• United States

Organization forms to promote Linux desktops

Feb 10, 20032 mins
ComputersEnterprise ApplicationsLinux

* Linux Desktop Consortium

To help spur the adoption of Linux on desktops, several companies and vendor-neutral open source concerns recently banded together to form the Desktop Linux Consortium, or DLC.

The Consortium will be incorporated as a nonprofit association with the goal of increasing awareness of Linux as a desktop operating system through tradeshows, conferences and industry events.

Vendors and organizations involved in the DLC include: ArkLinux, CodeWeavers,,, KDE, Linux Professional Institute (LPI), Lycoris, The Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP), MandrakeSoft, NeTraverse,, Questnet (,, theKompany, SuSE, TransGaming Technologies, TrustCommerce, Xandros, and Ximian.

While Linux as a server operating system has become more of an industry standard instead of an anomaly in corporate networks, Linux desktop inroads have been more slight. With 26% of the server market, Linux trails only Windows as the top network operating system, according to IDC. While the research firm also predicts that Linux will surpass Apple as the second-leading desktop operating system, that’s not saying much, as Windows is currently on 93% of all PCs.

For so called “knowledge workers”- basically, people who use word-processing, e-mail, spreadsheets and small database applications – Windows and Microsoft Office are still king. But industry observers say that 80% of the programs used on corporate desktops – “knowledge worker” applications – could be done on open source platforms.

Linux as a user-interface appliance or kiosk system is one area that’s become hot recently, with retailers such as Sherman-Williams Paint and Burlington Coat Factory using Linux point-of-sale terminals in place of Windows-based PC cash registers. Some foreign governments, such as Germany and China, have standardized on desktop Linux as a cost-saving measure. But whether the new DLC can get Linux over that hump in U.S. enterprises remains to be seen.