"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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