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MSNBC: Top tech stories of 1999

Dec 23, 1999, 20:34 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bob Sullivan)

"Things were looking up for Linus Torvalds in 1999. The Linux inventor became a fixture on business sections during the year while Linux-based stocks became a Wall Street darling."

"High-tech stories have a tendency to follow a predictable pattern through news organizations. They start, as discoveries, in the science section. While developing, the story is ceded to the technology section, and when a product is released, the business section wants in. Eventually, there's a full-page feature in lifestyles. In 1999, the biggest technology story was fact that Linux is no longer is just a technology story. The general public may not be impressed by security or reliability, but it is impressed with 500 percent gains in the stock market...."

The graduation of Linux from the tech section to the business section might have seemed inevitable to Linus Torvalds enthusiasts last year - but hardly to the general public, and not even to business readers. A year ago, there were still giggles when Linux stories were discussed in newsroom meetings, and business editors weren't all that interested. For example, in 1998, there were 16 stories in The Wall Street Journal mentioning Linux."

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