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Canada Computes: The Gnome Factor: Corel's choice of a Linux GUI may be a liability

Sep 13, 2000, 12:53 (14 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jacques Surveyer)


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"Ottawa's Corel Corporation has had a roller coaster ride in profitability in the past three years, losing its founding CEO, Michael Cowpland, to Linux start up ventures this past month. Corel got another roller coaster downward lurch when a group of major Unix and Linux players (include Compaq, HP, IBM, Sun, who with nine other companies formed the Gnome Foundation) endorsed the Gnome windowing interface over KDE."

"The problem is Corel Linux uses Gnome's rival KDE as its GUI interface of choice. Corel has invested a lot of time and increasingly scarce resources into making KDE much more usable. Specifically they have added a much more user friendly File Manager, a more intuitive UserAdmin program and about a half dozen other KDE based utilities and extensions which make Linux on the desktop much more livable, and dare I say it, Windows-like. And there has been no influx of Windows flakiness to threaten the rock-solid and reliable reputation that Linux so richly deserves."

"Now a robust desktop Linux is important for two reasons. First, Linux was originally developed as a desktop variant of Unix but has had its greatest successes in recent years not on the desktop but as a server machine, because on the same hardware it is so much more reliable than Windows 9x or Windows NT (the jury is still out on comparisons with Microsoft's much more reliable Windows 2000). Linux could be a buffer against the upward price pressure Microsoft is putting on its desktop OS. For example at about a street price of $250 Windows 2000 becomes a significant portion of the price of a $600 to $800 desktop system, yet Windows 2000 is the only Microsoft operating system that can compete with Linux for reliability and robustness."

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