Linux is still not ready for widescale deployment on the desktop, according to analyst firm Gartner.
The warning came in a briefing paper responding to last month's announcements that Novell and Hewlett-Packard will begin shipping desktop PCs and notebooks with Novell's SuSE Linux Professional 9.1 operating system.
Gartner said, "Linux can be adopted now by mainstream enterprises for users performing specific, limited tasks."
However, it said that adoption for general use by knowledge workers would continue to be hampered by high migration costs and the inability to run legacy Windows 32 applications.
The analyst firm also highlighted ongoing compatibility issues inherent in exchanging data between applications such as Microsoft Office and open source alternatives such as Staroffice and Openoffice.
- US supermarket giant Wal-Mart is selling PCs using Sun's Java desktop system, which is based on the SuSE Linux distribution of the open source operating system. It also features Staroffice and the Mozilla web browser.