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Linux Finally Moves Beyond the Fringe

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Linux has rocked the foundations of the server and client operating system market around the world - and this has been felt in Australia as much as anywhere else. In all company sizes and industries, Linux is finding its way into organisations - and it has moved beyond the web, file and print server into core business applications.

IDC Australia's recent report "Australia Linux Adoption - An End-User Study" draws on a recent study into Linux usage and adoption plans amongst 300 businesses in Australia. The report analyses the findings of the study and examines the future impact of the growth of Linux - particularly as a server operating environment. The results in the report are weighted to represent the Australian business market.

The key factors driving the growth of Linux are:

  • The availability of more and more applications on the Linux platform

  • The decreased TCO of an IT solution (involving a Linux deployment)
  • The security of the Linux platform
  • The increased availability of management applications for Linux

"Linux goes beyond providing a cheap server or desktop operating environment - it allows companies in some industries and sectors that have previously been unable to deploy what were traditionally expensive business applications to deploy them and compete more effectively," said Tim Sheedy, Research Director of Software and Services at IDC Australia.

"However, there are many impediments to the widespread deployment of Linux - as price and availability of applications are both driving the deployment of Linux in Australia. Any vendor that can counteract these factors has the ability to derail the Linux train," added Mr Sheedy.

Linux will continue to rock the foundations of the SOE market for a number of years. Linux is allowing organisations to access many applications at a fraction of the cost of what they have previously paid.

As Microsoft NT running on an x86 platform undercut the Unix vendors in the late 90s, Linux running on x86 will further improve on this equation. Software vendors are frequently offering enterprise-class applications for less than 25% of what companies are used to paying by deploying their database and applications in the Linux environment. After much talk, debate, and speculation, it has become clear that Linux has truly arrived.


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