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OfB.biz: Desktop Dreams in the Wake of MandrakeSoft's Bankruptcy

Jan 16, 2003, 17:30 (37 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Timothy R. Butler)

[ Thanks to Timothy R. Butler for this link. ]

"Linux's dreams for the desktop died today with Mandrake's bankruptcy filling. Yes, it was a worthy cause, and we fought hard, but now it is time to admit it--it is over. No more. Finished. Done. Kaput. GNU/Linux's true place is on the server, and its time for everyone to recognize that. Is everyone with me?

"Yeah, right. Just to be clear, I don't agree with a single word I just said, but that statement is an exclusive first look at what all of the GNU/Linux desktop critics will start crying out once again. The reason I can say this with such certainty is that this has happened before. Other great GNU/Linux companies have come and gone, and each time the Linux desktop 'dies.' Somehow, mysteriously enough--and if anyone can explain this to me, please do--this dead desktop seems to be able to keep dying and dying and dying. It's almost like the Energizer Bunny, or if it isn't, the critics most certainly are.

"It has been nearly two years since the demise of venture capitalists' darling Eazel, a company that burned through numerous millions of dollars of cash to leave behind... a file manager. I really wasn't impressed at the time, and I'm still not impressed. Eazel, in reality, did very little for the overall scheme of things, but as soon as it went under, the 'Linux is for servers only' people started beating their drums of doom and gloom. At the time I took a stand against this thinking that one company--particularly an insignificant one--was going to single handedly kill off the GNU/Linux desktop..."

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