August 20, 2014
 
 
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Linux in the Enterprise Closer Than You Think - page 4

Meeting the Enterprise

  • December 12, 2002
  • By Brian Proffitt

You may have noticed a theme in all of the needs that were raised by the attendees of the conference--they are needs that already have solutions of a sort.

Applications and drivers are being built, standards are already here, and education (at least on the formal side) is coming along rather nicely.

So what is the problem?

It is, as usual, perception.

Linux is perceived as being too hard. Too decentralized. Too (fill in the FUD here). Both Russell Pavlicek and John "maddog" Hall both gave good talks on this at the ELF. The message about Linux has too long been hidden by misinformation or faulty data.

The problems that Linux used to have are still being perpetuated as gospel by the uninformed. And, without curbs from those who do know the right answers, these messages are heard by a willing public.

On the way home from the conference, I arrived early at Logan Airport and settled into my gate for a long wait, which was fine by me, since I had an article to write. I opened up my iBook and booted up SuSE to get some writing done. There is a problem with iBooks--they have that silly glowing apple that attracts too much attention.

Sure enough, a businessman sitting across from me noticed it and asked me how I liked the new OS X.

"It's okay," I replied, "but I'm running Linux on this now."

Whereupon I had a (decidedly one-way) discussion with a guy on his way to Allentown, Pennsylvania about everything that was wrong with Linux. It was all stuff that he'd heard around the office from his IT crew or from watching CNN.

He was a fast-talker, so it was difficult to get a word in early in the discussion. Eventually, I was able to show him the desktop and explain to him all the things I could do with Linux. He came away more than a little surprised. After all, here I was, actually using the thing without any concessions to quality of work.

Linux users see this all of the time. Someone does not know about Linux and assumes the worst is true about it. Until they actually see it in action.

And that's what Linux needs to get in the enterprise: it needs to be seen. The message needs to be heard.

Now that that process has begun, it's only a matter of time.

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