"Linux is used as a server all the time. From
branch-offices using Linux and Samba to Google running, well
everything, on Linux, it's the operating system for choice for most
businesses. Except that is, for small offices. There, Microsoft's
SBS (Small Business Server) is the server of choice. The Clear
Foundation wants to change that with their ClearOS 5.1 small
business server distribution.
"Why has Linux not done well here? It's an odd story. In some
ways, Linux has historically done quite well for small businesses.
Back in the late 1990s, the Cobalt appliance line did quite well in
the market. Sun, in one of their less than bright moments, however,
bought Cobalt for about $2 billion in 2000. By neglect, Sun had
killed off Cobalt, and small business server Linux, by 2004.
"Of course, this is Linux. Why hasn't someone else stepped up?
In part, Linux hasn't entered the small business market because
Linux distributors haven't focused on it. Only Novell, of the major
Linux players, with its Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business
Edition had made much of an effort in this area. The Clear
Foundation's sole focus is on providing small business users with
an easy-to-use server."