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Economist.com: Linux Gets a Break

Sep 26, 2002, 22:00 (12 Talkback[s])

[ Thanks to Mike Rasmusson for this link. ]

"If IBM likes it, then it must be all right. That, at least, is what supporters of Linux, an operating system for computers, are hoping. Unlike Microsoft Windows, Linux holds no secrets for programmers. Its source codes can be read like an open book, which makes them easy to adapt to individual needs and cheaper to buy. After years in the doldrums as Microsoft forged ahead in market after market, Linux is making a comeback--and in an unexpected market.

"Thanks to its stability as an operating system and the fact that it can be made secure, Linux is fast catching on among retailers. This week, IBM annnounced deals with two big retailers--Regal Entertainment, which owns scores of movie theatres in America, and Casas Bahia, a big Brazilian retailer—to supply thousands of cash registers that will run on Linux.

"These sales followed earlier agreements with IBM and Sun Microsystems, two of the world's largest computer manufacturers, that will not only boost Linux's popularity but will also give computer users more choice. IBM has agreed to use Linux software on its servers. The agreement is with Red Hat, an independent supplier of Linux software which it bundles with other products and services. IBM had earlier used Red Hat's software on only one of its range of servers; now all four will be covered. Since IBM will profit from servicing the software, this could open up important new markets for Linux..."

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