Caldera CEO Ransom Love Foresees Linux “left-sizing” of Business

By Dwight Johnson

Speaking to an elite audience of IT managers at the Ziff-Davis
Open Source Forum in Austin, Texas, June 30, Ransom Love, President
and CEO of Caldera Systems, Inc., gave his views on why Linux will
play a major role in the future of information technology.

Love’s keynote address, titled “Open Source in the Commercial
Market: Understanding and Preparing for the Shift”, was a look into
the future in which the PC will be partly replaced by smaller, more
specialized devices and the network is becoming the Internet.

According to Love, Linux will play a major role in the new
Internet devices because it has the ideal characteristics which
these devices need:

  • the Linux footprint can be made very small — less than two
  • Linux is very stable
  • the cost to implement and maintain Linux is very low
  • Linux is infinitely customizable

How should business choose which technology to deploy? According
to Love, Netware is stable but difficult to customize; NT is
customizable but unstable; and SCO is both customizable and stable.
But because Linux is supported by both source code and open-source
licensing, Linux is the most customizable and stable option of

Because of this, Love told his audience, the “left-sizing” of
information technology is inevitable — only an operating system
such as Linux can meet so many technology needs and be developed in
“Internet time”. Here, “Internet time” is contrasted to the much
slower pace of software development typical of shrinkwrapped
software products.

To support his views, Love pointed out that current trends show
Linux becoming the predominant server operating system, having
grown over 200% last year to command a 17% share of the market.
Also, businesses such as Cendant and Burlington Coat
are validating Linux by committing to major Linux

This bright picture for Linux, however, is not going to take
place without more effort from the Linux community. Ransom Love
agrees with Bill Peterson of IDC when he said: “The Linux community
must become a Linux industry.”

In Love’s view, the major developments which must come out of
the Linux community are:

The open-source community is addressing all of these

Ultimately, Ransom Love told his audience, the benefits of
business “left-sizing” will be:

  • Reduced expenses
  • Easier maintenance
  • Protection of IT investments
  • Better internal and external connectivity

Ransom Love addressed his remarks to about three hundred IT and
open-source leaders and media representatives in the second of
three morning keynotes on the opening day at the ZD Open Source

The attendees, sitting at tables, furiously took notes into
ZD-supplied notebooks or typed into laptops.

Caldera Systems, Inc. is a leading vendor of the open-source
Linux operating system. Caldera’s flagship product, OpenLinux 2.2,
is targeted for enterprise deployment. Caldera is hoping that its
recently announced partnership with IBM will favorable position
OpenLinux for deployment in the Fortune 500.