Well, now. This is interesting: A study of corporate Linux adoption polling 1,275 IT professionals says:
Linux desktop roll out is easier than expected for properly targeted end-user groups
Those with experience are much more likely to regard non-technical users as primary targets for Linux. The message here is that in practice, Linux is easier to deploy to end users than many imagine before they try it.
It’s become fashionable lately to be pessimistic about Linux’s future on the desktop, but I have to say this matches my experience pretty well. The handful of Ubuntu deployments I’ve done in the last couple years for end-users have indeed been easier than one might have expected.
The study further notes that most respondents have only deployed Linux to approximately 20% of their users, so the pressure on Microsoft is likely to increase as planned rollouts shift a cohort of the userbase literally 5 times larger than today’s. The study also notes “Desktop Linux adoption is primarily driven by cost reduction”, which is especially interesting given our second news item…
Here it is: Linux to regain 50% market share. And cost reduction is what the oncoming shift to low-power ARM processors in netbooks is about, a move that will lock Windows 7 out of the fastest-growing segment of the hardware market.
All this perfectly fits the prediction I made in January that Linux would regain netbook market share from Windows as purchasers seek out small, cheap, light machines and netbook makers drop Windows in order to claw back profit margin. Microsoft can delay the latter trend only by kicking back what would otherwise be profits to the netbook makers…and when your earnings are dropping for the first time ever it is a very bad time to be giving up profits. As ARM chips displace Intel processors, even the bribery option won’t keep Microsoft from hemhorraging market share.
When the final collapse of the monopoly happens, it’s going to happen fast…