Q&A: Linux guru touts operating system for business use

By Todd R. Weiss, Computerworld |  Operating Systems

Q: But analysts and industry professionals seem to agree that the advance of Linux onto corporate desktops as a Windows replacement isn't imminent or even at a point of truly being ready. What's your reaction?

A: I think the Microsoft desktop monopoly will break due to operating system pricing issues before Linux is really ready for the role of being a true alternative. We're nine months away from the polish for that role. Nine months from now, Linux will be ready to be used by Aunt Tillie. What's still needed is for Linux to be refined to eliminate any remaining glitches that stall installations and leave users unsure of how to proceed. That's the kind of stuff that needs to get fixed. There are people with incentives to do that now. The companies making Linux distributions hire people to do it.

Q: What about fears from businesses about using products like Linux if they can't get the support they are used to getting through existing vendor relationships?

A: Business users can get support for Linux. There are user groups, the distribution companies and professional support outfits. By going to Linux from Windows, you replace four or five IT problems that you can't solve with 100 little ones that you can solve.

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