Reliability and security, as well as cost, are the significant factors in users moving from Windows NT to Linux, according to IBM's Linux chief.
Adam Jollans, IBM worldwide Linux software marketing strategy manager, said that Linux had moved beyond the status of a technical decision for things such as a file and print servers.
Cost and reliability are now the drivers, he said, adding that the operating system now has chief information officer buy-in.
For Unix users the driver was the reduced cost of ownership of having Unix on Intel. But, according to Jollans, some users are moving from Windows, especially Windows NT, and cost is not the only benefit.
"Windows NT is shortly to go out of service which is forcing users to move on. Increased reliability, security and openness, rather than cost, are the major reasons for switching to Linux," he told vnunet.com.
Conversely, there were cost issues in staying with Microsoft, including licensing and the expense of migrating to Windows 2000/2003.
Mike Davis, senior researcher with analyst the Butler Group, agreed that these drivers for adoption were valid, along with server consolidation. But he urged caution.
"I think all these [factors] are driving adoption, but there is still fear, uncertainty and doubt," he said.
"There are also different geographies. In Germany there's much more adoption than the UK and US, which are very Microsoft-centric."
Widespread Linux desktop adoption would not occur on a big scale until companies like IBM, and especially Dell, offered it as standard, added Davis.
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