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ZDNet: Searching for a supermodel - for Linux business

Feb 14, 2001, 15:20 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Evan Leibovitch)

"Reaction to Weigand's perceived comments took on a life of their own long after the retractions kicked in. All over the place, people used the opportunity to vent on the perceived futility of the current crop of Linux-related business models. Attacks, defenses, and counter-attacks were the order of the day; the mentions at Slashdot and Linux Today received far more than their share of talkbacks. But just as telling was the flurry of activity in local user group mailing lists such as the one I frequent."

"This issue has certainly touched a nerve, and I can see why. Linux partisans are insistent that the success of Linux as a means of creating technology (let alone the technology itself) should not be measured by the fortunes of the various companies that exist to peddle it. Old school observers and critics such as Microsoft... point to size of the current Linux industry as an indicator that Linux isn't yet ready for mainstream commercial use."

"In some senses, both sides are right. The Linux industry, as most people know it, has yet to really prove it can make a buck. ... The current darling of Linux revenue models is the one that ignores making money off the software itself and concentrates on support, consulting, and training. ... If the big Linux players want to be deeply involved in consulting, training, and support, they either need to partner with local VARs or compete directly with them. Competing with the VARs, which have more intimate knowledge of end-users on a day-to-day basis, is difficult if not suicidal."

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