For years we’ve been trying to educate the world about the benefits and the ideology behind free software. We’ve been working hard to enlighten as many people and companies as possible, but somewhere along the way I believe we forgot our goal. Our goal was to get Linux, free software and open source into peoples homes, offices and even the data centers and believe it or not, WE ARE HERE!!!
Open source has gone into a new phase and whether we like it or not the rules have changed. Of course this didn’t happen over night, this is the result of a series of decisions a couple of companies made. Red Hat decided to release an enterprise version of their Linux distribution and begun to compete with Microsoft, Sun, HP and others about the space in the data centers and not too long ago Red Hat also bough the popular open source application server JBoss. Novell bought SUSE and pretty much replaced NetWare with SUSE Linux and joined the party in the data centers.
A company that definitely made a difference in leading open source into the next phase is Sun Microsystems. In the past few years Sun has been changing the licensing of Java to open source and also released OpenSolaris an open source version of Solaris. As another step in Sun’s open source strategy they bought two very significant open source projects, MySQL and VirtualBox. Sun isn’t the only company to buy open source projects at the moment and not to long ago Nokia bought Trolltech and Citrix bough Xen Source.
At this new playground there’s a new set of rules to live up to that the open source-community never faced before. At this playground of companies, business agreements, economics and profitability there’s no room for decisions based on ideology. We need to help these companies find ways to make their decisions so that they do not interfere with the ideology behind open source and so that these companies can benefit from their decisions.
It’s no longer the open source-community’ believe in their ideology that brings open source further, open source has silently taken the step into the commercial world and whatever you all think about that it was all of us that brought it there. We got what we asked for and now it’s time to learn to play by the new rules.