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Community service for free software users

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| Over time, and with a lot of effort, the FOSS development model has resulted
| in Linux distributions and applications that are exceptionally easy to use,
| which in turn has attracted a large number of new users. However, users not
| familiar with FOSS development often have different expectations regarding
| software usability, maturity, and the completeness of software features. User
| reactions to the release of KDE 4.0 is a good example of how users'
| expectations can conflict with developers'. And KDE is typical of FOSS
| projects; it relies on contributions from users to improve.



A Perception of Lack of Support for Open Source Should Not Stop Adoption of

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| People seem hesitant to accept open source because “there is no company
| behind it” like Microsoft. First of all, from an OS standpoint, support of
| Linux distros by the companies that publish them has come a long way in the
| past few years. Companies like Canonical (the distributor of Ubuntu Linux),
| Novell (SuSE Linux), and Red Hat offer support programs that can assist you
| with your problem, although these programs vary in pricing and how they are
| conducted. The point is, however, that despite the fact that the OS is
| developed, maintained, and improved by an amorphous body of programmers (the *
| open source community), there are real companies behind the distros that will
| be there if you have a question or problem. * * * *


The top Linux support weaknesses, then and now

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| In 2003, SearchEnterpriseLinux.com visited the Linux support landscape
| with a list of Linux support weaknesses. A lot has happened over the
| past four years, as is evident in the success of Red Hat and
| Novell's subscription-based support models and the meteoric
| rise of commercial-grade Ubuntu support, to name a few.


Linux Graphics, a Tale of Three Drivers

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| Obviously, if the Linux desktop suddenly took off tomorrow Intel would be
| perfectly poised to capitalise on its successful open source strategy, slap
| a "Designed for Linux" sticker on all its desktops and laptops and wait for
| the profits to come rolling in.
| However, the current trend is for the future to go smart and mobile, with
| Linux becoming a strongly competitive choice in the mobile market primarily
| because of it's commodity support and speed of innovation. The most commonly
| touted feature of the new generation of mobile devices is graphics and
| multi-media, so anyone with a graphics device strategy that supports Linux
| seamlessly and can innovate down to the low power hand held devices is nicely
| positioned to capitalise on an emerging market.

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