Linux and Windows Desktop Perceptions team leader John H. Terpstra interviewed a sample group that included 30 people evenly split in the Linux and MS camps, to discover their desktop OS perceptions. His detailed report is published on His conclusions:

If Linux were the same as Microsoft Windows then it would BE Microsoft Windows. Thankfully, it is not and thus there is a choice. Linux CAN substitute for MS Windows on the desktop, but it will NOT suit everyone. Linux DOES provide all the environmental tools that MS Windows users are familiar with, although they are not identical and they offer a different look and feel as well as different features. That too gives rise to choice that the user has the ability and freedom to exercise.

Some say the Linux desktop is wonderful today, others are of the opinion that it needs to mature further. There are some legitimate barriers due to the inability to run certain essential applications on Linux that are available for MS Windows. But there will always be someone who can find reason to object, no matter if the desktop platform is Linux or MS Windows.

No matter which way you analyze the responses, Linux is a contender for the business desktop. Users have every right to choose their desktop of choice. For the large organization the total cost of ownership will be a deciding issue, particularly in a tight economy.

The key battle for Linux is NOT primarily a technology issue today, it has much more to do with knowledge and acceptance. In many ways Linux is today where MS Windows 3.0 was in 1989 on the radar set, and climbing.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.