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eWeek: Answering Open-Source Questions

Feb 01, 2003, 04:00 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Peter Coffee)

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"Last week was filled with news on the Linux front, with every major IT provider trying to warm itself near the fire of enterprise interest. IBM claimed to have a billion-dollar business based on the open-source operating system and pointed to the company's own progress in replacing its Windows and OS/2 servers with Linux systems; Sun announced expanded Linux-based offerings of flagship software products; and Microsoft won an award, at LinuxWorld Expo in New York, for its Services for Unix 3.0 product that runs a Unix environment on a Windows kernel and provides integrated administration and developer support.

"I still get e-mail, though, suggesting that there's a lot of communication to be done before middle-tier companies will consider Linux a genuine option. I'm talking about the companies too small to have a substantial IT department, but too big for the founder/CEO to make a Linux adoption decision at breakfast on Saturday and have it deployed on Monday morning.

"One question that hit my in-box late last week was 'How do you get support if anyone can modify the code?' I was tempted to reply, 'How do you get support if you can't modify (or even see) the code...?'"

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