Novell finds big promises for open source in 2009

Novell finds big promises for open source in 2009

Summary: There are serious positive indications here. There's greater-than-average interest in Asia, and greater-than-average interest in retail.


Novell is out with its periodic survey of Linux adoption and as always it is filled with big, big promises.

  • More than half plan to "accelerate" Linux adoption "this year."
  • That's 72% are looking at this on the server.
  • And 68% looking at this on the desktop.

Personally I'm actively evaluating growing hair this year. There is a huge difference between "actively evaluating" something and actually doing it. I will believe it when I see it.

It should also be noted that, for most of those who participated in the survey, this is not a binary question. Most shops are mixed shops, with some proprietary stuff and some open source software.

It's easy to virtualize Windows desktops within a Linux framework -- this does not mean everyone on the staff can tell the Linux penguin from the one in Happy Feet.

There are serious positive indications here. There's greater-than-average interest in Asia, and greater-than-average interest in retail.

I can see that panning out, especially the retail segment, as so many VARs can now push a Linux-based solution, with better hardware, for so much less than the Windows price (and with better margins).

I just think we are well past the stage of open source promises, and heavily into the rise of open source in the mass market. Surveys like this need to get more granular to provide really useful data.

Topics: Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software

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  • Novell finds big promises for open source in 2009

    I wouldn't get my hopes up if I were you. It is the same thing every year. "This is the year of linux!" Then no one ever switches to it. And there is good reason for that but that's an entirely different conversation. All this is doing is creating false hope for linux users.
    Loverock Davidson
    • Server, yes, Desktop, not so much ...

      "Then no one ever switches to it."

      Then explain Red Hat's ever increasing sales, with growth year over year every fiscal quarter. Explain mass adoption of Linux in cell/smart phones, set-top boxes, and multitudes of other devices. Explain wide usage of Linux on Netbooks (yes, XP took over, more or less, but Linux still has 30% market share in that category - not quite the dominance Windows is used to on regular desktops and laptops), explain the fact that every major OEM has come out with Linux offerings.

      Sorry, but Linux is making inroads, whether you choose to recognize it or not.

      Now, in terms of mass adoption on regular desktops or laptops for Linux - ain't gonna happen. Windows is too entrenched, and people are too used to what they're already familiar with, and the mass market ISVs and IHVs need a steady target to aim at, for which Linux is too fragmented. But Linux's extreme flexibility, efficiency, stability and open source licensing, make it ideal for the other markets.
      • Easy to explain

        Linux is just replacing unix for some unknown reason considering the advantages a real unix has over some hacked up clone, that is where its growth is at. But as far as cells, set tops, and embedded I'd say not really. Some companies chose to go with it but not nearly as many as you think. Linux is a very very small player on cell phones and embedded devices. In the netbook segment its being returned 4x as much as its Windows counterpart. I'm guessing those who were duped into buying a linux based netbook reformat it with Windows since the linux version won't do what they need it to. So no, linux really isn't making inroads and goes back my original statement, all these promises and no one ever acts on it. Its just false hope, and it obviously worked on you. You are going to be quite disappointed.
        Loverock Davidson
    • Windows is already riding the off-ramp

      It's due to be booted off my remaining desktop PCs in the next couple of months. Not even wild horses could drag me back. I'm keeping XP64 on my laptop, but only because I don't have any other option at this time.

      There's nothing that Windows can do that open-source can't. With a small amount of effort.

      Friends that are running Win7 aren't exactly singing its praises at the moment. But I do think, it HAS improved a lot. I'm just tired of the month-on-month, year-on-year security flaws.

      Windows is good.
      It just isn't good enough.
  • tell me something I don't know

    The Linux is blooming, but Novell missed this gravy train.
    Linux Geek
  • -nt-