March 19, 2001, 3:08 PM —
Linux is doing extremely well in the server market these days. But there are three things Linux needs to conquer next in order to stay alive in the server space: The desktop, the desktop, and the desktop.
Linus Torvalds himself recently said that the desktop is king. But I get the impression he sees the desktop market as simply a competitive challenge. To many of us, the thought of Linux dominating the desktop truly is an escape from tyranny. And we don't care if we end up running one brand of Linux, several brands of Linux, or a big mix of Linux and the various free BSDs. Simply put, what drives us most is the desire to see Microsoft lose its control over the desktop.
We'll all be happy to let Microsoft own a piece of the desktop market and even make billions in the process. But we do not want to allow Microsoft a controlling majority. Statements like that always trigger a wave of emails from readers eager to accuse me of bashing Microsoft. (When have I ever?) Many of you will undoubtedly defend the quality of Windows 2000 as compared with previous versions of Windows or versus Linux.