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osOpinion: Is Linux Vendors' Short Support Good Enough?

Feb 22, 2003, 07:00 (11 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe Brockmeier)

"How long is long enough? Linux vendors are coming under fire for short product support life cycles. Is the criticism warranted, or are critics failing to see the big picture? The truth might lie somewhere in the middle.

"Red Hat touched off quite a debate over support when it announced its errata policy in mid-December. This wasn't the first time the company had set the end of life for a specific version of Red Hat Linux. However, it was the first time it had set a uniform policy. That policy drew a lot of attention--and not a little criticism--for the Linux vendor.

"In fact, most major Linux vendors currently have end-of-life policies for their distributions, and they tend to be much shorter than those for commercial Unix offerings or Microsoft Windows versions. With Red Hat, the support period can be as short as 12 months from the time of release, although the period is much longer for the company's Advanced Server distribution, which is (not surprisingly) more expensive and geared toward corporations and larger organizations..."

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