SAS ports its software to Linux
Packages to appear on multiple distributions by year end
SAS will port its data warehousing and decision support packages to Linux by the end of this year. They will be available first with the Red Hat distribution, followed by at least Caldera, SuSE, TurboLinux and Corel. Keith Collins, vp for R&D, said that "Based on positive customer feedback, as well as the increasing number of Fortune 1000 companies looking seriously at Linux as a viable operating system for their enterprise applications, we felt that the time was right for us to offer a Linux version of SAS software" and went on to note the moves to support Linux by IBM, Intel, and "other SAS technology partners". This is just one more significant endorsement for Linux, and tends to neutralise the unsupported and rather shrill claims by Microsoft as to the success of Windows 2000. The arguments about the lack of industrial-strength software available for Linux no longer hold water. IBM's DB2 and the Corel WordPerfect Suite make very good starters, and there are daily new announcements of other important packages being ported. Maybe Sun will reflect that Linux is probably good news for the company in that some companies that use Linux may well become attracted to running on Sun hardware, if they realise that a move from Linux to Solaris is not that difficult. Moves from Solaris to Linux will also happen of course, but it is for Sun to ensure that its value proposition is sufficiently attractive. And could it be that Fortune 1000 companies are seriously looking at Linux because of its value proposition? That seems to be what SAS is suggesting, although it might also be thinking privately that quite a few companies were hanging on to Unix because of their SAS Unix applications, so the inclusion of Linux is an act of comfort for them - and a reason not to bet the enterprise on Windows 2000. ®
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