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8/30/2007
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Small and Medium Sized Businesses Embrace Linux Abroad

Are SMBs in Europe and Australia more inclined to ask for Linux on the desktop than IT buyers in the US? What can you learn from this recent trend overseas?

Are SMBs in Europe and Australia more inclined to ask for Linux on the desktop than IT buyers in the US? What can you learn from this recent trend overseas?I recently commented about Dell's deal with Ubuntu to offer Linux on the desktop in Europe. Not to be outdone, HP has now announced they will be doing the same in Australia.

This follows similar deals in Asia between Novell/SuSe and Dell.

Most often, hardware manufactures try these bundles for one of two reasons: customer demand or as a marketing trial to test the waters. With the exception of Lenovo's Thinkpad, we still see very little of this bundling in the U.S.

The most common reason sited for these offerings is to reduce acquisition, deployment, or ongoing support costs. We all know the biggest expenses associated with desktop systems are labor related, not the OS license cost. So, why are customers like Frigotechnik (200 employees), Contact Air (120 notebooks) deploying Linux desktops? There seem to be a few trends emerging:

- Linux security is noted again and again to be far superior to Windows - Government and Educational institutions are driving adoption, which spills over in two ways: -- Government contractors (large and small) brush up against the technology -- Students emerge with Linux skills and without a MS bias

If you are an IT professional here in the US, watch what is happening with your local schools and business partners, it will be a good indicator that this trend has legs in the US.

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