December 4, 2003

Linux Reality Doesn't Match Hype

Almost every week, it seems, another government is jumping on the Linux bandwagon, badmouthing Microsoft all the
way. But for all the headlines, the open-source software movement remains very much a fringe business, raising troubling questions for investors
who've plowed into publicly traded Linux providers in the past year.

And plowed they have: As of Tuesday's close, Red Hat shares were up 110% in the past 12 months, while shares of
Novell, which recently acquired Germany-based SUSE Linux, had soared nearly 150%. Those returns compare quite
favorably with the 33.4% gain by the Nasdaq Composite and 26% rise by the Goldman Sachs Software Index in the past year.



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