Novell beats desktop Linux drum hard

Summary:According to News.com's Stephen Shankland: Linux on desktop computers will begin taking off in mainstream markets in the next 12 to 18 months, Novell President Ron Hovsepian has predicted.

According to News.com's Stephen Shankland:

Linux on desktop computers will begin taking off in mainstream markets in the next 12 to 18 months, Novell President Ron Hovsepian has predicted.

This rang a bell but I couldn't remember from when. Then I realized Novell was at CeBit more than a month ago saying the same thing.  So, this is no longer a passing comment.  It's a campaign.  Now that a month has passed, does that make it 11 to 17 months (and counting)?  In response to the CeBit bit and of Linux's chances on enterprise desktops (as opposed to others) I wrote:

  • Desktop Linux in the enterprise faces several uphill battles.  The first of these is software support.  There are some software packages for which a Linux version exists.  For the ones that don't, there may be a Linux substitute.   But moving to such substitutes is easier said than done.  At the very least, they involve retraining of end users.  At the worst, there may be a legacy of data that has to be converted (or is better off being converted than not).  At the very worst, there is no substitute and the Windows version doesn't work in WINE (a Windows emulator for Linux)
  • The other problem Desktop Linux has is that in the bigger picture of the total cost of ownership of a desktop or notebook system, the differences aren't that significant between Linux and Windows.
  • Lack of a big Linux talent pool is also a problem.  Corporations are filled with experts who know every nook and cranny of Windows.  The number of these people who are also skilled in providing customer service to in-house users for Linux pales in comparison to the skilled desktop support teams for Windows. 
I haven't changed my mind.  Oh, and before you race to judge, please read all of what I wrote. 

Topics: Software

About

David Berlind was fomerly the executive editor of ZDNet. David holds a BBA in Computer Information Systems. Prior to becoming a tech journalist in 1991, David was an IT manager.

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