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IT-Director: The March of the Penguin

Jan 21, 2000, 17:44 (2 Talkback[s])

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"Linux first became a kind of underground product, that saw heavy support from the Universities of the world, but its use was not irrational. It has a small footprint and even in its early years, it was a very practical product for turning an aging PC into a useful file server. ... Linux development might have never gone beyond that point had it not been for several factors which worked solidly in its favour. These were: Immaturity of Windows NT... The Effect of Academic Contagion... Hatred of Microsoft..."

"This final factor has now combined with a kind of commercial idealism and transformed the Linux product from being an interesting server option to a whole 'intellectual' (almost political) movement based upon Open Source. The commercial potential of Linux has been 'confirmed' by the extraordinarily successful IPO of Red Hat, which attracted investment as though it were an Internet stock. Linux has also received the backing of many hardware vendors including Intel..."

"Microsoft has had to face a number of challenges in its commercial life and each time it has responded aggressively and successfully to the challenge. However it now has a real conundrum to try to unravel. How do you compete with a product that is free and has a vast number of enthusiastic supporters which not only wish it to succeed but want to create a software industry where the Microsoft business model simply will not work?"

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