Linux and Windows Desktops

From OSNews comes an article by Darren Stewart, the network manager at the Gray Cancer Research Trust, on why he still cannot make the choice of a Linux Desktop:

My main caveat with the Linux desktop idea is that I am not dealing with one particular computer. And neither are hundreds and thousands of IT veterans and specialists who work with Windows, often not because its the best technically (even though its very good), but because it is the most manageable. IT managers, IT Directors, Company bosses and boards have to deal with the reality. They have to comply with the law. They want simple, straightforward solutions. They want business solutions and providers who do that. They want solutions and provisions that work. I have not seen a Linux desktop that would be acceptable for me to even try and roll out in any area of the desktop. Its not that any of the software is not good enough. Its not that its not capable. Its not that it can’t do specific targeted work. It can probably do all that. Nothing I have seen even indicates tools, and management, recovery, centrally held data storage, user control, management and integration that I can get with Microsoft Windows.

Everything Microsoft have done ties together. From the desktop, through to domain and server. It ties in and it works. That is why people use Windows. That’s why Dell/HP/OEM/Other sell Windows. That is why most of the corporations round the globe choose Windows. Until that is addressed, I do not see Linux making inroads on the desktop. If it was easy, it would be occurring by now. Its lack of uptake seems at least to me to be an indicator as to why. Perhaps we need a new distribution. Lintigration might be a good name. And what would it be ? An integrated Linux solution, that ties in to a server, offers bootable network installation, package and management solutions, user handling, data placement. Everything a ‘Professional ‘ would need from Server, Desktop, Printer, Network and integration perspective.

I believe that we should look to exploit Linux’s strengths on the server and run the desktop off the server. Give system adminstrators the same control they used to have. On the GUI front and ease-of-use, Linux is more than good enough. The problem lies in its installation. That can be simplified by using Linux in a terminal-server environment.

By doing so, we can also leverage the other benefit: the ability to support older PCs. This helps companies leverage their existing computers and “get off the treadmill of enforced obsolescence.” Run Linux on the Server, give users a Desktop which is almost like Windows, focus on the Virus-free environment that Linux can create, and cut costs by 50% by more – that is what will take Linux to the masses.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.