IDC expects Linux-related software spending to grow from $12.3 billion in 2008 to $35.5 billion in 2013. This compound annual growth rate of 23.6 percent will far exceed the 5 percent that IDC is forecasting for the software industry as a whole during that period.
IDC cites the growing attention organizations are giving to virtualization and cloud computing--both of which are highly compatible with Linux--as a major catalyst for Linux's coming growth spurt. Linux also made inroads during the recession of 2001-02, and IDC expects the current one will drive even more organizations into the fold.
Bernard Golden, CEO of Hyperstratus, a San Carlos, Calif.-based solution provider, says a significant amount of cloud infrastructure and virtualization is built on free Linux because of the high quality and low cost of solutions.
"The rapid advancement of both technologies and the economics support the use of Linux in these scenarios," Golden said. "Linux has many strengths regardless of the economic situation, but in tough times people are gravitating more and more to open-source options."
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