"It was a financial-world nail biter. On the eve of Red Hat
Software's initial public offering, the stock market didn't look
all that friendly. The Nasdaq had retreated in recent weeks, and
other IPO candidates already had pushed back their debuts.
But Red Hat didn't looked back and watched its shares rise from
the $14 opening to more than $50 the first day."
"So why wait? By all accounts, Linux is reliable. It upgrades
easily, is customizable and is easy to obtain. It seems priced
right, and with distributors such as Tech Data jumping on board to
offer technical support services, smaller VARs and
integrators-especially those that build their own hardware
anyway-are constructing their own value-added Linux practices. Face
it, Microsoft has been encouraging its partners to ramp up services
for Windows 2000 and rely less on product revenue as it alters its
enterprise licensing arrangements. Sounds very similar to the Linux
model, doesn't it?"
"So could the commercialization of Linux result in bad
blood, spoiling a good thing? Wall Street sure doesn't think
so. Ultimately, the answer doesn't matter. What does matter is
that an entrepreneurial group of developers has infused the
software world with excitement and innovation, something that
Microsoft has failed to do."