Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Sizing up the Linux desktop market, part 1

Filed under
Linux

What Linux loyalists might see as "the good news" is that the typical Linux desktop distribution has become highly reliable and rich in capabilities, Iams said. And what's more, today there are more applications to run on desktop Linux than ever before -- and they're getting better, too.

SearchEnterpriseLinux.com caught up with recently to get a holistic view of the Linux desktop market from users to vendors. In part one, the analyst describes the overall progress of Linux on the desktop thus far, and talks a little about how the leading Linux desktop offerings -- Red Hat and Novell -- stack up.

How is the Linux desktop market progressing today?

Tony Iams:. Well, slowly. It has been progressing slowly. Every year seems to be the year where widespread adoption of Linux on the desktop is just around the corner. What is clear is from a technology standpoint is that some amazing progress has been made. If you look at the capabilities of desktop Linux today in terms of ease-of-use, in terms of the productivity applications that are available, it's very clear that the development community has invested huge resources in delivering something that is usable by typical end users. There are some terrific Linux desktop products out there today. What I still don't see emerging quite yet is widespread demand. But clearly there are some users that are very interested in running Linux on the desktop.

What types of companies do those "very interested" users work for? Is there a typical profile of a Linux desktop user organization?

Iams: You really have to break it down by market segment. In large organizations that have desktops with very tightly defined functions -- limited functions for very specific applications -- there is interest in using Linux as a foundation.

Do those dedicated applications tend to be homegrown?

Iams: Yes. That's true. [They include] in-house applications, or very limited function [applications], where you really don't need that broad spectrum of functional capabilities [like] multimedia and so on. All of the things that you can do on a typical Windows PC, those really aren't necessary for a lot of corporate users, especially in larger enterprises because you tend to have rigid job functions there.

What about smaller companies?

Iams: When you get down to the small and medium businesses and consumer segments, those workloads are much more driven by applications, by specific applications. The application portfolio on Linux continues to grow and many developers target Linux, [but] other systems like Windows still have the majority of applications. A lot of [those applications] have not been ported to Linux. If your business depends on that [unsupported] application, it's not feasible to migrate without significant investments in re-porting the application, retraining your users and so on. So, small and medium business tends to be application driven, and since Windows still has the majority of applications, that is a major strength for it.

How do Red Hat's and Novell's compare on the desktop?

Iams: Novell is being a little bit more aggressive because they actually have several offerings there. They have the SuSE Enterprise Linux 9 Professional, which is in the retail channel. Red Hat has more or less gotten out of the retail channel, but SuSE Linux is still in there. That means you can go to CompUSA and it's on the shelf. Red Hat isn't really interested in that for now.

[Red Hat has] Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which you can certainly run on the desktop. And they have Fedora, which they target at sort of the power user that has traditionally used Linux on the desktop.

Novell has SuSE Enterprise Linux 9 Professional, which is also targeted at those enthusiasts, and then they have the Novell Linux Desktop, which is more for enterprise users -- users that only require basic functionality and are mostly concerned with integrating it into a larger IT infrastructure. So, Novell has more choices and packages for the desktop than Red Hat, and [Novell] also benefits from some technology they've acquired.

Which technology is that?

Iams: The Ximian Desktop, for example, is something that Novell bought a couple of years ago. That included Evolution, which is a messaging and groupware application that is compatible with Exchange. And then they have something called Red Carpet, which is a software management tool. Those are both very valuable for helping to integrate a Linux desktop into existing messaging infrastructures that are based on Exchange. And it also makes it easier to manage the software updates that those desktops require.

Of Novell and Red Hat, which one is most likely to crack the SMB market?

Iams: Novell has a rich portfolio of desktop products and functions. And they're potentially in a stronger position than Red Hat to drive into those SMB-type environments because their NetWare operating system has long been used in SMB environments. Novell is now in the process of turning those users over to Linux by migrating the NetWare file and print sharing services over to Linux. That could in turn encourage the redeployment of some of those SMB applications that were formerly based on NetWare. Those would now be based on Linux. That could give Novell a foothold in SMB environments, where the desktop, again, plays a really significant role.

By Mark Brunelli
SearchEnterpriseLInux
Part 2.

That is not quite accurate.

Linux distros are not even distinquishable except for driver compatibility for your Linux machine.

Three years and 164 Linux distributions, most used and tested...Most documented with hours of notes and observations. While the devil might still be in the details, it is those details that make the pretty pictures you see on your monitor.

