>Linux and Enterprise Architecture

>The Wall Street Journal, 17 October 2007 reports that Linux is “barely scrapping a single percentage point of the market share” for desktop users.

What is Linux? “Linux is the free operating system whole development is overseen by Mr. [Linus] Torvalds.” Linux is open source and is used at Google other major companies.

However, adoption by users to replace Windows at the desktop has been slow and neglible. Even Mr. Torvalds’ father and sister resist using his Linux creation!

People are continuing to pay hundreds of dollars for Microsoft Windows, instead of the free alternative, for a few reasons:

  1. Bundled with the PC—“For most consumers, Windows is ‘free,’ coming as it does [bundled] with their new PCs.”
  2. Philosophical heartburn, not!—“Typical consumer user has none of the philosophical objections to Windows of some members of the open-source community.”
  3. Net utility—“Windows works well enough that the difficulty involved in switching operating systems outweighs any sling and arrows of using it.”

Linux now comes bundled with other software like web browsers, word processors, and so on in a product called Ubuntu, into an “easy-to-install package.” However, one Ubunto’s main backers implies that it’s really not all that easy to install, as the backer states, “anyone can use it as a primary operating system, as long as they have a technically savvy friend to help with rough patches.”

Mr. Tovalds states “I’m a technical guy, so I tend to believe in the ‘if you build it, they will come’ motto.” However, from a User-centric EA perspective, we believe that business drives technology, and not technology for technology sake. So while Linux is a great option, it’s got to be a product that is truly business-driven. And to be a business-driven product, Linux must become a real alternative to the consumer so that is easy to install, user-friendly, secure, full featured, and responsive to future marketplace changes. Linux should not be selected for end-users or the enterprise based on philosophical discourses or subjective biases, but rather based on net utility.