Linux is now officially ready for the desktop, and you all have permission to stop buying Windows client systems and buy Linux ones instead. From, we presume, IBM and its friends, seeing it's IBM that has this week given its approval. IBM has previously been noted both for its readiness to sell Linux on its own very wonderful servers and its cautionary advice that Linux is not ready for the desktop. On Monday, however, Sam Docknevich of IBM Global Services said that Linux is ready to "blossom" on the desktop.
The shock announcement was perhaps just the teensiest bit predictable, given that Docknevich was speaking at the first Desktop Linux Consortium Conference, and that his talk was entitled "The Time is Now for Linux on the Desktop." Not much likelihood of your getting tarred and feathered under those circumstances then, Sam.
But you could note that Docknevich was perhaps not so much announcing the general readiness of Linux for the desktop as announcing IBM Global Services' imminent readiness for taking your money in order to support Linux on the desktop.
But aside from that, Linux must obviously have matured in some way that has given it enhanced desktopability over the last year to 18 months. It obviously couldn't have been SuSE's desktop system, or Red Hat's, because we feel sure IBM would have said something at the time if that were the case. Sun coming over all ecstatic and threatening to invade Redmond, then? Nope, that was September, it's November already, IBM would surely have said something.
We just can't put our fingers on it. But it's good to know Linux desktops are OK after all, and it's certainly comforting to buy them, secure in the knowledge that we can now be supported by IBM Global Services. ®