"The Linux hype has undeniably crested. SuSE is not the only
company that has had trouble building a viable business based on
the free operating system. VA Linux, for example, a start-up which,
in late 1999, enjoyed the most successful flotation ever—with
shares gaining almost 700% on their first day of
trading—recently said it would cut a quarter of its staff and
take nine months longer than planned to achieve profitability. Only
the market leader, Red Hat, is doing better than expected."
"But this should not be read as a sign of the imminent demise of
open-source software via Linux, its standard-bearer. Most people in
the software industry believe that open-source is here to stay.
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive, recently called Linux
'threat number one'. Steven Milunovich, a leading analyst with
Merrill Lynch, an investment bank, argues that open-source is a
'disruptive technology' that could topple such industry
heavyweights as Microsoft and Sun."
"In fact, the open-source movement is less about 'world
domination', which hackers often joke about, and more about an
industry which, thanks to the Internet, is learning that there is
value in deep co-operation as well as in hard competition."
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