LinuxUK: And the $ollars just keep rollin' in!Aug 20, 2000, 18:01 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by rafiu)
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"Linux was never meant to be commercial. Linux was not supposed to be running nuclear simulations or predicting weather or decoding what makes our very being. But Linux is commercial..and Linux is doing nuclear testing (albeit in a virtual sense) and Linux was used to map the human genome. Linux was just a little project put together by some guy who wanted to run Unix on his box, at home, without having to rob a swiss bank. Now it seems the swiss banks of the IT industry have all but opened their vaults for Tux, the Linux mascot. Linux, once the topic of high debate amongst kernel programmers in chat rooms and newsgroups, is now being discussed by grandmothers during bridge games as they chit-chat about their portfolios."
"IT big shots - IBM, INTEL, DELL, Siemens, Oracle..you name 'em..they're tumbling over each other to show support for Linux. The feeding frenzy seems to have started in late 98 after Red Hat secured funding from Intel and Netscape - that made a few people straighten up in their seats. They were like "..hang on a minute..this things free..I can download it off the net..I don't get the angle". But apparently the "angle" turned into a straight line very quickly."
"So how did Linux go from the dorm room to the trading room? Probably just a fluke. It certainly wasn't because of technological superiority..or the fact that it was free and open source. Afterall *BSD variants have had much more battle time on large networks and are covered by licences similar to the GPL. No - it was a combination of right timing and bucket-loads of luck. People and companies were becoming increasingly discontent with the performance of Windows, and the high-handedness with which it was being distributed. Then there was this whole legal battle between Microsoft and the US government. Meanwhile Linux was making grounds and being used in large corporate networks, research labs and for e-business plumbing. All of a sudden, people start to notice that Linux is growing in market share whilst other OS's like Windows remained stagnant and traditional Unix actually declined. The media had found something to talk about. A fairy tale that everyone likes to hear. A rags to riches story. The frenzy had begun in earnest. Red Hat got buckets of cash to grow their market and build the company. Investment houses and other IT companies looking to cash-in on this "Linux thing" made investment upon investment in established Linux companies such as VA and Caldera as well as startups like Linuxcare. Red Hat went on to have an amazing market debut, second only to VA's record breaking IPO a few months later (the people who missed out on Red Hat's were not going to pass the opportunity by again). Linux, the super versatile OS that's been ported to more platforms than you can count on your fingers then found a new concubine. Embedded applications. PDA's , mobile phones, set-top boxes, elevators; traditional players in the embedded market were joined by startups in different markets - spurning off another round of massive dosh dishing."
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