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SF Chronicle: Breakup Scheme May Assume Too Much

May 01, 2000, 00:30 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Henry Norr)

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"For the future, though, all eyes are on Linux, the Unix derivative that's distributed free and maintained by a worldwide community of volunteer programmers. It has already proved its mettle as an alternative to Microsoft's Windows NT and 2000 in parts of the marketplace, chiefly for use on Internet servers."

"But servers are one market and the mainstream desktop quite another, and so far, Linux has made only limited inroads into the latter. Though it works with most up-to- date PCs, it still lacks software ``drivers'' needed for compatibility with many older and less-popular graphics cards, network adapters and the like. Installing it can still be complicated, though Linux developers are working hard to alleviate that problem."

"And the selection of applications, utilities, plug-ins and games available for it, though growing, remains far more limited than the options for Windows PCs."

"In other words, it's not obvious that enough users are likely to adopt Linux in the near term to create a market large enough to induce the new Microsoft-descended applications company to develop Office for that platform -- even if the company makes its decisions strictly on the basis of its own economic self-interest, without regard to its former OS colleagues."

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