CNET News.com: Linux explodes onto the scene

“In the 12 months of 1999, Linux rose from obscurity to
overexposure. The year began with a bang for the upstart operating
system. In January, IBM, Compaq Computer, Dell Computer and
Hewlett-Packard started selling systems designed for use with
Linux. And the pace didn’t let up. By the end of the year, four
successful Linux-related initial public offerings raised hundreds
of millions of dollars, at least three executives became paper
billionaires and the operating system had grown from a
counterculture hobby into a corporate mainstay.”

“Linux benefited from upgrades that made it more
business-friendly, then improvements aimed at desktop use and
visions from Torvalds that the next frontier would come in gadgets.
While Red Hat, TurboLinux, SuSE and VA Linux Systems aimed Linux at
the server, Corel fulfilled its promise to begin selling a version
aimed at the Microsoft desktop stronghold. It even has the
potential to be used in the world’s fastest supercomputer.

The extent of this seriousness is visible in the efforts of the
Trillian group, a consortium working to get Linux working on
Intel’s upcoming 64-bit chips. Where typically Linux has lagged
other operating systems that usually were ready for a new chip
arrival, the Trillian project, newly beefed up, aims to have a
64-bit Linux for Intel ready by the time the Itanium chip arrives
in 2000.”

“Linux has been expanding its turf while Windows NT contracts.
…NT now has a future only on Intel processors. Linux has gone the
other direction. It began on Intel chips and has expanded to all
other major chips with corporate help.”

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