Sunday, January 4, 2009

What Keeps Linux from Mass and Corporate Deployment?

I was going through this Interview with Warren Woodford , and that old "Linux Desktop of the Year" thing came across again. That interview talked a lot about Mepis, Ubuntu, Corporate Use of Linux and the Future of Client-side Linux (Linux Desktop) as well as about IPv6 and DNSSEC.

Here is an excerpt from that interview:

Scott: What about the year of the Linux desktop?

Warren: It's never going to happen. Sorry.

Scott: Why not?

Warren: There's a chicken and egg problem with getting it on the desktops, where no matter how much Mark Shuttleworth does, Michael Dell is not going to tell Bill Gates where to go. No one is going to forget that Microsoft's the big game in town, no matter how much Microsoft stumbles.

Mark Shuttleworth can spend his entire billion dollars on trying to make Ubuntu good enough to shoot down Microsoft on the desktop and that won't change. It goes back to what I was saying earlier about the fragmentation in the Linux market.

You don't have one set of products against which you can build commercial software, or do commercial deployment, or even long term enterprise deployment. It's doable with Ubuntu, but it's not a no brainer, although Novell and Red Hat are trying to address that part.

Right now, I don't know of a single major corporation that would go with Linux on the desktop for one reason–no Visio. Until OpenOffice does a Visio clone, you can forget it.

I like Warren for his no-nonsense clear comments and his technical expertise. In fact, he is a true champion of Linux Desktop (like Tex) who puts users first, and ensures extreme quality of every release. He can't be wrong when he says the fragmentation in the Linux market is the major hindrance in the desktop deployment of linux.

Fragmentation of Linux market does more bad than good to the popularity and deployment of Linux. The multiplicity of distros often do more harm by warding off many linux enthusiasts. In my 10 years of experience with distro-hopping I have tried more than 100 of distributions, but liked only PCLinuxOS, Mepis and Mint to be really usable for desktops. Apart from it, multiplicity of distros, rapid release cycle of base packages, kernel and libraries pose many difficulties for application software developers. Only a few like OpenOffice and Firefox has done a great job in bundling software that often works across most of the linux distributions.

Does anybody know what happened to the Linux Standard Base (LSB)?

Here is my radically simple pclinuxos 2008 desktop.

pclinuxos2008 minime - december 2008 screenshot

2 comments:

Artie said...

If I was responsible for IT security in a corporation I wouldn't touch PCLinuxOS with a ten-foot-pole. According to their own forum the main repos were frozen in September! No updates, security or otherwise. Have you noticed that they are still offering Opera 9.50 as their latest? Check their flash plugin version and their Firefox version. Anyone in their forum mentioning upgrades will just be ignored.

Artie

manmath sahu said...

Hi Artie,

First of all, don't panic about security if you are using pclinuxos, because developers at pclinuxos are paranoid about security, stability, usability, and beauty. I would agree with that there has not been updates for quite sometime, but whatever are there in the repo are not stale, they are not the latest, but nonetheless, they are the most recent and stable packages.

However, if you are about to deploy pclinuxos in corporate environment I would suggest you to use pclosbe from http://www.pclosbe.org/ it is customes for business purposes.

How about this