Linux on the company desktop
IBM commissioned market research company Freeform Dynamics to conduct a study on companies' use of Linux as a desktop system. Researchers interviewed 1,275 IT professionals from the UK, US and other countries, 90 per cent of whom use Linux on their company desktops.
The key findings: The experience of the survey participants showed that Linux is not right for everyone. More than half of those interviewed said that migrating IT personnel – developers, administrators, and support staff – went off without a hitch. Another 40 per cent of participants said that users who perform general office tasks or work with business applications also migrate easily to Linux. The majority of those interviewed, however, saw very limited Linux migration potential among "power users" doing more demanding office work, highly mobile users and creative professionals.
In two-thirds of the companies surveyed, fewer than 20 per cent have work spaces equipped with Linux – even though more than half of those surveyed said that potentially 60 per cent of their desktop computers could be running Linux. While a mere 29 per cent of the interviewees currently used Linux for non-technical applications, they reported positive results. Respondents cited resistance within companies and among users, as well as unavailability of some applications, as obstacles to switching to Linux.
The main motivation for using Linux on desktops was the cost advantage of not having to pay licensing fees for the operating system and proprietary Windows applications, which could be replaced by open source alternatives, and less expensive hardware. The improved security and stability on Linux systems were also cited as reasons for switching to the operating system.
The complete results of the study are available for download.
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