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I saw a brief on BBC that IBM is spending US$100 million on making Linux easier to use.
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Good as it sounds, I can't help being cynical. IBM must have some kind of agenda. Was anything else mentioned in the report?
Na, it was one of those sailing single sentence captions at the bottom of the screen.
I agree they must have an agenda. It could be as innocent as selling more machines - to people who can't afford Windows AND a P.C.

I've been toying with Linux for about six years now, and it is definitely getting easier, but unfortunately RPM's (the most popular way to instal new applications) are still a right pain in the neck.

On the plus side (and aside from being completely free), once you manage to get the apps installed, there is nothing much a Linux box can't do - with a great deal more security and stability than a Windows see-through contraption.
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[url="http://www.linuxinsider.com/rsstory/40722.html "]IBM To Invest $100 Million in Linux Support, Technology[/url]
[url="http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/nf/20050218/bs_nf/30572 "]IBM Pledges $100 MIllion for Linux - from Yahoo News[/url]
Thanks for the links Mike. This is actually welcome news: they're investing the money in support for Linux, not in the core operating system itself.
Yeah, anything to promote Linux is welcome in my opinion.

I saw elsewhere that Hewlett Packard are releasing a notebook running Linux.
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A large number of companies and individuals have lately been investing big money in open source software, not just operating systems. Open source companies and communities that develop databases, server operating systems, business suite applications and so on are also receiving large quantities of cash. One of the co-founders of E-bay recently invested a large amount of capital in an open source start-up company.

Now you might call me cynical, but I very much doubt that these people are handing out all this capital purely out of the goodness of their hearts, or for the advancement of the industry.

I read somewhere that China for instance, is using Linux operating systems for schools and government computers, as Windows is too expensive. It's only a matter of time before the general population and businesses catch on. Now that is a huge market that computer manufacturing companies such as "the big blue" can't afford to not be a part of.

The past few years have also seen businesses around the word making the cross-over due to financial reasons. Also, with open source being, erm, open, this makes the systems much more secure and stable, and since 2003 (the year of viruses - geek calendar), businesses are investing a lot more money on security, thus, making the cross-over seem more worthwhile. Another point that I think is worth mentioning is that open source has come a long way these last few years in terms of technical support, update services etc., thus bringing up the question "why not?".

Although open source software may not be the "Present", in my view it is definitely going to be a big part of the "Future".