[Ma-linux] Linux Foundation
alan at patriot.net
Mon Jan 22 17:15:10 EST 2007
I'm posting an awful lot these days, it seems; but I thought I'd
write once more to give you the article below. It is from the NY
Times, and you have to sign up with them to get it -- a PITA of
course -- so I thought I'd save you the trouble.
Group Formed to Support Linux as Rival to Windows
By STEVE LOHR
Published: January 22, 2007
Linux, the free operating system, has gone from an intriguing
experiment to a mainstream technology in corporate data centers,
helped by the backing of major technology companies like I.B.M., Intel
and Hewlett-Packard, which sponsored industry consortiums to promote
Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, with the system's penguin
symbol, will assist the Linux Foundation.
Those same companies have decided that the time has come to
consolidate their collaborative support into a new group, the Linux
Foundation, which is being announced today. And the mission of the new
organization is help Linux, the leading example of the open-source
model of software development, to compete more effectively against
Microsoft, the worlds largest software company.
Its really a two-horse race now, with computing dominated by two
operating-system platforms, Linux and Windows, said James Zemlin,
executive director of the Linux Foundation. There are things that
Microsoft does well in terms of promoting Windows, providing legal
protection and standardizing Windows.
He added that the things that Microsoft does well are things we need
to do well to promote, protect and standardize Linux.
In data centers, both Linux and Microsoft have benefited from the
shift to data-serving computers powered by lower-cost microprocessors
and other industry-standard hardware using personal computer
technology. These machines, running Linux or Windows, have
increasingly replaced more costly, proprietary hardware, typically
running Unix operating systems.
That shift to industry-standard hardware has helped makers of personal
computer chips like Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, and makers of
PC-technology machines including Hewlett-Packard, I.B.M., Dell, NEC
Traditional rivals of Microsoft in the software business, including
Oracle and I.B.M., have championed Linux to undermine an adversary and
have tweaked their database and other software programs to run on
Linux. Companies like Red Hat and Novell distribute Linux and charge
companies for technical support and maintenance.
So while Linux is distributed free, a sizable market has grown up
around it. The yearly sales of Linux-related hardware, software and
services is more than $14.5 billion, according to estimates by IDC, a
The new Linux organization is a clear sign that we are going to
continue to work together, said Daniel D. Frye, vice president for
open systems development at I.B.M.
There is vigorous competition among companies in the market for
hardware, software and services that work with Linux, Mr. Frye said.
But collaboration is also essential to move Linux technology forward,
he said, and avoid the kind of splintering of the marketplace that
occurred in the 1980s, when different companies supported different
versions of the Unix operating system.
The work of two other groups the Open Source Development Labs and the
Free Standards Group will be folded into the Linux Foundation, and
those organizations will no longer exist. Mr. Zemlin had been the head
of the Free Standards Group.
Stuart F. Cohen, the chief executive of the Open Source Development
Labs, said he was starting a new venture that would use the
open-source development model to build software applications tailored
for individual industries like financial services.
The Linux Foundation will pay salaries to Linus Torvalds, the creator
of Linux, and a few other key Linux programmers. That support had
previously come from the Open Source Development Labs.
In an e-mail message, Mr. Torvalds noted that some of the original
reasons for forming the Open Source Development Labs six years ago,
like helping companies come to grips with Linux and open source in
general, had in large part been addressed.
Referring to the new organization, he said, The technical, legal and
standards issues do seem to be part of a bigger whole.
Mr. Torvalds said his role would not change. I work on the technology
itself, not any of the other issues, he wrote. I literally just sit in
my basement and do technical management. Nothing else.
Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company
Alan McConnell : http://patriot.net/users/alan
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