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“Real Open Source”



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May 10, 2006 7:52 am

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Neil McAllister of Infoworld asks an interesting question in a recent article about whether a company that innovates on top of open source is a “real” open source company. Red Hat’s recent acquisition of JBoss got some similar conversations going over open source vs. proprietary stacks. As one of the few companies in the industry with a foot solidly in both the open source and proprietary software worlds, we have our own thinking. The world is heterogeneous, and will remain a combination of open and proprietary for a long time. Vendors need to be responsive to customers, all of whom have made significant investments in proprietary solutions. Customers are looking to solve business problems, and most don’t care whether a solution is open source or proprietary provided it solves those problems at a cost/value point that is acceptable.Nobody can doubt Novell’s open source credentials. We actively participate in a large number of open source projects – among which are OpenOffice.org, Xen, Eclipse, Apache – and sponsor and/or maintain a number more, including openSUSE, Mono, AppArmor, Higgins, Evolution, Hula, iFolder. At the same time, we don’t believe open source is the answer to all the challenges companies face in today’s market. If we can bring a proprietary solution to bear on a customer problem today, we’ll do it. The question can’t be open source vs. proprietary. These have to co-exist, for customer benefit.

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Categories: Expert Views, PR Blog

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1 Comment

  1. By:Michael

    Hi

    When specifically looking at Linux, many people forget that it is just a platform, an OS. If I have to pay money to purchase my favourite proprietary software, to run on my Linux desktop, then so be it. I like to run Linux, but I also like some closed source software out there.

    As an end user I do not mull the merits of open source vs closed source, I just look for software that is good. If I am lucky enough to find software that is good and free that’s magic.

    The more people that produce good software for the Linux platform the better. If someone has the resources to produce an open source version of that software, then good luck to them. I would certainly support that.

    I do not think that we are that far away from having an environment where a CIO merely considers open source software as another “vendor” contract that needs to be managed amongst the myriad of other vendor relationships that need to be maintained.

    Just as an aside and really just to stir the pot;-) – Why is it that people have less of an issue running open source software on the Windows platfrom (Firefox, etc), than running closed source software on Linux?

    Well got that off my chest.

    Cheers
    Michael

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