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LinuxToday.com.au: Why Desktop Linux HAS To Succeed

Jul 05, 2000, 13:40 (26 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bill Bennett)

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"There's been a bunch of stories and opinion columns appearing in the online media over the past few months hammering out a simple line. It goes something like this: Linux has a bright future in the web server space; it may even scale up a little and there's a great window of opportunity for the Linux camp in the sub-PC handheld palmtop-cum-mobile phone market. But the open source operating system is never going to make it in the desktop space."

"Overwhelming strength on the desktop is the only reason Microsoft could ever get away with server operating systems as shoddy and incomplete as early versions of Windows NT. For a start, run of the mill technical guys working in large corporations like Windows NT because they grew up with Dos and Windows. ... Linux has to take the battle to the desktop. I'm not saying Linux has to be dominant on the desktop. An Apple-like market share of 5 to 10% will be enough to fly the flag and push Microsoft's focus back on to its home turf."

"If this all seems a little crazy, think of this way. In the late 1980s the hot spot in the IT market was the so-called desktop Unix workstations from companies like Sun Microsystems, Apollo and Hewlett Packard. The best of that breed was Silicon Graphics. What happened to them? They were absorbed by the desktop mainstream. Today's desktops are way more powerful than those workstations and therefore more than capable of running the same software - yet they don't. Windows captured that market from its secure desktop base."

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