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InfoWorld: Has internal greed damaged desktop Linux?

Nov 19, 2000, 17:39 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Douglas F. Gray)

"Linux supporters were ecstatic when the financial markets responded extremely favorably to the IPOs of open-source companies. However, after the unprecedented hype behind company launches such as VA Linux Systems and Red Hat, share prices plummeted, leaving companies desperate to reorganize. Now, it seems that the shareholders were not the only victims but that Linux's chances on the desktop also became something of a casualty of share dividends."

"Red Hat's 52-week high on the Nasdaq stock exchange was just over $151 per share. Currently the Linux distribution company's shares are trading at just below the $11 mark. VA Linux shares reached a high of $320, but today the stock is trading at $12. Sure, most dot-coms have taken a big hit recently in their market capitalizations, but Linux stocks were among those with the highest distance to fall, and fall they did. But what exactly happened?"

"Suddenly, with market capitalizations lowered to only a small fraction of what they previously were, companies realized they needed new business models to keep their investors happy. The solid choice was the server market where open-source companies were already holding their weight against industry giant Microsoft. The problems with migrating from Windows NT to Windows 2000 have also given Linux an even bigger push in the back-end market, according to Linux advocates. But what meanwhile happened to the Linux on the desktop?"

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