It seems to me that Linux lacks some of the required components to make it a considerable option for a lot of businesses.
I will make no secret of the fact that I am Australian, and my opinions and experience is somewhat bias towards australian conditions.
I am currently working with a company to help implement some management systems, as well as give them an online presence. The staff have often inquired about the weird OS and software on my laptop, and I have explained a bit about Linux to them. Most of them seem very interested, and after all what business doesn't want to save money on software?
Are they using it? No..
- The management won't use it because they think openoffice looks old and crappy and where is Outlook
- The accountant wont use it because MYOB or Quickbooks wont run on it
- The rest mostly complained about not having iTunes to sync and backup their iPhones
It may be a lot to do with perception, but I can't help but feeling sympathetic to the situation of the accountant. He has used MYOB or Quickbooks for a long time as they are the most popular accounting systems in Australia. He knows them, he understands them. I might be able to find a decent Linux based accounting system, but it would take too long for him to learn to use it.. etc etc
I am aware that it is a catch 22 situation, MYOB or Reckon won't build Linux versions unless there is enough market, yet there won't ever be enough market until applications like this can be used by these people on the Linux platform.
I for one struggle every time I go back to using a windows computer for anything more than the occasional game and I think Linux is great. I think there needs to be some attention given to the markets that currently are not really supported (Business and Gaming).
Apple have really given Linux a kick in the gonads with the iPhone/iPod and the fact that iTunes only runs on Mac and Windows. It really removes the viability of Linux for a lot of people who have these devices.
I get excited to hear news of Linux Steam Clients, even if it is only strings outputs. It gives me hope that one day soon I will be able to get rid of Windows altogether and play the games I like on Linux.
I would be just as excited to hear news of any commercial/free software being made available to Linux, especially if it makes the Linux platform more attractive to 'Business users' needs and the 'Average iPhone having users' needs.
I would like to know peoples opinions on how Linux fits for business use and if anyone is coming across the same sorts of issues as I am.