Salt Lake Tribune: Main Street Opens Doors to Linux

[ Thanks to N@ for this
link. ]

“It has been a tough year for Utah’s Caldera
International Inc., Lineo Inc. and other Linux companies
nationwide. Those that didn’t go bust announced large layoffs as
investors realized that businesses built around a free operating
system weren’t poised for aggressive growth. The Linux Hatchery at
last month’s Comdex convention was home to just two companies, down
from about 150 last year.

So it may come as a surprise that the sturdy computer program
with the Penguin mascot never has been more popular. While the
flightless bird may have been booted off Wall Street, it is being
welcomed on Main Street as a dependable substitute for more
expensive software sold by competitors such as Microsoft and Sun
Microsystems. From auto dealers in Florida to grocery stores in the
Arctic Circle, companies are using Linux to run Web sites, power
databases, track inventory and balance the books.

‘It’s hard to say no to free,’ said Jeff Davis, technology
manager for the Standard School District in Bakersfield, Calif. The
low price, stability and speed of Linux-loaded Compaq hardware
convinced Davis to select the package over rival products offered
by Microsoft and Provo-based Novell. Plus, he said, ‘It is super-,
super-configurable’ thanks to readily available source code that
allows users to add features or fix bugs without waiting for an


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