SuSE Linux CEO: Europe leads desktop revolution

European desktop adoption of Linux has left the US playing catch-up

Europe leads the world in the desktop adoption of Linux, according to the CEO of leading German-based distributor SuSE Roland Dyroff, who spoke to ZDNet at the European Linux Conference Friday.

"Penetration of Linux has always been stronger in Europe," he says. "The US is doing some catch-up right now. The leading European Linux distribution is doing more revenue that the leading US company. If you look at where the well known developers come from...there are a lot of Europeans contributing."

Dyroff caused controversy among advocates of the open source operating system earlier this year when he suggested that Linux was not yet ready for the desktop. At the European conference, however, Dyroff says that while there is still some way to go in this area, Linux has made significant inroads.

"We have reached substantial numbers, we're making progress. The desktop matters," he says. "You could argue that the technology shifts [towards mobile and thin client devices using Linux] is important, but it is not certain that this will take place. We are very comfortable continuing to invest in Linux desktop technology."

Linux in fact accounts for approximately four percent of desktop users, although it has more market share as a server operating system.

Referring to the question of wanting to beat Microsoft in the desktop market, Dyroff adds: "Microsoft is not so big an issue as you might think. We're offering to our customers our solutions...we're trying to improve our solution and respond to the need to our customers."

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