Fortune on Linux

Two articles. The first talks about Linux’s growth in enterprises, and how it threatens a Sun bastion (Wall Street): “Linux believers say a system using Sun’s servers offer no demonstrable advantages over the plain-vanilla servers running Linux, despite being roughly 50% more expensive. Linux may also carve into Microsoft’s NT server software market, but since NT is significantly cheaper than Sun’s Unix offerings, it hasn’t been hit as hard yet on Wall Street.”

The second article is about Linux for consumers in the form of Lindows.

can Lindows become a viable business? After all, Microtel is now paying about 25 cents a copy on average [for putting Lindows on its USD 199 PCs being distributed by Wal-mart], and in January it will start distributing the machines on and on CompUSA’s site, dropping the price per copy even further. That’s fine for [Lindows CEO] Robertson. He’s hoping Lindows consumers will then pony up $99 a year for unlimited downloading at a Lindows site full of Linux software. Among the offerings are Sun’s Star Office, which typically sells for $80, and thousands of other Linux titles. Historically it has been hard for all but the geekiest to find, download, and install Linux programs. Robertson’s so-called Click & Run Warehouse divides the Linux world into neat shopping aisles with automatic downloads and installs. Robertson won’t say how many have anted up for the service but admits that 30,000 customers “isn’t that far off the mark.”

I still feel that the big consumer opportunity for Linux is in the emerging markets, which few companies seem to be looking at. This market needs USD 100 (Rs 5,000) PCs.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.