Linux 2.0 – The Rise Of Capitalism

Oracle is now back in the Linux game.

People are speculating that they might buy Red Hat. Others are lamenting the fact that Oracle might be seeking to gain a competitive advantage. Oracle offers quality service to their customers, otherwise they would have none. If Oracle has the programming, networking, and system horsepower to provide quality service for paying Linux customers, then I applaud their effort. I don’t think Mr. Ellison would put money into something that didn’t look like a good investment. Capitalism, baby, that’s the name of the game.

Do you want to compete and get paid? Pick your area of expertise and serve customers better than Red Hat, Oracle, or Ubuntu.

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project is ramping up, too. The idea is to provide all these kids in third-world countries with sub $100 computers, so they can learn to read, write, and draw. I wonder how they are going to run the servers to furnish all the content, out there in the Boondocks? Maybe the servers will be powered by wind turbines or something. For that matter, who will be providing the content and instructional programs?

Anyway, OLPC is taking orders from countries that want to purchase the laptops. Thousands and thousands at a time. That’s good to see, because the money to build those laptops just doesn’t come out of thin air. Let’s not forget all the development costs, either. The cause is noble and it looks like the market (and capitalists) have figured out appropriate funding sources. Governments frequently make investments like that. I’m anxious to see how the project unfolds from a business perspective.

My point is that Linux is becoming mainstream and people are finally realizing ways to make money with it. Some of that money supports the contributors and some supports the projects. Some of it goes to the shareholders. Linux and Open Source Software are moving away from a pure “contribution” mindset to a capitalistic one.

I’m sure that won’t sit well with a few people.

Fortunately, most contributors are gainfully employed or run their own businesses, somewhere in the Linux/OSS food chain.

Ah yes, the “capitalization” of Linux. Linux 2.0. The second generation of Linux.

People have moved away from making money “selling” Linux. They are now making money “using” Linux and figuring out how to leverage that advantage. They are taking the risks and going full steam ahead. Money pays the bills, while return on investment allows growth and expansion.

Success, progress, a better standard of living, and capitalism… that’s what I like to see. Makes it better for everybody.

Rob Reilly is a consultant, trend spotter, and writer. He is a contributing editor for Linux Today. He advises clients on portable business computing and presentation technology integration. Be sure to visit his web page. You can visit his Web page at http://home.earthlink.net/~robreilly.

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