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NetworkWorld: Linux: the devil is in the details [of the 157 flavors of Linux]

Jun 20, 2000, 05:02 (5 Talkback[s])

"So far, Linux vendors are doing what the medical community adopted long ago to provide better care to patients - specialization. For example, on the desktop there is HelixCode, Red Hat and Corel. Others focus on turnkey hardware/software, such as VA Linux, and clustering, such as TurboLinux. In the long run, users can expect to see the number of vendors and vendor offerings slim down as companies merge and die off, observers say."

"There are at least 157 Linux releases available, according to Dan Kusnetzky, an analyst at IDC, a Framingham, Mass., market research firm. Kusnetzky says of the 157, only five to seven come from top vendors, including Red Hat, SuSe (of Europe), TurboLinux, Caldera and Corel. For the most part, Linux vendors will make their way by providing added value to users beyond simple Linux software. That value will be in the form of services, support or software specialization."

"In the end, Kusnetzky says, network managers should remember that trying out a few offerings might be worth the hassle, considering the dramatic savings of a Linux implementation, which can be thousands of dollars less for each client on the network compared to leading operating system implementations."

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