When Corel formally unveils its video network computer later this month, the machine will be running Linux, an operating system that is becoming an increasingly prominent force in workstations linked to corporate intranets.
Linux is a compact, efficient, easier-to-use and free version of Unix. A growing number of corporate MIS groups, as well as software developers and systems integrators, are choosing Linux over 32-bit Windows platforms, especially for Internet applications. At some sites, Linux actually is displacing Windows.
“Linux is the true competitor to Windows NT in the long term,” says Dave Madden, senior product manager at Corel Computer, a subsidiary of Corel.
Linux has a number of key features that NT lacks. For example, Linux is a multi-user system and runs on a wide range of processors — from Intel 386 to 64-bit RISC chips — and on multiprocessor computers. The Linux kernel is less than 2Mb.
Linux is also free, and users have access to all the Linux source code.