December 12, 2003

Desperately seeking desktop Linux

Just when you thought it was over, bar the odd bit of Microsoft licence price gouging, the PC desktop wars may be about to erupt again. We know about
Sun's StarOffice and its megaphone marketing of it against MS Office but we also know that getting a SuSE Linux desktop software package and having it
run your scanner, your tape drive, your printer and any other peripheral whose operation you take for granted in Microsoft's plug-and-play USB world,
is pure fantasy, fit only for the most rabid Linux geek with a wardrobe full of anoraks.

This might be about to change. The Open Systems Development Lab, ODSL, the Linux community's development centre, has set up a 10-person desktop task
force to define the way forward to an OSDL-blessed Linux-based desktop. Make no mistake. The whipped remnants of previous desktop wars want to strike

Linux vendors are cock-a-hoop with confidence. Linux server revenues grew 62 percent in 2002 while overall server sales fell 8 per cent, according to
Gartner Dataquest. It thinks Linux may account 15 per cent of server sales in 2007. OSDL members see Linux booming and the possibility of Microsoft's
server O/S sales growth being slowed and then stopped.



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