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Sunday Times (South Africa): Linux Moves into the Mainstream

Aug 05, 2002, 11:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Alastair Otter)

"A couple of years ago, Linux was little more than a fledgling operating system. Its advocates predicted world domination and its critics unflinchingly honed in on its failings. Today it is a radically different picture. Linux has matured in the last few years, not only in kernel code but also in its breadth of applications. Instead of the catch-up game it played in past years, Linux is now taking up a role as a major innovative force and a leader in a new generation of connected computing.

"Linux also has the support of a number of industry heavyweights. Instead of only being the keen interest of a ragtag band of hackers, Linux now lists among its fans the likes of IBM, Oracle and Dell, with even Sun Microsystems dabbling in the Linux pool. The influence of the interest from these industry giants is becoming evident with a growing number of equally influential companies following their lead.

"Linux is not a panacea; it does not have all the answers but its devotees maintain that it certainly has most of them. As much as Linux is like Unix, it is not nearly as mature, and while its desktop environment is evolving rapidly, it is not yet as friendly as Windows. There is always a 'yet' when you talk to Linux enthusiasts, because no matter how much criticism is heaped onto the system, few of them believe the open source operating system will not achieve its goals..."

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