Windows or open source is not the question

Windows or open source is not the question

Summary: We are moving away from an age where code's status is based on the operating system it runs under. We're even moving away from absolutism regarding code status.

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Novell-Tux from BoycottNovellOver at another publication an entrepreneur asks a rather silly question, whether his server-side application should be developed with Windows or open source.

This is not even a question. Windows or Linux, that's a question. Closed source or open, that's a question. (Picture from Boycott Novell.)

Asking whether to develop under Windows or open source is like asking whether you should draft a quarterback or a cheese sandwich.

But this does give me the chance to bring up an important point. We are moving away from an age where code's status is based on the operating system it runs under. We're even moving away from absolutism regarding code status.

There's lots of good Windows code offered with open source. This is not always the same thing as having an open source license. You can have code visibility under a EULA if you like. Many open source projects are offered this way.

There is a lot of Linux code offered which is closed source. One of the leading hospital software outfits, McKesson, offers a Linux-based proprietary system. Nothing wrong with it.

My guess is this trend will continue. I expect to see many Windows projects offered under completely open source licenses -- not just applications like Firefox but server-side products, because it's a great way to make a splash fast.

I also expect to see many more Linux applications sold closed source. Mobile Linux applications are bound to be closed source.

When we speak of a "mixed environment," then, we mean mixed in every way possible. Mixed in terms of operating systems, in terms of license terms, mix and match any way you want.

Which brings me back to the story posted just a little while ago -- the growth of Black Duck Software through the addition of Koders.

Any shop without this kind of solution, in a few years, is going to look very primitive.

Topics: Operating Systems, Linux, Open Source, Software, Windows

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