Linux Desktop Reviews, Part I

While there is really no question that Xandros kicks butt in the home user front, are they ready for the office space? I think so overall. Not only does this review appear to reflect this, but they just loved the OS over all. As for support, I have never really had problem in this area.

Last spring, a public relations firm contacted me for assistance in helping them find qualified journalists to review a Linux desktop product. While discussing the tasks involved, the publicist expressed frustration with reviewers in general and especially those that “test” Linux. Even a publication with its own laboratory, such as GCN, lacks the ability to deploy operating systems in a live environment and extract enough experience to inform its readers if a platform or application will play.

Some of the limitations we experienced working with journalists included attempts to install Linux on broken equipment, on old and outdated laptops or into a Windows environment without something such as VMware. Others attempted to dual boot the system on a laptop without partition space. Of course, many reviewers turned the press kits over to their IT departments. The IT people in turn gave opinions that indicated to me that they either didn’t try to install the software or had trouble and gave up.

Given my experience with reviewers, I have to give GCN high marks for its work on Linux. Although I agree with some of their conclusions, I do not agree with their final one: “Ultimately, we decided we weren’t ready for the long, uphill struggle that migrating to a new desktop OS would entail.” GCN mistook a mild bump in the road for a hill. [Read the rest]