Whartons Kogut, who has written extensively on Linux, says he believes that Linux will slowly make inroads into the PC market, but that Linuxs real impact will be in large organizations that use servers. As for the consumer market, lets see how many more applications they can run on Linux before making a judgment about how widespread Linux use will be, Kogut says. Well see more applications to run on Linux, and thats what consumers want. But theres something else going on thats interesting. Some governments around the world are saying theyre tired of paying fees to Microsoft and are considering moving to Linux. I also think well see Linux being used in areas we dont normally think of, such as mobile telephones, smart cards and personal digital assistants, or PDAs.
Murcko the Apache Software Foundation member, who also has done work for IBM says Linux may become more of a household name in the desktop market in two to five years. Its only a matter of time. Dell and Gateway two or three years ago started offering Linux as alternative installs. I suspect if you went to Dell or Gateway and asked for the percentage of people ordering Linux, it may be 1% or 2%. But the crack is there. Its the hole in the dyke. Its a matter of waiting for Linux to be easy to use on the desktop.
The real big opportunity for Linux is in emerging markets – both on the desktop and the server. Linux can become the base for the IT architecture for SMEs in the developing countries.