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ZDNet: Here's How Linux Gets to the Desktop

Jul 14, 2003, 15:00 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dan Farber)

[ Thanks to Jason Greenwood for this link. ]

"Nearly 200 years ago Lewis and Clark arrived in Portland, Oregon on their cross-country expedition to explore the West. It was a journey that captured the spirit of a young and inspired New World that thrived on trailblazing new frontiers. Attending the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) in Portland gave me the sense that the open source movement is opening a new frontier, and at the same time shedding some of its more idealistic trappings.

"The new open source frontier is now moving toward the front lines of the enterprise. We are in an era of network-centric computing, and Microsoft's hegemony and pricing structures are being seriously questioned. As I wrote earlier this week, the well articulated benefits of open standards and open source computing are pushing IT organizations to consider Linux, Apache, and other alternatives to proprietary back-end platforms. That trend has been widely documented, promoted and practiced by the likes of IBM, HP, and others. IT managers are figuring out on their own that Linux, MySQL, JBOSS, and other open source distributions can deliver real value.

"On the other hand, desktop Linux environments--such as KDE, GNOME, Mozilla and OpenOffice--have been far slower to blaze a trail into the enterprise. You could point to Microsoft's dominance on the desktop as a deterrent, but that's not the only barrier..."

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