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It's Got Wings!

But will Linux desktops ever get off the ground in a Windows-dominated world?

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This story appears in the December 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Can businesspeople survive without Microsoft Office? Not only can they survive, but they may be able to do so with lower hardware, software and support costs, says Bill Faust, co-owner of Optim Microwave. Faust's Westlake Village, California, satellite dish designer has two dozen Linux-based desktops working in tandem on massive design projects. They're never turned off and they never stop crunching numbers; and if one should crash, so would Optim's delivery schedule.

Because of Linux, the 37-year-old is able to run his high-octane programs on white boxes that he describes as "a generation or so behind," and for which he rarely pays more than $500. Five of those number-crunchers comfortably double as desktops for staff members.

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