The Economist: Friend or Foe?
Apr 10, 2003, 19:00 (19 Talkback[s])
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[ Thanks to Arturo Galvan for this link.
"Larry Ellison, the boss of Oracle, the world's second-largest
software firm, likes to make bold claims. Last week he was at it
again, attacking his old foe, Microsoft, the world's biggest
software company. Microsoft, he declared, risked being 'wiped off
the face of the earth' by Linux, the free, open-source operating
system developed by Linus Torvalds, a Finnish programmer, and a
team of enthusiasts. As always, Mr Ellison's prediction should be
taken with a handful of salt. But it contains a germ of truth,
because the rise of Linux is changing the dynamics of the computer
business. Some of the industry's titans benefit from its advance,
while others lose...
"Linux has yet to have much impact in the highest echelons of
business computing: telecoms-billing systems, airline-reservation
systems, and so on. But it is advancing steadily. Once limited to
dotcoms, it is now used by such firms as Merrill Lynch, Verizon and
Boeing. '2001 was the year of interest, 2002 the year of pilot
projects, and 2003 is the year of deployment,' says Avery Lyford of
Linuxcare, whose software simplifies the adoption of Linux by big
firms. A recent report by Gartner, a consultancy, says that
'businesses are coming to regard Linux as a worthy alternative to
Unix and Windows...'"