Although it is often hailed as the go-to alternative for consumers and companies that are fed up with the security situation with Windows, desktop Linux still has some ground to cover before it's "there." What's "there?" "There" is where it offers idiot-proof configuration of everything (wireless or wired networking, file and print sharing with non-Linux systems, software installation, backup and restore, etc.). "There" is where consumers and businesses can get support for it on any desktop or notebook computer from popular vendors such as IBM, Dell, and HP. "There" is where there's a significant body of commercially offered and supported third party software all of which comes as easy-to-install auto-configuring binaries that require no compilers or leg work to deal with broken dependencies on other system components. "There" is where Apple's OS X is today. Although I'll probably drift back to Windows, I'm living proof that there are very few technical reasons that Windows users can't switch to the very lovable OS X. But, as I explain in my column, if desktop Linux aspires to OS X-like form and function -- and barring any catastrophic legal setbacks, it's only a matter of time -- it could upset the "Applecart" to the point that Apple is forced to offer an Intel/AMD compatible version of OS X. And, if Apple's hand gets forced like that, then Microsoft could really have its work cut out for it. Especially given all the Longhorn delays.
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