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Washington Post: Microsoft's Next Trials

Jun 12, 2000, 03:14 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Schwartz)

"The operating system that U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson once dismissed in the Microsoft antitrust case as occupying the fringe is making a play for the big time. Although Linux has a long way to go, millions of computers are running on it and millions more will be soon. The world's biggest computer firms--Dell, IBM and Compaq--are now offering Linux pre-installed on new machines, just as they do Windows. High-tech leaders such as Intel and Oracle support the operating system, and a growing number of Linux-ready versions of popular applications, including Corel's WordPerfect Office 2000, are now available. Linux is definitely beyond the fringe."

"Linux's strong growth doesn't necessarily mean it's taking business away from Microsoft, as ads like the one above imply. In a recent interview with Washington Post reporters and editors, Dell chief executive Michael Dell suggested that, so far, Linux is making the deepest inroads against Sun Microsystems and its variant of the Unix operating system."

"Companies that use the Linux code as a base for their software have been Wall Street darlings, despite the fact that they are selling versions of a product that anyone can download for free. The companies and their investors, however, are betting that ease of installation, ease of use and service that the store-bought versions provide will attract customers and sales. A recent report by analysts at W.R. Hambrecht & Co. estimated that Linux products and services could generate $11 billion in sales by 2003."

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