• United States

Linux PC usage on the rise in SMBs

Sep 27, 20042 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsLinux

* Survey sees SMBs shifting from Windows to Linux

A recent survey of small and midsize businesses shows that Linux desktop usage is on the rise, and could grow to the double-digits over the next several years.

Research firm The Yankee Group recently surveyed 500 SMBs about their current desktop PC operating systems and their plans for the future. As expected over 93% said they used Windows operating systems, while only 1% were using Linux today. (The other 2% went to Mac and other operating systems.) 

The opportunity for Linux appears to be with companies struggling to squeeze the life out of their existing desktop PC software. Over a quarter of the companies surveyed said they still run Windows 98, or older PC operating systems, on most of their desktops. The survey found that most of the companies in this subset – almost two thirds – will migrate to a newer Windows platform in the coming months (either Windows 2000 or XP). However, Linux will be making some converts here. Over the next six to 12 months, as many as 5% of the companies surveyed said they would start running Linux desktops. Beyond 12 months, that number jumps to around 10%.

The Yankee Group says the SMB switch to Linux will be served mainly by large PC vendors, such as HP, IBM and Dell, which offer pre-installed Linux machines. But smaller PC supplies and integrators that cater to the SMB market will also have a window of opportunity, although small, to capture some SMB Windows-to-Linux converts.