Commentary: the Linux Foundation and the future of Linux
Posted by: Anonymous
on April 14, 2008 08:39 PM
Desktop adoption is small compared to what's going on at ISP's, corporate server rooms and universities, especially when you consider the amount of programming effort devoted to linux on servers as opposed to time devoted to the electronic ouija boards(aka windowing systems).
Why? There's no profit model for end users. Most users expect a free OS and don't want to pay for support. Linspire is showing signs of struggling (http://kevincarmony.blogspot.com/2008/04/why-wont-linspire-inc-hold-shareholders.html) and Ubuntu's revenue model is based on, you guessed it, server room penetration. Try to find Linspires annual report. You can't... They aren't publicly traded so are not required to publish one. I bet it's not pretty. Kevin Carmony is a shareholder and very concerned they are stiffing the shareholders on the annual report.
You can't make money on end users unless you are an >ahem< monopoly and they think that's all there is. Servers, on the other hand, make revenue models possible and corporations often pay for very lucrative support contracts which float companies like redhat, Novell etc. Give users a choice of free or MS and they'll often take free. Make them pay and they'll stick with what they know.
The server room is where the money is. While not an ideal situation for normal users, it's not *that* hard to understand that you can't run a company on air and good will. I'm pretty happy to have a viable free desktop OS. You should be too. I was pretty happy with it in 1998.