About a third of businesses plan to migrate at least some Windows machines to Linux, according to a recent survey, but adoption will continue to slow and cautious, as companies evaluate a maze of economic factors.Organizations today are struggling with how to expand their business and compete in the face of lean IT budgets. Doing more with fewer resources, optimizing systems and revitalizing IT infrastructures for greater efficiency and agility to respond to ever- changing business conditions remain at the top of many business leaders’ agendas. The Linux operating system is not only ushering in a new approach to software development worldwide, but also solving key problems and limitations that have plagued enterprises for decades. story
Switching to Linux picks up steam; Exploiting the Potential of Linux
Submitted by Mark 2004-08-30 Linux 24 Comments
Most businesses have at least one application that is used by everyone. Could be Lotus Notes, could be a manufacturing application. In cases where this is true, moving to Linux is unlikely to happen for a while.
Other businesses make extensive use of Access databases or Excel spreadsheets with complicated macros. Again, this makes moving to Linux unlikely to happen soon. There are alternatives, but they are not ready-made solutions.
If businesses have people who just use Word and some simple email application, they could move to Linux tomorrow.
I wonder, though, how many businesses have such people.
but adoption will continue to slow and cautious, as companies evaluate a maze of economic factors.
If the title says it’s picking up steam then why would adoptions continue to slow or decrease?
There’s nothing like good old competition. Even with its current tiny market share, Linux is already helping companies and countries negotiate better deals from Microsoft. For the sake of the consumer, let’s hope linux usage continues to grow.
Well stated. And they said some desktops, not their mainstay. You don’t need Word/Excel Macros to write memo’s to be e-mailed. Some could be as few as one per company .
Just switched from Windows 95 to Solaris x86, of all things. Have all the open source goodness of Open Office installed with the rock solid Solaris underneath for the admin. Weird but true.
private jabber IM.
This way people can have their choice.
I prefer Linux whenever possible.
If the title says it’s picking up steam then why would adoptions continue to slow or decrease?
It’s a typo. From the original article:
“…adoption will continue to be both slow and cautious…”
So they’re increasing (i.e. “picking up steam”) but not at a breakneck pace. Still, any increase is good!
The biggest gains are not in desktop space, but in server space. For example, you cite Lotus Notes as a popular app; while there isn’t a Linux client (yet), Lotus Domino (the server part) is in fact available for Linux. So, as expected, Linux is stealing away market share from Windows in the server room.
Regarding desktops, this is what the article had to say:
“On the desktop, 36 percent of businesses expected to have a few Linux PCs in their business, but only 5 percent planned a total migration to Linux. A majority–57 percent–planned no changes for Windows on the desktop.”
Now, 5 percent may not seem like a lot, but it’s actually quite a significant number – so is the 36 percent that expect to have at least some machines.
This looks like a good year for Linux!
I doubt the statistics upon which you base what you say.
I suspect that nothing like 36% of businesses will have a few Linux PCs in the next 2 years. Commercially aware businesses will, so as to give Microsoft meaningful competition and to reduce their costs. But many businesses are inherently conservative and will only adopt “new” technology once others have taken the risk to prove it works and once ready-made alternatives exist.
I hope I am wrong, I want Linux to have far more than 5% of the market. Only time will tell.
suspect that nothing like 36% of businesses will have a few Linux PCs in the next 2 years.
Let me explain. If you have a business that has a large server room, chances are there are UNIX/Linux servers running in it.
If you have UNIX/Linux servers- you must have UNIX/Linux administrator. Big chances are- that administrator is Windows-unfriendly, speaking politely.
Until lately, that person or persons had to swallow their pride and run Windows on office desktop computer. Now, they can come to their corporate IT and demand right to run Linux on office desktop.
Thanks to all news telling how capable Linux for business desktop is, and that it is as good as Windows if not better- corporate IT may actually give up and let Linux run in the office network.
Here are your “few Linux PCs” in 36% of companies. It might be just one or two or ten Linux desktops per medium size company, but still better than nothing.
In fact, corporate IT may even use these people as willing guinea pigs to practically test Linux claims. One thing is news and articles and zealotry, another- reality. If reality does not differ very much from the hype- Linux will survive and prosper.
It is the natural way.:)
“Windows is a dead OS. blah-blah-blah. No true professional uses Windows, we use Linux or UNIX.”
You see, Andy, what I meant by “Windows unfriendly UNIX administrator” who can’t wait to run Linux desktop in the office?
Now, are you more convinced that “on the desktop, 36 percent of businesses expected to have a few Linux PCs in their business?” I sure am.:)
Linux has a long term future. It will not be adopted in droves, but gradually. At the pace its development is accelerating, it will become a viable desktop for the masses (although it’s already mine). The Kde & Gnome DE have improved considerably, and will only get better. Its filesystems are getting faster, robust and dependable. So is its kernel. The are where developers need to concentrate is the x-window-system. Overall, it has a bright future.
