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MT5002 - Linux the Discontinuous Innovation

MT5002 - Linux the Discontinuous Innovation

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Published by lastsplash
This paper examines the ways in which Linux OS is
developed and managed from the aspect of a discontinuous innovation. The first few sections
give an introduction on discontinuous innovation and a brief history of Linux OS. The next
section introduces the major players involved through discussion on the Linux distributions.
The next few sections discuss on the management strategies recommended for discontinuous
innovation, identifying the strategies used by Linux distribution companies, and the possible
trend in this technology. Finally, the conclusion will look at the progress of Linux OS as a
discontinuous innovation based discussions in the previous sections.
This paper examines the ways in which Linux OS is
developed and managed from the aspect of a discontinuous innovation. The first few sections
give an introduction on discontinuous innovation and a brief history of Linux OS. The next
section introduces the major players involved through discussion on the Linux distributions.
The next few sections discuss on the management strategies recommended for discontinuous
innovation, identifying the strategies used by Linux distribution companies, and the possible
trend in this technology. Finally, the conclusion will look at the progress of Linux OS as a
discontinuous innovation based discussions in the previous sections.

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Published by: lastsplash on Mar 08, 2009
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MT5002 Management of Industrial R&D
LIM CHING WU LESLIE
 g0603039@nus.edu.sg HT0063039YLecturer:
Prof HANG CHANG CHIEH
 
 
Centre of Management of Science & Technology
MT5002 Management of Industrial R&D
1
Introduction 
 
 Linux
is an Operating System (OS) for which the source code is available free withoutrestrictions on use or requiring royalties. When it was introduced, Linux was inferior inperformance to other operating systems like
Unix
and
Windows NT 
. However, the Linux OS,distributed through major commercial-based vendors such as
 Red Hat 
, is inexpensivecompared to other server operating systems. After years of improvements, the functionalityhas improved so much that it threatens to displace the leading commercial UNIXdistributions. Linux OS can save organizations significant amount of dollars compared to theuse of proprietary, licensed operating systems. It is highly regarded for its speed, reliabilityand security, and is used in all industries. Linux OS has been evolving through contributedefforts from developers worldwide.As a
discontinuous innovation
, Linux OS had created a "new market disruption" as aninferior product by most measures of performance, subsequently improving and fitting a newor emerging market segment. This paper aims to examine the ways in which Linux OS isdeveloped and managed from the aspect of a discontinuous innovation. The first few sectionsgive an introduction on discontinuous innovation and a brief history of Linux OS. The nextsection introduces the major players involved through discussion on the Linux distributions.The next few sections discuss on the management strategies recommended for discontinuousinnovation, identifying the strategies used by Linux distribution companies, and the possibletrend in this technology. Finally, the conclusion will look at the progress of Linux OS as adiscontinuous innovation based discussions in the previous sections.
Discontinuous Innovation 
According to
William Miller 
and
 Langdon Morris
[1], discontinuous innovation brings forththe conditions that emanate from fundamentally different new knowledge in one or more
 
Centre of Management of Science & Technology
MT5002 Management of Industrial R&D
2dimensions of a product or service. Discontinuous innovation falls outside of existingmarkets or market segments, and when successful extends and redefines the market, exposingnew possibilities. Discontinuous innovation affects both the consumers and producers greatly.It introduces products and value propositions that change prevailing consumer habits andbehaviors in a major way. The market created undermines the competences andcomplementary assets on which existing competitors have built their success. Discontinuousinnovation can be further divided into
 Radical Innovation
and
 Disruptive Innovation
.
Exhibit1
in
Appendix A
gives a summary of the conditions when discontinuous innovation falls intoone of the previously mentioned two categories.Seen as a hobbyist-approach to OS development, firms such as
 Microsoft 
,
 Apple
and majorUnix-OS developers such as
Sun
,
 IBM 
and
 HP
, did not see Linux OS as a threat in the early1990s. Today, apart from BSD, Linux OS has the ability to support almost any CPU and italso supports most devices in the market. A comparison of the performance of various OSdone by
Phil Hughes
[2] in
Exhibit 2
shows that performance and cost edge Linux has overthe competing OS. As seen in the worldwide OS paid licenses market share chart from
 Electronic Business
[3] and the unit market distribution chart by
 Business Week 
[4] in
Exhibit 3 and 4
respectively, Linux OS has experienced tremendous growth in the marketshare for both personal desktops and servers OS. These are indications that Linux OS isdeemed as a disruptive innovation.
Exhibit 5
shows the point of the disruption cycle whichLinux OS is currently at.
History of Linux Development 
This section gives a brief history of the initial development of the Linux-based operatingsystems. In 1983,
 Richard Stallman
started the GNU Project to create an open-source
UNIX 
-

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