Linux devices outbreak in Europe, predicts IDC

Linux is looking like a good horse to back in Western and Northern Europe, but could stumble at the desktop and server OS fence

Embedded devices and appliances will accelerate the growth of Linux within Western Europe, according to the latest figures from research group IDC, which tips Germany and the Nordic countries for greatest adoption.

Linux is highly scalable and is already found in a variety of different devices. Because it is developed under an "open source" license agreement, any company wanting to develop a device can also adopt it as an operating system free of charge.

"Clients will have many forms and shapes and we believe smart handheld and devices and cable TV devices will be the major areas of growth for Linux in Western Europe," says director of IDC's European Unix, client server and workstation research, Kirsten Ludvigsen.

The research firm does however predict significant competition for Linux in this area from the likes of Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and Symbian.

Although Linux is seeing ongoing growth as a desktop and server operating system in Europe, says Ludvigsen, its development in this area is being stifled.

She says "the lack of available applications and perceived lack of services and support offerings" are preventing greater market growth for Linux. She adds that the lack of a roadmap for the development of Linux discourages many companies from turning to Linux.

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