So, who should buy Lindows?
To begin with, that question is tied up in the whole question of using any form of Linux on the desktop. This again goes back to the availability of Linux applications, which are at nowhere near the level of Windows applications yet. In some cases, there is an adequate open source alternative to Windows applications, but not always.
''Lindows or Linux makes sense where users don't have a lot of Windows applications,'' says Silver. ''But where users have a specific application list they use, you have to make sure it will work on a new platform.''
Then there is the question of how the desktop is to be used and supported.
For individual users or those who need limited support, LindowsOS works well. This is why Lindows is directing its efforts at schools and universities -- for students in the classroom. It is also a good option for installations, such as internet terminals in libraries, or for job or tourist information kiosks which have very limited functions.
Last year, for example, the province of Nova Scotia in eastern Canada installed LindowsOS webstations at four Regional Community Access Program centers to provide citizens with Internet access.
But this still might not be the best choice as part of a distributed network. For that, you need to go with enterprise-class software, which provides the necessary customization and support functions needed in a centrally managed setting