Apple, Microsoft, VMware: Everyone's building open-source software

Apple, Microsoft, VMware: Everyone's building open-source software

Summary: In the opening keynote at LinuxCon, Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin observed that open source is now key to how all companies use to develop software—and yes he meant Apple, Microsoft, and VMware as well.

Jim Zemlin, the Linux Foundation's leader sees Apple, Microsoft, and VMware using open-source development.

San Diego, CA: At LinuxCon, the Linux Foundation's annual North American technical conference, Jim Zemlin's, the Foundation's executive director said, “If you are going to master software development, you must master open source.”

Why is it important for businesses to master open source? Zemlin said it's because “Software is the future of IT. Hardware is important to enable software, but what I mean that the value that end-users sees from technology increasingly comes from the software.”

He then showed a slide of half-a-dozen smartphones that were turned off and pointed out that even with a very technical crowd, “If you just look at the hardware of smartphones, you can't tell them apart, it's only when you turn them on that you can tell the differences.”

Zemlin said that all successful tech companies are now using and contributing to open source communities. “Besides the usual suspects--Amazon, Google, IBM-- there are companies that you may not think of as being big open-source companies, even competitors, now admit that they must participate in open source.”

Like who? Zemlin pointed out that "Microsoft is now supporting Linux in their cloud. Not because they want to, but because their customers demand it.”

In addition, VMware just acquired Nicira, an important OpenStack. Indeed, VMware, a  champion of the closed virtualization and cloud position, has just submitted an application to join the OpenStack Foundation.

Even Apple, Zemlin observed “one of the most closed companies in the world, uses a lot of open source. If you look inside the Apple's iPhone legal agreements you'll find GPL code there.” In addition, “Apple bought CUPS (Common Unix Printing System), an open-source project” a few years ago. So while Apple may be closed, it certainly understands the value of open source. Indeed, Mac OS X is built on a foundation of Darwin/Mach—BSD Unix-based operating systems.

Zemlin's not the only one seeing this marriage of open-source and corporate IT. Tim Yeaton CEO of Black Duck Software recently blogged, “Corporate IT has made extensive use of open source code for years. Gartner reported that on average, 29% of deployed code was open source, and that by 2015 at least 95% of mainstream IT organizations will leverage open source solutions within mission critical software deployments. So while open source code is being widely adopted, it’s only recently that corporate IT became interested in the efficiencies of the open, collaborative creation process itself. Projects spin up quickly and attract contributors organically without advertising or hiring; large distributed teams produce high quality innovative code with little overhead; and it’s all done completely in the open.”

“Open collaborative development via communities is widely understood and accepted, and corporate IT organizations are realizing that these characteristics can be applied to improve their internal development as well, and many are looking to apply them to enhance their own internal methods, typically in conjunction with adopting agile or lean methodologies.”

In short, welcome to IT software development in 2012, welcome to open source.

Related Stories:

Linux Foundation to host CloudOpen to mitigate open source cloud war

Enterprises see growing open source cloud appeal

Open-Source virtualization management coming for KVM, Xen and VMware

Red Hat finally commits to OpenStack for the cloud

Microsoft reluctantly bows to Linux users

Topics: Open Source, Apple, Enterprise Software, Linux, Microsoft, Software, Software Development, VMware

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  • So where exactly did he say it was "key" to how companies like MS

    develop software. I saw the part about "supporting" it because they have to, not want to, which sounds about as opposite to "key" as can be and has zero to do with how they develop their own software.
    Johnny Vegas
    • "Have to" because "their customers demand it"

      In other words, everyone else is already using Open Source.
      • customers really don't care whether it's open source or not

        they just want something that works with reasonable up front, support and transition costs. If it's Open Source, companies make money on the support contracts.

        true Yawner.
        • I don't claim to know WHY they are using Open Source.

          But that's not the point anyway. They simply *are* using it.
        • So you admit Linux works well

          Good to know. And it's about time.
          Cylon Centurion
          • i dont like you

            But let this be Linux great never said i did not like it. But it is like beer I like miller you and you like a good inport thats cool you drink your's and i will have mine cool
          • Speak English, you fool

            Not this disjointed crap
            Cylon Centurion
        • Re: customers really don't care whether it's open source or not

          Like car buyers don’t really care whether the bonnet can be opened or whether it’s sealed with a big sticker saying “CAUTION: NO USER-SERVICEABLE PARTS INSIDE”.
          • Mr. Lube?

            "Like car buyers don’t really care whether the bonnet can be opened or whether it’s sealed with a big sticker saying “CAUTION: NO USER-SERVICEABLE PARTS INSIDE”."

            Plenty of car buyers wouldn't care, actually. Other than adding oil, antifreeze, and gasoline, plenty of car owners *never* so much as change a light bulb on their vehicles, opting instead to let the "experts" at their local 15-minute oil-change place do it for them (for an exorbitant fee, of course).

            Apple are the pinnacle of "no user-serviceable parts", and they are hardly hurting for sales. It appears that consumers like to consume, and leave the dirty work to the grease monkeys.
          • We're not talking about consumers...

            ...we're talking about corporate customers, and that's a different matter entirely. Cadillac adopted Linux for its new CUE car infotainment system and specifically cited that the open source nature was a key factor in choosing it because they wanted a product they could customize and something that could be tailored to their specific needs.
          • Bad Analogy.

            Apple doesn't let you take it to the local service station. They make you take it back to the dealer where the prices are always higher.

            a true analogy to the local service station would be the computer shop down the street, or possibly your nephew, the high school computer nerd.
      • Everyone?

        That's an awful lot of peole

        Who are these everyone?
        William Farrel
        • Apparently, they are MS's own customers.

          Didn't you get the memo ;-)?
        • Yes, everyone

          Except Wilie that is. He missed the boat.
          Cylon Centurion
          • I'm curious

            I'm curious,

            Why do you assume that William Farrel is a real person, and not just some random Bot?
          • There's never any way of knowing for sure.

            However, s/he has already been caught posting from multiple accounts, which I consider to be a massive strike against his/her integrity.

            I also see no reason to assume that his/her real name is actually "William Farrel" either, or that a single person is using that account to post messages here. So I just take everything from that account with a bucket (or two) of salt and then move on.
      • Nobody demands it

        They sometimes use it because they get free code (read: somebody else paid for the development). I don't know a single person that really cares. They just want it to work.
        • You misread the article.

          The relevant quote is:
          "Zemlin pointed out that 'Microsoft is now supporting Linux in their cloud. Not because they want to, but because their customers demand it.'"
        • Tell that to Cadillac...

          ...who chose Linux for their new CUE infotainment system because they'd have access to the source code and could adapt it to their own needs rather than trying to wedge a closed off-the-shelf product into their designs.

          Are you really insisting that companies don't care about having access to source code for customizing, security or support reasons?
        • Bad Assumption

          the Article said that "Customers Demanded It".

          You assume that means computer users who have windows boxes. WRONG!!!

          Microsoft only cares about those who pay them money, not those who already paid. Microsoft is really just like any other corporation. It isn't the home/small business users, it's the Government and large Corporate users who have nice fat support contracts. If they are not happy, they do not renew. It is during the renewal period that these folks can exert pressure where Microsoft feels it.

          They can they do and they did. Now do you understand?