Study: Lack Of App Support Stunting Linux - InformationWeek

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Study: Lack Of App Support Stunting Linux

Buyers want Linux versions of VPN clients, Adobe Systems' Photoshop and PageMaker, as well as Autodesk's AutoCAD and Intuit's Quicken financial software, according to an open-source organization's online survey.

Corporate adoption of Linux desktops is hindered by the inability to run Windows applications, the difficulty of installing and managing peripheral devices and the challenge of making users feel comfortable with the open-source operating system, a survey shows.

With desktop Linux remaining an anomaly in businesses, the Open Source Development Lab decided to identify technical and social barriers to its adoption. The number one inhibitor, according to an online survey in October that received 3,300 responses, was the lack of support for new and existing non-open source desktop applications and utilities.

The latter included such technologies as virtual private network clients, while examples of desired applications included Adobe Systems' Photoshop and PageMaker, as well as Autodesk's AutoCAD and Intuit's Quicken financial software.

"(In addition), Linux desktop must be able to fully run Windows applications easily and with full functionality," the OSDL report said, noting that installation would have to be as easy as loading software onto a PC or Mac.

On hardware support, respondents said there was a need to simplify the process for installing and managing peripherals. Also listed as necessities were USB support and easier networked printing. Devices that respondents believed had to be supported included personal digital assistants and personal storage devices.

Making end-users comfortable with the Linux interface was also listed as a necessity for boosting adoption, with some respondents suggesting that Linux should become more "Mac-like" in its installation and deployment process, the OSDL said.

E-mail and messaging applications were listed as the most critical to Linux desktop deployments. The remaining top five, in order, were office productivity tools, such as text documents, spreadsheets, presentations and databases; browsers, database applications, and developer tools.

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