Interview with Jim Zemlin, Linux Foundation, Part II

Filed under

Given Zemlin's unique perspective as someone at the heart of the open source community (see Part I of this interview), I was keen to hear his views on why he thought Linux was becoming so successful in the embedded sector. His analysis was interesting:

"Linux has reached this critical mass in terms of hardware device support that people don't quite appreciate. It's almost like the network externality that Microsoft achieved with the Windows API, that everybody wrote to Windows, and that's why Windows was so valuable. Well, every SOC [System on a Chip] vendor, all the silicon guys, all the device guys, they all use Linux to test their silicon to create devices. If you want to create something with Linux, all the off-the-shelf components already work for it, fast - that's a big deal, that's why it's so popular in embedded systems. It's cheap, it's free, it's time-to-market, it works with all these devices because everybody uses it."

Rest here