Feeds

Resellers question Linux on the desktop

Is the channel ready, is Linux ready?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Resellers are enthusiastic about recent moves by Novell and Red Hat to move Linux onto the desktop but warn that fear of the unknown and missing applications are holding progress back.

Asked if he thought Linux was ready to grace the desktops of the average business Philip Burgess, sales manager at Sire Technology, said: "Blimey, I've just put the phone down after talking to SUSE Linux - I'm going to see them next week.

"People would like to see an option on desktops, SCO set things back a bit but there are serious offerings available now. There is always interest from IT departments but it hits a barrier at board level. It's just fear of the unknown - you've got to be brave to recommend to your board something that isn't Microsoft."

Red Hat's desktop strategy was welcomed by Mark Blowers, senior research analyst at Butler Group. He said the announcement of Red Hat's long-term client strategy in London will have "far-reaching significance. At last, Red Hat (and Novell SUSE Linux) are offering the beginnings of a credible, alternative desktop client for long suffering IT managers. Microsoft Windows' 96 per cent share of the market has led to apathy and a lack of innovation... Open source desktop software is now in a position to ask serious questions of the fat client approach."

But Michael Trup, managing director at software distributor Interactive Ideas, was more cautious. He said: "Red Hat have been very server-focused, a strategy that has served them well but this is the next logical step. It is a medium-term market though - it won't happen tomorrow. I'd like to see more applications developed - it's a bit chicken and egg - you won't get apps till you get onto desktops but you won't get there without the apps."

He thinks the lack of applications is the main barrier to Linux getting onto business desktops right now. "For small and medium businesses the lack of a standard accounts package is a problem now. Sage have been talking about it but nothing has happened yet. We see more people moving just because of security alone - they're fed up with all the virus attacks. And for what most people do - email, web browsing and word processing - it's all there."

Peter Dawes-Huish, sales director at reseller LinuxIT, is also cautious. "We made an initial foray into the Linux desktop about eighteen months. Our view is that the market was not ready and the software was not mature enough. But we are seeing increasing demand from customers who are considering putting Linux onto desktops."

Local government and call centres are showing the most interest, he says. "You must be clear on the business needs - many people look at Linux after getting a big bill for software licenses but in many cases this is still the best value for their business." ®

Related stories

Red Hat hits the desktop
Open source 'too costly' for Irish e-gov
SCO case doesn't slow Linux take-up

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
One Heartbleed vuln was too many for Theo de Raadt
Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor
Leaker claims big release due this fall as Microsoft herds us into the CLOUD
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
Patch iOS, OS X now: PDFs, JPEGs, URLs, web pages can pwn your kit
Plus: iThings and desktops at risk of NEW SSL attack flaw
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Apple inaugurates free OS X beta program for world+dog
Prerelease software now open to anyone, not just developers – as long as you keep quiet
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.