"If Linux has found a niche and took over the number 2 spot in
server deployments, why are Linux companies failing, laying off
employees, changing management and having to consolidate?" That's
the question this piece attempts to answer, written in part as a
response to the item 'Linux: A Story of Hype' we linked to last
week. (See related stories.) There's a subtle plug for Bynari's
Insight Server in there, but the sentiments are genuine enough.
"If Linux has found a niche and took over the number 2
spot in server deployments, why are Linux companies failing, laying
off employees, changing management and having to consolidate?
Several theories abound including the general rationalizations
about the stock market, bad management, venture capitalists and,
but then, you already know the rest.
Some Linux companies have failed for two reasons. First, Linux
does not have the right applications for the desktop. Without
compelling desktop applications, any operating system will remain
"looked over". Even the Apple Macintosh with its deeply loyal
following suffers as an application-challenged computer.
Until Linux developers put some very innovative applications on
the desktop, it's future remains in the back office fighting it out
with Sun Solaris, FreeBSD, and Caldera UnixWare. Linux must make a
serious play at consumers, developers and OEMs like Dell, Compaq
and Gateway. To do that, those manufacturers need things like
Quicken, QuickBooks, FrontPage, and other user-friendly
applications that turn grandmothers into computer power users."