Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Flint Brenton, Elizabeth White, Anders Wallgren, Pat Romanski, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

The Future of Open Source

The Future of Open Source

Linux is among the most popular applications known as "free software" or "open source." Among other things, "open source" means that the source code for these applications is available to those who are interested in seeing (or modifying) it. This is unlike commercial applications such as Windows where all the source code is a tightly guarded secret.

Open source software has now turned into big business. For example, HP recently announced that in 2003 they had over $2.5 billion in Linux-based revenue. By any measure, $2.5 billion is a lot of money.

Not bad for a little operating system that was first built by a Finnish grad student using software tools developed by Richard Stallman's GNU Project back in the mid '80s.

But what about the future? Are we close to the top? What's left to do now that Linux is seemingly on top of the world already?

What's left for open source? Plenty. Open source is literally changing the entire technology landscape.

Open source is now allowing companies - even major companies such as IBM - to build applications that have a market impact that they could never achieve on their own. It allows companies to work together to build applications that none of them could build individually.

Sure, IBM could build an operating system such as Linux (remember OS/2?). But because Linux is open source, it has much better distribution than OS/2 could ever have had. Because companies such as Oracle, HP, SGI, and hundreds of others all have the source code for Linux, they can all contribute to its advancement.

That's why IBM employs hundreds of developers who do nothing but work on an operating system that IBM doesn't even sell as its own product.

Smaller companies have a great deal to gain from contributing to Linux as well. By allowing their developers to work on Linux, smaller companies get a "voice at the table" when it comes time to influence the direction of Linux. Plus, they get to take advantage of the work put into Linux by all the big players as well.

In the future this open, collaborative process will be used for lots of things other than Linux. Amazon.com's users, for example, collaborate to build the value of the Amazon site by contributing book reviews, lists, and other information - all at no cost to Amazon. The impact of the Internet on this year's presidential elections here in the U.S. can easily be looked at as just another chapter in the collaborative, open source story.

By banding together and all contributing small pieces to large applications and projects, the users themselves are accomplishing things that the biggest companies could only dream of. These users are literally changing the world.

More Stories By Kevin Bedell

Kevin Bedell, one of the founding editors of Linux.SYS-CON.com, writes and speaks frequently on Linux and open source. He is the director of consulting and training for Black Duck Software.

Comments (3) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Tyler Jensen 03/18/04 09:37:33 PM EST

The assumption that open source and Linux are responsible for an economic bonanza for those companies that have embraced them is questionable. One must ponder the possibility that HP would have sold $2.5 billion in hardware, proprietary software and services attributed as “Linux-based” with an alternative operating system if Linux and the open source concept did not exist because HP’s customers would have required those goods and services regardless of the existence of open source and Linux.

Would IBM give up its quest to dominate the hardware and services market if open source and Linux had never come along? Would Oracle throw in the towel and stop selling it’s database for proprietary operating systems? Would Amazon.com close it’s virtual doors?

While you may not find many lines of Linux code in the proprietary products of these and hundreds of other leading software companies who make and sell proprietary software that runs on Linux and other operating systems, you will undoubtedly find developers and software products that have benefited either directly or indirectly from the buoyant properties of the open source community and its shared intellectual library of solutions to common software development challenges.

That the application software development market has benefited remarkably from open source is certain. An of understanding the underpinnings of the operating system along with source code available for review levels the playing field and perhaps leads vendors of proprietary operating systems who also compete in the applications market to think twice before taking unfair advantage of inside knowledge.

That said, the benefits and market opportunities provided by open source cannot come close in comparison that of open standards. With open standards the software development market has moved forward. Protocols and standards such as TCP, HTTP, XML and many more have made it possible for developers and software vendors both large and small to participate in what has globally been without a doubt the fastest technological progression of the humanity in the history of the world.

