Linux developers have used commercial versions of Linux more than non-commercial versions in the past. In 2003 the preference for a commercial version of Linux was double that of non-commercial Linux.
However, according to Evans Data Corporation's new Spring 2005 Linux Development Survey, that has now changed and Linux developers now prefer non-commercial versions of Linux.
Six months ago, purchased and free Linux were in a virtual tie, now 34% prefer non-commercial versions of Linux and 28% prefer a commercial version. Commercial distributions of Linux have garnered support in the past primarily because of access to technical support.
In the last six months 25% fewer Linux developers believe that support is the biggest advantage a commercial version of Linux has over a non-commercial version. 20% of Linux developers don't believe there are any advantages to a commercial version over a non-commercial version, a 50% increase in the last six months.
"The sharp drop off of belief in 'support' being the biggest advantage is another strong indicator of the quality of the non-commercial offerings. Considering that 85% of Linux developers feel the biggest advantage of non-commercial Linux is the ease and cost of upgrades and maintenance, it can be taken as another sign of the maturity of the non-commercial distributions of Linux," said John F. Andrews, COO of Evans Data.
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