In 25th of August, 1991 the history of Linux has begun with a post to the MINIX newsgroup by Linus Torwalds: “Hello everybody out there using minix - I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. … PS. Yes - it’s free of any minix code, and it has a multi-threaded fs. It is NOT protable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that’s all I have :-(.” (http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~awb/linux.history.html, 2009). Some years has passed, so now we can say, that those words changed the history of computing.┬áIt’s interesting to read, that this operating system wasn’t intended to be a professional one, it wasn’t intended to be a portable one. It was simply a tool for Linus for practicing C language and the 80286 processor’s architecture. Although there was a keyword in his post: free. Linux was free and remained to be free. Anybody was allowed to contribute and thus thousands of developers started to use it. For years, Linux was the playground of the programmers. I myself also used it a lot years ago just for the sole purpose of trying out many different programming languages. In those years Microsoft was dominant on the PCs and Unix was dominant on the servers. All commercial operating systems source code was closed. The code contained errors. I do believe, that the real programmer likes to solve problems (solve problems better then other programmers). Many of them didn’t learn programming in a school, they became programmers because they found that it’s a challenging new industry. It was more difficult to find education resources and participating in development of an operating system was - and still is a very challenging task. Parallel with the evolution of Linux the revolution of the Internet became faster and faster, what made a huge need for web servers and other services on the Internet. Developers made free servers and community started to use them, test them and even patch them and published the patches. The word “free” makes possible for developers to participate, but it’s not enough for organizations. Most organizations need stability and support. Many told that Linux had and has greater stability than Windows for example, but there was a big difference: Windows had commercial support but Linux hadn’t. According to Redhat.com (http://www.redhat.com/about/companyprofile/history/, n.d), in December, 1997 they introduced Redhat 5.0 and the commercial phone support for Linux. This meant, that any organization was able to turn to a respected and trusted company for support and they knew, that they are not alone if they cannot solve a problem with their operation system. Programmers can play but companies cannot. On the other side, selling commercial support for Linux seems to be a Win-Win situation. Organizations need it and companies selling commercial support can attract investors and make profit. Kenneth Hess on Linuxplanet.com wrote: “The idea of fixed yearly support costs is an appealing one. Knowing exactly what your desktop and server support costs will be for the coming year makes it much simpler to create a budget. Purchase a three-year subscription and enjoy a 10 percent discount on the price. Imagine accurately planning a three-year budget – that’s the stuff of bean-counters’ dreams!” (http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/reports/6681/1/, February 25, 2009). In my opinion commercial support and the huge number of available applications are the key for Linux’s success amongst commercial organizations. Reference list: Kenneth Hess (2009) Commercial Linux Support Showdown [Online] Linuxplanet.com. Available from: http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/reports/6681/1/ (Accessed: 11. October 2009) Linus Torwalds (n.d) LINUX’s History [Online] Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science. Available from: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~awb/linux.history.html (Accessed: 11. October 2009) RedHat Inc. (n.d) Red Hat History [Online]. Available from: http://www.redhat.com/about/companyprofile/history/ (Accessed: 11. October 2009)