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CNET: Commentary: Moving beyond Linux vs. Windows

Jun 19, 2001, 15:27 (35 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Meta Group)

This commentary by some Meta Group analysts says Linux is a "tactical solution" that is "unlikely to displace Windows or the proprietary versions of Unix now used on virtually all desktops and servers in commercial environments."

"Desktop system makers have a definite reason to prefer to provide Linux rather than Windows to their customers--they don't need to pay a licensing fee for Linux. The question is, how many of their customers will be satisfied with Linux. The answer, at least regarding desktop use, is "very few."

On the server side, all of the major server companies, except Dell, have their own proprietary versions of Unix to market. While they might not be happy selling systems running Windows NT--and therefore paying a licensing fee to Microsoft--they also do not want Linux as another competitor to their proprietary Unix versions on their hardware. Success for Linux on servers will come in part at the expense of the proprietary Unix versions, not just from the Windows NT share of the market.

The one part of the market where Linux has gained real momentum is embedded systems. Here, the maker wants an operating system that can be highly customized for a specific use, will control how the embedded system is used, and is free from licensing fees. This is cutting into low-end Windows sales, but its impact on Microsoft will remain limited."

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