Linux becomes a commodity at LinuxWorld

by Andy Oram

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Perhaps the clearest indication that operating systems are becoming a
commodity (a
prediction that many made
at the latest O'Reilly Open Source conference and elsewhere, to sound
the end of the Microsoft Windows era)
was Red Hat's

announcement today

that it was going to spend considerable effort on application-level
software such as IBM's Eclipse and Apache's Jakarta.
I attended a Red Hat press conference at Linuxworld today where the
spokesperson made it clear that Red Hat was "moving up the stack." In
other words, they felt they could do for other parts of the Open
Source infrastructure what they did for Linux, increasing its
visibility and pitching it successfully to a corporate market.

I deduce from this new initiative that pitching Linux is no longer
enough for Red Hat's continued growth--despite the gratifying growth
of the Linux market. (According to another source, Linux sales are
predicted to surpass the sales of all commercial Unix systems
combined, by the end of 2003.)

Business is brisk and action is lively here at Moscone Center, a pair
of concrete boxes shoved like huge desk drawers into the more
convivial parkland in the middle of San Francisco's downtown. In
further weblogs this week, I will summarize the conversations I've had
and draw more conclusions for which nobody but myself should be