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ABCNews.com: Free Money - At LinuxWorld, Companies Plan to Profit From Free Software

Feb 04, 2001, 19:14 (13 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sascha Segan)

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"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."

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