually packs a few advantages, users say. Unlike Windows, Linux's desktop and server versions are identical... Running Linux on both the server and the desktop lets users decide where things should run based on where they'll be most efficient or where business needs dictate, says Mark Bolzern, founder of Linuxmall.com and open source evangelist for Ebiz Enterprises. "Open source means freedom," he says. "The computer industry has been forever looking for this. With the same operating system on both the server and desktop, users only have to learn one operating system, one way of doing things."

"Others find this prognostication too pessimistic and argue that the command-line interface issue isn't nearly as bad as some may think. Besides, there are a number of graphical user interfaces available for Linux that can melt normal users' resistance to command-line interaction, Bolzern says. Once a system administrator sets up a Linux GUI such as Gnome or KDE, the normal end user will never need to deal with command lines. These Linux interfaces are just as easy to use and have as much functionality as the Windows and Macintosh views, Bolzern says."

"So the problem with Linux desktop adoption isn't the interface, Bolzern argues, but the fact that few client manufacturers preload Linux onto their systems and few vendors release Linux versions of their desktop software. But that will change with time. "Linux has already moved into the server arena with great success," Bolzern says. "It's only a matter of time before Linux gains enough momentum in the desktop marketplace to compete with the Windows operating system."

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