"When IBM executives describe Linux as a "disruptive
technology," as they started doing a week ago, they don't mean that
it breaks a tried-and-true pattern on a spot basis, although Linux
skeptics might say that's exactly what it does. Rather, when Irving
Wladawsky-Berger, general manager of the Internet Division at IBM,
or John Patrick, vice president of Internet technology, refer to
the operating system as disruptive, they mean it will change the
rules that have governed technology selection and use."
""Linux has all the characteristics of a classic, disruptive
technology on a big scale," says Eric Raymond, president of
the Open Source Initiative."
"Raymond says the first mention of the term disruptive
technology was in the book, The Innovator's Dilemma, by Harvard
Business School Professor Clayton Christensen. In it, Christensen
argues that successive waves of dominant technologies are
passing through our society: The next one builds up beneath what
appears to be a long-lived, enduring technology but is suddenly
toppled by the unseen challenger."