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Business Week: How Many Service Companies Can the Linux Market Support?

Feb 08, 2000, 22:18 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sam Jaffe)

"...several Linux companies are on the road to profitability -- and several dozen more could soon become public. Originally, each tried to become the dominant player in a different sector of the Linux market. But now, all seem to be aiming at the same revenue source: services. 'Everyone started out as a hardware company or a software company or a support company, but now they all want to be a services company,' says George Weiss, a Gartner Group analyst who follows the Linux market."

"Linux companies figure that if it worked for IBM, it'll work for them. At the moment, Red Hat (RHAT), VA Linux (LNUX), and LinuxCare (which just filed for an initial public offering) appear to be the primary contenders for the Linux services crown. However, it's already clear that this prize will be difficult to capture."

"It's easy to forget, when sizing up these companies, that the biggest competitors in the Linux services business haven't flexed their muscles yet. It's conceivable, once IBM and Sun Microsystems (SUNW) wade in, that several Linux companies will have to join forces to create a large enough beast to compete."

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