Microsoft Corp.'s Windows desktop operating systems are and will remain the dominant client desktop standard for the foreseeable future, but don't count Linux and Apple's Mac OS/X out. That is the conclusion of a newly released Yankee Group Report, "The Desktop OS: Are There Real Alternatives to Microsoft?," which finds that interest in alternatives to Microsoft's client operating system is at the highest level in over a decade.

Apple's Macintosh has found a comfortable and committed niche among enterprise customers with sophisticated graphics and production departments. Linux, meanwhile, has gained a groundswell of support in the last three to four years due to its appeal as the "un-Windows" solution, according to Yankee Group senior analyst and Report author Laura DiDio.

"Corporate user resentment and dissatisfaction with Microsoft and some of its practices are at an all-time high," DiDio said. A myriad of issues ranging from Microsoft's perceived monopolistic practices, hyperbolic marketing, ongoing security woes, and habitually slipping ship dates of major new product releases as well as confusion surrounding the overall .NET strategy have undermined corporate customer confidence. A recent joint survey of 1,500 corporations by Sunbelt Software, Inc. and the Yankee Group found that nearly 40 percent of the respondents were so outraged by Microsoft's new licensing scheme that they are actively seeking alternative products.

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