Home > Red Hat > Red Hat Sets Sights on Enterprise Linux DesktopRed Hat Sets Sights on Enterprise Linux Desktop Eugenia Loli 2004-01-21 Red Hat 18 CommentsRed Hat is doing its part to truly make 2004 the year of the Linux desktop with plans to bring an enterprise Linux desktop to market before the year ends.About The Author Eugenia LoliEx-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker.Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 18 Comments 2004-01-21 2:28 am Where have we heard this before?? 2004-01-21 2:48 am The most notable difference between Red Hat Linux and Fedora is that you can’t buy boxed copies of Fedora. This RH saying the few extra bits of polish required to xfer Fedora to a boxed product are not offset by the money made from boxed copies of Linux. RH is not tergeting joe users desktop, they are going after the corprate desktop. 2004-01-21 2:54 am Which one is it, people? One moment, Redhat is all for the Linux desktop. The next moment, it thinks Linux has no place in the desktop yet. Which one is it? 2004-01-21 3:01 am No mp3, no video player??? 2004-01-21 3:11 am The company only abandoned the home user desktop market, not the enterprise. They spun off Fedora for the home user (free), and kept RedHat workstation for the business user ($$$).Quite frankly, I think they soured relations in this move and left Xandros and Lindows to pick up the home user market and those two have every intention of moving into the business user market. Combine that with SuSE and Java Desktop System making massive inroads into the business desktop market, and that squeezes RedHat out. That would leave RedHat in only the server game.Still, it will be exciting to see what RedHat is willing to offer up. 2004-01-21 3:33 am There is no fundamental difference TODAY between the corporate and the home desktops. If anything, the home desktop has to be more robust.Perhaps Red Hat has some interesting ideas in mind for the corporate desktop.Hopefully they are not copying any of the police state technology initiatives that Microsoft is working on for the corporate desktop. 2004-01-21 3:44 am No mp3, no video player???They are talking about an “enterprise” Linux desktop, and those aren’t exactly enterprise apps. We can’t have MP3s at our office, not even if we own the original records. Company policy. 2004-01-21 3:47 am They have not abandoned the home user desktop market. They said that (Red Hat) Linux isn’t exactly a great product for this market yet (compared to Windows), which is true. Consumer satisfaction is possible, but not very likely, unless consumer is a computer geek or at least a very interested person.They have abandoned boxed versions of their “consumer” product but that was an unrelated decision because this just works better for most of their current private users (more frequent releases, more updates). Boxed products make sense for things that are static and don’t change often, but not much for fast moving Free Software, especially when it’s still in it’s infancy, as the Linux desktop is. Try using a current GNOME or KDE desktop for three years without ever upgrading any part of the desktop and without getting extremely frustrated. We might be there soon, but not yet and not tomorrow.They are still working on improving Linux for the home user desktop (more than most others in fact). So I can’t see what Red Hat should have ever done wrong. Maybe honesty doesn’t make you friends among zealots, but (surprisingly) it seems to work with customers, as the success of Red Hat shows. 2004-01-21 3:51 am Also notice that it’s very likely that Red Hat will include a video player very soon, you just won’t ever be able to play any patented or legally questionable media format. 2004-01-21 4:52 am The most notable difference between Red Hat Linux and Fedora is that you can’t buy boxed copies of Fedora.No, this is a minor, irrelevant semantic detail.The most notable differences are:Certified software (Oracle and the like)Support contractsPlatform StabilityPlatform LongevityWhen are you people going to get it through your heads that a *home enthusiast desktop* is worlds apart from a *managed, office desktop* ? People running enterprises don’t cobble together their desktop PCs from spare parts, they don’t download the latest CVS code and *hope* it works and when they ring up software support and get the first question of “what OS are you running it on”, they need to be able to answer with something in the supported list. 2004-01-21 4:58 am RH sounds like Sun also… RH is a bit smarter though. 2004-01-21 5:40 am There are huge differences between corporate and home desktops.On corporate desktops:– Software selection isn’t as important. As long as the key bread and butter apps are there, a large percentage of the corporate market can be satisfied. More importantly, software needs tend to be specific and determined in advance.