Tux Penguin Waddles to More Market Share

That pesky penguin just won’t go away. It’s unlikely that Microsoft would shed a tear if Linux was frozen out of the market. But the nonproprietary operating system continues to grow in market share-and not at a glacial pace either!

Because of its proven security, and lower costs, Linux has invaded the global business and government market. computerworld.com estimates that the Tux Penguin has waddled into almost 80 percent of today’s companies, and can be found on web servers, network monitoring systems, desktop computers, firewalls, e-mail, laptops, you name it.

What these companies have realized is threefold. First, the penguin is one tough guard dog. Security is less of a concern with Linux than with most proprietary systems. As open code, Linux also offers the collective brainpower of all its users and developers when it comes to updates and patches. Lastly, users don’t miss much when they switch to Linux. It possesses nearly every feature and function that a Windows-based system does.

As for security, the best defense is a good offense-against those with a grudge against Windows. The litany of charges against Bill Gates’ products is long, including MyDoom, MS Blaster, and every other worm and virus out there that can creep through chinks in Microsoft’s armour, whether they are in Windows or Explorer. Face it, Microsoft unfortunately is a target. Think France with its Maginot Line.

On the other hand, Linux can have gaps in its fortifications too. But seems to attack its own weaknesses rapidly, with patches and upgrades. Experts point out that Linux fixes issues before they really even become issues.

A lot of this can be explained by the philosophy behind Linux. Unlike Microsoft, which sometimes releases products before errors have been ironed out, Linux is based off the principles of UNIX, the first nonproprietary OS. The main principle: to create the perfect Operating System. With this same notion in mind, Linux seeks to continually improve. It’s possible. Its code is always being tested and tinkered with by the users and developers in the Linux community.

The result is a high-quality OS that never limits its users and can be adapted to meet the needs of any application, project, or hardware. Like the rising popularity of the firefox browser, it’s only matter of time before the laptop buying public wise up. For Microsoft, the Tux penguin may well be starting to look more like an 800-pound gorilla.

By Matthew Brodsky

Saturday, June 25, 2005