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GartnerGroup: VA Linux Seeks to Dominate Linux Services With Planned Takeover of Andover.Net

Feb 23, 2000, 17:54 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by G. Weiss)

"A supplier of Linux-based Intel servers, VA Linux wants to become the primary vendor of services for OSS, a field it started with its project development site, SourceForge. By acquiring Andover.Net - owner of popular sites Slashdot.org, Freshmeat.org and newly acquired QuestionExchange - VA Linux seeks to corner the market on Linux talent. Aiming to control popular sites that feed the thousands of open-source projects or draw the most visitors to Linux information, VA Linux will combine infrastructure with content and a deep resource pool to position itself as a full-service supplier to the enterprise."

"New entrants seeking to exploit escalating deployments and investments increasingly fragment the Linux community. The next big battle will occur over support and services, but traditional software development and services models will not apply in OSS. As Linux becomes a greater factor, enterprises will increase their demand for vendors with well-rounded expertise in configuring, optimizing and customizing OSS-based solutions. Traditional vendors with large commitments to their legacy environments will be unable to respond to the great variety of OSS projects. But a huge worldwide developer community, if harnessed and consolidated, could provide significant leverage in an enterprise sales strategy. VA Linux wants to coalesce the OSS community, coordinate projects as part of its delivery of services and act as a consolidated centralized service with worldwide reach (e.g., in India, Russia and Australia)...."

"However, VA Linux may face problems if the OSS community feels exploited by a single vendor. VA Linux will also face the task of effectively managing and integrating 10 Web sites with various fragments of news, information, software downloads, project monitoring, brokering and other services that could distract from its own hardware business. In addition, its strategy to be a pure Linux play while excluding other operating systems (e.g., Windows NT) may become its Achilles' heel."

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