CNET News.com: Born free: The debate on taming Linux

“Finding that balance between uniformity and creativity is the
task undertaken by Daniel Quinlan, chairman of the Linux Standard
Base. Linux fragmentation hasn’t happened, but there are dangers
from actual splintering or just the perception that such
splintering is taking place, Quinlan said today at the LinuxWorld
Conference and Expo here.

‘It’s a growing concern, and it can only get worse as time goes
on’ as more companies offer Linux software and more companies
distribute the operating system itself, he said.

However, one of the strengths of Linux–its flexibility–also
could become a weakness, said International Data Corporation
analyst Jean Bozman. The open source nature of Linux, in which
anyone is free to modify its original programming instructions,
means Linux can be customized for different uses. But this
customization means that Linux distributors are coming up with
different varieties of the operating system. “