Report predicts Linux surge in corporate desktops

— 12:00 AM on August 18, 2003

Siemens Business Systems is predicting that Linux will garner 20% of the corporate desktop market within five years. The claim is based on the results of extensive real world testing with non-technical users who could be just as productive on a Linux desktop, but at a lower cost:

McNutt went on to say that Ximian's suite -- consisting of a Gnome-based Linux desktop, Evolution mail and calendar app, a tweaked OpenOffice suite, and Red Carpet admin tools -- can be deployed in very large enterprises at lower cost and with no greater disruption than a Windows upgrade, and with significant savings going forward. McNutt says that Linux will save 20% to 30% in administration costs, 50% in hardware costs, and 80% in licensing fees.
I'm a little skeptical that corporations will be able to save 50% on desktop hardware just from switching to Linux, but no one can deny the administration and licensing savings. The big kicker, however, will be how seamlessly an organization can transition to Linux without losing productivity or application and data compatibility.

Though the report suggests that larger corporations can more easily transition to Linux, I wonder if smaller organizations might actually have an easier time making the switch. Smaller companies with fewer systems and employees should be more agile and perhaps even more motivated to cut costs than larger corporations.

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