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GartnerGroup: ISV Enthusiasm for Linux: A House Divided

May 04, 2000, 20:43 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by G. Weiss)

"Linux is a big play for some, and a gamble for others. In any case, it is sounding a wake-up call, but obstacles remain...."

"Independent software vendor (ISV) enthusiasm for Linux is not uniform (see Note 1). ISVs are warming to the future prospects of Linux, but many key ISVs still harbor reservations and do not yet see sufficient enterprise demand (see Note 2). Among nearly 50 ISV interviews Gartner conducted, the most frequent cause of rejection was pinned to lack of user demand. While Gartner is observing increased IS management interest in Linux, most of this interest has not transcended to mainstream mission-critical environments. Without a big push to drive users from the curious to the committed, ISVs will withhold resources. Without greater momentum among leading ISVs, users may continue to observe from a distance until more proven deployments, especially in mission-critical environments, occur. We have loosely categorized the split in ISV commitment into the "haves" and "have-nots...."

"IS organizations interested in deploying Linux should confine the deployments to roles in which current ISV support is strongest (i.e., Web server and network infrastructure services or specific industry applications that have several ISV choices). Willingness to deploy Linux in scalable DBMS and mission-critical applications should be predicated on sincere long-term commitments of hardware vendors and ISVs that can guarantee enterprise levels of support provided for their other operating systems. OSS should not be viewed as a panacea, since these developments tend to be driven by highly tactical needs at the infrastructure level. New-economy ISVs should be deployed only after due diligence, and even then must be considered high-risk propositions unless the source code is available and well documented."

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