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01/02/2004 Archived Entry: "The Year of Desktop Linux"

The techie comic strip User Friendly offers a Rorschach political comment for the new year (read into it what you will). And it's about nine days late, but here's The Night Before Christmas as a lawyer would write it.

Everyone is busy making predictions for 2004. The most speculative prediction I've read envisions Microsoft surviving as a Linux distributor. I'm amused to see the author explore the Edison/Tesla parallel -- first articulated by Wendy, almost four years ago today -- and carry it to the next step.

I'll make only one prediction, and it's a backwards prediction at that: 2003 was the year of desktop Linux ...and in 2004 it will finally be noticed. I started out the year with Red Hat 8.0, and in the last twelve months I've seen Lindows 3.0 and 4.0, Xandros 1.0 and 2.0, Knoppix 3.0, and I haven't found time to check out SuSE 9.0, Mandrake 9.2, or Lycoris. You can now buy Linux PCs from Wal-Mart.

Andrew Grygus of Automation Access summed up the implications nicely, two months ago:

What it means is that you'll have a whole lot more choices about how you structure your information systems, and you'll probably have to structure them in a much more flexible way to accommodate customers and vendors who have chosen to do it differently.

I realize many of you are not happy about having more choices, and more risk of making the wrong choice, but Microsoft isn't happy about its fading dreams of World Domination either.

Here's to choice in computing for 2004!


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