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Toronto Globe & Mail: Case for Linux is a Cultural One--Thus Far

Feb 13, 2003, 22:00 (11 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jack Kapica)

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"One doesn't think of Microsoft as a cultural force, yet the behemoth has figured in two major cultural clashes. The first pitted Macintosh against Windows loyalists; the second is a confrontation between Linux and Windows supporters. The first was limited to individuals; the second is being played out primarily in corporate life.

"Linux fans are generating a lot of noise by pressing IT departments for the expanded use of the open-source system to replace existing server software, much of it made by Microsoft. The Linux crowd knows it will not prevail easily; corporations are still motivated by a business climate in which prudence, meaning conservative decision-making, is prized over revolutionary thinking, as in restructuring an entire server architecture.

"The pro-Linux lobby argues that the open-source system is cheap (or even free), it has a much better track record in security and anti-virus protection, it is exquisitely configurable, it is much more stable and it does not require high-end processors to run it.

"These are compelling arguments, and sweet music to IT managers under tremendous pressure to cut costs. But IT's reasons for not dropping everything and switching to Linux are just as compelling..."

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