That Linux is hitting mainstream is indicated by the cover story in the latest issue of Business Week:
The computer realm may never be the same. Imagine the havoc in the energy business if some newcomer started giving away gasoline. Linux is bringing on a convulsion of that magnitude in tech. Practically every tech company is being forced to figure out how to take advantage of Linux–or to avoid being swept aside by it. And don’t be fooled by Linux’ harmless-looking penguin mascot, Tux: This stuff is shaking up the balance of power in the computer industry. It poses the biggest threat to Microsoft’s hegemony since the Netscape browser in 1995.
How did Linux make the jump into the mainstream? A trio of powerful forces converged. First, credit the rotten economy. Corporations under intense pressure to reduce their computing bills began casting about for low-cost alternatives. Second, Intel Corp., the dominant maker of processors for PCs, loosened its tight links with Microsoft and started making chips for Linux. This made it possible for corporations to get all the computing power they wanted at a fraction of the price. The third ingredient was widespread resentment of Microsoft and fear that the company was on the verge of gaining a stranglehold on corporate customers.
[As] the Linux movement continues to push its freeware into the world, a delicate balance is forming. Its success hinges on keeping the peace between two extremes: the volunteer programmers who pull all-nighters writing code to change the world, and the commercial types who use the software to save money. It’s a weird twist on capitalism. But it just might work.
Cover stories in two of the magazines which were delivered yesterday were on Linux (Business Week) and WiFi (Far Eastern Economic Review). One is open-source, the other is open-spectrum. Both are causing great upheaveals in the existing status quo.