My personal take on the message is that Redhat is saying that there simply isn't money to be
made on the personal desktop. What I think you all are failing to understand is that key
point. Money, Redhat makes money by providing support, how many individual users are going to
purchase support? (Redhat used to offer support to individuals, even rather cheap, they don't
anymore, probably because they couldn't make money on it) If DELL or HP or one of the other
OEMs starts selling Linux to home users they aren't going to contract support out to Redhat,
they are going to hire their own staff and try to manage the costs of the support.
But beyond even that, Linux is still less than 5% of the desktop and I bet a good 50% or more
of that figure is because of corporate installations, not home installations. I personally
agree with what Redhat said in their statement, there isn't a market for home support right
now and that the way to make money off the desktop is through corporate desktop support. IMO
the path to the desktop for Linux involves wide adoption on the corporate desktop first,
before it becomes viable as a commodity home use OS. Only when people are first trained on
using at work are they going to accept a move to using the system at home. Microsoft traversed
this same path from the corporate desktop into the home.
I like Ubuntu and maybe it will dominate the home desktop, but I have a feeling based on what
I've seen that once desktop's start reaching maturity that the market will shift again and
Redhat may move that direction, but only if there is money to be made. Frankly I think if
Linux sees wide adoption that there will be a DELL and HP branded distribution and they will
roll their own OS in house along with support. Microsoft spent years preventing the OEM's from
trying to rebrand windows as the OEM's product, without the contract restrictions on Linux I
bet the OEM's roll their own distributions.