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Forbes Magazine: Linux Gets Friendlier

May 24, 2002, 17:30 (69 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Stephen Manes)

"Since its introduction as a free operating system in 1991, the Linux variant of Unix has become such a popular way to run servers that a business has grown up around supplying, supporting and charging for it. Even IBM has gotten into the act.

"Now, frustrated by a monopoly whose innovation in the face of slower growth amounts to finding more efficient ways of extracting money from captive customers, users are beginning to wonder whether Linux could supplant Windows as a cheaper solution for desktop machines. My disappointed but hopeful conclusion: For normal human beings, not yet. But it's an outside possibility in corporate situations where support is at hand, and it's getting tantalizingly closer for the masses.

"A couple of years ago installing Linux was an exercise in nonstop profanity. This time when I tried two different versions, both worked--mostly..."

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