The Boston Globe’s Hiawatha Bray suggests that
Mac OS X’s real threat to corporate computing is more to Linux than Windows, Apple’s “Switch” ad campaign notwithstanding. His comments come in a look at Red Hat Inc.’s latest iteration of Red Hat Linux, version 8.
Linux may have gained ground in the server market but not in the desktop space, “partly because it’s notoriously difficult to use,” said Bray. Mac OS X, on the other hand, “is Unix, but with Apple’s elegant user interface bolted on.” This has caused scientists at NASA and elsewhere to abandon their Unix workstations in favor of Mac OS X.
Red Hat Linux 8 sports dramatically easier set up than previous versions, he noted. And Linux desktop software, productivity applications, Internet tools and other software “can handle about 95 percent of the average user’s needs,” said Bray.
Improvements regardless, Red Hat Linux “is still a ragbag of code” combining efforts from amateurs and pros together — evident in the end result, Bray posited. He cited problems getting a Handspring PDA to synchronize its data properly and the lack of adequate support from Red Hat itself as an example.
Regardless, there’s still one big advantage that Red Hat Linux 8 has over the Mac, said Bray: “Moving to Mac would require installing a lot of new computers, while Linux will run on any late-model PC. Which means that, in the elephantine struggle between PC and Mac, Linux still has a fighting chance.”