Monday, October 24, 2011

Yet Again the Year of Linux on the Desktop?

At least in corporate environments. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols reports that Ubuntu Linux will try for the business desktop. Unfortunately, I think this is wishful thinking, as were all the previous predictions that "this year will be the year of Linux on the desktop." If Ubuntu thinks extending the support and maintenance from three years to five years will make the difference, they don't know end users. While IT managers and CIOs might see the benefit, end users want an OS that's comfortable and familiar. And CIOs don't want to have constantly answer the questions "where's my word?" "where's my outlook?" "where's my start button?"

I use the Linux desktop at work, but I’m in a tiny minority. Most people use Windows. Canonical, Ubuntu Linux’s parent company, plans on getting at least some Windows users to switch though with its next long term support (LTS) release.

Canonical has announced that it would be extending the support and maintenance period for the April 2012 LTS Ubuntu Linux release for desktop users from three years to five years. The move comes in response to what the company claims is “increasing demand for Ubuntu desktops in corporate environments where longer maintenance periods are the norm. It brings the desktop product into line with Ubuntu Server which continues with five years of support for LTS releases.”

In a blog posting, Ubuntu’s founder, Mark Shuttleworth, expanded on this. “We need to do justice to the fact that 12.04 LTS will be the preferred desktop for many of the world’s biggest Linux desktop deployments, in some cases exceeding half a million desktops in a single institution. So 12.04 is also an opportunity to ensure that our desktop is manageable at scale, that it can be locked down in the ways institutions need, and that it can be upgraded from 10.04 LTS smoothly as promised. Support for multiple monitors will improve, since that’s a common workplace requirement.”

That desktop, by the by, is going to stay Unity. There will be no return to a GNOME 2.x style desktop, never mind GNOME 3.x. According to Shuttleworth, “The nail-biting transitions to Unity and Gnome 3 are behind us, so this cycle is an opportunity to put perfection front and center. … That’s an opportunity to work through the whole desktop interface and make sure we’re using exactly the right weight in each place, bringing the work we’ve been doing for several cycles fully into focus.”

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

1 comment:

Tobias Mann said...

Interesting point. However I disagree with that statement. I don't think that bussiness that have used windows from the start are going to start using linux, it doesn't make sense for the very reasons you point out.

However new companies are always cropping up, and many of them will see linux as an opertunity to spend money else where while hiring flexible young people.

What do you think about that?
I have maintained that there are advantages to linux to my friends but I tell many of them they don't need it. As they aren't geek enough. They don't have the interest to care enough to stick with it.

You might find my blog interesting, I just migrated from wordpress and am looking to rebuild readership


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