The Linux Desktop Space is no Place to Concede -- OP/ED reallylinux.com
Linux Desktop Space is no Place to Concede
by Walter V. Koenning for the OPINION/EDITORIAL section on reallylinux.com.
In this op/ed article, Walter offers a reply to an earlier article by Andrea that Linux on the desktop is going away.
The argument goes something to the affect that "since
there is a movement towards enabling more devices at work and schools, the
desktop no longer really matters."
I understand my colleague Andrea's passion for mobile
devices and social media, but her conclusions seem seriously flawed. The
reason I am writing this article is to ensure people understand the great value
of Linux on the Desktop.
I sit here typing on a full sized keyboard in front of my
28 inch wide screen LCD, and it is impossible to ignore the other twenty
workstations around me.
The desktop is not going to disappear suddenly because
there is a movement to include mobile devices. On the contrary, I see years in
which a business will adopt a multitude of new devices, and the infrastructure
needed to make them all work coherently.
I do not see desktops being pulled
out of the office space, thrown into a dumpster and replaced with a tablet.
Imagine the uproar if the staff here walked in next week
and found tablets. I guess we could get our Facebook pages made easily, but
not much else would be completed.
In defence of Andrea's well-meaning but seriously flawed
report (Say Goodbye to Linux on the Desktop), she probably based her
conclusions on several demos we watched at a trade show.
In one demo, an Android based smartphone was slowly moved
closer to a desk where blue tooth enabled devices (mouse, keyboard, LCD and
printer) automatically sync'ed and activated as the smartphone approached.
What the demo showed is that eventually, yes even I can see the writing on the
wall, eventually our smartphones will be powerful enough to basically serve as
the CPU for "desktop" applications.
Ubuntu already promotes this premise with the "Ubuntu on
Android" where a smartphone now also offers you a full desktop experience. See
Ubuntu for Android.
But I must add, this grand day where smartphones replace
the desktop CPU and talk to all the devices seamlessly is not appearing any
time soon. In the meantime there are thousands upon thousands of institutions,
government offices, businesses that will still require workstations that can
handle desktop applications like OpenOffice.
there are thousands upon thousands of institutions,
government offices, businesses that will still require workstations
Granted, the numbers are diminishing as some office staff
are loosened to use tablets and smartphones. But for the majority of us, I may
add that actually have a lot of computer work to do, we still need our trusty
desktops. If not for the productivity, then for the shear fact they are
already sitting here in front of us and no one is going to throw out perfectly
Submitting this premise then, I can go on to say that
Linux on the Desktop, yes the workstation we all keep declaring is dead, is an
essential and important part of the future.
I offer that in the next few years, as Microsoft places
itself in a precarious place with its own Windows offering focused around
mobile devices, the desktop space will open wider for Linux use and open source
applications. In fact, I propose that right now the desktop space is a perfect
place to see Linux expansion as there are so many new advantages, with Google
Apps, and cloud solutions only making the option to leave Microsoft Windows and
entertain the benefits of Linux a greater reality.
Linux on the desktop is therefore essential and unequivocally
a vital facet of our community's growth, no matter how much the "devices" world
To Andrea and the lot who think the desktop is going the
way of the dodo bird, I offer:
Linux desktop market is growing, not declining.
people work in environments with workstations that are not going to be replaced
by tablets or a smartphone – at least not for a long time.
massive expansion of Open Source Software makes the value proposition to move a
desktop to Linux greater not less.
and a plethora of other distros are already seeing the advantage of being
available across platforms, not isolating to specific platforms.
are not the replacement tool for anything, they are an adjunct tool.
are still tied to a core telephony role and thereby costs associated with their
purchase, integration and maintenance are currently higher than many desktop
more platforms Linux is used on, the better for everyone.
I hope this settles the often ridiculous debate about
desktops and Linux's future. It looks bright, desktops are not going away and
I for one will not let go of this workstation running Linux unless it is pried
from my cold dead hands.
Walter V. Koenning is a technology writer and provides insights regarding industry trends. He contributes on occasion to the OPINION/EDITORIAL segments.
This brief opinion piece should not be construed as factual information, and only contains the opinions and personal experiences of the author at the time of publication. Reallylinux.com could not find information in this article that at the time of publication was inaccurate. However, the opinions and personal experiences that have been posted do not express the opinions of Reallylinux.com and are NOT endorsed in any way. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Microsoft and Microsoft Windows are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation both in the United States and Internationally. All other trademarks or registered trademarks in this opinion piece belong to their respective owners.