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Red Herring: Linux Leaders - Several players have already risen to the top of this young industry.

Jun 25, 2000, 03:35 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bronwyn Fryer)

"According to IDC, Linux products accounted for nearly 25 percent of the server and operating system market in 1999, up from 15.8 percent in 1998. Another research firm, NetCraft, noted that 29 percent of public Web servers currently run on Linux, making Linux the most popular operating system for public Web sites. Since Linux can run on the projected 55 million Internet devices -- from personal digital assistants to Internet toasters -- that IDC thinks will be shipping by 2002, there appears to be plenty of room to grow there, too. Currently, there are roughly 150 companies in the Linux playground. But only a handful of them are above the radar in terms of any bona fide market share, says Dan Kusnetsky, vice president of research and chief Linux-watcher at IDC."

"In the Linux software distribution and services, the market share leader is Red Hat Software (Nasdaq: RHAT), which Mr. Kusnetsky says "is the hands-down winner in brand recognition." (The recognition is due in large part to the ubiquitous red fedoras the company's employees sport at trade shows and elsewhere.) Red Hat is also trying to be everything to everyone -- not just by distributing its software (Red Hat Linux), but by selling consulting, custom development, training, and support services to clients like Home Depot (NYSE: HD), Lockheed-Martin (NYSE: LMT), and Burlington Coat Factory (NYSE: BCF)."

"Another value-added software and distribution player is the privately held, San Francisco-based TurboLinux, which has found a rich market for its Linux products -- ranging from the $50 TurboLinux to a $10,000-plus supercomputing product, enFuzion -- in Asia. Dell Computer (Nasdaq: DELL) installs TurboLinux on its machines; Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) has worked with the company to port Linux to its new IA64 Itanium chip. According to IDC, TurboLinux's revenues, based on product shipments, grew almost 500 percent from 1998 to 1999."

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