"The Microsoft market is 400 million personal computers," Young said during a keynote address at the US Networld+Interop 2000 show. "But there are 6 billion people on the planet. Our job is not to compete for the interest of about 400 million people, but to reach the 5.6 billion on the rest of the planet.
Internet-powered appliances and applications will replace the dominance of Microsoft Windows PC operating systems in the next five years, Young predicted.
Thousands of engineers around the world are developing the Linux kernel to serve business needs, he said.
"The true role of an open-source community is to turn innovative technology into better solutions for your business," he said. "The killer [Linux-based] apps of the next decade will be the apps that serve the other 5.6 billion people."
The company this week unveiled its Red Hat Network, an Internet-based service for managing and deploying customised open-source platforms. Red Hat also announced Linux 7, a new version of the Linux open source server operating system. The operating environment includes new features as well as software for high-end Intel chips.