LinuxInsider has an interview with Lindowspresident Kevin Carmony on the Linux Desktop. Some excerpts:
I’d say [Linux is] ready for many desktop users. For those who need “basic computing” — Web browsing, e-mail, instant messaging, word processing, spreadsheets and so on — it’s a better experience than [Windows] XP. If, however, you have highly specialized needs — like games — it still has a ways to go. However, since millions can use it today for basic computing, Linux will start to see tremendous growth on the desktop, bringing more development, which will round out any missing pieces.
The real battles lie more in educating the marketplace about Linux as a viable option for the desktop.
I think that Linux companies need to get together to set up the equivalent of Tech 7-11s in neighbourhoods – shops like Apple and Gateway have in the US, shich can showcase the technology and show that it is more than good enough. More people need to see the Linux desktops and use them. These Tech 7-11s could be initially in the second- and third-tier cities, where real estate costs are low and where the nonconsumption markets are.
A related story comes from Thailand: “In the second quarter of 2003, just 40 percent of all desktop PCs shipped in Thailand had a licensed copy of Windows installed, an all-time low that likely will dip even further…First-time PC users in Thailand are finding the Linux Thai Language Edition easier to master than Windows.
“. An interesting quote from the story by Nalong Sripronsa: “Many people in Thailand have never used a PC before. They don’t know the difference between Windows and Linux. If you go from Windows to Linux, it seems difficult, but for first-time PC users, the Thai edition of Linux is easier to learn than Windows.”