The use of Free/Open Source software -including Linux- is bound to grow over time. Software is part of services, included in products, and embedded in all sorts of electronic gadgets. Businesses have to compete, and can use Free/OSS to lower the cost/improve profit margins of their products (in the long term, at least).
If a manufacturer of a mobile phone can lower end-user price with $2 by saving on licensing cost or hardware requirements, that will give that product an edge over its competition (assuming that competition offers an otherwise similar product).
Add to that the freedom/reliability aspects, and that leaves no doubt to me that Linux & friends will continue to spread.
The amount of media exposure every single Windows worm gets is massive, but lately, in each piece, the news announcer/editor always mentions Linux as the alternative.
In fact, on the BBC news site, the last news item they had about a worm was rounded off by a paragraph which said that the BBC would not be affected as they used Linux.
I don’t know if it is the whole of the BBC or just that reporter, but it was positive news for Linux people.
It used to be that IT manager needed to go to their head of department or CEO, and give reasons to switch to Linux, but now, those same senior management types are being made aware of an alternative. I have even had some ask me to install Linux on their own PCs first before a corporate wide switch.
Good times ahead for Linux. Time to bury Windows once and for all.
not in features or usability, i came long with it fine. i rarely even use it for my work (i use linux at work), but pretty much none of .doc documents i get open correctly in openoffice. those docs are very complicate (alot more than just “wow this works” saved in .doc format).
i just wish companies would get enough brain to distribute documents in PDF format – I can open it fine with Linux, Solaris, well with any OS. Everyone can open a PDF (correctly). If there is a real reason why person should be able to edit document too, then send a doc!
and of course, OpenOffice can open and EDIT pdf files…..
Let me state, I love OO, however, its not perfect in .doc translations. I agree with @th and raver31, that companies should get a clue and use a more portable format IE:
Personally I have worked hard in finding formatting techniques that can be read by OO and MS Word. Sometimes those tabs can be butchered (use tables). One other limtation is that the cells do not cross page boundaries in OO. Now, if I could convince the people sending me the .docs to change their fomatting style, life in the world of word processing would be almost be perfect. It would be perfect if everyone adopted an open format. Word still cannot handel PS files correctly. Tis a shame, makes you wonder how MS .doc files work well but every other format is just not good enough on their platform. Is this a way of intentional lock-in?
Sorry for the partial rant. Let there be open formats and in the end the best program will win. Now, that is innovation. Build features and a UI that people will enjoy using and allow them to be shared by other programs.
Just my 2 cents worth.
Hello RussianGuy. No, I am not convinced. No matter how willing Admins might be to move corporate desktops to Linux, they can only do so if usable software exists.
My point is that many companies run company-wide software on their desktops that it is currently very difficult to run on Linux. Lotus Notes is one example of this. MRP systems in manufacturing would be another.
Certainly companies will want to convert some desktops if they can, but I suspect opportunities over the next couple of years will be limited.
Porting of business applications to Linux will be a more realistic proposition once a particular distro has become an industrial standard. I look forward to the day that Sun or Novell have that distro and we can run some of these Windows business apps on Linux, but I think things will move more slowly than we would like.
Again, I hope I am wrong.
last year I was working in a med office and during one of the infestations everyone’s PC got infected.
Since I was running linux I was able to continue working during the 3 days that every one else had a break while the network and Windows PC’s were getting rebuild.
hmmm perhaps I should switch to windows….NOT 🙂
You can run Lotus Notes in Wine/CrossOver (6.5.1+)
Almost any app can be made to work given enough time.
Applications dictate what OS goes where. It’s not now and never will be the choice of IT what gets installed in larger shops. Simply because a geek in the IT dept. decides it’s a great place for a Linux server has very little to do with what actually gets installed.
Time will change a good deal of this, but it’s going to take the geek in IT to rise above the current level to get it done. Eventually you will see a good deal more nix based systems in all areas of the corporate world. Geeks get promoted too.
Windows will however continue to dominate for many years due to the applications already in place. There are simply places where you can’t switch, and for that matter wouldn’t want to.
“last year I was working in a med office and during one of the infestations everyone’s PC got infected.”
That’s an argument for better Windows admins, not for replacing Windows with Linux.
It’s possible, even simple, to run a Windows network that won’t be affected by recent worms and viruses.
Look, some of the latest worms are activated via links in a browser and since so many intranet apps are coded to only work on IE or rely on the IE rendering engine, (quicken), Windows will remain insecure.
Windows needs to take a hint from apple. Start anew. Of course, it won’t happen.
It won’t happen because it’s completely unnecessary. If you’re up to date with patches and virus definitions you have next to nothing to worry about running Windows. It’s a matter of a checkbox that Windows begs you to tick (and perhaps one more in your AV product). If you’re not up to date, you’ve made your choice and it’s your fault, not Microsoft’s, if your compromised because of it.