[Linux-aus] OSAF Desktop Linux Technology & Market Overview

Chris Samuel chris at csamuel.org
Fri Jul 11 09:12:01 UTC 2003


Morning all,

Apologies to those who will get this twice because of being on both lists.

For those who've not seen it, the OSAF (Open Source Application Foundation, 
the people on working on Chandler, an open source next generation PIM 
application, amongst other things) have released a report written by one of 
their bods on Desktop Linux, where it's at and where it's likely to go.


Good reading, lots of useful information (including rollout info), critical 
thinking on the current state, benefits and pitfalls of Linux on the desktop.

Some interesting quotes are:

Deployments (not all that they mention):

	In China, more than 1 million PCs shipped with Linux preinstalled last year.

	In June, 2003, the regional government of Extremadura, Spain, announced the
	deployment of 80,000 Linux desktops in local schools.

	Dreamworks' new Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas was entirely created on
	Linux workstations and rendering machines.  Dreamworks uses about 1000
	Linux workstations. Industrial Light & Magic has also switched to Linux
	workstations, and Disney is deploying Linux as well.

These next two are of added interest in light of OSV's recent press release on 
requesting consideration of enforcing open document standards and protocols 
over legislating directly for open software [1].

In support of open document formats:

	As one writer put it: "We continue to live in a world where all our know-how
	is locked into binary files in an unknown format. If our documents are our
	corporate memory, Microsoft still has us all condemned to Alzheimer's."


	Office 20002 no longer natively supports the ability to read ten year old
	Office 4.0 documents.  Ten years is a long time for a consumer, but it's a
	heartbeat for the archivists and librarians who help public and private
	sector companies develop their data management strategies.

Why legislating for open source could backfire:

	More generally, there is a risk that poorly planned, poorly supported,
	government-mandated deployments of Linux will fail, causing disillusioned
	end-users to wipe their hard drives, install a pirated version of Windows,
	and tell their friends never to try Linux.  This is why analysts such as Tony
	Stanco caution against mandated Linux deployments, arguing instead in favor
	of education and training efforts and efforts to "level the playing field."

Well worth reading and digesting.

[1] - OSV press release is here:	http://www.osv.org.au/index.cgi?tid=62

- -- 
 Chris Samuel  :  http://csamuel.org/  :  Melbourne, VIC

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