[ snip ]
Let's see ...Quote:
>- Who uses Linux except enthusiasts and Microsoft haters.
This is in part a prediction, rather than a current state-of-the-art
survey. I'll maintain that predictions are useful to you, because even
if your company starts porting tomorrow your product won't be on the
shelves this year, so you need to look at least a couple of months
ahead. But that's another matter.
Firstly, Linux is eating SCO's marketplace. You could ask, who uses SCO?
SCO's _original_ marketplace (back in the Xenix days) was vertical
market software aimed at mom'n'pop businesses big enough to need a
multiuser computer system but too small to afford a minicomputer. As the
cost fraction of a new business PC that goes into Microsoft's pocket
increases, so those companies are going to move onto Linux in increasing
numbers rather than going with Microsoft's corporate-focussed
peer-to-peer networking solutions. At the same time, the larger
corporates SCO uses are a market will be looking at Linux -- which has a
far larger application base already -- and thinking about the cost
savings of migrating in that direction. ($500 per desk in savings isn't
unreasonable, and when you've got hundreds of desks to support that's a
meaningful amount of money.)
So we have Linux creeping into the obvious commercial unix-on-intel
slots, simply by being cheap and compatible with everything under the
Next, Linux has a large academic user base. I think the reasons for this
are self-evident; would you, as a student, rather pay for a SPARCserver
or a cheap no-name PC to do your work on? The question is, what does it mean
to you? Well, academia is where a lot of new, interesting IT ideas come
from. Oracle ultimately grew out of an academic project. Lotus Notes is
descended from a conferencing project that came out of academia. And so
on. The uptake of Linux in academia makes it a bit of a wildcard, because
just about *anything* could come out of it -- anything, that is, which
mainstream industry hasn't had the imagination to come up with.
Next, we see the trend towards sub-$600 PC's. At this cost point, a
Microsoft OS amounts to 25% of the COG of the product. Therefore, I'd
expect non-MS operating systems to appear on these machines (or rather,
you'll have to pay extra if you want Windows and it won't take long for
an OEM to start blowing Linux onto their hard disks so that they can at
least run a demo in the shops even without Windows).
Then there's the web/internet sector. Linux is the second commonest OS in
the ISP business, and growing; it's the commonest in the European web
server field, IIRC. Linux is, here and now, one of the commonest server
platforms everywhere -- and this means it's already a niche presence in
organisations that have no idea they're running Linux.
US Post Office good enough for you? (OCR and redirection of postalQuote:>- What sort of organisations run Linux, apart from Universities.
services, running on clusters of Linux engines).
Supercomputing at LLNL and NASA installations?
Real-time credit card processing in the UK?
Look, _no_ organisations have an official "we are a Linux-only shop"
policy yet, so it's virtually impossible to say that "X and Y Inc. are
Linux shops", in the manner that companies tie themselves to Windows. On
the other hand, a Linux _presence_ is fairly common in many companies.
A couple of years back I was doing some work with DHL's UK software
people. Their official company policy was HP-UX and Windows 3.11 only,
which was why a third of the PC's in their development group were running
Linux. Again: Hampshire County Council in the UK is officially a Windows
and VM/CMS shop, but I saw at least one Linux box there a couple of years
If your software runs on 'commercial' UNIXen, and has a market, and if
you port it to Linux, people will set up Linux systems just so that they
can run your software on cheaper hardware.