Linux: Is It Blossoming or Maturing?
Stan Gibson wonders if Linux has reached maturity.Is Linux blossoming orgasp!maturing? When a company, in this case SuSE, is acquired, its a sign of value. But it is also a sign of industry consolidation, which is a sign of maturitywhich is the kiss of death in this industry. To reach maturity with a minority server market share and a negligible client market share (see chart) would not seem to augur well for the future of Linux. And when Novell buys a company, its not necessarily a good sign, either. Novell did once own Unix and WordPerfect, both purchased during an earlier acquisition binge. In the current shopping spree, Novell has added application development toolmaker SilverStream and Linux corporate desktop software provider Ximian, not to mention integrator Cambridge Technology Partners. "This puts Novell in a strong position," said IDC analyst Dan Kusnetzky. IBM thinks so and is investing $50 million in Novell.
Against this backdrop, as Peter Galli reports, Red Hat exiting the consumer desktop market for Linux looks anomalous. But its not. Red Hat says it will concentrate all its energies on enterprise Linuxincluding storage and backup, as Evan Koblentz reports. Adding up all its acquisitions, Novell is shooting for the enterprise, too. So, its all about the enterprise, and its too soon to speak of maturity for Linux in the sense of irrelevance.