Can Linux ever be a True Desktop OS?

Rob Enderle does not think Linux will ever get traction as a desktop OS. He presents an interesting argument based on history with IBM’s OS/2 and the OEM business model. He highlights a number of challenges including OEM costs, the number of Linux distributions, excessive advocacy, and more.

He also outlines “A Reliable Road Map to Linux Desktop Success”

“The list of clear requirements includes:

  • Clear OEM resources to match or exceed those currently provided by Microsoft. This would include R&D support and co-marketing dollars.
  • Embrace existing desktop requirements (roadmaps, application support, proprietary drivers, consistent patch releases schedules and documentation, clear escalation lines for support).
  • Seek out reasonable advocates who will take direction from their executives and not from other advocates.
  • Make it profitable for the OEM.” (Enderle)

His conclusion is that he doubts these requirements can be achieved. I think that we have many challenges before Linux can become a viable solution for broad desktop deployment, but I am not quite this skeptical.

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