NewsForge: The marketplace’s 2.4 dilemma

“Now that the Linux 2.4 kernel is finally actually here, the
biggest question among commercial distributors is what effect this
will have on their business. This may become another case where the
rules of the Linux market are different than the traditional
software marketplace. If so, many commercial vendors may not think
much of those rules.”

“One of oddities of the Linux boom of the last year or so was
that the Linux kernel itself hadn’t evolved along with the
marketplace. It all seemed rather odd. In most commercial software
environments, any meaningful growth in the market requires frequent
upgrades of the software. And yet, despite the explosion of new
applications and complex distributions over the last year or so,
not to mention a series of new vendors, the core Linux kernel
hadn’t changed a bit.”

“Based on a look at the complaints and patches featured on one
mailing list, the definition of “release” in the Linux world varied
considerably from what one might have expected in a commercial
software environment. … It was also pretty clear that many of the
“complaints” were easily fixable. Nevertheless, the whole release
process must have felt very foreign to many corporate IT managers,
and may have done very little to generate enthusiasm for early

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