Leigh Day, a spokeswoman for Red Hat Inc., isnt as boisterous as the other Linux leaders, but she does believe " the Red Hat model is unique and beneficial to customers in that the latest mature version features are made available as part of an ongoing subscription. The open-source model centers on rapid innovation, not holding important technology for large releases," she said. "Customers have taken notice of the Red Hat Desktop as an alternative" to Windows, Day added.But are the Linux vendors just whistling in the dark? Can Linux on the desktop catch up with Windows? Michael Dortch, the Robert Frances Groups principal business analyst, believes that Linux is going to get its shot. "Anything that further delays or hobbles Longhorn, or further confuses users and IT executives about the future of Windows, creates more opportunities for effective, economical alternatives that appear more stable and less confusing," said Dortch. "Such delays and challenges also give Linux desktop solution developers more time and incentive to strengthen their offerings, especially their interoperability with incumbent environments and resources," he said. "Growing numbers of enterprise users are already exploring or running Linux and open-source client software alternatives to Windows effectively in Windows-centric environments, and are experiencing fewer and fewer compatibility challenges." In addition, Dortch commented, "the power and flexibility of Linux-based client systems are increasing, as most recently demonstrated by offerings such as the Cluster Workstations announced this week by Orion Multisystems Inc. The longer Longhorn languishes, the greater the abilities of Linux and open-source solutions to offer alternatives that deliver on and exceed the promises of Longhorn." Check out eWEEK.coms Linux & Open Source Center for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
Is Linux really a contender against Longhorn? Read two differing views.