Yesterday as I was sitting in a cafe having a drink, I caught up on my New York Times business section. In a review of the new class of Mini-Notebooks, I wasn’t surprised to see Linux mentioned. After all Linux is the dominant OS in these new class of computers, described by the Times as bigger than a smart phone but smaller than a laptop. While I wasn’t surprised to see Linux mentioned, I was surprised by my reaction.
A few weeks ago we posted video from the first day of our Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit as well as a dozen personal interviews with interesting folks who attended. (And believe me left out so many interesting people it’s painful to think about.) I’ve just been catching up on the personal ones, most of which taught me something new.
Last week, I recorded a podcast with Dennis Byron, analyst at eBizQ. Dennis wanted to talk about how open source is the fundamental enabler of Software as a Service, an idea he started writing about after a conversation with some guy named Jim Zemlin.
In the past I have done media interviews with reporters who question if open source is good for a developers career. Basically they have the outdated notion that open source is for hobbyists and time off from “real jobs.” In reality, open source developers are much in demand. The kernel developers I know certainly have no shortage of job opportunities. Why?
“Man bites Dog.” It’s the classic example of how news works: editors pick the unexpected. Recently, Joe Barr from Linux.com wrote on his mixed feelings about attending the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit. Specifically he mentioned disappointment that the desktop was not a central topic of discussion at the meeting. I think Joe is a good journalist and have enjoyed working with him on stories over the years. I also think Linux.com is a fantastic source of Linux content, both for articles and increasingly video.
Earlier this week at the first day of the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, VIA Technologies, a supplier of chipsets and x86 processors, announced they will be opening up their specifications and code to help open source developers support their components. This is significant news for Linux developers and most importantly Linux users who will see better support for the multitude of VIA components within PCs and mini-tops.
We’re very happy to announce today that Adobe has joined the Linux Foundation as a member. I’m always happy to welcome new members of course and to recognize those companies who make a stand and commitment to paying Linus salary (amongst other things). But I’m especially happy because this is another point in our on-going case that Linux is the platform for Web 2.0 development today and cloud and cross-device development tomorrow.
One of the core mission’s of the Linux Foundation is to increase participation and adoption of Linux throughout the world, especially in areas not well integrated into the Linux ecosystem. We focus on developers first, because we feel local development leads to local adoption, especially as countries realize that Linux and the GPL allows them to build local software economies instead of shipping jobs and money to some other location (like Redmond, for instance.)
(Never in my wildest dreams did I envision myself putting those two words into one headline, but leave it to the world of open source technology. . .) Much has been made of Wal Mart’s move of the Linux $199 notebook from in store Wal Mart to online sales. At first I was shocked by the attention, wondering how the story was placed in the first place. (I can guarantee Wal Mart didn’t call the AP or write a press release on this change. They’d have to employ an army of thousands to keep track of their stock changes day by day.)