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Is there really hope for widespread adoption of Linux on the desktop?

Is there really hope for widespread adoption of Linux on the desktop without Microsoft Office?

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I would say this depends on the success or failure of a competing open source product. Open office is a great product; I have used it and in many ways I prefer its word processor to Word. Unfortunately, it has not been publicized as a real alternative to Word in the same way that Linux has been published as a real alternative to Windows.

Because of this, the product is no real threat to Microsoft. I would say that the only way that there can be widespread adoption on the desktop without Office, is for some other company to take this product (or a similar one) and spend enough money on it to try to compete with Office. While the corporate world may use Linux in the server room, it will not let it near its desktop user base without a desktop product that makes users feel as comfortable as Office. That is the reality (as unfortunate as that may sound to us in the industry) regardless of how good a Linux desktop OS either Red-Hat or Novell comes up with.

This was first published in July 2005

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