Tyler Jensen 03/18/04 09:29:39 PM EST

The assumption that open source and Linux are responsible for an economic bonanza for those companies that have embraced them is questionable. One must ponder the possibility that HP would have sold $2.5 billion in hardware, proprietary software and services attributed as “Linux-based” with an alternative operating system if Linux and the open source concept did not exist because HP’s customers would have required those goods and services regardless of the existence of open source and Linux.

Would IBM give up its quest to dominate the hardware and services market if open source and Linux had never come along? Would Oracle throw in the towel and stop selling it’s database for proprietary operating systems? Would Amazon.com close it’s virtual doors?

While you may not find many lines of Linux code in the proprietary products of these and hundreds of other leading software companies who make and sell proprietary software that runs on Linux and other operating systems, you will undoubtedly find developers and software products that have benefited either directly or indirectly from the buoyant properties of the open source community and its shared intellectual library of solutions to common software development challenges.

That the application software development market has benefited remarkably from open source is certain. An of understanding the underpinnings of the operating system along with source code available for review levels the playing field and perhaps leads vendors of proprietary operating systems who also compete in the applications market to think twice before taking unfair advantage of inside knowledge.

That said, the benefits and market opportunities provided by open source cannot come close in comparison that of open standards. With open standards the software development market has moved forward. Protocols and standards such as TCP, HTTP, XML and many more have made it possible for developers and software vendors both large and small to participate in what has globally been without a doubt the fastest technological progression of the humanity in the history of the world.

Tyler Jensen 03/18/04 09:28:42 PM EST

The assumption that open source and Linux are responsible for an economic bonanza for those companies that have embraced them is questionable. One must ponder the possibility that HP would have sold $2.5 billion in hardware, proprietary software and services attributed as “Linux-based” with an alternative operating system if Linux and the open source concept did not exist because HP’s customers would have required those goods and services regardless of the existence of open source and Linux.

Would IBM give up its quest to dominate the hardware and services market if open source and Linux had never come along? Would Oracle throw in the towel and stop selling it’s database for proprietary operating systems? Would Amazon.com close it’s virtual doors?

While you may not find many lines of Linux code in the proprietary products of these and hundreds of other leading software companies who make and sell proprietary software that runs on Linux and other operating systems, you will undoubtedly find developers and software products that have benefited either directly or indirectly from the buoyant properties of the open source community and its shared intellectual library of solutions to common software development challenges.

That the application software development market has benefited remarkably from open source is certain. An of understanding the underpinnings of the operating system along with source code available for review levels the playing field and perhaps leads vendors of proprietary operating systems who also compete in the applications market to think twice before taking unfair advantage of inside knowledge.

That said, the benefits and market opportunities provided by open source cannot come close in comparison that of open standards. With open standards the software development market has moved forward. Protocols and standards such as TCP, HTTP, XML and many more have made it possible for developers and software vendors both large and small to participate in what has globally been without a doubt the fastest technological progression of the humanity in the history of the world.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratoscale, the software company developing the next generation data center operating system, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Stratoscale is revolutionizing the data center with a zero-to-cloud-in-minutes solution. With Stratoscale’s hardware-agnostic, Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution to store everything, run anything and scale everywhere...
Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified – now it's a component-based well-performing framework. This immersive one-day workshop at 18th Cloud Expo, led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay, will provide you with everything you wanted to know about Angular 2.
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, will discuss how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to im...
This is not a small hotel event. It is also not a big vendor party where politicians and entertainers are more important than real content. This is Cloud Expo, the world's longest-running conference and exhibition focused on Cloud Computing and all that it entails. If you want serious presentations and valuable insight about Cloud Computing for three straight days, then register now for Cloud Expo.
IoT device adoption is growing at staggering rates, and with it comes opportunity for developers to meet consumer demand for an ever more connected world. Wireless communication is the key part of the encompassing components of any IoT device. Wireless connectivity enhances the device utility at the expense of ease of use and deployment challenges. Since connectivity is fundamental for IoT device development, engineers must understand how to overcome the hurdles inherent in incorporating multipl...