We learned that the Surface will have an RT version that will compete with the iPad and Android tablets and that there will be a Pro version that will provide the full Windows experience and more of the business features.
Here’s where Office 365 comes in… if you have one of the new Office 365 subscriptions being released early next year you’ll also be covered for Office 2013… since it is included with your subscription.
I agree Linux is a great operating system and has come far from the early days when you had to deal with complicated and inaccessible command lines and customer configurations. On the other hand though, the thing that continues to hamper Linux both at home and in business is applications.
Yes, you can get some Microsoft Office look-alike programs that do 50-80% of what Microsoft’s versions do, but you don’t get support for those (community support aside) without paying extra. You’re not going to run a business on something with no support. When you add support in, it still costs less than Microsoft’s Office, but its not nearly such a good deal any more.
Office isn’t the only app at issue either… can you run Quickbooks on Linux? (I honestly haven’t checked lately, but I’m guessing not.) Can you run your company’s tightly-integrated Windows-based ERP system on Linux? The number of top-tier software companies that support Linux is expanding, but it’s just not there yet.
Until you have good solutions for the app problem, Linux will remain the red-headed stepchild in the O/S space. Cloud has the potential to even the playing field somewhat, but look at Google Chromebooks… the technology is there but they fell flat on their face with the marketing. They have the same app problem Linux does too… there’s only so much available for the Chromebook and there aren’t enough cloud-based services to satisfy people (at least not yet).
Android is the stand out in the lineup. And why has Android succeeded while Linux has not? Because of apps. Initially, nobody besides geeks (like me again) bought the devices, but as the number of apps exploded so did the platform. It doesn’t matter how good your O/S is, if you can’t DO anything with it, nobody will buy.
So, until Linux (and Google’s Chromebooks) proves to people (especially businesses) that they are ready for the enterprise they’ll remain what they are… cool toys for geeks like us.