Could Linux become an "Outlook killer?"

A News.com reader writes in to point out that Linux is growing in popularity with businesses. Are we ready for a desktop Linux, too?

In response to the Oct. 25 Perspectives column by Charles Cooper, "Mitch Kapor's impossible dream":

May I equally, and gently, present some evidence for an alternative--or optimistic--outcome?

The Linux world combines hobbyists, utilitarian computer users and potential commercial developers. To an increasing extent, the Linux world is encompassing enterprise deployments. Though Sun Microsystems' Jonathan Schwartz (executive vice president for software), dismisses enterprise Linux deployments as merely recycling written-off computer hardware, numerous deployments by major international financial houses downplay that simplistic, self-interested dismissal.

The point? There's great interest in Linux e-mail servers at ISPs and in enterprise-scale deployments. Pick any impressive number you wish for the penetration of Apache Web servers. Doesn't it make sense that this server-side interest will be paralleled by client-side, "Outlook killer" deployments? In fact, as you know, every Linux desktop distribution contains some form of an e-mail client/scheduler.

A perfectly reasonable hypothesis is that open-source software may penetrate both the individual and the corporate desktop. If open-source software gains desktop space, then the open-source "Outlook killer" will be most welcome.

Evan Wilner
Wilmington, Del.