Linux Community Chuckles at Slowdown Prediction

A survey by the investment banking and securities firm UBS found that fewer CIOs will deploy Linux than in the past, but the results are being met with shrugs in the Linux community.

According to UBS, more than 90 percent of CIOs who are not Linux users said they would not deploy Linux in the calendar year, up from 60 percent in 2006. Expect Linux system growth to slow down, the study said.

No Surprise

“Linux has been around for a while now,” Illuminata analyst Gordon Haff told LinuxInsider. “It’s widely deployed and mature in a lot of ways. Therefore, I don’t find it particularly surprising that companies that haven’t deployed Linux aren’t about to start doing so immediately.”

A slowdown is often viewed as a natural event in market dynamics, a maturing of a technology.

“This is not a bad thing,” said Clay Ryder, president of the Sageza Group. Linux uptake had been on a tear, Ryder said. The momentum continued as business buyers increasingly saw its value.

“I have to question whether the survey is truly capturing all current and planned Linux use in those organizations, some of which may be ‘unofficial’ or in various embedded capacities,” Haff said.

Novell Sees Growth, Not Slowdown

In industry quarters, Suse Linux vendor Novell did not appear troubled over the future of Linux, claiming its observations indicated strong growth in its Linux business.

“All we can talk about is our own experience,” Justin Steinman, Novell director of marketing, open platform solutions, told LinuxInsider. “In our most recently reported quarter, our Linux revenue was up 77 percent over the same quarter last year, and our invoicing was up 95 percent. Through the first three quarters of our fiscal year 2007, our Linux invoicing is up 243 percent relative to the same period the previous year.”

Customers Talk

“We regularly talk to customers who are actively deploying Linux for multiple workloads, including data center, Web serving, and desktop,” Steinman said.

Similarly, Penguin Computing isn’t having tremors over the UBS survey. The company is a pioneer in the Linux business space and is now focused on Linux clustering and solutions for high-performance computing customers.

“This is almost a throwback to the early days of Linux,” Donald Becker, Penguin’s CTO, told LinuxInsider.

“At the time I was writing and supporting network device drivers. There would be reports and surveys, carefully worded, where a CIO would be quoted as saying the company didn’t use Linux and had no plans to use it in the future.”

At the same time these reports were issued, Linux business uptake was on the rise.

Tracking Linux

“Once I read a quote about a CIO not using Linux, in the same week I was helping one of the IT people in that company track down a Linux driver problem impacting their Web server performance,” Becker said.

As for the UBS findings, “I am more amused than concerned,” he said.

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