A Window on Linux

This past month was pretty intense here at Linux Mag. Lots of travel. Lots of places to go and people to see about Linux. What did I learn? Forget about whether the stock market is up or down, or whether people think Linux is the best thing since sliced bread, or the worst thing since the black plague. As far as I can tell Linux is spreading like wildfire -- everywhere.








dell/pub
Kiss and Dell: Michael Dell reveals his company’s plans for Linux.

This past month was pretty intense here at Linux Mag. Lots of travel. Lots of places to go and people to see about Linux. What did I learn? Forget about whether the stock market is up or down, or whether people think Linux is the best thing since sliced bread, or the worst thing since the black plague. As far as I can tell Linux is spreading like wildfire — everywhere.

Listen, don’t get me wrong; I never had any doubts at all about Linux’s long term success. It’s just that during this past month, I felt like the momentum that I saw gathering behind Linux was even more powerful than I had known previously.

It all started at Networld+Interop in Las Vegas. I was amazed by the number of companies that had built their products from the ground up based on Linux. They seemed to be there in droves. Companies selling NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices, Web server appliances, and firewall appliances — all powered by Linux. And that was nothing compared to the number of companies which had products that ran on top of Linux. VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), Network Management/Monitoring systems, etc. You name it, someone there had a Linux version of it. I found myself thinking; “Hey, this isn’t a Linux-specific show…And yet, Linux is everywhere!”

One thing that really struck me was the relatively small number of companies hawking the traditional Linux PC/workstation/servers. I believe that what I saw at Interop represents the beginning of the Linux “appliance” market we’ve been hearing so much about lately. It seems like every company in the networking business has to have a Linux strategy. This can only be a Good Thing for the long run.

I left Interop feeling positive about the progress Linux has been making. But it was on our next trip that I realized how far we have come. We flew to Austin, TX to spend the day at Dell Computer Corp. Most of our time was spent talking to various executives at Dell and hearing about Dell’s Linux strategy. I was very impressed with what I learned. These guys are serious. And it all comes from the top down — Michael Dell himself has taken a strong personal interest in Linux and is doing his best to focus his company on helping Linux go “as far and as fast as it wants to go.” (See our interview, pg. 52.)

I’d like to take a second to thank Michael for taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk to us. Needless to say, when a company the size of Dell starts to make Linux a regular part of their product offerings, it’s hard to argue that Linux is not becoming mainstream. But the best part is that, from everything I can tell, we are barely at the beginning….

See you next month,

Adam Signature

Adam M. Goodman

Editor & Publisher

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