Open Source Development Labs is a consortium dedicated to accelerating the adoption of Linux. The group said its initiative was created in response to its member companies and groups concerns surrounding desktop Linux. OSDLs goal is to create a forum where a range of desktop usage models can be studied. The initiative will also offer recommendations on improvements to encourage broader adoption of Linux.
Recently, Linux desktops have jumped into popularity, with many small companies, such as Xandros Corp., launching business desktops at LinuxWorld. In addition, independent open-source developers, including Bruce Perens with UserLinux, are also devoting their time to create enterprise-class desktop Linux distributions.
However, unlike Perenss Gnome-based efforts, where the effort is to create a Linux desktop, the Desktop Linux Working Groups charter is to work with the open-source community to identify a broad set of Linux desktop models. Once that is done, the working group will develop specifications and deliver reference implementations.
Stuart Cohen, CEO of OSDL, said, "This working group has the interest and full support of our members, OSDL is uniquely positioned to accelerate the existing momentum behind innovative uses of Linux on the desktop by marshalling the resources and expertise of our members together with the Linux community."
At the same time, large companies are also making desktop Linux plans. Novell Inc. this week will announce a corporate Linux desktop distribution, as will Red Hat plans to launch an enterprise level desktop.
Analysts said the use of Linux on the desktop is booming around the world. According to Framingham, Mass.-based market-research firm International Data Corp., paid shipments of Linux rose to 2.8 percent of desktop operating systems in 2002, up from 1.7 percent two years earlier. In 2004, it is expected to surpass the total new product shipments for the Mac OS.
"IDC is seeing increasing interest in Linux as a client operating environment," said Dan Kusnetzky, vice president of IDCs System Software research group. "Common templates and frameworks, allowing all suppliers to develop compatible products, would accelerate the adoption cycle for Linux as a client operating environment."
The overall working group objectives were developed by an exploratory committee with representatives from freedesktop.org, Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM, Intel Corp., Novell Inc., Red Hat Inc. and Sun Microsystems as well as the OSDL.