While Microsoft rules the desktop operating system environment for small and midsized businesses in the United States, Linux is gaining more traction as an alternative to Windows in enterprises such as Boeing and UPS, and in countries such as Germany and Spain, according to research by consulting firm Yankee Group.

The majority of the more than 73 percent of small and midsized businesses (those with fewer than 500 employees) that bought new laptops or desktops in 2003 opted for Windows, and more than 93 percent of SMBs run the majority of their company's computers on a version of the Windows operating system, according to Yankee Group.

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