Even after a year of hard development on the live cd front, there is still only one distro that gives you 100 percent streaming out of the box with zero fiddling with drivers and stuffing obscure mplayer files into folders.

That would be PCLiuxOS. Out of 164 distros, this is the only work that I have found suitable for the new user and power user alike. Mepis fell hard on streaming, but it did make the attempt.

You and I seem to be guilty of the same thing...believing the deeper intention of our words will be evident in the most general of statements.

THAT'S why I don't write for a living. Wink

helios

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 Beta 2, Replacement for gksu

  • The Unique Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 Beta 2
    It is the most unique among the Official Flavors in the 18.04. It's the only to bring Chromium browser, and it gives you the unique Budgie Desktop experiences. It is really a good place for everyone who wants new, distinct desktop experience with modern version of software and broad space to explore. And ultimately it is still available for 32 bit, which has been abandoned by Ubuntu original. We will wait until the planned release on April 26.
  • Welcome To The (Ubuntu) Bionic Age: Behind communitheme: interviewing Frederik
    My name is Frederik, I live in Germany and I am working as a java software developer in my daily job. I am using Ubuntu since 5 years and quickly started to report bugs and issues when they jumped into my face. Apart from that, I like good music, and beautiful software. I also make my own music in my free time.
  • gksu Removed From Ubuntu, Here's The Recommended Replacement
    gksu is used to allow elevating your permissions when running graphical applications, for example in case you want to run a graphical text editor as root to edit a system file, or to be able to remove or add a file to a system folder.
  •  

