☝ Will mobile devices trigger the year of the Linux desktop?

The enterprise IT world is coming to grips with a new buzz-TLA; “BYOD”. It stands for Bring Your Own Device and considers the way employees are bringing their own laptops, tables and smart-phones to work and using them in the overlap of life and work. There’s a growing industry of companies who want to help you stop it, cripple it, or control it.

My experiences at Sun Microsystems suggest BYOD is an opportunity waiting to be grasped for enterprise IT executives — a move to management by standards rather than centrally purchased company desktops. It means selecting a basket of server-supported standard capabilities (IMAP, LDAP, PDF, HTML5, ODF, and so on) and telling people that anything that works securely with those standards is acceptable. It also offers the prospect of letting people use open source software that works with those standards, rather than having to buy everyone the same expensive proprietary software and instantly-depreciating hardware, then manage them expensively until they are legacy systems.

You can read my thoughts on this phenomenon – and its potential impact on open source on the desktop – on InfoWorld today.

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2 Responses

  1. No, mobile has killed the linux desktop:
    http://blog.javacorner.net/2012/03/year-of-linux-desktop-will-never-come.html (and I wrote that as a big linux user and lover)

    • I think we may be saying the same thing 🙂 I don’t think we’re likely to see a corporate Linux desktop, but we may well see an uptick in open source software usage by corporate BYOD users who want to avoid the licensing nightmare that is proprietary software. As long as their employers are smart enough to work out that software freedom means being free to use the software without condition and aren’t deceived into thinking end-user adoption of open source is somehow “risky”.

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