By: J.D. Hildebrand
Have investors doomed desktop Linux?
Pressure to minimize losses has apparently moved quixotic battle to the
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:
internal greed damaged desktop Linux?