– Hardware support isn’t as important. As long as most mainstream hardware is supported, the platform is okay. There is little need to support fancy multimedia devices or advanced graphics cards. Most importantly, hardware can be purchased and certifed to run the OS in question.– Administration tools are crucial. Being able to centrally administer and maintain dozens of machines is very important. The ability to lock down configurations is important. Remote maintainability is a blessing.– Reliability is crucial. Corporate systems must have high availability, and be easy to maintain in that state. Crashes and “weird behavior” mean lost productivity. Being able to quickly recover from hardware failures is a blessing.– Cost is important. Software seems a lot more expensive when you have to buy hundreds of licenses.The corporate desktop is thus very well-suited for Linux’s particular strengths and weaknesses. The things that make Linux a no-go on most home desktops “dad just bought <no-name-software> from CompUSA, can you install it on Linux?” are largely irrelevent in a corporate environment. 2004-01-21 6:12 am To win the heart of the Enterprise Desktop, Linux needs a superb productivity package. Some criterions. It should be better than that of MSOffice. I should be compatible with that of MSO. And it should support open standard file formats (whatever that is) or invent some. I think especially the latter would be a selling point. I know of only 2 – OpenOffice and KOffice – and sense only moderate enthusiasm about either. OO is old (ancient?). KO is not quite there yet. But maybe they have potential. Mozilla has seen a rebound.Or someone could start allover. It does not have to be free nor OSS. But it should be cheap. Because MS can stand a price war for a long time. Still, price is not everything – as Munich showed. 2004-01-21 10:41 am I just installed White Box Enterprise Linux 3 (RH EL 3 rebuilt from source) on one of my test machines and it works like a charm very responsive, much better than both fedora core 1 or rh 9 on wich it is based. it felt even more responseve than the 2.6.0 fedora install that I had on the same machine.And with freshrpms application pool and apt 4 rpm I can’t see why linux is not ready from the non gaming desktop. 2004-01-21 12:12 pm I thought it was last year when MS was going out of business and they had all their software marked down?This is a waste of time, you still have to use Citrix or someother emulation software to get your job done. Why, even mess with linux on the desktop, no applications, no nothing.just more hype, if it was not for the hype linux would fizzle out 2004-01-21 5:04 pm There won’t be any linux on the desktop in the company I work for as long as these though guys (Novell, Sun, Redhat) who want to cash in on that come up with something FULLY compatible with VB and VBA and going forward .Net .Linux as a system is more than corporate capable. But large corporates don’t sit on their hands and applications get developped internally, spreadsheets get vba modules, and so on.Would be corporate linux vendor need to coherently do something to address that, or the transition cost will keep desktop linux projects firmly in the “abandonned projects” drawer of many IT Managers. 2004-01-21 8:03 pm You know, nothing personal, but I find “Consumer satisfaction is possible, but not very likely, unless consumer is a computer geek or at least a very interested person.” and other similar responses lacking.After working over 6 years in support (started on windows pcs, then unix wrkstations and now unix enterprise servers) ‘support’ and ‘ease of use’ are very debatble arguments. Home users just want a system that wont crash and can let them browse the web, play games, etc…. Even when I supported windows kits, ppl hated to have to do ANY configuration or troubleshooting. (how many of us get asked by friends and family to install periphs on so-called easy to use systems?)All OS’es have their strong and week points, I hope to see a wider choice on the home market soon. 2004-01-22 2:19 am The simple answer is, when someone gets off work. The last thing they want to do is spend time tinkering with some linux operating system they had to deal with at work. You want WinXP Pro or the like, just click to check your email, or to connect if you have to dial in. Windows works, now if the linux cultist could under that ‘segmenation faults’ are not very fun. They are a hundred times worse than anything Win 95 had.Windows 2k and Win Xp Pro are the best desktop operating systems on the market bar none.