Is desktop Linux a good place to start with open source?

I've seen a lot of discussion about Linux on the desktop. Is that a good place for our organization to get started with open source?
We recommend to our clients that they select something other than desktop Linux as their first foray into open source. There is a lot of learning that goes on when you begin to work with open source. Compounding that organizational learning with the challenge of rolling out a new operating system to technically less-capable users is a recipe for disaster.

We suggest that organizations start with a bounded project that only IT employees are involved in creating, which can be browser-accessible. That way, the most technically astute employees are involved at first in learning about open source. Once a good knowledgebase is built in IT, more ambitious projects can be implemented. An internal portal project is an excellent candidate for a first project.

This was last published in November 2004

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