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Red Herring: Linux may someday rule, but can it make money?

Jan 05, 2000, 16:02 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tom Davey)

"Mounting interest by institutional investors in Linux is proving the operating system is more than a fad. But a nagging question remains: how do Linux companies make money when the core product is free?..."

"Linux certainly is more than a fluke. Nearly a third of all Internet servers are powered by the open source software. The rapidly evolving and freely distributed operating system, developed largely by a loose confederacy of freelance programmers, is expected to continue taking a bigger bite out of the market. But it'll take many years, if ever, for Linux to displace Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) for use with corporate databases, or to displace Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) for running desktop applications...."

"Linux also is a growing force in Web server "farms" that house hundreds or thousands of computers. That's because the core operating system is free while Sun's Solaris is expensive. Although Microsoft's NT is cheaper than Solaris, it's proven to be more prone to crashing."

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