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While the Open Source campaign's ''air war`` in the media was going on, key technical and market facts on the ground were also changing. I'll review some of them briefly here because they combine interestingly with the trends in press and public perception.
In the ten months following the Netscape release, Linux rapidly continued to grow more capable. The development of solid SMP support and the effective completion of the 64-bit cleanup laid important groundwork for the future.
The roomful of Linux boxes used to render scenes for Titanic threw a healthy scare into builders of expensive graphics engines. Then the Beowulf supercomputer-on-the-cheap project showed that Linux's Chinese-army sociology could be successfully applied even to bleeding-edge scientific computing.
Nothing dramatic happened to vault Linux's open-source competitors into the limelight. And proprietary Unixes continued to lose market share; in fact, by mid-year only NT and Linux were actually gaining market share in the Fortune 500, and by late fall Linux was gaining faster.
Apache continued to increase its lead in the web server market. In November, Netscape's browser reversed its market-share slide and began to make gains against Internet Explorer.