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Who's Who in Open Source

Filed under
OSS

We are living at crucial moments for Open Source: Oracle is suing Google for patent infringement, Apple is fighting the Android the way they can, while it boasts that it is an open source company (I'll adress it below), and Microsoft's declaring in the press its love for open source (huh? WTF?).

With all the bombardment of news, factoids and half truths, how do we stand in the middle of this whole mess?

To try to understand this mess, I'll do a brief analysis of firms working with Open Source, and comment on how is their relationship with it.

The following list is not definitive and does not cover all companies.

Pro Open Source

Red Hat: It is the company that best sums up the ideals of the Free, Libre Open Source in the world. It has its paid distribution, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and two free distributions: CentOS, a distribution that is focused on servers, but always out of date compared to RHEL and Fedora Linux, a distribution focused more on the common desktop user.

It never did agreements that betray the Linux community and is not supportive of contamination, either the desktop or server, with alien stacks to Linux, being faithful to the four freedoms of the GPL. And even virtualization being one of the hottest topics in computing today, Red Hat released the KVM as open source, after acquiring the company Qumranet Israel. For all these, Red Hat wins the first place.

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