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eWeek: Answering Open-Source Questions

Feb 01, 2003, 04:00 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Peter Coffee)

"Last week was filled with news on the Linux front, with every major IT provider trying to warm itself near the fire of enterprise interest. IBM claimed to have a billion-dollar business based on the open-source operating system and pointed to the company's own progress in replacing its Windows and OS/2 servers with Linux systems; Sun announced expanded Linux-based offerings of flagship software products; and Microsoft won an award, at LinuxWorld Expo in New York, for its Services for Unix 3.0 product that runs a Unix environment on a Windows kernel and provides integrated administration and developer support.

"I still get e-mail, though, suggesting that there's a lot of communication to be done before middle-tier companies will consider Linux a genuine option. I'm talking about the companies too small to have a substantial IT department, but too big for the founder/CEO to make a Linux adoption decision at breakfast on Saturday and have it deployed on Monday morning.

"One question that hit my in-box late last week was 'How do you get support if anyone can modify the code?' I was tempted to reply, 'How do you get support if you can't modify (or even see) the code...?'"

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