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Red Hat Linux Born on Halloween and Still Scaring the Pants off Proprietary Operating Systems

From the 'Scary Stuff' files:

In October of 1994, on All Hallow's Eve, Marc Ewing released the first publicly available distribution of Red Hat Linux. It's a release that has become known as the Halloween release.

Back in 1994, Linux was a scary beast. It was a nascent effort that was just getting going, full of complexity and loaded with promise. I think in 1994 that Linux scared a few users, but I doubt it really scared the big proprietary vendors. Linux at that time was still mostly a hobbyist type effort, but the first Red Hat Linux release started the process that would change that mentality forever.

Since the Halloween release, Linux likely has scared more than a few proprietary operating system vendors. Red Hat in particular has taken large share from big Unix vendors and today stands as a billion dollar business. That sure is a far cry from the Halloween release of 1994.

So was the Halloween release a Trick or a Treat? Clearly in hindsight it was the beginning of a great success story, one that started off on the scariest of all nights on the calendar but has now become the cornerstone for modern compute infrastructure.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.