Perhaps the biggest obstacle to Linux desktop adoption is the lack of end-user applications. And despite swirling rumours to the contrary, don't expect a shot in the arm from Intuit anytime soon.
The maker of Quicken financial planning and tax preparation software, Intuit (Nasdaq:INTU) currently has no plans to port its applications over to the open-source platform, says a company official. "There is no Linux port in the works -- I'm not sure where these rumours are coming from," says Intuit Product Manager Kevin Reeth. "Everything we do is based on customer demand -- and [a Linux port] isn't something our customers have expressed as a high priority."
An early source of the rumours may have been VA Research President Larry Augustin, who was quoted at least once this week saying that Intuit was looking to port Quicken to Linux. Quicken, however, will remain a Windows-only product for the foreseeable future. A Web-only port of the financial software is also highly unlikely. While this would make the software immediately platform agnostic, it could also worry many customers who fear for their financial privacy. "A lot of people are comforted by the security of the desktop," says Reeth.
The Linux desktop environment has been much slower to take off than its server brethren. According to International Data Corp. research, the Linux operating system accounted for merely 2.2 percent of worldwide desktops, but secured a whopping 17 percent of the worldwide server OS market.
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