Tugger the SLUGger!SLUG Mailing List Archives

Re: [SLUG] Linux on the desktop predictions


Danny gazes into his crystal ball, and sees through the glass
darkly:

> By mid 2003 (three years away)
>        * the number of Linux desktop users will pass the number of MacOS
>        desktop users; at this point both systems will have around 3%
>        of the desktop market.
>
>        * most of the individual desktop Linux users will still be
>        techies, or friends and relatives of techies.  But an increasing
>        number of corporations and organisations will be adopting it
>        as a standard - these will mostly be largish (500+ machine)
>        organisations, along with some medium-sized (100+) ones.
>
> [It may seem the wrong way around, but I think the slowest groups
> to convert to Linux will be home users and small businesses: big
> organisations are slower to change but have more to gain, and when they
> do change, a lot of machines will be involved.]

You've got to justify yourself a bit Danny :)

The first thing is to nail down a bit better some definitions:
desktop systems - this I take it would not include games consoles, but
would include general purpose devices which are largely used for
games (see the muddying?)

Would this include thin clients? Say machines running Citrix type
clients?

Then you'd have to look at what overtaking means. Do absolute numbers
grow, but market share declines?

What about embedded systems? Then again, definitions come into play:
embedded with LCD panels / without. Where do routers / firewalls
come in?

I suppose every machine used is a 'market segment of one', and
grouping classes of machines is a convenient abstraction, but
is also a trap.

My own way of thinking is to see technologies emerging and evolving,
and guessing what responses would be.

For corporates I just don't know. You can look at IT several
ways for corporate entities. 

One has IT as an expense / overhead
that is supported by the margins or profits they make
(I make expensive widgets that I sell for a lot, I need IT, but
I can absorb the cost). This is where IBM used to be so strong.

Another way is to see IT as enabling (I can only do this with this type of
technology - I suggest this is the point the banks are at now. Their
response to new computer technologies shows them as slow to adapt (and
even unwilling) and in danger of being overtaken by more responsive
competitors [ take a look at paypal ])

Yet another way is to see low cost IT as a competitive
advantage. Whole industries have sprung up making PHP scripts,
designing web pages.

Large corporations and bureacracies are beloved of
functional units. If one person can do the job that is irrelevant.
What they want is directable, replaceable teams. That's one of
the promises (and lies) of using brain-dead computer strategies
such as deploying NT. People are deployable units, numbers to manipulate
on project charts. 

Remember, the crisis only happens at the end. Until then, it's
deckchair squabbles.

Jamie