"...Linux, an open-source Unix cousin, has captured a
lot attention from many of technology's most powerful juggernauts.
The Linux operating system is used in systems ranging from personal
digital assistants (PDAs) and Tivos (digital VCR-like machines) to
IBM mainframes and supercomputers. Last year, IBM pledged to spend
$1 billion on Linux and offers Linux on all of its servers. Big
Blue along with Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Computer Associates is
backing the non-profit Open Source Development Lab. The Lab is
charged with helping to bring enterprise class enhancements to
Linux and other open-source software.
Why then are IT shops taking a go-slow approach? Among the
reservations cited in the TechTarget survey and follow-up
interviews were: Expense of re-training end-users and IT staff,
concerns about the newness and long-term viability of the Linux OS,
lack of adequate vendor support, questions about security and
stability and a dearth of compatible business software.
"Most of our critical applications run on Windows NT/2000 and
not on Linux," said Tony Matos, manufacturing administrator with
Lockheed Martin Corporation NE&SS-Marine Systems of Baltimore,
Md., whose division is testing Linux as a Web server. "As more of
our engineering applications become available on Linux, we will
have to re-evaluate those critical processes," Matos added."