The Wild And Woolly World Of Linux

The drive to commercialize Windows' funky rival is pitting capitalists against idealists

For Corel Corp., the troubled Ottawa maker of PC software, the fast-emerging Linux software market offers hope of a world where it's not under the thumb of Microsoft Corp. Right now, sales of the word processing and graphics software that Corel sells are stalled because of Microsoft's dominance of PC software programs. So it was supposed to be a big celebration on Sept. 20 when the company published its test version of Linux, a rival to Microsoft's Windows software and a companion to Corel's lineup of Linux applications. Instead, the folks at Corel practically had a panic attack. The fine print on their software license outraged some Linux fans, who spewed anti-Corel venom on a bunch of Web sites. "Shun the evil Corel!" urged one Linux aficionado.

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