The most popular Linux distribution for the desktop

Ubuntu Linux Journal

Subscribe to Ubuntu Linux Journal: eMailAlertsEmail Alerts newslettersWeekly Newsletters
Get Ubuntu Linux Journal: homepageHomepage mobileMobile rssRSS facebookFacebook twitterTwitter linkedinLinkedIn

Ubuntu Linux Authors: Elizabeth White, Don MacVittie, SmartBear Blog, Liz McMillan, Jnan Dash

Related Topics: Virtualization Magazine, Ubuntu Linux Journal

Virtualization: Article

Is This the Death of the Client Operating System?

"The new connected desktop needs to become both a network client and a host for virtual machines"

Today I read Andy McCue's post on,"Why the Linux desktop dream is over" and "Stephen O'Grady's "Do Operating Systems Matter: Part 1 " and Jonathan Schwartz's post on  Network Clients   and it becomes clear to me the eventual direction of desktop computing.  

How do all three thoughts fit together? The Linux desktop replacing the Windows desktop in its current incarnation is both silly and impractical. As our applications move to the network the need to replicate the Windows  desktop computing environment on Linux  is unnecessary.

What needs to happen is that the new connected desktop needs to become both a network client and a host for virtual machines. Effort once spent on developing productivity applications that are targeted by platform is now being spent on hosted applications like those at 37 Signals which works on all platforms right out of the box. Right now virtualization for servers are hot, look at the VMware Network which is distributing software applications and rPath who's generating software appliances on the server. This will  eventually start spilling over on the desktop. If you have ever used Klik on Ubuntu you will get the idea.

More to come on this later... 

More Stories By Mark R. Hinkle

Mark Hinkle is the Senior Director, Open Soure Solutions at Citrix. He also is along-time open source expert and advocate. He is a co-founder of both the Open Source Management Consortium and the Desktop Linux Consortium. He has served as Editor-in-Chief for both LinuxWorld Magazine and Enterprise Open Source Magazine. Hinkle is also the author of the book, "Windows to Linux Business Desktop Migration" (Thomson, 2006). His blog on open source, technology, and new media can be found at

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.