Devices: Aaeon, Tizen and Android

OSS Leftovers

  • Open source crucial to Orange as it prepares for ONAP deployment
    Orange has long played a key part in the testing and adoption of ONAP, dating back to when its ECOMP predecessor was created by AT&T as a platform for managing a software-defined network. The move to open source and its development as the ONAP project has made the platform a key component of the new telco open networking movement. But why should other telcos look to ONAP as they embark on their network transformation strategies, and how does it help enable the automated network that will lead to new business opportunities?
  • Lessons from OpenStack Telemetry: Deflation
    At some point, the rules relaxed on new projects addition with the Big Tent initiative, allowing us to rename ourselves to the OpenStack Telemetry team and splitting Ceilometer into several subprojects: Aodh (alarm evaluation functionality) and Panko (events storage). Gnocchi was able to join the OpenStack Telemetry party for its first anniversary.
  • Dev-tools in 2018
    This is a bit late (how is it the middle of April already?!), but the dev-tools team has lots of exciting plans for 2018 and I want to talk about them! [...] We're creating two new teams - Rustdoc, and IDEs and editors - and going to work more closely with the Cargo team. We're also spinning up a bunch of working groups. These are more focused, less formal teams, they are dedicated to a single tool or task, rather than to strategy and decision making. Primarily they are a way to let people working on a tool work more effectively. The dev-tools team will continue to coordinate work and keep track of the big picture.
  • Nonny de la Peña & the Power of Immersive Storytelling
    This week, we’re highlighting VR’s groundbreaking potential to take audiences inside stories with a four part video series. There aren’t many examples of creators doing that more effectively and powerfully than Nonny de la Peña. Nonny de la Peña is a former correspondent for Newsweek, the New York Times and other major outlets. For more than a decade now, de la Peña has been focused on merging her passion for documentary filmmaking with a deep-seeded expertise in VR. She essentially invented the field of “immersive journalism” through her company, Emblematic Group.
  • Collabora Online 3.2 Brings More Powerful Features to LibreOffice in the Cloud
    Michael Meeks of the Collabora Productivity has the pleasure of informing Softpedia today on the availability of Collabora Online 3.2, the second point release of the Collabora Online 3 series that promises yet another layer of new features and improvements to the enterprise-ready, cloud-based office suite. Based on the LibreOffice 6.1 open-source office suite, Collabora Online 3.2 introduces support for creating and inserting charts into Writer and Impress documents, and the ability to validate data in Calc, which might come in handy for engineers who want to do a final assembly inspection on their tablets, as well as to collaborate with their colleagues to ensure all tests are passed by a complete product.
  • Oracle demands dev tear down iOS app that has 'JavaScript' in its name
    Oracle, claims developer Zhongmin Steven Guo, has demanded that Apple remove an app he created because it contains the trademarked term "JavaScript." The app in question, published by Guo's Tyanya Software LLC – which appears to be more a liability shield than a thriving software business – is titled "HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, HTML, Snippet Editor." The name, Guo explains in a Hacker News comment, was chosen in an effort to "game the App Store ranking by adding all the keywords to the app name."
  • FoundationDB is Open Source
    Starting today, FoundationDB starts its next chapter as an open source project! FoundationDB is a distributed datastore, designed from the ground up to be deployed on clusters of commodity hardware. These clusters scale well as you add machines, automatically heal from hardware failures, and have a simple API. The key-value store supports fully global, cross-row ACID transactions. That's the highest level of data consistency possible. What does this mean for you? Strong consistency makes your application code simpler, your data models more efficient, and your failure modes less surprising. The great thing is that FoundationDB is already well-established — it's actively developed and has years of production use. We intend to drive FoundationDB forward as a community project and we welcome your participation.
  • Apple Open Sources FoundationDB, Releases Code On GitHub
    Back in 2015, Apple bought FoundationDB, a NoSQL database company. It created a distributed database of the same name designed to deal with large masses of structured data across clusters of servers. In a recent development, Apple has shared the FoundationDB core and turned it into an open source project.
  • Microsoft offers limited-time 30 percent discount on SQL Server on Linux [Ed: Microsoft is googlebombing Linux again and as I predicted it would be done only to help Microsoft sell malicious proprietary software. Mary Jo Foley is like Microsoft marketing at CBS. In this case she promotes proprietary software. She also says "SQL Server on Linux" (no such thing exists, it's an illusion).]
  • Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup time: April 20th starting at 12:00 p.m. EDT/16:00 UTC
    Help improve the Free Software Directory by adding new entries and updating existing ones. Every Friday we meet on IRC in the #fsf channel on irc.freenode.org. Tens of thousands of people visit directory.fsf.org each month to discover free software. Each entry in the Directory contains a wealth of useful information, from basic category and descriptions, to providing detailed info about version control, IRC channels, documentation, and licensing info that has been carefully checked by FSF staff and trained volunteers.
  • Researchers deliver open-source simulator for cyber physical systems
    Cyber physical systems (CPS) are attracting more attention than ever thanks to the rapid development of the Internet of Things (IoT) and its combination with artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and the cloud. These interacting networks of physical and computational components will provide the foundation of critical infrastructure, form the basis of ‘smart’ services, and improve the quality of life in areas ranging from energy and environment to transportation and healthcare. CPS technologies are already transforming the way people interact with engineered systems in the ‘real’ or ‘physical’ world, just as the internet has transformed the way people interact with information. Yet, due to their complexity, the developers of CPS face a major problem: the lack of simulation tools and models for their design and analysis.
  • Creators face an evolving challenge protecting IP
    The GNU General Public License, under which the operating system Linux and much open-source software is shared, is another example of copyleft. Open-source software, where programs are worked on together by loosely connected developer communities rather than traditional software houses, show one way IP can be shared without stifling innovation. Linux, the mobile operating system Android and the database system MySQL have all achieved widespread adoption, and are continually innovating despite, or perhaps because of, being open source.
  • Emerging Tech Speaker Series Talk with Rian Wanstreet
    This is an opportunity for the open source community, as alternative technologies and platforms are being developed which provide farmers the ability to farm outside of walled gardens. From open source seed initiatives, to open farm technologies, to data platform cooperatives, there is a small, but growing, collaborative movement that recognizes that farmers are at a critical moment: they can help to establish tools that advance freedom, or accept machines that foster dependencies.
  • Williamson Schools to develop open source social studies curriculum
    The open source science curriculum saved the district about $3.3 million. An open source social studies curriculum may post similar savings, with estimates at about $3.5-4 million, Gaddis said.
  • Large Open-Source Data Set Released to Help Train Algorithms Spot Malware
    For the first time, a large dataset has been released by a security firm to help AI research and training of machine learning models that statically detect malware. The data set released by cybersecurity firm Endgame is called EMBER is a collection of more than a million representations of benign and malicious Windows-portable executable files. Hyrum Anderson, Endgame's technical director of data science who worked on EMBER, says: "This dataset fills a void in the information security machine learning community: a benign/malicious dataset that is large, open and general enough to cover several interesting use cases. ... [We] hope that the dataset, code and baseline model provided by EMBER will help invigorate machine learning research for malware detection, in much the same way that benchmark datasets have advanced computer vision research."

Android Leftovers