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InfoWorld: [Open Source is] Already a contender

Oct 31, 2001, 21:05 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Russell Pavlicek)
"IT HAPPENED AGAIN this week. While reading one of the online open-source news services, I came across an article containing the prognostications of an industry guru. Among his statements was the now familiar claim that open source simply cannot innovate. It takes a focused, well-funded organization to deliver significant innovation, claimed the IT guru.

At first glance, someone might think this analysis is correct. After all, a cursory glance at the history of Linux reveals an extensive effort to create features and interfaces found in other operating systems. Taken at face value, it appears that open source is about imitation, not innovation.

Although it is true that much of the history of open-source development has been marked by the effort to create features found in other platforms, this has far more to do with the time line than the Linux community's ability to innovate. As with any new venture launched into a field with many established competitors, Linux needed to first reach the baseline established by the competition before focusing entirely on innovation. In the operating system market, reaching that baseline is no small task, but as a recent D.H. Brown report clearly shows, Linux has become quite technically competitive with other Unix-like operating systems."

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