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

“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
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

“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.”