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CNET/Forrester: Linux Questions and Answers

Apr 29, 2003, 10:00 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ted Schadler)

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"Linux will go mainstream in the data center in 2003. Why? Because the open-source operating system delivers Unix reliability at Intel prices and has strong support from vendors such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Oracle and SAP. But executives still wonder about the right Linux strategy.

"Forrester recently spoke with 50 large North American companies with Linux experience and 28 vendors helping customers with Linux solutions. From these conversations, we conclude that Linux will take over most new Unix workloads in the data center over the next five years--mostly on Intel-based servers. But executives have lots of questions about how to make this transition. Among them:

"What risks do I face in adopting Linux?
Very few. There is no risk that IBM or HP will abandon Linux, and it's only a matter of time before software makers will port their applications to Linux. The only material risk is that Sun Microsystems will co-opt Linux by adding Solaris features that the Linux community rejects--causing a splintering in the Linux world. Forrester believes that Sun won't do this. Why not? Because buyers want open standards and the freedom to buy low-cost servers. That pressure will keep Sun from co-opting Linux and risking alienating its customers..."

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