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Linux Magazine: Who Builds the Open Infrastructure?

Aug 05, 2000, 17:05 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Frank LaMonica)

"The real issue we need to face in the open source world is how to fund a fully malleable infrastructure, so that we can all be free from the control of a single vendor. Linux represents freedom from single-source, proprietary-software dependency. It also poses an important question: In a world where there is no "Microsoft tax," who pays for the infrastructure? To date, a variety of Linux vendors have contributed to the task. Red Hat and SuSE have traditionally provided significant funding, and VA Linux is now heavily contributing to this effort. Companies such as Matrox, ATI, 3dfx, SGI, and Intel have absorbed a lot of the costs of producing an open source graphics infrastructure, but there is much more work to be done. Open source development is being significantly outspent by proprietary interests. Fortunately, we don't need to spend nearly as much money to get a much better result. Paraphrasing Albert Einstein, we should put as little money into it as possible...but not too little! If the open source paradigm is to succeed, all vendors in that space need to contribute, either by funding third parties or by their own internal efforts, to improve the infrastructure. Buying the infrastructure today will save a lot of money in rent tomorrow."

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