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IT-Director: The Linux Revolution - Too Soon to Tell

Apr 18, 2000, 14:28 (16 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Snark)

"When asked what he thought the impact of the French Revolution was, Chou En Lai, Chinese Premier and second in command to Mao Zedong, replied "it is too soon to tell". Exactly the same could be said of the Linux revolution. The recent IDC figures which showed Linux shipments increasing at a rate of 166 percent in the last quarter of 1999 confirm that Linux is now a power across the globe and will undoubtedly become the best "selling" OS at some point in the future. Additionally, feedback in the IT-Analysis community was keen to point out that the IDC figures are likely to be an underestimate simply because they take no account of downloads and copies and these are freely employed in using Linux."

"Linux is undoubtedly in the process of occupying the space that was once occupied by NetWare and is currently occupied by Windows NT and there is nothing much that Microsoft can do to prevent this. However Windows NT is not set for extinction in the style of OS/2. It has now moved into the competitive space where the OS money is won and lost. Thus while Linux consolidates at the low end as the default server of choice, Windows NT retains a healthy share of this market and is also moving into contention with the big Unixes; Solaris, HP-UX and AIX."

"When you examine this area of the market it quickly becomes clear that the OS is not really a commodity in this space as the hardware is key to providing scalability. At the top end of the market, scalability and availability are everything and this is where Windows NT now has to make its market. So far there is no indication as to whether Linux can or will move into the top-end space as a properly supported OS working in sync with appropriately designed hardware. It is actually too early to say whether Windows 2000 can make it in this market, so with Linux, it is way too early to say."

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