In May, SCO Group sent about 1,500 large companies letters alleging that Linux illegally includes Unix intellectual property SCO owns. SCO went a step further Monday, saying companies could avoid potential legal action by paying a licensing fee.
But a survey shows that large companies are increasingly using Linux for their Web sites. Web servers, typically lower-end machines that are used to dish up large numbers of Web pages, are a well-established market for Linux. The survey was conducted by research firm Netcraft.
In the last two months, Linux had a net gain of 100 places among 24,000 Web sites run by 1,500 large companies across the globe, Netcraft said. Companies that have switched to Linux include Charles Schwab, Royal Sun Alliance, Deutsche Bank, SunGard and T-Online.
"Many analysts speculated that SCO's behavior might deter enterprise companies from using Linux," the Netcraft study said. "However, this has not happened to date, at least in respect of their Internet-visible Web sites."
Schwab in particular is notable, Netcraft spokesman Mike Prettejohn said, because its site has been one of the heaviest users of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, a demanding technology for which Linux faces more competition from commercial products.
Schwab and T-Online had been using Sun Microsystems' Solaris operating system. SunGard, Deutsche Bank and Royal Sun Alliance switched from various versions of Windows.
Linux lost some places, though. Colt switched from Linux to Windows Server 2003, while National Service Industries and Valero switched to Windows 2000, Netcraft said.