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Open source vs. commercial software

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OSS

Open source software initially was a head-scratcher: “How can you make money selling something for free?” But once open source advocates clarified the meaning of free – “Free as in speech, not as in beer” – the open source economy took off.

Commercial software vendors have tried to defend their walled cities with both marketing pitches and legal threats while simultaneously lowering their drawbridges with an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” strategy.

Even Microsoft, which has made billions selling software, won the approval Oct. 12 of the Open Source Initiative, which said the terms of the Microsoft Public License and Microsoft Reciprocal License meet the OSI’s definition of open source.

Still, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer continues his sabre rattling, warning that users of Red Hat Linux software have an “obligation” to pay Microsoft because there’s some Microsoft-owned code in there.

Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s CTO, called open source a failed business model on the order of the dot-com boom that went bust.

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Also:

VMware owns the lion’s share of the virtualization market in terms of both revenue (the company’s revenue doubled in 2006 to $709 million from the year before) and mindshare (the company’s annual user show in San Francisco this year recently drew 10,000 supporters) . To ice it off, the company also had a huge IPO this summer.

VMware vs. Xen vs. Microsoft

And:

If it weren’t for Novell’s Ray Noorda taking his eye off the networking ball in favor of chasing the corporate desktop, Novell’s NetWare might still be a powerhouse network operating system.

Novell NetWare vs. Microsoft networking

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Linux Development and LinuxCon

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    Linus Torvalds and Dirk Hohndel, vice president and chief of open source at VMware, discussed the role that GNU GPL played in the success of Linux during a keynote conversation this week at LinuxCon NA in Toronto. Hohndel, who has been involved with the kernel for a very long time, said that during the past 25 years there have been many challenges, and one of the biggest challenges was the possibility of fragmentation. "How do we keep one single kernel?" he asked. "I used to be worried about fragmentation, and I used to think that it was inevitable at some point," said Torvalds. “Everyone was looking at the history of Linux and comparing it with UNIX. People would say that it’s going to fail because it's going to fragment. That's what happened before, so why even bother?" What made the difference was the license. "FSF [Free Software Foundation] and I don't have a loving relationship, but I love GPL v2," said Torvalds. "I really think the license has been one of the defining factors in the success of Linux because it enforced that you have to give back, which meant that the fragmentation has never been something that has been viable from a technical standpoint."
  • Making Use Of eBPF In The Mainline Linux Kernel
    One of the exciting innovations within the Linux kernel in the past few years has been extending the Berkeley Packet Filter (BPF) to become a more generalized in-kernel virtual machine. The eBPF work with recent versions of the Linux kernel allow it to be used by more than just networking so that these programs can be used for tracing, security, and more.
  • Linux turns 25 with a brilliant history
    Chances are, you use it every day. Linux runs every Android phone and tablet on Earth. And even if you’re on an iPhone or a Mac or a Windows machine, Linux is working behind the scenes, across the Internet, serving up most of the webpages you view and powering most of the apps you use. Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Wikipedia—it’s all running on Linux. Now, Linux is finding its way onto televisions, thermostats, and even cars. As software creeps into practically every aspect of our lives, so does the OS designed by Linus Torvalds.
  • Intel Lost Another Open-Source Driver Developer To Google Earlier This Summer
    There was another long-time Intel open-source Linux graphics driver developer that left the company earlier this summer and is now working at Google on the Chrome/Chromium OS graphics stack. Among the notable departures in the past few months from Intel's Open-Source Technology Center were Jesse Barnes, Wayland-founder Kristian Høgsberg, and Dirk Hohndel and apparently others that went under the radar or outside of our area of focus. Another graphics driver developer no longer at Intel is Chad Versace.
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