Mainstream Linux

A series of articles in Business Week on Linux. In a nutshell: “Linux is gaining momentum in nearly all corners of computing, and more and better programs now run on it. Now, it just needs a business model.”

The big opportunity for Linux, Star Office and other such software solutions is in targeting the new users of the world. No point trying to go after the existing Microsoft users. There are the next 500 million users who are not in the high-income countries of the world. They also need computing. They are the ones who should be targeted. The problem is that most of the articles we see provide a viewpoint from the developed market, that is where the journalists are!

Linux and the other open source alternatives can only get a niche market share in countries like US, Europe and Japan. But in countries like India and China, they have an opportunity to become market leaders. This is where Sun should be focusing their Star Office efforts. This is a point echoed by Amy Wohl in her weekly newsletter: “I have some advice for Sun: Look for customers who aren’t Word users – if you can find them. Remember, most of them will be outside the U.S.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.