OSDL Unveils Desktop Linux Working Group

As expected, the Open Source Development Labs this week launched a consortium aimed at acclerating the use of Linux on the desktop.

January 20, 2004

2 Min Read
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As expected, the Open Source Development Labs this week launched a consortium aimed at acclerating the use of Linux on the desktop. The new Desktop Linux Working Group, which was formally announced on Tuesday as LinuxWorld Expo gets unde rway in New York, will offer desktop usage models and recommendations to promote adoption of the open-source operating system on the desktop, the OSDL said.

The group's objectives were developed by representatives from freedesktop.org, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Novell, OSDL, Red Hat and Sun Microsystems, according to the OSDL.

The OSDL employs Linus Torvalds, the father and lead developer of the Linux kernel. While most other kernel releases have focused on enterprise server improvements, Torvalds and the kernel team placed an increased emphasis on integrating desktop enhancements in the recently released Linux 2.6 kernel.

The desktop initiative joins the OSDL's existing Data Center Linux (DCL) and Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) working groups, the OSDL said.

Several mainstream vendors including Sun, SUSE and Red Hat are vying for leadership in the nascent desktop Linux market. Research firm IDC estimates, for instance, that nearly 3 percent of new desktop units shipped today run Linux.While Microsoft's Windows and Office desktop duo still holds more than 95 percent share of the desktop market, several government agencies and some corporate customers in the United States, Europe, Japan and China are looking at Linux as a desktop alternative, the OSDL claims.

While some scoff at Linux's chances of competing with Microsoft on the desktop, at least one analyst was upbeat that desktop usage models would help drive use.

"IDC is seeing increasing interest in Linux as a client operating environment," said Dan Kusnetzky, vice president of IDC's System Software research group, in a statement issued with the news of the OSDL desktop initiiative. "IDC believes that common templates and frameworks, allowing all suppliers to develop compatible products, would accelerate the adoption cycle for Linux as a client operating environment."

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