In one word, yes. But one word just doesn’t do justice the issue of addressing linux as a desktop OS to replace Windows and its huge established base of users who are used to a “simpler” desktop operating system. I love linux, but unfortunately:
- I have to go with what I know
- I don’t have the time to dedicate to the learning curve for linux
- and I use Adobe Dreamweaver and Adobe Photoshop and cannot accept that linux cannot run them 100% (Wine etc do not do a 100% job and Adobe has yet to release versions for linux).
On October 21st ZDNet’s Paul Murphy wrote Desktop Unix: MacOS X and SUSE Linux where he compared MacOS X, Novell Suse Linux, and Windows and had this to say:
… Back on planet earth, however, it’s hard to think of an argument for buying a Microsoft desktop that doesn’t start and end with: “because we already have Microsoft…”
If you’re halfway objective about it, that leaves you to choose between the latest Linux desktop and MacOS X for your users – a choice most people will, I think, find to be an absolute no brainer.
I have to respectfully disagree because I think his post missed an even more important issue than an installed client base for Windows being the deciding factor. First off, I agree the other 2 platforms perform better and are more dependable. I rarely use a Mac, they are mystical and wonderful creatures I’ve read about but which my main experience has been browsing the web and using the email client – both of which had shortcuts on the desktop. Beyond that I get lost, and really it doesn’t count that I learned some Basic programming on an Apple 2e back in high school.
Where was I? Oh yes, the important issue I think Paul overlooked in this particular post is that of learning the new operating system. Yes, there is a learning curve for linux as this link and my personal experience can attest to, and there is also a learning curve for the Mac though I lack much experience in that arena. For users like me that is a personal choice – do I want to take the time to read, google around and maybe buy some books on learning to use one of these new operating systems? However for a business that translates to training both your existing workforce as well as new employees who will most certainly come with a Windows background more often than a Mac or linux background unless you run an IT business, work in or around the school system or do something like graphics art.
I think at the heart of the matter, this is the frustrating reason (besides the installed client base that Paul mentioned) that Mac and linux desktops are not enjoying a heavier market share. A major shift away from Windows to either would force Microsoft to address usability issues like OS design/architecture/navigation (where is it and how do I use it?) and reliability (how often will it crash?) sooner rather than later.
Here’s to wishing!