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eWeek: Billions, Billions of Linux Bucks Served?

Feb 06, 2003, 13:00 (28 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Taschek)

"It's next to impossible to disprove or prove anything IBM says. The company keeps its numbers way too private to make any sense to ordinary people or most financial analysts. It just feels contrived that IBM is claiming revenue of $1 billion on Linux. After all, just a little more than a year ago, IBM claimed it would invest $1 billion in Linux development. Certainly, IBM sells a lot of products and services, but claiming $1 billion of investment and then getting all that back a year later seems like a CFO dream at best and artificial at worst. If it's true, then IBM has managed to generate an ROI that most companies would die for.

"Besides, doesn't the billion number itself seem a little made-up? Dell used it more than five years ago to claim that it made $1 billion in revenue on the Internet. Cisco did the same thing. The Linux Journal had an article about Linus Torvalds giving away a billion tins of Penguin Caffeinated Peppermints to Finnish-American students (not true). Meanwhile, Microsoft had to cough up $1 billion of 'vouchers' to California customers who paid too much for Office. And, ouch! HP pre-empted IBM by claiming Linux generated $2 billion of its revenue..."

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