"With virtually every significant Linux developer now
employed by a company with a commercial stake in the success of
Linux, will Linux be able to meet the demands of new users and
partners while at the same time retaining its traditional openness
and spirit of cooperation?"
"This question cuts both ways --how will commercialization
affect Linux's development and, on a broader scale, how will open
source ultimately affect the enterprise? Most pundits agree that,
for now, the enterprise is not prepared for open source. As with
the personal computer revolution, corporate IT types are adopting
Linux only when forced to by their sales or marketing departments,
which may have Internet services that were set up by a Linux-savvy
administrator. Before Linux can take over the corporate world, a
number of things need to happen."
"So, how will Linux penetrate the enterprise? "Tentatively and
slowly," according to IDC's Kusnetzky. "In studies we've done as
recently as the first of this year, over 80 percent of decision
makers said they were open to Linux, but only 23 percent of them
said that they had a Linux system in shop." Why? Kusnetzky says
that it's because Linux still lacks the infrastructure necessary to
make CIOs comfortable choosing it. He says that Linux needs
applications, development environments, middleware tools, and a
pool of certificate-in-hand Linux-certified administrators before
it will make serious inroads into corporate IT --things that
Microsoft and traditional Unix companies have spent years
"People want to have the LSB right now," says Linux creator
Linus Torvalds, "but people are not necessarily committed enough to
put resources into it. So it's not going very fast." For Torvalds,
however, the lack of progress is not a major cause for concern.
Standards like the LSB should not be seen as "the road to heaven,"
he says. "If you look at standards that way, you're always going to
be disappointed." Torvalds believes that the community will
eventually coalesce around the best technology, and that the role
of the LSB is to follow behind, documenting what has already become
de facto industry standard."
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