Is support from companies like Skype an issue for Corporate America?

I ran into this article on consected.com where the author who is mostly irritated with the folks at Skype for their anemic support of their Linux client.  If you look at the comments several people make great counter points about the fact that the only thing really missing in the Linux client is the updated user interface changes.  So the real question to me while reading it was or should really be does this type of support really hurt Linux adoption in the corporate world?

My opinion is that it really doesn't.  The problem with the theory is that companies stay on the latest version of software they use.  The reality is that I have rarely been in a corporate environment that was using completely current software that was less than one version behind or a year old.  This is most often caused by the fact that their is effort by the IT department to make sure all the software you put together actually works together.  The bigger the company the larger the diversity you need to use.  The reality is that everyone just wants their laptops to work.  They really don't care if it's the latest and greatest.  Business users have a job to do.  All to often IT teams forget that.  Either they want to use the latest version becuase of a cool new feature or they just know the next patch for Windows will fix all the issues of the current version.  When you don't take the users into account you miss the little things.  For instance that the accounting groups key software may not work with the latest version Windows until the company builds the patch.  So in the end Linux isn't being adopted for the desktop is becuase the staff at most companies are not ready to support it not that it's not ready to be supported.

 

This was what we thought.  What do you think of the thesis or my comments?  Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.

Brian Wagner

Brian started working with *nix in while a student at Kent State University in the early 90's. In 1995, as an E-Mail Administrator for Caliber Technology (now part of Fedex) he was tasked with administering Sendmail on both Slackware Linux and Solaris Systems. His first home install of Linux was MkLinux DR1 in 1996 on his 60 Mhz PowerMac. Since then Brian has been working and consulting on Linux and it's uses in the Enterprise to support everything from E-Mail, Firewalls, Web and File serving to custom cluster solutions and grid solutions. Brian has had the opportunity to work in both Fortune 500 companies and small 2 person organizations. This has given him the unique insight into the differences every size business faces.