Have investors doomed desktop Linux?

By: J.D. Hildebrand

Abstract: Pressure to minimize losses has apparently moved quixotic battle to the back burner.

Have investors doomed desktop Linux?

Pressure to minimize losses has apparently moved quixotic battle to the back burner.

Here's an interesting analysis from InfoWorld's Douglas Gray.

Gray recalls that bold predictions about Linux's chances on the desktop were everywhere back when Linux IPOs were sprouting everywhere and stock valuations were through the roof. Now that the stocks have tanked, investors are looking to realistic business plans, modest expectations, achievable goals, and black ink. That investor pressure, Gray says, has led publicly traded Linux companies to put their desktop plans on the back burner and concentrate on a market segment that looks winnable in the short term. "The solid choice," Gray writes, "was the server market where open-source companies were already holding their weight against industry giant Microsoft."

I'm not sure exactly what "holding their weight" means -- I'm unfamiliar with the idiom -- but I think Gray's analysis is on the mark. As far as it goes.

What Gray doesn't take into account is Red Hat's avowed intention to dominate the desktop as a destination. That is, to run on five or 10 Internet appliances and smart devices for every Windows PC. That's the stealth plan that may see Linux the big winner in the desktop wars.

I'm on the verge of articulating a big-picture vision that includes the ASP movement, software subscriptions, .Net, and the desktop-as-destination concept. I'll share it as it ripens...within the next few days, surely.

Meanwhile, check out the InfoWorld article:

Has internal greed damaged desktop Linux?


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