Linux in Small Business Update

I’m writing this entry on OpenOffice 2.3 running on used Dell PC running Ubuntu 7.10 Linux. I started using OpenOffice for all my writing about two years ago. Since I told people OpenOffice did everything Microsoft Office did, but was available free, I decided I should walk that walk so I could continute to talk that talk. After telling people Linux was a great way to get a reliable PC for free or next to nothing, and avoid much of the the security hassle of Microsoft Windows, I converted to doing the majority of my work on this Ubuntu box six months ago.

Since I recommend Linux and Open Source options in articles, newsletters, and speeches, I’m glad to see LinuxWorld reports some better uptake of Linux in the small and medium business segment (Linux for the SMB Market: Slow? Steady? Both?)

The article is a bit long on typical Linux fan hype (“Open Source is Borg of the IT world: resistance is futile”) and short on real details from real customers and resellers. I would love LinuxWorld to do a series of short case studies about companies moving to Linux rather than Vista. I’m not talking about the rare company that goes completely Linux and Open Source, but about companies that are finally upgrading from Windows 2000 and move to 80 percent Linux systems and 20 percent Windows rather than all Windows. Heck, I’d like to hear about companies going half and half Linux and Windows.

I’m sad to see none of the Linux vendors have been able to leverage the disappointment in Vista into noticeably more Linux sales. The Linux world won’t get another opportunity this good until the next Windows operating system. Let’s hope the Linux groups are more ready then.

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