Based on surveys conducted in the last quarter of 2004 at Gartner's conferences in Florida, U.S., and Cannes, France, just over 1 percent of enterprise users were running Linux desktops.
In a separate study, the market analyst estimated that by 2008, there will only be 3.2 percent of non-consumer Linux users.
Said Michael Silver, Gartner's vice president of client platforms group, in a media statement: "For most companies, the cost to migrate away from Microsoft Windows is simply too high and outweighs the benefits companies expect they will receive. Most large companies have hundreds, if not thousands, of applications, and the cost to migrate them to run on, or be accessible from, Linux clients is huge."
According to Gartner, the public sector is the key driving force behind Linux and open source office products, but even in this space, the response has been measured.
Andrea DiMaio, research vice president at Gartner, noted that open source is gaining ground in the public sector because the government's calculation of returns on investment is different from the private sector. Benefits, for example, can be measured in terms of the advancement of political agendas or national economy.