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Cyber-Threats Outpace Security Measures, Says McAfee CEO

CMP Information Week
InformationWeek Daily - Wednesday, Sep 19, 2007


Editor's Note

7 Reasons Desktop Linux Won't Succeed

If it's free and as good as its competitor, why hasn't Linux displaced Windows on the desktop? Why can't it move the needle beyond its pitiful desktop market share of between 1% and 2%?

These are the questions I asked myself when I took a hard look at the status of the open-source operating system. The result is 7 Reasons Why Linux Won't Succeed On The Desktop.

I hope you'll read the article and join an online debate on the subject by posting your comments at the bottom of the article. (Simply scroll down to the bottom of any page of the story.)

I recognize Linux has a strong presence on the server side. It's its inability to gain ground on the desktop that's at issue. Perhaps Ubuntu will change the equation, especially since Dell is offering several systems with the OS pre-installed, but I doubt it. Dell has too much invested in moving Windows machines for Linux to be anything but an interesting sideline.

One seldom-mentioned dynamic of the Windows-versus-Linux landscape is that it belies the accepted wisdom that everything in the business world devolves to a cost-benefit analysis. Clearly (Microsoft doesn't agree, but take my word for it), Linux and OpenOffice.org make for a cheaper desktop than do Windows and Office.

The fact that few businesses, and hardly any major corporations, have gone totally open source means there's more at work here than simply dollars and cents. My take is that conformity plays a large, but rarely discussed, role in commerce. In this regard, Microsoft, like IBM in an earlier era, is simply the way to go.

You'll note I refer to Linux supporters as "fanboys." It's not meant pejoratively. Rather, my intent is to use what I consider a fair, descriptive term for overenthusiastic and myopic techies who brook no disagreement with their views.

So, while they can call me names, I don't think they'll be able to rebut my argument on its merits. What do you think? Have I presented an airtight case that Linux is doomed on the desktop?

Alexander Wolfe
awolfe@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com

Quote of The Day

"Of course, if we had a marketing department that had a strong say, they'd make us call [the new Linux kernel] some sexy name, "Panther," or "Vista," or whatever." -- Linus Torvalds

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