Despite the industry hype, Linux is unlikely to win enough broad ISV support to make it a credible alternative to 32 bit Windows even by 2004.
Enterprises should also avoid deploying the open source Unix operating system (OS) on their productivity desktops due to a lack of standards and should limit its deployment to high end power users who can exploit specific application functionality.
They should also bear in mind that Linux is as complex to use as any other Unix variant and is unlikely to move out of the niche market it currently plays in, according to Michael Gartenberg, Gartner Group analyst at the market research firm?s ?Windows NT in the Enterprise? conference in Palm Springs on Tuesday.
?Linux is an unbelievable phenomenon and the latest hype to come down the line is that it will present a challenge to Microsoft on the desktop. But that?s not going to happen. Unix is very complex - it?s not simple and friendly and current users install it as a form of social entertainment,? he said.
?But there are still a lack of applications and the problem for ISVs is how do you sell to people who are used to getting software for free. You can?t lose a dollar on each product and hope to make it up in volume. Current hardware is also designed for Microsoft?s OSs and unless vendors are going to rewrite their systems, you?re going to have a hard time getting them to work,? he continued.
And he concluded that Linux, despite appearances, did not come for free.
?Less than 10 per cent of the cost of an OS over its lifetime is the license. Linux is not a magic bullet. If your religion prohibits you from using a Microsoft OS, buy an Apple Mac. If Apple can?t make significant inroads into Microsoft?s desktop market, Linux certainly can?t,? he said.
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