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Upside: To open source, investors tune out, companies tune in

Dec 20, 2000, 12:56 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sam Williams)

"Call it the open source business paradox. At a time when public and private investors seem to be turning up their noses at open source companies and the notion of selling software with freely available source code, large and small businesses alike can't seem to get enough of it."

"Last week's announcement by IBM (IBM) Chairman and CEO Lou Gerstner about Big Blue's willingness to invest $1 billion in Linux-related marketing and support efforts in the coming year is a perfect example of this paradox in play."

"Slowly but surely, companies such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard (HWP) and even Oracle (ORCL) have re-positioned themselves as the best friends of the open source community, while former starlets such as Red Hat (RHAT) and VA Linux (LNUX) scramble to earn their first profitable dollar."

"While this may be bad news for the investors who expected Red Hat and Linux to become the next IBM, it's a cause for optimism among second-tier open source entrepreneurs."

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