Windows 7 is coming out. Linux has a fwe new offerings including Ubuntu 9.04, Red Hat, and Suse. Mac has Snow Leopard due out soon. Many choices, yet some work well in the enterprise, and some don’t. Why not, and how can some of these become better for the enterprise? Lets take a look.
Mac’s are probably the worst offender for not playing nice in the enterprise, especially for a SBS office. Mac’s would be a perfect fit for SBS if the software that most SBS offices use was made for Mac. Costs of Mac’s is also prohibitive for an SBS environment, not to mention the more difficult time of setup and connectivity for Mac’s to an SBS server. Mac’s just work, but that is really only true in a consumer environment. while Mac’s are great for video and audio work, Linux and Windows have gotten better at being able to handle this stuff, and could eventually chip away at Mac’s stronghold here.
Linux in the enterprise is a great hing, but it tends to be back end mostly. Yes the desktop is becoming more and more user friendly, but unfortunately one of the biggest barriers in the Linux Community. They tend to look down at non-technical people, and when someone is starting to learn, there is a lot of snark that gets received that can turn people off to Linux. Compatibility with Windows programs has gotten much better, and there is a lot of software available for Linux. Major Software vendors still are not producing their software en mass for it, but with adoption of Linux as a desktop environment, it would happen much easier than with Mac’s due to the open source nature of Linux. The other problem with Linux is the multiple versions out there and the fact that there is tweaking at times needed for each version.
Windows is the de facto champion in the enterprise. The whole small business offering, the fact that they make both front and back end with single management tools, and that most people are familiar with the OS will keep Windows in this position for a while still. Unless a killer app comes out for Linux or Mac, Windows only has to worry about the long term and not the short term. Can the others chip away at Windows domination of the enterprise? Yes, but to overtake Windows is decades still to come without a killer, must have app that is only available on Mac or Linux.