Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Mehdi Daoudi, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White

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 explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Judith Hurwitz is president and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, a Needham, Mass., research and consulting firm focused on emerging technology, including big data, cognitive computing and governance. She is co-author of the book Cognitive Computing and Big Data Analytics, published in 2015. Her Cloud Expo session, "What Is the Business Imperative for Cognitive Computing?" is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, at 8:40 a.m. In it, she puts cognitive computing into perspective with its value to the busin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
Cybersecurity is a critical component of software development in many industries including medical devices. However, code is not always written to be robust or secure from the unknown or the unexpected. This gap can make medical devices susceptible to cybersecurity attacks ranging from compromised personal health information to life-sustaining treatment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Fortney, Software Engineer at Battelle, will discuss how programming oversight using key methods can incre...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Most Influential ‘Smart Cities - IIoT' Account and @BigDataExpo has been named fourteenth by Right Relevance (RR), which provides curated information and intelligence on approximately 50,000 topics. In addition, Right Relevance provides an Insights offering that combines the above Topics and Influencers information with real time conversations to provide actionable intelligence with visualizations to enable decision making. The Insights service is applicable to eve...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...