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Linux on the Desktop?

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Linux on the desktop. Should Microsoft be worried? Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. More and more servers... computers used to run corporate networks and Web sites... have been migrating to the Linux open source operating system. It competes with Microsoft and Unix. And in the Linux community... the word is... this is the year when Linux wins more desktop customers. Bruce Perens, who heads the Desktop Linux Consortium... which includes IBM among its members... .says that doesn't mean consumers will be flocking to the alternative OS...

"If you are a person who does the normal sorts of things. Email, Web browsing, etcetera... Windows handles that job pretty well. And if it came free with your computer and especially if you can't think of a reason to upgrade, well, why would you go with Linux? So right now, we are shooting for a different kind of customer. We are shooting for the corporates."

Where companies that distribute Linux argue it is cheaper, more stable and more secure. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates has said Linux is more of a threat to Unix than to his company. But at Novell, which recently completed the purchase of SuSe Linux... CEO Jack Messman says...

"I think Unix was the low hanging fruit. And I think the second low hanging fruit will be Windows. So it's just a matter of time."

Messman isn't alone in that opinion. I'll have more in upcoming reports. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.