Desktop Linux is almost soup. We only have a few items left on the short list. Will we do it? If history is an indicator, the answer is yes.
I remember the major turning point that took Linux from an OS that Microsoft used to call competition during their anti-trust case to a serious commercial operating system. At the time, Linux users numbered two million and Microsoft users numbered 300 million. I used to say Linux makes more news than anything else and I owned a Linux company.
In April 1999, D.H. Brown Associates, Inc. published a report called Linux: How Good Is It? Hardly any archives exist today mentioning that story with the possible exception of this C/Net News article.
The study dinged Linux for lacking features needed to make it a serious consideration as an operating system. The report said that Linux was good for file and print servers, Web servers, some scientific computing, and thin client computers. But, the DH Brown report said Linux lacked support for computers with multiple processors; failover and a "journaling" file system needed to reboot a crashed machine without having to reconstruct the system files.
I attended a briefing on the report by Linux International and learned that the kernel developers started addressing the issues before the report's official release. As we know now, the open source community responded rapidly and the Linux server has taken a commanding share of the server market. The DH Brown report became the Linux server roadmap placing it among elite operating systems.
Read the Rest @ LXer.com
I would say the artical essentially sums up most of the needs of linux in order to become a major desktop player in the corporate market from a technical and logistic standpoint. But it leaves out the other XX% of desktop computers out there. The ones in use by socer moms and grandparents; the people who couldnt give less of a shit about Network Neighborhood (stupid system anyway) Exchange 2000 or whatever. All they really care about is being able to send/recieve E-mails watch video snippets from CNN.com and pretend to be photographers with their digital cameras. And most importantly of all they need to be able to do this with absolutly no effort or thought. This is in progress, its impossable to miss, I was actually able to sit my mother down at my computer, and she was able to do these things with minimal instruction, so we are on the right track, but time is running short.
Now what does this have to with the article? Simple, most of the people that use computers in business, aren't in IT they are accountants, librarians, real estate agents, and government officials. They need to be able to do their job, and they dont care if their company pays for the softwre or not, as long as it works, and is useable. And likewise, the business itself is more concerned about its employees being able to function with little to no extra instruction that it is about paying for Microsoft's software licenses. The goal is clear, the path, is just a little bumpy.....................gentlemen, place your bets......