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LinuxPlanet: Is the Importance of Commercial Linux Distributions Waning?

Jun 14, 2005, 01:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Maria Winslow)

" I have long held that only a commercial Linux distribution with a strong total product offering (product, support, training, reseller channel, etc.) could make the transition to the mainstream market. I'm not alone in this, of course--it's what led to Red Hat's success at their IPO. Investors clearly believed that a strong company would generate value in the Linux space. And commercial Linux certainly has generated that value.

"The conventional wisdom goes something like this: in the early days of a technology market, users are willing to tinker to get what they want. These 'early adoptors' don't expect a complete and perfect product. They want cutting edge technology, and are always on the lookout for ways to apply it to their scenario in order to be a hero and gain a competitive edge. They have the inclination and imagination to project how the new technology will fit into the mainstream IT landscape down the road. Early adoptors are excellent evangelists for new technology, and getting them on your side at the beginning of a movement like Linux can really make a difference. Developing loyal user communities was the most important thing the distributions, both commercial and non-commercial, could do in the early stages of the Linux wave..."

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