"As both a product and a phenomenon, Linux has reached a plateau
where it is now considered just another mainstream alternative in
the overall market. But if you look behind a lot of the
technoeconomic trends that are driving today's market, the odds are
pretty good that we're all going to be interacting a lot more with
this platform in the future than most of us believe right now."
"In fact, there are five major trends that are likely to drive
Linux well beyond its current base of users.
"* Vendor rivalry. If you take a look at the macroeconomic war
between Microsoft and its major software rivals, one thing becomes
pretty clear: Microsoft is using the revenue stream it derives from
Windows and Office to fund its expansion drive into other areas.
This means that rival vendors have a compelling interest to weaken
that base of power. In short, it is in the strategic interest
of Oracle, IBM, and even SAP to push to open free platform
alternatives that could ultimately cripple Microsoft's economic
"* Component chaos. In the near future, software is going to
devolve to a series of components that can be pulled together at
will to create any application. There are obstacles to hurdle, but
the days of monolithic applications are numbered. As vendors
such as Microsoft move forward with Microsoft.NET or similar
technologies, the underlying operating system is less
strategic. In addition, the line between what is an element of
the operating system and what is an application will continue to
blur, and eventually people will not be able to define that
difference. Once you establish this model, Windows itself becomes
little more than a base platform for hosting component software.
The funny thing is that this is how many people already view Linux.
So as Microsoft moves in this direction, they continue to
validate the Linux development model."
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