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London Stock Exchange makes leap to Linux

The London Stock Exchange has completed the transition of one of its smaller trading pools to Linux, and in doing so has created what it claims is the world's fastest trading platform.

The Turquoise trading platform, which now runs on a Linux-based software platform developed by MillenniumIT, offers an average latency of 126 microseconds - or around half that of its nearest competitor.

While the difference of a few hundred microseconds might not sound like much, in the high-speed world of stocks and shares trading it can mean the difference between a tidy profit and a serious loss. As more traders move to digital systems, and the days of the snarling broker in the LSE pit are seemingly numbered, this sort of high-speed trading platform will spell the success of a company.

David Lester, chief executive officer at Turquoise, said of the platform: "We are absolutely delighted with the performance of our new technology, and the very positive feedback our customers have given us on the platform."

The use of Linux on the Turquoise trading pool, and the speed increase that it has brought, comes just two weeks ahead of plans to migrate the main London Stock Exchange to a Linux-based system from its current Microsoft .Net platform. While that's a big win for Linux, and the open-source movement in general, it's an embarrassing loss for Microsoft - and something its competitors are likely to see as a sign of weakness in the high-speed real-time computing market.

With many companies still clinging to the outmoded notion that open-source software can't compete with commercial offerings in the enterprise market, the news that their company is being traded on Linux-based systems could come as a shock - and perhaps open the door for further high-profile deployments.