"Unless you've been on Mars since 1991, you know that Linux is
an open source upstart challenger to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows
operating systems. Indeed, part of Microsoft's antitrust defense is
that Linux poses a viable alternative to Windows."
"While some seriously doubt Microsoft's claim, Linux is making a
strong showing in both the server market and in embedded projects.
Its major weakness appears to be on the desktop, although there
it is catching up. Whereas Microsoft appears to have a handful of
different product families- Windows 98/Windows Me, NT/2000, and
Windows CE, for the server, desktop, and embedded markets,
respectively- Linux is a single operating system that is spreading
to all three."
It is even making modest headway on the desktop. According to
International Data Corp. (IDC), a Framingham, Mass.-based market
research company, Linux's market share of the PC/client operating
environment grew to nearly four percent in 1999, the last full year
for which final figures are currently available. Linux's four
percent follows closely behind the five percent desktop market
share held by Apple Computer Inc.'s Macintosh OS.