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Byline: KEN SPENCER BROWN
Red Hat is starting to look red hot again.
After riding the tech bubble to a share price high of more than 100 in December 1999 and a low of just above 3.50 two years later, the Linux software maker is bouncing back with a vengeance.
Shares trade at around 25, well below their 1999 peak, but up 250% in the past year. That's well above gains in the S&P 500 and IBD's enterprise software industry group. Credit a changing view of Linux. Once seen as a fringe operating system, it's now competing fiercely with Microsoft Windows -- especially in the server market.
"Linux is moving from early adopter phase into mainstream acceptance," said Blaylock & Partners analyst Gabriel Lowy.
"And Red Hat is at the heart of that migration."
But Linux's success is bringing more competition, and Red Hat will have to fight to keep its edge.
Novell, which …