"Just a few years ago, one of the hottest topics at this annual
confluence of PC hardware and software makers was the so-called
â€œopen sourceâ€ alternative to
Microsoftâ€™s industry-dominant Windows operating
system. Soon, open source proponents argued, PC users would be
liberated from the burden of paying for software. The Linux
operating system, and other 'open source' alternatives written by
devoted bands of volunteer programmers, would be available to
anyone for the cost of a download. But today, Windows is still
running on the vast majority of PCs. So what happened?
"Linux hasn't gone away. But after attracting widespread
attention and generating several moonshot initial public offerings
during the tech boom, purveyors of Linux software and support have
fallen back to earth--along with their stocks. Earlier this month,
Red Hat, which sells about half of all Linux software, reported a
loss of $4.3 million on an 8 percent drop in revenues in the latest
quarter as corporate customers continued to squeeze every penny of
their computer budgets...
"Those continuing upgrades have begun to generate increased
interest from cost-conscious technology managers. A recent survey
of 800 companies in North America and Western Europe found that
some 40 percent said they were either using or testing Linux,
according to the research firm IDC. With some 27 percent of the
market, Linux is now the second most popular operating system for
servers, supplanting the decades-old operating system UNIX;
Microsoft holds the top spot..."
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