Yes, you read that correctly: Servers to Gadgets to Desktop. It seems that Linux Operating System expansion will occur in that order. First, Linux was in the Data Center booting Apache to the top spot for worldwide web services. Next, Linux was found on gadgets as small as cell phones, wristwatches, and microservers. Finally, Linux will hit the Desktop.
Why is the Desktop the final destination for Linux? It is the one place that seems unconquerable.
Bob Sutor, IBM's Vice President of Open Source and Standards, had the following to say at the LinuxWorld Conference in San Francisco in his KeyNote Address:
What desktop Linux needs is "some really good designers," Sutor said. "Stop copying 2001 Windows. That's not where the usability action is."
Trying to compete with Windows, by becoming Windows, is the wrong direction to go. Linux needs to diverge from a Windows-like interface to its very own more efficient and clever way to work with the Operating System. I know I just posted Got XP? but that is just for those making the transition from Windows to Linux. At some point the Linux desktop must go in a new direction and users will follow.
As Bob Sutor also said in that speech, "Linux developers can improve Desktop Linux taking a page from Apple's playbook." Apple has never looked to Windows as a competitor mainly because the Apple OS was first with its cute graphical interface that won over a world of users. Someone once said that Windows 95 was Apple 85 and Microsoft has been desperately trying to narrow the gap ever since.
Come on Linux Desktop Developers, hitch your wagon to a real star for a change. If you're going to copy someone, copy the Mac. It may be better, though, to be creative enough to create a new star.