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Linux and Distribution Channels: Ways to Enter the Commercial Market

By Don Rosenberg, Stromian Technologies

Summary by Bruce Alan Wynn

Historically, Linux has been labelled "freeware." As use of Linux becomes more widespread, a commercial market is springing up around it: vendors with a "value add" who sell Linux, vendors with applications for Linux, even vendors who offer support of Linux systems.

In this presentation, Don described some of these areas that are developing around Linux. Even though the operating system itself and improvements to it will remain free for the foreseeable future, these additional products and services will not.

Although it may seem at first that the future of Linux will change for the worse as users are required to purchase software and services, this will actually increase the use of Linux in the workplace.

As commercial software packages such as Office Automation software become more widely available, business managers will put more trust in this "new" operating system. As support services become available for the operating system itself, managers will be more likely to allow the use of Linux on their PCs instead of other operating systems with a longer history of support. Now Linux will be able to become a true contender in the PC world.

All in all, the development of a commercial market around Linux is great news.

Originally published in ;login: Vol. 22, No.2, April 1997.
Last changed: May 28, 1997 pc
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