Speaking on a panel at a venture capital conference here Wednesday, the CIO of clothing retailer Gap and a tech executive from Bank of America said they are among the Linux converts.
Topping Gap's list of priority technology projects is "anything touching Linux," company CIO Ken Harris said.
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In many cases, Linux is replacing Unix operating systems from Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard, said Evan Bauer, a panelist and the former chief technology officer at Credit Suisse First Boston. Bauer, now an information technology adviser to financial services companies, estimates that more than 70 percent of new server-based applications used by large Wall Street banking firms are running on Linux.
Wednesday's comments offer anecdotal evidence that the draw of Linux and its open-source license model are proving irresistible to budget-conscious businesses despite ongoing intellectual property disputes. SCO Group, which is suing IBM for allegedly copying Unix code that SCO owns into Linux, said last month that it intends toand will start sending out invoices.
But a new report from market researcher IDC indicates that Microsoft's share of the server operating systems market continues. According to the report, shipments of Microsoft's server operating systems grew from 50.5 percent of the market in 2001 to 55.1 percent last year. In the same period, shipments of Linux system software for servers grew to 23.1 percent of the market in 2002, compared to 22.4 percent the year before.