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The Business and Economics of Linux and Open Source 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0130476777
ISBN-10: 0130476773
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The manager's guide to using Linux and open source for competitive advantage.

Using Linux and open source technologies, thousands of enterprises are cutting costs, gaining flexibility, and discovering powerful new sources of business value. Now, there's an objective, realistic manager's guide to using Linux and open source technology for competitive advantage. Martin Fink helps you get past both the hypesters and the naysayers, so you can accurately assess the benefits, costs, and risks of open source in your organization. Writing strictly from the manager's viewpoint, Fink covers every step of the Linux and open source project lifecycle, and every crucial issue, from licensing to collaborating with the open source community of developers. Coverage includes:

  • Assessing the costs, benefits, and risks of pursuing Linux and open source initiatives
  • Open source licensing: avoiding the minefields
  • Managing Linux and open source projects within your company
  • Assessing the size, breadth, and capabilities of the open source community
  • Building strong, positive, synergistic relationships with external open source communities
  • The crucial role of Linux standards
  • Integration, development, deployment, migration, coexistence, support, and training
  • Understanding the difference between the Linux kernel and the Linux operating system
  • Understanding and choosing Linux distributions
  • How the open source paradigm impacts commercial software developers
  • Open source business models: what it takes to make a profit from open source technology
  • Applying the open source development methodology in a corporate setting
"A thought-provoking analysis of the role of open source software in the corporate environment. A must-read guide for managers considering how open source can help their organization."

—Tim O'Reilly, O'Reilly and Associates, Inc.

About the Author

MARTIN FINK is General Manager for Hewlett-Packard's Linux Systems Division, where he has been leading Linux development activities for more than three years. He is responsible for driving HP's overall Linux and open source strategy and managing the firm's open source business processes. He is also Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Open Source Development Lab, a global consortium of industry leaders dedicated to promoting Linux and Linux-based programming for enterprise and carrier-class environments.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1st edition (September 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0130476773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0130476777
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,070,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By F. Rey on October 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
The author is definitely speaking from experience, providing valuable insights and recommmendations. Coming from a person who's been heading the Linux Systems Division of HP for over three years, it's not surprising.
Part I brings the reader to a sufficient level of familiarity with Linux, open source, licensing, communities and celebrities. Unless you are fully in touch with the open source world, you will certainly learn useful information in this part.
Part II explains what it means to implement Linux in your operations. No attempt is made to review or benchmark available distributions, and no selection process is presented, only some guidance is provided. This is understandable: Linux can take many shapes and forms and you can even create your own distribution. Because of this diversity, a whole chapter is devoted to standards that make it possible to use multiple distributions. The subject of Total Cost of Ownership is also covered, not in terms of numbers, but in terms of items to consider for calculating a total cost. There is no magic formula here, only an indication of what you should consider and how open source can affect the bottom line. The author then discusses the activity of deploying Linux, considering the issues of migration, coexistence, hardware, support, and training. Here again the author provides essential guidance without covering all the details of such undertaking.
Part III is about how to integrate open source into your organization. This is probably where most of the added value of this book lies. It is really in this part that the author draws from his experience in managing open source in a large organization.
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Comment 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I have just finished reading the book "The Business and Economics of Linux and Open Source" and wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed it. I am currently passing the book up my chain of command at work...
Linux and Open source is not "just" for geeks anymore. Business is embracing it and needs the guidance this book has to offer. It is the first book I have seen which addresses Linux and open source from a business perspective.
The background on Linux and Open source brings the reader up-to-speed on the key players and culture of the open source community and why it would be considered - staying focussed on facts and data. From this, Martin goes on to discuss the different issues one must address in considering the implementation of this technology in the Enterprise including the real costs and benefits.
Martin lends credibility to this topic as he is currently the VP & CTO at Hewlett-Packard heading its Linux Systems Division. He has to grapple with these issues everyday...
At a conference where Martin was speaking at recently, a senior executive at IBM mentioned that he was giving this book (an HP executive's book) to IBM's customers. Having read the book, I now understand why.
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Format: Paperback
Users love software that they don't have to pay for. But, some software professionals have to make a living creating and maintaining that software. Many companies today grapple with the question, "how to make money with Linux and Open Source?" Some software business leaders are worried about whether Linux and Open Source are impacting business viability of operating systems/environment business. Enterprise business and IT managers are quite happy to see the trend towards software they don't have to pay for. But, most often they do not understand what the implications are and what the fine prints way. Martin Fink has done an excellent job of compiling all the fundamental and essential information on the business aspects of Linux and Open Source software. He clarifies and removes many myths people carry in their minds. Probably this is a "one of its kind" book that brings together the various angles such as the overview of terms, understanding legal lingo, business model aspects, talent management aspects and so on. The book covers the essential technical aspects lucidly and adequately. If you are looking for a deep technical source for Linux and Open Source architectures, there are enough pointers in the book; but, this book is not meant for that purpose. I recommend this book for software engineers who have to understand the business aspects and Enterprise IT/Business Managers who are deploying/planning Linux and Open Source components in their business. The timing of the book is perfect. This book is a good candidate for bringing out update versions as the domain expands and matures. I don't know whether Martin Fink plans to upgrade the book year after year.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was hoping for some insight into setting up a Linux-based business model, but actually learned more by reading reviews of Red Hat's business model online.
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