However, a fifth of respondents also felt that the rapid adoption of Linux-based services from the major IT solution vendors would squeeze opportunities for smaller players and freelance developers, an outcome which would contradict the spirit in which Linux was created. Opinion in the ISP community was evenly split as to whether Linux could ever become the desktop operating system of choice.
"This latest research from Idaya/FreeVSD was concluded in June 2001, and surveyed opinion amongst the global top 1000 Internet Service Providers - precisely the companies that have made the greatest investment in GPL technology and applications. Respondents were a mixture of business managers, technical heads and service managers.
Principal findings from this latest research project are:-
Â· 83% of respondents believe that the porting of key enterprise applications to Linux (Lotus Notes, Oracle, SQL etc) would constitute a boost for the GPL market. 13% believed it would pose a threat. The main reason for regarding such porting as a threat was firmly focused on the fact that the code would no longer be free at the point of usage under the GPL principle.
Â· 42% of respondents felt that the adoption of Linux by major IT solutions vendors (IBM, HP, Compaq, etc) would actively help improve opportunities for smaller players and freelance developers. In contrast, 21% felt that it would actually squeeze opportunities for smaller companies and freelancers. 37% felt that it would have little effect either way. .
Â· 50% of respondents felt that at some point Linux could become the desktop operating system of choice. However, a comparable 48% felt that this was unlikely to happen. This even split of opinion reflects the findings of a freeVSD/Idaya survey earlier this year which found 70% of respondents wanting greater convergence between freeBSD and Linux distributions in order to combine strengths and develop a standard set of tools for modern Unix platforms. .
Austin Delaney, founder of the freeVSD project comments, ?There is no question about the inexorable progress of the Linux platform and applications developed for it. The rapid adoption of freeVSD for secure virtual server web hosting and remote management is just one example of the trend we are all experiencing. Frankly, I think that the Linux support from the major IT solutions vendors has to be a good thing. Our previous research has shown that the main obstacle to Linux penetration in the large company back-office is the inertia of fear amongst corporate IT directors, especially with reference to support levels for mission-critical applications. The adoption of Linux by the big players must do much to allay those concerns. Surely, then, with the code being open source, the possibilities for small and freelance developers providing specialist applications and utilities must grow with the expanding market.
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