IT-Director: The Linux Revolution – Too Soon to Tell

“When asked what he thought the impact of the French Revolution
was, Chou En Lai, Chinese Premier and second in command to Mao
Zedong, replied “it is too soon to tell”. Exactly the same could be
said of the Linux revolution. The recent IDC figures which showed
Linux shipments increasing at a rate of 166 percent in the last
quarter of 1999 confirm that Linux is now a power across the globe
and will undoubtedly become the best “selling” OS at some point in
the future. Additionally, feedback in the IT-Analysis community was
keen to point out that the IDC figures are likely to be an
underestimate simply because they take no account of downloads and
copies and these are freely employed in using Linux.”

“Linux is undoubtedly in the process of occupying the space
was once occupied by NetWare and is currently
occupied by Windows NT and there is nothing much that Microsoft can
do to
prevent this. However Windows NT is not set for
extinction in the style of OS/2. It has now moved into the
competitive space where the OS money is won and lost. Thus while
Linux consolidates at the low end as the default server of choice,
Windows NT retains a healthy share of this market and is also
moving into contention with the big Unixes; Solaris, HP-UX and

“When you examine this area of the market it quickly becomes
clear that the OS is not really a commodity in this space as the
hardware is key to providing scalability. At the top end of the
market, scalability and availability are everything and this is
where Windows NT now has to make its market. So far there is no
indication as to whether Linux can or will move into the
top-end space
as a properly supported OS working in sync with
appropriately designed hardware. It is actually too early to
say whether Windows 2000 can make it in this market, so with Linux,
it is way too early to say.”