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Divergence in the distros: Linux community is splitting into a two-tier system

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Linux

Multiple revenue streams aren't a bad thing.

Look at any major service provider: Heroku, Google, Amazon, Apple. All of them offer different levels of access to what they offer, usually at different prices. There's even an established route to enticing customers towards the paid plans, via the well-worn 'freemium' model.

Let's be clear about this: Linux isn't dividing into paid and unpaid. It's not going the freemium route (although the cynical will suggest that Canonical might be thinking about it). What we're seeing, though, is the development of a clear split. A kind of meiosis.

* Debian 7, Fedora, and openSUSE are one head of the hydra;
* Mint, Zorin, and Ubuntu the other.

And, much like the mythical beast itself, these heads enable the Linux beast to tackle both the herculean developer community while snapping up computer-averse consumers at the same time.

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