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This brings us to today - January 2011. Now, Linux evangelists are always on the lookout for signs that the free open-source operating system is sneaking into the mainstream.
Actually, Linux has always had a place in the enterprise and server world but it's been a mystery, if known at all, to the general consuming public where Microsoft Windows's model of bundling with most every computer reigns supreme.
Time is a funny thing. Empires rise, empires fall. Three years ago, popular hardware vendor ASUS surprised the world by going against the trend of ever-increasingly powered computers when it brought out the diminutive 7" Eee Linux PC.
This machine was tiny - and not just in size, but in hardware specifications too. Yet, it flew off the shelves because it was cheap. Helping keep the cost down was the operating system chosen, a modified Xandros Linux. Unlike laptops pre-loaded with Microsoft Windows there were absolutely no software licensing fees added to the pricetag of each unit.
The Eee single-handedly created the entire netbook market. HP, Toshiba, Dell, Acer, and all other major vendors subsequently released their own netbooks. Oh, but time and fate was not to be on the penguin's side!