"Linux is rapidly graduating from a small cult to a mainstream
religious movement. Its converts are multiplying rapidly, many as
self-anointed evangelists preaching the gospel of open-source
software that was created by Linus Torvalds of Finland in 1991.
"For the true believers, Linux offers a heaven on Earth with
obvious benefits: low cost, stability, a terrific record against
viruses and an ability to run on cheaper hardware. And, like all
religions, Linux has one big mystery at the core: Why don't more
corporate customers switch over...?"
"Linux has always had the advantage of being a bargain-priced
operating system, but one major barrier to its widespread
acceptance has been a dearth of popular desktop applications--the
word processors, spreadsheets and e-mail programs on which the vast
majority of personal computer users rely, such as Microsoft Word,
Excel and Outlook. Few companies that rely on such programs were
willing to make a switch from their Microsoft desktops.
"But that's changing rather quickly.
"Today there are a host of Linux-based programs that mirror
Microsoft's productivity suites as well as a program that can even
run Microsoft programs on top of the Linux operating system..."
Training Programs Sprout to Fill Technical Skills Gap
"'As more enterprise [Linux] systems start running, you're going
to need to have more people who are expert in it,' says Julie
Kaufman, an analyst with International Data Corp. (Canada) Ltd. in
Toronto who specializes in training.
"Seeking to meet the need for Linux know-how and fuel its
continued growth, a few organizations have launched certification
programs for Linux skills..."