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Android, Red Hat Prove Linux's Merit on Phones and Servers

A booming quarter and 500,000 activations per day demonstrate the open source operating system's growing clout.

Debate over Linux's viability on the desktop may rage unabated in light of the recent changes made to Canonical's Ubuntu, in particular, but there's no questioning the operating system's strength in the server and mobile arenas.

Two cases in point have emerged in the past week, in fact. First, following a stellar quarter ending on Feb. 28, Linux vendor Red Hat just last week announced even better news this time around.

Among the financial results for its first quarter of fiscal year 2012--which ended May 31--was revenue of $264.7 million, representing an increase of 27 percent year-over-year. Revenue from the previous quarter was $244.8 million, up 25 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

$3 Billion in Five Years

Subscription revenue for this first quarter, meanwhile, was $225.5 million, up 26 percent year-over-year. All in all, Red Hat is well on track to achieve even more than its stated goal of a billion dollars in sales this year. In fact, it expects to triple sales to $3 billion in five years, according to a Bloomberg report.

"We believe there is a fundamental shift in IT spending, in which cloud computing and virtualization have become key strategic priorities," explained Jim Whitehurst, the company's president and CEO. "We believe that Red Hat is well positioned to capitalize on this growing demand as enterprise customers look to Red Hat when upgrading and modernizing their IT infrastructure."

It's certainly hard to argue when a company has numbers like that to back up what it says.

500,000 Activations Per Day

The good news for Linux continued this week, however, when Andy Rubin, Google's vice president of mobile, announced on Twitter that Google is now activating more than 500,000 new devices every day. Not only that, but the rate of Android activations is growing by 4.4 percent every week.

Android, of course, is based on Linux as well.

So what does it all mean? In a nutshell, this: Say what you will about Linux on the desktop, but on the other two key platforms, it just keeps getting better.


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