Some things in TFA make me wonder though, like "Enterprise: no standard way of software distribution". How hard is it to set up a local repository(-ies), from where workstations get updates?
In an enterprise desktop environment, you don't want to have a repository where users can pull software updates, you want a system where you can push them onto user desktops. I think there are some now but they've only come to market recently. IBM could have helped out by coming out with Linux support for Tivoli provisioning manager much sooner.
For a majority of enterprise users, just having a good office suite, web browser and groupware would be sufficient but only 2 out of the 3 were available in a working state until recently.
The big boys in groupware were Outlook/Exchange and Notes/Domino. Exchange quickly ate into Domino's market and by the time IBM started supporting Linux with Notes clients it was too late. If Linux does get more adoption in corporate desktops the groupware they'll be using will likely be Zimbra or something other than Domino or Novell's products.
Sun's Java Enterprise System could have worked since it was web based, but they didn't have the resources to come into the market compete with two already large players. Plus there's a general anti-sun sentiment in the Linux community.
That's just for regular office workers. When you mix in others that might need other special software, you can run into problems.
Most people don't care about the OS, they only care about the applications they interact with. If the applications aren't there it doesn't matter if you have the most perfect OS that has ever or will ever be written.
Linux became popular on edge servers because it could provide services through applications (Apache server and other ASF stuff, MySQL, sendmail, Samba, ftp, etc.) that run on it
Those applications brought open source into the business world and Linux came along for the ride. Then once Linux was in the corporate data center, other ISVs started releasing version of their enterprise server software for it.
There hasn't been enough ISV support for desktop Linux. It's also more difficult because desktops tend to run a variety of software, unlike servers that are commonly deployed with a limited software stack for one application.
I'd like to see it happen, but it's not quite there yet. It's good to see that open source desktop software is making it, but Linux hasn't been invited to this party yet.