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Why Linux is not coming to a desktop near you

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For many years now, Linux has been a remarkable success story at the server level. However, at the desktop level, the tale is patchy - there are some success stories but for the most part one factor or another holds back the operating system from repeating its feats.

Discussions take place on a large number of forums (fora?), mailing lists, chat channels and in response to articles but there seems to be little movement when it comes to deployments on the desktop. (If you write a piece that is critical of Linux' prowess on the desktop, don a flame-retardant suit after posting your article).

There are all kinds of reasons advanced, some of them embarrassingly juvenile, others more reasoned and considered, but the hurdles seem to never go away.

Examining such an issue within the scope of an article such as this is fraught with problems simply because one cannot claim to have done an exhaustive job; each person and each organisation could well have a unique problem when it comes to Linux on the desktop.

There are some hurdles which are well-known. There are others which figure in discussions often but which are not really hurdles at all, just transplanted thinking from situations which have no relation to the issue at all.

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