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Byline: KEN SPENCER BROWN
two of Linux's biggest patrons -- have relished the effect the free software has had on Microsoft and other foes.
Linux's legions of volunteer programmers say they can match Microsoft in manpower and beat it on price. The effort has forced the software giant to offer customers big discounts. In some Linux-friendly markets, Microsoft is selling low-cost versions of Windows.
But what happens when developers tap the same open-source Linux model to target other types of software -- including IBM's and Oracle's own database products? Get ready to find out.
The market for open-source database software will explode this year, says Forrester Research analyst Noel Yuhanna. He sees annual sales rising to $1 billion by 2008, from $120 million now. Most will come in support and …