Respiratory tract infections and skin and soft-tissue infections frequently are caused by gram-positive cocci, and treating these infections with standard antibiotics has recently become problematic. Many of the primary pathogens causing these infections are now resistant to current standard treatment regimens. In addition, the frequency of these infections is increasing, particularly among patients with complex medical conditions. Thus, new and effective antimicrobial agents are needed, and many are currently in various stages of development. Linezolid, the first approved oxazolidinone, has enhanced activity against gram-positive organisms. Recent results of 5 large, randomized, phase 3 trials evaluating linezolid for the treatment of community-acquired pneumonia, nosocomial pneumonia, and uncomplicated and complicated skin and soft-tissue infections are encouraging and indicate that linezolid is as effective as standard comparator agents as therapy for these infections. Thus, the recent availability of linezolid offers clinicians a promising new agent for the treatment of serious gram-positive bacterial infections.