eWeek’s article on the lack of corporate acceptance of a Linux desktop quotes Andrew Care, CIO for Air New Zealand: “What is needed before we consider moving is an office productivity suite that has functionality and applications comparable to Microsoft Office. But, even more importantly, any Linux desktop will have to be completely compatible with Office and be able to translate and read all documents, templates and spreadsheets 100 percent.”
Also from the same article:
Nat Friedman, co-founder and vice president of Linux desktop developer Ximian Inc., of Boston, agreed that interoperability with Office is the biggest issue in corporate adoption of the Linux desktop.
“For a long time, usability was the big issue, but that is no longer the case. Microsoft protocols and file formats are. It takes us two years to write compatibility with any Microsoft product into ours,” Friedman said.
I don’t see anyone worrying about the next set of computer users. Windows and Office have won the battle with the first 500 million computer users in the first two decades of computing. In the next decade, we are going to see another 500 million users adopt computing. They are the ones whom the Linux desktop should be aimed because they cannot pay USD 700 for a PC and USD 500 for Windows and Office – they can afford a fraction of that. They are in the world’s developing countries.