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VNU Net: Linux to reduce Unix varients [Gartner]

By Linda Leung, VNU Net

The rise of Linux will reduce the number of Unix variants for
mid-range systems to around four and force out some middle-tier
Unix vendors, according to analysts.

George Weiss, an analyst at researcher Gartner, said: “Linux
will help speed the demise of non-leadership Unix, forcing the
number down to three or four Unix variants for systems under
$100,000.” Unix flavours likely to survive will include Solaris, HP
UX and Monterey, he said.

Speaking at Gartner’s US Spring Symposium this week, Weiss said
that by 2005 Linux will represent 20 per cent of all Unix spend and
be used in embedded systems or mid-range servers with single
applications, but will not replace Unix in mission-critical
systems.

He warned delegates to avoid using Linux in high-end database
deployments until the next kernel enhancement. Customers may also
have difficulty finding vendors that are capable of providing
software and support if they want to implement Linux across the
board, he said.

Although many software developers have pledged support for
Linux, Weiss said that they will not drop their Unix strategies, so
customers should avoid spending too much energy on Linux. Customers
should also be willing to pay for Unix-like enhancements to Linux
that will be priced similar to Unix improvements.

Weiss said it will be an uphill struggle to depose Microsoft’s
dominance on the desktop, but that Linux has opportunities in
non-PC applications and embedded environments.