NewsForge: Linux Manufacturing a Lead in Asia

“Most people familiar with the history of computing can cite a
variety of government and industrial applications that drove the
early market for computers. The very earliest applications of all
involved the automation of industrial processes. In fact, the
granddaddy of all “data processing” applications allowed French
garment manufacturers to automate the process of creating patterned
sweaters — back in 1801.

“In the 1970s and ’80s IT pioneers such as Digital Equipment
Corp. spawned an entirely new business focused on industrial
automation, and heavy industry grew to become an important market
for software developers. Over the last 20 years, American
enthusiasm for computer assisted industrial control systems has
faded, along with big chunks of the country’s traditional
manufacturing base.

“However, in the rapidly expanding industrial centers of East
Asia, computer integrated manufacturing is alive and well, and
increasingly a Linux-only environment. As vendors are quickly
discovering, if you want to market computing systems to heavy
industry, they’d better be Open Source…”


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