The Linux market is trapped in a chicken (or perhaps
penguin) and egg situation as vendors wait for users to show
serious interest in Linux-based enterprise applications, and users
wait for vendors to produce the goods.
According to analyst IDC, Linux users in Western Europe are
seeing the value of buying into the web server and networking
offerings of the open source software, but few are planning more
complex solutions which would generate revenue for vendors.
Kirsten Ludvigsen, director of IDC's European Unix, client
server and workstation research, said: "Users are attracted to
Linux for its cost effectiveness and malleability for
specific-purpose devices, both client and server. However, the lack
of available applications and perceived lack of service and support
offerings are major inhibitors to this market's growth."
Ludvigsen said the industry is waiting for user demand to pick
up before it develops enterprise applications and commits to the
Linux environment. This, she argues, has lead to a "chicken and egg
situation" in which the Linux industry may suffer from a lack of
sufficient funding to continue developing future products.
IDC said the main question is whether users will buy into the
open source development model with no future roadmap, an
economically unstable players and a current lack of specific types
Development on bringing Linux into the commercial server space,
despite the support of many leading vendors such as Dell and
Computer Associates, is still a long way off in terms of
scalability, reliability, and availability features, according to
The analyst said that the major areas of deployment of Linux
will be in the embedded or appliance space for both clients and
servers until 2004, by when it predicts there will be three million
Linux server licences.
"Clients will have many forms and shapes, and we believe smart
handheld devices and cable TV devices will be the major areas of
growth for Linux in Western Europe," said Ludvigsen.
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