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Linux Continues To Stir Interest At Server Level

A recent report shows Linux failing to gain much traction on the desktop. But continued interest at the server level continues to spur vendor investment, particularly in e-mail access and databases.

Linux server e-mail

OpenXchange is offering a free migration tool from SUSE Openexchange to its new OpenXchange Server 5. It also announced availability of the OpenXchange e-mail on Red Hat Linux. The product had been closely linked to SUSE Linux. Novell subsequently bought SUSE and now sells its own messaging system as well as OpenXchange, creating some confusion and conflict.

IBM's Domino and Workplace run on Linux servers and offer a degree of desktop support as well. Last week, IBM said it will add Firefox support to its Domino Web Access (DWA) client later this month with the release of Domino 7. DWA already supported the fuller-featured Mozilla browser as well as Netscape Navigator. To date, there is no support for Apple's Safari nor for Firefox on the Mac.

Firefox has a growing constituency among those dissatisfied with the market-leading Internet Explorer browser. Mozilla.org, the organization backing Firefox, said there have been 75 million Firefox downloads to date, and some observers say the browser is closing in on 10 percent market share.

Non-Windows-centric solutions are gaining traction in smaller companies and in large firms that don't want to be locked into one operating system, according to some e-mail integrators. And the beauty of IBM Domino is that it's a name brand on Linux, they said.

"We see some adoption of Linux mail among smaller customers," said Shoby John, CEO of Integrasys, a Houston-based e-mail solution provider. "IBM fully intends to get its Linux offering up to enterprise level, [although] the reality is it's probably not ready yet to house thousands of users on one or two servers."

IBM also said Red Hat will offer a trial version of IBM Workplace Services Express 2.5 with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The software is good for a 90-day trial.

Ericom Software, Closter, N.J., is offering a desktop plug-in for IBM's Workplace Managed Client to give Linux users access to legacy applications "from green screens to Windows apps, preserving their high-fidelity look and feel," said Nallu Reddy, program director for Lotus Linux marketing.

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