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Upside: Startups keep open source competitive

Jan 31, 2001, 20:55 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sam Williams)

"Readers of this column over the past month will have noticed a certain big company vs. little company motif. Maybe it's the upcoming LinuxWorld Convention and Expo in New York, but for some reason, the safe money nowadays seems to be moving in the direction of larger, more traditional businesses."

"That's not to say small companies are out of the running altogether, of course. A few days ago I paid a visit to WorkSpot, a 30-person company based in Palo Alto, Calif. And while the visit wasn't enough to dispel a growing cause for concern over the momentary health of the open source business sector, it was enough to remind me that even in tough times, being small has its advantages...."

"Indeed, watching WorkSpot CEO Kathy Giori put her company's new AppSpot thin-client product through its paces, I had to fight back an instinctive "So what?" AppSpot essentially lets Windows-based PC users run Linux server-based applications via their Microsoft Internet Explorer browser."

"Such a move seems about as counterintuitive as chopping the roof off a Ford Aerostar and using it as a pickup truck until you realize the following fact: Windows apps cost money to license; most Linux and Unix-based apps do not."

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