It's the same as with any corporate study. It must influence the future direction of the enterprise. If it gets filed, or just gets used in marketing, it's not really worthwhile.
That's my reaction to the OSDL's latest desktop Linux study, which calls e-mail "crucial" to the development of a vibrant desktop Linux market.
Well, that's one way to look at it. Another way is to look at the three key hindrances to adoption mentioned in the report, in unison:
- Lack of application support
- Lack of peripheral support.
- Training issues.
Again, a useful list, but only if someone steps up to tackle them. How do we get more application support around general Linux applications? You can charge for it, but how do you get people to pay for it?
Similarly, how do you improve peripheral support when hardware vendors are all closed-source, and while many open source peripherals (those relating to content) are, simply, illegal, because you have to break the DMCA to design them.
Training is a great question I'm asked every day. I wonder what Bloggie thinks of that one?
If this were a commercial enterprise, the next step would be for top management to prioritize these problems and set out plans for dealing with them. But no one is really in charge of Linux.
So I'd say the biggest problem revealed by this study isn't in its conclusions, but in the limited current capability of OSDL, or any single actor, to do something about them.
Feel free to disagree.