"With all these examples, the software itself -- be it a
complete distribution, a graphical user environment, or a single
desktop component -- is more valuable as a stable reference
platform or conduit to the end user than a retail product. "
"Newest to this growing trend is Debian GNU/Linux project
founder Ian Murdock's Progeny Linux Systems, which is building a
new model for Linux in businesses in the form of Linux NOW (Network
of Workstations). The company has just released the second beta of
its enhanced Linux distribution. Based on Debian GNU/Linux, the
distro isn't an end unto itself: it's a baseline against which
services and products requiring more expertise to manage will be
leveraged, and Murdock likens it to the work Ximian has done with
its GNOME distribution: less of a divergence from the original
project than a set of polishing enhancements."
"Murdock, who says Progeny's Debian release is not the primary
focus of his company notes that he considers the primary value of
operating systems to be provision of services:"
"'There's more future in services,' he asserts. 'Operating
systems aren't where the interesting territory is.' According to
Murdock, the biggest challenge is in 'turning good hardware into a
vehicle that allows people to do their work.'"