Computer makers push device builders for Linux-compatible hardware
Posted by: Anonymous
on May 02, 2008 09:36 PM
I think this is a sign that corporations are starting to demand hardware from their suppliers with Linux on them and drivers for them. I've predicted that Linux will only move forward when corporations start to realize that making Bill Gates the richest guy in the world is not an effective use of their capital. For now, I suspect this is still mostly an underground movement at many corporations, but clearly the large OEMs have heard it and can see the writing on the wall. And since it takes time to port and test drivers, they're moving early to demand them.
Still, it will be a while before all the small peripheral companies who don't necessarily deal with the large OEMs to move over as well. There will still be a lot of consumer-oriented hardware that won't easily work with Linux for a while yet.
But the key is that once corporations see the benefits of Linux in the data center, they will decide that having open desktops that use the same standard protocols and APIs as the servers - as well as being more reliable, more secure, and easier to manage - is better than being locked in to a proprietary system. And when that happens - and they have OEMs who can supply them with desktops with certified drivers - Linux will begin its move onto the desktop.
This is opposite to the way Microsoft took over. Microsoft took over on the desktop first because it had no competition from expensive UNIX versions back in the day, then pushed into the server space as proprietary UNIX versions started to go out. Linux has to go the opposite direction because Microsoft already owns the desktop space. Linux has to win enough of the server space to make using Linux desktops desirable. And there's little doubt Linux can do that.