Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

The Bad Boy of Open Source

Filed under
Interviews

Marc Fleury talks about why he's vilified in certain software circles, and whether he's really putting JBoss on the block

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates may be the most hated man in open-source software circles, but Marc Fleury could come in a close second. As chief executive of JBoss, a company that makes so-called middleware software, which connects disparate programs, Fleury is a pioneer in spawning viable businesses from free software. But he's also alleged to be abrasive, paranoid, controlling, and a credit hog.

Still, whether Fleury's critics want to admit it or not, JBoss is a formidable force. The small company has distinguished itself as a leader in the open-source movement, which is steadily spreading from the popular Linux operating system to include open-source alternatives to nearly every tool companies use to run their businesses. The success of open-source companies like Red Hat (RHAT ), MySQL, and JBoss has made big software companies rethink their businesses, and has spurred the creation of dozens of me-too startups hoping to cash in on the trend.

But it hasn't made Fleury many friends. He chalks that up to jealousy -- and critics could get even more jealous if rumors about his buying JBoss end up up a reality. Oracle (ORCL ) and JBoss were very close to a deal in February and sources say other companies like Red Hat and Novell (NOVL ) have also been taking a look at the company. Fleury talked to BusinessWeek Online reporter Sarah Lacy about life as the bad boy of open source, and the widely held contention that he's shopping his company around. Following are edited excerpts of the conversation.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu Touch OTA-14 Officially Released with Revamped Unity 8 Interface, Fixes

A few moments ago, we've been informed by Canonical's Lukasz Zemczak about the general availability of the long-anticipated Ubuntu Touch OTA-14 software update for Ubuntu Phone and Ubuntu Tablet devices. Read more Also: Ubuntu OTA-14 Released, Fixes A Number Of Bugs

Cloud convenience is killing the open source database

Open source has never been more important or, ironically, irrelevant. As developers increasingly embrace the cloud to shorten time to market, they're speeding past open source, making it even harder to build an open source business. After all, if open source were largely a way for developers to skirt legal and purchasing departments to get the software they needed when they needed it, the cloud ups that convenience to the nth degree. In Accel's annual business review, the vaunted venture capital firm writes: "'Product' is no longer just the bits of software, it's also how the software is sold, supported, and made successful." The cloud is changing the way all software is consumed, including open source. Read more

Why the operating system matters even more in 2017

Operating systems don't quite date back to the beginning of computing, but they go back far enough. Mainframe customers wrote the first ones in the late 1950s, with operating systems that we'd more clearly recognize as such today—including OS/360 from IBM and Unix from Bell Labs—following over the next couple of decades. Read more

OpenGov Partnership members mull open source policy

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) will suggest to its member governments to create a policy on open source. This week, a draft proposal is to be finalised at the OGP Global Summit in Paris. Read more