Back in the early 1990s, when Linux initiator Linus Torwalds and open source software started to make headlines, the idea of giving software away seemed crazy. Looking at the headway the movement has made since then, you might be forgiven for wondering why Linux desktops have failed to become as ubiquitous as Linux servers are.
Oh, how they laughed when the open source movement started. But today, Linux is present in almost every enterprise and, according to market researcher IDC, it's set to keep on growing. In fact, Linux server sales have hit their second consecutive quarter of double-digit growth and constitute 12.7 percent of the overall server market, or $1.6 billion for the first quarter of 2007, reckons the research company.
What's more, server technology has moved forward in leaps and bounds, with virtualisation - now the accepted way of helping to combat the combined treats of humungous and expensive power consumption and adding to the global climate crisis - only the latest technology to make it into the Linux kernel.
So there are millions of Linux boxes out there, performing tasks such as serving Web pages and hosting databases. And there's a fair number of Linux machines running as desktops, mainly for technically savvy enthusiasts and computer professionals.
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