Amidst all the hype about the platform at the LinuxWorld Conference in San Jose last week, one panellist on a Q&A session said the coming year will be vital for the future of Linux as corporate executives decide whether to make serious commitments to the open-source operating system.
Many companies have been flirting with adopting Linux, often using the operating system in small-scale pilot projects. Company engineers are now asking for a bigger commitment to deploy the operating system, said Greg Weiss, a market analyst.
"Large hardware OEMs are showing some support for Linux," said Weiss during a panel called "Working Together: The Linux and Business Communities". "They are experimenting with the market, testing and seeing what happens," he added.
"Over the next year, if they can go back to management and say, 'See, Linux helped us get the bugs out', upper management will be more receptive," Weiss said.
But Linux should make economic sense for corporations, said David Sifry, chief technical officer for Linuxcare, a Linux consulting and support company.
"Companies need to recognise that Linux is going to help them sell more hardware," Sifry said.
"More hardware support for Linux will mean more applications will be developed for Linux."