I used to do a regular comedy bit on the Internet Nexus blog every year about the amazing number of articles that popped up every year declaring that, seriously, this was the year of desktop Linux. Obviously, it never happened. Perhaps equally obviously, it's never going to happen. But those Linux guys. They do need to hope, and something to write about. Here's the latest example. And it's not even January yet.
This survey helps support the recent Forrester study, which found that Linux is becoming a credible threat to Windows on the desktop. Indeed, another recent desktop operating system survey, by KACE, a systems management appliance company, found that more Windows users are considering migrating to Mac OS and/or Linux (44 percent) than to Vista (13 percent).
What the survey failed to point out, of course, is that several hundred million Windows users will, in fact, migrate to Vista, regardless of what they're apparently thinking. And I'm here to tell you that they'll be pretty psyched about it when they do. There's a lot of wishful thinking in this article, but I think the truly relevant bit is as follows. And I'd point out that these results were found in a survey that was specifically aimed at people actually using Linux on the desktop.
In those businesses and organizations that have deployed Linux desktops, 39.5 percent are running Linux on more than half of their machines. Even in Linux-oriented groups, Windows remains the single most popular desktop system, with 59.6 percent running on half or more of their desktops.
So there you go. You can talk about what people intend to do all you want. But what people really do is run Windows. Even in the so-called Linux shops. I'm sure that explains why the article is titled "Desktop Linux on the rise, Linux Foundation reports" instead of something more truthful like "Even Linux users use Windows."