Free or cheap software doesn't necessarily lead to broad acceptance, especially when it comes to enterprise users -- at least, not in Linux supplier Red Hat Inc's experience.
Enterprise customers want assurances of after-sales support, and a more comfortable pace of new releases which fits their own pace of product development.
In March, 2002, Red Hat announced its first enterprise-class Linux system, Red Hat Linux Advanced Server. Industry giants such as Dell, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and Veritas immediately announced their support for it.
The company finally shipped its Enterprise Linux 2.1 in late 2002, and by the third quarter of calendar 2003 saw its first-ever profitable quarter worldwide, Hew Keng Woon, Red Hat's Asean business development manager, told In.Tech at a recent meeting in Technology Park Malaysia here.
This corresponded to the company's second quarter of its 2004 financial year, which begins March 1. Red Hat is currently in the first quarter of its 2005 financial year.
"Interest in Red Hat Linux among enterprises in South-East Asia has doubled since last December," Hew claimed, although he did not give actual figures.
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