"Unlike Microsoft's Windows, nobody owns Linux. It's a free
project worked on by legions of volunteers who have adapted the
program to fit specific needs from networking to servers to desktop
applications. Many Linux programs, like the graphics software
"gimp" and the Gnome desktop environment, are also free."
"Linux distributors like Red Hat, Caldera and VA-Linux make
their buck through "support and services." They don't own the basic
operating system, so they sell boxes with documentation, support
contracts, installation tools, add-on software, easy-to-use desktop
environments — and legal protection for customers in case
anything goes wrong. So far, they've been successful at penetrating
more than 20 percent of the server market but hold less than 5
percent of the home and office desktop space, according to research
firm International Data Corp...."
"Linux software companies think they can master making a profit
by selling applications built from free, open-source parts. Three
of the most prominent, Eazel, Sun and Corel, have different
strategies: one is going with support and services, one is using
free software to drive purchases of costly hardware, and the third
says, hey, time to pay for your application software."