IT-Director: The March of the Penguin

“Linux first became a kind of underground product, that saw
heavy support from the Universities of the world, but its use was
not irrational. It has a small footprint and even in its early
years, it was a very practical product for turning an aging PC into
a useful file server. … Linux development might have never gone
beyond that point had it not been for several factors which worked
solidly in its favour. These were: Immaturity of Windows NT… The
Effect of Academic Contagion… Hatred of Microsoft…”

“This final factor has now combined with a kind of commercial
idealism and transformed the Linux product from being an
interesting server option to a whole ‘intellectual’ (almost
political) movement based upon Open Source. The commercial
potential of Linux has been ‘confirmed’ by the extraordinarily
successful IPO of Red Hat, which attracted investment as though it
were an Internet stock. Linux has also received the backing of many
hardware vendors including Intel…”

“Microsoft has had to face a number of challenges in
its commercial life and each time it has responded aggressively and
successfully to the challenge. However it now has a real
conundrum to try to unravel. How do you compete with a product that
is free and has a vast number of enthusiastic supporters which not
only wish it to succeed but want to create a software industry
where the Microsoft business model simply will not work?”