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November 29, 2005

OSDL highlights desktop Linux adoption drivers

End-user demand and competitive pressures are the biggest drivers behind the adoption of Linux on the desktop, according to a new survey by the Open Source Develop Labs's Desktop Linux Working Group.

By CBR Staff Writer

The survey indicated that user demand and competitors deploying Linux were the top reasons for deploying Linux on the desktop, ahead of total cost of ownership, reducing licensing costs, and security.

The survey was carried out with 3,300 respondents in October, and is unusual in that 50% of respondents had already deployed Linux, so it is perhaps better regarded as an indication as to what has driven early adopters to the open source operating system.

Just under a third (31%) of the respondents classed themselves as developers, which also perhaps helps to explain why end-user demand figured so highly. The OSDL was pleasantly surprised by the importance of competitive pressures, noting that it indicates organizations are not wanting to get left behind.

The survey also found that email was listed as the most critical application to Linux desktop deployments, ahead of office productivity, browser, database applications, and development tools, while a lack of application support was listed as the biggest inhibitor.

In particular the survey found that application support must be available for non-open source desktop applications and utilities, were peripheral support and end user training were also listed as inhibitors, followed by hardware support, web content problems, the ability to run Windows applications, and ease of use and installation.

The survey findings will be discussed by open source desktop software specialists during the OSDL’s Desktop Architects Meeting. The meeting is designed to set strategic directions and standards for desktop Linux developments.

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