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“Linux isn’t being developed by a bunch of hackers at night in their basements. It’s really moved into the mainstream.”

So says LinuxWorld magazine Editor in Chief Kevin Bedell in the ebizQ webinar The Linux Explosion – How Linux Is Changing The Landscape Of IT And Business, part of the Infrastructure Management: Strategies and Best Practices series, sponsored by Candle Corp.

And it’s taking the mainstream by storm.

“Linux is now a huge business,” Bedell says, with more than 10 million installs worldwide, HP reporting Linux-based revenue in excess of $2.5 billion for fiscal 2003, and IBM projecting industry-wide Linux expenditures to grow at an average annual rate of 35 percent through 2006.

“Anything that large that’s going to continue to grow at that rate, is really just a phenomenon,” Bedell declared.

Candle Advisory Project Manager Mark Verplaeste has seen it. “Not only has interest among our customers been exploding over the past several months, but so has the development of production software that will be running on Linux.

“IBM really legitimized Linux for business use two years ago when they announced that they were going to start producing their application integration software, their WebSphere line of products, to run on Linux. Our customer base has started to move forward as well. And hats off to IBM for bringing Linux into the business world, and enabling everyone to be using it for their integration projects.”

Both presenters pointed out the benefits to customers, including high reliability, flexibility, and scalability, and low cost of development and deployment.

Verplaeste noted that Candle now has an extensive Linux/WebSphere-related product line, for Linux Intel as well as zSeries Linux.

IBM’s impact on the Linux market has been “dramatic,” observed Bedell, noting that the company is working with more than 100 thousand developers to build applications, and has hundreds of top-notch internal developers working on Linux, “contributing free code.” More evidence: IBM’s recent $50 million investment in Novell in support of Novell’s acquisition of open source software developer Suse; the expected release of a Linux Lotus Notes client this year; and the rapid growth of WebSphere on Linux.


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