eWeek: Billions, Billions of Linux Bucks Served?
Feb 06, 2003, 13:00 (28 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Taschek)
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"It's next to impossible to disprove or prove anything IBM says.
The company keeps its numbers way too private to make any sense to
ordinary people or most financial analysts. It just feels contrived
that IBM is claiming revenue of $1 billion on Linux. After all,
just a little more than a year ago, IBM claimed it would invest $1
billion in Linux development. Certainly, IBM sells a lot of
products and services, but claiming $1 billion of investment and
then getting all that back a year later seems like a CFO dream at
best and artificial at worst. If it's true, then IBM has managed to
generate an ROI that most companies would die for.
"Besides, doesn't the billion number itself seem a little
made-up? Dell used it more than five years ago to claim that it
made $1 billion in revenue on the Internet. Cisco did the same
thing. The Linux Journal had an article about Linus Torvalds giving
away a billion tins of Penguin Caffeinated Peppermints to
Finnish-American students (not true). Meanwhile, Microsoft had to
cough up $1 billion of 'vouchers' to California customers who paid
too much for Office. And, ouch! HP pre-empted IBM by claiming Linux
generated $2 billion of its revenue..."