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Going hybrid [The Economist]

Jul 26, 2002 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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In this article, The Economist offers analysis about the state of open source and the adoption of Linux in business . . .

“When the hordes of volunteer programmers who make up the open-source movement met this week for their annual convention in San Diego, one constituency was conspicuously absent: entrepreneurs. Many start-ups that tried to make money from open-source software have already gone bust, and many of those that have survived are in a sorry state . . . “

” . . . open-source start-ups such as VA are now having to become more proprietary. Even Red Hat, the leading distributor of Linux, is going hybrid. In January it introduced a high-end version of Linux that is not entirely open-source. Development of Linux is increasingly driven by large computer makers, such as HP and IBM, which are spending serious money to make Linux run on their hardware. IBM even discounts its mainframes if buyers use them to run Linux. Enterprise-software firms, such as Oracle and SAP, have rewritten their applications so they also work on Linux . . . “

“Although this is all appalling to open-source purists, it may not spell the end for their beloved programs. On the contrary, it is likely to speed their adoption. Indeed, open source looks ideal for these difficult times. Free software is an attractive proposition when technology budgets are tight. Also, because more eyes look at the source code, it tends to be more secure and robust than proprietary software. Linux is thus winning unexpected converts, such as investment banks and government agencies . . . “

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This article was originally published on LinuxDevices and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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