The Guardian UK: Linux’s Perilous Victory

[ Thanks to Gn@ for
this link. ]

Will success spoil Linux? After a spectacular rise from
little known, hobbyist operating system to the fastest growing OS
in the computing market and bona fide commercial phenomenon, Linux
is at the centre of some collective soul-searching….

“It’s an absolutely fascinating development, and it’s glowing
red-hot in the US,” says analyst Martin Hingley, vice president of
the European systems group in the UK offices of International Data
Corporation (IDC). Why? “The customer is looking to avoid being
tied to a single source [for an operating system],” he says. Linux
can be downloaded by anyone for free from the internet, or, if you
opt for some CDs and instructions, is available from companies such
as Red Hat and SuSE at a small charge (under £50). At last
count, more than 145 sources offered a version of Linux.”

“The benefit is control,” says Red Hat’s chief executive Bob
Young. “People are no longer beholden to their vendor.” If Linux is
(in the favourite American phrase) the poster child of the open
source movement, then North Carolina-based Red Hat is the poster
child for Linux. Yet such are the odd twists and turns of the Linux
tale, that Red Hat itself is now seen by some as the Linux vendor
that’s getting too big and too successful, following an initial
public offering (IPO) and the establishment of its own acquisitions

Complete Story

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