The Penguin That Ate Microsoft

By CIO Update Staff

(Back to article)

Microsoft's Windows operating system runs on more than 90% of the world's computers, a market share that many believe is so overwhelming that no other company can ever hope to challenge it.

But maybe a little penguin with roots in Scandinavia is about to do the unthinkable. The Linux open-source operating system, appears to be winning over a critical mass of corporate customers that could ultimately spill over into the broader consumer technology market.

In a piece today, PCWorld says Linux "may not topple the Microsoft empire anytime soon, but recent offerings indicate that Linux distributors, hardware vendors, and developers are dedicated to making Linux on the desktop a reality. Distributions such as Xandros, Sun's Java Desktop System, and Lindows' Linspire are targeting new users interested in migrating from Windows. They offer easy-to-use and install distributions as well as inexpensive PCs preloaded with Linux, available at retailers such as Wal-Mart."

Xandros CEO Rick Berenstein told the publication that "'[s]ales of Xandros's distribution are up six-fold from a year ago ...' He cites the lack of licensing fees for Linux, the availability of cheap hardware, and security problems with Windows as just a few reasons the open-source operating system is gaining popularity. Plenty of distributions have started teaming up with hardware vendors to make the transition to Linux easier for Windows users looking for alternatives."

See the complete column on the Post's Web site (registration required).

This article was compiled and edited by CIO Update staff. Please direct any questions regarding its content to Allen Bernard, Managing Editor.