Linux lurks behind Windows

By: Jim Rosenberg

Just a few years ago, it was the Next Thing at Nexpo. The industrial-strength Windows operating system for networked servers and pcs quickly became the platform of choice for a variety of publishing systems.
This year, Linux began creeping into products of all sorts. Open to development and improvement by anyone since it was first published in the early 1990s by Finnish college student Linus Torvalds, the Unixlike operating system can be downloaded free from the Internet or purchased from firms like Red Hat in versions packaged with service. With rapid server-side growth and recognition by big names like ibm and hp, Linux is challenging the dominion of Microsoft nt and the many proprietary flavors of Unix.
Media Asset Management developer Canto Software was among those at Nexpo ’99 with products available for Linux. Where there is “excitement over Linux” among companies adopting it to run servers, says business development director Jeffrey Cain, “it makes sense for Canto to be there.”
Adds sales and marketing vice president Jason Taylor: “We’re impressed with its market share.” And though Canto has yet to see demand, he says, it wants to assure Linux’ availability along with Sun, sgi, and Apple Unix platforms.
“Honestly, Linux is not something I’ve heard here, but in a year I think we’ll see something different,” said Cain at Nexpo, citing a million Linux downloads from the Internet. Also at the newspaper industry’s annual summer trade show, Taylor said Linux may be of greater interest to larger dailies, which have “mis-focused people ? who have got it on their radar.”
A month before the show, Atex senior product manager Jeff Litvak acknowledged that a product under consideration as an archiving component to his firm’s new Omnex editorial system would be available in a Linux-based version. Its developer, Germany’s Digital Collections, was chosen for Omnex archiving, and its distributor to U.S. newspapers, Gannett Media Technologies International, had just announced the DC3-L Linux version of its digital asset management system.
Omnex supports IBM (aix) and Sun (Solaris) versions of Unix and Microsoft Windows nt. But asked about the growth and support of Linux over time, Litvak replied, “I don’t know why not.” Under the same ownership as several other publishing systems vendors, alfa Media Partner seems to find more interest in Europe. Noting support from giants ibm, sap, and Oracle and citing the large number of users who have implemented Linux, alfa ceo Guido Falcenberg said in the spring that “some of our customers are beginning to ask about Linux solutions.”
(Editor & Publisher [Caption]
(copyright: Editor & Publisher September 4, 1999) [Caption]

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