Julie Bort talks with Jeremy White about Wine. 1.0 coming up.
If you really talk to managers at companies that want to do desktop Linux, the problem isn't usually the big applications. People are moving to SaaS to handle that problem. For example, Salesforce.com and SugarCRM have taken care of the old "The sales reps need GoldMine" problem. But lately it seems like there's always some little tool from some little ISV that doesn't do Linux yet, and you end up keeping gigabytes of Microsoft software per desk to keep it.
So, that's where Wine could come in really handy. Not just in sales to companies that want to deploy Linux. ISVs can keep an eye on Wine support for their apps, and brag on "Linux support" at little cost beyond the cost of doing the bragging.
Meanwhile, James Turner gets the proprietary device driver situation on Linux wrong:
"Ubuntu has also taken a flexible attitude toward proprietary drivers. Some distributions, philosophically opposed to letting companies 'poison' the intellectually free Linux landscape, pretend these drivers don't exist."
But it's not just a matter of philosophy. Whatever its philosophy, the reason a distribution doesn't put proprietary drivers on Linux is that the distribution can't support them and they break stuff. And you might not be able to upgrade. Debian and Novell are miles apart philosophically, but they agree on keeping the proprietary drivers out.