Looking at Linux in 2004

Eric Hellweg, CNN/Money Contributing Columnist, sees big things ahead for Linux in 2004.

I know, I know, Im about three weeks early for my annual predictions column, but I want to come right out and say it: 2004 is going to be a big year for Linux.

Big in terms of its corporate enterprise adoption, which, according to every industry observer I spoke with, should continue apace or faster. Big in terms of a hot topic for next year, specifically with the infamous SCO lawsuits coming to a head.

And finally, big in terms of investors on both sides of the Linux equation.

My look ahead was triggered by the just-released results of the Gartner/SoundView IT Symposium, a semiannual confab that serves as a great litmus test for where things are headed in information technology. Six hundred IT execs were polled, and more respondents said they plan to spend "significantly more" on Red Hat Linux products next year than said theyd be spending more on Microsoft.

Obviously, on an absolute basis, more money will be spent on Microsoft products, but Red Hat (which may have served as a Linux proxy to respondents) is showing strong growth at a time when overall IT spending plans for 2004 are cloudy.

For the rest of Hellwegs take, click here.