Reacting to the announcement that Dell will probably pre-load Linux on PCs, blogger Thilak asks a question Linux users have asked for over a decade:
“Why pay for Windows when you don’t need it?”
Thilak is a teenage computer enthusiast who already knows the score. He and thousands of others, including myself, have enjoyed hours of bliss removing Windows from a PC and then installing Linux. We know that that process alone presents a major obstacle to any IT manager considering moving to Linux desktops.
Then, of course, comes the decision of what to load on Linux desktops once Microsoft and its bevy of apps are gone. The joy of Microsoft is also its drawback: The choices are made for you.
Dell is already suffering the fate of others who commit to Linux desktops: the freedom to choose compels one to make a choice. While the company has been loading Red Hat Linux on its workstations, indications are that Dell will go with a limited release of Novell’s SUSE Linux on desktop machines. Hmm. Did the Microsoft connection push Dell in that direction?
Once Dell starts preloading Linux, the next logical step is to preload applications. There, things get really tricky. Bloggers are already debating about
whether OpenOffice 2.0 should be Dell’s office suite choice when Web-based apps may do just as well. Others, such as open source evangelist Gary Edwards, as quoted on The 360 blog think that Google should connect its Web apps “with Openoffice.org applications more completely.”
I think the parade has passed by Linux/OpenOffice’s opportunity in business desktop setting Virtual desktops will solve many more problems and make application and platform choices easier. Do you agree? Or, will preloaded Linux on Dell (or other) desktops be a good choice for your business?