Most of the pieces of the puzzle required for Linux to take its place on the desktops in large organizations are in place; indeed, they have been for some time now.
The majority of users in the majority of organizations use their computers for a relatively limited range of functions, almost entirely confined to e-mail, web browsing, word processing, and spreadsheets. Native Linux applications for all these are available and equivalent in functionality to the Microsoft equivalents. For example:
■ Evolution, which has a look and feel similar to Microsoft Outlook, is a very capable e-mail client. Evolution is able to connect to Microsoft Exchange mail servers, an essential capability for a desktop mail client in many large enterprises during the period of transition.
■ OpenOffice.org can read and write to Microsoft Office file formats with a high degree of fidelity in terms of formatting.
■ As web browsers, Firefox and Konqueror provide a better user experience and better security than Microsoft Internet Explorer.
So for the core office functionality, Linux on the desktop has everything that it needs. The problems lie with the more unusual or stubborn applications.
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