If not Google, which corporation best champions open source?

Google is fast losing favor as the corporate champion of open source. So who might replace it?

Linux Torvalds, The Linux Foundation
I was, frankly, surprised to see the results of yesterday's poll. About two-fifths of you think Google is evil.

Such surveys are inherently noisy, and many ZDNet readers are fierce supporters of Microsoft, but still...Google is fast losing favor as the corporate champion of open source.

So who might replace it?

  • IBM, which has more open source projects out there than anyone else?
  • Red Hat, which offers the leading Linux distribution?
  • Canonical, which is so public in its support of desktop Linux through Ubuntu?

The natural reaction to this is to say "Champion? We don't need non steenkin' champion."

Ah, but you do. Every ecosystem needs a planet to live on. Every planetary system needs a Sun. (Could our champion be Sun?)

Open source has become a large enough movement, with enough diversity, that you may feel it can have many centers. Like Unix did.

Or that the Linux Foundation is scaled enough now to be that center of gravity, Linus Torvalds our Hari Seldon.

This is not one of those posts which offers new reporting or which answers questions. This is an interactive medium, and sometimes the best thing a reporter can do is listen.

So which corporation best champions open source today? Which company best represents the values and intent of open source? Which does the most to nurture the ideals and values of open source?

Who's your daddy?[poll id=89]