Time is right for Linux PCs to emerge
By BRIAN BERGSTEIN, AP Technology Writer Tue Apr 1, 4:23 PM ET
BOSTON - The free Linux operating system handles big tasks like
running supercomputers and ATMs. Now Linux has a chance to
finally crack Microsoft Corp.'s hold on computing's most visible
domain mainstream PCs because of the rise of innovative,
Business computing suppliers are finding open-source desktops
especially gaining traction in cost-conscious developing markets.
For example, a PC distributor in Eastern Europe is packaging
software from IBM Corp. and Linux vendor Red Hat Inc. to create
Microsoft-free desktops for that market.
One buyer is Aleksandar Spagnut, a director of Moscow-based
Rushotel, which needed new desktop PCs for a hotel-building
project. Spagnut said his company saved 30 to 35 percent over
comparable Windows machines. He added that Linux PCs are now
common enough that a snowball effect is emerging, whereby
technical support and "drivers" which essentially tell programs
how to interact with hardware are much easier to find.
"This really makes the difference," he said.